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Article on the Vegetable Industry, 1929

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05/30/14 was the last day I modified this page.

God Bless America

 Augustus Lotterhos, Father of Vegetable Industry, Saw tomato abroad.

By Harrison L. Saunders

Daily News

Special Correspondent


The evolution of the vegetable industry at Crystal Springs dates back to 1859, seventy years ago, for it was in a small German village far across the waters that Augustus Lotterhos, senior member of the present Lotterhos and Huber Company, Mercantile house and largest shippers of fresh vegetables and tomatoes at Crystal Springs, saw his first tomato growing.


The father of Mrs. C. M. Huber, wife of the junior member of the present firm, had found a tomato seed somewhere in Germany and had planted it in a flowerpot and the tiny plant had been stuck and was bearing small red fruit which at that time were called “Love Apples”. It was a curiosity in Mr. Lotterhos imagination and little did he realize that the same “love apple” conceived in a flowerpot would make for him a fortune in the distant America.


Several years later these families moved to the United States, the country of opportunities, the oasis of the world. The ruler of Destinies sent the Lotterhos and Huber families to Mississippi and Crystal Springs, where Mr. Lotterhos has lived since and has seen and assisted tremendously in the growth of a great industry and is known as the grand old father and pioneer of the “Tomatropolis” of the world.


The first movement from Crystal Springs was made up of peaches, grown and shipped by James Sturgis to New Orleans and Chicago in the year 1870. At this time tomatoes were growing in this territory, but they were all sizes, shapes, and forms and unfit for marketing. The plants were never supported with sticks, and now, to keep the stalk from falling to the ground laden with fruit. The land was not fertilized and neither were the tomato plants pruned. Shipping this particular fruit was an unheard thing.


N. Piazza was the first to scientifically produce tomatoes. He imported his seed from Italy and the first grown from these seed were more or less of an irregular shape. Later S. H. Stackhouse obtained a small quantity of Acme Tomato seed, which he planted and grew with excellent results and he was the first to ship tomatoes from this point to northern markets.


However, all of the shipments at this time were in small lots, probably a few crates constituted a consignment. The first shipment moved in 1876 to Barnett Brothers, Chicago, Illinois.


From that time on the industry developed fast. It was at this time that Mr. Lotterhos conceived the idea of shipping tomatoes in carload lots to northern markets. In 1878, Mr. Lotterhos prevailed on the growers of tomatoes to pool their products and ship in carloads. In this year Mr. A. Lotterhos, having only a few years, prior to this time, seen his first tomato, forwarded to Denver, Colorado, the first solid carload of tomatoes from Crystal Springs.


In 1879 a few progressive men in and around Crystal Springs, began in a small way to grow vegetables as an experiment with the idea of following the example of tomato growers and shipping these fruits in northern markets. The pioneers in this birth of a big industry were: S.H. Stackhouse, F. M. Brewer, and John Hall. Mr. Brewer was the first to grow peas, beans, and asparagus at Crystal Springs. These vegetables were shipped almost exclusively to Chicago. Carrots, beets, and cabbage were planted for the first time with a view of marketing and all of these vegetables began moving in carlots.


In the early eighties, the first strawberries were grown at this time netted the grower, S.H. Stackhouse $2.00 a quart or $24 a crate of 12 quarts. With such prices, Crystal Springs developed a large strawberry industry, but because of the inability of the railroad to furnish refrigerator cars, which was necessary to transport them success---

        Remainder of the article is not available.



This article was taken the Wednesday May 16, 2001 newspaper “ The Meteor” with the following editor notes:


“Copiah trucking had inception in Germany in 1859”

(Editor’s note: This clipping from The Jackson Daily News was found by Rita Brignac Bizzell of Cleveland, among the possessions of her mother, Lena Mae Cook Brignac. Mrs. Bizzell sent the clipping to Dorothy Alford who submitted it to The Meteor. Apparently, the author is Pat Harrison’s nephew who lived on Pearl Street in Crystal Springs. Unfortunately, the clipping is incomplete.



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