In October 1923 a new
committee changed the name to Wayne Produce Association because there
already was a Fairfield in Georgia. The McKinnon
name came from an abandoned sawmill about a mile away -- the local people calling that area "Old McKinnon". New members were initiated (accepted) at
the cost of $100.00 per share. They grew sugar cane, tobacco, and white potatoes which proved to be non-profitable crops; later turnips, sweet potatoes,
and cabbage were much more enterprising. During the year 1928, 8000 bushels of sweet potatoes were sold at a profit.
Wages were paid at $1.25
per day plus $1.25 credit for purchasing food and clothing from the
Company Store. Many families planted their own gardens
so were able to save money for other needs.
During the years
four chicken houses held 4000 laying chickens and several years in
succession, more were built to house 1000 in each. At this
time there were 50 milking cows. Milk, butter and eggs were sold to neighboring towns. Ice was purchased from Jesup with the local train "Bogie"
delivering it twice a week. A railroad siding for boxcars was alongside the Depot which enabled much of the produce to be sent to local markets as well as
to the Northern states.
Being a Cooperative Farm, elections were held annually to elect officers as well as Foremen for the various duties.
As time went by the
children became of age to be schooled and a one-room schoolhouse was
built. The teacher's wages were shared by the Association
and the desks, books, etc. were supplied by the Wayne County Board of Education. This must have been a real challenge for the first teacher as most of
the children spoke only Finnish, the language of their parents. There were approximately 15-20 children attending the school; grades one through seven,
after which they went to Jesup High School.