“How can he get wisdom that holdeth the plough, that glorieth in the goad, that driveth oxen, and is occupied in their labors, and whose talk is of the bullocks?”  [Ecclesiasticus 38:25]

“The Agricultural College is the nucleus of agricultural education; its chief duty, to which all others should be subordinated is to prepare men and women for responsible posts in agricultural research, teaching and extension.”

Quitman County has an area of 395 square miles–252,800 acres–about 112,000 acres are cultivated.  The county has 5,336 farms, averaging 32.1 acres each.  The average value of farm land per acre in 1935, as shown by U. S. Census, $37.29; average value per acre in 1930, as shown by same authority was $70.33.  The total value of farms, land, and buildings in 1935 was $6,380,344; value of same in 1930 was $12,127,774.

Acres planted in corn in 1930 was 12,072, and production was 201,897 bushels; in 1934, the corn crop occupied 40,135 acres, and produced 556,458 bushels.  The crop of 1934 yielded 10,396 bushels of Irish potatoes, 68,345 bushels of sweet potatoes, and 17,197 tons of hay.  In 1935 the county produced 27,656 bales of cotton; in 1936 the total production was 50,662 bales; to December 1, 1937, a total of 59,242 bales had been ginned.

January 1, 1935, Quitman County had 157 horses and 5,953 mules, 7,251 head of cattle, and 13,659 head of hogs.  The number of cows milked in 1934 was 2,821, producing 1,116,712 gallons of milk and 324,569 pounds of butter.  At the same time the county had 95,235 chickens, and during the year 1934, the egg production was 261,203 dozen.1

Importance of Agriculture

Since 1900, agriculture has been the most widely extended of all occupations in Quitman County, and it lies at the foundation of all other industries.  Events of recent years emphasize the fact that the Delta is equipped with nature’s resources to be the world’s best cotton region; the climate, affording a long growing season, permits replanting if necessary.

The early farms in the county were largely self-sustaining, as the farmer grew a variety of food crops.  Practically all the food raised was consumed by the producer’s family and his neighbors.  Little was sent to market.  Today, rural and urban citizens depend upon each other, as their interests are interlaced.

Our present farms specialize:  One or two crops are raised, but even at that, three-fourths of Quitman County’s farmland is given mainly to growing cotton.  However, every farm has a good acreage in grains for ready cash, and fruit, livestock, and poultry are raised to a certain extent.  The surplus of these is sold in the town markets for cash, which is used to buy machinery, clothing, food, and other necessities.

The labor of agriculture has been greatly lightened and its cost curtailed by means of improved implements and machines.  The railways, by which the county is now intersected in several directions, have proved of great service to farmers, by conveying their cotton to different markets cheaply and quickly, and by making lime and other manures available to the occupiers of many districts.

Means of Building Soils

Today, our farms and little towns are interdependent; i.e., they depend upon each other–the farmer raising the necessities of life, and the towns-people buying the product.  The success of the farm does not depend alone upon skilled farmers and modern machinery; the land must be kept fertile.  The most common method of preparing the land is plowing into it barnyard manures early in the autumn.  In addition to animal manure, various mineral substances are used for enriching the soil, the most important and extensively used of these being lime.

The purpose of all rotation is to keep the soil productive; and nearly every farmer in this county uses this method in planting so that at least once every two or three years a crop of legumes is raised that adds to the fruitfulness of his fields.  These crops send multitudes of roots deep into the ground, which loosen and pulverize the soil, then decay at the end of the growing season, leaving much humus in the soil.  Alfalfa, clovers, cowpeas, vetches, and soybeans are favorite and useful legumes.

To carry on necessary work in the fields, nearly ninety-eight percent of the people in Quitman County are employed on the farms; consequently, all of the people enjoy wholesome food, good health, and happiness.

Adaptable Crops

The beautiful, long-staple, silky-wool cotton is grown extensively here, the saline ingredients of the soil and atmosphere being indispensable elements of the growth.  All the available hands of the plantation, young and old, are called into full employment during harvesting of this crop.

