Plainfield Garden Club

Member: Wells, Mrs. Henry C. (Alice R.) '20

1922 Address: 80 Washington Avenue, Plainfield

1929 Treasuer Book Active $5.00 Mrs. H. C. Wells not recorded in the 1928 Treasurer Book
1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937 Treasurer Book Active

1932 Directory* Address: Valley Road
* = This directory is not dated but presumed to be from the year 1932.

1938 Treasurer Book, Active: Mrs. Henry C. Wells 1/20/38 Pd 1/12/39 Pd. 1/11/40 Pd. 1/9/41 Pd.

1942 Directory: Valley Road, Watchung

1941 - 1942 - 1943 Treasurer Book: Mrs. Henry C. Wells 1/2/42 Pd 1/15/43 Pd Deceased

Henry C. Wells is related to the Stillman Family

It is unknown if Mrs. John R. Wells, Jr. '57 of Valley Road, Watchung (1958) is related to Mrs. Henry C. Wells '20

1915-1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

September 7, 1902 New York Times article Record Golf at Plainfield

Mr. Henry C. Wells listed

August 18, 1901 New York Times article Results of Weekly Matches at Hillside and Park Clubs

Henry C. Wells mentioned

Also mentioned are others relating to the Plainfield Garden Club:

Miss Maud Van Boskerck
T.R. Van Boskerck
Mellick Cup
and others

Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Plainfield Garden Club by Lucy Von Boskerck

Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Plainfield Garden Club by Lucy Von Boskerck

Hillside Cemetery

October 20, 2011
Photo by S. Fraser

Washington Park Historic District North Plainfield


Saturday, December 10, 4:00 - 9:00 PM. Tour starts at Church of the Holy Cross, corner of Washington and Mercer Avenues.

Founded in 1988, North Plainfield's only historic district will be featured in a Holiday house tour titled 'Architectural Treasures of North Plainfield'. Nine of the District's homes – mostly Victorians – will be featured, all dressed up for the Christmas holidays.

Tickets are $25 the day of the tour and may be purchased the Holy Cross Church, the tour's starting point, where maps will also be available.

Dear Washington Park Association:

Please link our website to your website. We
will do the same.

Plainfield Garden Club was established in 1915 and many of our early
members were residents of North Plainfield. You can read about the 250+
ladies on the website under "History"

Probably most notable was founding member Mrs. Charles Walter (Mary
Isabella Simpson)McCutchen '15

Other North Plainfield-Plainfield Garden Club Residents include:

Campbell Mabel C. Raper Mrs. William Hall 1928
Eaton Mary Winifred Parlin Mrs. Charles Aubrey 1915
Fleming Helen Hyde Mrs. Austin Lloyd 1919
Foster Fannie C. Groendyke Mrs. John Gray 1915
Hackman Elizabeth or "Betty" Reppert Mrs. Robert K. 1970
Howell Romaine Ray Mrs. Josephus H. 1922
Hyde Helen Miss 1917
Hyde Elilzabeth Kepler Mrs. Charles L. 1917
Hyde Carolyn Knowland Mrs. Frank de Lacey 1919
McGee Emma Louise Whiting Mrs. Henry Augustus 1922
McGee Sarah M. Howell Mrs. Henry Livingston "Harry" 1918
McGee Mary Alice Yerkes Mrs. Walter Miller 1922
Middledith Sarah Augusta Flanders Mrs. James F. 1920
Morison Fanny C. Lemmon Mrs. Nathaniel H. 1916
Murray Mrs. J. Everett 1920
Tingley Miss Dorothea 1932
Trewin Annette Mrs. C. Sidney 1945
Wells Mrs. Henry C. 1920
Wells Nancy G. Mrs. John R., Jr. 1957

We have just begun to post our archival information on line. If
interested, we could send you the addresses of these members. We are
always interested in learning more about them and welcome photographs of
their homes and gardens.

Enjoy the season -

The Ladies of the Plainfield Garden Club

Park Golf Club

New York Times August 18, 1901


Results of Weekly Marches at Hillside and Park Clubs.

