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Frank E. Chowning Papers

Collection 236

Chowning, Frank E. (1894-1981).  Papers, 1950s-1980s, n.d.

2 feet

Frank E. Chowning was born in 1894 in Rison, Arkansas. He graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1922 and practiced law in Little Rock, AK for 52 years. He was married to Bryce Leigh Williams and they had one daughter, Ann Chowning, a son, Robert E. Chowning, and a step daughter, Bryce Reveley. Chowning died on November 20, 1981 at the age of 87 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

In 1930, Chowning began collecting the native irises of Arkansas and Louisiana. He continued for many years hybridizing and growing them, writing about them, and promoting them through the American Iris Society and the Society for Louisiana Irises. In 1934 he joined the American Iris Society and joined the Society for Louisiana Irises in 1943. In the early 1950s, he began registering his hybrids. 

Four of his irises have won the Mary Swords Debaillon Award: Dixie Deb in 1967, This I Love in 1979, Ann Chowning in 1980, and Bryce Leigh in 1981. 

This collection contains correspondence, his writings, certificates and awards, organization publications, photographs, and other materials.

Series:

I. Correspondence 1-01 through 1-23
II. Writings 1-24 through 1-27
IV. Personal  
  A. Memoranda books and calendars 7 volumes and 1-29
  B. Certificates and Awards 1-30 through 1-35
  C. Iris Gardens 1-36 through 1-43
  D. Miscellaneous 1-44
IV. Organization publications 1-45 through 1-49
V. Nursery catalogs 2-01 through 2-05
VI. Miscellaneous 2-06 through 2-08
VII. Photographs 2-09 through 2-19
     

Inventory:

I. Correspondence
1-01 1950s [3 items]
1-02 1960s
    includes: Jo Evans; Claude Davis; correspondents in England, France and Japan
1-03 1975 - 1977
    includes Ila Nunn
1-04 1978
    includes Ila Nunn
1-05 1979: January - June
1-06 1979: July - December
    includes Ila Nunn
1-07 1980: January - June
1-08 1980: July - September
1-09 1980: October - December
    includes letter from Bryce
1-10 1981 [- 1987]   5 items
    includes Kenneth Waite to Mrs. Chowning
1-11 Bledsoe, Bob, 1979 - 1980
1-12 Caillet, Marie, 1961 - 1981
    mainly Caillet to Chowning: 1964, 1972, 1978 - 1981; includes photographs
1-13 Dormon, Caroline, 1945 - 1969
    mainly to Dormon
1-14 Dormon, Caroline Foundation, 1972 - 1973, 1980
    Sudie M. Lawton
    Richard Johnson
    newsletters; clipping
1-15 Dormon, Ruth, 1942 - 1945, 1948, 1952   [8 items]
1-16 Japan Iris Society, 1978 - 1980
    Alvia Horinika: correspondence; shipping records; notes
    See also: 1-02
1-17 Tarr, Helen, 1978 - 1979
    mainly to Chowning; 1 partial letter to Tarr
1-18 Minnesota Iris Society, 1978 - 1980
    W. L. Jefferson
    Joan Cooper
    Mary Duvall
1-19 Radiation, 1961 - 1962
    Correspondence, articles, etc.
1-20 Guest iris for 1977 American Iris Society Convention, 1975 - 1977
    Helen Carney
    Quay Bauman
    Brenda Belus
1-21 1978 Convention
    Jimmy Burch
    T. A. Gilliam
1-22 1980 Convention
    Dorothy Howard
1-23 Miscellaneous
    Letter to Rev. C. H. Dobbs, n.d.      [copy]
      members of congregation of church in Beleview argue against Rev. Dobbs accepting call from church in Greenup County (1870 - 1874); sent to Chowning by Annie Stark Foster, 2 October 1957
   
II. Writings
1-24 Articles: C - I
    “Culture of the Louisiana Iris.”  typescript
    “How Hardy Are the Louisiana Iris?”     typescript
    “Iris Hexogona”    typescript and photocopy
1-25 Articles: P - T
    “Progress in Improving Louisiana Iris.”   typescript, 2 copies
        written for publication in the Bulletin of the South Africa Iris Society
    “Propagation and Culture of the Lovely Louisianas”    typescript
    “Role of Feliosa and Other Species in the Creation of a Hardier Strain of Louisiana Iris.”
    “Reminiscences of a Iris Hybridizer”    typescript
         with letter to Perry L. Parrish, 28 Feb. 1969
    “This and That” n.d.   3 pp.
1-26 “Upland Culture of the Louisiana Iris in the Upper South.”   typescript, (several versions)
    printed: Iris News [Sooner State Iris Society]:    Fall, 1976
1-27 “Culture Directions for Louisiana Iris”
    typed (half sheet) - several versions
  “Suggestions for Growing of Louisiana Iris in Montreal, Canada” n.d.   handwritten, 2 pp.
   
