In the early years, what is now the Tenarky District was called "The TenKy District." Sometime
after 1974, several societies from Arkansas
joined the district and the name was changed. The first district
rose show of the new district was held Sept. 23-24, 1978 at Cheekwood in Nashville.
We know when some of the societies were formed:
Knoxville in 1926, Chattanooga in 1932 (a women only group followed by a
men's group in the late 1940s which later merged) and became Tri-State
Rose Society of Chattanooga about 1960, Memphis in 1946, Tennessee in 1946, Louisville
in 1953, Bowling Green in 1961, Dixie in 1964,
Blytheville in 1965, Cookeville in 1993, Lexington in 1996, Capitol City in 2002, Greene
County in 2005. Sadly, in 2006, the Knoxville Society, the oldest in Tenarky, voted to disband due to the small number of members left and their
age. In 2008, Lexington
disbanded as did Greene County in 2009. In 2010, Dixie and Memphis
decided to merge and became the Memphis and Dixie Rose Society. In 2015,
we learned that the local society in Blytheville, AK, had disbanded.
From a document submitted by Peggy Bingham, it
was learned that in 1991 there were 18 rose societies in the Tenarky
District: Blytheville Rose Society (Joe Kea, president), Bowling Green
Rose Society (V. L. Almond, Jr., president), Tri-State Rose Society (Janice
Brady, president), Maury County (Columbia, TN) Rose Society (Lyle Worsham,
president), Dixie Rose Club (James Reedy, president), Memphis Rose Society (Aliene
Eilertsen, president). Bluegrass (Danville. KY) Rose Society (Nancy Estes,
president), Fort Smith (AK) Rose Society (Wanda Daniels, president), Golden
Circle (Jackson, TN) Rose Society (Cindy Weaver, president), Knoxville
Garden Club (Mrs. James O'Neal, president), Holston Rose Society (Brandy
Bennett, president), Tennessee Rose Society (Kaye Rodgers, president),
Wilson County (Lebanon, TN) Rose Society (Sherry Carr, president), Greater
Little Rock Rose Society (Don Henderson, president), Louisville Rose Society
(Richard Hartke, president), Nashville Rose Society (John Brevard,
president), Pennyrile (Hopkinsville, KY) Rose Society (Trudy Morris,
president) organized in 1948, Northwest Arkansas (Rogers, AK), Rose Society (Dorothy Wallace,
1958 - 1961- Harry L.
1961 - 1964 - Harry L.
1964 - 1967 - Luther S.
1967 - 1970 - Roy L.
Graff - BGRS
1970 - 1973 - Roy L.
Graff - BGRS
1973 - 1976 - Robert Whitaker - NRS
1976 - 1979 - Robert Whitaker
1979 - 1982 - Judge T. Mack Blackburn - NRS
1982 - 1985 - Judge T. Mack Blackburn
1985 - 1988 - Peggy Bingham
1988 - 1991 - Peggy Bingham
- 1994 - Bill McMahon - BGRS
1994 - 1997 - Ted Mills - TSRSC
1997 - 2000 - Donna Tarrant - LRS
2000 - 2003 - Robbie Tucker - NRS
2003 - 2006 -
Dr. Kent Campbell - BGRS
2006 - 2009 - Dr. Kent Campbell - BGRS
2009 - 2012 - Dr. Sam Jones - NRS
2013 - 2015 - Dr. Sam
Jones - NRS
2016 - 2018 - Mary Ann Hext - BGRS
Bob Whitaker served as ARS President from
Five national conventions have been hosted by Tenarky
societies: Nashville, 1982 and 1990; Louisville, 1999; Memphis, 1971 and 2005.
In all cases, these were fall nationals and the district show was
included in the national show.
1972 - (No
1975 - (No
Pennyrile RS at Lake Barkley
1978 - Nashville
(1st district show of 3 states)
- Little Rock
- Bowling Green
1987 - Little
1989 - Ft.
Knoxville (three societies)
- Little Rock
1998 - Fort
2000 - Conway
2002 - Fort
2007 - Chattanooga
2008 - Nashville
2009 - Louisville
2010 - Memphis
2011 - Knoxville
2012 - Nashville
2013 - Louisville
2014 - Memphis
2015 - Knoxville
2016 - Nashville
The Tenarky Winter Workshop
started in February 1979 and was hosted by the Golden Circle Rose Society of
Jackson, Tennessee, for the next twenty years through 1999.
