The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942 Page: 42
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
tive or experimental. Defects in the laws made it im-
possible to gather agricultural statistics. Similar de-
fects made the gathering of complete ginners' statistics
impossible. The small appropriation allowed limited
seriously the farmers' institute work, though it [is]
no more than fair to credit part of this limitation to
inexperience, lack of information as to cost of this
and other lines of work conducted by the Dept., and
to the excessive demands made upon the time of the
Com'r. by the disturbances at the A. & M. College
during the months of Feb., March, etc. .. . o
In 1907, Texas farmers were greatly alarmed over the preva-
lence of the boll weevil, which was unusually active. On April 1
of that year, Colonel Milner issued a warning from Austin that
boll weevil propagation had been greatly aided by favorable
conditions assisting the hibernation of such pests.'6' Fulfilling
all predictions, the boll weevil wrought great damage that
For search of an alternative pay crop, the Commissioner of
Agriculture published an item on the current demand for
peanuts, asking for data on the 1907 peanut crop. Not getting
a response from Rusk County, he wrote his friend, E. B. Alford,
of Henderson, asking for information upon the peanut acreage
and average production per acre in Rusk County. He told
Alford of factories some sections were erecting "for the pur-
pose of making peanut butter, oil, and other valuable prod-
ucts."'162 He wrote:
I am told that we are now importing "goobers"
from Africa-not able to supply the demand-and yet,
people [are] sitting around talking about starving to
death on account of the boll weevil. There are one
hundred things that can be produced in Rusk County
that will net the farmer more money than 15 cent
cotton. But in order to get the people out of the old
ruts, where they are grinding themselves to death, the
business man must take the initiative, thus creating
a market right at each farmer's door for what his
land will produce. .. .163
160E. W. Winkler, Diary, pp. 20-24.
161The Henderson Times-Rusk County News, April 17, 1907, p. 2.
162The fact might be mentioned here that the now-thriving industry of
"Tom's Peanuts," begun by Tom Huston, had its origin in Henderson only
a few years after this time.
163Rusk County News, September 25, 1907, p. 8.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942, periodical, 1942; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146053/m1/48/: accessed May 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.