Terre Haute Horticultural Society
Dates: 1865-1885
Accession Number: Sm. D.C. 34
Donor: Unknown
Description: Ten file folders in a small document case


The Terre Haute Horticultural Society was established in May, 1865 by farmers and others interested in horticulture. Among its thirteen founding all-male members and officers were Joseph Gilbert, Colonel R. W. Thompson, and three members of the Heinl family. In 1866, wives were admitted to membership in the Society. The organization was also known as the Vigo County Horticultural Society.

The Horticultural Society met on a monthly basis either in members' homes or in rented facilities. Members presented reports, essays, and lectures on various subjects such as "practical farming", "culture of small fruits", and "pruning of trees". The Society's members also displayed their produce at these monthly meetings and held semi-annual public exhibits in June and September. By 1874, attendance was so large that the members decided to conduct an all-day meeting and provided their own basket dinners.

By the mid-1880s, the Terre Haute Horticultural Society was in decline. When older members of the Society began to die, there was little interest among the younger population in continuing the organization. There was also less need for farmers to convene and teach themselves and their friends on an informal basis when education in the agricultural sciences was becoming formalized through the development of programs in high schools, the creation of agricultural colleges and the creation of farm bureaus.

Content and Scope

This collection consists of the contents of two minute books and one account book. The contents have been removed from their original binding and are arranged chronologically. The collection also contains newspaper articles which provide further detail on the activities chronicled in the minutes.

Small Document Case 34





Folder 1

Historical material





Folder 2

Annual Message






Announcement of the Terre Haute Horticultural Society's Fourth Annual Meeting





Folder 3

Minute Book 1 (includes constitution, by-laws and membership roster)







May 21, 1865-
April 4, 1868




Folder 4


May 2, 1868-
Sept. 1, 1870




Folder 5


Nov. 4, 1870-
Jan. 6, 1872




Folder 6


Feb. 1, 1872-
Dec. 4, 1873




Folder 7

Minute Book 2







Jan. 1, 1874-
Jan. 4, 1877




Folder 8


Feb. 1, 1877-
May 6, 1880




Folder 9

    Minutes (includes program for "Fifteenth Anniversary of the Terre Haute Horticultural Society at Lake Fluvanna
on Jos. Gilbert's Farm on Tuesday, May 27, 1880")

May 27, 1880-
Sept. 3, 1885




Folder 10

Account book






Receipts for newspaper advertisements of upcoming Horticultural Society meetings

1884; 1885