Farm Shop Boys


I couldn’t pass up this wonderful 1938 snapshot of the Purdue University Farm Shop students.  All are identified by surname on the reverse.  It was a fun challenge!  Click on the image above to view it much larger and catch all the faces and details!


There were only three individuals I wasn’t able to identify; Heagy, Getts, and Mugg.

Richard Dexter, Jr. (#1 and my favorite subject from this image due to his cool pose) was the youngest of the group to die.  In 1942, at the age of 25, he was killed as the result of an air collision during flight training in the US Air Corp.

At least 20 of the men went on to become teachers, including the original owner of this photograph, Paul Ernest Johnson or “#21 (Sincerely)” as he referred to himself.  Paul became a professor and tomato researcher.  He invented the seed wafer which housed a vegetable seed along with nutrients and protections against herbicides. One of Paul’s colleagues described him as “a quiet and gentlemanly type of  individual.”

Delbert Booth turned his love of flying into a career as a pilot.  Wilfred Fish worked as a salesman.  Morris Evens owned and operated a concrete company.  Clarence Willie became a real estate broker.

If you’d like a glimpse into the lives of these guys, you can check out my Find A Grave album dedicated to them.  I’ve added their Purdue yearbook photos to their memorials and some have a bit written about them.

Census records
Find a Grave
Purdue University yearbooks
Paul Johnson’s obituary ~ Journal and Courier, Lafayette, Indiana ~ Sep. 19, 1990

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