In an advertisement in the “Lindsborg News Record” I found that $10 in gold was being offered to the Lindsborg child who could grow the best garden from an anonymous donor. Food prices were becoming so high that average income families could barely afford to eat and the garden was a necessity for many families already. It was already suggested that families grow gardens in order to provide for themselves, but this new contest upped the ante.
There were several requirements of these gardens. They had to be at least 1000 square feet in order to be eligible for the contest and had to be grown by a Lindsborg resident under the age of 16. The ad also suggested specific crops that could be grown in both a spring and fall garden.
In later issues the Record continually posted updates about how the garden contest was going, but I was not able to find who won the prize. Over 150 gardens were planted by residents fitting the age group, but most of these did not register for the prize. This only goes to show that growing a garden was necessary for feeding the area.
My father, Frank Louis Bonham, husband to Corinne LuRuth Bonham
(nee Wright), recently passed away at the age of 98. In his desk was a mysteriously typed message, with some old currency enclosed, on either a folded piece of paper or semi-envelope with these words typed on it, that were probably meant for him, or my mother:
“I KINDA THOUGHT YOU WOULD GO THRU IT.”
“I WON THIS BECAUSE I HAD THE BEST GARDEN IN LINDSBORG DURING WORLD WAR I”
Inside was a well worn One Dollar Bill – Silver Certificate – Series 1899, and a
fairly good condition Two Dollar Bill – Series 1917.
I am uncertain who had actually won this, but I suspect it was either my Great Aunt Corrine Bengston or my Second Cousin LuRuth Anderson. I believe they were born around 1900 and would have been 16 or younger during WWI. Obviously the typed message was done much later, so didn’t say “The great war”.
Because of the 1917 Two Dollar Bill, it may have been a later continuation of the original contest.
Please let me know if you would like pictures of the items, or if you need any other information.