“Look at us, said the violets blooming at her feet, all last winter we slept in the seeming death but at the right time God awakened us, and here we are to comfort you.”
Edward Payson Roe (American Pastor and Novelist, 1838-1888)
TIME: 6:38 PM
PLACE: Front yard
SUBJECT: Common Wood Violet, violaceae family
In 1907, a woman named Mrs. James C. Fessler from Rochelle, began a campaign to adopt a state flower of Illinois. School age children were polled and given the following choices: goldenrod, wild rose or violet. The violet swept the election with 16,583 votes. That was almost 4,000 more than the children’s 2nd choice - the wild rose with 12,628 votes. Poor goldenrod…it placed last with only 4,315 votes. In January of 1908, the violet became the Illinois state flower via a bill sponsored by Senator Andrew J. Jackson of Rockford. And thus concludes today’s State of Illinois official symbols history lesson.