Lucille Eleanor Dutton
- Born: 29 Dec 1901, Near Cottage, Buckeye Township, Hardin County, Iowa
- Marriage: Fred Earl Coulter on 29 Aug 1923 in Groom's Farmhome In Felix Township, Grundy, Co., IA
- Died: 12 Jan 1976, Marshalltown, Marshall County, Iowa at age 74
- Buried: Conrad Cemetery, Conrad, Grundy County, Iowa
"Pineys" was what my father Fred Coulter called peonies. Before the Great War--back then nobody could imagine a second global conflict so severe that the Great War would be relegated to World War I status-- he'd planted some peonies inside our fenced front yard, including several along the narrow cement sidewalk from the house to the windmill that stood midway between our old house and the main barn--before that farmhouse was replaced in 1950 with the fine house that still stands there in Felix township, half a mile west of state highway 14, five miles northwest of Conrad Iowa(now the Sue Lynne Freese home).
Right on highway 14, just south of the corner, lived Calvin Stewart and his wife Lavina. She died in 1921, age 80. (Later, Lawrence and Kathryn Kline and their three children-- Connie, Helene, and John--lived there: followed by Lloyd and Ann Davis and their youngest daughter Karen; and more recently by their daughter Bette and her husband Carroll Hammond).
Now peonies are generally at their peak bloom around Memorial Day. That's why you find so many peonies planted in old cemeteries. The morning of Decoration Day-- as it was called then--in 1924 my mother Lucille Coulter was bustling about her big kitchen. (and those of you farm girls "of a certain age" remember just how buys a farmer's wife was in the 1920's) Out her east kitchen window, she observed a cloud of dust coming down the road--the deep-rutted country road was dirt then, not to be graveled for many a year. The vehicle pulled in and stopped, and up to the kitchen door walked elderly Cal Stewart. He commented that the peonies along our walk were in much fuller bloom than his poor plants..and might he pick a few to decorate Lavina's grave in Conrad cemetery for Decoration Day?
Wanting to be neighborly, Mother said, "Sure, help yourself." And after exchanging a few pleasantries, she returned to her work in the kitchen. Later, when she went out to tend her large flock of chickens in the henhouse, she was surprised to see just how well Cal had helped himself! The poor peonies were denuded! You would have thought someone had left a gate open and our ten milk cows had wandered into the fenced front yard to dine on a special meal of peonies. Red peonies, white peonies, pink peonies, even the rare single peony named The Mikado--gobbled up, ants and all!
Come Saturday evening and Mother and Father, with young Fred Junior and Doris, headed up the road in our trusty Ford for their weekly visit to Marshalltown, 15 miles away, to buy groceries and to see Grandmother and Grandfather, Etta & Aaron Coulter, at 4 EastWester Street. As they drove the Cal Stewart farm, Mother was amused to notice that the Stewart peonies were every bit as beautiful as the Coulter peonies had been just a few days earlier. Old Cal simply hadn't wanted to pick his! And yes, the Stewart family plot in Conrad Cemetery was especially gorgeous that Decoration Day, with its splendid lineup of glass fruit jars filled with water and holding numerous bouquets of lush "piney" blooms: red ones, white ones, pink ones, and even that rare single peony named The Mikado
Years later--half a century ago now--Father and I transplanted all the peonies scattered around the yard into a single long row along the fence on the east side of Mother's huge vegetable garden, just south of the rhubarb and asparagus. I suspect you'll find them blooming there yet--if old Cal Stewart's grandson Merl doesn't get there first!
Lucille married Fred Earl Coulter, son of Aaron Archibald Allison Coulter and Eliza (Etta) Crecelius, on 29 Aug 1923 in Groom's Farmhome In Felix Township, Grundy, Co., IA. (Fred Earl Coulter was born on 5 Apr 1886 in Liscomb Township, Marshall County, Iowa, died on 3 Mar 1964 in Marshalltown, Marshall County, Iowa and was buried in Conrad Cemetery, Conrad, Grundy County, Iowa.)