Sunday, February 24, 2013

1945 Berry Seed Co.

I bought a seed catalogue a few years ago, while antiquing with my mom.  At the time, I bought it because my last name is Berry, and I loved the graphic design of the cover.  My husband and I also enjoy gardening, and he farms... so I couldn't pass it up.  Once home, I looked through, and found it to be an interesting piece of American history.  I've kept it stashed away until now...

This letter, written by J.F. Sinn, the President of Berry Seed Company,
was written before the end of WWII.  You can read it by left clicking
on the image and then enlarging it to full size.

This was the order form enclosed in the catalogue.

Here's some interesting history about the town of
Clarinda, Iowaand Berry Seed Company:

The best known national firm in Clarinda for many decades was Berry's Seed Company, a mail order farm seed distribution business founded in 1885 at Clarinda by A. A. Berry. Berry's Seed Company diversified into retail stores in the 1950s, but the stores were sold off over the following decade, and today the company, known as Berry's Garden Center, operates from its one remaining retail outlet in Danville, Illinois.
In 1943 during World War II, an internment camp designed for 3,000 prisoners of war with sixty barracks and a 150-bed hospital was built in Clarinda. German prisoners were the first to arrive at Camp Clarinda, followed in 1945 by Italian and Japanese POWs.

I hope you've enjoyed this 1945 Berry Seed Co. catalogue,
 as I
Graphics in this post are free for your personal use.
Thanks for stopping by!


  1. This is amazing! MY husband played semi pro baseball for the Clarinda A's! We love Clarinda and are so glad that you saved this and shared it!

    1. Wow that is amazing! Thank you for letting me know about your personal connection with Clarinda :)

  2. I enjoy every 'vintage-flavored 'post you share. thank-you for letting us feel the sweet nostalgia:)

  3. Reading this is wonderful! I concentrated my master's degree in WWII and to read this is more than interesting for me. I noticed they had a labor shortage and took on POW's. I would be interested in knowing how many of them asked to stay after the war. We had similar camps in Minnesota. I was at Mayo clinic today talking to a WWII navy vet who told me that New Ulm, Mn. had German POWs working for the farmers in the area. The FBI had to re-educate many local farmers in keeping their distance with the POWs and not to invite them over for meals.

    I believe that we have forgotten how difficult it was for our parents, grandparents during this most difficult time of our history. Canning vegetables for instance, is forgotten by many due to life-style changes over the past 60 years, and the method of farming has become big business. I wonder when reading this if we have not sacrificed too much in our lifestyle changes today. Thank you so very much Megan for this piece of nostalgia. August

  4. livinginmyhome.blogspot.itFebruary 28, 2013

    Ciao Megan , ho scoperto il tuo blog solo oggi: Bellissimo!!!! Ci sono immagini belle, romantiche, favolose!!! Ho scaricato alcune immagini per fare dei regalini ai miei cari e qualcosina anche per me. Grazie per la condivisione con noi di questo tuo lavoro. Grazie ancora
    A presto

  5. Thanks for the images - they are fabulous thanks. I found you from Little Birdie Blessings - a great find!!

  6. I have a seed packet from 1933. Its Red Clover and never been opened. Glad to find some infor about Berry Seed Co. on the Web.

  7. i had a haunted house in the berry seed warehouse in 2015. its a neat old building. they since have removed the huge grain machine on the second floor. all 3 floors are open space warehouse now.

  8. Dear Megan:

    Just recently, I found a business reply card for the Berry Seed Company, Clarinda, Iowa, in an old book. I did a google search and found your blog. Would you like this card for your collection? If so, I can mail it to you or I can take a photo and email it to you. You can email me at: and let me know. :)


“Kind words can be short and easy to speak,
but their echoes are truly endless.”

~ Mother Teresa