Anna Raguet Garden Club Papers
Scope and Contents
The bulk of materials in this collection pertain to the Anna Raguet Garden Club, Nacogdoches Council of Garden Clubs and Texas Garden Clubs, Inc., District III. Anna Raguet Garden Club records include letters, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, photographs and negatives, scrapbooks, and yearbooks. Bank statements, check registers and receipts document the club’s expenses and community projects. Nacogdoches Council documents in the collection are guidelines, results and rules for the county’s annual flower show, bank statements and check registers, a scrapbook, and some meeting minutes. Most materials from Texas Garden Clubs, Inc. are correspondence and programs pertaining to the annual District III fall and spring conventions and summer workshops. There are also copies of the district newsletter and ‘The LONE STAR Gardener’ magazine.
Researchers might find some of the donation correspondence in the collection of particular interest. There are records about the Anna Raguet Garden Club helping to landscape the Sterne-Hoya House and the plaza in downtown Nacogdoches around the old post office (now the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau). The Nacogdoches Council of Garden Clubs funded the SFA Horticulture Club to landscape the public library in the mid-1980s.
This collection also has excellent contextual information on the history of garden clubs in East Texas. The histories of Texas Garden Clubs, Inc. and District III, as well as an account describing the dissolution of the Nacogdoches Garden Club, show how and why the Anna Raguet Garden Club came into existence.
- Event: Donated 7/11/2016
Language of Materials
The collection is in English.
Conditions Governing Access
Open for research.
Biographical / Historical
The Anna Raguet Garden Club Papers are an interesting example of the activities, hierarchical structure and decision-making of gardening clubs in Texas. Local garden clubs were independent groups, but collaborated closely with county councils to organize community projects and flower shows, as well as host district conventions and workshops.
The Anna Raguet Garden Club was an offshoot of the earlier Nacogdoches Garden Club, which was organized on December 9, 1939 when 30 women interested in garden study met at the Stone Fort. They held regular meetings the first Friday of each month from September to June. Projects of the Nacogdoches Garden Club included a spring flower show, yard beautification, a plant exchange, and the planting of bulbs and trees. In 1950, the Nacogdoches Garden Club had over 100 members and it was decided that the club should be split into five groups. These new clubs were the Flora, Old South, Pines, Anna Raguet, and Town and Country Garden Clubs (the Bluebonnet and Four Seasons Garden Clubs were formed later).
The Anna Raguet Garden Club was named for Anna W. Raguet (1819-1883), who Sam Houston famously courted in the late 1830s. The first president of the Anna Raguet Garden Club was Mrs. Julius Schoenberg. She convened an organizational meeting May 25, 1951 and held the first regular meeting September 3, 1951. One of the first actions taken by the new organization was to join the Nacogdoches Federation of Women’s Clubs. The club met once a month between September and May. Each meeting had a program which might include a speaker or demonstration of some kind. Annual events, either within the organization or as part of the Nacogdoches Council of Garden Clubs, included the flower show, a plant sale and a Christmas party. The Anna Raguet Garden Club was in the Southern Zone of District III, Texas Garden Clubs, Inc. Every year, there was a District III spring convention, fall meeting and a summer workshop that garden club members could attend. Nacogdoches hosted the fall meeting in 1979 and the spring convention in 1984, 1989 and 1991.
According to the original 1951 constitution, the purpose of the Anna Raguet Garden Club was to “stimulate interest in, and a knowledge of the different forms of gardening, particularly the building of private gardens and the general improvement of home grounds; and also to promote general improvement in Nacogdoches and its environs.” The bylaws show that the club had a normal compliment of officers (president, vice-president, treasurer, etc.) as well as many different committees members on which members could serve. Notably, the objective of the Civic Highway Committee in 1951 was to “cooperate with other clubs for the betterment of the city; to determine certain projects which might be carried out for the beautification of the city; to encourage the abolishment of unsightly conditions throughout the city; to create public sentiment for conserving natural beauty of the city; and to cooperate with the state highway committee for highway beautification.” The mission of this committee is reflected in the many community projects the club accomplished over the years. Some of these outreach activities include landscaping the Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce, the Sterne-Hoya House and Library and the Youth Center. Throughout the history of the club, members volunteered to work with the elderly doing garden therapy. Starting in the late 1980s, the Anna Raguet Garden Club made annual donations to the Texas Garden Clubs, Inc. birdseed, computer and scholarship funds. The club was also known for its philanthropic contributions to local hospitals and treatment centers.
The Anna Raguet Garden Club theme was “Good Gardening,” its colors were blue and yellow, its flower was the iris, and its poem was “The Birth of Flowers.” The club averaged almost 24 members from its inception through the early 1990s. Membership declined significantly in the late 1990s, however, and by the time the club reached its fifty-year anniversary in 2001, there were only seven members remaining in the group.
4.50 Cubic Feet
This collection is described in eight series: (1) Nacogdoches Garden Club, (2) Anna Raguet Garden Club, (3) Nacogdoches Council of Garden Clubs, (4) Other garden clubs, (5) Texas Garden Clubs, Inc. District III, (6) National organizations, (7) Local history and culture, and (8) Oversize materials.
The collection consists of 99 folders housed in two banker's boxes and one clamshell box. There are also several items in the oversize box and the oversize bundle. The collection is predominantly described at the folder level.
- Guide to the Anna Raguet Garden Club Papers
- Elaine Goforth, Kyle Ainsworth
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note