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Adrian A. Parsons, 1846-1929 / Indiana’s Soybean Pioneer

Location: Southwest corner of the intersection of County Road 150 S and County Road 625, Avon (Hendricks County, Indiana)

Installed 2017 Indiana Historical Bureau and Town of Avon

ID#: 32.2017.1


Side One

Adrian A. Parsons, 1846-1929

A Civil War veteran,  Parsons engaged in diversified farming near here in 1884.  In 1890s,  he began purposeful, sustained cultivation of soybeans used for forage and fertilizer on his farm.  Soybeans were not widely grown in U.S. agriculture until 1930s.  He originated Mikado variety in 1905.  He boosted yields by inoculating seed with nitrogen fixing bacteria in soil.

Side Two

Indiana’s Soybean Pioneer

In 1928, the American Soybean Association recognized Parsons as “the pioneer of all soybean growers in Indiana.”  He demonstrated the crop’s practical utility for average farms and advanced its importance.  When Parsons died in 1929,  Indiana farmers planted 326,000 acres of soybeans.  By 1939, over 1.3 million acres were planted,  ranking Indiana second in nation.

Annotated Text

Side One

Adrian A. Parsons, 1846-1929[1]

A Civil War veteran,[2] Parsons engaged in diversified farming[3] near here in 1884.[4] In 1890s,[5] he began purposeful, sustained cultivation of soybeans used for forage and fertilizer on his farm.[6] Soybeans were not widely grown in U.S. agriculture until 1930s.[7] He originated Mikado variety in 1905.[8] He boosted yields by inoculating seed with nitrogen fixing bacteria in soil.[9]

Indiana’s Soybean Pioneer

In 1928, the American Soybean Association recognized Parsons as “the pioneer of all soybean growers in Indiana.”[10] He demonstrated the crop’s practical utility for average farms and advanced its importance.[11] When Parsons died in 1929,[12] Indiana farmers planted 326,000 acres of soybeans.[13] By 1939, over 1.3 million acres were planted,[14] ranking Indiana second in nation.[15]

[1] Indiana State Board of Health Certificate of Death, 25961 (Hendricks County, Indiana), Filed August 3, 1929, Indiana Archives and Records Administration, accessed

Parsons was born on November 7, 1846 in North Carolina. He died on August 1, 1929 in Hendricks County, Indiana.

[2] Adrian A. Parsons, Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900, NARA T289, accessed on; W.H.H. Terrell, Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Indiana, 8 vols. (Indianapolis, 1865-1869), 7:160, accessed Internet Archive

Parsons served as a private in Company I, 9th Indiana Cavalry.  He was discharged on July 21, 1865. He received an invalid [disability] pension.

[3] 1880 United States Census, District 139, Hendricks County, Indiana, Roll 283, page 557B, Line 50, June 19, 1880, accessed; “The Dust Mulch, Soja Beans, Etc.,” Indiana Farmer, September 21, 1901, 14, accessed Purdue University Libraries e-Archives.

In the 1880 U.S. Census, Parsons’ profession is listed as a bee keeper.

The U.S. Census’ agricultural schedules for 1900 and 1910 were destroyed after the data was compiled and published. Unfortunately these sources are no longer extant to provide snapshots of Parsons’ agricultural activities during these decades.

The 1901 Indiana Farmer article cited above recounts Parsons growing tomatoes, soybeans, and having a dairy herd.

[4] Mary Walton et al to Adrian A. Parsons, Warranty Deed, August 9, 1884, recorded August 11, 1884, Hendricks County Land Transfers, Warranty Deeds, Book 62, p. 212, Hendricks County Recorder’s Office, Danville, IN.

The deed conveyed “71 acres more or less” to Parsons.  The tract acquired was “All of the East half of the South East quarter of Section 16 Township 15 North, of Range 1 East, except 11 ¾ acres off the North end of said tract.”

