One of the saddest days of Jay Gurney’s life came in 1977 when his father lost his job at what had been the family nursery. “I helped my father gather up his stuff,” he remembers.
By the early 1940s the Gurney family no longer owned the historic family business in Yankton. The company changed owners several times and was eventually bought by American Garden Products. “Shortly after my grandfather’s death, the company said to my father Sidney: ‘We’ll offer you $100 to continue using your name and likeness in our mail order catalog. If you don’t sign the agreement, you’re fired.’