Plainfield Garden Club

Member: Holman, Mrs. Wayne J. (Elsa Ezell), Jr. '58

Rahway Road, Plainfield

1970 - 1978 Address: 1039 Rahway Road, Plainfield

President 1964 - 1966

1984 - 1985: Sustaining (NOT PAID)

Recollections from current (2010) member Kathy Andrews

Elsa Holman was my father's aunt. Her name was Elsa (Ezell) Holman and she died in 1992. She was president from 1964-1966 (and since I held that post from 2004-2006, we were exactly 40 years apart!)

Elsa was a great rosarian (and my uncle Jack was famous for his gardenias.) Elsa used to have garden club functions at her house and Uncle Jack would always pin gardenias on the ladies (Barbara Sanford remembers this!) I remember going over there and Elsa would always have fresh rose arrangements throughout her house straight from her garden.

May 28, 2011 Email from Frederick Yates Smith

Re: Bertha Cornwall Yates YATESFS
to you, bernice.paglia, j4mdret, pameaton - 1 hr agoMore Details From: YATESFS@aol.comHide
Add to: To Do, Calendar To: skf729@aol.comCc: pameaton@comcast.netBcc:Date:Sat, May 28, 2011 1:36

just read the garden club link and really enjoyed it. We had a great time in Plainfield and want to thank everyone who helped up in our research. Bertha Kedzie (Cornwell) Yates was the wife of Frederick W. Yates, the son of Joseph W. Yates. All 3 ( and others) are buried in the Yates plot in Hillside Cemetery (Scotch Plains). When Bertha and F. W. Yates were first married they lived at 815 Kennsington Ave, then built the house on Watchung Ave.

Clementine R (Yates) Holmon was Frederick W. Yates' sister and lived at 922 Central Ave (now operated as a bed n breakfast - The Pillars).

If we have other info of interest to the Garden Club please ask.

Frederick Yates Smith

In a message dated 5/28/2011 11:24:59 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:
–––- Forwarded message –––-
Subject: Bertha Cornwall Yates

Hi Bernice

I really enjoyed the recent article I read about Bertha Yates ancestors donating her wedding gown! Bertha was a founding member of the garden club and we have just begun to unearth some details about her this year. (See link below) I will have to make a point to go to the library to see the dress. If by chance you have an email for the family, please send them this link as they may be interested. As we continue (probably not until next winter) to wade through the archives, I hope we find some more information about her.

Have you been to the garden? Things are shaping up. We are adding plants like mad and hoping for a nice day June 11th. Hope to see you there – Susan

Mrs. Bertha Kedzie Cornwall Yates '15

Was Bertha Wayne Holman's aunt?

Photo of Bertha Kedzie Cornwall Yates aka Mrs. Frederick Washburn Yates '15

Wayne J. Holman New York Times Obituary

Published: December 31, 1985

Wayne J. Holman Jr., a retired executive of Johnson & Johnson, died Friday at Middlesex General-University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., after a long illness. He was 78 years old and lived in Plainfield, N.J.

Mr. Holman received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology before earning a master's degree from Yale and a Ph.D. from New York University.

In 1940, he joined the Chicopee Manufacturing Company, a textile-producing affiliate of Johnson & Johnson in Chicopee, Mass., as an electrical engineer.

In 1951, Mr. Holman was elected to Johnson & Johnson's board of directors. He was named president of Chicopee Manufacturing in 1954. He served as treasurer of Johnson & Johnson from 1963 to 1964.

Mr. Holman is survived by his wife, Elsa Ezell Holman, and a son, Wayne J. 3d, of Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Wayne J. Holman New York Times Obituary

Elsa Ezell Holman Scholarship

Annual awards for female undergraduate students admitted to Converse College. Selection based on academic achievement, minimum 2.5 GPA, financial need, leadership and potential. Due date, number of awards and award amounts may vary.

Hillside Cemetery

October 20, 2011
Photo by S. Fraser

October 20, 2011

Hillside Cemetery
Photo by S. Fraser

1039 Rahway Road

Plainfield Public Library
Detwiller Archives;

Collection Detwiller
Title Porch Enclosure for Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Holman, jr.
Description Plans and elevations for a porch enclsure for the house on Rahway Road.
Building Type Residence
Work Type Alteration and/or Addition
Elevation Yes
Condition Acceptable
Blueprint ID D-10073
Permit NOP808
Year of Permit 1975
Microfilm Roll 0216
Microfilm Frame 0579
Condition 1003
Address 1039 Rahway Road
Historic District
City Plainfield
Architect Charles Detwiller, Jr.
Architect Firm Charles H. Detwiller, Jr.
Owner W.J. Holman
Business Owner

1974 Junior League Designer Showcase: The Martine House

1974 Designer Showcase Martine House Cover to Page 25

1974 Designer Showcase Martine House Page 26 to End

In addition to saving the 1988 Program for the Designers Showhouse of Cedar Brook Farm (aka The Martine House) which was organized by the Muhlenberg Auxiliary, PGC Member Anne Shepherd also kept the 1974 Designers Showcase of the very same home, organized by the Junior League.

