Charlie Gunn Tribute
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Gunn's first work with DEKALB was to journey to Idaho each summer to buy pure seeds directly from the growers.
The only good seed in 1917 was grown in Idaho so Charlie packed his family into his Model T and went west. He was known as the "Phantom Buyer" because he bought seed from the growers early in the morning before other buyers had left their beds.
Charles Gunn (1886 - 1980)
Charles L. Gunn portrait. He was DeKalb Agricultural Association's first corn breeder. He developed 404A for sale in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
Charles L. Gunn was hired by the DeKalb County Agricultural Association August 1, 1917 as a seedman and corn breeder. His first task was to improve the quality of seed available to Illinois farmers.
During Charlie Gunn's long career with DEKALB, he and his research staff developed and released over 300 hybrids. Gunn's successful breeding program is responsible for some of the world's early maturing varieties that have pushed the Corn Belt about 200 miles farther north.