One of the ways the government dealt with the overabundance of cattle during the Depression was to give the farmers a chance to cull their herds and ship the surplus cattle to areas where the drought was less severe.

Farmers took advantage of the offer to sell cattle to the packing houses. Daviess County had been allotted $50,000 to buy the farmer’s cattle. The cattle were bringing from $15 to $20 per head. In a 2-week period, 14 carloads were shipped, and it was estimated another 10 cars would be shipped the following week.

The allotted money was doled out in such massive quantities that the money was soon depleted; thus, when many farmers took their cattle to the markets to sell them, they were turned down.

With the large flux of cattle sold on the market, the community kitchen’s roles were converted into meat canneries where thousands of cattle were processed. Both the farmer and the relief community received 50% of the canned products. In turn, the relief community distributed their share to the needy families for the following winter.

— written, researched and presented by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin, MO (2003)

This photograph shows livestock pens near the train depot at Jamesport in Daviess County, MO