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Catalog and Seed Sales title

Hybrid tomatoes began to appear in 1958. Gardeners were advised to kill corn ear wigs with 5% DDT every 4 to 5 days after the silk appeared. Three dustings of the poison were thought to be sufficient.

Though seed sales continued outside of North Dakota extending as far as Alaska (1956 catalog), the Will Seed Company expanded its retail outlets in Bismarck and Minot in 1958. The field seed side of the business continued in retreat and flowers continued to expand, while vegetable offerings remained static. This company had prided itself on presenting only adapted seeds for the northern Great Plains for more than seventy-five years, but now the catalog began to carry roses. Though the copy clearly states that few of these will winter well in ND, there is a demand to be met.

In 1960, the seed company did not produce a catalog and during that time it went through business re-organization. The Oscar H. Will Company sold its assets to Will’s Bismarck Seed House which produced a catalog in 1961. The catalog was reduced to twenty-two pages (1959 had 68 pages). There were no field crops. The tomato offerings were covered in one-half page (it had been up to two pages in 1958), but the tomatoes featured resulted from the dreams of A. F. Yeager to make a more nourishing tomato. Doublerich (introduced in 1955 with twice the Vitamin C of average tomatoes) and Caro Red (with one and one-half times the Vitamin A of average tomatoes).

Will’s Seed House continued to honor the Mandan as the source of the company’s seeds and the tradition of Clell Gannon’s drawings on the cover until Gannon’s death in 1963. The last of his drawings appeared on the cover of the 1964 catalog. And in 1963, “after a lapse of several years” the catalog offered “varieties specifically bred or selected for their area and in similar climatic conditions.” This essay heralded the reappearance of Arikara Squash, Great Plains strain of Golden Bantam Corn, and Dakota Globe Onions. The catalog also introduced a new variety of tomato destined to become a standard for North Dakota gardeners, the Sheyenne which was developed by Neal Holland of NDSU.