[5] Adrian A. Parsons, “Soy Beans,” Ohio Farmer, January 16, 1902, 43, accessed ProQuest American Periodicals; Adrian A. Parsons, “Soy Beans,” Wallaces’ Farmer, January 30, 1903, 148, accessed Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Advertisement, “Special Opportunities: Seeds,” Hoard’s Dairyman: A Weekly Journal Devoted to Dairy Farming, January 30, 1914, 29, accessed Google Books; “The Soja Bean,” Indiana Farmer, April 14, 1894, accessed Purdue University Libraries E-Archives; Charles S. Plumb, “A Substitute for Coffee,” Purdue University Seventh Annual Report of the Agricultural Experiment Station, Lafayette, Ind.. 1894. (Indianapolis: Wm. B. Burford, 1895), 45-49; “One Thing and Another,” Logansport Pharos-Tribune, May 24, 1899, 6, accessed NewspaperArchive; Evan B. Davis, “Value of Soy Beans,” Prairie Farmer, February 16, 1901, 2, accessed Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections; Adrian A. Parsons, “Humphrey Jones’ Address,” Indiana Farmer, February 17, 1906, 6; “Soybeans in Hendricks County,” Prairie Farmer, March 19, 1927, Indiana edition, 5; “Our Pioneer Soybean Grower,” Prairie Farmer, January 11, 1930, Indiana edition, 6; A. E. Andrews, “Tells of First Soy-Bean Tests,” Indiana Farmer’s Guide, December 1, 1931, 18; William C. Latta, Outline History of Indiana Agriculture, Purdue University Agricultural Experiment Station, 1938, Table 2; William Shurtleff and Akido Aoyagi, Fouts Family of Indiana – Soybean Pioneers (1882-2012). (Lafayette, CA: Soyinfo Center, 2012), 58-59, accessed SoyInfo Center; Shurtleff and Aoyagi, Early Named Soybean Varieties in the United States and Canada (1890-2013). (Lafayette, CA: Soyinfo Center, 2013), 862, accessed SoyInfo Center; Email, Leland [Lee] Parsons to Indiana Historical Bureau, January 24, 2017; Adrian A. Parsons, “A Clover Substitute,” Ohio Farmer, April 11, 1901, 323, accessed Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections; “Indiana’s Pioneer Soybeaner,” Prairie Farmer, 25 August 1928, Indiana Edition, 24.

In the Ohio Farmer article, Parsons wrote, “Seven consecutive crops without a single failure,” which would date his first planting of this annual soybean cultivation to spring 1895.  He reiterates the year of first success the following year in the Wallaces’ Farmer article, where he claims “We have grown soy beans eight years without a single failure.”  Also supportive of an 1895 date is Parsons’ advertisement for soybeans in Hoard’s Dairyman from January 1914, where he claimed “Nineteen years experience in growing and feeding” soybeans.

By 1895, there was still a legitimate question whether soybeans could grow successfully in Indiana.  The editors of the Indiana Farmer in the April 14, 1894 issue wrote, “In this country experiments are being made with the plants for forage.  It remains to be seen whether it is adapted to our climate. They are not quoted in our seed catalogs.”  The only use the editors cited for the soybean was that they were distilled into a liquor in Japan and China.  Similarly, the only sources located on soybean experimentation in Indiana prior to 1895 discuss an attempt by L. D. Brown in Tippecanoe County to adapt soybeans as a coffee substitute.  As late as 1899, agriculture professor William C. Latta of Purdue University discouraged farmers from growing soybeans as a “general crop” due to the high cost of seeds.  Instead, Latta recommended that farmers “try soy beans in a small way as a special crop and then grow their own seed if the crop gives promise of being valuable.”

A few other sources suggested earlier dates for Parsons’ experimentation or perhaps early cultivation of soybeans.  Parsons’ son-in-law, Evan B. Davis wrote in 1901 of soybeans:

It has been grown in this country many years but only as stock food or soil improver.  It was tried and appreciated by some of our most progressive farmers, years ago, but they were called ‘cranks’ and their counsel passed by, by [sic] the general farmers.  It was not until some of our experimental stations took the work in hand, made extensive trials, experiments, and feeding tests, ascertained the comparative feeding value, etc., and published special bulletins, that farmers awoke to what they were losing by failing to grow soy beans.

In the February 17, 1906 issue of the Indiana Farmer, Parsons self-identified as one of the early “cranks.” In 1927, the Prairie Farmer reported, “Thirty-seven years ago people were likely to say Adrian Parsons seemed a “bit queer” about soybeans.  He talked beans, studied beans, and begged others to try them.”

