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Catalog and Seed Sales title

George Will Sr. portrait
George Will SHSND# 1085-06
A more complete obituary of Oscar H. Will appeared in the 1919 catalog with a brief history of the company. The most interesting aspect of this catalog is the cover. It is illustrated by the first of many paintings and drawings, most by Clell Gannon, representing Mandan gardeners at work in the fields or in preserving their abundant crops. George Will had been educated at Harvard in Botany, Anthropology, and Archeology. In 1905 he made some of the first excavations at Double Ditch. His interest in Anthropology combined well with his father’s collecting of seeds and growing knowledge of Mandan horticultural practices and history. The essays written by George Will tend to offer commentary on world issues as well. For instance, he wrote “Let us all remember that the soldiers have made the great sacrifice. . . .” (see Schneider, p. 15)

The 1920 catalog offered Nuetta Sweet Corn which had previously been offered as Indian Sweet Corn. Nuetta is the Mandan name for this particular variety of corn. This corn was selected by Will from Mandan sweet corn for the tastes of his customers. It was not until 1922 that the catalog contained a lengthy description of Nuetta:
The most prolific and hardiest Sweet Corn in the world, a North Dakota Native product. Our original seed was obtained from a Mandan Indian and we have selected it for the past nine years. It has proven to be very nearly as early as the Early June with much larger ears. It is the most productive variety we have and bears several ears to a stalk. The seed is red, but ears when fit for eating are yellow and very sweet, rivaling the Golden Bantam. (p. 17)

Golden Bantam sweet corn was the standard then and for several decades to come, but this paragraph invites the reader to try something uniquely and wonderfully North Dakotan.