Colon Floral Association 1881

Colon Floral Association (1881)


Joe Ganger


I am copying from a handwritten note plainer than my own handwriting, but faded with time. Mrs. A. M. Banta, secretary of the Colon Floral Association writes about the organizations beginnings. No date as to when it was written but it had to be 1881. Other officers were: Mrs. J. Clement, president; Mrs. Will Davis, treasurer; Mrs. E. R. Hill, Mrs. Dr. Lides, and Miss Maggie Farrand, vice presidents. “ On September 11, 1877, a few ladies and gentlemen interested in the culture of flowers convened in Colon to discuss the subject of organizing a society for the purpose of holding a floral exhibition. The result of the meeting was a society was formed. Mrs. A. M. Banta, president; Miss Maggie Farrand, secretary; Miss Frank Farrand, treasurer; Dr. and Mrs. Lides, Mr. J. and Mrs. Clement, Mr. and Mrs. L. L. Kinner, Mrs. J. Schemerhorn, Miss Kate Miller, and Mr. Joseph Farrand, executive committee. Success crowned our efforts for where there is a will there is a way, and on the 18th of September, one week from our first meeting, the fair was opened with a fine display of over 500 pots of plants, a great variety of hanging baskets, many floral designs, and an almost infinite number of vases of cut flowers, interspersed with a great variety of fancy work and paintings. Our fair passed of so admirable not only as a pleasant entertainment but also in the financial point of view, that at the close of the fair, the faithless, and there were many, such as were obliged to be believing, and those who discouraged our undertaking at first were compelled to consider our entertainment a success. At the second official meeting, elated with our achievement, with bright hopes for the future, the members of the association concluded to make The Floral Society a permanent organization, having for its object the awakening of a greater interest in the arts, and in the study and cultivation of flowers, which tends to elevate the thoughts and bring the mind into constant communion with nature and the beautiful, and lead it from nature up to nature’s God, which brings out a beauty and refinement of taste, requisite in every class of society. It was moved to retain the same officers and to have a constitution and by-laws drawn up by which to govern it, which was done, and the name Colon Floral Association was adopted. The present year witnessed our fourth annual exhibition with Mrs. J. Clement as president. An increased interest is very perceptible every year, both my members and others. The homological society unites with us this fall which greatly enhanced the pleasure of the entertainment. A proposition has been made by some of the members, to unite and become a branch of the State Society which we hope may be done, for in union is strength. But not to yield our individual character as a society.”