Alfalfa is primarily a hay crop, and is grown in abundance where the soil is rich, moist, and deep and underlaid by an open subsoil.  Alfalfa yields a crop of heavy forage and improves the soil.

Stock are very fond of vetch hay, a valuable legume; and nearly all the farmers grow it; it increases mild production in dairy animals and is fattening food as well.  Many poor soils are wonderfully improved by growing vetch on them.

The oat is a useful grain that grows on a wide range, geographically speaking, regaining little attention until harvest time; it is a valuable ration for work animals, dairy cows, and breeding stock.  Sandy loam soils are well adapted by this crop.2

Early History of Agriculture

Before the white man came, and before the county was organized, the Choctaws and Chickasaws farmed small patches of land in this territory.  Corn, being the staple crop of the Indians, was probably the first crop produced.  Since the land was so fertile, fertilizing was not necessary.  They merely cleared a piece of ground, planted the seed, worked the plants with their crude bone and wooden implements, and harvested a good crop; but Indians, who were living here many years before the first settlers came, fled south, and there was nothing but peaceful canebrakes and woods to greet the early settlers who endured many hardships in clearing their land.  Cotton and corn were planted by hand and cultivated with hoes and shovel-stock plows.  As a rule, each farmer produced enough corn for the need of his plantation; cotton stalks were burned, and the seeds allowed to go to waste.

In addition to cotton and corn, other products were grown and used for plantation necessities.  Expert knowledge and guidance were lacking; therefore, nothing was done about rotating crops, improving the soil, fertilizing, drainage, and growing improved varieties of cotton.3

Cotton Introduction

The exact date of the introduction of agriculture into Quitman County is not easily determined.  It has, no doubt, existed from the time the first canebrakes and woods were cleared in the latter part of the 1800’s.  Due to the fertile soil, long, warm summers, and mild winters, cotton has been the king of crops from the beginning of the county’s life.  The markets of the world called for more of this product, and the land-owner, sensing their position of advantage, enlarged their farms and encouraged negro tenants to work for them.

Slavery had been abolished twelve years before the creation of Quitman county; so, the present plantation system of share-cropping was immediately adopted.  Today, some small farms are owned by negroes who formerly worked for plantation managers.  Originally, most of the labor was done by hand, and the old method still predominates here; but tractors, improved and time-saving plows and planters, and various other types of modern machines are fast being introduced.  The truck is fast replacing the mule and wagon, and electric gins are found all over the county.

The cotton produced, going to all world markets, is rarely exported directly from the grower; as a rule it is sold to local buyers, who resell it for export or for American manufacture.  When a bale of cotton is ginned; it is either sold immediately by the owner, or it may be compressed and stored in a warehouse until a satisfactory price is secured.  A convenience to the Quitman County farmers is the Federal Compress and Warehouse at Marks, with a storage capacity of 22,000 bales.  From here the cotton is shipped to the manufacturers, who may have bought directly, or, what is more usual, by special buyers, who know exactly the staple of cotton and quality wanted by the factory.  Most of our cotton passes through Memphis or New Orleans firms.4

The best seeds are kept for planting the next year’s crop; the rest are sent to the mills, where they are ground like grain and made to yield an oil, which is used for cooking and many other purposes.  Cotton seed meal is used as a stock-food and fertlizer.3

Corn and Forage Crops

The incentive to grow corn and hay now (1936) in Quitman County is stronger than it has ever been.  Every farmer has realized that it is cheaper to raise these products than it is to buy them, and also, that his land is protected by planting forage crops, which are good soil-builders, as well as good feed crops.  More, particularly about making hay, a far superior product on their own farms, has been learned than previously was known.  In the beginning of the A. A. A. farmers thought of raising only cotton, with enough corn and hay to last a few months; but more land was made available for corn and forage crops through the 1936 Agriculture Conservation Program than ever before.  The most desirable variety of hay crop is the one which will afford several harvests from one seeding.

Corn is king of all cereals.  Its grains, in some form, furnish food to more people than does any other crop grown in the county, and also feeds the stock and poultry.3

Insects Harmful to Crops

Destructive insects are here to get a certain portion of the crops raised in Quitman County.  The corn borer attacks the ear, and corn and hay crops are greatly diminished by the chinch bug.

