Lindsay Broomcorn Sweeps the World

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In 1906, broomcorn was introduced into Lindsay by Fred Tinch and his father-in-law Robert Watkins. Fred and his wife, Inez Watkins Tinch, along with the Watkins, moved from Illinois and brought only the best grade of seed. Soon, others such as Thomas Lyons, W. K. Donnell, Scott, Harry and Earl Moore moved into the valley and started growing and buying broomcorn.

In 1907, Watkins Company built the first broomcorn storage warehouse. The largest shipment from Lindsay was 1,350 car loads in 1920. Lindsay grew the finest quality of broomcorn in the world and was the largest broomcorn center in production. This corn was used for all grades of brooms.

Lindsay became a shipping point for other broomcorn districts because of such large storing facilities and transit privileges. The slogan “Lindsay Broomcorn sweeps the World” soon was heard around the world.

Tinch said the night he and Watkins drove into Lindsay in a surrey, a cowboy was riding a mule down Main Street at full speed, yelling, “I’m a wolf with a red necktie,” and he was shooting his pistol every step of the way. They got by him and went on to the hotel. It was election day and everyone was shooting it up, Tinch later found out.

After reaching the hotel, Tinch and Watkins asked the hotel manager if they could get a room and the manager replied, “I be damned if I tell you till I know who you are.”