American Rose Society
While the advice and information in this web
site is believed to be true and accurate, neither the
authors, officers, nor members can accept any legal
responsibility for any errors or omissions that may have
been made. BGRS makes no warranty, expressed or implied with
respect to the material contained herein.
A Bit of History
2019 marks the 59th Anniversary of the organizational
meeting of the Bowling Green Rose Society. After
several months of research an Anniversary Edition
of Rosebuds was prepared by Mary Ann Hext. Click
here to read
more about BGRS history.
May 30, 2015, the Bowling Green Rose Society
will hold its 52nd
rose show.The first show was held on September 30, 1961. Mr. and
Mrs. Paris Pillion won Queen of the Show with Kaserine Auguste
Victoria. Due to extreme spring weather, the rose shows were
cancelled in 2007, 2013 and 2018.
Alina Lane, Society Editor of the Park City Daily News, wrote a
sterling article about the show. She reported that: “Twenty-four
exhibitors placed 178 entries in the rose show Saturday which local
and out-of-town judges termed ‘one of the loveliest shows they had
ever seen.’ The guest register listed 175 guests from Bowling Green
and surrounding areas who called between the hours of 1:00 and 8:00
p.m. at the First Christian Church.” This event, which was the first
major effort by the newly formed Bowling Green Rose Society, remains
to this day the largest annual event on the society’s calendar.
The effort to form a rose society in Bowling Green had begun 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
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.
Early photograph of BGRS members from the
1960s at the garden of Mr. & Mrs. Paris Pillion who are
standing at the left. Kneeling is Bill McMahon, leaning
behind him is Pearle Rose, mother of Claude Rose (the
photographer), Mr. and Mrs. Skip Henderson are standing,
on their left side is an unknown woman, next is O. L.
Kirk is in plaid shirt and Mrs. Kirk is kneeling, then
an unknown man, Dorothy McMahon is at far right.
1962 - Claude E. Rose
1964 - O. L. Kirk
1971 - Zach Nusz
1979 - D. James Hicks
1980 - Gladys
1981 - Evelyn Lockwood
1982 - Roy Almond
1983 - Gladys Holzapfel
1984 - Gladys Holzapfel
1985 - William McMahon
1994 - Dr. Jack Scott
1995 - Bob Toohey
1996 - Bob Toohey
1997 - Dr. Kent Campbell
1998 - Dr. Kent Campbell
1999 - Dr. Jim Bennett
2000 - Dr. Bill McMahon
2001 - Ann Jacobs
2002 - Ann Jacobs
2003 - Bob Jacobs
2004 - Bob Jacobs
2005 - Kathy Dodson
2006 - Kathy Dodson
2007 - Georgia Snyder
2008 - Georgia Snyder
2009 - Bob Jacobs
2010 - Bob Jacobs
2011 - Kathy Dodson
2012 - Brenda Coffey
2013 - Brenda Coffey
2014 - Mary Ann Hext
2015 - Mary Ann Hext
2016 - Ben Matus/Mary Ann Hext