Within the program pages, you will find mentioned many PGC members. They include: Clawson, MacLeod, Kroll, Davis, Wyckoff, Stevens, Loizeaux, Swain, Hunziker, Connell, Foster, Dunbar, Elliott, Fitzpatrick, Gaston, Hackman, Holman, Lockwood, Morrison, Royes, Rushmore, Sanders, Williams, Barnhart, Bellows, Burger, Burner, Carter, Clendenin, DeHart, Detwiller, Eaton, Eckert, Fort, Frost, Gonder, Keating, Laidlaw, Loosli, Madsen, Mann, Marshall, Miller, Moody, Moon, Morse, Murray, Mygatt, Barrett, Peek, Perkins, Pfefferkorn, Pomeroy, Pond, Royes, Samek, Sandford, Sheble, Stevens, Shepherd, Stewart, Stout, Trewin, Vivian, Zeller, Cochran, Mooney and Hall.

1920 Muhlenberg Hospital Womens Auxiliary

Mrs. E. S. Holman
1215 Watchung Avenue

Mrs. Ladd, Mrs. Tyler and Mrs. Holman

CHARTER MEMBER – Mrs. William S. Tyler, center, gets a corsage from Mrs. Edward H. Ladd 3rd, chairman of the Plainfield Garden Club's 50th anniversary celebration, during a reception Saturday night at the Monday Afternoon Club. Mrs. Tyler is a charter member of the club. At right is Mrs. Wayne J. Holman, Jr., club president. (Photo by Ted Fogel)


The Plainfield Garden Club observed its 50th anniversary Saturday night with a reception at the Monday Afternoon Club. A pictorial history of the club's activities highlighted the evening.

Several past presidents and two charter members, Mrs. Willam S. Tyler and Miss Josephine Lapsley, were among the honored guests.

Members and their husbands were welcomed by Mrs. Wayne J. Holman Jr., president, and Mrs. Edward H. Ladd 3rd, chairman of the celebration and a past president.

Others serving a hostesses were former presidents Mrs. Leslie R. Fort, Mrs. C. Boardman Tyler, Mrs. J. Webster Sandford and Mrs. Frederick M. Lockwood. Mrs. Alden deHart and Mrs. Victor R. King, also past presidents, were hostesses at the coffee table.

Mrs. William P. Elliott and Mrs. David S. Foster, decorations chairmen, carried out the anniversary theme with yellow table cloths and golden urns arranged with flowers dipped in gold. Two white alabaster urns filled with red roses adorned the entrance hallway, and the buffet table featured two decorated 5-branch candelabra and a tiered anniversary cake.

The pictorial history, planned and executed by Mrs. Lockwood, included movies of club members taken many years ago by the late Leslie R. Fort. Slides showed such club activities as the planting of the Moraine locust trees in Park Ave., the planting around the YWCA., and the Salvation Army buildings, window boxes on downtown buildings, the Cornus collection and the Shakespeare and iris gardens in Cedar Brook Park.

A challenge class, in which husbands of six members participated, was directed by Mrs. Lawrence S. Heely. Alden R. Loosli was declared the winner of the arrangement competition.

The Plainfield Garden Club is a member of the Garden Club of America and the Garden Club of New Jersey.

Marge, Ethel & Elsa

Ladd, Mrs. Edward H. III (Margaret or "Marge" Cone) '39

Tyler, Mrs. William Seymour (Ethel Van Boskerck) '15

Holman, Mrs. Wayne J. (Elsa Ezell), Jr. '58

1965 Mrs. Holman

1965 50th Anniversary of the Garden Club

Mrs. Holman and Mrs. Frederick G. (Geraldine de M. Goutiere) Acomb.

1965 50th Anniversary of the Garden Club

Mrs. Marge Cone Ladd honors Mrs. William S. (Ethel Van Bosckerck) Tyler as a founding member of the Club. Mrs. Holman, President, on the right.

1965 50th Anniversary of the Garden Club

Mrs. Holman on left.

1965 50th Anniversary of the Garden Club

Mrs. Marge Cone Ladd, Mrs. Holman and two other ladies.

