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WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION

Harry L. Hopkins, Administrator
Corrington

G ill, Assistant Administrator

Howard

B. Myers, Director

Division of So c ia l

Research

RESEARCH BULLETIN

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

Prepared by

Conrad Taeuber
and

Carl C. Taylor
under the supervision of
T. J. Woofter, Jr.
Rural Research Section,
Division of S o c ia l

Re se arch,

Works Progress Administration
and
Carl C. Taylor,

in charge

Division of Farm Population and

Rural

Life,

Bureau of Agricultural Econom ics,
and
Social Research for the Resettlement Administration

Washington
March
1937




CONTENTS
Page
Introduction.......... ..................................
Summary..................................................
The present population of the area......................
15,000,000 people in the area........................
Domination of agriculture............................
A sparsely settled region............................
A relatively youthful population.....................
Settlement of the Great Plains Region.......... ........
Unguided early settlement............................
Settlement before 1870...............................
Settlement from 1870 to 1910........................
Sources of early population..........................
The farm population since 1910..........................
An area of rapidly changing population..................
Many settlers did not stay................ ...... .
Movement since 1930............. ....................
Comparison of migration into and out of the area.......
Interstate aspects of recent migrations.................
Some factors of maladjustment in settlement....... .....
Adjustment of early settlers difficult..............
Acreage expansion during and after the World War....
Recent migration in areas of acute distress....... .
Conclusions............................. ................
Appendix A. Construction of maps showing migration....
Appendix B. County data................................

1
3
5
5
6
8
9
13
13
14
16
20
25
29
29
34
39
45
49
49
50
52
55
61
67

TEXT TABLES

Table 1.
Table 2.
Table 3.
Table 4.
Table 5.




The population of the drought area, by size of
community, 1930.............................
Age distribution of the total population of 10
drought States and of the United States, 1930
The population of the 10 drought States, 1850
to 1930.....................................
Percent increase of population per decade in 10
drought States, 1860 to 1920...............
Percent of the total native white population of
10 drought States born outside the State,
1870, 1890, and 1910.......................

iii

5
9
15
15

20

iv

CONTENTS
Page

Table 6.
Table 7.
Table 8.
Table 9.

Farm population of 10 drought States, 1910 to
1935................................ ........
Migration to and from 10 drought States, 1900
to 1930.....................................
Average size of farms in 10 drought States,
1870 to 1935...... ...................... ....
Changes in farm population, 1930 to 1935, by
amount of Federal aid per capita...........

25
40
51
52

FIGURES

Figure 1.
Figure 2.
Figure 3.
Figure 4.
Figure 5.
Figure 6.
Figure 7.
Figure 8.
Figure 9.

Open country population in the drought area,
1930................................... .
Density of population in the drought afea,
1860-1930..................................
State of birth of native-born white migrants
residing in 10 drought States, 1870 and 1910
Net migration of total population in the drought
area, 1890-1900........ ...................
Net migration of total population in the drought
area, 1900-1910............................
Net migration of total population inthedrought
area, 1910-1920......... ..................
Net migration of total population in the drought
area, 1920-1930,............................
Net migrationof farm population in the drought
area, 1930-1935...... .............. .......
Native white migrants born in 10 drought States
and residing elsewhere, 1910 and 1930.....

10
18
22
30
31
32
33
36
42

APPENDIX TABLES

Table A.

Table B.




Number of counties in the drought area with much
migration out and with an actual decrease in
population, 1890 to 1930............. ......
Population and number of farms in 803 counties
in the Great Plains Region, 1920 to 1935....

62
68




THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

INTRODUCTION

This is the second of a series of three bulletins devoted to
the problems of the areas of intense drought distress. The
first bulletin outlined the area which has been most severely
affected by the droughts of recent years. This bulletin shows
how the uncontrolled settlement of the area led to numerous
problems of adjustment between the people and the natural re­
sources. It also shows that there has been much movement of
the people of that area. Recent migration out of the area is
projected against the background of much movement in the past
and the normal "export1 of population. The third bulletin will
1
deal with the efforts to relieve distress during recent years.
These bulletins are prepared by the Division of Social Research
of the Works Progress Administration, in cooperation with the
Division of Farm Population and Rural Life of the Bureau of
Agricultural Economics and the Social Research Unit of the
Resettlement Administration.
The data in this bulletin are based primarily on census re­
ports. Wherever possible, county figures were combined to give
total figures for the area outlined in the first bulletin of
this series. Where that was not possible or where it would
have entailed an unjustifiably large amount of work, data were
used for the 10 Great Plains States— the Dakotas, Nebraska,
Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New
Mexico.
Other recent publications concerning the population of these
States are: The People of Kansas, by Carroll D. Clark and Roy
L. Roberts, published by the Kansas State Planning Board; The
People of South Dakota, published by the South Dakota State
Planning Board; and the chapter on the Great Plains by C. Warren
Thornthwaite, included in Migration and Economic Opportunity,
by Carter Goodrich and Others, which presents a study of the
relation of climate and population in the Great Plains Area.




1




SUM M A R Y
Today 15,000,000 people are living in the 10 Great Plains
States, which 50 years ago included only 3i million persons.
Population has grown at an unprecedented rate. Once the con­
quest of the prairie was possible, people from the eastern
States and from European countries flocked into this region in
large numbers. The development of the railroads which brought
the farmer nearer his market, the development of the barbedwire fence which enabled the small homesteader to guard his
plantings from the ranger’ cattle, and the development of the
s
windmill which raised the much needed water to the surface— all
contributed to the settlement of the Great Plains States. A
large army of restive settlers flocked into the area, laying
claim to more and more of the land. The demand for homesteads
and the desire to bring each homestead under the plow were so
insistent that no thought was given to those factors which might
limit agricultural activities. And when conditions seemed un­
favorable, an unstable population, avoiding rather than solving
its problems, simply moved on. But after the first wave of
settlement had subsided, a much slower process of adjustment
began; villages and cities developed and, in many parts, farms
too small for efficient operation were abandoned or combined
with others.
From the time of earliest settlement, the population of the
Great Plains has been a youthful one. Large families have been
the rule, and long before wheat seemed necessary to win the
World War, the area was producing a human "export crop." Every
year has found numbers of young people moving to other farms,
to nearby villages and cities, or to other States. Between
1920 and 1930, at least 5 of the 10 States reported more emi­
gration than immigration and only 1 showed an excess of incoming
persons over those outgoing.
Despite all the moving about, the opening of new territory
for agriculture, and the large rate of natural increase, there
has been virtually no change in the number of people living on
farms since 1910. This fact indicates that the movement away
from farms involved approximately 2k million people, for with­
out emigration the number of people living on farms in this
area would have increased rapidly.
The settlement of the Great Plains has necessarily been ex­
pensive, and frequently it has worked great hardships upon the




3

4

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

individuals involved. Climate and soil imposed certain limita­
tions upon agriculture and the development of suitable agri­
cultural techniques was a slow and frequently a difficult proc­
ess for settlers, most of whom came from more humid areas. Few
pioneers were equipped to meet the ravages of drought or grass­
hoppers, or the needs of dry land farming, and a large number
left even before they had proved up on their claims. Many who
had come with high hopes of making their fortunes moved on again
when these hopes proved unfounded; others remained, but their
children, in turn, moved on.
As long as those emigrating were equipped with sufficient
resources to establish themselves elsewhere, as long as employ­
ment opportunities were readily available throughout the Nation,
movements out of the region attracted little attention. But now
the migrants, whose characteristics and economic condition have
been altered by recurring periods of low prices and severe
droughts, constitute serious problems for other areas in the
United States. In the Great Plains States there is little evi­
dence that this movement outward, so frequently disruptive to
existing social patterns, is fundamentally correcting the diffi­
culties created by the rapid occupation of the area. Finally,
there is no assurance that future immigration may not occur and
lead to a repetition of the errors of original settlement.




THE PRESENT POPULATION OF THE AREA
15,OOO9000 People In the Area

About 15 million people live in the Great Plains drought
States,1 that region which was most affected by the droughts of
1934 and 1936 (table 1). Two-fifths of this population, some
6,000,000 in all, live on farms.
Table 1— THE POPULATION OF THE DROUGHT AREA, BY SIZE OF COMMUNITY, 1930

Percent of 1930 Population
Slate

Number of
Count i es
Included

Urban

Rural
Farms

Open
Country*

Total
V illa g e s6
Rural

2,500
to
9,999

10,000
to
24,999

25,000
to
99,999

100,000
and
Over

803

Total
Minnesota
Iowa
Mi ssouri
North Dakota0
South Dakota0
Nebraska0
Kansas0
Okl ahoma0
Texas
Montana0
Wyoming
Colorado
New Mexico0
a A ll

Total
Populat ion
1930

14,409,614

39.9

48.1

14.3

62.4

10.3

6.7

5.7

14.9

77
61
14
53
6^

2,356,165
1,448,178
279,624
680,845
692,849

34.1
41.3
44.5
58.4
56.3

36.9
48.5
47.6
63.2
58.1

12.7
14.8
19.1
20.2
23.0

49.6
63-3
66.7
83-4
81.1

10.3
11.9
4.4
5.9
5.6

4.5
3.5

_

6.5
8.5

11.5
28.9
4.2
4.8

35.6
9.8

93
105
77
101
56

1,377,963
1,880,999
2,396,040
1,208,468
537,606

42.5
37.6
42.7
37.7
38.1

44.7
45.1
55.6
50.4
53.2

20:0
16.1
10.1
10.7
13.1

64.7
61.2
65.7
61.1
66.3

8.6
10.0
11.2
14.6
10.7

5.7
11.5
7.1
6l. 5
10.3

5.5
4.9
2.4
9.3
12.7

19
47
31

203„952
923,608
423,317

32.0
25.0
37.5

47.0
35 ..4
67.0

20.1
10.7
7.7

67.1
46.1
74.7

16.2
8.6
13.7

16.7
5.1
5.3

9.0
6.3

p e rs o n s l i v i n g o u t s i d e

-

-

15.5
12.4

13.6
8.5
“
-

31.2

in c o rp o ra t e d p la c e s .

^ In c o r p o r a t e d p la c e s w ith a p o p u la t io n o f l e s s tha n 2 ,5 0 0 .
c In c lu d e s e n t i r e S t a t e .

Source:

F i f t e e n t h C ensu s o f th e U n ited S t a t e s :

1990, P o p u la t io n V o l.

I.

This block of 10 States— North and South Dakota, Nebraska,
Wyoming, Montana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and
Colorado— contains one-eighth of the total population of the
United States and one-fifth of its entire farm population. Two
areas within these States have been especially affected by the
droughts. In the northern area, including most of North Dakota,
South Dakota, and contiguous sections, there ate nearly li mil­
lion people, of whom approximately 800,000 are located on farms.
The southern area, which includes northwestern Texas, western

^ h e s e States cover a much larger area than the physiographic area desig­
nated as the Great Plains.




5

6

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

Kansas, and adjacent territory, has more than a million people,
one-half of whom live on farms.
Domination of Agriculture

Agriculture and grazing are to the Great Plains Area what
coal and ifon are to Pittsburgh, what automobiles are to Detroit,
and what shoes are to Brockton, Massachusetts. With the excep­
tion of the Cotton Belt, no other region in the United States
has so large a proportion of its population living on farms, or
so large a percentage of its gainfully employed engaged in ag­
riculture together with so small a percentage involved in manu­
facturing. Taking this section as a whole, 40 persons out of
every 100 live on farms. There is not a single State where the
ratio is less than 25 to 100, and in the Dakotas the farm pop­
ulation constitutes almost 60 percent of the total. It is ap­
parent, therefore, that the economic and social life of the
people on the Great Plains depends to a great extent upon agri­
cultural enterprise.
Within the confines of the Great*Plains proper there are no
large industrial centers, the few sizable cities of the area
depending directly or indirectly upon agriculture for their
support. For the most part, their industries are engaged in
the processing and transportation of agricultural products;
their financial activities are concerned with farm credit and
farm marketing; and their commerce is dominated by that whole­
sale and retail trade which relates to the smaller towns and to
the open country.2 The metropolitan newspapers which circulate
in this region reflect the urban interest in agriculture inas­
much as they report grain, livestock, and other farm produce
quotations as completely as the New York papers carry the stock
market reports. The various radio stations located in this
area display a similar interest in the farmer and his farm, in
their efforts to secure and broadcast the latest information on
volume of agricultural products marketed and prices received.
Although the automobile, the newspaper, and the radio have
brought the farmer closer to the city, he continues to have his
most intimate contacts with the village. The small town is his
service station. Not only does it supply him with items which
range in variety from lumber, fencing, and farm implements to
the small daily needs of his household, but it likewise provides

2The mining of precious metals in the Black Hills and on the eastern slopes
of the Rocky Mountains affects only a small part of the population; the
mining of coal is localized and employs comparatively few persons. Oil
production has become important In limited areas of Texas, Oklahoma, Kan­
sas, and Vfyoming.




THE PRESENT POPU L A T I O N OF THE AREA

7

him with a market (or shipping point, at least) for the larger
portion of his produce.
The varied ties which bind the villagers to agriculture are
not fostered by trade alone. Many a small town man has his own
memories of a childhood spent in the country; more frequently
than not, he has a knowledge of actual farm work which has grown
out of first-hand experience. His close relatives may still be
farm operators. If he is a substantial business man, his first
impulse will often be to reinvest his profits in the land.
Again, he may be a "suitcase farmer,1 who lives on his farm only
1
6 to 8 weeks in the year; or he may be engaged in part- or full­
time farming on a small tract lying on the outskirts of the
village.
Another factor which tends to strengthen the bond between
village and open country is to be found in the constant inter­
change of population. For instance, there is the retired farmer
who has come to the village where he and his wife hope to enjoy
in their declining years that social intercourse which they were
denied in the isolation of their earlier rural life. The la­
borer who lives in town and works either part time or full time
on the farm, and the farmer who, as his occupational record
shows, has spent several years off the farm are further instan­
ces of this interchange of population.
Although the usual antagonisms between village and farm are
not entirely absent, the fundamental interest in agriculture
operates to render them largely superficial. Since the pros­
perity of all other types of activity in the Great Plains Area
depends so largely upon the prosperity of agriculture, the farm­
er easily commands a widespread respect and his welfare stands
out as a matter of general import. When farm affairs are thriv­
ing, business in town will thrive; but when agriculture is suf­
fering a depression, village and urban interests cannot hope to
escape the resulting ill effects.
Another factor operating to reduce urban and rural antago­
nisms derives from the idea that farming is something out of
which a man can definitely make money. No activity which offers
the allure of possible profits is ever regarded too lightly,
either by town or country. In many instances, the farm operator
outranks the average villager when comparisons are drawn between
the two as to standard of living maintained, capital investment,
average amount of operating capital required, and annual income—
especially in "good1 years. Whether or not the conception of
1
farming as a money-making proposition is justified does not de­
tract from its force. In the course of 23 years a certain wheat
farm in Sheridan County, Kansas, produced a net income of only
$21,000, thus averaging less than $1,000 annually for the entire
period. But there was 1 year during this time when the net in­
come was $20,000, another when it was $10,000, and a third when




THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

8

it was $4,000.3 These years of high income are likely to be
publicized and remembered while other years of little or no in­
come, or even net losses, are frequently disregarded. It is
the larger profits which have a way of sticking in men's minds.
A Sparsely Settled Region

Agriculture in the midcontinent area has been developed on
isolated farmsteads in a thinly populated region. Except in
the eastern, more humid fringe of the area, and in the few spots
devoted to irrigated or specialty crops, agriculture is commonly
extensive. Early homestead policy provided for the settlement
of four homestead families in each square mile of territory and
while that goal was never fully realized, it set the farm pattern
for much of the early settlement. Farms of 320 acres, two fami­
lies per square mile, and later of 640 acres, one family per
square mile, gradually replaced the earlier pattern, leaving
the region today one of large farms, sparse population, and
widely separated homes.
It follows that villages and small cities in this section of
the country are far apart. Since each village of 500 persons
requires a farm population of 500 to insure its support, gen­
erally speaking, a surrounding territory of no less than 100
square miles is needed for its existence. Or, in other words,
if the sustaining district requisite for a settlement of 500
were conceived as a circle with the village as its center, the
radius of that circle would be nearly 6 miles long. It is ob­
vious that the area necessary for the maintenance of a small
town in a locality where grazing predominates would be several
times larger than in a community devoted to general farming.
To be sure, the number of people living in cities has been
increasing rapidly, and, as a matter of fact, a large share of
the increase in total population throughout the Great Plains
has been in the cities. In Montana, for example, the urban
population increased by 9,000 persons between 1920 and 1930,
although the population of the State as a whole decreased by
11,000. Nevertheless, this entire region is still much less
urbanized than the remainder of the United States. North Dakota
in 1930 had only 16.6 percent of its population in urban areas
(places of 2,500 persons or more), less than any other State in
the country (table 1). South Dakota and New Mexico are prima­
rily rural, with -uM>an populations of only 19 percent and 25
percent , respectively. Colorado, with 54 percent of its people
in cities and toWns, is the most highly urbanized State in this
i*

Goodrich, Carter, and Others, Migration and Economic Opportunity, Phila­
delphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1936, chap. V, pp. 20*2-250.
This chapter was prepared by C. Warren Thornthwaite.




THE PRESENT PO P U L A T I O N OF THE AREA

9

group, but the cities of Denver, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo
account for three-fourths of its entire urban population. The
predominantly rural characteristics of these 10 States can be
gauged by the fact that there are only 7 cities in the area
shown in figure 1 which have more than 100,000 inhabitants,
while there are only 15 others with a population numbering more
than 25,000 each.
A Relatively Youthful Population

In comparison with other parts of the Nation, the people of
the Great Plains Region are young. In 1930 the proportion of
children under 5 years of age was higher here than elsewhere in
the country, and the proportion of men and women 65 or over was
lower. This was especially true of the rural farm and urban
population. It is probable that the higher proportion of chil­
dren and the lower proportion of the aged in this area, as com­
pared with the remainder of the country, will continue to hold
through 1940 except as regards people living in villages.
In 1930, 5.4 percent of all persons in the United States were
65 years of age or over, but in the Great Plains the percentage
was only 4.8 (table 2). The smallest proportion of persons of
this age group, only 4 percent, was found among the people liv­
ing on farms. Even in 1940, according to the estimates of
Thompson and Whelpton,4 only 5.5 percent of the farm people will
be 65 or over.
Table 2— AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE TOTAL POPULATION OF 10 DROUGHT STATES
AND OF THE UNITED STATES, 1930

State

Total
Population
1930

T o ta l, Uni ted States

Percent in Each Age Group

122,775,046

Total, 10 States

Under 5
Years
9.3

5-14
Years

15-29
Years

20.1

26.3

30-44
Years
21.4

45-64
Years
17.4

65 Years
and Over

Unknown

5.4

0.1

15,075,690

10.3

21.4

27.5

20.2

15.7

4.8

0.1

North Dakota
Sçuth Dakota
Nebraska
Kansas
Oklahoma

680,845
692,849
1,377,963
1,880,999
2,396,040

11.1
10.3
9.5
9.1
11.0

23.2
22.1
20.2
19.7
22.7

27.3
26.0
25.9
25.4
28.4

18.5
20.3
21.0
20.5
19.3

15.3
15.9
17.1
18.4
14.5

4.5
5.3
6.3
6.9
4.1

0.1
0.1
-

Texas
Montana
Wyomi ng
Colorado
New Mexico

5,824,715
537,606
225,565
1,035,791
423,317

10.5
9.2
10.0
9.2
12.7

21.7
20.5
20.3
19.7
24.0

29.1
24.6
26.2
25.0
26.8

20.2
22.0

14.4
18.7
16.0
18.7

4.0
5.0
3.8
6.0
4.0

0.1
0.1
0.1
-

S o u rc e :

f i f t e e n t h C en su s o f th e U n ite d S t a t e s :

1930, P o p u la t io n Vol.

