From a prologue to the Genealogy of the Steads:
The Purple Martin Capital of the Nation
Griggsville is located between the Mississippi River and the Illinois River and the hot muggy summers are the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. Amid growing concern over the use of pesticides to control mosquitoes, the town came up with an alternate abatement method. J.L. Wade, a Griggsville resident and owner of a local antenna manufacturing factory realized that Griggsville was right in the migration path of the Purple Martin, the largest bird in the swallow family, supposedly able to eat 2,000 mosquitoes in a single day. J.L. Wade quickly realized that to get the purple martins to stay, he simply needed to give them a reason to stay, so he converted his antenna factory into a bird house building factory. The mosquito population dwindled, which lead the town to adopt the nickname "The Purple Martin Capital of the Nation", as well as labeling the Purple Martin "America's Most Wanted Bird." Additionally, Wade's Purple Martin business, formerly Trio Manufacturing, published a newsletter called The Nature Society News. The purple martin factory has been recently been sold to a Chicago businessman. Griggsville has installed over 5,000 birdhouses along the city streets, including a 562-apartment high rise, reaching a height of 70 ft.