Lewis and Clark Community College, the City of Alton and the Illinois State Historic Society are teaming up to commemorate the site where the first soybeans were planted in Illinois 168 years ago.

The soybeans were planted by Altonian James Henry Lea in 1851 in his garden located at what is now 417 Prospect Street in Alton.

Lea was a prominent merchant in his day who received the soybean seeds from his friend Benjamin F. Edwards, who had traveled to San Francisco and obtained the seeds from a Japanese shipwreck that had washed up on the California beach.

Edwards gave the seeds to Lea when he returned to Alton. The dedication for the Historical marker will be on August 23rd at 2:00 p.m at 417 Prospect and is free and open to the public.


(Copyright WBGZ Radio / www.AltonDailyNews.com)