Ill,

23.6
21.3
18.7

13.8

-

t a b le 3 .

It is a fact, however, that the proportion of aged persons
is increasing in all parts of the country, ^t'nd in the rural
^Thompson, W. and Whelpton, P.K., Estimates of Future Population by States,
National Resources Board, Washington, D. C., December 1934.




10

THE PEOPLE OP THE DROUGHT STATES

Fis. I - O P E N

COUNTRY

P O P U L A T IO N

IN T H E D R O U G H T A R E A
19 30

Source: Fifteenth Census of the United States:
1930, Population v o l.I, table 4




EACH DOT R E P R E S E N T S 1000 P E R S O N S

139051

AF - 2402, W P. A.
.

THE P R ESENT P O P U L A T I O N OF THE AREA

11

sections of the Great Plains States the percentage is likely to
increase more rapidly than elsewhere. On one hand, the aging
of the population in this area can be attributed to the general
decline in birth rates which is being felt all over the country,
for, as the present generation grows older, there are fewer
children to take its place. Again, emigration of any large pro­
portion of the population over a periodof time tends to increase
the proportion of aged persons in the population remaining in
the area. The persons concerned in these migrations during re­
cent years have included families with young children as well
as the young single adults who accounted largely for such move­
ments from farms in earlier years.
The possible consequences of migratory movements are strik­
ingly illustrated by the population changes occurring in Montana
between 1920 and 1930. The total number of persons living on
farms decreased nearly 11 percent, a decrease which could have
come about only as the result of considerable migration from
the farms in that State. Since the persons moving away were
mainly young adults, the proportion of farm operators between
25 and 35 years of age was only one-half as large in 1930 as it
had been in 1920, while the percentage of those 65 years old and
over had nearly doubled. There is no evidence that other parts
of the Great Plains have experienced changes in age composition
as extreme as those in Montana during the 10 years immediately
before 1930, even though some emigration has been characteristic
of all States in this area.
The trend toward an older population can also be seen in the
data which relate to men working on farms. Since there have
been fewer young men in the last two decades to replace the
earlier generation, farm workers on the average represented an
older group in 1930 than they did in 1920, and again, an older
group in 1920 than in 1910. For instance, only 29 percent of
all men working on farms in the United States were 45 or more
years of age in 1910, whereas 38 percent were in that age group
in 1930. Although the farm workers in the Great Plains States
have been consistently younger than the average for the Nation
as a whole, and although they still exhibited this distinguish­
ing trait in 1930, their advantage in this respect is notice­
ably decreasing.
It may be emphasized that any considerable migration out of
the 10 States in this area during the next several years may
rapidly increase the proportion of old people in the population.
In the event of such an increase, readjustments in agricultural
practices might become more difficult and the need for public and
private assistance might be notably augmented.
139051 0 — 37----- 2







SETTLEMENT OP THE GREAT PLAINS REGION
Unguided Early Settlement

Whether or not any attempt to guide settlement in the Great
Plains could have been effective is a question that is now purely
academic. Nor is it certain that the information concerning
the area which was available in the eighties and nineties could
have been used effectively in promoting settlement in some
sections and retarding it in others. A carefully formulated
policy might have provided for more gradual occupation as new
agricultural techniques were developed, and it might have pro­
vided that certain portions of the region be withheld from ag­
riculture altogether ;but again such provisions might have been
impractical.
The fact remains that no studied policy was evolved. Instead,
the temper of the times was such that the Government made every
ef fort to divest itself as quickly as possible of the remaining
public domain. The pressure was irresistible, and treaties with
Indian tribes were amended or abrogated as more and more new
territory was demanded. Neither the dangers of the frontier
nor the attempts of the United States Army to halt occupation
could check the movement— the Oklahoma land rush set forth in
dramatic fashion the attitudes which prevailed. From one stand­
point the policy of actual settlement, if it can be called a
policy, was successful. Rarely, if ever, has so large an area
been occupied and brought under cultivation in so short a time.
Rarely, if ever*, have so many persons attempted settlement under
conditions with which they were so wholly unfamiliar. As a
large-scale experiment, the conquest of the Plains has few or
no parallels.
Speculation, encouraged by the widely diffused ownership of
small tracts, contributed greatly to the problems of early set­
tlement. No methods were devised to prevent such perversion
of the original intent of the homestead laws; and speculators,
both large and small, un^ ^ tonably constituted a varied and
numerous groiv* ‘
r‘
the Great Plains plan­
ning to re^. .1;
I .
5
i to establish title
ry
to a parcel c* / -> :
,7
Maa7j|)j6 tliem ¿vore si le aud
the homesteaders
w e r e ^ ^ M I , old people, excitement seekers, rovers,




13

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

14

and people from the most widely separated walks of
life. Not infrequently the homesteader had never
been on a farm previous to his filing. It was a
common practice for business men and other town
people to file on homesteads.5
A study in 12 townships of western North Dakota classifies
ne.arly one-half of the 669 farm operators who had moved out of
the territory by 1925 as having come in the first place chiefly
for speculative purposes. No more than one-fourth of these spec­
ulators had had any farming experience before filing on their
homesteads and most of them left the area much more quickly
than those persons who had come with the intention of locating
permanently.6
Settlement Before 1870

Although the persons bound for Oregon and California during
the forties crossed over the Great Plains, the settlement of
this area did not begin until the decade between 1850 and 1860.
Then it occurred in eastern Texas, Kansas, and Nebraska. It
is true that population had begun to drift into Texas before
this time, but the force of the flow did not reach the plains
area of the State until almost 1900. The same can be said of
New Mexico.
Like the whole body of westward migrants during this period,
the early populations of the region were cosmopolitan. The
population of Kansas in 1860, for instance, included persons
who were born in every State and in 28 foreign countries.7
Nevertheless, the Great Plains Area was for the most part origi­
nally settled by persons who came from Iowa, Missouri, and
States immediately east of them. While 90 percent of the 107,000
persons in Kansas in 1860 had been born in other States or in
foreign countries, almost 12 percent were natives of Missouri
and more than 50 percent were born no farther east than Ohio.
Many of those who were not born in Missouri had lived in that
State immediately preceding their move directly across the bor­
der into Kansas.
Before 1850 there was very little occupation of the area west
of the 96th meridian, a line which runs north and south near
the present cities of Lincoln and Beatrice in Nebraska, Topeka
and Coffeyville in Kansas, and Gainesville and Houston in Texas.

Willson, E. A., Hoffsommer, H. C . , and Benton, A. H., Rural Changes in
Western North Dakota, North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station, Bull.
No. 214, Fargo, North Dakota, January 1926.
6 Idem.
^Eighth Census of the United States:




I860, Population Vol. I.

SETTLEMENT OF THE GREAT PLAINS REGION

15

The few early settlements that did exist in the 10 Great Plains
States clung closely to the partially timbered areas and to
the valleys of the larger streams. By 1860 the population of
these States was 873,000, with almost 70 percent in Texas and
more than 92 percent in Texas, Kansas, and New Mexico (table 3).
The remaining 8 percent was distributed throughout Colorado,
Nebraska, and the Dakota Territory. But if two persons per
square mile is taken as a criterion of the beginning of pioneer
settlement, then no part of Colorado or the Dakota Territory had
really reached the settlement stage by 1860.
Table 3— THE POPULATION OF THE 10 DROUGHT STATES, 1850 TO 1930

State
T o ta l, 10 S ta te s

Texas
New Mexico
Colorado
Kansas
Nebraska
North Dakotal
South Dakota}
Montana
Wyomi ng
Oklahoma
Source:

212,592
61,547
-

1910

1920

1930

1.481,603

3,549,264

6,303,541

8,167,482

11,246,147

13,083,829

15,075,690

608,711

2,067,661

2,754,277

1,863,941

3,078,665

1,837,682

1,991,861

218

Increase in number
over preceding decade
Percent increase
over preceding decade

1900

872,892

598,753

1850
274,139

70

140

78

30

38

16

15

604,215
93,516
34,277
107,206
28,841

818,579
91,874
39,864
364,399
122,993

1,591,749
119,565
194,327
996,096
452,402

2,235,527
160,282
413,249
1,428,108
1,062,656

3,048,710
195,310
539,700
1,470,495
1,066,300

3,896,542
327,301
799,024
1,690,949
1,192,214

4,663,228
360,350
939,629
1,769,257
1,296,372

5,824,715
423,317
1,035,791
1,880,999
1,377,963

[190,983
[348,600
142,924
62,555
258,657

319,146
401,570
243,329
92,531
790,391

577,056
583,888
376,053
145,965
1,657,155

646,872
636,547
548,889
194,402
2,028,283

680,845
692,849
537,606
225,565
2,396,040

1870

1860

1880

1890

4,837

14,181

135,177

-

-

20,595
9,118

39,159
20,789

-

-

-

-

f i ft e e n t h Census o f the United S tates:

1030, Population Vol. I, p. 10.

For the 10 years ending in 1870, the United States Census
reported marked increases in the populations of the settled
areas throughout the region, showing gains of 326 percent in
Nebraska, 240percent in Kansas, 193 percent in Dakota Territory,
36 percent in Texas, and 16 percent in Colorado (table 4).
T a b le 4— PERCENT INCREASE OF POPULATION PER DECADE IN 10 DROUGHT STATES,

1860 TO 1920

Percent Increase of Population
1860 to 1870
North Dakota!
South Dakotaj
Nebraska
Kansas
Oklahoma
Texas
Montana
Wyoming
Colorado
New Mexico
Source:

1870 to 1880

1880 to 1890

193.2

853-2
267.8
173.4
94.5
90.1
128.0
387.5

1910 to 1920

80.8
45.4
11.8
15.0
109.7

12.1
9.0
8.7
4.6
22.4

36.4
70.3
47.9

27.8
54.5
57.7
48.0
67.6

19.7
46.0
33-2
17.6
10.1

134.9
43.4
-

35.5

1900 to 1910

167.1
Il5 .2
0-3
3.0
205.6

299.2

326.5
239.9
-

1890 to 1900

40.4
265.0
200.9
112.7
34.1

-

16.3
-1.8

f i f t e e n t h C en su s o f th e U n ite d S t a t e s :

30.1

1930, P o p u la t io n V o l.

30.6
21.9

I, p. 12.

But since the increase in population in Texas, New Mexico, and
Colorado for the decade was approximately equal to the number
of persons added by the excess of births over deaths, these
three States evidently had little or no net inward migration




16

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

for the census period. People were, however, flowing rapidly
into Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakota Territory. Total popu­
lation in these States jumped from 141,000 in 1860 to 502,000
in 1870, although the area occupied by pioneer settlement ex­
panded very little during the period (figure 2 and table 3).
Settlement From 1870 to 1910

From 1870 to 1880, this region was to experience still further
and more rapid settlement. The population of Texas went beyond
a million and a half; that of Kansas approximated a million;
and that of Nebraska, a half million.
Colorado had nearly
200,000 people, the Dakotas more than 135,000, and New Mexico
almost 120,000. Population, although still small in both States,
almost doubled in Montana and more than doubled in Wyoming
(table 3).
During this decade there was also a marked expansion of the
area of settlement. The western boundary of the main region
containing a population of two or more persons per square mile
closely approached the western boundaries of Kansas and south­
west Nebraska, and moved to the center of Texas. At the same
time, the various scattered areas having a population of this
density more than doubled in northern New Mexico, central Colo­
rado, southeastern North Dakota, southeastern Wyoming, and
western Montana (figure 2). Considering the Great Plains States,
with the single exception of Oklahoma, population increased
2,068,000, almost 140 percent, and the area of settlement more
than doubled in size. Nearly all of Kansas, one-half of the
States of Nebraska, Texas, and Colorado, and one-third of New
Mexico were settled by farming population by the end of the
decade.
Between 1880 and 1890 geographic occupation was practically
completed in Kansas and Nebraska and was spreading rapidly in
all other States of the region. Frontier settlement pushed
nearly halfway across the Dakotas, spread over most of Colo­
rado, and rapidly covered western and central Montana. The pop­
ulation gained ¿65 percent in Montana, 201 percent in Wyoming,
and 299 percent in Dakota Territory (table 4). A small section
of east central Oklahoma which was opened for settlement near
the end of the decade was occupied by 259,000 persons at the
beginning of 1890 (table 3). Thus, all the States in the region
were in the process of settlement at the close of this 10-year
period. The total population had more than quadrupled between
1870 and 1890 (table 3).
In no decade following 1890 did the Great Plains Area gain so
greatly in percent of population or in percent of occupied terri­
tory as it had done in the 10 years immediately preceding that
date. From 1890 to 1900, population increased only 1,864,000,




SETTLEMENT OF THE GREAT PLAINS REGION

17

or 30 percent (table 3). There was, however, much movement
within the region. Droughts occurred during this period and
speculative values as well as prices collapsed. The remainder
of Oklahoma was opened for settlement, and the opportunities of
a pioneer country were offered to many who were already feeling
the pressure of economic distress. Numerous homesteads were
abandoned, and many persons who had settled only recently in
western Nebraska, western Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado,
and New Mexico shifted to other parts. The western sections
of Kansas and Nebraska and the drier portions of other States
suffered net losses in 114 counties, and some areas were aban­
doned altogether. This was the time when the population of
Omaha, Nebraska, declined from 140,000 to 103,000. Increases
in population as shown for the various States of the area clearly
reflect the influences at work; for while Nebraska and Kansas
reported increases of only 0.3 and 3.0 percent respectively,
Oklahoma gained 206 percent, Montana 70 percent, and North Dakota
67 percent (table 4).
From 1900 to 1910 total population in the 10 States increased
3,079,000, nearly 38 percent. As soon as the effects of the
adverse conditions of the previous decade had worn off, renewed
immigration flowed into areas which had reported emigration
prior to 1900. Consequently, the area west of the 100th meridian
rapidly increased its numbers between 1900 and 1910, but popu­
lation changes to the east of this line were less consistent.
Oklahoma’ increase in population for this period was 110 per­
s
cent; North Dakota's, 81 percent; and Wyoming's, 58 percent.
Except in their eastern fringes where there were either no gains
at all or even some losses as a result of migration, the Dakotas
as a whole reported a continued influx of population. But from
southeastern Nebraska and eastern Kansas there was, with little
exception, a considerable exodus. To what extent persons who
had returned to eastern counties of these States during the
nineties were represented among the migrants of this decade
cannot be determined, but undoubtedly there were many such who
were again venturing west.
Although population continued to increase in the region as
a whole until 1930, very little new territory was occupied after
1910 except in Wyoming and eastern Montana (figure 2). As
practically all the territory settled before 1870 lay east of
the 100th meridian and as the larger portion of the area lying
between this meridian and the Continental Divide was occupied
by 1910, it can be said, roughly, that the Great Plains were
settled in the 40 years between 1870 and 1910.
A map showing the progress of settlement decade by decade
would reveal population flowing steadily westward in 1870, the
two main currents entering eastern Texas and eastern Kansas
and Nebraska with a thin stream coming up from the south into




THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

18

Fig. 2 - D E N S I T Y OF P O P U L A T IO N
IN T H E D R O U G H T A R E A
1 8 6 0 -1 9 3 0

I860

1880

1870

1890

SO URCE: A T L A S OF THE HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE UNITED STATES,
PUBLISHED JOINTLY BY THE C A R N E G IE INSTITUTIO N OF WASHINGTON, D.C.
AN D THE AM ERIC A N GEOGRAPHICAL SO CIETY OF NEW YORK




SETTLEMENT OF THE GREAT PLAINS REGION

19

Fig . 2 - D EN SIT Y O F POPULATION

IN TH E DROUGHT A R E A
I8 60 - 1930 - Continued

1900

1910

LEGEND
IN H A BIT A N TS PER SQUARE MILE
|

| FEWER THAN 2




^ ^ 2 - 5

|||| 6 -

1
7

1MB 18 - 4 4

45 -8 9

H

90 AND MORE

A F -2 4 2 2 , W. P. A.

20

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

central New Mexico an i Colorado. By 1880 the tide westward
had moved well across 1 he States of Kansas and Nebraska in the
north, as far west as central Texas in the south, and had entered
the Dakota Territory- The stream from the south had widened
into a lake spreading over north central New Mexico and central
Colorado and reaching into southeast Wyoming. By 1890 the west­
ward tide had completely covered Kansas and most of Nebraska,
had reached the plains section of Texas, and had moved almost
halfway across the Dakotas, connecting in northern Colorado and
southern Wyoming with the populations already settled there.
The areas of settlement in New Mexico and Colorado had expanded
in all directions, and something like a great irregular pool of
population had appeared in western and central Montana (figure 2).
Oklahoma, by reason of its Indian occupation, was the one
State in this group which still remained largely unsettled by
1890-. By 1900 the tide had pushed a little farther west in
Texas and had covered all of Oklahoma except the "panhandle”
or "strip"; but it had receded somewhat in the western parts
of Kansas and Nebraska, in the Dakotas, and in the eastern
parts of Colorado and New Mexico. By 1910 practically all the
plains section of Texas, all of northern New Mexico, all of
Oklahoma, and most of Colorado were covered, while the areas
which had lost population during the previous decade were once
more being filled in.
Sources of Early Population

While much of the increase in the population of the Great
Plains States between 1870 and 1910 represented children born
into families residing in this region, no other combination of
Table 5— PERCENT OF THE TOTAL NATIVE WHITE POPULATION OF 10 DROUGHT STATES
BORN OUTSIDE THE STATE, 1870, 1890, AND 1910

State
North Dakota!
South DakotaJ
Nebraska
Kansas
Oklahoma
Texas
Montana
Wyoming
Colorado
New Mexico
Source :

1890

1910

79.8
80.2
-

f 56.5
\ 64.9
63.7
61.6
97.8

52.9
54.5
40.8
46.4
71.2

49.5
87.1
95.2
80.8
3-1

37.2
75.0
81.0
75.1
18.8

28.0
66.1
73-1
64.6
41.5

1870
84.2

G a lp in , C. J. and Manny, T. B . , I n t e r s t a t e M ig r a tio n s Among th e M otive tfh ite P o p u la tio n as I n d ic a t e d by D i f f e r e n c e s
Betw een S t a t e o f B ir.th and, S t a t e o f R e s id e n c e , U. S. Departm ent o f A g r i c u lt u r e , Bureau o f A g r i c u lt u r a l E con om ics,
O c to b e r 193», t a b l e 2, p. 7.

10 States could be found in the whole country which would show
for that period a consistently greater percentage of total pop­
ulation born elsewhere (table 5).
Since families moving into the Great Plains Region have




SETTLEMENT OF THE GREAT PLAINS REGION

21

tended to bring with them the farming practices of other more
humid areas, and since maladjustnents of population to land
have resulted, the previous locations of such families are of
considerable importance.
The vast majority of the migrants came from an area roughly
bounded on the west by the eastern limits of the Great Plains
States and on the east by the Appalachian-Allegheny Mountains,
a portion of the country dominated by medium-sized farms and a
row-crop agriculture. The 10 States of the Nation which have
contributed the greatest numbers of their native born to the
10 Great Plains States are Missouri,Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Ken­
tucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia
(figure 3).




