Middlebury in Elkhart County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Vernon H. Krider
In 1893 Vernon marched proudly off the rostrum with his high school sheepskin tucked under his arm. He was sure he was going away to school to become a physician. However, the country was in a depression, so his family could not afford to pay for his medical schooling.
Vernon’s father agreed to give him two acres of land, and said he could have all the proceeds from growing and selling small berry plants. So Vernon began growing blackberries, dewberries and Cumberland raspberries. In 1896 he made his first sale of $25.00 for 5,000 raspberry plants.
Vernon began buying additional land from the profits and added grapevines and other small fruits. While teaching school in the winters he kept one employee working on the land.
In 1898 he bought 30 more acres of adjoining land and made extensive plantings of berry plants and additional grape vines. He traded his 32 acres for his father’s farmland and purchased 40 more acres in 1905.
Fruit trees and a general line of nursery stock were added two years later when he added still another 67-acre plot. This necessitated the first nursery building in 1908, and
In 1925 Krider printed his first colored catalog - “Glories of the Garden”. The same year a fire destroyed the packing house, equipment and propagating stock. New buildings were constructed in 1926 and propagating stock was doubled. Two years later the corporation purchased 290 acres for a total of 405 acres.
Krider Nurseries participated in the 1934 “Century of Progress” World’s Fair in Chicago. Krider Park in Middlebury includes many of the features of that World’s Fair exhibit. Participation in the Fair opened Krider’s to a profitable mail order business.
By 1938 the volume of Krider Nurseries’ mail order business was such that the U.S. government upgraded the Middlebury Post Office to first class, even though the town had a population of less than 1,000.
Krider Nurseries employed over 100 people and was the town’s largest employer by the time World War II broke out in 1944. It was that year that Krider obtained the patent for “Festival” - the thornless rose.
In 1953, the corporation spent over $22,000 in postage to ship shrubs, trees, roses and perennials to ever state in the
The Krider family maintained a mail order, retail and wholesale nursery business in Middlebury until the business was sold in 1988.
The business closed in 1990 and the buildings were demolished in 1992.
In 1993 the stockholders of Krider Nurseries donated the 2.4 acre World’s Fair Gardens to the town of Middlebury to be used as a community park.
Vernon H. Krider, an entrepreneur with a vision, enjoyed reading and writing poetry and one of the family’s favorites was his poem “Memories.” He passed away February 3, 1955 at the age of 79.
Memories - by Vernon Krider
I recall a heap of planting
Round the places I’ve called home;
A heap of vines and roses
Planted in the best of loam
I recall the yellow roses
Grandma planted years ago
And the hard old perpetuals
Mother loved so well, you know.
The hardy teas and babies
I have added to the scene
All mingle in my memory
At this time of life to dream
I recall the morning glories
And the ivy on the wall,
The bouncing bets that live forever,
Grandma worshiped all in all.
Mother’s pinks and gay gardenias,
Hollyhocks and cannas tall,
Beds and beds of cabbage roses,
Were they fragrant,
My fondest dreams are with the roses;
In my home they reign supreme –
Memories most enshrined with Mother,
Emblems of a power unseen.
Children also love the roses,
Love to fondle them, it seems;
Though the thorns cause pain and anguish,
Pleasure overcomes the screams.
All my life I’ve had a vision
Of a rose without a thorn -
Red in color, rich in fragrance,
And, behold, this rose is born.
A hundred bushes I have planted
Near my office in the sun;
They will be my greatest pleasure
As my course of life is run.
Not a thorn appears upon them;
Gorgeous flowers are now in bloom;
Through a freak of nature’s doing
Life has banished all its gloom.
This picture display was given in memory of the Vernon H. Krider Family by the surviving daughters, granddaughters and grandsons as a memorial tribute for the 75th anniversary of the Chicago’s World’s Fair Gardens. May, 2009
Erected 2009 by Vernon H. Krider Family.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Horticulture & Forestry • Industry & Commerce. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1988.
Location. 41° 40.696′ N, 85° 42.542′ W. Marker is in Middlebury, Indiana, in Elkhart County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Bristol Avenue and Krider Garden Lane, on the right when traveling west. Marker is located at the south end of the Krider World's Fair Gardens. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Middlebury IN 46540, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Krider Nurseries (here, next to this marker); Krider Nurseries World's Fair Garden (within shouting distance of this marker); Dan West (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Middlebury World War II Roll of Honor (approx. 0.2 miles away); William Tuffs Memorial (approx. 3½ miles away); Bonneyville Cemetery (approx. 3½ miles away); Chief Shipshewana Memorial (approx. 5.6 miles away); Graves et al v. Indiana (approx. 6.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Middlebury.
Also see . . . Welcome to Krider Garden. Middlebury tour map PDF (Submitted on August 18, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 18, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 4, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 403 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 4, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.