Wetsel Seed Company oral histories
Scope and Content
The Wetsel Seed Company Oral Histories, 1971, 1990, is comprised of interview transcripts, audio recordings, a pamphlet, and background papers, documenting the history of the Wetsel Seed Company, Inc. of Harrisonburg, Virginia, from its beginnings as the Shenandoah Valley's first seed/feed/plant business in 1911 to its status as a multi-state seed/plant/lawn-garden firm in 1971. It includes an interview with Nelson T. Wetsel, former president and consultant for the Wetsel Seed Company; an interview with Maxine Thomas, former employee (mostly in payroll accounting) at the Wetsel Seed Company in Harrisonburg, Va; a pamphlet, written by Russell Stultz, which gives a history of Wetsel Seed Company, Inc., from 1911 to 1971; and background papers written by interviewer, and JMU history undergraduate student, David James Rennyson.
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Wetsel Seed Company was founded in 1911 by Daniel M. Wetsel and his eldest son, Arnold W. Wetsel in Harrisonburg, Virginia. It was originally called D.M. Wetsel and Son, and was the Shenandoah Valley’s first seed, feed and plant business. In 1915 it changed names to become Wetsel Seed Company, Inc. Daniel Wetsel was known to experiment and develop various seed products, notably those associated with corn and tomatoes. The business eventually developed mail order catalogs and truck delivery services, opened up additional stores in Waynesboro and developed a garden center. Wetsel Seed Company has involved four generations of family members, including Earl H., Robert E., Nelson T., and Thomas M. Wetsel. The company was purchased by BFG Supply Company in 2011.
0.51 cubic feet (3 folders, 4 audiocassettes, 7 cds)
Language of Materials
The Wetsel Seed Company Oral Histories, 1971, 1990, is comprised of interview transcripts, audio recordings, a pamphlet, and background papers, documenting the history of the Wetsel Seed Company, of Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Materials are arranged chronologically.
Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Collection was donated on April 23, 1990 by David James Rennyson.
Audiocassettes were transferred from original audiocassettes to MAMA-R 700MB gold cd-r using Tascam cc-222 mkII in 2006 by Cindy Minter. Audio was converted to mp3 and wav files on July 11, 2018 by Digital Projects Specialist, Kirsten Mlodynia of JMU Libraries Innovation Spaces and Services. Interviews were cataloged at the item level in 1994; The descriptive metadata was adapted to the Finding Aid in July 2019.
- Agricultural industries -- Virginia -- Rockingham County
- Distributors (Seed industry and trade)
- Family-owned business enterprises -- Virginia -- Harrisonburg
- Farm supply industries -- Virginia -- Rockingham County
- Garden centers (Retail trade)
- Harrisonburg (Va.) -- History -- Sources
- Oral histories (literary works)
- Rockingham County (Va.) -- History -- Sources
- Rockingham County (Va.) -- Industries -- Sources
- Seed industry and trade -- Equipment and supplies
- Seed industry and trade -- History
- Seed industry and trade -- Personnel management
- Wetsel Seed Co
- A Guide to the Wetsel Seed Company Oral Histories, 1971, 1990
- JMU Cataloging
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description