22
THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES
Fig. 3 - STATE OF BIRTH OF N A T IV E -B O R N WHITE M IGRANTS
RESIDING IN 10 DROUGHT STATES
1870 A N D 1910
MONTANA

DAKOTA TERRITORY




NEBRASKA

SETTLEMENT OF THE GREAT PLAINS REGION

F ig .3

23

-STA TE OF BIRTH OF NATIVE-BORN WHITE MIGRANTS




RESIDIN G IN 10 DROUGHT STATES
1870 A N D 1910 - Continued
COLORADO

NEW MEXICO

I. IL L IN O IS
¿ . M IS S O U R I
3. O H IO
4. IN D IA N A

1. T E N N E S S E E
2. A L A B A M A
3. M I S S I S S I P P I
4. K E N T U C K Y

AF-2430.W.RA.




THE F A R M POPULATION SINCE 1910
Although there has been much moving about, with population
losses reported in some areas, the number of people on farms
in the Great Plains States on January 1, 1935, was almost exactly
what it had been on January 1, 1930, on January 1, 1920, and
on January 1, 1910 (table 6). Between 1910 and 1935, the esti­
mated increase in farm population for these 10 States was only
45,000, which was less than one-third the number of children
born to farm women in this area during any one normal year of *
the period.
Table 6— FARM POPULATION OF 10 DROUGHT STATES, 1910 TO 1935

State

Total

1910
Estimated®
January 1

1920
Census®
January 1

1930
Est imatedb/
January 1

1935
Census0
January 1

6,067,119

6,093,862

6,117,500

1920 to 1930

1930 to 1935

6,111,835

0.4

0.4

-0.1

6.8
-2.3
-7.5
-11.2
-0.5

-0.1
6.9
-0.5
-4 .8
-0.3

-2.2
-7 .5
-0.1
0.3
0.1

-0.7
102.8
28.8
31.2
-12.0

2.3
-10.7
7.1
4.7
-3-2

North Dakota
South Dakota
Nebraska
Kansas
Oklahoma

369,212
370,820
631,467
830,197
1,022,016

394,500
362,221
584,172
737,377
1,017,327

394,300
287,300
581,300
701,900
1,014,300

385,614
358,204
580,694
703,743
1,015,562

Texas
Montana
W i ng
yom
Colorado
New Mexico-

2,293,474
111,273
52,264
202,857
183,539

2.277,773
225,; 667
e l 306
266,073
161,446

2,329,700
201,600
72,100
278,600
156,300

2,332,693
195,262
74,507
276,198
189,358

a T ru e sd e 1 1 , Leon E . , far* Population
the C en sus, 19 2 6 , t a b le 8, p .' *5 .
^ By Bureau o f A g r i c u l t u r a l

of the United States,

Eco n o m ics on b a s i s o f

C United States Census of Agriculture:

JS3S.

Percent Change
1910 to 1920

0.1
-3.1
3.3
-0.9
21.2

U. S. Departm ent o f Commerce, Bureau o f

fifteenth Census of the United States,

State

*r

B u l l e t in s .

Second S e r i e s ,

ta ke n a s o f A p r i l

15, 1930.

t a b l e 2.

Since 1920 the region’ farm population has not varied by
s
more than 5 percent in any year.8 Between 1920 and 1930 changes
were irregular, but no large increases or decreases were re­
ported. Small losses Occurred during 1928 and 1929 and were
continued through 1930, but during 1931 and 1932 slight gains
were made. The number of people living on farms declined dur­
ing 1933 in North Dakota, Montana, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas.
In 1934, farm population decreased in each of the 10Great Plains
States. By January 1, 1935, therefore, migration from farms
had largely offset the increases which occurred between 1931
and 1933, and the number of farm people in the regidn as a whole
Data concerning annual changes in the farm population, natural Increase,
and migration are based on information in the files of the Bureau of Agri­
cultural Economics.




25

26

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

again approximated The 1930 figure, the actual change being less
than one-tenth of 1 percent. During 1935 the further losses in
each of these 10 States, except Nebraska, were such that total
farm population on January 1, 1936, was nearly 2 percent less
than it had been the previous year. It seems likely, too, that
there were continued decreases during 1936.
Although the farm population of the region as a whole showed
little change between 1930 and 1935, there were striking changes
in some parts of the area. Some gains were made in the western
parts of Kansas and Nebraska and in several counties of western
Oklahoma, southwestern Wyoming, and that section of North Dakota
which lies south of the Missouri River, but in general the
drier portions of the Great Plains Area reported losses in num­
bers. Decreases in farm population were notable in the Panhan­
dle of Oklahoma and even more so in the cotton-growing area
which embraces southwestern Oklahoma and the adjoining eastern
margin of the Great Plains of Texas, but the change in the
wheat-growing section of the Texas Panhandle was slight. The
farms showed marked losses in northwestern North Dakota and
northeastern Montana, in central and eastern South Dakota, and
in the irrigated Arkansas and South Platte Valleys of Colorado.
Little change was reported for western Kansas and Nebraska and
on the plains of western Colorado, but the number of persons
on farms was considerably augmented in the Rio Grande Valley
and in the mountainous portion of New Mexico.
As a general rule, the drier parts of all the Great Plains
States have been losing some farm population while the more
humid parts have been reporting slight gains. The areas of
severe drought distress, as measured by amounts of Federal aid
p e r c a p i t a b e t w e e n 1933 and 1936, showed decreases in farm pop­
ulation.9 In the 137 counties in which Federal aid amounted
to $175 or more per capita, the farm population decreased by
4.5 percent between 1930 and 1935, but in the 179 counties in
which such aid was less than $58 per capita, it increased by
4.4 percent (table 9,‘
page 52). The farms suffered the greatest
loss in population, 5.1 percent, in the 148 counties in which
per capita aid ranged from $119 to $175. Whether or not high
grants and benefits tended to retard or increase the outward
migration of persons living on farms cannot be tested by these
figures, but it does appear to be significant that the greatest
decline did not occur in areas with the most Federal aid per
capita.
Since the Great Plains States have birth rates which are
consistently high— among the highest in the entire country—
the fact that farm population in this entire area has remained

9 See Cronin, F. D. and Beers, H. W . , Areas of Intense Drought Distress,
1930-1936, Research Bulletin, Series V, No. 1, Division of Social Re­
search, Works Progress Administration.




THE FARM POPULA T I O N SINCE 1910

27

at a stationary level evidences a considerable movement away
from farms. Between 1910 and 1935, the number of babies born
to farm women in this area exceeded the number of farm persons
dying by nearly 100,000 per year; and, had there been no migra­
tion to or from farms, total farm population would have increased
to this extent. But the influx of population had been so great
during the first wave of rapid settlement that within a com­
paratively short time many parts had acquired as many people
as they were able to absorb. Hence the children and grand­
children of the early settlers, reaching maturity and seeking
economic opportunities, were often forced to migrate. As a
matter of fact, net migration from the farms in the Great Plains
was approximately 2k million persons from 1910 to 1935. Some
of these persons went to nearby towns and villages, but others
became the human Mexportsn which this area has been contribut­
ing to the remainder of the United States in increasing num­
bers during recent years.
From 1930 to 1935 there was a natural increase of 490,000 in
the farm population of the area, while the number of people
moving to farms during these 5 years and still remaining there
on January 1, 1935, was 356,000. The total increases would,
therefore, have been 846,000 if there had been no migration
away from farms; but since there was a decrease of about 6,000
persons (table 6), it can be estimated that approximately 852,000
persons had moved away during this period and had not returned
by January 1, 1935. It follows that the outgoing migration ex­
ceeded the incoming by nearly half a million persons. This was
less than half the number who moved away from farms in the pre­
ceding 10 years of urban prosperity, 1920 to 1930; during those
years, the net movement away from farms amounted to almost
1,200,000. Since many of the persons who left the farms went
to nearby towns and cities, it does not follow that there were
corresponding decreases in the total population of these States.
More than half the migration away from farms as shown for
the entire Great Plains Area took place in Texas and Oklahoma
where the bulk of the movement to and from farms since 1930 has
occurred. In New Mexico, on the other hand, the net movement
has reflected a steady trend tothe farms from towns and cities
and from farms in other States.
139051 0 — 37----- 3







AN A R E A O P R A P I D L Y C H A N G I N G P O P U L A T I O N
Many Settlers Did Not Stay

From the time of the earliest settlement there has been much
moving about in the region of the Great Plains. The tie which
bound the settler to the land was not very strong at best; and
unfavorable conditions— droughts, grasshoppers, or personal
misfortune— often proved too much for him. So long as he had
only a small capital investment, so long as there was another
free quarter section of open land beckoning him on, the incentives
to remain where he was were few. Experience furnished posterity
with the old quip concerning the Homestead Act: ’ Government
’
The
wagered a quarter section of land that the settler could not
live on it for 5 consecutive years— and the Government frequent­
ly won."
Although it is not possible to measure with complete accuracy
the amount of movement, it is clear that a considerable turn­
over of population has always been characteristic of this area
(figures 4-8).
Even in modern colonization projects, where
settlers are carefully selected and are provided with the best
available equipment and techniques, much turnover in personnel
is to be expected; and in the settlement of the Great Plains
many conditions were definitely against the settler. More than
3,000,000 original homestead entries were filed between 1863
and 1936; but only 58 percent of them were finally completed,
41 percent being canceled or relinquished. The remaining 1
percent were still pending or were otherwise uncompleted early
in December 1936.10
Even during the period of settlement, many persons were
leaving. In Montana 28,000 original homestead entries were
filed between 1920 and 1930, but at the end of the decade there
were 24,000 fewer persons living on farms in this State than
in 1920. For this same period, Colorado listed 24,000 homestead
entries, but the farm population increased by only 13,000. In
New Mexico farm population decreased by 5,000 although there
were 28,000 homestead entries, and in Wyoming only 5,000 people
were added to the farm rolls although homestead entries num­
bered 37,000. Since it is known that many of the persons who
filed on homesteads in these four States from 1920 to 1930 were

^ I n f o r m a t i o n supplied




by

General Land Office.

29

30

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

Fig. 4 - N ET MIGRATION OF TO TAL POPULATION
IN TH E DROUGHT A R E A
1890-1900

LEGEN D
M U C H M IG R A T I O N O U T

0

S L IG H T M IG R A T IO N O U T

L I T T L E O R N O N E T M IG R A T I O N

ED

S L IG H T

| -f + |

M U C H M IG R A T I O N

M IG R A T I O N IN

NOTE: R A TES OF
n o r t h

IN

M IG R A T I O N N O T C O M P U T E D IN M O N T A N A ,

Da k o t a , s o u t h

D a k o t a ,W y o m i n g , n e w

m e x ic o

AN D O KLA H O M A BEC A U SE OF TH E SM A LL N U M BER OF
O R G A N IZ E D C O U N T IE S




AN AREA OF RAPIDLY CHANGING POPULATION

F

ig

.

31

5 - NET MIGRATION OF TOTAL POPULATION
IN TH E DROUGHT A R E A
1900-1910

LE G EN D

0

M UCH

M IG R A T I O N O U T

S L I G H T M IG R A T I O N O U T
A F-2412, W. P. A.
L I T T L E O R N O N E T M IG R A T I O N

E3

S L IG H T M IG R A T IO N IN

|+ +|

M U C H M IG R A T I O N IN

N O T E : R A T E S O F M IG R A T IO N N O T C O M P U T E D IN M O N T A N A ,
O K L A H O M A A N D N E W M E X IC O
S M A L L N U M B E R O F O R G A N IZ E D




B EC A U SE OF TH E
C O U N T IE S

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

32

Fie. 6 - NET MIGRATION OF TOTAL POPULATION
IN THE DROUGHT A R E A
1 9 1 0 -1 9 2 0

LE G EN D
M U C H M IG R A T IO N O U T

S L IG H T M IG R A T I O N O U T

L IT T L E O R N O N E T

M IG R A T I O N

|+ +|

S L IG H T M IG R A T I O N IN

E3

M UCH

M IG R A T I O N IN




AN AREA OF REPIDLY CHANGING POPULATION

F

ig

.

33

7 - N E T MIGRATION OF TO TAL POPULATION
IN TH E D RO U G H T A R E A
1920-1930

LEGEND
M U C H M IG R A T IO N O U T

| S L I G H T M IG R A T I O N O U T
AF-2416, W. P. A.
L IT T L E O R N O N E T M IG R A T IO N

E3

S L IG H T

E±)

MUCH

M IG R A T IO N

M I G R A T I O N IN




IN

34

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

not newcomers to the farms of the region, there was obviously
much shifting about within the area. Yet there was also an in­
vasion of new settlers on the western edge of the Great Plains
as the older settlers were leaving.
That many of the early settlers did not remain long where
they had first established themselves and that later settlers
also showed much instability is demonstrated by a recent study
of turnover of farm population in Kansas.11 This study disclosed
that out of all the farmers who were living in western Kansas
in 1895, two-thirds had moved away within 10 years and only onetenth remained in the same township or had a son living there
in 1935. Of the total number of farmers in the area in 1905,
only two-fifths still remained at the end of 10 years; the same
ratio held also for the 10-year periods beginning in 1915 and in
1920. Farmers who were in western Kansas in 1925 were apparently
more settled, as only one-half of them had withdrawn at the end
of 10 years.
In sample areas in eastern Kansas, the records were carried
back to 1860. Two-thirds of the farm operators who were in this
part of the State in 1860 had moved away by 1865. Somewhat
greater stability was displayed in the succeeding years, as onehalf of those who were there in 1870 still remained in 1875.
The two 5-year periods which followed told the same story. Onehalf of the farm operators resident in 1875 were no longer there
in 1880; and of the operators there in 1880, one-half had gone
by 1885. After 1885, when eastern Kansas had passed beyond the
frontier or settlement stage, the changes in residence were
somewhat less frequent, 10 years usually elapsing before onehalf of the total number of farm operators recorded at the be­
ginning of a period had left. There has been some further evi­
dence of more persistent residence in later years, but even by
1935 only two-thirds of the farm operators present 5 years
before still remained in the same township or had a son living
there.
Results for other parts of Kansas were similar. The author
of the study concludes that "in all parts of the State the orig­
inal or early settlers and their descendents constitute an ex­
tremely small proportion of the later or contemporary community."
In all but one of the areas studied, "8 percent is the highest
representation the settlers of 1860 held 75 years later."
Movement Since 1930

The continued movement among the farm population of the drought
States has not lessened throughout the depression years of 1930
11Malin, James C . , "The Turnover of Farm Population in Kansas," The Kansas
Historical 2uarterly, Vol. IV, No. 4, November 1935, pp. 339-372.




AN AREA OF RAPIDLY CHANGING POPULATION

35

to 1935 (figure 8). During these years 1,600,000 persons moved
from towns and cities to farms in this region, but, on the other
hand, 2,000,000 left the farms to go to towns and cities. In
addition, approximately 100,000 persons moved from farms in
these 10 States to farms in other States.12 In the first years
of the depression, however, there was a slowing down of the
regular movement from the country to the town. In 1931, for
instance, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, and New
Mexico reported more people moving to farms than from farms;
in Texas, the same condition obtained in 1932. In spite of
these exceptions, however, the net movement was from farms to
towns and cities.
Nevertheless, nearly 6 percent of the 6,000,000 farm people
in the 10 Great Plains States in 1935 did not live on farms in
1930.13 This movement from towns and cities to farms was most
pronounced in New Mexico, Wyoming, and Colorado; it was least
marked in Texas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. In North and South
Dakota fewer than 4 percent of the 1935 farm population had
moved to farms after 1930, such persons averaging somewhat more
than 200 per county in North Dakota and slightly less than 200
in South Dakota. In New Mexico, however, the number of people
who moved to farms after 1930 was 800 per county, and in the
cotton-growing sections of the staked plains14 the numbers per
county ranged from 500 to 1,000.
Substantial numbers of such newcomers were also reported in
the irrigated districts, especially along the Arkansas, South
Platte, North Platte, Yellowstone, and Milk Rivers. In most
of the dry-land farming counties from the Oklahoma Panhandle
north to the Canadian line, the Census of Agriculture taken at
the beginning of 1935 showed an average per county of 200 to
500 persons who had not been there 5 years previously. The
result of these various movements was an increase of farm popu­
lation in some areas and a decrease in others. Although this
movement to farms was comparatively less in the Great Plains
States than in the remainder of the country, 25 Great Plains
counties reported a relatively heavy migrat ion away from farms,
the number of persons moving to farms being equal to one-seventh
of the number living on farms in 1930.
The proportions of single persons among migrants were greater
in the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, and Montana than in any other
States in the area or in the remainder of the United States.

12Based on data in the files of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics.
13United States Census of Agriculture: 1935, State Bulletins, Second Series,
table 2.
14A plateau in western Texas between the Canadian River Valley and midland
Texas, extending to eastern New Mexico.




THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

36

F

ig

.8

- N E T MIGRATION OF FARM POPULATION
IN TH E DRO U G HT A R E A

1930-1935

|+

+|

S L I G H T M IG R A T I O N IN

| -f + | M U C H M IG R A T I O N IN




AN AREA OF RAPIDLY CHANGING POPULATION

37

In Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Colorado the pro­
portions of families among the migrants were comparable to the
proportions of families shown as part of similar migrations in
other sections of the Nation. In any case, the number of per­
sons who had left home before 1929 and who had returned during
the depression was very small.
A recent study in South Dakota yields the information that
less than 2 percent of persons leaving home prior to 1929 had
returned by 1935. It likewise shows that persons and families
who moved to farms came from villages much more frequently than
from cities. Although each of the counties included in the
study reported that more people moved away than moved in, per­
sons came into each of these counties from other counties in
the State as well as from other States. There was also some
movement to the open country from villages and cities.15
From 1930 to 1936 there was also a slowing down of the growth
of the total population throughout this area.16 Four of the
States, South Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, and New Mexico, lost
in total numbers ‘
during these years. North Dakota, Kansas,
Wyoming, and Texas each sent more persons to other States than
it received in return, but the excess of births over deaths
was sufficient to maintain the numbers or to insure them small
continued gains in total population. With rates of natural
increase substantially above those for the United States as a
whole, the Great Plains would have increased its population by
5 to 10 percent between 1930 and 1936 had there been no inward
or outward migration; and only an extensive movement from these
States to others can account for the decreases in total popu­
lation in some States as well as for the fact that the reported
increases are so small.

15Unpublished tables In the files of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics.
16Estimated Population of the United States by Six-Month Periods From Jan­
uary i, 1930, to July 1, 1936, released by the United States Bureau of
the Census, January 21, 1937.







COMPARISON OF MIGR A T I O N INTO AND OUT OP TEE AREA

Between 1900 and 1910, Kansas and Texas neither gained nor
lost as a result of migration, but in Nebraska persons moving
away exceeded those moving in.17 The other seven States con­
tinued to report an excess of incoming settlers. By 1910, how­
ever, the inward flow had largely ceased throughout the entire
area; gains by migration were the exception, and losses attrib­
utable to this cause were more frequent. Some increases did
occur in Montana and Wyoming during this decade under the stim­
ulus of the World War, but in North Dakota, South Dakota, Ne­
braska, Kansas, and New Mexico, the tide was moving outward.
From 1920 to 1930, only Texas could show an excess of in­
coming persons, while Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wyo­
ming reported no changes in population resulting from migration.
In five States, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas,
and Montana, emigration definitely exceeded immigration; and
in Montana, the movement was so extensive that there were 11,000
fewer inhabitants in 1930 than there had been 10 years before.
Throughout the whole story of western pioneering it has not
been uncommon to find the settlers of one locality sending their
offspring on to other sections within the next generation; and
the 10 Great Plains States are no exception to the general rule.
Kansas and Nebraska had ceased to attract migrants in large
numbers even before 1900. As a matter of fact, the people who
left these two States in the nineties actually outnumbered new
arrivals, although there was little resulting change in total
populations, the natural increase being sufficient to offset
the loss. Undoubtedly, the drought occurring in the early years
of this decade played a major part in encouraging emigration,
although it may also be that the drought only accentuated the
change from a rapidly growing to a relatively stable population
which would normally have set in after the first wave of settle­
ment. Nebraska and Kansas were settled earlier than the other
States in this region except Texas, and it is only to be ex­
pected that they would be first to show a cessation of the rapid
rate of growth.
During and immediately after the first years of settlement,
most of the persons living in the 10 States were, of course,
17Based on comparison of rates of increase as reported by the census and
estimated rates of natural Increase.
See appendix A for discussion of
method.




