The citizens of Enterprise, Alabama erected a monument to the boll weevil. It was, and still is, the only monument to an agricultural pest.
The boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) was indigenous to Mexico, but appeared in Alabama in 1915. By 1918 farmers were losing whole cotton crops to the beetle. H. M. Sessions saw this as an opportunity to convert the area to peanut farming. In 1916 he convinced C. W. Baston, an indebted farmer, to back his venture. The first crop paid off their debts and was bought by farmers seeking to change to peanut farming. Cotton was grown again, but farmers learned to diversify their crops, a practice which brought new money to Coffee County.
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, the monument was dedicated on December 11, 1919.
By kjfitz @ 2009-01-31 12:23:30