Doing the math from the Prairie Farmer article would place Parsons earliest work with soybeans to 1890/91.  After Parsons’ death, the Prairie Farmer published Norman E. Parsons’ recollection that his father, Adrian, acquired his first batch of soybean seed in 1886 or 1887. Probably relying on Norman Parsons’ account, Indiana Farmer’s Guide editor A. E. Andrews wrote in 1931, “Forty-five years ago, Parsons sent to Japan for soy-bean seed. For years he raised soys in his garden, and the sons of the family . . . can recall those early experiments and the derision of men who thought him visionary.” In William C. Latta’s Outline History of Indiana Agriculture, the Purdue professor compiled a table of “Approximate Year of Introduction of Improved Crops and Farm Practices,” in which Latta listed the earliest introduction of soybeans into the state as being in Hendricks County in 1888.  According to this source the next earliest soybean growing counties were LaGrange (1893), Bartholomew (1895), Dearborn (1895), Huntington (1895), Washington (1895), Randolph (1897), and Fountain (1898).  Soybean historians William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi point out that Latta’s table is not without errors.  However, Shurtleff and Aoyagi do accept the Hendricks County date and conclude, “Those soybeans were almost certainly grown by Adrian Parsons.” Adrian Parsons’ descendent Lee Parsons is quoted in Early Named Soybean Varieties, and expounds upon this conclusion, “The fact that William C. Latta places the date of introduction of soybeans in Hendricks County at 1888 [five years earlier than any other county in Indiana] must mean something. I wonder if Adrian started by experimenting with just a few plants in his garden in the 1880s, but only commenced sustained cultivation in 1891 . . . At any rate, to be academically honest, it appears at this time that I should be saying that Adrian introduced the soybean sometime between 1886 and 1891.”  In an email of January 24, 2017 from Lee Parsons to IHB staff regarding an 1891 date, Mr. Parsons referred the dates reported in the 1927 Prairie Farmer article to calculate an 1890/1 date.  Furthermore, he also explained, “There is a crucial coincidence to this year 1891 that is the most persuasive circumstantial evidence to back up Adrian's claim.  In early 1891 Professor Charles C. Georgeson advertised new soybean varieties he had available for distribution.  He had imported these varieties the previous year from Japan, where he had taught for a few years prior, and they included the first truly early maturing variety (believed to be Ito San) which could fully mature at central Indiana's latitude, unlike varieties already extant [in the United States].  In the March 19, 1927, Indiana Prairie Farmer article Adrian reported that he got on to this from "the University of Kansas" (obviously Kansas State Agricultural College [where Georgeson taught]).”

Adrian Parsons’ articles in Ohio Farmer in 1902, Wallaces’ Farmer in 1903, and his 1914 advertisement in Hoard’s, are the earliest sources located that support Parsons’ purposeful, sustained cultivation of soybeans began in 1895.  His statements could be scrutinized since Parsons only claims “consecutive crops,” which would allow for the possibilities that he had some failed, experimental, or non-consecutive soybean plantings earlier.  It is also possible – even likely – as family memory suggests, that Parsons experimented with soybeans earlier than the 1890s before he planted full acres of the crop.  Some support for this claim would be that Parsons regularly experimented with various crops in an attempt to find a clover substitute.  He claimed in an Ohio Farmer article from 1901 that he attempted to grow cow peas in 1877.  He also admitted in the same article to trying the Canada field pea and crimson clover with various success.  In 1928 in the Prairie Farmer, Parsons said he almost succeeded with hairy vetch before trying soy beans.

As will be discussed in footnote 10, Parsons’ statewide significance is not tied to the date that he started growing soybeans.  Rather, his significance is based on what impact his advocacy of soybeans had, and how his contemporary farmers, soybean growers, and the farm press understood and acknowledged his role in establishing the crop in Indiana: not simply as a commodity, but as an integral part of practical agriculture for forage and soil improvement.

[6] “The Dust Mulch, Soja Beans, Etc.,” Indiana Farmer, September 21, 1901, 14; “Our Pioneer Soybean Grower,” Prairie Farmer, January 11, 1930, Indiana Edition, 6, 26; Evan B. Davis, “Soy Beans in Indiana,” Prairie Farmer, February 9, 1901, 2; Adrian A. Parsons, “Soy Beans,” Wallaces’ Farmer, January 30 1903, 148; Adrian A. Parsons, “Soy Beans for Hay,” Wallaces’ Farmer, March 13, 1903, 401.

For another source to support this statement, see: Evan B. Davis, “Soybeans in Hendricks County,” Prairie Farmer, March 19, 1927, Indiana edition, 5.

Note: “Soja” was a common spelling of the crop in many of the earliest sources examined. The spelling was derived from a scientific name for soybean, soja hispida.