39

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

40

recruited from other parts of the Nation or from foreign coun­
tries. But as the various States in this area became older,
persons born and reared within their boundaries began to re­
place the earlier settlers who had died or moved away. Since
1900, each successive census of population in Nebraska has re­
ported a smaller number of persons not native to the State; and
the same can be said of Kansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota
ftfter 1910 (table 7). Meanwhile, the number of persons born
Table 7— MIGRATION TO AND FROM 10 DROUGHT STATES,3 1900 TO 1930

1900
State

1910

Persons
Persons
Living in
Born in
State and .State and
Bo rn
Living
Elsewhere El sewhere

Persons
Persons
Living in
Born in
State and State and
Living
Bo rn
Elsewhere El sewhere

Persons
Born in
State and
Living
Elsewhere

Persons
Living in
State and
Born
Elsewhere

1920

1930
Persons
Bo rn in
State and
L'i v i ng
Elsewhere

Persons
Living in
State and
Born
Elsewhere

Total

828,670

3,260,203

1,492,038

4,419,804

2,235,164

4,663,072

3,288,884

4,790,378

North Dakota
South Dakota
Nebraska
Kansas
0klahoniab

24,164
43,341
145,280
289,803
31,678

95,788
150,945
424,616
708,336
556,803

47,963
80,479
244,232
427,946
111,240

216,996
254,762
414,056
722,968
1,092,844

100,700
129,431
331,472
567,702
230,930

204,092
247,194
402,676
681,185
1,155,880

175,823
191,719
453,156
728,311
436,424

181,009
233,454
375,937
664,352
1,179,178

Texas
Montana
W i ng
yom
Colorado
New Mexico

207,723
14,044
10,660
42,226
19,751

827,855
111,617
55,243
291,196
37,804

404,269
32,850
19,297
89,818
33.944

907,908
177,783
84,269
430,264
117,954

559,552
67,695
32,558
155,866
59,258

968,382
274.877
116,830
492,079
119.877

762,993
126,720
56,634
251,316
105,788

1,129,348
239,482
129,778
512,764
145,076

The number o f p e rs o n s born in each S t a t e and l i v i n g e lse w h e re
b o rn e lse w h e re in t h e U n ite d S t a t e s and l i v i n g in each S t a t e .
b ir t h was not re p o rt e d a re o m itte d from t h i s t a b le .
^ In c lu d e s p o p u la t io n o f
S o u rc e s :

in th e U n ite d S t a t e s and the number o f p e r s o n s
The sm all number o f p e r s o n s f o r whom S t a t e o f

In d ia n T e r r i t o r y f o r 1900.

T h ir t e e n t h C e n su s o f the U n ite d ¿ to te s :
1 9 10, P o p u la t io n V o l. I, t a b le 20, p. 700; F o u r te e n t h C e n su s
o f the U n ite d S t a t e s :
1920, P o p u la t io n V o l. I I , t a b l e 15, p. 622; and F i f t e e n t h C e n su s o f the U n ite d
Sta te s:
1 9 3 0 , P o p u la t io n V o l. I I , t a b le 17, p. 148.

in this region and living elsewhere has been steadily increas­
ing and was greater in 1930 than at any other time. By that
year the persons born in Kansas and Nebraska but no longer dom­
iciled there exceeded the number of residents who had been born
elsewhere; and the trend was the same in each of the other eight
States. According to the census, 3,000,000 persons who were
born in other areas were living in the Great Plains States in
1900; in 1930, the number had become 3,500,000. But whereas
these States had contributed only 500,000 of their native born
to other parts of the United States in 1900, they contributed
2,000,000 in 1930.18
By the time settlement had been under way for a generation,
the Great Plains States were contributing population to other
States, both west and east. By 1870, persons born in Kansas
were to be found in every State in the Union except Delaware.
The largest number had gone to Missouri, while Illinois, Indi­
ana, Iowa, Nebraska, and Arkansas received most of the others.

18Computed from data in table 7.




MIGRATION INTO AND OUT OF THE AREA

41

Nebraska, too, had begun to send its natives to all parts of
the country, Missouri, Iowa, and Kansas being the favorite des­
tinations. When the Dakotas achieved statehood just before
1890, persons who had been born there were to be found in every
State in the Union.
The number of migrants from this area increased rapidly, es­
pecially after 1910. All 10 States contributed to the westward
movement, and by 1930 all of them had made relatively large
contributions to the Pacific Coast States. But in each case
there was also much exchange of population with the States to
the east which had contributed the largest number of persons.
In general, the destinations of migrants from these States were
more widely dispersed than the places of origin of incoming
migrants. Originally settled as part of the westward movement,
the Great Plains have, in turn, contributed to that movement
and have more recently contributed also to the urban and east­
ward movement (figure 9).




42

T H E P E O P L E OF T H E D R O U G H T S T A T E S
F ig.9 -NATIVE WHITE M IG RA N TS BO RN IN 10 DROUGHT




STATES A N D R E SID IN G E L S E W H E R E
1910 A N D 1930 - Continued
COLORADO

NEW MEXICO

MIGRATION

I N T O A N D O UT OF T H E A R E A

Fig . 9 -NATIVE WHITE M IG RA N TS BO RN IN 10 DROUGHT

STATES AND RESIDING ELSEW H ERE
1910 AND 1930
MONTANA

NORTH DAKOTA

SOUTH DAKOTA

NEBRASKA

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

139051 0 — 37-----4







INTERSTATE ASPECTS O F RECENT MIGRATIONS
With the exception of Texas, the 10 Great Plains States had
reached the stage of exporting population by 1920. People with
sufficient resources to establish themselves elsewhere, and able
to find employment in the new communities of their choice,
caused the States receiving them no great concern. But in the
recent years of extensive unemployment, their absorption has
been more difficult.
The information as to volume and direction of recent migra­
tion is only fragmentary. In California, a count of persons
"in need of manual employment," known locally as "tin-can tour­
ists," was made at all points where important highways enter
the State. During the 6 months ending December 15, 1935, it
was found that more than 53,000 persons, members of parties "in
need of manual employment," had come into California by motor
vehicle.19 Former residents of California, returning after resi­
dence elsewhere, formed approximately 20 percent of the total.
Of the people from other areas, nearly one-half, 45 percent,
came from the Great Plains. Oklahoma, which •led the other
States in the group, contributed 7,000 persons to the movement,
while Texas, ranking second, sent only one-half as many. Kan­
sas added more than 2,000; Nebraska, a similar number; Colorado
and New Mexico, over 1,000 each. In this study the State of
origin was taken as the State in which the automobile was reg­
istered; thus, it seems reasonable to suppose that some of the
9,500 persons who entered California in automobiles bearing
Washington, Oregon, or Arizona registration plates might have
come originally from the Great Plains Area.
During the 9i months ending September 30, 1936, an additional
71,000 persons "in need of manual employment" entered California.
Of these, 14 percent were in cars bearing California registra­
tion plates. More than one-half>of the remainder, 54 percent,
came from the Great Plains States. Oklahoma, with a contribu­
tion of 16,500 persons, again headed the list. Texas sent 6,200;
Kansas, 2,600; and Colorado, New Mexico, and Nebraska each over
1,500.20 During this period, the average number of these migrants
1Q

Taylor, Paul S. and Vasey, Tom, "Drought Refugee and Labor Migration to
California, June-December, 1935," Monthly Labor Review, Vol. 42, No. 2,
February 1936, pp. 312-318.

20From unpublished reports in the files of the Resettlement Administration.
See, also, Rowell, Edward J., "Drought Refugee and Labor Migration to Cali­
fornia in 1936," Monthly Labor Review, Vol. 43, No. 6, December 1936, PP.
1355-1363.




45

46

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

per month was less than it had been during the latter half of
1935; but in August and September of 1936, there were notable
increases over the numbers reported for the same months of 1935.
Most striking are the figures for Oklahoma, which show 3,900
persons for the month ending September 15, 1936, as compared
with 1,800 persons for the corresponding month 1 year earlier.
But it would be erroneous to assume from these figures that
nearly 24,000 former inhabitants of Oklahoma had transferred
their residence to California during the 154 months ending Sep­
tember 30, 1936, for there are no records available on the num­
bers leaving California.
A recently completed study of 467 families that had moved
to rural sections of the State of Washington since September
193221 showed that almost 40 percent of the total came from the
10 Great Plains States, with North Dakota, Montana, South Dako­
ta, and Oklahoma leading. Another 40 percent, approximately,
came from the three nearby States of Oregon, California, and
Idaho. Undoubtedly some of the persons in this second group,
likewise, had come from the Great Plains, but had made interme­
diate stops on the way. Almost one-fifth of the migrants from
drought States were regarded in their adopted communities as
having made an unsatisfactory adjustment both economically and
socially. Only three-fifths of the families from the drought
area were reported as having made a "permanentl settlement; of
f
the other two-fifths, the majority had shown a high degree of
transiency and were reported as unlikely to remain at their
present locations.
The results of a recent survey in Oregon were similar to
those recorded in the Washington study.22 Of the families that
moved to rural Oregon between January 1933 and June 1936, 40
percent had come from the Great Plains, the States of Kansas,
Nebraska, and Colorado contributing the largest numbers. Fortythree percent came from three neighboring States, Washington,
Idaho, and California; but some of these, too, had, no doubt,
come originally from the Great Plains Area.
Movements from the Great Plains to the States on the West
Coast are not a phenomenon peculiar to the depression, although
the recent migrants may differ radically from those of an ear­
lier period in their needs and characteristics. Between 1920
and 1930, each of the Great Plains States, except Texas, re­
ported more persons moving out of the State than moving into it,
Landis, Paul H., Rural Immigrants to Washington State, 1932-1936, Agri­
cultural Experiment Station, Rural Sociology Series In Population, No. 2,
Pullman, Washington, July 1936.
2 2 Breithaupt, L. R. and Hoffman, C. S., Preliminary Information Concerning
Immigration into Rural Districts in Oregon, January, 1933 to June, 1936,
Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station, Circular of Information No. 157,
Corvallis, Oregon, August 1936.




INTERSTATE ASPECTS OF RECENT MIGRATIONS

47

while each of the West Coast States reported more persons mov­
ing in than moving out. In 1930, moreover, each West Coast
State had in its population a larger proportion of people born
in the Great Plains than it had in 1920.
Not all the migrants from the Great Plains Area have gone to
the milder climates of the Pacific Slope, however. There has
also been some movement into Minnesota and Iowa from the more
severely affected drought areas, and population shifts from one
to another of the Great Plains States themselves have undoubt­
edly been taking place during more recent years, just as they
did between 1920 and 1930. In the study of farm abandonment in
Tripp County, South Dakota, records were secured for 144 fami­
lies that had moved out of the county between 1930 and 1934.23
About one-third had moved across the nearby State line into
Nebraska and one-twelfth had gone to Iowa. Most of the others
had gone south or west.
It has been shown that these predominantly rural States,
with relatively high reproduction rates, became "exporters" of
population as agriculture in the region became more stabilized
and as the early movement toward the frontier abated. Migra­
tory movements outward, though arrested somewhat during the
early part of the depression, were later increased by the drought
and possibly also by some prospects of urban employment. But
the interstate movement in its various aspects would indicate
that drought and economic depression accentuated previously
existing trends without radically altering the direction of
movement of the twenties.
23H111, George W . , Rural Migration and Farm Abandonment, Research Bulletin,
Series II, No. 6, Division of Research, Statistics, and Finance, Federal
Emergency Relief Administration, June 1935.







SOME FACTORS OP MALADJUSTMENT IN SETTLEMENT
Adjustment of Early Settlers Difficult

The major force impelling the early settler to migrate to
the Great Plains was his desire for a farm. Hence, both the
nature of settlement and the extent to which it could become
satisfactory and stable were closely related to the development
of agriculture as the basic enterprise of the area.
Not the least of the settler’ difficulties lay in the legal
s
restrictions under which he operated. The Homestead Act was
based on experience acquired in settling an agricultural area
where humidity was uniform and relatively high and where medium­
sized farms were desirable. But the provisions of this act did
not fit conditions which existed west of the 100th meridian.
The quarter section originally permitted to the settler was too
small either for grazing or for the practice of dry-land farm­
ing. Later, modifications were made to increase the grant of
land per person and to regulate the settlement of desert lands
and private irrigation projects, but even these changes proved
of little material benefit.24 This process of adjustment not
only encouraged migration to other areas, but also, in some
cases, involved failure to replace those settlers who moved
elsewhere.
As long as the migrants from more humid areas remained along
the eastern edge of the Great Plains States, the agricultural
techniques which they brought with them could be readily ap­
plied. But as settlement pushed further into the more arid por­
tions of the region, these techniques required considerable mod­
ification. The early settlers, those who came from eastern
States as well as those who came from Europe, knew only the in­
tensive moldboard culture. To them, any man who did not turn
his soil completely over and pulverize it was slothful. To
allow stubble to protrude as it does when the soil is partially
turned with a disc harrow or plow was to demonstrate his lazi­
ness. Wheat seed beds were made almost as carefully as gardens
had been made in the place of original residence. Thus, adapta­
tion to the new environment was necessarily slow and difficult.

24Hlbbard, B. H., A History of the Public Land Policies, New York:
Macmillan Company, 1924.
See especially chapters XVIII-XX.




49

The

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

50

The good farmers of the humid areas often found themselves at
a disadvantage in the Great Plains insofar as the treatment of
the soil was concerned. There were no experiment stations to
determine better methods, and the individual farmer was able to
improve his efforts only through his own and his neighbors’
experiments. At least one farmers’club in western Kansas had
spirited debates concerning the relative advantages of check­
row planter and lister. The members of this club appear to
have favored corn as against wheat, and numerous discussions
were held as to the respective merits of the two.25
Acreage Expansion During and After the World War

The rapid expansion of wheat culture during and after the
World War, especially during the years between 1927 and 1930
when it was stimulated by the post-war export trade, is direct­
ly related to maladjustments of population which have become
apparent in recent years.
Between 1910 and 1914, the number of acres in wheat in the
Great Plains increased by approximately one-third. Another
gain of one-third was reported between 1914 and 1918, and by
1921 a peak was reached at 39,899,000 acres. For several years
thereafter, wheat acreage was somewhat less; but in 1928 the
earlier peak was exceeded by 2,500,000 acres. During 1929 and
1930, the number of acres thus employed rose to 44,500,000,
which was 12 percent more than in 1921.
Montana may be taken as a specific example of the general
expansion in wheat growing. As settlers moved into this State,
the number of acres used for wheat production grew from 435,000
in 1910 to 1,655,000 in 1914. By 1918 it had reached 3,400,000,
and by 1920 it was 3,680,000. This was the largest wheat acre­
age ever harvested there, and during the following 6 years
there were some decreases. In 1927, however, a new high was
reached with 4,200,000 acres; and in 1929 this level was sur­
passed when 4,419,000 acres, the largest number ever reported,
were harvested. This was nearly 25 percent above the war-time
peak. Since 1929, changes in acreage harvested have been some­
what erratic; but in 1933 and 1935, 3,500,000 acres of wheat
were harvested, more than at any time during the World War.
Montana's population increased rapidly during the first great
expansion in wheat production which took place between 1910
and 1920. The wheat-growing counties with promises of high
profits were obviously attractive to migrants. But the advent
of power farming lessened the demand for human labor, and the

MaiIn, James C., "The Adaptation of the Agricultural System to Sub-humid
Environment," Agricultural Bistory, Vol. 10» No. 3, July 1936, pp. 118141.




SOME FACTORS OF MALADJUSTMENT IN SETTLEMENT

51

population trend definitely changed. The acreage increases,
which occurred between 1920 and 1930, saw a general exodus from
the wheat-growing and other rural sections of the State; and
the farm population, instead of gaining, lost 24,000 persons.
During 1928, 1929, and 1930, when changes in wheat acreage were
most pronounced, the changes in number of persons on farms were
slight, although there were some fluctuations in number of farm
families.
While the number of persons living on farms in the Great
Plains Area remained nearly the same between 1910 and 1935,
the number of farms increased. During the World War decade,
1910-1920, the increase was 177,000, or 15 percent. In Montana
an exceptional gain occurred; the total, more than doubling,
jumped from 26,000 to 58,000. South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas,
and New Mexico, contrary to the general trend, reported slight
decreases. From 1920 to 1930, the area as a whole gained in
number of farms even more rapidly than it had during the War
years. Except in Colorado where there was virtually no change
and in Montana where there was a drop from 58,000 to 47,000,
each Stat'e reported an increase. Between 1930 and 1935 the
number of farms continued to increase, both in the area as a
whole and in each of the individual States.
Gains in farm acreage were likewise marked from 1910 to 1935.
From 1910 to 1920, Montana reported the number of acres in farms
nearly trebled, while each of the other nine States showed gains
varying in degree. From 1920 to 1930 and from 1930 to 1935,
still further expansion in farm acreage was reported.
As the inadequacy of the 160- and 320-acre farms became more
and more apparent throughout the Great Plains, and as the de­
velopment of power farming made it possible for the operator
to utilize a greater acreage, the average size of farms increased
(table 8) and the number of large farms multiplied more rapidly
Table 8— AVERAGE SIZE OF FARMS IN 10 DROUGHT STATES, 1870 TO 1935

Average Acres in Farms
State
1870
North Dakotal
South Dakota/
Nebraska
Kansas
Oklahoma
Texas
Montana
Wyoming
Colorado
New Mexico

176
169
148
a

1900

1910

1920

1930

1935

{ 271
1 203
157
155
a

277
227
190
181
a

343
362
246
241
a

382
335
298
244
152

466
464
339
275
166

496
439
345
283
166

462
445
349
275
166

208
267
272
259
125

225
351
586
281
177

357
886
1,333
384
417

269
517
778
293
316

262
608
750
408
818

252
940
1,469
482
982

275
940
1,610
471
832

301
164
25
184
186

aNot a v a ila b le .
Source: H f U t n t h Census of th• Ifn iU d S t a U s.-




1890

1880

1930. Agriculture Vol. IV, table 12. p. 53.

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

52

than the number of small farms. Between 1910 and 1935, the
number of farms of 1,000 acres or over increased eight times
as much as the number of all farms. In 1910, only 2.5 percent
of all farms in this entire area included 1,000 acres or more;
in 1920, 3.7 percent of all farms were of that size. By 1935
there had been a further increase to 4.6 percent.
Recent Migration in Areas of Acute Distress

Recent migrants from towns and cities to farms in the 10
Great Plains States went to areas of greatest distress less
frequently than to other areas. It was shown in the first bul­
letin of this series, Areas of Intense Drought Distress, 19301936, that the average amount of Federal aid per capita may be
taken as a measure of the extent of distress; counties receiv­
ing $175 per capita or more were most severely affected, and
those receiving less than $58 per capita were least affected.
In those counties in which Federal aid amounted to $175 per
capita or more, only 4.3 percent of the 1935 farm population
had not been living on a farm 5 years previously. But in those
counties in which it was less than $58 per capita, the percent­
age of the 1935 farm population not on farms 5 years previously
was 8.2, nearly double the figure for the most seriously af­
fected counties (table 9). During the period 1930-1935, there
were, in addition, decreases in the farm population in some of
the areas which suffered most from the drought and increases
in others which suffered less.
Table 9— CHANGES IN FARM POPULATION, 1930 TO 1935, BY AMOUNT OF FEDERAL AID PER CAPITA

Amount of Federal
Aid per Capita,
1933-1936

Number
of
Count i e's

Fersons Not on
Farms in 1930

Farm Population

1930

1935

Increase or
Decrease in
Numbers

Percent
Increase or
Dec rease

Number

Percent of
1935 Farm
Population

Total

803

5,745,713

5,703,623

-42,090

-0.7

348,510

6.1

Less than $58
$ 58- $ 84
84- 119
119- 175
175 and over

179
190
149
148
137

1,593,428
1,653,916
1,086,048
863,368
548,953

1,663,055
1,653,992
1,043,070
819,398
524,108

69,627
76
-42,978
-43,970
-24,845

4.4
-4.0
-5.1
-4.5

136,880
99,327
51,682
38,246
22,375

8.2
6.0
5.0
4.. 7
4.3

S o u rces:

U n ite d S t a t e s C e n su s o f A g r i c u l t u r e :
1935, and C ro n in , F. D. and Be e rs, H. W ., A re as o f In t e n s e D rou gh t
D i s t r e s s , 1 9 3 0 -1 9 3 0 , R e se a rc h B u l le t in , S e r i e s V., No. I, D i v i s i o n o f S o c ia l R e se a rc h , W orks P r o g r e s s
Admini s t r a t i o n .

