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The city of Enterprise, Alabama dedicated a monument to an insect on Dec. 11, 1919

The people of Enterprise, Alabama have erected the only monument in the world to an agricultural pest. In 1919, the people of Coffee County erected and dedicated a monument, on the main street of Enterprise, to the Boll Weevil.


The inscription on the monument reads:

“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.”

boll weevil monument (Carol Highsmith, Library of Congress)Boll weevil monument (Carol Highsmith, Library of Congress)

The boll weevil was not always so honored in Alabama where cotton was king. On September 3, 1910, boll weevils were first discovered on Alabama soil in Mobile County. The devastation the insect would cause to cotton throughout the South ultimately spurred agricultural diversification away from “King Cotton.”boll weevil

By 1918 farmers were losing whole cotton crops to the beetle. Faced with financial loss, farmers began to diversify their crops and quickly met with success.

Bon Fleming, a local businessman, came up with the idea to build the monument, and helped to finance the total cost. As a tribute to how something disastrous can be a catalyst for change, and a reminder of how the people of Enterprise adjusted in the face of adversity, the monument was dedicated on December 11, 1919 at the intersection of College and Main Street, the heart of the town’s business district.boll weevil2

 

The monument depicts a female figure in a flowing gown with arms stretched above her head. She raises high a trophy which is topped with a larger than life-size boll weevil. The statue stands atop an ornately detailed base which supports two round streetlamps. The base stands in the center of a fountain, which is surrounded by a wrought-iron railing. The monument stands more than 13 feet (4.0 m) tall.

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Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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21 comments

  1. David Rabren

    Over 40 years ago I went out of my way in order to see the Boll Weevil Monument in Enterprise, for the first time. Perhaps I’m not the only one guilty of this side trip excursion?

  2. Francis Martin

    love Enterprise, AL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Its also right in the middle of a street

  4. Denise Blue

    Remember it well right along with the boiled peanuts! yum

  5. Sharon Wood

    They live in the peanut world.

  6. Thomas Capps

    An insect pest! Mister Boll Weevil taught the farmers crop diversity is the way to go!

  7. Banks Pope

    I can remember being on a paid phone staring at that Boll Weevil statue in 1968 in Enterprise, Al.

  8. Ann Autrey Maloy

    My hometown! I live in Georgia now, but when I’m driving back to visit and I can smell the roasted peanuts in the air, I know I’m close to home!

  9. Linda Reed

    What were they thinking?

  10. […] from the peanut.” Dr. Carver introduced peanuts to the Wiregrass and they saved the area after boll weevils destroyed the cotton […]

  11. Andy Roberts

    I used to embarrass my son by taking pictures of him and this monument. What a hoot.

  12. Darryl Moody

    Angie Womble Moody Kelli Richards Wadsworth

  13. Sharon Jones

    Saw this on Mysteries at the Monument on the Travel Channel.

  14. Rebecca Martin

    Thanks for covering Dale the other day, and Coffee today. Shout out to New Brockton! <3

  15. Brian Walters

    “Oh, de boll weevil am a little black bug,
    Come from Mexico, dey say,
    Come to try de Alabama soil jus’ a-lookin’ foh a place to stay,
    Jus’ a-lookin’ foh a home,
    Jus’ a-lookin’ foh a home.”

    1. Emily Correll

      First time I was the boll weevil, he was sitting on the square, Next time I saw the boll weevil, he had all his family there.

    2. Brian Walters

      De farmer say to de weevil:
      “What make yo’ head so red?”
      De weevil say to de farmer,
      “It’s a wondah I ain’t dead,
      A-lookin’ foh a home,
      Jus’ a-Iookin’ foh a home

  16. Richard Haynes

    Who sang the song in a rockabilly style, “well now, the first time I seen the bill weevil, he was duty on a square..”

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