Southampton/Isle of Wight progressive farmers

Published 10:54 am Friday, September 29, 2017

by Clyde Parker

Sept. 28, 1917

A.S. Johnson, of Isle of Wight, known to his friends as “Farming Sidney,” brought into the office of The Tidewater News a fine stalk of soybeans this week and gave it as his opinion that any man who wanted to raise hogs right should feed them on soybeans.

“Moreover,” he said, “as an improver of soil, the soybean is almost without an equal — bearing good yield every year regardless of season.”

Mr. Johnson raised his recent fine crop of beans on a plot from which one crop of white blooming clover and one of oats had already been harvested this year.

J.F. Bryant Jr., of Franklin, was showing a hill of peanuts with 241 full-grown goobers on it, taken from a field on the Judkins Farm along the Old Courtland Road. Mr. Bryant purchased the farm several months ago. He thinks that the run of the field should average well up to the sample, which was selected at random while the peanuts were being dug.

Paul D. Camp, of Franklin, who finds time to be a very successful farmer aside from his duties as president of his large lumber company, arranged an outstanding meeting at the Webb School last Friday night with Dr. Thomas M. Owen of the Virginia Department of Animal Industry as speaker. The school auditorium was practically filled with area farmers.

Dr. Owen made an excellent practical talk on hog cholera and its prevention and methods of treatment using various serums. He illustrated his talk with stereoscopic views.

Mr. Owen spent the first of this week in this neighborhood and visited several large herds of hogs on farms in both Southampton and Isle of Wight counties. Also, while in the area, he engaged in some very effective work in neighboring lower Nansemond County. The doctor truly says that our farmers cannot afford to neglect the care of their hogs and to not immunize them against cholera, not only for their own personal profit but as a patriotic duty as well. The meat supply must be increased to feed America and the world.

Mr. Camp was interested to find in his cotton fields this week a cotton stalk with 80 bolls on it while another one next to it, of twice the size in stalk and foliage, had only 40 bolls. The principle of seed selection, if applied here, will not only increase cotton yields but of every other crop as well.

Bank of Drewryville to open

Seventy-eight substantial business men and farmers of the Drewryville section have organized a bank to be known as the Bank of Drewryville. It will open for business by Nov. 1. The Drewryville area is one of the best and most prosperous farming communities in Tidewater Virginia. The new financial institution will undoubtedly be successful under the guidance of the gentlemen whom the stockholders have chosen as officers and directors. Officers: Dr. James A. Grizzard, president, and Professor F.E. Pope, vice president, both of Drewryville, and Jesse Lee of Emporia, cashier. Directors: John P. Fox, J.W. Claud, S.P. Johnson, R.L. Grizzard, J.G. Claud, V.R. Leigh and Joshua Lee, all of Drewryville, and J.T. Brown of Adams Grove. 

Mr. Lee has considerable banking experience, being cashier of the First National Bank of Emporia prior to its consolidation with the Greensville Bank of Emporia. The promoters of the new Drewryville institution feel that they are especially fortunate in being able to secure Mr. Lee’s services. The capital stock of the new bank, $10,000, has been paid in full.

Milk station is coming

George W. Wade, a successful dairyman and farmer, who has been managing the Jersey Dairy here for several years is installing a modern milk station in Franklin using the new brick building at 108 West Second Avenue recently vacated by M E. Lawrence Jr. Sanitary machinery of the best-approved type will be used and all milk will be pasteurized and bottled untouched by the hands until delivered to consumers. The machinery for pasteurization, bottling, etc. will be contained in a large sunny room with concrete floor. Only two operatives will be allowed to enter it. 

Every precaution will be taken for sanitation and cleanliness. Pasteurization of milk consists of bringing it to a temperature of from 151 to 158 degrees in a vat through which a coil of steam pipes run.

Then, the milk will be cooled by introducing a solution of brine through the same coil, which brings the milk temperature down to 40 degrees at which it will be kept by cold storage before delivery.

The plant that Mr. Wade is putting in represents an investment of about $5,000. He expects to use the entire output of all the dairies in this community besides buying milk from small producers. Beginning Nov. 1, he will begin the sale of pasteurized milk in Franklin at the present prices with separate wagons for the white and colored trade and will sell milk on a cash basis, giving $1 worth of milk tickets for 95 cents.

Genuine old-fashioned buttermilk, skimmed milk, and butter will also be sold. In the front office, milk and buttermilk will be sold over the counter at retail and by the glass.

Mr. Wade’s ability and experience in the milk business, and the high tests which his milk and cream have always met, will assure product quality and safety.

“The high-class cafes and ice cream plants in Norfolk, which will use a good part of our production, should guarantee our success,” Mr. Wade said, yesterday as he turned to his work.

(NOTE: Mr. Wade’s milk station business was located at 108 W. Second Avenue in 1917, the location, in later years, of other businesses, namely: J&M Grill, J.P. Councill Feed & Seed Store, J.P. Councill Florist, Sandra’s House of Flowers and, today, Dylan Belt, Optometrist.)

CLYDE PARKER is a retired human resources manager for the former Franklin Equipment Co. and a member of the Southampton County Historical Society. His email address is