There had been more migration before 1930 than from 1930 to
1935 into those sections of Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, and
Texas which were most acutely affected by the droughts between
.1933 and 1936. In Texas, the 27 counties with the highest per
capita aid reported an increase of 151 percent of their total
population between 1920 and 1930, whereas the 12 counties with
the lowest grants and benefits gained only 35 percent, less
than one-fourth as much. In the latter group of counties, the




SOME FACTORS OF MALADJUSTMENT IN SETTLEMENT

53

increases came primarily in villages and cities; in the former,
they were more marked in the open country.
Similarly in Montana, where the decreases in farms and rural
population between 1920 and 1930 were so great that they more
than offset the slight gains in urban areas, the nine counties
later reporting the smallest amount of Federal aid had a loss
of 8 percent in total population, while the seven counties with
the largest amount of relief gained 2 percent. In the first
instance, the open country population decreased by 15 percent
and in the second, by 1 percent. On the other hand, examples
might be cited to show population increases during the twenties
in areas where later grants and benefits were small and popu­
lation decreases where later amounts of aid were large.
These facts only emphasize that the migration before 1930
was not always directed toward the best adjustment of natural
resources and population and that more recent migrations from
farms in the Great Plains States as well as from their villages
and cities must be considered with this in view.







CONCLUSIONS

Continued study of the Great Plains Drought Area makes it
increasingly evident that recent droughts are not solely re­
sponsible for the present distress. The return of normal rain­
fall would not insure prosperity. The nature of the climate,
the character of the soil, and the extent of soil destruction
which has attended the abuse of natural resources necessitate
certain readjustments between the people and the land. It is
often assumed that partial evacuation is a necessary part of
any adequate plan of rehabilitation for the area. The report
of the Study of Population Redistribution26 concluded that,
although 36,000 families had moved out of the region since 1930,
nearly 59,000 of those remaining were surplus population.
At the present time, however, settlement techniques have not
been perfected to such a stage that the resettlement of 59,000
families could be readily effected. Public opinion, arising
from two sources, would probably resist any policy of evacuation.
On the one hand, such a program would receive little support
within the area itself. Dry years were known before 1934, and
many people think that what has been borne can be borne again.
Moreover, earlier agricultural successes are vividly recalled,
with a common disregard for the fact that a fortuitous combina­
tion of virgin soil, favorable climatic conditions, and high
prices was responsible.
On the other hand, evacuation of the Great Plains might
arouse antagonism in areas scheduled to receive the families.
Migrants with sufficient funds to establish themselves in a new
locality are still cordially received. But few areas are left
today which welcome the individual whose major qualifications
are willing hands and a strong back.
In attempting to visualize the future of population in the
-Great Plains Drought Area, two generalizations may be made.
First, no governmental agency, State or Federal, will sponsor
a program calling for the evacuation of a large number of fam­
ilies. Second, industrial development is not to be expected
within the calculable future, and any rehabilitation of the
distressed families in the area must, necessarily, be based
upon agriculture.

26Goodrich, Carter and Others, op. c i t .




55

56

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

Relief, rehabilitation, and work agencies may continue to
meet the most urgent human needs and to assist their clients
to become self-supporting. Such activities will undoubtedly
prevent much aimless and expensive migration. On the other
hand, they may reduce migration from those sections from which
partial evacuation should be encouraged.
Even with an extensive program of public assistance, many
families will leave to seek better prospects, just as others
in the area have done from the time of earliest settlement.
A well equipped and widely used informational service might be
of considerable- benefit to such migrating families. A service
of this type would probably reduce the volume and extent of
that portion of the migration which is based on rumor, misin­
formation, or on mere hunches, and, at the same time, it might
lead migrants more directly to locations where satisfactory
adjustments would be possible. It might also reduce the tragic
mistakes which frequently occur when settlers, relocating under
unknown conditions, become victims of unscrupulous land spec­
ulators or dealers.
The alternating migrations into and out of the Great Plains
in the past have been described. Periods of resettlement have
followed periods of abandonment. Unless some far-reaching
changes in attitude and policy toward land ownership and land
use occur, a new wave of immigrants may come in to take the
places of those who have recently left. Cheap land and the
prospects for speculative gain are almost certain to attract
new settlers. Even the most distressed portions of the area
reported some migrants to farms between 1930 and 1935. Some
future difficulties may be prevented if the lands which have
recently reverted to public ownership are held for uses to which
they are best adapted. Moreover, restrictions upon the uti­
lization of privately owned lands, as through zoning, might
eliminate much of the waste which now results from futile at­
tempts to defy the forces of nature. Furthermore, the transfer
of selected tracts to public ownership might assist in pre­
venting the recurrence of those errors which have been so nu­
merous in the history of the region.
The shifting of publicly or privately owned land from agri­
culture to grazing would tend to reduce the resident population,
for it would either displace persons or prevent the replacement
of those who had left. A number of proposals have been made
which would probably offset such decreases. Irrigation, where
feasible, might be employed to provide resettlement of a small
part of the existing population. Again, more effective com­
binations of land along rivers with land farther away would
serve to rearrange the present population pattern rather than
to increase or decrease the total numbers. The various attempts
to conserve available water and soil resources might reduce




CONCLUSIONS

57

the necessity for sudden dislocations of large numbers of people
and might tend to stabilize the population of the area.
Unless there is prolonged economic distress, a decrease of
migration from these States may be expected. The population
of the entire country is rapidly approaching stability in num­
bers because of the declining birth rate and the virtual cessa­
tion of immigration. While these relatively youthful agricul­
tural States are still contributing more than their share of
the children of the country, it seems possible that their birth
rates will decline more rapidly than those of the rest of the
Nation. The results will be an increase in the proportion of
older people and a decrease in the proportion of persons in the
young adult age groups which provide most of the migrants. In
these respects, it seems likely that the population of the Great
Plains Area will become similar to that of the remainder of the
country. Kansas and Nebraska, the older States of this group,
already give evidence of this tendency. Other conditions being
equal, the result will probably be a decrease in the number of
migrants and an increase in the stability of residence.
Stability of residence itself is not necessarily a desirable
goal, but the high degree of mobility which has been charac­
teristic of the Great Plains Area indicates an unsatisfactory
adjustment between man and his natural environment. Emigration
as a technique for making adjustments is relatively ineffi­
cient for it provides little assurance of betterment to the
individual and rarely strikes at the basis of the maladjustments
involved. A high degree of mobility in a population impedes
the proper functioning of those social institutions which are
essential to a satisfactory farm life. Any successful program
to adapt agriculture to the available natural resources would
tend to reduce the volume of migration to and from the area.
The success or failure of the efforts to control erosion and
conserve available resources will be measured ultimately by
the welfare of the people of the Great Plains Drought Area.
Unless a satisfactory farm life can be developed on the basis
of the resources of that region, no amount of modification of
the physical environment will be worth while.







Appendix A
C O N ST R U C T IO N OF MAPS SHOWING MIGRATION

139051 0 —37----- 5







CONSTRUCTION OF MAPS SHOWING MIGRATION
The balance of migration to or from the drought area is shown
in figures 4 to 8. In preparing the basic data, it was assumed
that the rate of natural increase for each county in a State is
the same as the rate for the State as a whole. The natural in­
crease in a county for a decade is expressed as a percent of the
population present at the beginningof the 10-year period. Coun­
ties were classified by the extent of migration according to the
following scheme:
When the rate of population

The county is classified

change is equal to the

as showing

Rate of natural increase

-4.9 to

Rate of natural increase

-5.0 to -14.9

+4.9

Little or no net migration
Slight migration out

Rate of natural Increase -15.0 or more

Much migration out

Rate of natural increase +5.0 to +14.9
Rate of natural Increase +15.0 or more

Much migration in

Slight migration in

Rates of natural increase for 1920 to 1930 were taken from
estimates of the National Resources Committee; rates for the
other decades were estimated according to ratios of children
under 5 to women 20-44 years of age as computed from the census.
If NI represents natural increase and C-W, the ratio of children
to women, the relationships used may be expressed as follows:
^ ( 19 1 0 - 1 9 2 0 ) _

1920 )

( 1920— 1 9 3 0 )

1930)

^

Changes in population due to changes in boundaries have been
eliminated by combining adjacent counties which changed bound­
aries at some time during the period under discussion. In order
to avoid the necessity of combining the counties of a State into
groups too few in number to be of value for this analysis,
certain States were omitted in the early years for which no
satisfactory groupings could be secured. These States were
growing at a rapid rate, but their populations were small.
For Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Texas, the rates were com­
puted back to 1890; for North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming,




61

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

62

back to 1900; and for all the States in the Great Plains, from
1910 to 1920 and from 1920 to 1930. No correction has been made
for the relocation of the 100th meridian, March 17, 1930, when
the boundary line between Texas and Oklahoma was moved.
It is apparent that "much migration out" does not in all
instances imply an actual decrease in the population of the
area. The highest rate of natural increase was 33 percent
(Oklahoma,1900-1910). A total increase of 28-37 percent would
have been classified as "little or no net migration," 18-27 per­
cent as "slight migration out," less than 18 percent as "much
migration out." The lowest rate of natural increase was 11
percent (Montana, 1920-1930). An increase of 16-25 percent was
considered as "much migration in" and one of 6-15 as "little
or no net migration."
The extent to which "much migration out" represents decreases
in the population is shown in table A.1
Table A— NUMBER OF COUNTIES IN THE DROUGHT AREA WITH MUCH MIGRATION OUT AND WITH AN ACTUAL
DECREASE IN POPULATION, 1890 TO 1930

Number of Counties
1900 to 1910

1890 to 1900
State
Much
Mi g rat i on
Out
Total
Minnesota
Iowa
Mi ssouri
North Dakota
South Dakota
Nebraska
Kansas
Oklahoma
Texas
Montana
Wyoming
Colorado
New Mexico

174

Actual
Much
Decrease
Migration
i n PopuOut
1at ion
104
_

1910 to 1920

Actual
Much
Decrease
Migration
in Popu­
Out
lation

Actual
Dec rease
in Popu­
lation

177

381

269

353

278

21
43
14
3
3

3
11
9
19
31

3
11
9
8
15

12
13
10
23
-31

12
13
10
14
17

46
57
45
124
4

33
57
27
80
4

42
34
47
79
21

41
34
26
67
15

2
13
17

2
10
10

13
15
13

7
14
8

-

-

-

-

55
65

35
52

31
37

21
33

-

-

-

-

48
-

13
-

85
-

33
-

-

_

2
-

2
-

1
5
-

1
5

1
1

Much
Mi g rat i on
Out

252
21
44
14
4
10

1
2
1

1920 to 1930

Actual
Decrease
in Popu­
lation

This procedure may seem to overstate migration into a region
and to understate migration out of it. As a general rule, the
crude rate of natural increase is higher than the State average
in rural areas and lower in urban areas. If the rate of natu­
ral increase in a county is higher than the average for the
State, the effect will be to underestimate the extent of emi­
gration or to exaggerate the extent of immigration as regards
that county. The limits for the groups showing "much migration"
in or out are set in such a way that the errors in classifying

1For data by counties on increases in population sine« 1920» see appendix B.




CONSTRUCTION OF MAPS SHOWING MIGRATION

63

a county in one or the other of these groups is reduced to a
minimum. Inasmuch as each of the Great Plains States, with but
one exception, has more than 60 percent of its population in
rural areas and inasmuch as the composition of the population
in each State is relatively homogeneous, the classification of
counties in one or the other of the two extreme groups appar­
ently approximates a true portrayal of the migration which
occurred. The fact that this method relates the natural in­
crease to place of residence rather than to place of birth or
death is an added advantage.










Appendix B
COUNTY DATA




COUNTY DATA

Table B lists the counties included in the drought area
delimited in figures 1, 2, and 4-8. It shows percent increases
or decreases in total population from 1920 to 1930, in farm
population from 1930 to 1935, and in farms from 1930 to 1935.




