This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The tenth semi-annual meeting of the Kansas State Horticultural Society, will be held at Hutchinson, Reno County, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, June 1st, 2d and 3d, 1880, in response to an earnest invitation from the Reno County Horticultural Society. "The meeting will open promptly at 10 o'clock on the morning of the first day, and all persons interested in the horticultural welfare of Kansas are invited to be present and assist in making the exercises interesting and useful.
This being the first meeting of the Society in the Arkansas valley, the citizens residing in that section of the State are most earnestly requested to make special efforts for a general attendance.
The Reno County Horticultural Society and citizens of Hutchinson, have generously offered to provide free accommodations for all attendants from abroad, and reduced rates in fare will probably be granted by the several railway companies in the State, which rates will be published in a subsequent notice.
Attendants are requested to bring specimens of all classes of fruits, flowers and vegetables in season, and wood growths of the different classes of trees, - fruit and forest; also of insects found depredating in any manner the interests of the horticulturists.
"Come to this semi-annual reunion, all ye who love fruits and flowers, home and beautiful surroundings, as members of common interest bent on developing the noble branch of industry, horticulture," - says the secretary.
Report for 1879, from Geo. C. Brackett, Secretary. Among other interesting matter is a portrait and sketch of the life of Dr. Howsley. It is an apt illustration of the adage, that we do not know our friends till we lose them. For near a quarter of a century, the writer of this met the Doctor " off and on," and learned to have a high regard for him, which this obituary notice tends very much to increase, though he is beyond any benefit save to his memory. It is a pity that testimonials to living men are so apt to run to mere adulation, or it would be better for many whils living to receive some of the praise they get after they die.
This society held its Tenth Semi-annual Meeting in Hutchinson, Kansas, during the first three days of June. This was the first visit of this society to the Arkansas valley; and as the greater part of the members reside in the eastern part of the State, it was a new experience for them to find themselves so far out on the "Great American Desert." The news had gone out that our country was parched and dried up with the drought, but, while it was true that the winter and the early spring had been without rain and strong winds had prevailed beyond anything in that line ever experienced before, yet, in spite of all this, our visitors found to their surprise the country clothed with luxuriant grass and bedecked with gay flowers. Fruit and forest trees have made a large growth. Copious rains have met all requirements in this direction. In order to understand the situation of this locality it should be remembered that nine years ago the very first settlers entered this part of the Arkansas valley. On the 13th of November, 1871, the first building was commenced in the city of Hutchinson. "The country around was possessed by the buffalo, antelope and Indian, and the unbroken prairie stretched away in every direction in gentle undulations till it seemed to meet and kiss the skies.
These facts being known to our visitors, it is not strange that they were surprised to find a city of 2,000 inhabitants, with large, well-finished stone and brick residences and business houses, and to see the country in all directions dotted with groves of trees, some of which measure from six to ten inches in diameter and from thirty to forty feet high, all grown within that time.
The meeting was held in the M E. Church, which our ladies had decorated with plants and flowers in a magnificent manner. The whole rostrum was filled, behind, before, and on either aide, so that when the President was seated, his face, radiant with intelligence and beaming with benevolence, looked like a profile set in a frame of brilliant flowers and vernal beauty. Reports of the fruit prospects by the members from the different parts of the State show that in the eastern and southern portions of the State the crop will be from medium to full, while in the central parts, owing to a late freeze, it is a failure. The address of President E. Gale, of Manhattan, was an able setting forth of the importance of increased intelligence on horticultural subjects among the rural population in its relation to the happiness of the people and the welfare of the nation. Able papers were read by a number of the members, among the most important were one on Landscape Gardening, by President Gale, one on the Apple, by Vice President G.G. Johnson, of Lawrence, and one on Botany, by Prof. J. W. Robson, of Dickinson County. Able addresses were delivered on peach culture by the young, energetic, and intelligent correspondent of the Gardeners' Monthly, H. E. Van Deman, of Allen County; on Floriculture by Mr. Johnson and Prof. Robson, and on various other subjects by other members.
Discussions were had on the Apple, Peach, Grape, Forest Trees, Vegetables, Gardens, Ornithology, Entomology, Irrigation and Small Fruits. Secretary G. C. Brackett, of Lawrence, exhibited six varieties of strawberries, the best of forty varieties tested the past year. These were sampled by all present, and pronounced good, with the first two named at the head of the list for both size and flavor. These six varieties were the Cumberland Triumph, Crescent Seedling, Charles Downing, Captain Jack, Wilson and Austin.
For earnestness, energy, intelligence, perseverance and "snap," this society will compare favorably with any similar organization I have ever known. The annual report of this society for 1879, just issued, is an 8vo volume of 460 pages, and is far superior to any similar publication in the country.
Some of the members claimed it to be the most interesting and profitable semi-annual session ever held by the society. We believe the influence for good on our people in this locality will be both lasting and powerful.