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The Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

P. O. Box 3793
Minneapolis MN 55403

Report of the Last Rites for Eloise Butler

At 4:00 o’clock on the afternoon of May 5, 1933, Park Board members, together with approximately a hundred friends and former students of Miss Eloise Butler, gathered at the Wild Botanic Garden to pay last tribute to the memory of the founder of the Garden at Glenwood Park, who died April 10.

“Friends and Associates of Miss Eloise Butler” (The Honorable A. F. Pillsbury, President of Minneapolis Park Board, speaking):

“We have gathered here today to do honor to one who was the moving spirit in the establishment and care of this unique and interesting garden.

“Being a great lover of nature, an especially of wild flowers and plant life, it was her desire that one part of our park system should be left in its natural condition and devoted to the wild flowers and birds of our state. Under her loving care for many years, this garden has become famous and given pleasure to many. In the presence of friends and to her memory we have planted this rare tree, and in accordance with her wishes we now, with respect and admiration, distribute the ashes of Miss Eloise Butler over the ground she loved so well.”

President Pillsbury was then given by Martha Crone, the container holding the ashes of Miss Butler and he then began to spread the ashes first around the base of the tree and then in the area on all sides of the little office building. Some of the ash was wafted farther by the breeze. The audience looked on in silence. The only sound was that of Mr. Pillsbury moving through the growths.

Martha Crone and Theodore Wirth spoke last. Martha Crone read Eloise Butler's last report to the Park Board. General Superintendent Wirth in a few brief remarks called attention to the fact that the pin oak had long been a favorite of Miss Butler’s and for this reason had been chosen as the tree to be dedicated in her services. He suggested that a year from today this same group of friends gather to place a bronze tablet on a boulder near the tree to perpetuate the dedication, and the friends made preparation to raise the funds necessary for this purpose. (Note: Details on the memorial tablet)

Butler Tree Planting

Above: Planting the Pin Oak: (l to r) Alfred F. Pillsbury, President of the Park Board; Theodore Wirth, Superintendent of Parks; Francis A. Gross, Vice President of the Board.

Text - Minnesota Historical Society, Martha Crone Collection. Photo: Minneapolis Tribune, Sat. May 6, 1933.

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