19 January 2014

Mistakes Can Also Bear Fruit

In my Hello World post I made reference to an ad I found on newspapers.com of my great-grandfathers store in Provo, Utah. I posted the image and link on a Facebook group page for my Trotter family. My uncle pointed out that I probably should have posted the information on the Taylor family page. As it turns out even my mistakes are blessings in disguise.

My grandpa Trotter worked at Carpenter Seed Company with my great-grandfather Taylor eventually becoming a part owner of the store. While I was growing up I always associated Carpenter Seed with my grandpa Trotter. I was pretty young when my grandfather retired and when I was 18 I moved away from Provo and Carpenter Seed became just a memory for me. I have found several articles and other information about Carpenter Seed in recent years. I received a set of work gloves and a shirt with the store logo at a family reunion. I feel Carpenter Seed is defiantly genealogy file worthy so I have always felt open to any information I can find.

In the weeks since my error my retired uncle made a visit to Carpenter Seed. Yes, it is still open and run by members of the Taylor family. Not only did he visit, he took pictures and gave descriptions. Did I mention that he is my favorite uncle?

The old '51 International would only go 50 MPH. They used it to deliver seed boxes all over the West.
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In the basement of Carpenter Seed is the last remaining company International truck. I remember seeing this truck as a child but I didn't realize that it was still at the store. My favorite uncle also included with the above picture a brief narrative of the seed business -- with pictures!

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My grandfather ordered seed packets with the Carpenter Seed Co. logo printed on them.

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The bulk seed was kept in the above bins. The grand-kids would spend a lot of time in the winter months weighing and filling the packets.

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The scales on top of the bins were used to carefully weigh the seed in 1/4 oz or 1/8 oz packets.

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The packets were sealed by this sealing machine. The packets were then put into the seed boxes (which opened up into displays). The seed boxes were delivered to all the mercantiles and general stores in the spring. In the fall, the seed boxes were all picked up and the process would start over again.

Many long days were spent on the road in the old International delivering and picking up the seed packets all over the inter-mountain West. I can't express how grateful I am to my uncle for sharing these images and for narrating a story I could never have guessed. With the limited knowledge I had of the store, the few clues I found on the internet, a slight mistake on my part, and the good grace of my favorite uncle -- I have more great information for my family history.

Now to document it all.