Jim Brewster, of Corydon, purchased the bulbs in Paris the day The Great War (World War I) ended in 1918, with church bells ringing all day across the city. Brewster brought the bulbs home to Corydon and planted them around the Brewster home, the Griffin residence (now State Historical Sites) and the Corydon Presbyterian Church. Of course, the Fleur de Lis iris is a national symbol of France. Many regard it as a symbol of the bond between America and France.
Jim and his wife Kitty Slemons Brewster also planted some of the bulbs in their large garden in the bottom across Indian Creek by the West Bridge -- and now the Indian Creek Trail. Those he propagated and gave to relatives and neighbors (that includes my family, Jim was my great uncle, died the year I was born in 1948), with present day descendants including Bill and David Doolittle, Leah Sample, Alice McCollum, Paul and Charlie Conrad, Pat Griffin, Dookie Royse, their kids, and others. Many of the irises were planted in the nearby neighborhoods along High Street, Farquar Ave., North Capitol, etc.
In 2018 I walked around the First State Office Building (later Brewster residence, where I lived 1948-54) and did not see any of the irises. They once were all along the brick walk up to the house, removed by state, and all around the yard. The only strong patch I know of now are those in front of the Governor's Headquarters (Griffin home). I have two small patches in my yard in Louisville. But I bet there are more. Brewster descendants all know the Armistice Day, 1918, Paris to Corydon irises story and some have saved some of those irises.
I'm a little late in posting these photos--they were taken May 21st of this year--but with luck, you might catch a few late blooms if you look this week. Indian Creek Trail volunteers have also propagated these to the planter bed at the YMCA trailhead. Watch for them every May, and remember their connection to The Great War and Armistice Day 1918.