Archive for the ‘Farmers’ Category

“Like a Thick Wall”: Blocking Farm Auctions in Iowa

June 29, 2014 Leave a comment

Originally posted at History Matters

Some may think of farmers as conservative, but that view ignores a long tradition of rural radicalism in the United States. In the early years of the Great Depression, that radicalism found powerful expression in the subverting of farm foreclosures and tax sales. The technique was simple—when a farm was foreclosed for overdue taxes or failure to meet mortgage payments, neighbors would show up at the auction and intimidate any potential buyers. Then the farm and equipment would be purchased at a token price and returned to the original owner. Nation magazine reporter Ferner Nuhn witnessed such an auction sale in Iowa and described this practice in March 1933. These efforts saved the livelihood of many South Dakota and Iowa farmers who were devastated by the depression, but they were not enough. Between 1930 and 1935, about 750,000 farms were lost through foreclosure and bankruptcy sales. Read more…

Categories: Farmers