67

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

68

T a b le B— POPULATION AND NUMBER OF FARMS IN 803 COUNTIES
GREAT PLA IN S REGION,

State and County

Total
Populat ion

1930

Percent
Increase or
Dec rease
From 1920

IN THE

1920 TO 1935

Farm
Populat ion
1935

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

Number
of Farms
1935

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

MINNESOTA
Total

2,356,165

7.6

838,047

4.2

183,340

10.4

Ai tken
Anoka
Becker
Bel trami
Benton

15,009
18,415
22,503
20,707
15,056

-0.2
17.8
-1.5
-23.5
7.0

13,032
7,641
14,820
10,643
8,663

19.0
14.9
8.2
16.0
3-0

3,012
1,763
3,227
2,440
1,680

22.1
21.0
17.9
17.1
5.6

Big Stone
Blue Earth
Brown
Carl ton
Carver

9,838
33,847
23,428
21,232
16,936

0.7
7.5
4.5
9.5
-0.1

5,206
14,290
10,026
11,431
10,464

-2.8
-2.5
-1.9
14.9
3-9

1,154
3,129
2,116
2,594
2,153

2.5
0.5
0.5
25.3
5.5

Cass
Ch i ppewa
Ch i sago
Cl ay
Clearwater

15,591
15,762
13,189
9,546

-1.9
0.3
-8.7
6.2
11.4

11,139
8,169
8,863
10,513
7,852

21.1
-6.7
1.8
1.5
11.3

2,546
1,687
2,183
2,207
1,919

26.7
-2.5
7.9
5.7
27.9

Cottonwood
Crow Wing
Dakota
Doug 1as
Fari bault

14,782
25,627
34,592
18,813
21,642

1.5
4.3
19.4
-1.2
3.1

9,601
9,939
10,956
12,105
12,043

-0.6
30.7
-2.4
-0.2
-2.7

1,997
2,201
2,315
2,879
2,581

2.5
29.8
2.8
9.6
4.1

F reebo rn
Grant
Hennepin
Hubbard
1santi

28,741
9,558
517,785
9,596
12,081

16.4
-2.3
24.6
-5.3
-9.0

14,494
6,546
20,636
7,060
9,285

-1.6
-0.5
12.7
19.1
5.7

3,126
1,425
4,701
1,682
2,168

1.2
3.5
18.1
29.0
6.8

1tasca
Jackson
Kanabec
Kandiyohi
Ki ttson

27,224
15,863
8,558
23,574
9,688

14.0
-0.6
-5.8
6.9
-8.9

12,434
10,805
7,415
12,350
6,882

22.2
-1.8
11.1
-3-3
2.2

2,803
2,303
1,727
2,645
1,481

23-0
2.6
12.5
4.0
10.2

Koochiching
Lac qul Parle
Lake of the Woods
Le Sueur
Li ncol n

14,078
15,398
4,194
17,990
11,303

4.1
-1.0
0.7
0.3

5,736
9,956
3,359
9,973
7,492

21.0
-5.4
31.1
4.2
-5.6

1,438
2,141
966
2,249
1,602

12.5
1.5
3.4
5.1
1.5

Lyon
McLeod
Mahnomen
Marshal 1
Mart i n

19,326
20,522
6,153
17,003
22,401

2.6
0.4
-0.7
-12.5
6.2

9,608
11,825
4,316
13,051
11,989

-4.8
-2.3
13.8
5.2
-5.5

2,026
2,550
841
2,971
2,505

1.7
1.9
23.5
18.5
-2.2

Meeker
Mi 11e Lacs
Morn son
Murray
Nicol let

17,914
14,076
25,442
13,902
16,550

-1.0
-0.7
-1.5
2.0
10.1

12,132
9,671
17,848
10,196
7,640

-0.9
8.8
6.9
-0.9
*

2,547
2,313
3,591
2,110
1,566

2.7
14.2
10.2
3-5
6-3

Nobles
Norman
Otter Tai 1
Pennington
Pine

18,618
14,061
51,006
10,487
20,264

3.9
-5.5
0.4
-13.3
-4.0

10,376
9,809
33,617
5,960
15,949

-3.1
0.9
0.6
14.4
9.2

2,191
2,068
7,284
3,814

3.4
6.3
8.7
18.2
16.0

12,238
36,019
13,085
286,721
6,887

1.6
-2.9
-4.0
17.2
-5.2

6,084
20,766
8,533
5,580
4,704

-3.1
1.4
-1.1
6.6
0.5

1,313
4,729
1,905
1,254
981

4.6
12.5
8.1
16.8
10.1

20,620
23,645
29,974
10,962
12,621

-1.4
*
5.9
*
-5.1

12,992
15,231
11,126
6,515
10,195

-1.0
-1.2
-0.5
-3-8
11.3

2,728
3,184
2,432
1,382
2,287

3-1
*
3.1
3.3
19.0

Pi pestone
Polk
Pope
Ramsey
Red Lake
Redwood
Renvi11e
Rice
Rock
Roseau




23,120

-

1,300

COUNTY DATA

Table

B— POPULATION

AND NUMBER OF FARMS

GREAT P L A I N S

REGION,

69

IN 803 C OU N TI E S

IN THE

1920 TO 193 5 — Co nt i nued

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

Total
Populat ion
1930

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1920

204,596
14,116
9,709
15,865
62,121

-0.9
-0 .9
0.6
1.5
11.4

33.127
8,019
5,999
10,915
27,707

41.0
1.0
4.7
-0.6
2.0

7,919
1,679
1,355
2,334
4,896

62.5
6.5
11.6
5.4
5.2

Steele
Stevens
Swi ft
Todd
Traverse

18,475
10,185
14,735
26,170
7,938

2.3
4.2
-2.4
0.4
-0.1

9,477
6,249
8,945
18,255
5,090

2.2
-1.7
-i.5
1.8
-2.1

2,090
1,361
1,890
3,900
1,171

8.6
5.3
2.5
5.3
5.6

Wadena
Waseca
Washington
Watonwan
Wilkin

10,990
14,412
24,753
12,802
9,791

2.7
2.0
4.2
2.8
-3 .9

7,555
7,986
9,117
7,299
5,967

8.6
-2.7
4.6
1.2
1.4

1,703
1,704
2,181
1,536
1,278

21.2
1.5
11.1
3-8
6.7

Wright
Yel low Medicine

27,119
16,625

-5.5
0.5

18,399
10,359

1.6
-7.4

4,019
2,212

7.3
0.1

State and County

Farm
Population
1935

Number
of Farms
1935

MINNESOTA— Continued
St. Louis
Scott
Sherburne
Si bl ey
Stearns

IOWA
1,448,178

3-1

586,600

-2.0

133,457

3.1

Adai r
Adams
Appanoose
Audubon
Boone

13,891
10,437
24,835
12,264
29,271

-2.6
-0.8
-18.7
-2.0
-2.1

8,637
6,838
9,694
7,977
10,557

-4.5
-4.6
8.6
-0 .8
-3.1

2,182
1,637
2,304
1,879
2,567

3-5
0.4
8.3
3.1
0.8

Buena V ista
Calhoun
Carrol 1
Cass
Cerra Gordo

18,667
17,605’
22,326
19,422
38,476

0.6
-1.0
3-6
*
11.0

9,599
9,459
10,661
9,126
9,738

2.1
-2.4
-4.3
-3-9
2.2

2,179
2,174
2,152
2,243
2,048

4.2
*
-3 .2
2.0
2.2

Cherokee
Clarke
Cl ay
Crawford
Dal 1as

18,737
10,384
16,107
21,028
25,493

5.5
-1-2
2.9
2.0
1.5

8,950
6,037
8,204
11,681
10,398

-1.3
-4.4
-3.9
-3.3
-2.8

1,903
1,556
1,790
2,595
2,468

3-8
2.7
-0.6
1.5
3-4

Decatur
Dickinson
Emmet
Frankl in
Fremont

14,903
10,982
12,856
16,382
15,533

-10.0
7.2
1.8
3-6
0.6

8,444
5,692
5,869
9,693
8,312

-1.6
0.3
-3.2
-2.8
-7.7

2,088
1,290
1,315
2,154
1,871

6.0
5.4
2.3
3.5
-2.6

Greene
Guthrie
Hamilton
Hancock
Hard i n

16,528
17,324
20,978
14,802
22,947

0.4
-1 .5
7.4
0.5
-1 .7

9,408
9,901
10,006
9,494
9,599

-0.6
-2.3
-4.2
-0.1
-6.3

2,127
2,524
2,263
2,035
2,239

3.2
6.1
2.3
5.1
2.8

Harrison
Humboldt
Ida
Jasper
Kossuth

24,897
11,933
32,936
25,452

1.7
1.9
2.1
18.2
1.5

12,914
7,030
6,517
13,467
15,519

-3 .3
-2.4
-7 .0
-0.8
-2.2

2,942
1.533
1.453
3.125
3,153

-0.6
3-9
2.0
2-3

Lucas
Lyon
Madison
Marion
Marshal 1

15,114
15,293
14,331
25,727
33,727

-3-6
-0.9
-4 .6
3.1
3.4

7,249
9,454
8,929
10,429
10,921

3.5
0.8
-0 .8
-3 .5
0.4

1,730
1,885
2,238
2,476
2,401

8.5
3.6
4.0
2.6
2.1

M i ll s
Monona
Monroe
Montgomery
O'Bri en

15,866
18,213
15,010
16,752
18,409

2.9
6.4
-36.0
-1 .7
-3-4

7,265
10,264
7,549
6,997
9,064

-5.2
-7.7
-0 .2
-2.2
-2.3

1.663
2,182
1,768
1,677
2,006

1.4
0.6
4-3
3.8
2.1

Total




13,202

3.3

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

70

T a b le B— POPULATION AND NUMBER OF FARMS IN 803 COUNTIES

IN THE

GREAT PLA INS REGION, 1920 TO 1935— Cont i nued

State and County

Total
Population
1930

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1920

Farm
Populat ion
1935

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

Number
of Farms
1935

Percent
Increase or
Dec rease
From 1930

IOWA— Cont i nued
Osceola
Page
Palo Alto
Plymouth
Pocahontas

Sioux
Story
Taylor
Union
Warren
Wayne
Webster
W nnebago
i
Woodbu ry
Worth
Wright

-0.4
7.3
-0.6
2.4
0.5

6,428
9,339
9,339
13,516
9,711

-0.1
-2.8
3.0
-3-4
0.2

1,317
2,299
1,947
2,881
2,094

3-1
5.4
3.4
3-7
0.4

172,837
69,888
11,966
17,641
17,131

12.2
13.5
-7.4
0.8
6.6

14,265
18,206
7,886
9,158
10,180

4.1
-5 .9
0.5
-0.8
-5.4

3,351
4,205
2,033
1,995
2,186

7.0
3.2
4.8
6.5
-0.1

26,806
31,141
14,859
17,435
17,700

Polk
Pottawattarnie
Ringgold
Sac
Shelby

10,182
25,904
15,398
24,159
15,687

1.3
18.9
-4.2
1.0
-1.9

15,237
10,429
8,839
6,428
10,467

-1.4
-3.6
-0.2
-0 .8
-3-7

3,037
2,403
2,295
1,662
2,623

3-3
2.3
5.4
2.2
4.0

13.787
40,425
13.143
101,669
11,164
20,216

-10.3
7.5
-2.6
10.3
-4.0
-0.6

7,614
11,843
8,366
15,617
6,883
9,307

3-5
-0.3
2.7
-2.6
-2.6
-4.9

1,938
2,799
1,753
3,334
1,491
1,999

4.0
6.1
6.8

3-3
1.3
0.8

MISSOURI
Total

279,624

-4.8

124,750

0.2

31,728

3.9

Andrew
Atchi son
Buchanan
Daviess
De Kalb

13.469
13.421
98,633
14,424
10,270

-4.3
3-2
5.3
-13.3
-12.2

9,054
8,207
10,382
9,592
7,554

-0.9
-2.7
3.7
-0.8
4.5

2,324
1,674
2,479
2,746
2,040

3-8
3.8
5.3
9.4
6.9

Gent ry
Grundy
Harri son
Holt
Mercer

14,348
16,135
17,233
12,720
9,,350

-8.2
-8.1
-12.6
-9.7
-17.1

7,873
7,391
11,567
7,728
7,069

-6 .0
4.9
-2 .3
1.9
3.0

2,056
2,040
3,032
1,812
1,865

-3.6
13.3
-1.7
6.7
2.0

Nodaway
Putnam
Sul 1 i van
Worth

26,371
11,503
15,212
6,535

-4.9
-12.3
-14.4
-14.5

14,748
8,521
10,170
4,894

-0.7
3-3
-3.5
6.0

3,614
2,239
2,600
1,207

5.1
7.9
-1.6
-0.2

NORTH DAKOTA
Total

385,614

-3.0

84,606

8.5

Adams
Barnes
Benson
Bi 11i ngs
Bott i neau

6,343
18,804
13,327
3,140
14,853

13-4
0.7
1.8
0.4
-1.7

3,859
10,-287
9,076
2,936
9,521

-8.4
-2.1
-1.1
2.4
-4.4

970
2,331
2,133
597
2,371

4.4
12.0
20.4
12.4
9.5

Bowman
Bu rke
Burleigh
Cass
Caval ier

5,119
9,998
19,769
48,735
14,554

7.4
5.1
26.9
17.5
-6.4

3,091
6,027
6,423
12,939
'9,885

-7.1
-6.1
0.1
-5.3
-3.6

765
1,438
1,406
2,640
2,151

-6.1
7.2
5.1
1.7
9.2

Di ckey
Divide
Dunn
Eddy
Emmons

10,877
9,636
9,566
6,346
12,467

3.6
*
8.4
-2.3
10.4

6,462
6,551
8,039
3,324
9,122

-4.2
-9.6
3-2
-7.1
-0 .2

1,432
1,576
1,564
731
1,578

5.4
7.4
11.2
4.1
2.6

Foster
Golden V a l1ey
Grand Forks
Grant
G riggs

6,353
4,122
31,956
10,134
6,889

4.0
-14.7
11.0
6.1
-6.9

3,391
2,429
10,151
7,500
4,437

-7.1
-2.9
-6.1
-7.7
-7.7

818
590
2,431
1,502
1,078

14.1




680,845

5.31

3.3
18.0
-0.6
14.6

71

COUNTY DATA

Tab le

B— POP.U LAT I ON AND NUMBER OF FARMS
GREAT P L A I N S

State and County

Total
Popu1at i on
1930

REGION,

IN 803 CO U N TI E S

IN THE

1920 TO 193 5 — Co n t i nued

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1920

Farm
Population
1935

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

Number
of Farms
1935

Percent
Increase or
Dec rease
From 1930

NORTH DAKOTA— Continued
Hett i nger
Kidder
La Moure
Logan
McHen ry

8,796
8,031
11,517
8,089
15,439

14.5
3-0
-0.4
4.7
-0.7

6,295
5,535
7,719
6,128
10,480

2.2
-7.8
*
-0.8
0.4

1,235
1,140
1,729
1,134
2,242

13.6
-2.1
13-7
5.5
4.6

McIntosh
McKenzie
McLean
Mercer
Morton

9,621
9,709
17,991
9,516
19,647

6.8
1.7
4.2
15.7
5.0

6,328
8,085
12,289
6,581
10,165

-0.6
4.1
0.3
5.4
0.1

1,160
1,931
2,642
1,204
1,960

5.4
11.1
10.6
16.9
5.9

Mountrai1
Nel son
01 i ver
Pembi na
Pierce

13,544
10,203
4,262
14,757
9,074

11.6
-1.5
-3.7
-2 .8
-2.3

9,132
6,257
3,764
9,197
6,723

-7.4
-6.7
0.5
0.4
3.2

2,213
1,375
745
2,140
1,259

5.5
5.9
4.9
17.6
9.1

Ramsey
Ransom
Renvi11e
Ri chi and
Rolette

16,252
10,983
7,263
21,008
10,760

5.3
-5.5
-6.6
0.6
6.9

7,250
6,511
4,680
12,406
8,210

-7.3
-2.3
-9.4
-1.2
17.4

1,718
1,431
1,274
2,656
1,618

16.9
3.8
10.5
8.2
23-3

Sargent
Sheridan
Sioux
Slope
Stark

9,298
7,373
4,687
4,150
15,340

-3-7
-7.1
41.7
-16.0
13-3

6,081
5,791
3,762
3,063
7,738

-6.0
0.8
5.6
-5.6
-1.8

1,467
1,147
757
753
1,390

8.3
5.9
10.0
2.2
4.0

Steele
Stutsman
Towner
Trai 1
1
Walsh

6,972
26,100
8,393
12,600
20,047

-5 .8
6.2
0.8
3.2
5.1

4,897
11,580
4,629
6,859
11,987

-6-3
-9.1
-15.6
-7.3
-3.7

1,090
2,792
1,267
1,557
2,631

9.8
12.8
17.3
8.5
6.0

Ward
Wei 1s
Wi1 iams
1

33,597
13,285
19,553

16.6
2.5
8.7

12,107
7,942
9,993

-1.9
-4.8
-6.9

2,784
1,670
2,393

4.6
4.6
4.6

SOUTH DAKOTA
Total

692,849

8.8

358,204

-8.2

83,303

0.2

Armst rong
Au ro ra
Beadle
Bennett
Bon Hom e
m

80
7,139
22,917
4,590
11,737

_

-1.5
18.9
138.6
-1.7

22
4,509
7,835
3,217
6,793

-69.4
-13-0
-17, 7
-24.7
-6.6

8
1,152
1,882
783
1,499

-20.0
1.1
-9.4
-5.8
0.5

Brook i ngs
Brown
Brul e
Buffalo
Butte

16,847
31,458
7,416
1,931
8,589

4.5
6.6
3-9
12.6
26.0

8,986
10,334
4,086
1,292
4,970

-6.8
-5.4
-11.8
-19.1
-0.2

2,047
2,479
984
304
967

2.8
7.1
-5.7
-2.3
-1.5

Campbel 1
Charles Mix
Cl ark
Cl ay
Codington

5,629
16,703
11,022
10,088
17,457

6.1
2.7
-1.0
4.5
5.5

4,214
10,262
6,635
5,908
5,571

-2.9
-9.8
-15.6
-5.8
-3.8

865
2,2 53
1,684
1,311
1,300

7.2
0.5
-2.1
-0.1
4.4

Corson
Custer
Davi son
Day
Deuel

9,535
5,353
16,821
14,606
8,732

31-5
37.0
19.0
-3.9
-0.3

6,663
2,658
4,432
8,846
6,064

-5.6
-1.4
-10.6
-5.7
-3.1

1,464
645
1,031
2,082
1,355

-5.1
2.5
1.4
5.3
4.6

6,476
7,236
8,712
8,741
6,895

34.9
3-5
4.5
25.1
7.0

3,506
4,800
5,741
3,248
3,860

-12.8
-4.9
-1.2
-0.8
-11.1

777
1,046
1,271
873
977

-10.7
1.8
7.9
6.3
-0.1

Dewey
Doug 1as
Edmunds
Fall River
Faul k




72

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

T a b le B— POPULATION AND NUMBER OF FARMS IN 803 COUNTIES
GREAT PLA IN S REGION,

State and County

Total
Population
1930

IN THE

1920 TO 1935— Cont i nued

Percent
1ncrease or
Dec rease
From 1920

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

Farm
Populat ion
1935

Number
of Farms
1935

Percent
Increase or
Dec rease
From 1930

SOUTH DAKOTA— Continued
Grant
Gregory
HaakonHaml i n
Hand

10,729
11,420
4,679
8,299
9,485

-1.4
-10.1
1.8
3.0
8.1

6,298
6,979
3,094
5,109
6,217

-5.4
-10.0
-5.7
-8.5
-13.1

1,442
1,590
846
1,179
1,576

3.8
-3.3
5.6
0.3
-6.7

Hanson
Hardi ng
Hughes
Hutchi nson
Hyde
Jackson

6,131
3,589
7,009
13,904
3,690
2,636

-1.1
-9.2
22.7
3-2
11.3
6.6

4,187
2,950
2,164
8,625
2,335
1,489

-8.5
-6.3
-14.5
-2.4
-8.9
-10.5

930
738
547
1,805
581
393

0.2
-4.4
-7.3
3-0
-8.4
*

Jerauld
Jones
Ki ngsbury
Lake
Lawrence
Li ncoln

5,816
3,177
12,805
12,379
13,920
13,918

-8.2
5.8
*
1.0
6.8
0.2

3,268
1,963
6,853
6,352
2,166
8,164

-13.1
-11.0
-14.3
-3-2
6.2
-6.9

800
507
1,625
1,437
490
1,876

-6.4
-4.3
-3-2
6.3
19.2
1.9

Lyman
McCook
McPherson
Marshal I
Meade
Mel lette

6,335
10,316
8,774
9,540
11,482
5,293

-3 .9
3.3
13.9
-0.6
22.6
37.5

4,121
6,446
6,187
6,095
7,178
3,456

-12.4
-4.9
-2.4
-2.9
-9.5
-16.9

1,049
1,427
1,243
1,392
1,756
820

-8.4
-1.5
6.1
7.2
-3.5
-4.1

Mi ner
Mi nnehaha
Moody
Penn i ngtonPerkins
Potter

8,376
50,872
9,603
20,079
8,717
5,762

-2 .1
19.7
-1.4
57.9
9.1
31.5

5,261
11,370
6,048
5,315
6,087
2,865

-7 .9
-5.6
-4.7
-10.0
-8.6
-15.1

1,229
2,498
1,358
1,311
1,461
713

-2.5
3.1
-1.1
0.6
-2.7
-1.9

Roberts
San bo rn
Shannon
Spink
Stanley
Sully

15,782
7,326
4,058
15,304
2,381
3,852

-4.4
-7 .0
102.6
-3-0
-18.1
36.1

10,416
4,266
3,048
7,470
1,437
2,474

-7.1
-14.0
-3-8
-14.3
-12.1
-16.7

2,394
1,067
654
2,025
416
672

4.5
-3-2
12.2
1.6
1.2
-0.1

Todd
Tripp
Turner
Un ion
Wal worth
Washabaugh

5,898
12,712
14,891
11,480
8,791
2,474

111.9
6.2
0.1
3.4
4.1
112.2

4,347
7,585
9,147
7,237
3,495
2,158

-4 .5
-18.0
-4.6
-2.6
-6.1
-3.7

892
1,879
2,078
1,550
755
518

-1.0
-8.7
4.6
0.2
6.6
-6.0

Wash i ngton
Yankton
Zi ebach

1,827
16,589
4,039

20.1
8.9
8.6

1,637
7,373
3,020

#
-4.1
-14.2

364
1,648
733

15.6
2.0
-8.7

NEBRASKA
Total

1,377,963

6-3

580,694

Adams
Antelope
Arthur
Banner
B ai ne
1

26,275
15,206
1,344
1,676
1,584

16.2
-0.2
-4.8
16.8
-10.9

7,055
10,013
1,098
1,613
1,389

Boone
Box Butte
Boyd
Brown
Buffalo

14,738
11,861
7,169
5,772
24,338

4.2
41.1
- 13.0
-14.5
2.3

Bu rt
Butler
Cass
Cedar
Chase

13,062
14,410
17,684
16,427
5,484

4.0
-1.3
-1.9
1.2
11.0




-0.9

133-, 616

3-2

-2.7
-0.2
-7.2
4.7
9.8

1,759
2,184
230
383
291

2.6
1.4
-3-4
12.0
4.7

9,194
3,752
4,735
3,613
10,752

-3.7
-4.9
-0.8
11.2
0.6

2,037
932
1,114
797
2,585

2.6
2.0
6.3
12.9
6.4

7,285
8,717
8,532
10,679
3,610

-3-1
-1-3
-0.4
-2.1
5.0

1,602
1,968
2,051
2,283
779

2.1
4.5
-0.4
4.1
1.7

■

COUNTY DATA

Table

B— POPULATION

AND NUMBER OF FARMS

GREAT P L A I N S

State and County

Total
Population
1930

