During the Great Depression and World War II, strawberries became a major crop in Adair County.
In 1948, the first Stilwell Strawberry Festival was organized. In 1949, the state governor and legislature proclaimed Stilwell as "Strawberry Capital of the World."
At one time there were about two thousand acres devoted to strawberries, but more than 99% of those acres are gone. In 2018 there will be less than 20 acres of strawberries in Stilwell.
Cultivating agricultural interests in the youth & training new growers is the only hope for this icon of Stilwell to have a bright future.