A History Of CMHS


In a 1972 Regional newsletter, Mavis Smith reported:  “In August 1971 a group of gardeners met at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Stewart Smith.  After a program of slides showing the growth of the daylily from very early cultivars to the present seedlings of today’s hybridizers.  Those present were asked if they would be interested in forming a daylily society.  Fourteen indicated their interest in such a group.”

“On May 19, 1972, a meeting was held at the Daniel Boone Reginal Library, Columbia, Missouri.  The meeting started with a slide show presented by Mr. James Whitacre.  A short business meeting followed.  Mrs. Stewart P. Smith (Mavis) was elected president and Mrs. Otto E. Griessel secretary-treasurer.  The object to this society is to encourage the growing of the daylily throughout central Missouri.  The Central Missouri Hemerocallis Society has 21 charter members with 8 belonging to the AHS.”

“On Saturday, July 8, this new society held its first official event, an exhibition of daylilies at the Daniel Boone Regional Library, Columbia.  This was not a judged show buy similar to the one that had been held the previous year by a few members.  Daylilies from 8 gardens were on display.  There were 147 exhibits on scapes, a display of 58 individual blooms, 32 scapes for decorative purposes, an educational display and and AHS exhibit.  Those visiting the show were asked to vote for their favorite flower.  This proved interesting and successful for it encouraged people to look more closely and compare the exhibits.  The top varities were a Smith seedling, Bess Ross, Bold ruler, and Jasper Devil.  Over 150 people attended.”

From this beginning 45 years ago, the Central MO Hemerocallis Society reached a peak membership of 135 in the early 1990’s to a current membership of around 75.  Some members come quite a distance to attend meetings as members live as far away as Osage Beach, Sedalia, Jacksonville, and Mokane, MO.

CMHS has supported Region 11 by supplying officers and committee chairs.  Regional presidents from CMHS have included Mavis Smith (1969-70 and 1977-78), Olin Frazier (1983-84), Wayne Merrill (1987-88), Bob McConnell (1989-90), Jo-An Finke (1993-94), Richard Dixon (1995-96), and Bob Tankesley-Clarke (2003-06).

Regional meetings were held in Columbia in 1975, 1980, 1983, 1991, 1998, 2008, and 2011.

Highlights over the years have been bus trips to a national AHS meeting in Shreveport, LA, a club bus trip to visit Jack Carpenter’s gardens in Texas, and a club bus trip to Linn, MO to visit the Waterman Daylily Gardens. 

Active hybridizers in CMHS keep the club vital and engaged.  Our local hybridizers bring a wider view of the daylily world and share their interest in the newest forms, colors, patterns and edges that the non-hybridizer may not notice.  Actively introducing new culivars are Nancy Rold, Patti Waterman, and Jesse Emmons.  Other CMHS hybridizers with well-know and well-loved introductions are Julia Semon, Jason Brown, Loyd Calvin, Bob and Eric Tankesley-Clarke, Joe Shulze, Jim Whitacre, and Bob McConnell.

The last few years have found CMHS dealing with the death and disability of founding and long-term members and membership is not being revitalized by young people.  The current active members are determined to have fun doing what interests them as long as they can.

Written by Carol Schultz

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