Garden Club celebrating its 75th year

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Recently, the Poplar Bluff Garden Club celebrated 75 years of growing, planting and beautifying Poplar Bluff when 19 members and invited guests met for lunch in the home of the club president, Cindy Boyers. Judy Sheets, president of the Federated Garden Clubs of Missouri, was an honored guest.

The history of the club was reviewed by club historian, Katie Findlay. According to club records, 16 women attended the first meeting in the spring of 1937. Members included: Mrs. George Allison, Mrs. C. B. Coleman, Mrs. Morrison Clevelen, Miss Phoebe Daltan, Mrs. M. E. Feverston, Mrs. H. R. Fields, Mrs. H. R. Fischer, Miss Kate Lutz, Mrs. A. W. Robertson, Miss Cora Saunders, Mrs. H. C. Weber, Mrs. George Hearne, Mrs. J. D. Maze, Mrs. Norman Gamblin, Mrs. W. E. Morrison and Mrs. John Wolpers. They became charter members.

The club met twice a month during the spring and summer and once a month during the winter. The ladies had three major projects their first year. They held their first flower show in October; there were 75 entries. Then, they met with city officials about grading and improving the vacant lot next to the library which they landscaped. On Christmas Eve they held a carol singing on that lot around a large Christmas tree the city firemen decorated.

Important dates in the club's history are: 1938, helped organize Better Gardens Garden Club; 1943, Club became federated; 1945, officially adopted the name, Poplar Bluff Garden Club; 1951, helped organize Green Thumb Garden Club; 1957, State Convention was held in Poplar Bluff with more than 500 garden club members in attendance; 1958, First Holiday House through Last Holiday House, 2001; 1966, First Yard of the Month Award given; 1973, First Federated Standard Flower Show; 1977, organized Campbell Garden Club; 1980s,TRCC Landscaping, major project for many years; 1984, Federated Garden Clubs of Mo presented Poplar Bluff Garden Club an award for their anti-litter project; 1996, located and rededicated the Blue Star memorial with the help of Better Gardens Garden Club and Green Thumb Garden Club, originally dedicated in 1957; 1997, planted city hall petunia flower bed; 1999, the three garden clubs planted 100 crepe myrtles around Poplar Bluff; 2000, Clover leaf at Highways 60 and 67 was planted with crepe myrtles by the Council of Federated Garden Clubs of Poplar Bluff and Community Betterment Council; 2002, crepe myrtles planted on Highway 142; 2003, Poplar Bluff Depot prints fund raiser for the depot steps renovation; 2005, planted 300 daffodils in Potters Field at City Cemetery; 2007, Southeast District meeting held at the Fellowship Baptist Church in Poplar Bluff; 2011, Poplar Bluff Garden Club was named the Southeast District "Club of the Year", Tire clean up grant, and Butler County Health Dept. planting.

The Poplar Bluff Garden Club has always been active in beautifying Poplar Bluff. They have had beautification projects at the library, the Chamber of Commerce, the Shady Grove State School and planted the original Red Blaze roses on the VA Hospital fence. Club members participate in Arbor Day and the Senior Citizen Plant Show, as well as other projects. Members have bird sanctuaries and blue bird trails. They attend annual district meetings and state conventions. Judy Duncan was district director, 1999-2001; Sherry Wilson is district director, 2011-2013.

Club members and guests enjoyed club scrape books and reminiscing. The meeting closed with a walk through the yard of their hostess.

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