The grasshopper and cutworm are also dreaded for their activities in the hay crops, particularly alfalfa and clover, as is also, the plant louse.  In times past, the armyworm was a pest, and might be now but for the specific effort made for its eradication.  It was no uncommon sight to see machines with sprinklers containing arsenic being driven over the fields at night for the purpose of killing the worm.  Night was chosen for the best time because the dew retained the arsenic and prevented it from blowing away in its powdered form.

When one prepares the soil to plant a vegetable garden in Quitman County, as elsewhere, there is the thought of various insects which, in time, will appear to get their share of the products.  With the peas, beans, and squash, the cutworm is almost sure to do some damage; likewise the beetle gets the Irish potato crop if it is not controlled.  Plant lice such the juice from leafy vegetables, and squash is good to the cutworm.

The cutworm is especially destructive to several varieties of vegetables, and it is not uncommon for one to go into his garden and throw away half of the tomatoes each morning.

Certainly, home gardeners as well as the few who try to raise an over supply for canning or market, have learned through government bulletins, county agents, etc., the importance of preventing attacks on vegetables by these pests and further riddance of them.

Just as other crops are molested by borers, grasshoppers, etc., the principal menace to cotton is the weevil, closely seconded by the armyworm.  Thanks to the government, for all sorts of definite instructions to get rid of this pest, as well as appropriations of money for different methods of experiment.  The boll weevil is well under control in Quitman County.

Now, the corn borer does his share of damage to the comparative small amount of sugar cane raised here.  It finds sustenance in the cane itself, though its preferred field is the ear.  There is also a fly with transparent wings called the “earwig,” or worm, which feeds on the sugar of the cane.

Besides the forage sown with the corn, approximately 20,000 acres of alfalfa, soy beans, peas, oats, and lespedeza yield an average of 2,400 to 4,000 pounds of dry hay per acre.  Soy beans are used on the farm where raised, and the surplus is sold.

Truck Farming

A few Quitman Countians raise vegetables and fruits for market.  The warm climate, fertile soil, and plentiful rainfall have made truck-farming profitable.

Bill Chrestman, of Marks, plants several acres of watermelons each year.  He sells them locally and makes as much profit as do the melon growers in the hills.  In 1936, he successfully planted several acres in tomatoes, using the same original method of irrigation as with the watermelons, (a can kept full of water at each plant).  Due to the drought, few tomatoes were raised in the county other than his, which gave him a monopoly on the market.

Tomatoes, corn, okra, beans, carrots, cabbage, peas, and spinach are the chief vegetables grown here.  Many housewives can enough surplus vegetables by steam pressure for winter use; all amounts not conserved in this way are sold or given to the W. P. A. canning project for the school lunch rooms.5

Poultry

On every farm, chickens are found, and most of the people in the towns raise a few for home consumption.  Many farmers have a few chickens and eggs for sale, and some specialize in this particular enterprise.

The 4-H Clubs have been an inspiration to the poultry industry and have established definite methods of caring for and marketing both chickens and eggs.

In 1926, S. W. Jones opened the “Busy Bee Hatchery” in Belen, and for the succeeding five years, it would open in January and close in June.  Two huge incubators, with a capacity of 5,000 eggs each, were used, and people from all North Mississippi bought eggs there or bought chickens from Mr. Jones.  However, 1931 found the place converted into a store, and in 1935, it burned.6

On the old Gibson Place, about two miles from Belen, a chicken farm is operated by Miss Alice Gibson.  She has an incubator and hatches white leghorn chickens; when the chicks come out of the incubators, they are moved to a small brooder house, where they are kept until sorted; some are sent to market and some are kept for laying.  When the chickens are fattened, they are sold in Clarksdale, a nearby Coahoma County town, to regular customers; each Thursday the eggs, on an average of 100 dozen per week, are gathered and carried there for sale.

