Trella Hemmerly Romine: Biography & Context

The author & protagonist of what she eventually called a “not so ordinary life,” florist, historian, naturalist, community organizer, & prairie advocate Trella Hemmerly Romine (1915-2013) was born in Marion, Ohio in 1915 to Ray & Ivaloo Hemmerly, who launched Hemmerly’s Flowers by selling gladiolus on their front porch in 1934. Trella purchased the business in 1957. A lifelong learner & passionate self-taught student of local flora, fauna, & history, Trella was a long-time member of Marion’s Burroughs Club, where she was asked to give talks on local natural history — sparking a lifetime of research. With her son David Haldeman & others, Trella co-founded the Marion County Historical Society in 1969, & went on, with Kensel Clutter & other allies, to kickstart the tri-county Sandusky Plains prairie conservation movement through her passionate conservation of the Claridon Prairie & other remnant railway prairies: patches of rare remaining original Sandusky Plains flora that Trella first learned about by collecting prairie wildflowers for Hemmerly’s.