"Where There's a Will, There's a Way
Word comes from Rockford that Joe Trigg has succeeded in grafting a watermelon on a pond lily root and now has a watermelon floating in the mill pond that is over thirty feet in diameter and still growing. His idea is to grow them until cold weather comes when they will be cut loose and fires built in them. The hot water and steam will melt the ice as they float south and the river thus be kept navigable all winter. He will now try grafting a corn stalk on the melon rind and expects next year to raise a hundred bushels of shelled corn in place of the useless seeds. It will solve the transportation problem. The melon can be cut loose in the fall and the crops floated to New Orleans when the rind can be opened and the corn raised to the elevators. It may make Rockford a seaport--Britt (Iowa) Tribune"
I saved that article quite a while ago because it was cute, and because I know the ancestors would have laughed and incorporated it into conversation:
"Yah, he sess a vassermelon, mitt corn, down t' river!
Then today, when I transcribed it, I wondered who this Trigg guy was. The first thing I found was his obit from 3 years later. A little more sleuthing found a clip from 1900 that called him an "agriculturist writer and editorial philosopher". He was also the father of two more newspaper editors:
Well Known Writer Passes Away at Home in Rockford.
Des Moines.—"Joe" Trigg, the "Farm Philosopher" of Iowa, one of the best known agricultural writers and experts in the United States, died at his old home in Rockford at 3:35 o'clock yesterday morning, after an illness extending over several months. The cause of Mr. Trigg's illness and death was an affection of his nervous system, which brought on slow paralysis and ultimately nervous prostration.
At the time of his death Mr. Trigg was editor of the Weekly Register of this city, and resided at 923 Fifth street. Since last spring, however, when he was first taken sick, he had spent most of his time with his son, Paul Trigg, editor of the Grinnell Register, at Grinnell, and his son, Frank Trigg, editor of the Rockford Register, at Rockford.
Joseph S. Trigg was born In England over sixty years ago. When a young man he came to America and ever after made his way in the world and educated himself. He enjoyed practically no advantages of educational instruction in his boyhood or young manhood. Mr. Trigg enlisted In the Union army from Minnesota and served during the civil war. Afterwards he settled in Rockford, where he purchased the Register, which he operated until his son took charge.
Mr. Trigg's "Farm Philosophy" attracted attention all over the country and his services were sought by the American Press Association, which for years used his weekly letter in country newspapers throughout the west. In this way Mr. Trigg's reputation as an agricultural writer and expert received its greatest impetus.
About one year ago Mr. Trigg came to Des Moines as editor of the Weekly Register".
From an Illinois newspaper ( Wallace's Farmer) the following week:
DEATH OF JOSEPH TRIGG .
It is with unfeigned sorrow that thousands of our readers learn of the death of Mr . Joseph Trigg. In his death Iowa agriculture has sustained a very severe loss. In fact , we do not know who can take up his peculiar line of work with anything like the same success . He was a very close student of agricultural problems , and thoroughly and sincerely devoted to the cause of the farmer . He understood the heart of the farmer , looked at everything from the farmers standpoint , was a splendid optimist and a genial philosopher as well . His heart was in the right place and his lips gave clear and distinct utterance to the promptings of his heart . He was a deeply religious man , but allowed his life rather than his tongue to Interpret his religious convictions and experiences . His death was plainly the result of overwork . He was so intensely desirous of promoting the welfare of the Iowa farmer that he undertook more than he should undertake . His death was therefore untimely and the more to be regretted . In addition to his regular work on the paper, which was at least enough for any one man, he threw himself heart and soul into the good roads movement and attended farmers institutes in season and out of season .
The last address he made was at one of the meetings of the Corn Belt Meat Producers Association. After it was over we said to him , You are doing too much. He replied , Wallace , I am a very sick man . We little thought then that it was the last time we should ever hear him. Few men will be more greatly missed or more deeply mourned by the farmers of Iowa" .
We'll keep an eye out for mentions of Joe Trigg from now on, you know we will.