Plainfield Garden Club

Member: Wigton, Mrs. Charles Benson (Dana Trewin), Jr. '59

1963 - 1978 Address: 980 Woodland Avenue, Plainfield

1981 - 1990 Address: 46 Duncan Lane, RD#1, Bedens Brook, Skillman, NJ

1984 - 1998: Affiliate
1999 - 2000: Resigned

Daughter of Mrs. C. Sydney (Annette) Trewin '45

Daughter-in-law of Mrs. C. Benson Wigton (Garrigues) '45

Mrs. William Garrigues (Anne) Wigton '55
Hall, Mrs. Frederick L. (Anne Garrigues Wigton) '68

June 10, 1998 Princeton Memorials for C. Benson Wigton Jr. Class of 44

C. Benson Wigton Jr. '44

Ben Wigton died Nov. 20, 1997, after two years of melanoma in Portland, Maine. While a 17-year resident of Skillman, N.J., he and his family lived much of the year in Rangeley, Maine, in a cabin built by his grandfather in 1912.

A graduate of Exeter, where he later endowed a four-year scholarship for Maine students, he left Princeton after freshman year, having roomed with Charlie Manassa and Lloyd Jones. An Air Corps radio gunner, he flew 65 missions over Europe in a B-26 bomber. He returned to graduate from Rutgers with a BS in engineering. He ran the family engineering and architectural business in Plainfield, N.J., until he retired 10 years ago. He loved golf and tennis and was an avid fly fisherman.

1915-1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

November 23, 1997 New York Times obituary for C. Benson Wigton, Jr.

Paid Notice: Deaths WIGTON, C. BENSON, JR.
Published: November 23, 1997

WIGTON-C. Benson, Jr., Of Skillman, N.J., and Rangeley, ME., on November 19, 1997. Retired President of Wigton-Abbott Corp., Plainfield, NJ. Funeral services will be held at the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, Plainfield, on Monday, November 24, at 11 A.M. For information Memorial Funeral Home 908-322-4350

March 17, 1981

Corresponding Secretary Annual Report May 29, 2000

Corresponding Secretary Annual Report May 24, 1999

Corresponding Secretary Annual Report May 15, 1998

Corresponding Secretary Annual Report May 9, 1994

Shakespeare Garden 50th Anniversary Party

June 13, 1978

Top Photo: Peonies

Middle Photo: Dana Wigton, Bev Reid, Anne Zeller

Bottom Photo: Shakespeare Garden Party

Shakespeare Garden 50th Anniversary Party

June 13, 1978

Dana Wigton
Bev Reid
Anne Zeller

December 14, 2011

Charles Benson Wigton Jr.
April 17, 1922
November 20, 1997

Garrigues Wigton Marker

December 14, 2011

June 13, 2012 Email from Rick Detwiller

'Glad people are enjoying these as much as we are. Attached is the jpeg of Laura C. Detwiller. For some reason it was still in PhotoShop so that explains the download problem. It should be fine this time.

I thought you'd also like to see our Swiss cousin Alfred Seiler's cartoon of the 1928 Plainfield Horse Show It shows Freddie, Dad's sister Marguerite Detwiller (Harwood) , and I think one of the Wigton girls who fell off the horse and landed in the mud puddle. Also attached is a photo ca.May-June 1954 of Krolls, Detwillers, Campbells, Wigtons and Stuarts et al watching a neighborhood horseshow. Not necessarily Garden Club, but classics!
(l. To r. Gordon Stuart, Nancy Dwinnell Kroll, Laurie Detwiller, Bill
Wigton, Steve Kroll, Rick Detwiller, Cindy Kroll, and Bill Campbell. Cath
Detwiller and Jean Stuart standing behind fence)


Rick D.

May - June 1954 Detwiller Krolls Plainfield Horse Show

2000 January thru June Executive Board Meeting Minutes

1909 Plainfield City Directory

Trewin Charlotte K, wid Thomas R, h 421 Orchard pl
Trewin Elizabeth Miss, dressmkr, h 421 Orchard pl.
Trewin Robert, barber, 83 Somerset, h do, N P

1928 Plainfield City Directory

Mrs. Wigton

1984 Bev Reid's party

Dana Wigton

1984 Bev Reid's party

Dana Wigton on right in blue dress

1997 Mansions of May

Houses designed by John P. Benson on May 4, 1997 home tour.