1979-1999 - Jackson
2000 - Memphis
2001 - Memphis
2002 - Nashville
2003 - Nashville
2004 - Bowling Green
2005 - Bowling Green
2006 - Bowling Green
2007 - Bowling Green
2008 - Bowling Green
2009 - Bowling Green
2010 - Franklin
2011 - Franklin
2012 - Franklin
2013 - Franklin
2014 - Franklin
2015 - Franklin
2016 - Bowling Green
Tri-State Rose Society of Chattanooga
In 1932, the Chattanooga Rose Society was formed. Dr. J.
Horace McFarland, for whom the national ARS trophy is named, came to
Chattanooga to help get it started. It was composed of ladies only. Their
interest waned as time passed. Rose growing was admired by them, but age
caused their actual involvement in the hobby to cease. It was in the late
1940's that a group of Chattanooga men formed the Men's Rose Society which
was accredited by ARS. Actually, in 1950, the ARS National Convention and
Rose Show were held in Chattanooga. The late Lester Smith, a distinguished
Chattanooga rosarian, won the coveted Nicholson Bowl. A Silver Honor Medal
winner, he was the man who taught me rose culture, as well as Jeff and Cindy
Garrett and many others. It was about 1950 that the name was changed to Tri-
State Rose Society of Chattanooga. This was due to the fact that we had
members from bordering states of Georgia and Alabama as well as Tennessee.
However, one might say that Chattanooga's rose membership was first
recognized by ARS in 1932. The name changes evolved as the Society grew in
Holston Rose Society
Two rose growers, namely Mr. and Mrs. U. S.
Cate, conceived the bright idea of organizing a rose society in their
neighborhood. They carried out that idea by inviting to their home a group
of other rose growers from their vicinity, on Jan. 27, 1949, 7:30 PM. Mr. U.
S. Cate was nominated and elected as President. The committee on selecting a
name reported that they suggested “The Holston Rose Society.” This was
Tennessee Rose Society
In 1946 Mrs. J. E. Darr had a dream needing to be fulfilled.
She and her close gardening friends wanted to learn as much as they could
about growing roses. So, after many thoughtful conversations regarding the
subject, they formed the Tennessee Rose Society under the rules of the
American Rose Society. Using the ARS guide, they wrote TRS’s constitution
and set up the monthly meetings.
Bowling Green Rose Society
The effort to form a rose society in Bowling
Green began at 7:30 p.m. on November 28, 1960, when a group of approximately
25 men and women met at Snell Hall on the Western Kentucky University
Campus. These interested rose growers heard a talk on roses given by Mr.
Charles Dawson of Louisville. (Ed. Note: Mr. Dawson was the author of “Uncle
Charlie’s Corner,” a regular feature in The American Rose for a number of
years.) Mr. Haywood Brown was chosen as temporary Chairman. The first
regular meeting of the new local society was convened on January 9, 1961,
again in Snell Hall. Mr. Brown was elected the group’s first president. The
treasury began with a balance of $29. As noted above, it was less than a
year later that the first rose show was presented. The original ten members
enrolled at this first meeting were: Dr. T. O. Hall; Mrs. Earl Rabold; Mr.
Claude Rose; Mr. Paris Pillion; Mrs. Richard Peete; Mrs. J. C. McCubbin;
Mrs. Edith Kolair; Mrs. Opal Kirk; Mrs. Tena Borders; and Mrs. John Collet.
Some of this information came from a program presented to the Bowling Green
Rose Society on September 10, 1994, by Jim Bennett and some from Paris
Pillion, the only living charter member of the BGRS at the time of this
writing (October 2010) (Mr. Pillion died Nov. 30, 2014).
Memphis Rose Society
On August 23, 1946, a group of people met to
organize a rose society. They chose Memphis and Shelby County Rose
Society as its name. The first president was Dr. Neumon Taylor. At the
first meeting, membership of the society voted to affiliate with the
American Rose Society as well a to work with the Park Commission to
establish a public rose garden in Overton Park. At the second meeting, the
society voted to publish a bulletin by November. Twenty-seven people
had contributed rose bushes to the Rose Bowl. Some members had
contributed for entire beds. The first year of inception, the society held a
rose show. After the show, the roses were taken to Kennedy Veterans
Hospital. In 1952, the name was changed to the Memphis Rose Society.
In March 1955, members voted to contact their congressmen and ask that they
support the bill to make the rose the national flower. The Memphis
Rose Society hosted the ARS Convention in 1971.
Dixie Rose Club
The Dixie Rose Society was organized in 1964.
The first president was Bren H. Rose who served two years. The Dixie Rose
Society and the Memphis Rose Society merged in 2010 to become the Memphis
and Dixie Rose Society.