Odebolt - Popcorn Center of the World

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Overview of Odebolt showing popcorn offices in center

In 1938, three nationally-known popcorn companies do a large business here: 
J. L. Bruce Popcorn Co., Albert Dickinson Popcorn Co., F. W. Rueckheim & Bro. (Cracker Jack)


Millions of Pounds Shipped to All Parts of the Globe
 Source: "Fifty Years of Progress"; The Odebolt Chronicle, 
Vol. 51, Number 31, Thursday, August 25, 1938

Odebolt has long been known as "the popcorn center of the world." It was many years ago when the fist popcorn was grown in this locality but it is generally known that it was George G. Colton who introduced the new crop. Mr. Colton lived for some time on th e Cook ranch, and later on a farm north of town.

In June 1885, according to the Odebolt Reporter, he had 175 acres of popcorn. He had been raising the crop for several years at that time.

As more and more farmers in this territory began to plant popcorn, buyers discovered that the quality of the corn from Odebolt was better than any they were able to buy elsewhere. They encouraged its production, as a result, and at one time there was more of the corn raised within a 15-mile radius of Odebolt than in the rest of the world put together.

Millions of pounds were shipped from Odebolt elevators each year, going to all parts of the world.

While this territory no longer produces more than half of the world's supply, it is still "the popcorn center of the world." Other areas have been found to be suitable for popcorn growing, but this locality still holds the leadership. The 1937 assessors' reports show that Sac County led all other Iowa counties last year with 7,102 acres, while Ida County was second with 4,780 acres. Since Ida leads the world in popcorn production, there is no doubt but that this is still the world's center.

Read about various popcorn companies that have done business in Odebolt.

[Albert Dickinson Co.]     [American Pop Corn Co.]     [The Cracker Jack Co.]

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