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Catalog and Seed Sales title

Will catalog 1947 front cover
Will catalog 1947 front cover SHSND# 10190
Over the next several years, the covers of the catalog continue to feature scenes of Mandan gardens or cultural activities associated with food production. The essays tended to point to a particular story line related to the cover illustration. “Early” and “hardy” were still key words, but now the word “race” and racial concepts also appeared. In 1948, Will wrote:

Our cover picture represents the first contact between our earlier agricultural Indian people and our own White race as represented by the boats of the Lewis and Clark expedition. From the mounted Indians came the early and hardy Corn, Beans, Squashes and Pumpkins which our firm has developed for white gardeners through the years.

In the post war years, the vegetable varieties changed little. The catalog still featured Nuetta and Sunshine Sweet Corn as well as Golden Bantam. Tomato varieties continued to include Stowells (a 19th century standard still available), Bison, Earliana, and Red River. However, after the death of George Will in 1955, George F. Will, Jr. took over the company and some changes began to appear. Nuetta Sweet Corn was the first of the old varieties to disappear. The back cover, however, suggested continuity with photographs of George Will, Jr.’s children, the great grandchildren of Oscar H. Will. Two other changes are noticeable. First, the catalog offered fewer and fewer varieties of field crops. Second, flowers began to have a more prominent place on the cover and in the annual essays. The cover of the 1956 catalog tried to squeeze together (unsuccessfully) a Clell Gannon illustration of Mandan woman grinding corn with pictures of flowers, fruits, and green beans.