An incubator room, a brooder house, two small and two large chicken houses constitute the equipment.  They are all modern, and the place has everything to make chicken farming profitable.  This is the only industry of the kind in the county, but many farmers sell eggs and chickens to the cafes, hotels, and grocers.7

Poultry Pests

Through a co-operative hatchery in Quitman County, citizens raise chickens, turkeys, ducks, etc., only for home use, consequently, lice live on chickens, feeding on scales and feathers, while mites come from their hiding places in chicken houses at night and feed on the blood of fowls.  Spraying infected roosts, boxes, and walls in soapy water will rid them of lice.  Lately, different prepared brands of disinfectants and eradicators have been used; Bee Brand is an “old reliable.”

Livestock

Since the value of milk as a food is well understood, hardly a farm is without it from at least one or two cows; and nearly all the supply is used for household purposes.  A cow is no great expense, because practically all the year around, she grazes from the pasture and is fed on foodstuff raised on the place.

Mrs. C. C. Miller, of Belen, owns five cows and furnishes milk to customers in Belen and Marks (1936); Mrs. J. T. Turner, of Marks, also sells milk to the townspeople; Joe Koger and Carlisle Stewart, owning five cows, supply milk for the town of Lambert.

Since about 1933, cattle buyers have been busy in Quitman County, buying cows and calves and selling them to the stockyards in Memphis.  W. H. Moore, of Belen, is one of those taking a prominent part in this enterprise.

Native beef can always be bought, especially on Saturdays, in almost every town.  The farmers supply the meat markets with this product, and some of it is brought into the towns on wagons or tracks and peddled on residential streets.  A scale and block are set up as a convenience.

On every farm some hogs are raised, and “hog-killing time” is a very busy season.  The 4-H Club boys take great pride in raising hogs, some of which are very fine.

Livestock Pests

Any number of flies thrive here.  From early spring, or plowing time, until very cold weather, mules and horses are the prey of blood-sucking and horse flies.

Screw worm flies lay eggs in wounds of animals.  The larvae do great injury to their victims.

In this section, Buffalo and black gnats are perhaps the greatest menace to livestock.  In the spring they come in droves, and it is not uncommon to see at evening milking time, smokes going up in many barnyards to repel them, in order to get the cows to stand still while being milked.  Different brands of fly sprays are used, which help some.  As the season gets hot and dry, Buffalo gnats usually disappear.

Cattle ticks suck blood from cattle, horses, sheep, and hogs., Cattle shipped from an infected section are “dipped” in a vat or oil or other fluid to destroy the pest.  Ticks cause “dog itch.”

Rural Home Improvement

In olden times, rural life was hard, as there were no labor-saving devices, such as we have today.  The farmer’s wife took care of the house, spun, and wove cloth, made clothes for the family, knit stockings, made soap, milked and churned, cured flatironmeat, made sausage, washed on old scrub-boards, ironed with black flat-irons, and did hundreds of other things, with the assistance of her daughters; the sons worked on the farm.

Antiquated methods of cultivating and harvesting crops were used.  By means of pumps, water was secured from wells; a family drinking bucket was kept on a shelf on the back porch, and along-side this was a wash-pan, where everyone “cleaned up” before each meal.  A tin wash-tub was provided for the Saturday night baths, which were taken in the kitchen.  Houses were heated by open fireplaces, and ice kept only by the wealthy, who build private icehouses.  Screens were unheard of and it was not unusual for one of the children swish a peach tree branch over the table to “keep the flies off,” while the others in the family enjoyed the meal.  Mosquito bars were hung over each bed to keep off the buzz and bite of the mosquito and to insure sleep.  Our modern way of preserving fruits and vegetables by putting them into tin or glass was not used then, but they were dried in the sun to preserve for future use.  Kerosene lamps furnished lights for the home; children attended one-teacher schools; however, the wealthy class sent their youths to boarding schools in town.8

Transportation

Roads were not graveled, and in winter months they were almost impassable.  Most of the traveling was done on horseback and in wagons drawn by two or four horses;  letters and newspapers probably reached the homes once or twice a week Studebaker_National_Museum_May_2014_017_(President_McKinley's_Phaeton)by a mail-carrier on horseback.  Some of the richer class had carriages and phaetons.  The young people and their elders met in the neighborhoods, where they had quiltings, log-rollings, singings, socials, and sometimes danced the Virginia reel, the old quadrille, or square dance.  In contrast to the above picture, rural life is now filled with pleasure and ease, this being due to electric lights, refrigerators, fans, irons, sewing machines, washing machines, cream separators, churns, radios, stoves, and many other modern conveniences.  A good percentage of the farmers now have telephone and modern heating equipment.

cisternArtesian wells have replaced pumps, wells, and cisterns; many rural residents are piping water into their homes; roads are in fair condition; almost every farmer owns an automobile or truck, while school buses insure every child means of transportation to and from school.  The county is easily accessible by train, bus, or automobile.

