Monday, July 31, 2017

Amanuensis Monday: Melvin Vanevery and the El Paso Cotton Growers - 1919

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

Below is a newspaper article mentioning my maternal great-grandfather, Melvin Van Every.

El Paso Herald – Nov 28, 1919, page 7.
Cotton Growers Purchase Seed in Pecos Valley
El Paso County Farmers Will Not Plant Seed Grown Here.

Farmers of El Paso County, who, according to reports from over the district and from implement men, are going to grow 10,000 acres of cotton next year, will not plant local seed. Instead, the 10,000 bushels of seed needed will be brought from the Pecos valley. The purchase will be financed by the State National bank, C.N. Bassett said Friday.

Local cotton seed will not be used, at the request of officials of the federal horticulture board. This request arises from the fact that the federal horticulture agents were unable to scout the field properly for pink boll worm. No evidence of pink boll worm has been found here, the agents say, but because of the proximity to the border, a source of infection, the farmers of the valley have agreed with the federal agents that no chances should be taken.

This year about 1500 acres of cotton were grown in the valley. About 1,500,000 pounds of seed was produced. This will be crushed by a local refinery. The farmers, in order to get the seed for the 8500 acres more which will be planted next year than this, will put up a guarantee of $1 or $1.50 a bushel an acre for what they will need. The committee will then buy the seed where it can, and sell it to the farmers at cost, making delivery within a few weeks. The probable cost of the seed will be $2 or more a bushel. The Lone Star variety will be bought.

L.J. Ivy and M.E. Van Every, of Tornillo, have been named on the committee of five to supervise the purchase and distribution of cotton seed. Roland Harwell, county farm agent, said Friday. A meeting will be held at Clint to discuss further plans for getting the seed. Three other members of the committee will be named within a few days.

The committee will leave next week to hunt the seed.


1) Melvin and his family had moved to the El Paso area from San Marcos in 1917. It's nice to see references to the multiple businesses he had a hand in. Apparently, in addition to beekeeping, and a cheese creamery, my great grandfather grew cotton. (I'm sure he had other crops as well.)

2) More on the Pink Bollworm, and the damage to Texas crops.

No comments: