Robert Reid father of James Reid came to Illinois and brought the dent seed corn “Gordon Hopkins” with him to his new
home in Illinois. The crop was planted with great hope in the spring of 1847. It struggled along, many of the plants died and
it had to be inter-planted with an early native American Flint called "Little Yellow". This fortuitous crop failure and
inter-planting created the base of some of the most widely used genetics in corn production today. James L. Reid continued the careful selection of the cross and a memorial to him was erected on a Bronze plaque on the face of a large boulder
on a farm two miles northeast of Delavan in Tazewell Illinois, it was dedicated on September 10, 1955.
JAMES L. REID 1844·1910
PIONEER CORN BREEDER, A PATIENT AND THOUGHTFUL MAN WITH THE TEMPERAMENT OF AN ARTIST AND A
MYSTIC. DEVELOPED REID's YELLOW DENT CORN ON THIS FARM IN THE LAST THIRD OF THE NINETEENTH
CENTURY. THIS HIGHLY PRODUCTIVE OPEN POLLINATED VARIETY WAS WIDELY ADAPTED BECAME
EXTENSIVELY GROWN, AND WAS THE SOURCE OF INBRED LINES USED AS PARENTS OF MANY PRESENT-DAY
HYBRIDS. HUMANITY IS INDEBTED TO JAMES L. REID AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE REID FAMILY FOR
IMPROVING AMERICA'S GREATEST CROP-CORN. ERECTED 1955.
I have a sweet spot in my heart for this old open-pollinated variety… Oh how I love thee Reid's Yellow Dent, let me count
the ways! The Reid family arrived in Illinois the same year the Hazzards did, I wonder if they met on their way from the east.
Like much of the truth of time it was a fortuitous mistake that led to the success of their corn. The 2015 growing
season will be the fifth year that we have grown this corn. It has been exposed to a drought, to a wet season, high winds
and devastating diseases. I hand select all of our seed, we walk the fields in the fall choosing the best ears to be planted
the next year. My work with all of our heirloom corn is integral to the success of our operation. It takes time and it costs
money; it is so worth it to see the plants respond to my efforts. I can see both parentage lines in the grain, it shows both the
flint and dent attributes which means it’s highly adaptable; something that suits my production and instincts perfectly. I have
made massive strides with my selections and am eagerly waiting to replant this corn and see my progress
proudly displayed in our fields. It’s a love affair. I will take to the grave, and hopefully others
will be equally enchanted with my prairie paramour.