Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Elmer Martin’s Prize Winning Potatoes

Elmer Martin’s Prize Winning Potatoes

Elmer Martin is my paternal grandfather.  He was raised on his family’s farm near Rock Island, Illinois.  As a youth, Elmer worked alongside his father and two brothers on their large farm.  Elmer headed west with his first wife, Elizabeth Coyne Martin.  They traveled around for several years and then ended up in Dove Creek, Colorado in the early 1920’s.  After their divorce, Elmer stayed in southwestern Colorado.  In 1927, Elmer married Maymie Pearl Wilson and they lived on his large farm north of Dove Creek.
Dove Creek Post Office - about 1925
Elmer started growing potatoes and won awards at the 1928 Dolores county fair.  The January 1929 “Case Eagle” magazine featured an article on Elmer and his prize winning potatoes.  According to the article, Elmer used a Case 12-20 tractor.  The article shows a picture of Elmer driving his Case 12-20 tractor.  His brother-in-law, Martin Barnes, is on the attachment on the back.  Family tradition states that Elmer made the attachment for his tractor to help with the potato harvest.  The article also shows a picture on the left-hand side of Elmer's prize potatoes and his first and second place ribbons.  It is kind of hard to see the potatoes and ribbons because they are laying on a brightly patterned Navajo rug.
The Case Eagle Magazine, January 1929, Vol 12, No. 1
Elmer's Case 12-20 Tractor
Elmer took the below photo of his potato cellar and trucks piled with bags of potatoes.

“The Case Eagle” magazine referred to above was published by the J. I. Case farm equipment company of Racine, Wisconsin for the distributors of their tractors and farm equipment.

In 1932, Elmer was still growing potatoes when he placed the following advertisement in the Monticello, Utah newspaper "The San Juan Record" for seed potatoes.  It appears he grew Irish Cobblers and Burbank Russets.
San Juan Record, Monticello, Utah, 14 April 1932

clmroots Blog Posts about Elmer Martin:

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