The Friendship Memorial Rose Garden in Coldwater was planted in the city park in the spring of 1944 to honor the memory of our men and women who gave their lives, in the service of our country and others who were in the service.
The design of the garden is significant. The semi-circular rose beds contain colored roses dedicated to men and women who spent time in the service. The memorial section is a complete circle with flagstaff in the center and is symbolic of a completed life. The roses dedicated in this bed are in memory of the dead who gave all toward Freedom and Peace in the world. White roses are planted here, indicative of purity of purpose.
Following are the names of the Honor Roll dead for whom this bed is dedicated:
World War I
John R. Crawford
Guy A. Schrock
Eugene M. Wares
World War II
Donald F. Betzer
Robert Booth Jr.
Marion L. Canfield
Johnnie L. Casteel
William H. Finney
Wm. M. Griffith
Lee H. Hecht
Aubrey C. Holland
Robert L. Hough
John D. Jenkins
Howard R. King
Martin B. McMillen
Hugh H. Melrose
Clarence L. Oller
Melvin B. Parks
Warren L. Petty
Alfred G. Seidel
Herbert L. Seyfrit
Eric A. Sims
Elvin E. Smith
Hobert H. Thompson
Leo Curtis Thrall
Ernest A. Trummel
Donald G. White
Donald E. Wright
Squire B. Zane
Lloyd L. Alder Jr.
Wayne F. Burkhall
Robert Roy Burnett
Donald Keith Huck
Leslie E. Jellison
Merle D. Pearson
Leonard D. Smutz
Wayne L. Thompson
The Rose Garden was first sponsored by the Research Club with a rose garden committee as the active agency, then in 1948 the Research Club ceased to sponsor it and the City Council, with the rose garden committee co-operating, continued and made it a community project.
Through the years many have given contributions, paid for replacement of roses, have donated time and equipment, have given to the permanent improvement of the garden and are interested in keeping it a place of beauty and inspiration. Hundreds of baskets of roses have been taken to bereaved service families and to sick veterans at home and in the hospitals. Each Memorial Day a basket of roses from the garden is placed at the base of the shaft in the cemetery on which our honor roll is engraved.
On October 21, 1945, roses were sent from the garden to the Twelvth Naval District and there aboard the U.S.S. Brownsville, 10 miles outside the Golden Gate, the roses were committed to the "Deep" in honor of our boys who died in the service of the United States Navy.
U.S.S. Brownsville, PF-10, pictured off Mare Island, California, 15 June 1944.
U.S. Navy photograph, 3604-44.
The garden is a reminder of the price that free people had to pay for Peace and Freedom. May we never fail in our devotion to these values that this price will not have to be paid again.
In recent years Robert Keesee has taken care of the garden, working with Mrs. Jay B. Pounds, who is the present chairman.
-- From the Diamond Jubilee Historical Souvenir Program, Coldwater, Kansas, Aug. 30 - Sept. 2, 1959, pp. 42 and 43.
The Western Star, February 11, 1944.
THE ROSE GARDEN
The purpose of the Friendship and Memorial Rose Garden is to perpetuate the names and honor the memories of the men and women in the military services of our country in World War II.
The Rose Garden is sponsored by the Research Club and is under the supervision and care of a committee from that club.
Last spring half the formal garden was made and planted. Plans are now being made to complete the garden this spring, and we have a number of roses for sale. Only hybrid tea roses are planted in the garden. The roses may be purchased and dedicated to men and women in the military service by relatives and friends. Roses will be cut only for memorial purposes or to comfort in bereavement, except the cutting of old shattered blossoms, which is included in the care of the garden.
In the memorial section of the garden a white rose will be dedicated to each person of this county lost in the service of World War II. Any white rose bush may be purchased by a friend, or a group who so desires.
When the garden is completed a plat will be made and placed in the garden which will give the location and abstract of each rose.
Persons interested in purchasing roses for relatives or friends in military service will please communicate with a member of the Rose Garden Committee, or Mrs. Ralph D. Barnhart at the florist shop. Prices of bushes, fifty cents.
Rose Garden Committee,
MRS. JAY B. POUNDS, Chairman
MRS. K. G. EHRLICH
MRS. PAUL SUNDGREN
The Western Star, September 15, 1944.
Rose Garden in The City Park DedicatedIs One of The Most Beautiful Gardens in State
On Tuesday afternoon of this week one of the most beautiful rose gardens in Kansas, west of Topeka and Manhattan, was dedicated at the Coldwater City Park with a special program which is printed on page three of this issue of the Star.
This Friendship-Memorial rose garden was dedicated to Comanche county men and women now in the armed forces, and a lovely central bed of white roses was dedicated in honor of the county's young men who have made the Supreme Sacrifice for their country. The dedication service was an impressive one.
If you wish to see a beautiful sight, visit this rose garden with its nearly 200 bushes in full bloom, the American flag flying gaily on a white flagpole, the blooming roses in symmetrical beds bordered the walks of colored chat. And enclosing the entire garden, which is half a block in length, is a brilliant white picket fence with arched gates. Sodded turf adds to the completeness of the garden which is sponsored by the Research Club of this city. Much credit for the care and arrangement of the garden should go to the rose garden committee of the club.
The garden is one of which any community might well be proud.
Memorial Shaft Dedication Sunday, The Western Star, 9 Nov 1945.
Veterans Memorial Building, Coldwater, Kansas
List of Veterans from Comanche County, Kansas
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