PLAINFIELD, N. J. Aug. 17 – Notwithstanding the warm weather, there was a good attendance at the links of the Hillside Golf Club today. In the contest for the Mellick Cup, played this morning, Miss Maude Van Boskerck carried off the honors, the scores being: Miss Maude Van Boskerck 116, 12 - 104; Miss Herwarden, 110, 4 - 106, Miss May Holly, 137, 30 - 107; Miss May Wharton, 150, 35 - 115; Miss Louise Holly, 172, 25 - 137.

In the play for the Golf Committee Cup on the Hillside links, T. R. Van Boskerck led W. L. Glenny today by three points. The scores were: T. R. Van Boskerck, 92, 12 - 80; W. L. Glenny, 88 6 - 83; Walter Peterson, 99, 15 - 84; W. C. Faber, III, 27 -84; C. W. Abbott, 94, 8 - 86; C. A. Stevenson, 116, 24 - 92; C. C. Burke, Jr., 111, 19 - 92; E. W. Hedges, 115, 22-93; J. W. Sandford, 107, 13 -94; E. W. Newkirk, 122, 27 - 95; H. C. Tracey, 123, 17 - 96; L. H. Van Buren, 113, 15 - 98; J. R. Blake, 118, 18 -100; H. C. Munger, 114, 12 - 102; R. Rushmore, 127, 20 -107.

There was a comparatively small field in the weekly competition for the President's Cup at the Park Golf Club, and first and second honors went to Joseph L. Myers and Charles L. Nichols, respectively, who are newcomers in the race, while Charles B. Morse took third place. Senator Charles A. Reed still leads for the trophy.

The score cards better than 100 were: Joseph L. Myers, 117, 30 - 87; Charles L. Nichols, 119, 30 - 80; Charles B. Morse, 107, 15 - 92; William R. Faber, 113, 21 - 97; H. G. Phillips, 124, 25 - 90; Henry C. Wells, 118, 19 - 99.

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Archivist Note March 16, 2012: Articles on this page were said to be written by PGC members and list "Alice R. Welles" Currently we do not have the first name for Mrs. Henry C. Wells" – Could there by a type and this "Mrs. Welles" is really our "Mrs. Wells"?

June 17, 1938

Editor's Note: Members of the Plainfield Garden Club prepared material for this week's garden page exclusively for Jersey Life. Guest contributors next wee will be members of the Northfield Garden Club of Livingston

Plainfield Garden Club Began Iris Garden
Inspiration Came From Iris Society
by Harriette Halloway

Two questions frequently asked about this garden are answered in the following paragraph; but the answer to a third – constantly asked – requires all the rest of the space!

The Iris Garden was inspired by The American Iris Socity whose officers and members give nearly all the plants. The Plainfield Garden Club, after having a share in establishment and development, continues active interest in it; and the Union County Par Commission which supplies the land and the labor is officially in charge.

"When is the best time to see the iris?"

The dwarf border – so suitable for the front of borders, for rock gardens, for groups with daffodils – usually are in full bloom duirng the first wee of May. There are rug-like masses – a hundred varieties – in all colors except pink. So that the first week in May is a "best" time.

The last of the these dwards and the first of the intermediate bearded always overlap. Between the 15th and the 20th of May there can be seen about 80 varieties of intermediate some of the crested and a few of the species, and the majority of the superb progocyclus. The handsome new intermediates cannot be ever-praised; and the same is true of the pogocylus. Although the colors of the later are not gay like the former, they are of Persian richness; and the one huge beg with 40 varieties, is an unforgettable mass of breath-taing beauty. No other public planting or garden has such a collection of these royal artistocrats. As just stated, their maximum bloom usually occurs between the 15th and the 20th of May, and consequently that is another "best" time.

The greatest numbers of flowers of the tall bearded iris in all colors are open between the 20th and the 25th and as there are 800 varieties that is the most spectacular (thought not the most interesting, nor the most important) week of bloom. It is also one of the two most enjoyable times for people who can see the garden only by driving past it – because unable to walk around in it. So the third week in May is another "best" time.

