The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945 Page: 396
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
thing you could raise, except for cigars and tobacco, which my
father was the first to put on the market. He sold them in San
Felipe to a Frenchman, D'Orvanne, who had a store there."'
The culture of tobacco on a wide commercial basis was not at-
tempted in Texas until 1892, though native varieties of Ten-
nessee and Kentucky tobaccos were grown in small patches
for home consumption prior to the Civil War, but in 1890
and 1891 some tobacco was grown from imported Cuban
seed near Willis in Montgomery County. Such promising results
were obtained that the attention of several leaf tobacco pack-
ers and dealers of New York City and Quincy, Florida, was
attracted to the possibility of producing a cigar leaf tobacco
in Texas that would, in their opinion, rival the imported Cuban
tobacco, which was at that time, and still is, the standard for
cigar leaf tobacco. Consequently a large acreage was grown
in Cuban seed tobacco in 1892 around Willis, and the industry
prospered for several years. Impractical methods of cultivation
and handling, however, brought a decline which lasted until
the Bureau of Soils of the United States Department of Agri-
culture revived and extended the growing of cigar leaf tobacco
in 1903. These experiments were conducted in cooperation with
the farmers in several counties in East Texas having soils
similar to those found in the tobacco-producing regions of Cuba.
Cigar filler grown from Cuban seed in 1904 by the Farmer-
Department of Agriculture cooperative work was awarded
the gold medal at the St. Louis Exposition in 1904 and also
received a gold medal for two years in succession at the
Texas State Fair held at Dallas. The type of tobacco first
grown in these tests was known as "Little Cuba," and although
the leaf had excellent qualities of aroma and taste, the trade
demanded a type of tobacco that produced higher yields to the
acre and a greater per cent of leaves suitable for cigar wrappers.
To meet this demand a hybrid tobacco known as "Big Cuba"
was afterwards grown from Florida seed. Tobacco packing
houses were established at Nacogdoches and Palestine, where
the tobacco grown by the farmers was fermented and prepared
for market. These houses were owned and operated by dealers
who purchased the leaf tobacco from the farmer, shipping
the finished product to Chicago and other northern cities, as
'Caroline von Hinueber, "Life of German Pioneers in Early Texas,"
Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, II, 229-230.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945, periodical, 1945; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146055/m1/440/: accessed January 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.