Modern Agricultural Agencies

D. L. Edson is one of the most helpful of modern agricultural agencies in this county.  Since 1934, it has been his responsibility as county agent, to help farmers through a severe crisis and to take care of the cotton compliance program, plow-up checks, etc.  His usual work consists of selecting the best grade of cotton for the soil, analyzing soils, recommending remedies for crops and stock, supervising soil-building and crop rotation, experimenting with and introducing new crops, and keeping a watchful eye on farming work, in solving the problems which they cannot hope to master themselves.2

W. R. Meredith, assistant county agent, the efficient instructor of the Boys’ 4-H Clubs in both Quitman and Panola counties, has been working in this capacity here since 1935, and up to the present (1936), has enrolled 201 boys, all of whom attend some school in the county.  This club consists of boys between the ages of ten and twenty-one, who receive training in the raising of corn, cotton, legumes, livestock, and poultry; a majority of them choosing cotton and pigs.

Pig Club boys have done much to improve the breeds of hogs produced; many of these hogs are fattened on corn and sold, thus adding a cash income to the farmers.

The main objective of the instructor is to inspire these boys to live at home by teaching these things, also, the conservation of soil.  The Plant-to-Prosper movement requires them to keep a record, which shows the advantage of raising their own food and planting crops that build the soil; at the same time getting more returns from it.9

Wins Swift Prize

“E. C. Black, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Black, and a student at Mississippi State, was announced winner of the annual Swift College Contest today by Dr. E. W. Sheets, head of the Animal Husbandry Department there.

“As a reward for the winning paper, he will be given a trip to Chicago with all expenses paid.  At the same time Black is to be in Chicago, winners from other agricultural colleges will be there to attend the meeting of the American Society of Animal Production.  The contest is given to students majoring in husbandry.

“Black plans to also attend the International Livestock Exposition, largest and most important livestock show to be held in this or in any country.  The winners will have an opportunity to study detailed methods of marketing, slaughtering, processing, and marketing of meat and meat products.

“Black’s winning essay was on “Utilizing By-Products in the Meat Packing Industry.”  The International Livestock Exposition and American Society of Animal Production will be held from November 28 to December 3.”10

Quitman Boy’s Good Record

In another issue of a 1937 Quitman County Democrat, the following was published:

“John Collins, of Sledge, entered in the International Harvester Company’s implement mounting contest at the Mid South Fair, through the Farm Equipment farmallf20Company, of Tunica.  Although Collins did not win either of the prizes, he made unusually good time.  His time for mounting a two-row Middle Buster on an F-12 Farmall Tractor was one minute and thirty-four seconds.  Collins used the F-12 and F-20 Farmall for all purpose work; especially cultivating several hundred acres, and doing an unusual job with the F-12 this year on Hal Taylor’s Place.”10

Home Demonstration Agent

The home demonstration agent, Miss Lucille Hart, majored in home economics, having had her training at State Teacher’s College in Hattisburg, where she received a B. S. degree.  Her territory consists of three counties, Tallahatchie, Sunflower, and Quitman, and she keeps well informed regarding all matters that effect the home, and brings the latest scientific information to rural homemakers in such form that they can readily apply it in practical daily life.  She serves the rural home alike in times of prosperity and in times of distress, and many homemakers, who cannot attend regular group meetings, are given helpful assistance through visits, press articles, exhibits, public meetings, and the like.  This agent takes a leading part in devising sources of income, which will enable the homemaker to purchase those things which will make for efficiency, comfort, and attractiveness.