At the same time, the Siberians – over 40 varieties – have been blooming and the species getting under way. This collection of Siberian includes some of the handsome new orginations from Canada. The iris species, which are native wild iris of our own and other lands, and their hybrids – 50 varieties – fill three beds. These latter in fascinating shades and charming forms – the most pleasing of all iris for flower arrangements – are far too little known and used. For seeing these, the "best" time is the latter part of May and the first week in June.

The Japanese – over 100 varieties – which begin to open before the last of the species have gone, continue all through June and well over the Fourth of July holiday.

So the answer is – "What kind of iris does the questioner want to see?" For there are these five "best" times – all of them average dates, depending on the weather!

In Honor Of Shakespeare
by Dorothea Tingley

What more fertile field for the exercise of creative imagination than gardening! Few can resist it. In 1928 the Plainfield Shakespeare Club became imbued with the unique idea of making an old English Garden full of plants and flowers mentioned in Shakespeare's palys. They turned for help to the Plainfield Garden Club and the Union County Park Commission. The idea appealed to them. The Shakespeare Garden in Cedarbrook Park came into being.

The rustic arbor which forms its upper boundary can be seen from the drive on the left. The garden occupies a curving, shallow terrace, with a rustid fence along the back and a low retaining wall in front. The flower beds have sawtooth brick edgings and their contents are all mared with two kinds of labels – one with the correct botanical names of the sweet growing things; the others with appropriate quotations from Shakespeare's plays.

The four beds at the lower end of the garden are devoted to herbs. All of the flowers used in this garden are old-fashioned varieties. No modern hybrid, however lovely, is allowed. Beneath the arbor are some seats, and at one end a modest boulder with a bronze commemorative plaque.

Plainfield Garden Club
by Alice R. Welles

Shortly after its organization, the Plainfield Garden Club began a policy of putting aside every year a sum of money to be used in "the beautifying of the city. The first of the activities which have grown from this policy was the gift of a number of dogwood trees to Cedar Brook Park.

The interest and the aid of Mr. R. W. Tracy, the Union County Park executive, was secured and with his help, trees were purchased and a suitable place selected for planting.

Shortly before the committee . . . .

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

A planting of dogwood trees presented to the Union County Park Commission by the Plainfield Garden Club are dedicted in Cedar Brook Park where the trees were set out. The gift, which is noted on the bronze tablet members of the club and Park Engineer W. R. Tracy (extreme right) are surveying, marks the 25th anniversary of the club. Left to right are Mrs. Charles A. Eaton, Mrs. William W. Coriell, Mrs. Arthur G. Nelson, president; Mrs. Thomas R. Van Bosckerck, Mrs. Henry C. Wells, Mrs. William A. Holliday and Mr. Tracy (Story on Social Page)

circa 1940

Plainfield Public Library

Plainfield Public Library

Plainfield Public Library Archive


Mrs. Clifford Baker Heads Garden Club; Reports Stress Recent Civic Improvements

Election of officers of the year's work, especailly that of a civic nature recently undertaken, and an address by Mrs. Otto Lane, who gave instructions in making conservation Christmas wreaths, featured the annual meeting of the Plainfield Garden Club yesterday at the home of Mrs. George W. Fraker in Rahway Road.

Mrs. Leslie Runyon Fort, retiring president, was in charge of the business session. These officers were chosen for the coming year: President, Mrs. Clifford M. Baker; vice-presidents, Mrs. Harry P. Marshall and Mrs. Raymond V. V. Miller; recording secretary, Mrs. Anna Stewartl corresponding secretary, Miss Laura Detwiller; treasurer, Mrs. Frederick W. Yates.

Mrs. Samuel T. Carter, Jr., gave a report of the work in the Shakespeare Garden in Cedar Brook Park. During the year there were a number of plantings in the garden which have added to its attractiveness.

