MARION, Iowa - A Marion family is keeping a piece of history blooming right in their own front yard. It’s a yellow rose plant from Ohio that’s more than 150 years old.
“This cutting came over in a covered wagon from Ohio in 1853,” Lila Drexler of Marion said.
Over a century old tradition started with Maryanne Floyd, Drexler’s great grandmother.
She and her husband Jacob, moved their nine children west to Center Point just years before the Civil War started. Jacob Floyd enlisted, and Maryanne stayed in Eastern Iowa, raising her children on her own while her husband was at war.
“He marched with Sherman to the Sea, and came back in 1866,” Drexler said.
Since then, cuttings of the rose plant have been handed down from mother to daughter.
“They put it on their farm that they had in Center Point, and it went through my grandmother’s family and she had it at her house, and then I got it and brought it here,” Donna Aljets, Drexler’s daughter, said.
Now, the yellow blossoms are almost the only keepsake the family has of their Iowa roots.
“It’s interesting to have a memento that’s been in your family that long,” Aljets said. She has already taken a piece of the plant and handed it down to her daughter who lives in Cedar Rapids. She says she hopes that will be a tradition for generations to come.