Scarlet Beauty

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“America’s Youngest Seed Grower,” Billy Hepler, started his Billy Hepler Seed Company at the age of 14. It operated from 1947 to 1962, with the help of Billy’s father, professor and plant breeder for the University of New Hampshire, J.R. Hepler. The company specialized in garden seeds for northern climates. The varieties offered were often introductions of the Horticulture Department at the University of New Hampshire, and developed by Professor J.R. Hepler, Doctor Albert F. Yeager, and Professor Elwyn Meader. The ‘Scarlet Beauty’ bean is one example of a Billy Hepler Seed Company offering that was developed by Professor Elwyn Meader. John Withee acquired this variety directly from Professor Meader in the early 1970s. This bean was originally released to the public in 1953 and entered the commercial seed trade in 1954. It was a developed by Professor Meader by crossing ‘Flash’, a bush bean, and a local pole bean called ‘Pittsfield’.