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RG3938.AM:  Henry L. Lobenstein, 1903-1989

Papers:  1937-1956

Kansas, Nebraska and Utah:  Forester

Size:  0.4 cu.ft.; 1 box


Henry L. Lobenstein, son of Fred and Minnie Lobenstein, was born in Edwardsville, Kansas, on August 3, 1903.  By 1930 he was working as a horticulturalist for the Kansas State Extension Office.  Lobenstein served as Chief of the Division of Plantation Management with the U.S. Forest Service.  As a forester with the Prairie States Forestry Project, Lobenstein was involved with the Shelter Belt plantings of the 1930’s and 1940’s.  The main purpose of the Prairie States Forestry Project was the cultivation and growing of trees in a relatively treeless middle west in such a way as to reduce the destructive effects of wind.  With trees acting as a “windbreak” or “shelterbelt,” the results sought included the prevention of sod blowing, the conservation of moisture, stabilizing the productiveness of the land, and the making of one of the most important agricultural regions of the country a better and more profitable place in which to live.

Lobenstein lived in Lincoln, Nebraska, during the late 1930s and early 1940s while working on the shelter belt plantings.  He married Edna Bender sometime between 1930 and 1938.  By the mid-late 1940s Lobenstein had transferred to Ogden, Utah, and continued working for the U.S. Forest Service.  Henry L. Lobenstein died in 1989 and is buried in Washington Heights Memorial Park at Ogden, Utah.


This collection consists of one box of papers relating to Henry Lobenstein’s work on the U.S. Forest Service’s Prairie States Forestry Project which was involved in shelterbelt plantings in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma during the 1930’s and 1940’s.  Included in the collection are correspondence, reports and newspaper clippings.  The correspondence, 1944-1956, contains materials about the possibility of establishing a Great Plains station for the post-war period.  Benefits from past shelterbelt plantings are described, as well as problems affecting the establishment and effectiveness of shelterbelts.  Other items discuss the development of the tree-planting machine in the Prairie State Forestry Project.

The Prairie State Forestry Project annual reports, 1940-1942, describe total annual planting, losses, accomplishments, costs, and other statistical information, as reported to the U.S. Forest Service.  The various other Forestry Project materials and general forestry reports include studies done on various aspects of shelterbelt plantings.  The newspaper clippings, 1944-1949, consist of a few articles about shelterbelts and the reactions of a few politicians to the shelterbelt program.

Note:  For photographs relating to shelterbelt plantings, see the Shelterbelt photo collection [RG2539.PH].


Box 1


  1. Correspondence, 1944-1956

  2. Prairie States Forestry Project annual reports, 1940-1942

  3. Prairie States Forestry Project Handbook, 1939, pt. 1

  4. Prairie States Forestry Project Handbook, 1939, pt. 2

  5. Prairie States Forestry Project memos, bulletins, etc., 1937-1942, 1949

  6. Nursery Practice for Trees and Shrubs Suitable for Planting on the Prairie-Plains (USDA Misc. Publication #434), August 1941

  7. Facts About Shelterbelts:  A 1954 Evaluation of Field Windbreaks Planted Between 1935 and 1942 by Ralph A. Read, 1956

  8. Newspaper clippings, 1944-1949


Subject headings:

Agricultural history

Conservation — Great Plains

Forests and forestry

Lobenstein, Henry L., 1903-1989

Prairie States Forestry Project

Roberts, Paul Henley, 1891-1971

Tree planting

Windbreaks, shelterbelts, etc. — Great Plains


AIF/pjm               12-12-1979

Revised TMM      01-15-2019