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THE 1874 DROUGHT IN CALDWELL COUNTY

Narrator: John T. Lane of Braymer, Missouri

John T. Lane who has lived in this community for over sixty years remembers the 1874 drought here he says "It is the next to the worst time I ever saw in this section. The worst was the drought year of 1874. In that year, it stopped raining in April and didn't rain again till October. All vegetation was dead, and it became a very serious problem to get the necessities of life. There was no way to get commodities into the county. Railroads had not been built down here, trucks had not been heard of and the only shipping method was the team and wagon. People in that day, thru necessity, had to raise or make nearly everything used."

"During the fall of 1874, there was no old corn left in the county and no way of getting it. People did not have the money to buy with. There was not even any seed corn. My father happened to have a little ready cash, so he sent a team and wagon to Iowa to buy a load of seed. The trip required nearly three weeks. But the next year was different. That 1875 year saw a bumper crop of all kinds in this section. One farmer who was a heavy feeder had volunteer corn came up in an old feed lot that made sixty bushels to the acre and was never cultivated.

 

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All photos are copyright KingsCross Farm, 1997 & 1998
All written material other than reference material copyright KingsCross Farm 1998