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From people to plants: A lifetime of caregiving

P-I Staff Writer

(This is a brief abridgment of an article appearing in the September 21, 2004 Edition of
the Paris Post-Intelligencer, Paris, Tennessee) 
Used by permission.

hutsonj.jpg (18454 bytes)For years people who walk along an intersection on the southeast side of Paris have been enthralled by a garden there. Some people have even been know to walk past there on purpose, just to see what’s growing.

Another drawing card to the corner, for both flower and people lovers, has been Julia Hutson, whose friendly smile and wave have greeted visitors for years.

Mrs. Hutson, who has lived in the house for six decades, can still be seen hoeing and tending the plants and, in fact, recently added a new section to the garden. The large front porch is enveloped with large house plants, most of which are unique or even exotic.

"I’ve always had flowers. Always," she said. I wouldn’t feel right without something growing around me."

Both Mrs. Hutson and her late husband, Solon, were from small towns, she from Springville and he from Buchanan. Both were used to work and knew how to make things grow.

"Solon was a wonderful man and we worked as a team," she said.

Julia Hutson surrounded by her flowers.

Although Mrs. Hutson says that her story in not special, in her lifetime she has been a wife, mother, nurse, seamstress, upholsterer, caregiver and gardener.

hutsons.jpg (18693 bytes)She met her future husband when he was a grade school teacher in Springville and they married December 22, 1935. They moved to Paris when he got a job as head of the local National Youth Administration (NYA) program. That was one of FDR’s programs - it was for young kids, to teach them a trade, electricity, plumbing, how to build. The female students were taught home economics by Clara Smith.

Former school superintendent Otto McNeely asked Solon to teach industrial education at Grove High School. Mr. Hutson taught at Grove High School until it closed in 1969 and then taught at Henry County High School until his retirement in 1975. Mr. Hutson suffered a stroke in 1979 and was bedfast for 12 years until his death in 1991. Mrs. Hutson retired from nursing and gave up her greenhouse business to take care of her husband during his bedfast years.

The Hutsons had four children, Joyce Holt, Little Rock, Arkansas,; Patsy Barnes, Orlando, Florida; Mary Beth Gentry, Kansas City Missouri; and David, Springville. There are also nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.



Julia and Solon Hutson ~ pictured circa 1975

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