Parsons’ opinions on soybeans were made evident in a 1901 article, “Dust Mulch, Soja Beans,” which reported:

[Parsons] regards the sojas as a much more valuable crop for feeding all kinds of stock than corn, and uses them largely in his dairy herd, in the form of hay, having abandoned clover in their favor. He is satisfied that the bean vines are better, both as fertilizer and forage, than any of the clovers.  He feeds his cows, summer as well as winter, in their stalls, and largely on soja bean hay, of which he has several acres, curing in small heaps in the field.  He feeds it dry, but expects another year to build a silo.

According to an undated manuscript (probably from 1918) authored by Parsons and quoted in “Our Pioneer Soybean Grower” (Parsons’ descendants also have a typescript of this full manuscript. The original manuscript’s location is currently unknown), Parsons wrote to the U.S. Department of Agriculture that he had grown “24 successive crops of soybeans.”  The statement supports that Parsons purposefully cultivated soybeans over an extended amount of time.

By 1901, Parsons’ son-in-law Evan B. Davis predicted that soybeans “have come to stay and before many seasons will be considered a leading crop.”  In 1903, Parsons wrote to Wallaces’ Farmer and said that he had planted one acre his first year in 1895, eight acres in 1896, and fifteen to thirty acres from 1897-1902.  In the undated (circa 1918) manuscript referenced above, Parsons wrote that his soybean planting had expanded to 140 acres.

In the Wallaces’ Farmer article, Parsons wrote about the uses for the soybeans, namely “protein needed for growing stock and dairy cows” and “when the soil has been inoculated with nitragin [sic] spores, I believe in the four months they occupy the ground as much fertility is stored as from a crop of red clover that has taken a year and a half to produce.”  In another Wallaces’ Farmer article, Parsons wrote, “Our cows give a higher per cent of butter fat when fed soys than when we tried to balance with bran.  Corn and corn stover with soy beans is our dairy cows’ ration, all grown on the farm. The cows are satisfied – and so are we.”

[7] 1950 U.S. Census of Agriculture, Vol. 2 General Report, Chapter 7, Table 2, p. 499.

According to the U.S. Census of Agriculture, only 2,910,979 acres of soybeans were grown nationwide in 1929.  By 1934, soybean acreage had increased 126% to 6,577,479.  In 1939, soybean acreage increased another 74% to 11,458,934 acres.  In 1949, American farmers planted soybeans on 12,265,557 acres.

As an example of how lightly soybeans were regarded before the 1930s, they are not even listed as a separate crop in the U.S. agricultural censuses until 1940.  Before that date they were recorded as an “annual legume” which included cow peas and other related crops.

[8] Charles V. Piper and William J. Morse, The Soybean (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1923), 168; “Table 4. Soybean Varieties: Origin and Varietal Characteristics,” USDA Yearbook, 1937, 1188; “Crops and Soils: More Efficient Greater Production Soy Beans,” Orange Judd Illinois Farmer, June 15, 1927, 381, accessed ProQuest American Periodicals; “The Labor-Saving Soy,” Country Gentleman, May 6, 1916, 994; Charles B. Wing, “Experience With Soy Beans,” National Stockman and Farmer, December 26, 1914, 964, accessed ProQuest American Periodicals; William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi, William J. Morse – History of His Work with Soybeans and Soyfoods (1884-1959): Extensively Annotated Bibliography and Sourcebook (Lafayette, CA: Soyinfo Center, 2011), 144; “Barter and Exchange: Seeds,” Indiana Farmer’s Guide, April 9, 1921, 28, accessed ProQuest American Periodicals; “Soybeans in Hendricks County,” Prairie Farmer, March 19, 1927, 447; Will Reynolds, “A Crop with Many Profits: Soy Beans Are Good for Fertilizer, for Pasture, for Hay, for Seed,” Country Gentleman 79 (12), March 21, 1914, 9; Shurtleff and Aoyagi, Early Named Soybean Varieties, 862.

Charles V. Piper and William J. Morse were agricultural scientists for the United States Department of Agriculture.  In their book, The Soybean, they described the Mikado:

Selection from Mongol by A. A. Parsons, Plainfield, Ind. In 1905. Plants stout, erect, bushy, maturing in about 120 days; pubescence tawny; flowers purple, 45 to 50 days to flower; pods tawny, 35 to 45 mm. long, 8 to 9 mm. wide, 6 to 7 mm. thick, 2-3 seed; seed straw yellow, 7 to 8 mm. long, 6 to 7 mm. wide, 6 to 7 mm. thick; hilum cinnamon brown; germ yellow; oil 18.2 per cent.; 185,200 to the bushel.