RE GION,

73

IN 803 C OU N TI E S

IN THE

1920 TO 193 5— Co nt i nued

Percent
1ncrease or
Dec rease
From 1920

Farm
Populat i on
1935

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

Number
of Farms
1935

Percent
1
ncrease or
Decrease
From 1930

NEBRASKA— Cont i nued
Cherry
Cheyenne
Cl ay
Col fax
Cumi ng

10,8,98
10,187
13,571
11,434
14,327

-7.3
21.2
-6.3
-1.6
4.1

6,763
5,451
6,968
6,230
9,240

-6.4
7.5
-4.0
0.9
-3-4

1,450
1,321
1,781
1,462
1,936

-2.0
18.4
-0.1
5.0
-0.4

Custer
Dakota
Dawes
Dawson
Deuel

26,189
9,505
11,493
17,875
3,992

-0.8
23.5
13.1
11.7
21.6

16,719
3,945
3,984
9,274
2,218

-4.3
-4.2
1.7
1.6
-2.7

3,842
846
886
2,123
544

2.9
0.2
1.8
1.8
8.8

Di xon
Dodge
Douglas
Dundy
Fi 1 m re
1 o

11,586
25,273
232,982
5,610
12,971

-1.9
8.9
13-9
15.2
-5.1

6,835
8,168
8,189
3,546
7,761

-5.8
-3-8
1.0
-2.5
0.6

1,527
1,921
1,851
736
1,930

-0.2
2.3
-1.7
3-8
3.1

Frankl i n
Front i er
Furnas
Gage
Garden

9,094
8,114
12,140
30,242
5,099

-9.7
-5 .0
4.1
1.8
11.5

5,845
5,657
6,299
12,675
3,382

4.0
-2.1
-1.5
0.6
-3-7

1,421
1,401
1,589
2,997
765

1.6
2.5
2.6
3-4
7.7

G arfield
Gosper
Grant
Greel ey
Hall

3,207
4,287
1,427
8,442
27,117

-8.3
-8 .2
-4 .0
-2.8
14.3

2,161
3,569
672
5,452
6,698

8.9
-0.6
-4.5
-4 .7
-1.7

499
869
115
1,157
1,658

12.1
2.7
-5 .0
-1.4
1.8

Hami1ton
Harl an
Hayes
Hi tchcock
Holt

12,159
8,957
3,603
7,269
16,509

-8.1
-2.9
8-3
20.2
-3.7

7,430
5,351
2,784
4,038
11,139

-2.7
*
-10.5
-3 .8
1.8

■ 1,831
662
950
2,471

3.7
3.4
2.5
0.8
2.5

Hooker
Howard
Jefferson
Johnson
Kearney

1,180
10,020
16,409
9,157
8,094

-14.4
-6.7
1.7
2.4
-5.7

636
6,910
7,793
5,524
4,981

2.4
2.1
2.0
-0.7
-2.3

158
1,624
1,936
1,334
1,222

9.7
4.6
12.8
2.4
-2.2

Kei th
Keyapaha
Kimbal1
Knox
Lancaster

6,721
3,203
4,675
19,110
100,324

27.0
-10.9
3.9
1.1
16.8

3,583
2,557
2,280
12,164
14,246

-1-3
-5.1
-3 -2
-3.5
4.4

807
571
631
2,704
3,328

3-6
-0.9
5.2
2.7
5.0

Li ncoln
Logan
Loup
McPherson
Mad i son

25,627
2,014
1,818
1,358
26,037

9.4
26.2
-6.6
-19.7
15.7

9,882
1,363
1,591
1,317
8,839

0.1
-0.4
3.7
9.7
-2.5

2,262
295
331
319
2,010

3-3
2.4
4.4
16.0
1.2

Merri ck
M orri1
1
Nance
Nemaha
Nuckol1s

10,619
9,950
8,718
12,356
12,629

-1,3
8.7
0.1
-1.5
-4.6

6,089
5,681
5,653
7,075
6,631

2.0
-1.2
-0.2
6.7
0.2

1,402
1,127
1,216
1,577
1,610

0.9
4.3
1.6
4.4
1.4

Otoe
Pawnee
Perki ns
Phelps
Pierce

19,901
9,423
5,834
9,261
11,080

2.1
-1.6
47.1
-6.5
3-7

9,226
5,775
4,004
4,744
7,263

-4.1
-3.9
3.5
-0.9
-1.7

2,252
1,404
958
1,210
1,651

-1.2
-0.4
-7.4
1.2
3.1

Platte
Polk
Redwi11ow
Richardson
Rock

21,181
10,092
13,859
19,826
3,366

8.8
-5.8
21.2
4.5
-9.1

11,377
6,584
5,271
9,409
2,725

1-3
-0.1
0.2
-0.8

13-8

2,323
1,541
1,229
2,081
610

6.9
2.3
3-4
6.0
14.9

Sali ne

16,356

-1 .0

8,476

1.7

2,188

4.8




1,300

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

74

T a b le 8— POPULATION AND NUMBER OF FARMS IN 803 COUNTIES
GREAT PLAINS REGION,

State and County

Total
Popul at ion
1930

IN THE

1920 TO 1935— Cont i nued

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1920

Farm
Population
1935

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

Number
of Farms
1935

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

NEBRASKA— Cont i nued
Sarpy
Saunders
Scotts Bluff
Seward

10,402
20,167
28,644
15,938

11.0
-2.0
38-3
0.4

5,097
11,640
11,519
9,885

8.4
-1.2
-2.5
3.1

Sheridan
Sherman
Sioux
Stanton
Thayer

10,793
9,122
4,667
7,809 .
13,684

12.1
2.8
3-1
0.7
-2.1

5,754
6,307
3,604
5,521
7,840

-6.2
-2.7
-9.9
-4.5
4.0

1,444
818
1,249
1,833

1.3
-1.5
4.2
2.0
7.0

Thomas
Thurston
Val 1ey
Wash i ngton
Wayne

1,510
10,462
9,533
12,095
10,566

-14.8
9.1
-3.0
-0.7
8.6

971
6,264
5,723
7,001
6,571

22.3
-3.0
-3.4
-5.1
-3.1

219
1,289
1,371
1,637
1,523

25.9
4.5
5.5
1.6
2.8

Webster
Wheel er
York

10,210
2.335
17,239

-6.5
-7.7
0.5

6,117
2,138
8,613

-3.2
-4.1

1,568
436
2,010

2.1
17.5
0.6

13.0

1,153
2,790
1,977

2,232
1,320

8.6
3-4
10.3
4.7

KANSAS
Total

1,880,999

6.3

703,743

-0.5

174,589

5.1

Allen
Anderson
Atch i son
Barber
Barton
Bourbon

21,391
13,355
23,945
10,178
19,776
22,386

-9.0
2.8
2.3
4.5
7-3
-3*5

7,818
7,235
7,586
4,649
7,903
9,111

-4.8
-6.6
-1.9
-2 .8
-0.5
-0.3

2,166
1,907
1,887
1,102
1,758
2,418

10.6
-0.4
7.5
4.3
3.8
10.9

Brown
Butler
Chase
Chautauqua
Cherokee
Cheyenne

20,553
35,904
6,952
10,352
31,457
6,948

-1 .9
-18.1
-2.7
-10.7
-6.4
24.4

9,765
11,239
3,716
5,426
11,212
5,095

-4.6
-3.3
-1.7
6.9
14.6
4.7

2,294
2,738
917
1,311
2,671
1,143

4.1
3.0
9.3
6.5
22.9
4.8

Cl ark
Cl ay
Cl oud
Coffey
Comanche
Cowl ey

4,796
14,556
18,006
13,653
5,238
40,903

-3 .9
1.3
1.6
-4.2
-1.2
16.3

2,492
7,752
8,271
8,692
2,529
11,675

2.8
-1.6
-1.3
1.4
-3.3
-0.3

615
2,070
2,190
2,364
575
2,946

8.3
7.5
5.5
8.9
12.3
1.8

Crawford
Decatur
Dickinson
Doniphan
Douglas
Edwards

49,329
8,866
25,870
14,063
25,143
7,295

-20.2
9.2
0.4
4.7
4.8
3-4

11,774
5,693
10,551
7,990
8,526
3,265

6.4
0.2
-1.2
-8.7
5.2
-4.1

2,897
1,414
2,565
1,739
2,209
829

11.9
5.5
0.9
1.9
19.3
0.7

Elk
Ell is
El 1sworth
Fi nney
Ford
Franklin

9,210
15,907
10,132
11,014
20,647
22,024

1.9
12.5
-2.4
43.5
44.7
0.4

5,007
7,836
4,842
4,512
5,514
9,265

1.5
-2.5
-4 .8
0.6
-5.3
-1.0

1,308
1,343
1,181
1,029
1,407
2,526

5.2
2.2
1.9
6.0
5.2
5.8

Geary
Gove
Graham
Grant
Gray
Greeley

14,366
5,643
7,772
3,092
6,211
1,712

6.8
18.9
1.9
184.5
66.5

3.416
4,264
5,705
1,875
3,657
1,096

-1.4
10.0
-2.3
10.2
-4.2
6-3

773
911
1,296
466
935
311

0.5
2.4
0.8
-12.6
12.9
10.3

Greenwood
Hami1ton
Harper
Harvey
Haskel 1
Hodgeman

19,235
3,328
12,823
22,120
2,805
4,157

30.7
28.7
-6.1
6.6
92.8
11.3

8,671
2,006
6,481
7,386
1,526
3,244

-0.1
18.6
-1.4
-1.1
-12.9
9.2

2,137
529
1,642
1,720
429
790

12.2
20.2
5.1
-1 .5
-6.9
7.9




31.8

COUNTY DATA

Table

B— POPULATION

AND NUMBER OF FARMS

GREAT P L A I N S

State and County

Total
Populat ion
1930

REGION,

75

IN 803 C O U N TI E S

IN THE

1920 TO 193 5— Co n t i nued

Percent
1ncrease, or
Dec rease
From 1920

Farm
Population
1935

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

Number
of Farms
1935

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

KANSAS— Cont i nued
Jackson
Jefferson
Jewel 1
Johnson
Kearny
Ki ngman

14,776
14,129
14,462
27,179
3,196
11,674

-4.6
-4.2
-10.9
48.4
22.1
-3.7

9,676
9,059
9,698
11,275
2,055
6,826

-3.5
2.6
-5.3
16.6
7.1
0.9

2,588
2,286
2,601
2,830
516
1,638

5.8
5.5
1.1
19.1
11.7
5.9

Kiowa
Labette
Lane
Leavenworth
Li ncoln
Linn

6,035
31,346
3,372
42,673
9,707
13,534

-2.1
-7.9
18.4
11.1
-1.9
-2.0

3,174
10,619
2,102
9,459
5,758
8,765

-7.4
3.6
-3.4
10.5
-8.8
-1-3

730
2,698
554
2,260
1,427
2,372

-5.4
8.0
13-3
12..9
-0.6
7.0

Logan
Lyon
McPherson
Marion
Marshal 1
Meade

4,145
29,240
23,588
20,739
23,056
6,858

28.6
11.8
8.0
-9.5
1.4
23.7

2,557
10,490
11,387
11,025
11,749
3,599

10.5
-2.6
-1.7
2.4
-3.6
-2.7

601
2,623
2,563
2,527
2,918
883

11.1
0.5
-4.7
2.7
2.3
-5.4

Mi ami
Mi tch el1
Montgomery
Morri s
Morton
Nemaha

21,243
12,774
51,411
11,859
4,092
18,342

7.2
-8.0
3-6
-1.2
28.8
-0.8

9,444
6,684
11,113
6,556
1,843
10,902

2.6
-1.8
7.3
-2.8
-2.5
-3.3

2,520
1,699
2,750
1,622
475
2,468

10.4
-0.6
9.0
3-2
20.9
-0.1

Neosho
Ness
Norton
Osage
Osborne
Ottawa

22,665
8,358
11,701
17,538
11,568
9,819

-5.6
11.6
2.4
-5.8
-7.0
-8.4

9,165
4,929
6,614
10,115
6,544
5,700

3-9
-3.8
-3.6
-1.6
-5.7
-3-4

2,3H
1,218
1,688
2,702
1,692
1,631

7.2
9.9
-1.0
3.7
2.4
0.9

Pawnee
P h illip s
Pottawatomie
Pratt
Rawl i ns
Reno

10,510
12,159
15,862
13,312
7,362
47,785

12.7
-2.8
-1.8
3-1
8.3
7.6

4,590
7,873
9,193
4,738
4,996
13,526

-5.2
-0.9
-0.7
-8.2
-1 .5
-2.1

1,164
2,074
2,282
1,168
1,143
3,140

-2.3
4.8
6.5
1.7
-2.8
0.1

Republ i c
Ri ce
Ri ley
Rooks
Rush
Russel 1

14,745
13,800
19,882
9,534
9,093
11,045

-7.0
-7.0
-3*7
-4.3
8.8
2.8

9,035
5,845
6,547
5,455
5,475
5,889

-3.2
-4 .5
-3.1
-6.4
*
-1.6

2,357
1,447
1,625
1,402
1,188
1,357

2.8
1.4
3-6
0.8
1.2
1.0

Sali ne
Scott
Sedgwi ck
Seward
Shawnee
Sheri dan

29,337
3,976
136,330
8,075
85,200
6,038

16.9
27.4
47.8
29.8
23-2
10.1

6,839
1,987
16,095
2,201
10,111
4,449

-4.6
-2.0
6.6
-7.9
0.7
-2 .7

1,862
552
3,865
560
2,460
1,050

1.3
15.2
9.8
4.1
13.2
0.1

Sherman
Smi th
Stafford
Stanton
St evens
Sumner

7,400
13,545
10,460
2,152
4,655
28,960

32.3
-9.6
-9.5
137.0
18.1
-0.9

3,275
8,557
5,647
1,459
.2,471
12,069

-2.3
-8.0
-3.0
8.3
-16.7
-4.5

839
2,323
1,317
411
612
3,097

4.4
1.0
-3.1
30.5
-3-5
4.9

Thomas
Trego
Wabaunsee
Wal1ace
Washington
Wichita

7,334
6,470
10,830
2,882
17,112
2,579

32.9
10.0
-5.2
18.9
-4.8
39.0

3,773
4,354
7,084
1,711
11,528
1,646

4.0
-6 .7
-2.4
-3-4
-1.4
2.2

1,000
963
1,770
440
2,830
419

6.4
-1.7
8.7
7-3
1.3
12.3

W 1son
i
Woodson
Wyandotte

18,646
8,526
141,211

-11.9
-5.1
15.5

8,149
5,059
6,967

6.6
0.2
12.4

2,020
1,325
1,678

9.5
11.3
12.2

138051 0 — 37------6




76

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

T a b le B— POPULATION AND NUMBER OF FARMS IN 803 COUNTIES
GREAT P LA IN S REGION,

State and County

IN THE

1920 TO 1935— Cont i nued

Total
Populat ion
1930

Percent
Increase or
Dec rease
From 1920

Farm
Population
1935

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

Number
of Farms
1935

Percent
Increase or
Dec rease
From 1930

OKLAHOMA
Total

2,396,040

18.1

1,015,562

-0.8

213,325

4.6

Adai r
A1 f a lfa
Atoka
Beaver
Beckham

14,756
15,228
14,533
11,452
28,991

7.7
-6.3'
-30.3
-18.5
52.7

11,673
8,731
11,703
7,836
13,619

13.4
-4.3
13.5
-9.3
-14.4

2,409
2,164
2,348
2,080
3,135

35.4
-7.0
26.2
1.6
-3-9

Blaine
Bryan
Caddo
Canad i an
Carter

20,452
32,277
50,779
28,115
41,419

28.8
-20.7
48.4
26.1
2.9

12,143
20,590
27,963
12,745
13,703

-3.1
4.0
-13.8
-13.7
14.2

2,709
4,132
5,579
2,704
2,808

5.5
9.7
-6.4
-8.7
27.9

Cherokee
Choctaw
Cima rron
Cl eveland
Coal

17,470
24,142
5,408
24,948
11,521

-12.1
-24.9
57.4
28.7
-37.4

13,779
17,194
3,109
10,701
8,363

4.1
9.9
-10.5
0.1
12.5

2,793
3,472
975
2,221
1,769

15.0
9.9
9.9
10.4
25.1

Comanche
Cotton
Craig
Creek
Custer

34,317
15,442
18,052
64,115
27,517

28.9
-7.4
-5.8
2.6
46.9

13,648
9,752
10,535
19,394
12,528

-6.2
-7.3
4.9
5.5
-11.6

2,826
2,052
2,482
3,782
2,747

-3.0
0.3
11.9
6.4
-8 .1

Del aware
Dewey
Ell is
G arfield
Garvi n

15,370
13,250
10,541
45,588
31,401

10.8
6.6
-9.7
21.6
-3.2

13,068
9,789
6,843
12,359
19,440

4.3
*
-3.8
1.7
-1.0

2,711
2,280
1,720
3,056
3,824

10.2
0.4
2.1
-12.1
5.9

Grady
Grant
Greer
Harmon
Harper

47,638
14,150
20,282
13,834
7,761

40.3
-12.0
28.1
22.8
1.8

23,347
9,524
9,565
8,345
4,684

-12.2
-1.8
-19.2
-16.5
-9.3

4,812
2,609
1,985
1,667
1,150

-1.6
-5.4
-19.1
-7.3
-4.5

Haskel1
Hughe's
Jackson
Jefferson
Johnston

16,216
30,334
28,910
17,392
13,082

-16.4
16.5
-1 .5
-35.0

12,093
15,411
12,907
10,140
8,732

1.2
0.8
-18.0
-4.3
2.4

2,433
3,004
2,594
1,994
1,795

9.7
0.4
-9 .0
-0.1
17.6

Kay
Ki ngf i sher
K i owa
Latimer
Le Flore

50,186
15,960
29,630
11,184
42,896

43.8
1.8
28.3
-19.3
0.3

12,412
11,081
15,048
7,030
26,083

9.2
4.9
-17.5
9.3
9.8

2,997
2,623
3,090
1,386
4,971

5.2
7.3
-12.5
13.5
14.0

Li ncoln
Logan
Love
McClain
McCurtai n

33,738
27,761
9,639
21,575
34,759

1.0
0.8
-22.5
11.6
-8.3

21,372
12,367
8,371
14,804
25,055

-5.0
-1.3
15.9
-5.3
15.6

4,478
2,681
1,759
2,872
5,092

1.7
-5.4
8.2
-4 .7
20.6

McIntosh
Major
Marshal 1
Mayes
Murray

24,924
12,206
11,026
17,883
12,410

-5.6
-1 .8
-24.9
6.3
-5.4

19,127
9,357
7,532
13,511
5,744

1.8
3.4
3.2
8.2
3.0

3,410
2,131
1,476
2,810
1,165

-3.0
1.8
9.7
10.6
14.4

Muskogee
Nob) e
Nowata
Okfuskee
Oklahoma

66,424
15,139
13,611
29,016
221,738

7.6
11.6
-14.4
15.8
90.6

23,428
8,019
7,014
17,900
18,455

-1.4
3.2
-5.0
0.2
11 . i

4,480
1,977
1,605
3,520
4,001

-0.2
-5.9
5.4
-0.7
28.6

Okmulgee
Osage
Ottawa
Pawnee
Payne

56,558
47,334
38,542
19,882
36,905

2.7
29.6
-6.2
4.0
22.3

18,021
13,312
9,179
9,349
13,936

5.5
8.4
3.7
-0 .8
-0.5

3,534
2,644
1,999
2,269
3,034

4.3
12.3
10.4
-0.9
3-6




30.6

77

COUNTY DATA

Tab le

B— POPULATION AND NUMBER OF FARMS
GREAT

State and County

PLAINS

Total
Population
1930

REGI ON ,

IN 803 CO U N TI E S

IN THE

1920 TO 1935— C o n t i n u e d

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1920

Farm
Population
1935

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

Number
of Farms
1935

OKLAHOMA— Continued
Pittsburg
Pontotoc
Pottawatomie
Pushmataha
Roger M i ll s

50,778
32.469
66,572
14,744
14,164

-3.4
4.9
44.6
-15.8
33.1

20,341
16,226
20,935
10,391
10,029

4.8
8.0
-4.6
17.1
-10.9

4,291
3,038
4,378
2,253
2,326

15.5
13.7
16.4
26.4
-1.1

Rogers
Seminole
Sequoyah
Stephens
Texas

18,956
79,621
19,505
33.069
14,100

7.7
234.4
-27.2
33.9
0.9

12,032
17,105
16,225
15,084
7,065

12.9
-28.0
11.6
-4.2
-11.8

2,634
3,117 ,
3,151
3,023
2,135

22.3
11.3
13.8
3.5
5.7

24,390
187,574
22,428
27,777
29,435
17,005
15,844

8.7
72.0
4.9
2.9
32.4
6.7
8.1

13,612
16,547
15,711
7,024
17,870
8,125
7,777

-4.4
34.7
-3.1
14.1
-15.6
0.6
-2.9

2,420
3.119
3.252
1,559
3,859
2,112
1.833

Ti 1lman
Tul sa
Wagoner
Washington
Washi ta
Woods
Woodward

-12.4
25.3
3.1
40.8
-14.4
4.0
2.7

TEXAS
1,208,468

51.9

. 436,429

-4.1

97,076

3-3

Andrews
Archer
Armst rong
Bai 1ey
Baylor

736
9,684
3,329
5,186
7,418

110.3
84.3
18.2
903.1
5.6

412
3.345
1,854
3,994
4,642

-7.4
7.6
-11.4
-4.6
8.4

85
744
456
903
920

13.3
7.5
-3-4
19.1
6.1

Borden
Brewster
Bri scoe
Cal lahan
Carson

1,505
6,624
5,590
12,785
7,745

56.0
37.4
89.6
7.9
151.6

1,265
898
2,695
7,218
2,065

-11.0
-26.3
-25.3
1.1
-10.1

301
241
699
1,623
614

3-1
-16.0
2.9
11.9
13.3

Cast ro
Chi 1dress
Clay
Cochran
Coke

4,720
16,044
14,545
1,963
5,253

142.3
46.7
-13.8
2,829.9
15.3

3,224
6,277
9,355
2,109
3.470

-6.9
-19.3
-2.7
48.9
-8.6

1,068
1,334
1,978
456
876

42.2
-1.0
-6.1
60.0
4.5

Coleman
Col 1 ingsworth
Concho
Cottle
Crane

23.669
14,461
7,645
9,395
2,221

25.9
58.0
30.8
36.1
5,902.7

11,517
8,568
4.312
4,781
444

-13.8
-12.9
-22.5
-22.5
982.9

2,373
1,817
891
1,177
106

-8.1
-14.0
-21.6
12.4
715.4

Crockett
Crosby
Culberson
Dal 1am
Dawson

2,590
11,023
1,228
7,830
13.573

72.7
81.2
34.6
72.9
215.0

1.033
6,524
114
2,315
8,072

84.5
-14.2
-15.6
-4.8
-15.3

184
1,389
58
709
1,946

37.3
-20.1
11.5
7.4
-1-2.3

Deaf Smith
Di ckens
Donley
Eastland
Ector

5,979
8,601
10,262
34,156
3,958

59.6
46.4
27.7
-41.6
420.8

2,769
5,175
5,114
10,997
379

-8.8
-14.1
-19.6
19.7
0.5

1,085
1,062
1,140
2,420
102

131.597
13.563
12,409
6,315
2,800

29.2
23.2
27.2
33.0
175.0

11,227
9,585
6,865
3,814
2,040

21.8
-3.1
-8.1
0.3
1.8

1,548
1,828
1,743
830
459

22.6
-12.5
4.3
15.3
12.8

5,586
1,263
22,090
20,189
16,966

31-3
127.6
373.7
99.8
52.3

2,874
760
3,985
7,760
7,272

-11.9
-4.2
32.7
-9.3
-23.8

608
169
1,109
1,859
1,521

-23.6
35.2
58.2
7.5
-17.1

Total

El Paso
Fi sher
Floyd
Foard
Gaines
Ga rza
Glasscock
Gray
Hale
Hall




.

