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Junius Groves

Junius George Groves, born in slavery in 1859, in Louisville, Kentucky, moved to Kansas at the age of 19 where he worked at meat packing houses. Groves eventually bought 80 acres of land and harvested white potatoes, optimized potato growth methods, out-producing anyone else in the world to become known as the "Potato King of the World." Groves also bought and shipped potatoes, seed potatoes, and other produce, owned his own store and so much customer traffic The Union Pacific Railway built a special spur to his property which he expanded to 500 acres. Groves also founded Groves Center near Edwardsville, Kansas and sold small tracts of land to African-American families and built a golf course for African Americans – possible the first golf course for African Americans in the U.S. Groves died in 1925.


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