III. Personal
  A. Memorandum books/calendars
v.1 1941
v.2 1950
1-28 pages extracted from book, 1950
v.3 1950 “Seed Plantins: Fall 1950 and 1951
v.4 1951
v.5 1952
v.31 1971
v.6 1972
v.7 1975
1-29 Extracted pages: lists of irises placed in various gardens or shipped, 1975 - 1980; account of crosses made 1933-1936
 
III. Personal
  B. Certificates and Awards
1-30 American Iris Society
    Mary Swords Debaillon Award: n.d., 1967, 1979
    Debaillon Award: 1981, 1986, 1989
1-31 American Iris Society
    Award of Merit: 1985, 1986
    Certificate of High Commendation: 1976, 1979, 1986
    Exhibition Certificate: 1966, 1973, 1976, 1979
    Certificate of Honorable Mention: 1969, 1971
1-32 Society for Louisiana Iris
    Service Award: 1961
    Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Citation: 1966
    Charles W. Arny, Jr. Award: 1993
1-33 Royal Horticulture Society
    Certificate of Preliminary Commendation: 1960, 1964
    Award of Merit: 1967, 1972
1-34 Notes on Chowning iris registrations, n.d.
1-35 Ribbons, etc.: American Iris Society
   
III. Personal
  C. Iris Gardens
1-36 Notes on seedlings, crosses, etc.: 1950s [1950-1952; 1957]
1-37 Notes on seedlings, crosses, etc.: 1960s   [1968, 1969]
    outstanding seedlings
1-38 Notes on seedlings, crosses, etc.: 1973 - 1975
1-39 Notes on seedlings, crosses, etc.: 1963 - 1978
1-40 Notes on seedlings, crosses, etc.: 1979 - 1980
1-41 Notes on seedlings, crosses, etc.: 1981, n.d.
    includes: list of plants sent to test gardens
1-42 Nursery
    certificates of inspection, 19 July 1979; license, 9 July 1979; shipping tags for “Mailing of Iris Overseas"
1-43 Clippings
   
III. Personal
  D. Miscellaneous
1-44 Application to National Society of the United States Daughters of 1812 for Martha Bradford Chowning
   
IV. Organization Publications, Newsletters, etc.
  A. American Iris Society
    1. Bulletin: membership list
        v. 8   January, 1950: (v. 116, supplement)
v. 9   April, 1959:   (v. 153, pt. 3)
v. 10  April, 1962:   (v. 165, section 3)
v. 11   April, 1965:   (v. 177, section 2)
v. 12   April, 1968   (v. 189, section 2)
v. 13   April, 1971   (v. 201, section 2)
v 14   April, 1979   (v. 213, section 2)
    2. Bulletin: Registrations for ...
        v. 15   for 1957: April, 1958    (supplement to # 149)
v. 16   for 1958: April, 1959    (#153, part 2)
v. 17   for 1959: April, 1960   (# 157, section 2)
v. 18   for 1960: April, 1961   (#161, section 2)
v. 19   for 1961: April, 1962   (# 165, section 2)
v. 20   for 1962: April, 1963    (# 169, section 2)
v. 21   for 1963: April, 1964   (# 173, part 2)
v. 22   for 1964: July, 1965    (# 178, section 2)
    3. Registrations and Introductions:
        v. 23   for 1965: January, 1966   (# 180, section 2)
v. 24   for 1967: January, 1968   (# 188, section 2)
v. 25   for 1968: January, 1969   (# 192, section 2)
v. 26   for 1970: January, 1971
v. 27   for 1971: January, 1972
v. 28   for 1972: January, 1973
v. 29   for 1973: January, 1974
v. 30   for 1974:  January, 1975
1-45 American Iris Society: miscellaneous
    1948: list of accredited judges; judges award ballot; recommendations for Certificate of Commendation; Policy of Awards; letter to Accredited Judges
    1978: list of Judges’ Choice award recipients
    n.d.: invitation to membership
1-46 Regional newsletters
    Region 13: September 1965
    Region 14:  v. 22, # 1 (Spring 1978)
    Region 18:  v. 73, # 1 (Spring 1981)
    Region 22:  January 1976; April 1976; Spring 1980; October 1980
    Region 24: v/ 18, # 1 (Summer 1979)
     
IV. Organization publications
  B. Society for Louisiana Irises
1-47 SLI Publications with FEC notes
    Handbook, 1953
    Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Publication, 1966
    Thirty Fifth Anniversary Publication, 1976
     
IV. Organization Publications
  C. Other
1-49 Iris Society of South Africa
    Official Bulletin, No. 32 (September, 1968)
  Memphis Area Iris Society: Newsletter, v. 2, # 3 (July, 1980)
     
V. Catalogs
2-01 B
    includes: Bay View Gardens
2-02 C
    includes: Charjoy Gardens; Stanley L. Conger; Cordon Bleu Farms
2-03 G - L
    includes: House O’ Macs Garden; Louisiane Nursery [Ken Durio]
2-04 M
    includes: Mathews Iris Gardens; Melrose Gardens
2-05 S - W
    includes: University Hills Nursery [Claude W. Davis]; Wild Gardens [Ruth M. Dormon]
     
VI. Miscellaneous
2-06 Articles on Louisiana Iris
    Claude W. Davis, “The Louisiana Native Iris.”  (1952) mimeograph
      margin notes by FEC
    Caroline Dormon.  “Varietal Forms of Louisiana Irises.”  n.d.
      margin notes by FEC
    Joseph K. Mertzweiller.  “The Culture and Uses for Louisiana Irises.”  n.d.
    P. E. Pope.  “Louisiana Iris.”  LSU Cooperative Extension Service, 1969
    no author.  “Introgression in Iris: A Typical Example.”  Chapter from book
2-07 Clippings
    Includes articles on Louisiana Iris in San Diego paper
2-08 Illustration: drawing by Dorothy K. Williamson
   
VII. Photographs
2-09 Slides, sleeves 1-4, mostly identified
2-10 Slides, sleeves 5-8, mostly identified
2-11 Slides, sleeves 9-12, some identified
2-12 Slides, sleeves 13-16, some identified
2-13 Slides, sleeves 17-20, some identified
2-14 Slides, sleeves 21-25, some identified
2-15 Slides, sleeve 25, David Burnett, 1978
2-16 Slides, sleeves 26-27, mostly identified
2-17 Slides, sleeves 28-30, some identified
2-18 Slides, extra-large glass enclosed in metal frame , unidentified (3 slides) (1 cracked)
2-19 Negatives, unidentified