Schneider to talk on Sunday in BismarckFred Schneider will discuss traditional gardening and Oscar and George Will’s contributions to gardening at 2 p.m. March 13 at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck. His program is part of the Sensational Second Sundays series sponsored by the state’s history agency, the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
Fred Schneider will discuss traditional gardening and Oscar and George Will’s contributions to gardening at 2 p.m. March 13 at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck. His program is part of the Sensational Second Sundays series sponsored by the state’s history agency, the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
The program is free and open to the public, followed by refreshments.
Schneider, professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of North Dakota, is continuing his work on the Seed Company and George Will. An article he wrote about the business established by George’s father, Oscar Will, in 1881, was recently published in North Dakota History (Vol. 76 Nos. 1 & 2), the quarterly journal of the SHSND. The article, “‘Corn in the Crib is like Money in the Bank’: George F. Will and the Oscar H. Will & Company, 1917-1955,” begins with Oscar Will’s death in 1917, follows the company through the Great Depression and World War II years to the closing of the successor company Will’s, Inc. in 1979, and discusses the legacies of the family-owned company. It is a continuation of a previous article, also written by Schneider, in North Dakota History Vol. 68 No. 1, “Oscar Will, North Dakota’s Pioneer Seedman,” a history of the first 33 years of the Will seed company.
Schneider, who lives in Oklahoma, is interested in talking to people — or their descendents — associated with the company, George Will and other Will family members. This could include neighbors, schoolmates, employees, business associates or seed growers who were the sources of the local and American Indian seeds promoted and sold by the Will Company. People interested in sharing memories of the Will business and family should contact Schneider by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His March 13 presentation also ties in with the exhibit, “How Does Your Garden Grow? Gardening in North Dakota” on display at the North Dakota Heritage Center through Nov. 6.
Here is the schedule for the remaining Sensational Second Sundays programs, which continue through May 8. An additional Sensational Sundays program will take place the third Sunday in May — May 22. All programs begin at 2 p.m.:
* April 10: The program will feature Mark Varien, research and education chair, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, Colorado. The topic of his talk will be “The Origins of Pueblo Society and Development of the Mesa Verde World.”
* May 8: Mother’s Day, featuring area American Indian women discussing gender roles in traditional cultures — how they have changed and adapted.
* May 22: Featuring Judy Cook, a folksinger and historical balladeer from Laurel, Md. She has recorded four CDs. Her first CD of unaccompanied traditional songs and ballads, “If You Sing Songs …,” was released in 1998, followed two years later by “Far From the Lowlands.” In 2007, she released “Tenting Tonight: Songs of the Civil War” and “Lincoln’s America” in 2009.
For more information, contact Erik Holland, the SHSND’s curator of education, at 701-328-2792, e-mail email@example.com or visit the SHSND’s website at www.history.nd.gov.