Wanda Hayes

Distinguished Alumni Wanda Mahan Hayes, Class of 1924

In her Pierian, it said of Wanda “Mary Pickford may be America’s Sweetheart, but Wanda is Morton’s.”

Wanda Mahan was born in 1905 in Mulberry Arkansas.  Her family moved to Richmond in 1918.  In 1929 she married John Lemon, who was grandson to famous florist, E. G. Hill.   Flowers became a large part of her life’s work.

Her mission was to beautify Richmond with residents planting roses.  She would give rose bushes to her friends and neighbors, more than fifty a year most years.  She also petitioned Washington DC to make the rose a national flower.  She moved to Kennet Square PA in 1955 and her husband died there in 1963.  She came back to Richmond in 1974 and connected with former classmate Brice Hayes, whom she later married.  In 1972 she organized the first Richmond Rose Festival, and was a founding member of the Rose Garden Committee.

Wanda Hayes also established a memorial garden for her husband in 1980 at Indiana University East campus and another rose garden at Hayes Arboretum.  She replanted the E. G. Hill Memorial garden in 1986.  A hybridized pink rose known as Lady Diana was sent to London to the princess who sent a thank you note to Mrs. Hayes, recognizing her work for Richmond.









































  380 Hub Etchison Parkway, Richmond, IN 47374

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