On this Day in AR History: January 30

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On this day in 1901 the apple blossom became the official state flower of Arkansas.  

A year before the Arkansas Floral Emblem Society went around to different women’s groups to get input on what flower should be the state emblem.

Some options given were holly, honeysuckle, passionflower, cotton boll, along with apple blossom.

Some people did not like the idea of an apple blossom because of the role of the apple in the fall of mankind from the Garden of Eden.

According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, Love Barton of Searcy’s chapter of the Arkansas Floral Emblem Society supported the apple blossom and started her campaign.

She wrote letters and articles to papers.

Her reasoning was because apples were a major crop for the state.  

In the early 1900s 400 different apples were grown in Arkansas and won awards at the 1983 Chicago Exposition and 1900 Paris Exposition.

As her campaign finale Barton took a bushel of apples to the chamber on January 30, 1901.  

Governor Jeff Davis signed the resolution into law the next day.

Apple production is not as big in the state as it once was.  Fifteen years ago the state ranked 32nd in the nation in apple production.

Washington County still holds an Apple Festival every year to honor the fruit.

It’s held the first weekend of October in Lincoln, Arkansas on Highway 62.   

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