An Indiana state historical marker will be dedicated Saturday in Avon for a man described as "Indiana’s Soybean Pioneer." The Indiana Historical Bureau will hold a public dedication ceremony for the marker commemorating Adrian Parsons.
The marker dedication will begin at 2:00 p.m. at the southwest corner of the intersection of County Road 150 S and County Road 625 E in Avon, near the farm where Parsons cultivated soybeans from the 1890s through the 1920s. The event is free and open to the public.
Parsons began cultivating the legume by the 1890s and was an early and persistent advocate of the crop’s utility. According to state records, soybeans are the second highest selling commodity in the state at $2.9 billion, second only to corn at $4 billion.
The text follows for the state marker entitled “Adrian A. Parsons, 1846-1929”:
A Civil War veteran, Parsons engaged in diversified farming near here in 1884. In the 1890s, he began purposeful, sustained cultivation of soybeans used for forage and fertilizer on his farm. Soybeans were not widely grown in U.S. agriculture until the 1930s. He originated Mikado variety in 1905. He boosted yields by inoculating seed with nitrogen fixing bacteria in soil. In 1928, the American Soybean Association recognized Parsons as “the pioneer of all soybean growers in Indiana.” He demonstrated the crop’s practical utility for average farms and advanced its importance. When Parsons died in 1929, Indiana farmers planted 326,000 acres of soybeans. By 1939, over 1.3 million acres were planted, ranking Indiana second in nation.
You can learn more about the state historical markers by clicking here.