Mrs. Thomas R. Van Boskerck requested donations of jellies for the Flower, Plant and Fruit Guild for distribution among the sick and shut-ins. They can be sent to her home, 1232 Prospect Avenue.

The following letter was received from Edward Baker, Jr., president of the Lions club:

"I am writing you in behalf of the Lions Club of Plainfield in regarde to the very wonderful work the Plainfield Garden Club is doing around our city. Some of the members of our club have seen the work in Cottage Place and also, the brook in Watchung Avenue, which is about completed. We just want you to know that we consider this one of the finest pieces of civic service which has been rendered Plainfield. As citizens and members of the Lions Club we certainly appreciate this work."

A report of unusual interest was presented by the conservation committe of the club. It was in part as follows:

"In early October, 1931, at the request of the Chamber of Commerce a survey was made by our president, Mrs. Leslie R. Fort and the chairman of the conservation committee of the Chamber of Commerce. This report embodied suggestions for work at conscpicuous places in the city . . . be of help in unemployment relief the club made an appropriation to be used as far as possible for wages only. Great interest was at once shown not only by club members, but also by people in many walks of life.

"Two projects were undertaken. The one first begun was Cottage Place close to the railroad tracks. Following some publicity for the work being attempted, gifts came freely – top soil, manure, plants, trees and shrubs. City officials, those of the park and street departments and the New Jersey Central, co-operated gernerously.

"Today a beautiful little park awaits the spring. There have been planted 31 trees where none stood before; 26 rose bushes and over 375 other plants and shurbs have been most carefully set out. This work employed 139 hours at 50 cents an hour and 312 hours at 40 cents an hour. The expenditure was $169.50. Cottage park has been evolved.

"It was evident when the work at Cottage Place was well underway that a second piece of work could be begun. The south bank of Green Brook at the Watchung Avenue bridge was chosen as the worst eyesore in the city. Here, as in Cottage Place, advice was generously given that nothing could be done. But the gardeners just kept on working. Gifts kept coming. A tractor was brought in to cope with stones and debris impossible for men to move. Today another pleasnt little park created by the garden club also awaits the spring.

"Because in pioneer days the little stream, now called Green Brook, was called the Sahcunk River, streams, and the tribe dwelling here along its banks were teh Sahcunk Indians, this little park made by our club is now called Sahcunk Park. In those early days from Rock Avenue to Bound Brook there was located Waccaho-vo-howiohy Village, the name meaning "where you can dig into the ground."

"In two projects 28 1/4 hours at 50 cents an hour and 211 3/4 hours at 40 cents an hour made an expenditure of $99.30. The total planting of 51 trees, 89 roses and 750 other plants and shrubs cost $268.60. Every cent went for wages so the garden club has the enviable record of being able to dispense 100 per cent relief. The fine co-operative spirit shown in every direction made every moment a delight.

"Those of us who really dug in the gardens are quite conscious that many defects may be discovered easily by those so minded. But we trust that these plots, slected as behicles for helping those in distress will be filled with flowers and restful shade. And we hope that each succeeding year will find these spots a little lovelier because of our civic interest in them and that this part of co-operative effort will not be forsaken."

Among the women who were actively engaged in these enterprises were Mrs. Leslie R. Fort, president; Mrs. J. L. Devlin, Mrs. Thomas R. VanBoskerck, Mrs. Garret Smith, Mrs. Henry L. DeForest, Mrs. Clinton Ivins, Miss Elsie Harman, Mrs. Charles A. Eaton and Mrs. Henry Wells.

Plainfield Public Library Archives


Garden Club Plans For Flower Show

Plans were about completed for the flower show of the Plainfield Garden Club at a meeting yesterday in the home of the chairman. Mrs. Wallace Coriel, 963 Central Avenue. The show is to be held May 5 and 6 in the Assembly Room of the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Mrs. Richard Lawton, a prize winner in many horticultural exhibitions, is schedule chairman, and is spected to have schedules printed soon for distribution.

