This Is a Monument to the Boll Weevil

The boll weevil (anthonomus grandis) is an insect. During the 1910s and 20s, it devastated cotton production in the American South. Nonetheless, in 1919, the town of Enterprise, Alabama built a monument to honor the boll weevil and what it did to benefit the South.

Why? Because the boll weevil forced people to change, adapt and grow:

In Coffee County, almost 60 percent of the cotton production was destroyed. Farmers faced bankruptcy and the area economy was at stake. Farmers turned to peanuts and other crops to overcome the damage brought by the boll weevil.

By 1917, Coffee County produced and harvested more peanuts than any other county in the nation. (In 1993, Coffee County ranked 4th in the state of Alabama with 128,000 acres planted in peanuts.) In gratitude for the lessons taught, residents erected the world's only monument to an agricultural pest, the boll Weevil Monument. The monument, dedicated on December 11, 1919, stands in the center of the downtown district at the intersection of Main Street and College Street. The Boll Weevil Monument is a symbol of man's willingness and ability to adjust to adversity. Citizens continue to remind visitors and newcomers to the city the lesson of the boll weevil.

The base of the monument is inscribed: "in profound appreciation of the boll weevil and what it has done as the herald of prosperity this monument was erected by the citizens of Enterprise, Coffee County, Alabama."

What a marvelous attitude! No wonder the town is called "Enterprise."

Link | Photo: Carol M. Highsmith


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