Eight active women’s clubs in the county:  at Respress, Whitening, Crowder, Walnut, Lambert, Birdie, Darling, and Marks, have an aggregate membership of 200.  Each club meets once a month in their respective communities, where they are given practical instructions by Miss Hart as to what foods to select and how to prepare them to keep the family in good health.  They learn the most effective methods of producing, preserving, and storing vegetables, fruits, and other foods needed for the year’s supply.  The agent also gives special supervision to all demonstrations.  The women may choose only one of the four projects:  Poultry Raising, Food Preservation, Home Management, or Clothing.11

Girls’ 4-H Clubs

Eight active Girls’ 4-H Clubs, located at Sledge, Lambert, Darling, Walnut, Marks, Sabino, Crowder, and Belen, have 195 girls enrolled, while there are 874 of club age.  From this the observation is made that rural boys are very much more awake to present-day advantages than their sisters.

The Girls’ Club meets twice a month in each community, and they also have a choice of one of the following projects:  Poultry Raising, Canning, Gardening, and Home Improvement.  The majority of the girls select Home Improvement, Gardening and Canning; all, both women and girls, have a part in the major program, Foods.

4-H Club training is made interesting by camping trips and rallies for both boys and girls.  On April 5, 1936, a 4-H club rally was held at Marks Courthouse, when all county members of both 4-H Girls and Boys Clubs attended.  Later, during the summer, a four-day camping trip was enjoyed by 133 members at Leroy Percy Park, near Hollandale.  One day was spent in the National Park at Vicksburg, while the remainder of the time was given to instruction and recreation.

Work of both the home demonstration agent and county agent is done in co-operation with the superintendent of each school and on schedule.12

Colored Home Demonstration Agent

Cornelia Richards, colored home demonstration agent, superintends the negroes and their activities.  She received her education at Tougaloo High School, and had two years of college work at Tuskegee, Alabama.  Cornelia came to Quitman County in 1923, and in 1936 she had charge of thirty clubs, composed of both women and girls.  Enrolled are 728 4-H Club Girls and 623 members of the Women’s Clubs.  The program of work includes:  Home Improvement, Gardening, Canning, and Poultry, all of which are major projects; cooking and sewing are minor projects.

Cornelia has a record of conserving 6,000 pounds of beef in 1935, besides the pork and chickens; during the summer of 1935, 1,000 jars of fruit and vegetables were canned.

Emphasis is given to the need of dairy cows, home, health, and sanitation; handicraft is stressed to a certain extent; they learn to bottom chairs out of shucks, make mattresses, rugs, quilts, bedspreads, etc.  Most of them are rather enthusiastic over the making and renovating of furniture, and their slogan is “learn to do by doing.”13

Agricultural Schools

The high school at Lambert contained a department of vocational agriculture during the years 1928-1934, which was operated to meet the requirements for State and Federal aid under the provisions of the Smith-Hughes Law.  S. R. Evans, who is now (1936) principal of the Leland High School, was the agriculture teacher during that time.  In 1932 he won a place on the honor roll of Mississippi’s Master Agricultural Teachers.

During 1936, Quitman County had one school providing a vocational agricultural teacher.  H. D. Graham, of Walnut, taught the boys winter cover-crops and the varieties of cotton; some of these students got a knowledge of the what and why to do in farming at the school; they get the how to do it on the job and in the home farm.

Agricultural subjects and agricultural enterprises, which are of importance to this community, are given emphasis; whenever possible, each topic in agriculture is taught and studied at the appropriate season of the year, when theory and practice can be carried on concurrently.

Mr. Graham co-operated with other Delta schools in planning camping trips for the boys.  During the summer of 1936 a camp was held at Camp Bernard, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, with the FFA.

