History of the

Boll Weevil in Coffee County

In 1915, the boll weevil reached Coffee County. Many cotton crops were destroyed, and the local farmers struggled financially. The whole area fell into a slump. H.M. Sessions, an Enterprise businessman, decided something needed to be done about the boll weevil problem. He felt that peanuts would fair well in the region. Enterprise farmer, C.W. Baston, planted peanuts for one year at the request of Mr. Sessions. Mr. Sessions offered Mr. Baston the peanuts to plant, someone to harvest them, and $1 per bushel. Mr. Baston, whose cotton had been severely damaged by the boll weevil, took him up on his offer.

Mr. Baston's crop of peanuts did well in its first year. He was able to pay off his debts and still have some money in the bank. He produced 8,000 bushels of peanuts in his first year. His great success caused many other struggling farmers to become interested in peanuts. Mr. Baston's bushels were used as seed for the other local farmers who were eager to get into the peanut business.

Many Coffee County farmers grew nothing except peanuts. The great success of the peanuts proved beneficial to the county. Many farmers diversified even further and planted other crops. Cotton was still planted, but was not the sole focus of Coffee County's farming efforts.

Information for this page was adapted from http://www/entercomp.com/users/cybergal/weevil.html

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