Cotton Farming

Around 1950 and before, there was a lot of cotton farming in this area. Raising cotton could be quite profitable but it was a very expensive undertaking. In addition to seed and fertilizer costs, cotton had to be specially cultivated, poisoned against the boll weevil, and harvested at a relatively high labor cost.

One spring a flooding rain came after most farmers had planted their cotton crops. It literally washed away the freshly plowed soil with its seed and fertilizer. Starting over, farmers replanted. For the second time the rains came and again washed away the fertilizer and seed.

After having planted the third time, a group of downhearted farmers were gathered on a chilly spring morning around a potbellied heater at Stinchcomb’s store, located midway between Fayetteville and what is now Peachtree City. They were bemoaning their unbelievable losses.

One in the group trying to add some optimism to the situation remarked, “ Well, I guess the Lord knows best.”

Mr. Quaker Davis, an older member of the group, replied in a very sober manner, “Maybe so, but I might know more about cotton farming than He does.”

Mr. Davis, a God fearing man, was well liked by those who knew him. He was colorful in speech and action and in good physical condition most of his life. I heard stories of his walking from his home on Tyrone Road to Fayetteville and back when he was quite old.

I received this email from John Lynch after he read this story..
I wanted to ask if you remember Mr. Blake Gilbert, who lived up where J&R Clothing is now? Your story on cotton farming reminded me of him. In 1891 he grew 2 bales of cotton and wasn't satisfied with the price of cotton that year so he decided to "sit on it" until the price went up. Well he sat on it for 56 years! The Redwines actually bought the two bales in 1947 and there was a write-up in the Atlanta Journal magazine about it (with a picture of Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Charlie Redwine, and Mr. John Jackson, who had ginned it). Catherine Redwine Stephens inherited the cotton and gave it to the Historical Society for safekeeping. We loaned it to Rick Minter to display at the Tractor show, where it is today, just as dry and fluffy as it was when picked. I have a small sample of it in the museum here (Fife House) and love telling the story. Mr. Gilbert was my great-grandmother's 1st cousin, was born in 1863 during the "Civil War" and I remember seeing him out near the old home place on 85.