Great Depression. M.J. Garreau Ledger

Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:15 pm

M.J. Garreau Ledger. Great Depression. Worst years of the Depression (1933-1934)

Reading my Grandfather’s ledger brought back memories. I once asked my Grandfather who he was going to vote for in a pending election. Grandpa said that he would never vote for a Republican. I asked why and Grandpa said that the Army came out and shot pigs in 1934. Thinking back Grandpa may have been placing the blame for the Depression on the previous President, Republican Hebert Hoover.

Grandpa was a tenant farmer on small acreages, usually 20 to 30 acres, until he purchased an 80 acre farm in Guthrie County, Iowa. Impact of low prices for crops and livestock brought on by the Great Depression must have had a severe economic impact on his family. In addition to the Depression greatly reduced product prices there was a sever drought in Iowa during the Dust Bowl time frame; 1930 to 1940. Drought reduced crop or forage production. What I think happened is that it was no longer cost effective to feed out livestock for sale or slaughter. The selling price didn’t cover the expenses.

1933/34 Hog and Corn Program. Ledger:
Grandpa and one other individual counted hogs on neighboring farms.
25 Jan 1934 A.D. Sylvester had 71 hogs.
25 Jan 1934 Glenn Day had 161 hogs.
2 Feb 1934 Chas. Brown had 59 hogs.
2 Feb 1934 Chas. Murphy had 113 hogs.
3 Feb 1934 Albert Bell had 174 hogs.
5 Feb 1934. M.J. Garreau had 26 hogs on place including 22 fall pigs. Counters were Chas. Murphy and Chas. Brown.

Comparison of early/pre- Depression and middle Depression prices:
19 Jan 1929 sold 4 sows and 1 barrow for $142.98
6 Jul 1929 sold 1 sow for $26.75
21 Jan 1930 sold 2 sows and 12 spring pigs to Pankeys for $278.45
23 Apr 1930 sold cow for $65.00

Sold to stock buyers for packing plants: 1933, appears to be a herd reduction.
21 Jan 1933. Sold 22 hogs 188 ½ lbs. $101.55
17 Feb 1933. Sold 20 hogs, 208 lbs. $115.51
17 Feb 1933. Sold 3 cows and 14 head of young stock (11 heifers and 3 steers) for $180-.
21 Mar 1933. Sold 3 sows $53.35.
1 Sep 1933. Sold 1 sow $10.50.
10 Jan 1934. Sold 1 hog $8.52.
6 Jul 1934. Sold 9 hogs. 2600 lbs. 8 hogs at 4 cents a lb and 1 at 3.5 cent per lb. $120.43.


From my earliest memories grandparents sold cream and eggs. The money paid for most of the daily living expenses.

Cream Account:
March 1928 Cream sold for average price of 47 cents a pound of butter fat.
June 1932, Cream sold for an average price of 14 cents a pound of butter fat.
No cream account for 1933. 1934 only a statement: 1236 lbs. butterfat. Eggs 500 dozen

Egg Account:
March 1928 eggs sold for an average price of 23 cents a dozen.
May 1930 eggs sold for an average price of 16 cents a dozen.
June 1930 sold 5 dozen eggs for 16 cents a dozen.

Cattle: Guessing herd reduction.
2 Jan 1934. Butchered 1 calf
3 Jan 1934. Sold 3 calves. $15-
26 Jan 1934. Sold 2 steers. $42.50
6 Mar 1934. Sold 2 hind quarters. $8.00
10 Mar 1934. Sold 2 hides. $1.64
5 Mar 1934. Butchered 1 calf.
15 Mar 1934. Butchered 1 calf.
15 Mar 1934. Sold 1 hide. $ .90.
15 Mar 1934. Sold 1 hind quarter. $3.68
Cattle activity start again in Dec 1937.

Re: Great Depression. M.J. Garreau Ledger

Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:42 pm

Most interesting! Really hit bottom didn't it? Thanks for taking the time to share.

Re: Great Depression. M.J. Garreau Ledger

Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:43 pm

they were bringing a high of $0.78 a lb Wednesday.
Boss

Re: Great Depression. M.J. Garreau Ledger

Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:00 pm

Thanks for these posts, Eugene.

Bill

Re: Great Depression. M.J. Garreau Ledger

Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:44 pm

The depression hit everyone hard. My greatgrandfather never recovered from the depression, we were able to keep the farm but only after selling of pieces at a time. Six generations later it is still in the family by less than half of the 250 acres we once had.

Re: Great Depression. M.J. Garreau Ledger

Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:47 am

Thanks for sharing.