Early farmers lost a lot of their crops to grasshoppers.
Grasshoppers would appear in the fall. They destroyed a lot of crops so the value of the farm land dropped. Each fall they laid eggs that would hatch in the spring. So the grasshopper problem lasted for years.
The colonists fought the grasshoppers for four years. They learned which crops the insects avoided and planted their fields using that knowledge. They also used various (different) traps to capture the grasshoppers before they grew wings. After many grasshoppers were trapped, the others would leave as soon as they had their wings.
A. Z. Salomon had a contest for a man to win a suit.
Salomon owned a dry-goods store in town. He offered the best suit of clothes in his store to the man who could bring in one million grasshoppers.
John Templeton caught a million grasshoppers in a trap.
John Templeton rigged up a trap and caught what he thought was over a million grasshoppers. He brought the insects into the store in a grain sack to get the prize.
Mr. Salomon would not give the suit because the grasshoppers were dead. Templeton went back and caught another million grasshoppers. He brought them into the store alive this time.
The owner wanted all of the grasshoppers to be counted.
The store owner still would not give the suit until after Mr. Templeton counted each grasshopper. Templeton said he would be glad to count them, but he would have to let them out of the sack first. Since it was night already, he would also have to let them out inside the store.
John Templeton won the suit without counting the grasshoppers.
Mr. Salomon then agreed to give Templeton the prize of the suit without counting the grasshoppers first. John Templeton proudly wore his blue broadcloth suit every Sunday.