Crescent Avenue Historic District

Application to the National Register of Historic Places

719-23 Watchung Avenue
c. 1880
Interesting gable with central square campanile tower with cross shape plan and flat roof with balustrade.

1885, the home of George R. K. Smith, "soap, N. Y." Later, also the home of C. Benson Wigton, Mayor of Plainfield

Projecting cabinet head windows, supported by small scrolled brackets – diamond shaped applied molding above the double arched window in the gable pediment – tower treatment.

1954 - 1970 296 Images from Plainfield Library Scrapbook

December 4, 1962

Thursday, December 17, 1964 The Courier News

Plainfield Garden Club Meets in Lee House, Scotch Plains

The Plainfield Garden Club was entertained yesterday in historic Lee House, home of Mr. and Mrs. William P. Elliott at 11 Black Birch Rd., Scotch Plains.

Two new members were welcomed by Mrs. Wayne J. Holman, president. Co-hostesses were Mrs. Victor King and Mrs. James R. Bird.

Mrs. Bird introduced the program of readings on "The Symbols and Legends of Christmas" given by Mrs. A. D. Seybold and Mrs. King. As the symbols were describe, they were displayed b Mrs. Benson Wigton Jr.

A letter of congratulations from Mayor Robert C. Maddox to the club member Mrs. Alden DeHart has received a state award in the "Green Thumb Competition" of the New Jersey Tercentenary Commission for her work as chairman of the grounds committee of Drake House.

A member of the Plainfield Historical Society, she supervised outdoor plantain at the museum with funds for the planting donated by the Plainfield Garden Club. She also was awarded a special rose bush which will be planted at Drake House in her name in the spring.

Presiding at the tea table were Mrs. Holman, Mrs. William S. Tyler, Mrs. Webster Sandford, Mrs. Noah C. Barnhart, Mrs. J. Harold Loizeaux and Mrs. Charles H. Detwiller.

Thursday, December 17, 1964 The Courier News

The Courier-News
Plainfield, N. J., Thursday, December 17, 1964

Garden Club Entertained at Historic Lee House

(Club Member)

The Plainfield Garden Club was entertained yesterday by Mr. and Mrs. William P. Elliott in the historic Lee House, located at 11 Black Birch Rd., Scotch Plains.

The ghosts of the historic homestead must be rattling their skeletons with joy this Christmas season because at last, through the efforts of the owners, the house has achieved the charm and beauty it deserves.

The guests stepped over the threshold to a scene of great charm. In the center hall stood a Christmas tree on which members hung gifts of candy, wrapped as ornaments. Later the gifts were taken to Lyons Veterans Hospital where for many years the club has contributed greens and gifts at Christmas.

The president, Mrs. Wayne J. Holman, conducted the meeting and welcomed two new members. The hostess, a member of the club, was assisted by Mrs. Victor King and Mrs. James R. Bird.

Stormy History
A varied and sometimes stormy history has characterized Lee House since 1725, when the original small structure was built at the corner of Cooper and Terrill Rds., by the Lee family. During the Revolutionary War, the house was on the line of march of both British and Colonial armies, and many a tired soldier warmed his feet at its open fires.

The little house was moved to Raritan Rd. in 1828, to be joined to another farmhouse built in 1750 by Moses Frazee. One hundred thirty-five years later, Mr. and Mrs. Elliott had the house moved to its present location. Barns and other small buildings were moved also, and now are grouped around Lee House in companionable symmetry.

The Elliotts have added a wing to the house and restored the old brick and stone, the ceiling beams and original floor boards to keep it authentic Early American home.

The program was announced by Mrs. Bird. Readings on "The Symbols and Legends of Christmas" were given by Mrs. A. D. Seybold and Mrs. King, with incidental music played on the harp b 12-year old Joyce Heiman. As the symbols were described, they were displayed by Mrs. Benson Wigton Jr.

The first of the symbols, an "Advent Wreath," was made of evergreens with four white candles, which are traditionally lighted one at a time on each of the four Sundays during the Advent Season.

Gold Angel
A gold angel brought from Oberammergau, Germany by Mrs. Seybold, was displayed as the second symbol. The reading explained that angels are used throughout the world in forms varying from rough clay figures to the finest of wood carvings and porcelains.

Among symbolic Christmas greens are holly, ivy and mistletoe. Long ago it was thought that holly was the man's plant, ivy the woman's and the one brought into the house first indicated which sex would rule the house that year.