Fully two-thirds of the 50 classes scheduled are listed as "horticultural." The flower arrangment classes are in the minority. The schedule is planned to be of educational value to both experienced gardeners and beginners.

The committee includes Mrs. Corriell, chairman, Mrs. Dudley H. Barrows, secretary; Mrs. Harry Williams, treasurer; Mrs. C. Boardman Tyler and Mrs. William K. Dunbar, decoration and floor plan; Mrs. Henry L. DeForest, properties; Mrs. Henry Marshall, staging; Mrs. Lawton and Mrs. Henry C. Wells, schedule; Mrs. William S. Tyler, exhibits.

Also Miss Harriette R. Halloway, specimens; Miss Josephine Lapslety, entries; Mrs. Garret Smith, publicity; Mrs. Leslie R. Fort and Mrs. Edward H. Ladd Jr., judges, and Mrs. Clifford M. Baker, prizes.

Plainfield Public Library Archives

1920 Muhlenberg Hospital Womens Auxiliary

Mrs. H. G. Wells
80 Washington Avenue, N.P.

1909 Plainfield City Directory

Wells Frank S, dentist, 517 Central av, h 916 Grant av
Wells Frederick H, insurance, h 217 E 7th
Wells Harold, h 217 E 7th
Wells Henry C, merchant, h 80 Washington av, N P
Wells Lee, driver, h 159 E 2d
Wells Thomas, shoemkr, 699 South av, h 33 Somerset N P

1925 Meeting Minutes

1915 - 1923 List of Meetings

1936 - 1937 Meeting Minutes

1938-1939 Meeting Minutes

Mrs. Wells

Cornus Arboretum

From the 1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

Our beautiful dogwood trees stand on what was once the city dump. The story of this evolution of beauty began in 1929 when Mrs. Charles Eaton presented 50 dogwood trees to Cedar Brook Park from her own woods. In 1931, with Mrs. Henry Wells as Chairman, 45 dogwood trees, white and pink, were donated by the Plainfield Garden Club and were planted on one side of the drive entering from Park Avenue. Nine years later, (1940), under the guidance of Mrs. Thomas R. Van Boskerck and Mrs. William Holliday, 110 trees were added to extend the first row and to form another on the opposite side of the road. Since this planting coincided with our own 25th anniversary, a large boulder bearing a bronze marker was placed near the entrance.

In 1946, the Park Commission, a group of progressive and dedicated gentlemen, asked our Club if we would sponsor a Cornus Arboretum, using the Dogwood Drive as a foundation. We accepted – indeed, yes! A committee was formed with Miss Harriette R. Halloway as Secretary and Advisor, whose goal it was to include every Cornus, Specie and Cultivar, which was obtainable and which would thrive in this climate. Through the years, chairmen have included Mrs. R. T. Stevens, Mrs. George His, and Mrs. C. Boardman Tyler. As in our other gardens, the Park Commission has planted, raised seedlings in their nursery and provided maintenance.

Through purchases, gifts and exchanges with other Arboretums, 26 varieties were planted in the next five years. By 1948, there were 219 trees, giving masses of beautiful spring bloom as well as fall display of foliage and berries. Thousands of visitors walked or drove through this fairyland of beauty, surely the better for having seen it.

Today, through the inspired leadership of Miss Halloway, the Cornus Collection contains more than sixty varieties, some quite rare. All the others being horticultural selections of "clones" (cultivars). Experts consider the Cornus Collection to be the outstanding horticultural and civic achievement of our Club. It was highly gratifying in 1957, when officials from the New York Botanical Garden came out to see it.

Prof. Benjamin Blackburn, in a recent article in the American Horticulture Magazine says, 'It does not appear that a comparable collection exists. The Cornus Collection offers an admirable example of cooperation between groups interested in the cultural and horticultural riches of a municipality . . . none other is known to the writer to be existing elsewhere in the country."

To quote Miss Halloway, "each year the trees continue to be beautiful and a joy, if not forever, at least for many years."

Written by Victoria Furman