Home » Georgia » Fertilizer of all things.

Fertilizer of all things.

He that maketh two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to

grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before deserves

better of mankind and does more essential service to his country

than the whole race of politicians put together.” Dean Swift

 

Researching your family history leads you down many interesting rabbit holes.  I recently found a few receipts for fertilizer.  I guess there were a couple of reasons why it got my attention.

First, the dates of the receipts are 8 July 1890 and 25 July 1890 how do we still have this little paper.  Second, it is signed by my great-great grandfather, George Wiley Whitehead.  Lastly, the name of the fertilizer was Davy Crockett.  How fun is that!

gww 7-25-1890 fertilzer

gww 8-7-1890 fertilizer

So, I did a little digging.  While I did not find the publication for 1890, I did find a publication for Commercial Fertilizers and Chemicals for Season 1909-1910 for the State of Georgia.  Essentially, there were laws “to regulate the registration, sale, inspection and analysis of commercial fertilizer (Georgia,1910, p3).”

So, as I hopped down the trail, I learned that my great-grandfather purchased his Davy Crockett Fertilizer from Smithonia Oil Mills, Smithsonia, Georgia.   James Smith was one of the largest land owners in Oglethorpe County.  He had over 20,000 acres.  The locals all know about Smithonia.

George Wiley Whitehead bought several acres of land after he returned from the war.  According to the Georgia Property Tax Digest from 1878-1882 George’s acreage varied from as little as 163 to 1254 acres (Georgia, Property Tax, 2011).  Unfortunately the document does not make it easy to determine what year each record is from.


Fast Forward to 1946, when George’s son Walter received the Selective Service Medal, Hubert Tiller, a local farmer, friend and customer added his own byline to the picture that was in the newspaper.  He said, “Mr. Whitehead is asking President Truman, ‘Have you bought your fertilizer for this year, Mr. President?’”

 

Walter Whitehead and Truman

WEW Receives Award quip about fertilizer

See, Fertilizer of all things.

Source:

Ancestry.com. Georgia, Property Tax Digests, 1793-1892 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

State of Georgia, Commercial Fertilizers and Chemicals, 1910, p3

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One thought on “Fertilizer of all things.

  1. Smith had his own RR and train so he brought in his fertilizer in bulk and potentially bagged it for resale.  Or perhaps it was already bagged.  In any case his farm was a center of commerce for farmers.He was one of the richest men in Georgia at one time.  The covered bridge we saw was erected on the road to his farm from Sandy Cross.This is known as the Smithonia Road.

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