Bells, used to proclaim the joyful tidings, were shown and that beloved yuletide symbol, the Christmas Tree. According to one story, Martin Luther in 1528 cut down a small evergreen tree and carried it into his house, where he fastened candles to the branches and lighted them to share with his family the wonders of the Christmas sky.

A beautiful creche was shown as the most holy and revered symbol. The program ended with angelic tones of the harm and the beloved Christmas blessing, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

Afterwards guests adjourned to the dining room to exchange greetings before the centuries old fireplace. The tea table was decorated with brilliant red poinsettia massed in an old brass milk pan. Brass candlesticks and an antique samovar, from which coffee was served, completed the picture of early American hospitality.

Presiding at the tea table at intervals were Mrs. Wayne J. Holman, Mrs. William S. Tyler, Mrs. Webster Sandford, Mrs. Noah C. Barnhart, Mrs. J. Harold Loizeaux and Mrs. Charles H. Detwiller Jr.

April 23, 1965 Garden Club History Reviews Past 50 Years

A history of the Plainfield Garden Club was presented to members Wednesday by Mrs. Edward H. Ladd 3rd at the club's annual meeting in the home of Mrs. Edgar F. Davis, 1080 Rahway Rd. Mrs. Alexander Kroll was co-hostess.

The history has been published to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Garden Club, which was formed in 1915.

The first part of the history was written by a charter member, now deceased, Mrs. Thomas Van Boskerck. The second part, covering the years from 1940-1965, was written by Mrs. Gerald Furman, and highlights the accomplishment of all the departments of the club.

Special emphasis is given to the three continuing projects: the Shakespeare Garden started in 1927; the Dogwood Collection, sponsored since 1946; and the Iris Garden begun in 1932; all in Cedar Brook Park. These three gardens have received national recognition and many awards for excellence.

The Union County Park Commission has just named the dogwood planting, "The Harriette R. Halloway Cornus Collection," in appreciation of the club's many years of service to park activities. Miss Halloway, 90, is the Garden Club's oldest living member and an authority on cornus and iris.

Mrs. Edwin J. Fitzpatrick, nominating chairman, present the slate of officers which was elected as follows: President, Mrs. Wayne J. Holman Jr.; first vice president, Mrs. David Sanders; second vice president, Mrs. F. Gregg Burger; treasurer, Mrs. William K. Dunbar Jr.; recording secretary, Mrs. C. Northrup Pond; and corresponding secretary, Mrs. C. Benson Wigton Jr.

Mrs. Holman and Mrs. Sandford will attend the annual meeting of the Garden Club of America in Cleveland, Ohio from May 10-14. Mrs. Holman will present a resume of recent program given by members of the Plainfield Club on the botanical background of the mallow plant family.

Mrs. John Wells of Valley Road, Watchung, said the club will again give scholarships to the Audubon summer camps or the N. J. State School of Conservation at Stokes Forest, as has been done since 1941. School teachers and scout leaders are eligible to apply for the scholarships.

A colored movie, entitled "Wings Over Blitzen," was shown, picturing wildlife in its natural state in the Malheur Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore.

Tea followed the meeting. Mrs. C. Benson Wigton and Mrs. Blanche P. Nash presided at the tea table, which was decorated with an arrangement of white spring flowers.

1973-1974 PGC Directory

1973-1974 Program Chairman

1974-1975 Directory

1998-1999 PGC Annual Report

May 14, 1983 Centennial The Wardlaw Hartridge School

1985-1986 Year Book of the Plainfield Garden Club

1985-1986 Year Book of the Plainfield Garden Club

1993-1994 Year Book of the Plainfield Garden Club

Cocktail party circa 1984 at Bev Reid's

Dana Wigton in blue on the right.

Henry Farnum far left in red and white jacket.

Club History by Anne Marie v. G. Seybold

1984-1985 History of the Plainfield Garden Club by Anne Marie v. G. Seybold


Then in March, 1966 came a very special event. Designed by Mrs. William Elliott with the assistance of Mmes. Wayne Holman, Victor King, Alex Kroll, Edgar Davis, Richard Sheble, Bruce Reid and Benson Wigton, the "Back Yard Garden" captured the first prize for the Club at the International Flower Show at the Coliseum in New York City.

1970 Corresponding Secretary file

Plainfield Library Bio Card