Fairfield Iowa Fruit Orchards

December 17, 2010

As of about 1913, Sanford Zeigler (b. 13 July 1859, d. after 1940) owned “an orchard of thirty acres one mile north of the city, mostly planted to apples.” Sanford was also a director of the Zeigler Canning Company in Muscatine. His is the last biography in Vol. II of Fulton’s History of Jefferson County, Iowa.

Other 19th-century Fairfield nursery-men or orchardists included Solomon Light and Jedidiah (“Jeddy”) Mount, who had a greenhouse on the Libertyville Road. In the late 1880s J. M. Whitham and J. W. Burnett’s Fairfield Canning Co. shipped out train-carloads of corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, and possibly blackberries. There was also a cider and jelly factory in town at that time.

James M. Whitham maintained his nursery from 1865 until 1880, when his son Charles Wallace Whitham took it over. Charles’s dauughter Daisy donated the land to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation in 1980. Originally known as the Fairfield Nursery, it was on a 145-acre farm in section 28 of Center township now preserved and known as Whitham Woods.

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