Sweet Potato Starch Factory – Laurel MS

Description

The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) provided $150,000 to establish the experimental sweet potato starch plant, erected under supervision of Dr. F. H. Thurber, who designed the machinery. The experimental plant was leased to the Sweet Potato Growers co-op for the purpose of manufacturing sweet potatoes into starch, in cooperation with ERA, Mississippi Agricultural Experiment Station, and the U. S. Department of Agriculture. The plant was constructed in the former Wausau Southern Lumber Company sawmill at the end of South 4th Avenue. It operated from 1934-1945 and while produced significant amounts of starch, the demand was more than the output, resulting in the closure.

Source notes

Decisions of the Comptroller General of the United States. (1939). General Accounting Office, vol. 18, p. 704-705.
Holton Tells of Starch Factory Pos'bilities in Miss. (Dec. 7, 1934). The Winona Times, p. 4.
Mississippi: A guide to the Magnolia State. (1938). Compile and Written by the Federal Writers' Project of Works Progress Administration. New York: Viking Press.
Starch Factory at Laurel Eyed. (Feb. 2, 1935). Clarion-Ledger, p. 8.
Southern Utilization Research & Development Division, U. S. Department of Agriculture. (1967). Manufacture of Sweet Potato Starch. New Orleans, LA. Retrieved from https://archive.org/stream/CAT10238419/CAT10238419_djvu.txt
Wallace, R. (1942). Eyes on Sweet Potatoes. Rotary International, 60(6), 36-38.

Project originally submitted by Susan Allen on September 2, 2019.

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Location Info


South 4th Avenue
Laurel, Mississippi 39440

Location notes: Mississippi Department of Archives and History locates the former Wausau Southern Lumber Company on South 4th Avenue as approximately 31.678444; -89.132770.

Coordinates: 31.6789963, -89.13090854694366

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