Mrs. Holman

at the Monday Afternoon Club, 1965
50th Anniversary of the Plainfield Garden Club

1997 Mansions of May

From its carefully detailed exterior, replete with dental moldings and shutters with gold leaf accent, to the equally magnificent interior design, this home makes a striking impression. The entry hall is adorned in the antique wallpaper selected by the original owner, while the grand dining room boasts a Baccarat crystal chandelier. A sunken living room with a hand carved marble fireplace, unique main staircase and the collection of fine and decorative arts are but some of the numerous features that make this a grand home. Set on a rolling landscape, this house is a pleasure to behold.

1954 - 1970 296 Images from Plainfield Library Scrapbook

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.

October 1, 1965

Personally Speaking

The Plainfield Garden Club will hold a reception for its members tomorrow evening at the Monday Afternoon Club to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding. Among those who will entertain at small dinner parties at their home are Mr. and Mrs. William P. Elliott, "Lee House," Scotch Plains; Mr. and Mrs. Gerald S. Furman of 1096 Oakland Ave., Mr. and Mrs. Wayne J. Holman Jr. of 1029 Rahway Rd., and Mr. and Mrs. John S. Roome of 1071 Cooper Rd.

November 16, 1965 Courier-News

Personally Speaking

Mrs. Wayne J. Holman Jr., president of the Plainfield Garden Club, will entertain at a luncheon at her home at 1039 Rahway Rd., preceding a member-guest meeting to be held tomorrow at the Grace Episcopal Church House. Thomas Miller, executive assistant curator at the Cloisters, will speak on the subject of "Flora of the Unicorn Tapestries."

Mrs. Albert B. Diss also will entertain at a small luncheon at her home at 945 Cedar Brook Rd. before the meeting.

Monday, October 5, 1970 Courier-News

City garden club to host zone meeting

PLAINFIELD – Four national officers of the Garden Club of America, several national committee chairmen and a number of zone chairmen from all over the United States will be guests of the Plainfield Garden Club Wednesday and Thursday at a New Jersey Zone meeting here. They will join some 45 delegates from the 11 garden clubs in the New Jersey area affiliated with the Garden Club of America.

This marks the first time the 55 year-old Plainfield Garden Club, which has been a member of the national organization since 1944, has hosted a zone meeting. An extensive tour of the Garden Club's many beautification and conservation projects in Plainfield will be a major activity on the Wednesday schedule.

There also will be business, horticultural and conservation meetings and special guests speakers, tours of private gardens of two members, a garden walk along Rahway Road, a dinner at the Plainfield Country Club Wednesday evening and a cookout luncheon at the F. Willoughby Frost barn on Rahway Road Thursday.

The emphasis on the two day meetings will be conservation. Dr. E. Alan Bromely, professor of nuclear physics at Yale University, will discuss clean power and its relation to conservation efforts at the dinner Wednesday.

Other speakers will be Dr. Robert E. Loveland, associate professor of Zoology at Rutgers University, who will discuss ecology at a conservation meeting Thursday morning at a 9:30 a.m. in the home of Mrs. Alden R. Loosli, 927 Rahway Road.

Herb horticulture will be the topic Wednesday at a meeting in the Monday Afternoon Club, by Mrs. William Y. Dear Jr., a life member of the Herb Society of America.

The bus tour of Plainfield on Wednesday afternoon will include visits to the Vest Pocket garden in Park Avenue near Depot Place, which the Plainfield Garden Club planned and planted last year and cares for on a continuing basis; the Shakespeare Garden in Cedarbrook Park which was first conceived in 1927; the Iris Garden and the dogwood collection there; a number of plantings of shade trees in the downtown area and other beautification projects the club has undertaken or supported.

The garden walk, planned through gardens on Rahway Road, will take place Thursday morning from Mrs. Loosli's home at 11:30 a.m. following the conservation meeting.

The tour will include the grounds, home and gardens of Mr. and Mrs. Roswell H. Rausch, Mr and Mrs. DeWitt D. Barlow Jr., Mr. and Mrs. F. Willoughby Frost, Mr. and Mrs. David F. Sanders and Mr. and Mrs. David S. Foster and will conclude at the 200-year-old home of Mrs. Laurence S. Heely.

Mr. and Mrs. John P. Stevens will be hosts of a cocktail part for the delegates Wednesday evening, prior to the dinner at the country club at which Mr. and Mrs. Edwin J. Fitzpatrick and Mr. and Mrs. Frederick M. Lockwood will be hosts.

Mr. and Mrs. Rausch have planned a cocktail party prior to Thursday's cookout at the Frost barn and hosts at this luncheon will be Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Holman Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. David F. Sanders. Mrs. Holman is chairman of arrangements for the two-day meetings and Mrs. Sanders is co-chairman. Mrs. Arthur D. Seybold is president of the Plainfield Garden Club.

Monday, October 5, 1970 Courier-News

1973-1974 PGC Directory

1973 - 1974 Garden Club Records Chair

1974-1975 Directory

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.