Notes from the White County Historical Society

By Charlene Shields

Notes from the White County Historical Society as they appear in "The Carmi Times."

Copyright ©2001 by "The Carmi Times" Permission to reprint granted to Cindy Birk Conley and the ILGenWeb by Tammy Knox, editor, "The Carmi Times."

Carmi's Dandelion War

An April 1928 issue of the White County Democrat had a front-page
picture of what appeared to be more than 200 school children, with the
accompanying article:

The war against the dandelions, which the school children of the South
and North Side Grade Schools have staged for the past few weeks, has
come to an end, with the children victorious. Old man Dandelion is
flying the white flag, for the time being.

For some time the ladies of the Home Culture Circle have been
encouraging the children to fight the dandelions, which were literally
taking the lawns. They were promised a parade if they could successfully
gather enough dandelions. So with a will, each child started out with a
sack and trowel to gather the tormentors. Almost every lawn in Carmi was
seen dotted with children at work. Slowly but surely, the dandelions
began to disappear, and the teachers were given vivid reports of their

After several weeks of hard work, the dandelions had almost all
disappeared, and the children were ready to show the people of the town
the fruits of their labor, and began to prepare for their parade.
Posters were made, yellow and green crepe paper purchased and caps,
banners and skirts made for the occasion. The time was set for Friday
afternoon at 2:30 o'clock.

At the appointed time, the children formed their parade in front of the
Ford Garage. The sound of the drum was heard and the marching of many
feet. Down Main Street they came with their colors of yellow and green
and their many posters and banners flying high.

Dandelions, dandelions everywhere. Sacks full held over the shoulders of
the little soldiers, spoils of the victors. Down the length of Main
Street they marched with the spoils and back to the corner of Main and
Church streets where they formed the letter "D" and sang several songs
in honor of their victory. At the close of the songs, the children
marched back to their respective schools.

With the good work the children have already accomplished and with the
encouragement of the people of the town, the dandelions will be
vanquished for all time. Let's encourage the children in their work.


Is there anyone among the readers who participated in this great
dandelion massacre?


Lacking any enthusiastic school children to help me, I think I'll go
give my dandelions a lethal dose of vinegar water. (It's ecologically
approved and pet safe. Besides that, it's CHEAP!)


We don't have books on lawn care in our Genealogy Library, but we have
over 3,000 volumes on genealogy, history and assorted other subjects.
We're open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 to 2. Come visit.


Address letters to Genealogy, White County Historical Society, PO Box
121, Carmi, IL 62821.

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The Coordinator for the White County, Illinois ILGenWeb page is Cindy Birk Conley

Copyright © 2001 by Cindy Birk Conley, all rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use of the information contained in these pages is strictly prohibited without prior permission. If copied, this copyright notice must appear with the information.