Seed Corn to Shelterbelts

Will's Pioneer Brand helped settle the Northern Plains – and remains a popular ephemera collectible

1895PhotographofOscarHWill.jpg
Opposite page, clockwise from top left:▪ 1895 photograph of Oscar H. Will taken by I.U. Doust, Syracuse, N.Y. Oscar was raised on a farm south of Syracuse at Pompey, N.Y. (State Historical Society of North Dakota 0029-001).▪ Early oat sack with Will’s Pioneer Brand and logo.▪ The back of a 1916 Pioneer Brand seed catalog.▪ This image, painted by White Crow, depicts Mandan women beneath their corn scaffold preparing the dried corn for winter storage. In the lower left, near White Crow’s signature, is an open cache pit ready to receive the season’s bounty.▪ George F. Will in 1925.▪ Confectionary sunflower seeds became a part of the Will & Co. operation in the mid-1930s. That aspect of the business continued until 1979.