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Looking Back to 1917: School potato contests show fine results 

Looking Back Paso Robles

This look back at Paso Robles history comes from local newspapers in the Paso Robles Area Historical Society collection. News for this column is selected with the assistance of Research Director Jan Cannon. Newspaper photography by GiGi Green.

Excerpts from Saturday, September 22, 1917, Paso Robles Record:

High school potato contest shows advantages of proper crop care

“From the experiments which the boys have carried on over the greater part of this section with potatoes the following points were observed. The varieties which seemed most promising were the Short Top Burbank and Early White Rose. The best time for planting in this section seemed about the latter part of April regardless of the phase of the moon, for some people think it has a direct bearing on the yield. In each case where the potatoes had sufficient moisture or a little excess moisture the hot spell seemed not to have caused the second growth which was quite common among the potatoes this season, especially those that had just formed good-sized tubers but which were not quite mature and moisture conditions, not the best.

In nearly every case the boys came out with a net profit. In a few instances, squirrels and gophers caused a loss to the boy.”

A.A. Jungerman,
District Club Leader

Paso Robles history 1917

Click here to read the full front page.

The following are some of the results of the Paso Robles High School potato contest. The contest has not yet been fully decided as there are six members still to hand in their reports. If the boys have sufficient funds 50 percent of those who stand the highest will have an opportunity to go to the Davis convention. It is expected that about 10 will go from the Paso Robles High School.

Edgar Hansen, age 16. 1.8-acre potato yield, 3638 lbs. or 34 sacks. Return gross $83.15, net $60.50. Figuring on the basis of 1 acre the yield would be 29705 lbs. or 272 sacks per acre on the same basis. Net profit $484.40.

This record was made at Shadon with per acre, irrigation, variety, Burbank.

Geo. Root, age 19, Junior, 1.4 acres, yield 1800 lbs. No irrigation, grown in town, near bridge over the river on Riverside Ave. Gross, $42.53. Net 22.45.

Seth Kinney 1.4 acres, yield 1542 lbs., Gross $28.54. Net $16.30.

Wesley Kinney, 1.4 acres, 1398 lbs. Gross 26.21, net 14.00

John McLaughlin 1.4 acres, yield 1690 lbs. No irrigation. Gross 34.85. Net 15.41.

Henry Paul Talbott, 1.4 acres. Yield 880 lbs. No irrigation. Gross 26.69. Net 15.41.

Paul Petersen, 1.4 acres, yield 650 lbs. No irrigation. Gross 14.25. Net 4.80.

Hugh Miller, 1.4 acres, 550 bags. No irrigation. Gross 12.75. Net 2.29.

Harry Iversen, 1.4 acres, 700 lbs. No irrigation. Gross 15.00.

Rubert Petersen, 1.4 acres, 700 lbs. No irrigation. Gross 14.25. Net 4.40.

Harrold McVicar, 1.4 acres, 450 lbs. No irrigation. Gross 15.00. Net 4.45.

The following boys have as yet not handed in reports, Wesley Weideman, Paul Ford, Leslie Hardie, Clarence Bressler, Karl Kaler, Donald Reinoche, Paul Reinoche and Frank Hennessy.

Some of the prize winners of grammar school clubs:

Templeton Grammar School: Keith Duncan, 1.8 acres of potatoes, 850 lbs. Gross returns, 25.75. Net profit 17.50.

Union Potato Club: Inebord Lauridsen, 1.8 acres, yield 910 lbs. Net profit 9.50.

Oak Flat Potato Club: Henry Exline, 1.8 acres, yield 1050 lbs. Gross 24.50. Net 17.75.

Creston Potato Club: Elmar Dresser, 500 lbs. yield, Gross 13.00. Net 8.25.

Paso Robles Grammar School Onion Club: Ellwood Hardie, 1.2 acres of onions, yield 600 lbs. Net profit 8.00.

San Miguel Potato Club

Wheeler McNan, 1.8 acres, yield 450 lbs. Net profit 6.25.

Irvin Davis 400, net profit 5.00.

Note: Some of the grammar school clubs have not quite finished their contests. There are six more to hear from.

Read previous Looking Back articles

Thank you to the sponsors of Looking Back

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.