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Manuscripts by Subject - Agriculture - #10181

Title: Fanny Mahood Heath Papers

Dates: 1922-1955

Collection Number: MSS 10181

Quantity: .25 feet

Abstract: Papers consist of photographs, newspaper clippings, a biography, a manuscript of a book entitled Gardening in North Dakota, and letters concerning horticulture.

Provenance: The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired the Fanny Mahood Heath Papers from Pearl Frazer in August 1957. The inventory was prepared by Emily Ergen in October 2009.

Property rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to the collection.

Copyright: Copyright of the Fanny Mahood Heath Papers been dedicated to the public. Consideration of all other copyrights is the responsibility of the author and publisher.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State
Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number,
and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Related collections- Correspondence with Fannie M. Heath can be found in these collections:
10085 Orin G. Libby
10149 Russell Reid
10190 Will Family

Biographical Sketch
from: Grand Forks Herald, Wednesday September 30, 1931

Funeral Services for Mrs. Fannie M. Heath, widely known as North Dakota's "flower woman," who died Tuesday at her farm home five miles southwest of Grand Forks, will be held in the First Baptist Church at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Mrs. Heath was 67 years old, and had lived at her home for more than half a century. Her death was the result of a illness which began in June on the eve of her golden wedding anniversary.

With the "flower woman" when she died were her husband, Frank Heath, a county pioneer of the 70s; a daughter, Mrs. Pearl Frazer of Langdon; and a sister, Mrs Zaidee Stewart of Alberta, Canada.

Many of the beautiful flowers for whose culture she was famous, were still in bloom when Mrs. Heath died. She had been unable to take care of them since she was taken ill in June, and she had been growing gradually weaker since that time.

Mrs. Heath and her husband were among the earliest settlers in Grand Forks. When Mr. Heath came here in 1877 there were only 12 buildings in the little pioneer settlement which later became the city of Grand Forks.

Mrs. Heath was born near Spring Valley in Fillmore County, Minnesota, March 5, 1864. Fannie Mahood was her name before marriage. She was of English descent, her ancestors coming to Elizabeth City, Va. in 1610.

After attending country school near Spring Valley, Mrs. Heath lived near that place until 1881 when her family came to Grand Forks. That year she married Frank Heath here. The young couple took a 'pioneer days' honeymoon in a lumber wagon to the little farm home which they still occupied when Mrs. Heath died.

The golden wedding anniversary would have been celebrated on June 16 this year had it not been for Mrs. Heath's illness. Plans for the event were under way when the flower woman was taken ill.

A lover and student of flowers and their culture since early childhood, Mrs. Heath after moving to the farm, transitioned the barren sod into a multi-colored garden of beautiful blooms.

In the garden grew more than a thousand varieties of flowers, some of them rare blooms from Manchuria, Japan, Australia and the tropics.

Native North Dakota flowers in the garden which covered more than an acre and entirely surrounded the little home, numbered more than 250, and 51 of the 52 kinds of shrubs grown in the state flourished there.

Among the rarest of the specimens were the lemon colored Asiatic globe flower, Manchurian and Chinese shrubs and the flowering caragana. Noted botanists of the United States and Canada visited the Heath gardens to see new varieties of blooms and Mrs. Heath was a regular exhibitor of wild flowers at the North Dakota State Peony show, held each year in Grand Forks.

Surviving Mrs. Heath are her husband, a daughter, Mrs. Frazer, a grandson, Bruce Frazer, a brother, Stephen Mahood of Graceton, Minn., and five sisters, Mrs. T. A. Reese, Mrs. Stewart, Mrs. Charles Sanson in Washington, Mrs. Mattie Rees of Alberta and Mrs. Sarah Bowen of Oregon.


Box 1:
1 "Gardening In North Dakota" by Fannie Mahood Heath, compiled by Pearl Heath Frazer from magazine articles, manuscripts, and letters, 1955
2 Scrapbook: magazine articles, photographs, newspaper clippings, listing of published articles by Heath, ancestry (genealogical information), bulletins, correspondence, 1922-1956

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