The USDA yearbook for 1937 recognized the Mikado as a distinct variety, tracing its origin to a selection or hybridization originated by Parsons in 1905.  The Mikado took 120 days to mature, produced a yellow soy, and yielded 3,086 seeds per pound.

Some farm newspapers praised the Mikado.  In 1927, the Orange Judd Illinois Farmer reported that the Mikado was one of the “three leading varieties” at the State Experiment Station in Northern Illinois.  The Country Gentleman of May 6, 1916 advised, “The Mikado is probably the best variety for hogging off with corn in the row. Its bushy habit of growth, abundant yield and the fact that it requires about the same season as Reid’s Yellow Dent corn place it as the best one for this practice.”  In 1914, The National Stockman and Farmer said of the Mikado: “[It] is a bean we can thoroughly recommend.”

There is additional evidence of Parsons’ involvement in originating Mikado. In 1923, Morse wrote to Lester W. Parsons, Adrian’s eldest son, to acquire “pure Mikado seed” for the USDA’s variety plot test (letter quoted in Shurtleff and Aoyagi). Adrian Parsons regularly advertised the Mikado in the Indiana Farmer’s Guide in April 1921, along with stocks of Hollys, Wilson, Ito San, and Sable varieties.

As to the Mikado’s origin story, the author of “Soybeans in Hendricks County” in the Prairie Farmer offered this explanation from Parsons:

One summer [Parsons] discovered a different bean in his field. He staked it, and when fall came, found that it matured two weeks earlier than any of the others. This specimen he sent to Washington [DC], and later, after he had isolated and perfected it, he was recognized as the originator of the Mikado bean, which he still grows.  For years Parsons grew many broad fields of Mikados, and sold seed to farmers in Ohio, Kentucky, and other southern states long before Indiana farmers could be induced to grow them.

According to Early Named Soybean Varieties, the Mikado variety that Parsons originated “is no longer in the USDA germplasm collection at Urbana, Illinois, however another variety named “Mikado” obtained from Japan in 1989 is there.”  Lee Parsons’ best-guess is that Adrian’s Mikado was a cross between a Mongol and Ito San varieties.

Parsons also developed another minor variety called Parsons’ Auburn.  One of the earliest mentions of Parsons’ Auburn is in 1914 in the Country Gentleman. Parsons advertised both the Mikado and the Auburn for sale in Hoard’s Dairyman, 1914.

[9] Adrian A. Parsons, “Soy Beans,” Ohio Farmer, January 16, 1902, 43; Evan B. Davis, “Cow Peas and Soy Beans,” Prairie Farmer, March 10, 1902, 2; “Special Opportunities,” Hoard’s Dairyman, January 30, 1914, 29; Cow Peas and Soy Beans (Purdue University Department of Agricultural Extension, Extension Bulletin No. 2, Lafayette, IN, February 12 1912) 4, 8; Adrian A. Parsons, “Soy Beans,” Wallaces’ Farmer, January 30, 1903, 148; Adrian A. Parsons, “Soy Beans for Hay,” Wallaces’ Farmer, March 13 1903, 401; Adrian A. Parsons, “The Soy Bean Problem,” Breeder’s Gazette, May 22, 1912, 1191, accessed Hathi Trust;view=1up;seq=867; P. E. Brown, Soil Inoculation (Agricultural Experiment Station at Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, Circular No. 43, March 1918).

All of these articles either reference Parsons’ advocacy for inoculating soil, or are generally supportive or explanatory of inoculation in soybean cultivation.

By way of explanation on how inoculation works, here is an extract from the Iowa State’s circular from 1918:

Soil inoculation is the introduction of certain desirable bacteria into the soil. As a practice it is very old, having been followed many years before its beneficial influence was understood. In reclaiming infertile land, the addition of fertile soil was often found helpful, especially for such crops as clover. The practice did not become general, however, until some thirty years ago when the reason for the soil enriching properties of legumes was discovered.

At that time it was demonstrated that when clovers, vetches, alfalfa, cowpeas and all other legumes are associated with certain bacteria, these crops have the power of taking nitrogen from the air for their growth. It was demonstrated further that if the bacteria were introduced into soil deficient in nitrogen, legumes would grow satisfactorily on that soil and actually increase the amount of nitrogen in it. They not only take enough nitrogen from the air for their own growth, but store a surplus in the soil. Without the presence of the bacteria, however, the legumes do not thrive and they are not able to secure their supply of nitrogen from the air.

