Skip to main content

C.J. (Dutch) Gross Soybean photographs

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-0230

Scope and Content

This collection (1929) contains five soybean photographs, which include horses with the harvesting equipment, harvesting equipment in the field, and the soybean field on the Floyd Mahanay farm south of Jefferson, Iowa.


  • 1929

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


C. J. (Dutch) Gross was born in 1897. His wife, Margaret Gross, was born in 1924. In 1929, Gross raised soybeans on the land of Floyd Mahanay in Jefferson, Iowa. This was one of the first soybean fields in the area. In 1990, Margaret Mae Gross, C. J. Gross' daughter, described how her father entered the soybean business: "Mahanay had wanted to try soybeans on his land, and the fellow who rented his place wanted no part of it. The Mahanays and my parents were good friends, so he asked my Dad to do the planting and harvesting; we lived on a rented farm just across from the Mahanay land. When the beans were harvested in the fall of 1929, most of the crop was sold to others for seed; the largest consignment went to Henry Fields (a seed company). My parents often referred to a railroad carload of seed being sold to the Fields Seed Company. Farmers came to our property and purchased individual bags or bushels of the soybean seed; I recall my Mother or Dad shoveling the seed into their containers."

When the photographs in the collection were taken, soybeans had barely advanced beyond novelty status in the Midwest. Hard times helped spread their use as a farm crop. The European corn borer does not bother soybeans, which was a real advantage in the 1920s when the corn borer began to spread. In the drought year of 1943, the government supplied soybean seed to farmers as an emergency crop, which grew when chinch bugs had destroyed everything else. Today soybeans are a major crop grown in the United States.

C. J. Gross died on October 27, 1964.


0.21 Linear Feet (1 half-document box)


The collection is organized according to Subject.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

MS-0230. C.J. (Dutch) Gross Soybean photographs, 1929
December 12, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672