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Female, US, born 11/08/1857, died 03/24/1940

Associated with the firm network

Sessions, Kate O., Landscape Designer

Professional History


School Teacher, San Diego, CA, 1884.

School Teacher, San Gabriel, CA.

Owner of various flower shops and nurseries in Coronado, CA, Mission Hills, CA, and Pacific Beach, CA.

Proprietor and part-owner (with Mr. and Mrs. Solon Blaisdell), San Diego Nursery, San Diego, CA, 1885-1940.

Supervisor of Agriculture and Landscaper for the San Diego Unified School District beginning in 1915; Sessions also taught botany and horticultural classes in the San Diego Unified School District.


Sessions taught sporadically in secondary schools from the 1880s-on.

Professional Activities

Sessions was one of the founders of "California Garden," the journal of the San Diego Floral Association, in 1906.

Sessions obtained land in City Park (renamed "Balboa Park") on which to establish a nursery. As a rental payment, the City of San Diego contracted with Sessions to provide 100 trees per year in City Park and three hundred others per year for planting on other city-owned lands. In so doing, Sessions became central in the landscaping of San Diego's central public space, Balboa Park.

She was active on the City of San Diego's Park Improvement Committee, which she helped to found in 1906.

Professional Awards

Recipient, American Genetic Association, Frank N. Meyer Medal, 1939. Sessions was the first woman to receive the award.


High School/College

Sessions attended secondary schools in Oakland, CA.

Coursework in business college, c. 1875.

Graduate, natural sciences, University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Berkeley, CA, 1877.


Biographical Notes

She traveled in the Hawaiian Islands with family friends just after her graduation from high school. Much of the information for this entry on Sessions was derived from the San Diego History Center web site, "Kate O. Sessions, 1857-1940,"accessed 09/07/2011.

Associated Locations

  • San Francisco, CA (Architect's Birth)
    San Francisco, CA

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PCAD id: 74