[10] “Soybean Program Is Announced,” Martinsville Daily Reporter, August 9, 1928, 1; Email, Leland [Lee] Parsons to Indiana Historical Bureau, February 6, 2017; William Shurtleff & Akiko Aoyagi, Fouts Family of Indiana – Soybean Pioneers (1882-2012), Lafayette, CA: Soyinfo Center, 2012, 51-53; “Our Pioneer Soybean Grower,” The Prairie Farmer, January 11, 1930, Indiana edition, 6; “Indiana’s Pioneer Soybeaner,” Prairie Farmer, 25 August 1928, Indiana Edition, 26; Charles B. Wing, “Soybean and Cowpea Yields,” Breeder’s Gazette, April 24, 1912, 998.

The American Soybean Association announced a program for August 15, 1928: “In the heart of an extensive soybean growing district in Central Indiana is the oldest and largest soybean seed producing organization in the state, as well as the pioneer of all soybean growers in Indiana, Adrian Parsons.”  As part of the program, Parsons was scheduled to deliver an address entitled, “Pioneering in Soybeans.” According to other research by Lee Parsons, there is a question as to whether Adrian Parsons actually delivered the address since the program was running overtime.  Lee suspects that organizers may have cut out Parsons’ talk due to time constraints.

To stress the weight of the American Soybean Association’s recognition of Parsons, it is worth noting that Taylor Fouts was president of the organization in 1928.  Fouts was one of the largest soybean producers in Indiana, and according to some (see the sub-title of Shurtleff’s and Aoyagi’s book) he has been hailed as a soybean pioneer.  Therefore, it is significant that an organization over which Fouts presided, would choose to recognize Parsons as “the pioneer of all soybean growers in Indiana.”

After Parsons’ death, a reporter for the Prairie Farmer wrote:

The man who probably exerted the greatest influence on the early development of the soybean industry in Indiana was the late Adrian A. Parsons of Hendricks County. He[,] it was as nearly as I can learn, who first imported soybean seed from Japan to Indiana and grew the crop – first in a garden and later on a scale so large that he sold beans by the carload. He experimented with the crop for years and, and as he learned he wrote up the results of his work for the farm papers. . . . [Parsons] lived to see the soybean develop to a crop almost of major importance in Indiana, and his satisfaction in seeing his own community become a leader in soybean production must have been great.  He was a prophet who was recognized in his own community. The entire state may well give him credit for the big part he played in developing soybean growing into an industry which is destined to add millions to the wealth of Indiana.

In a 1914 article published in the Breeder’s Gazette, Charles B. Wing of the Wing Seed Company of Mechanicsburg, Ohio, called Parsons, “one of the oldest and largest growers [of soybeans] in the country.”

[11] For support of this statement see Parsons’ published articles in Indiana Farmer, Ohio FarmerWallaces’ FarmerBreeder’s Gazette and also the articles written about him in Indiana Farmer and Prairie Farmer that are referenced  in the previous notes.

[12] Indiana State Board of Health Certificate of Death, 25961 (Hendricks County, Indiana), Filed August 3, 1929, Indiana Archives and Records Administration, accessed

Parsons died on August 1, 1929 in Washington Township, Hendricks County.  He was 82 years old.

[13] Indiana Crops and Livestock: Annual Crop Summary 1940 (West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Department of Agricultural Statistics, 1940), 11; “Indiana Soybeans,” Indiana Agricultural Statistics Service, United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, (accessed January 12, 2007); U.S. Bureau of the Census, Sixteenth Census (1940), Agriculture, I, State Reports, pt. 11, 545, accessed

The first two sources cited agree that 326,000 acres were planted. The third source has a slightly lower figure of 321,627, a difference of 4,373 acres.  The figures from the first two sources are used in the text because of their agreement, and because they were collected at the state level, as opposed to the U.S. Census Bureau.

[14] Ibid.; U.S. Bureau of the Census, Sixteenth Census (1940), Agriculture, III, General Report, pt. 8, 760, accessed

The four sources consulted in this note varied by as much as 119,131 acres.  The reported high was 1,423,000 acres, and the reported low was 1,303,869.  Using “Over 1.3 million” covers all these reports.

[15] U.S. Bureau of the Census, Sixteenth Census (1940), Agriculture, III, General Report, pt. 8, 760, accessed

According to this table, Illinois planted 2,637,616 acres of soybeans in 1939.