The Whole Town Helped
Make These Flower Boxes

What an Idea and a Little Energy Did at Waukon, Iowa

By Florence L. Clark


FLOWER BOXES with red geraniums growing up and green vines growing down, adorn the electroliers of Main Street, Waukon, Iowa. They are a bright spot in the business district, but that isn’t the main consideration. The interesting thing is ownership. They have a saying at Waukon—“Waukon Ways Win.” The “Ways” are a pull-all-together. For instance, the flower boxes.

In the spring, the Waukon Woman’s Club said to the Men’s Commercial Club: “It would be nice to have flower boxes on our new electroliers on our new pavement.” “Sure it would,” said the men, and it was decided they should buy them and the women fill them. The public school found out about it and stepped forward to say: “Let us make the boxes in the manual training department.”

So the men bought the lumber and paint, the children made the boxes, and the women filled them. When done, the rest of the town did its bit, for the City Council announced: “We’ll take over the boxes now and care for them.”

So every man, woman and child in Waukon had a finger in those flower boxes, and every one as he walks along and looks up to see how “our boxes” are getting along, not only has a chesty feeling over their prettiness, but an individual responsibility and pride in them, for did he not help?

It’s public housekeeping, with the whole community family on the job. That’s Waukon’s Way!

~The Iowa Magazine, published by the Greater Iowa Association; August 1917
~transcribed by: Roseanna Zehner

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