Ordinarily,  there is a day set aside sometime during the summer for the farmers of this section of the country to attend a program given at the Delta Experiment Station, located at Greenville.  Graham aids the farmers with field problems and makes it possible for the interested ones to attend.14

Fairs

At the county fair,  which was held at Marks during the week of October 6, to 9, 1936, were marvelous exhibits of farm products, which encouraged the farmers to become Master Farmers.  Each year since its organization, the County Fair inspires all citizens to move forward to bigger and better things, promoting development in all fields.15

Horticulture

The development of horticulture, an important branch of agriculture, has helped our county to obtain satisfactory results in the cultivation of flowers, fruits, and gardens.  Many varieties of flowers and shrubs grow well, and around almost every home are arborvitae, privet, spires of all kinds, ornamental spruces, firs, junipers, hydrangeas, dogwood, crepe myrtle, altheas, redbuds–in fact, practically the whole shrub family.  Roses chrysanthemums, gladioli, and dahlias are easily grown with only a little extra attention.  The more common varieties of flowers are:  snap dragons, sweet peas, narcissus, tulips, zinnias, cannas, cosmos, marigolds, petunias, pinks, daisies, phlox, poppies, iris, nasturtiums, sweet williams, four-o’clocks, violets, larkspurs, cornflowers, hollyhocks, asters, pansies, etc.

Most of the shrubs are bought from nurseries outside the county; however, some are raised from seed or cuttings by more economical and industrious home-owners.  Flowers for cutting are very easily raised in private gardens.

There are no large orchards, but practically every white and negro home is dotted about by peach, apple, and pear trees.  The idea is held, but it might be a mistaken one, that our land is too valuable to be converted into orchards.16

Garden Club Activities

Almost every town in Quitman County has some sort of a garden club; these clubs emphasize keeping the towns beautiful by encouraging individuals to beautify their own premises and by sponsoring local beautification projects and contests.  Marks has the most active of these clubs at the present time (1936).  It is through this organization that the flower show at the fair was held.  Another move of the Marks Club has been to make Marks a “Crepe Myrtle Town.”  These shrubs have been set out all over the town, and the town will, no doubt, become a beautiful spot.

Each year interested club members from over the county attend the garden pilgrimages at Natchez, Laurel, and Mobile, and return with new ideas for the flower lovers and growers.

In addition to the activities of the Garden Clubs, the Works Progress Administration has helped in local beautification.    Trees have been planted on the courthouse lawn in Marks, with the sentimental feature that they are to perpetuate the memory of some of the most prominent people in our county’s history.  There is a new and attractive park in Marks; also another very successful project carried out was the beautification of the pool in Lambert, and citizens are constantly being urged to beautify and keep their premises clean.  Contests prove an inspiration in this, as is induced by the Window Garden, Christmas-trees, Spring-time Cleaning, and Backyard Garden yearly events.12

 1 Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census, 1935
 2 D. L. Edson, County Agent, Marks, Mississippi
 3 W. T. Haynes, Lambert, Mississippi
 4 Federal Compress, Marks, Mississippi
 5 Bill Chrestman, Marks, Mississippi
 6 Mrs. Blanchard Ingram, Marks, Mississippi
 7 Miss Alice Gibson, Marks, Mississippi
 8 Mrs. Fannie Allen, Memphis, Tennessee
 9 W. R. Meredith, assistant county agent, Marks, Mississippi
10 Quitman County Democrat, November 25, 1937
11 Miss Lucille Hart, Marks, Mississippi
12 Miss Margaret Rivers, Marks, Mississippi
13 Cornelia Richards, Marks, Mississippi
14 H. D. Graham, Walnut, Mississippi
15 W. D. Harper, Tax Assessor
16 Agricultural Bulletins

Bibliography

Agricultural Bulletins
Department of Commerce
Bureau of Census, 1935
Garden Clubs
Federal Compress
Smith-Hughes Bulletin
Quitman County Democrat

Works Progress Administration for Mississippi, Source Material for Mississippi History, Quitman County, Vol. LX, Compiled by State-Wide Historical Research Project, Susie V. Powell, State Supervisor, Illustrated 1936-1938, Chapter XIII, pages 169-182.

Photo of Flat Iron By MONNIN Jacques [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo of President McKinley’s Phaeton by Elliot Volkman at Flickr, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Photo of Cistern Provided By Ammodramus (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Farmall F-20 Tractor Ellen (thedesignspace.net) (Flickr: Antique Farmall tractor) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Copyright © 2016
All Rights Reserved with Full Rights Reserved for Original Contributor