72.2
-13.5
-16.4
21.6
47.8

78

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

T a b le B— POPULATION AND NUMBER OF FARMS IN 803 COUNTIES
GREAT PLA IN S REGION,

State and County

Total
Populat i on
1930

IN THE

1920 TO 1935— Con t i rued

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1920

Farm
Populat ion
1935

Percent
Increase or
Dec rease
From 1930

Number
of Farms
1935

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

TEXAS— Conti nued
3,548
14,532
2,185
16,669
4,637

162.0
16.4
97.0
17.4
8.3

1,414
7,199
1,379
11,038
1,905

Hockl ey
Howard
Hudspeth
Hutchi nson
1rion

9,298
22,888
3,728
14,848
2,049

6,686.9
228.8
287.5
1,959.4
27.3

7,044
5,082
943
784
777

Jack
Jeff Davis
Jones
Kent
King

9,046
1,800
24,233
3.851
1,193

-8.3
24.6
8.6
15.5
82.1

Knox
Lamb
Li pscomb
Loving
Lubbock

11,368
17,452
4,512
195
39,104

Lynn
Mart i n
Midland
Mi tchel1
Montague

0.1
*
12.8
-6.1

9.3
1.4
96.2
1.7
-3.1

4.7
-10.7
-57.4
-1.8
4.6

1,482
1,034
159
184
176

10.3
-13.4
-18.0
14.3
10.0

5,926
547
13,483
2,860
812

11.1
12.1
-3.7
-3.1
-15.5

1,490
110
2,810
619
163

28.3
11.1
0.2
5.3
2.5

23.0
1,385.3
22.5
137.8
252.4

7,374
11,191
2,483
46
11,720

-0.4
-0.8
9.1
206.7
-7.3

1,268
2,340
647
17
2,652

- 13.2
-1.7

12,372
5,785
8,005
14,183
19,159

160.4
404.8
226.9
88.4
-13.7

8,724
3,646
2,112
6,411
12,279

-4.9
-12.7
17.0
-12.2
14.8

2,001
805
520
1,348
2,649

-6.4
3-7
44.0
-9.0
12.2

Moore
Motl ey
Nolan
Och i 11 ree
Oldham

1,555
6,812
19,323
5,224
1,404

172.3
65.9
77.8
124.1
98.0

597
3,220
5,413
1,994
634

-18.0
-26.2
-9.7
-12.5
10.6

287
619
1.133
685
220

64.9
-32.0
-1.8
18.1
60.6

Parmer
Pecos
Potter
Presi dio
Randal 1

5,869
7,812
46,080
10,154
7,071

245.4
102.5
175.8
-16.8
92.4

3,847
1,789
1,637
3,375
2,981

-8 .0
-2. 1
8.6
21.6
1.1

901
374
396
756
813

10.1
-2.9

Reagan
Reeves
Roberts
Runnels
Schlei cher

3,028
6,407
1,457
21,821
3.166

703.2
43.8
-0.8
27.8
71.0

251
1,648
517
11,494
1,572

-14.6
-3-3
-1.0
-9.4
0.3

90
376
175
2,337
341

23.3
15.0
10.8
-8.1
13.7

Scurry
Shackelford
Sherman
Stephens
Sterl ing

12,188
6,695
2,314
16,560
1,431

35.4
35.0
57.1
7.5
35.9

6,807
2,372
993
3.731
513

-9.2
0.3
-12.0
10.7
-14.6

1,603
498
412
856
121

2.5
7.8
38.3
11.9
-11.0

Stonewal1
Sutton
Swi sher
Taylor
Terrel 1

5,667
2,807
7,343
41,023
2,660

38.7
75.7
67.3
70.4
66.8

4,498
790
4,107
10,133
682

1.1
23.4
-0.1
-4.5
23.1

1,052
168
1,042
2,112
128

24.6
9.1
2.1
-5.4
-9.2

Terry
Throckmorton
Tom Green
Upton
Ward

5,253
36,033
5,968
4,599

297.3
46.4
136.9
2,258.9
75.9

6,812
2,797
6,384
361
1,095

2.6
-3-7
10.4
70.3
-24.9

1,486
745
1,523
100
230

1.9
21.9
23.4
177.8
-24.1

Wheeler
Wichita
W 1barger
i
Winkler
Yoakum
Young

15,555
74,416
24,579
6,784
1,263
20,128

110.3
2.1
62.6
8,275.3
150.6
50.4

8,284
8,146
9,502
316
1,123
7,716

-2.1
1.6
-6.8
a
-3-4
10.8

1,793
1,773
1,699
68
240
1,801

-20.6
142.9
0.4
18.5




CD
CD

- 13.8

470
1,408
518
2,421
401

0
0
V
O

Hansford
Hardeman
Hartl ey
Haskel 1
Hemphi1
1

23.2
112.5
6.3

23.0
42.1
-3.6

10.3

23.8

COUNTY DATA

Tab le

B— POPULATION
GREAT

State and County

AND NUMBER OF FARMS

PLAINS

Total
Populat ion
1930

REGI ON ,

79

IN 803 C OU N TI E S

IN THE

1920 TO 193 5— Co n t i n ued

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1920

Farm
Populat i on
1935

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

Number
of Farms
1935

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

MONTANA
Tota)

537,554

-2.1

195,262

-4.6

50,564

6.5

Beaverhead
Big Horn
B ai ne
1
Broadwater
Carbon

6,654
8,543
9,006
2,738
12,571

-9.7
21.8
-0.6
-15.5
-17.7

2,272
4,973
5,721
1,245
5,660

-21.6
-8.8
3.2
-15.8
-3.9

551
1,163
1,401
337
1,216

-5.2
7 .i
8.8
2.7
3-9

Carter
Cascade
Chouteau
Custer
Daniels

4,136
41,146
8,635
11,242
5,553

4.1
5.9
-21.9
-7.8
-

3,251
5,825
5,531
2,682
3,120

-6.6
-7.7
-5.4
-8.9
-17.4

909
1,478
1,690
750
904

7.2
5.3
6.5
4.9
-0.2

Dawson
Deer Lodge
Fai 1on
Fergus
FI at head

9,881
16,293
4,568
16,531
19,200

6.9
6.3
0.4
-41.7
-11.5

4,026
829
2,725
7,630
6,272

-10.7
5.1
-5.9
-7.7
6.6

1,017
177
694
1,999
1,489

-0.1
24.6
6.8
-3.6
10.4

Gal 1at i n
G arfield
G lacier
Golden Val 1ey
Grani te

16,124
4,252
5,297
2,126
3,013

1.6
-20.8
26.8
-27.7

5,784
3,482
2,166
1,301
993

-3-4
-7.8
-6 .3
-17.1
-2.4

1,381
1,062
668
348
247

3-4
-1.4
46.8
-10.1
*

H ill
Jefferson
Judith Basin
Lake
Lewis and Cl ark

13,775
4,133
5,238
9,541
18,224

-1 .3
-20.6
-2.3

5,645
1,748
2,808
7,035
2,538

1.8
15.0
-15.7
36.8
-3.6

1,525
467
742
1,696
634

7.2
21.3
-4.4
41.7
3-6

Liberty
Li ncoln
McCone
Madison
Meagher

. 2,198
7,089
4,790
6,323
2,272

-9 .0
-9.1
0.9
-15.6
-13.3

1,459
2,603
3,558
3,329
1,120

-6.6
39.6
-12.1
-4.2
-11.2

467
734
946
783
305

16.2
45.9
-9.1
4.7
10.5

Mi neral
Mi ssoula
Mussel she!1
Park
Petrol eum

1,626
21,782
7,242
10,922
2,045

-30.1
-9.4
-39.8
-3.6
-

441
3,649
1,696
2,993
1,192

16.7
11.7
-21.5
*
-19.3

127
876
453
699
373

32.3
27.3
-13.7
6.6
2.8

Phi 11ips
Pondera
Powder River
Powel1
Prai rie

8,208
6,964
3,909
6,202
3,941

-11.8
21.3
16.4
-10.2
7.0

5,165
4,037
3,391
1,605
2,100

-8 .3
1.1
-5.4
-8.9
-16.9

1,522
1,020
945
375
539

3.1
11.0
5.5
9.3
-3-6

Raval1 i
Ri chi and
Roosevelt
Rosebud
Sanders

10,315
9,633
10,672
7,347
5,692

2.1
7.2
3-1
-8.2
16.1

6,234
6,266
4,864
3,731
3,118

10.5
0.3
-13.4
-14.4
20.9

1,477
1,506
1,416
1,080
847

14.9
12.3
11.0
14.9
27.8

Sheri dan
Si 1ver Bow
S t i 1 water
1
Sweet Grass
Teton

9,869
56,969
6,253
3,944
6,068

-28.7
-5.5
-18.0
-19.9
3-4

5,697
799
3,724
2,119
4,041

-15.1
-10.1
-9.9
-14.0
-0.4

1,496
192
947
535
1,072

0.3
-9 .4
-1.6
0.6
4.8

Tool e
T reasu re
Valley
Wheat 1and
W baux
i
Yellowstone

6,714
1,661
11,181
3,751
2,767
30,785

80.3
-16.5
-3.1
-33.2
-11.1
4.0

2,240
1,138
5,396
1,206
2,021
9,068

-2.3
-10.1
-22.2
-12.4
-3.1
-1.0

635
256
1,706
297
468
1,925

6.4
-3-8
-6.9
-8.3
-0.2
10.1

203,952

16.5

65,965

1.0

15,575

8.6

12,041
11,222

29.7
-7.3

2,012
5,289

-8.3
14.4

537
1,064

-2.0
12.2

WYOMING
Total
A lbany
Big Horn




80

THE PEOPLE OF THE DROUGHT STATES

T a b le B— POPULATION AND NUMBER OF FARMS IN 803 COUNTIES
GREAT PLAINS REGION,

State and County

Total
Populat ion
1930

IN THE

1920 TO 1935— Cont i nued

Percent
Increase or
Dec rease
From 1920

Farm
Populat ion
1935

Percent
Increase or
Dec rease
From 1930

Number
of Farms
1935

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

WYOMING— Cont i nued
Campbel1
Carbon
Converse
Crook
Fremont

6,720
11,391
7,145
5.333
10,490

28.4
19.6
-9.2
-3.5
-11.3

4,647
2,219
3,209
3,932
5,468

-7.5
-1.0
-9.9
-6.0
27.3

1,277
639
851
1,038
1,326

-6.3
27.8
4.9
8.9
40.8

Goshen
Hot Springs
Johnson
La rami e
Natrona

11,754
5,476
4,816
26,845
24,272

45.8
6.0
4.3
29.7
65.8

7,791
1,378
2,217
4,389
1,714

5.6
6.4
-16.0
6.6
9.7

1,538
346
574
1,106
460

3.4
5-1.1
7.1
11.0
18.3

Niabrara
Park
P Iatte
Sheridan
Sweetwater

4,723
8,207
9,695
16,875
18,165

-25.3
12.5
-7.2
33.2

2,704
3,908
4,563
4,818
1,039

-2.7
5.1
-15.5
10.5
-18.1

738
889
1,005
1,002
274

1.5
29.2
-12.5
8.2
6.2

4,109
4,673

32.3
0.9

2,280
2,368

7.9
-6.4

350
611

7.4
-0.8

Washak i e
Weston

30.6

COLORADO
Total

923,608

11.2

223,395

-3.1

50,439

5.3

Adams
Alamosa
Arapahoe
Baca
Bent

20,245
8,602
22,647
10,570
9,134

40.3
-67.1
64.5
21.2
-5.9

9,131
2,390
5,965
7,014
3,784

-0.8
-1.0
22.9
-8.0
-11.5

2,088
490
1,535
1,805
899

9.2
-7.7
25.3
3.1
1.9

Boulder
Chaffee
Cheyenne
Clear Creek
Conejos

32,456
8,126
3,723
2,155
9,803

1.9
4.8
-0.6
-25.5
16.5

6,705
1,325
2,655
144
5,856

-4.6
-8.4
2.8
50.0
-0.7

1,505
324
671
41
1,053

2.2
5.5
7.4
20.6
-28.2

Cost i l i a
Crowl ey
Custer
Denver
Dougl as

5,779
5,934
2,124
287,861
3,498

14.8
-7.0
-2.2
12.2
-0.5

3,083
2,838
1,536
1,165
2,035

6.9
-17.1
12.9
10.5
0.6

574
606
407
279
474

-11.4
-3-2
0.2
8.6
8.2

Elbert
El Paso
Fremont
G ilpin
Grand

6,580
49,570
18,896
1,212
2,108

-5.7
12.6
5.7
-11.1
-20.7

4,952
5,627
5,240
171
1,057

-4.7
-8.3
13.1
40.2
22.9

1,296
1,453
1 .3 H
45
296

4.4
-0.7
3.2
32.4
29.3

Hinsdale
Huerfano
Jackson
Jefferson
Kiowa

449
17,062
1,386
21,810
3,786

-16.5
1.1
3.4
51.5
0.8

152
4,502
743
8,299
2,434

34.5
8.3
-4.9
2.7
-5.8

42
851
244
2,048
617

-4.5
12.0
20.2
12.7
6.6

Kit Carson
Lake
Larimer
Las Animas
Lincoln

9,725
4,899
33.137
36,008
7,850

9.1
-26.1
18.9
-7.6
-5.1

7,009
163
9,590
9,069
4,761

3.9
40.5
-6.4
-1.6
-7.4

1,730
39
2,047
1,900
1,268

6.1
-11.4
11.4
8.1
2.9

Logan
Mineral
Morgan
Otero
Park

19,946
640
18,284
24,390
2,052

8.2
-17.8
13.4
7.8
3.8

9,186
128
8,518
6,852
1,510

-3.5
12.3
-10.6
-9.9
30.7

1,929
49
1,612
1*372
483

4.6
-2.0
2.7
5.7
22.6

Phil 1ips
Prowers
Pueblo
Rio Grande
Routt

5,797
14,762
66,038
9,953
9,352

5.4
6.6
14.6
26.7
4.5

3,452
6,331
7,030
3.848
3.569

8.0
-9.3
-1.3
-11.2
11.1

876
1,472.
1,589
737
1,094

14.4
6.5
7.9
1.0
17.9




81

COUNTY DATA

Tab le

B— POPULATION
GREAT

State and County

AND NUMBER OF FARMS

PLAINS

Total
Populat ion
1930

REGI ON ,

IN 803 C O U N TI E S

IN THE

1920 TO 193 5 — Co n t i nued

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1920

Farm
Population
1935

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

Number
of Farms
1935

Percent
Increase or
Decrease
From 1930

COLORADO— Cont i nued

913
7,756

-2.6
12.7
4.5
54.2
0.8

697
646
64
265
1,894

25.1
15.4
4.9
11.3
8.0

20.4
-2.0

29,752
9,111

-12.6
-3-3

5,546
2,176

3.0

6,250
5,580
987
4,141
9,591

Weld
Yuma

34.8
32.4
-42.7
-38.2
-14.4

2,620
3,194

65,097
13,613

Saguache
Sedgwi ck
Summi t
T e lle r
Washington

230

16
.

NEW MEXICO
Total

423,317

17.5

189,358

19.4

41,369

31.7

Bernal i 1lo
Cat ron
Chaves
Col fax
Curry

45,430
3,282
19,549
19,157
15,809

52.2

7,602
4,493
6,616
4,524
5,882

33-7
134.0
26.1
0.4
4.3

1,788
1,167
1,339
884
1,436

43-3
166.4
51.6
10.8
13.7

De Baca
Dona Ana
Eddy
Grant
Guadalupe

2,893
27,455
15,842
19,050
7,027

- 13.2
-12.3

1,589
12,401
5,486
3,289
3,888

10.7
-5.5
- I 3.9
37.8
51.8

397
1,993
775
782
851

if. a
-6.4
-26.5
35.8
42.8

4,421
5,023
6,144
7,198
6,247

15.8
73-3
-8.0
-49.1

3)119
1,702
2,622
3,205
1,264

3.1
34.4
-1.9
4.6
23.6

705
441
736
716
305

12.3
31.6
20.7
25.8
29.8

McKinley
Mora
Otero
Quay
Rio Arriba

20,643
10,322
9,779
10,828
21,381

50.3
-25.8
23.8
3-7
9.4

7,089
7,182
2,937
5,464
16,458

5.2
-1.5
29.6
6.6
28.9

1,626
1,489
757
1,312
3,437

41.0
11.6
37.9

Roosevelt
Sandoval
San Juan
San Miguel
Santa Fe

11,109
11,144
14,701
23,636
19,567

69.7
25.7
76.4
3.4

30.2

8,568
7,785
8,831
11,417
5,892

9.8
26.9
1.3
48.9
84.0

1,918
1,871
1,669
2,350
1,261

21.5
42.9
17.4
40.7
83-6

Sierra
Socorro
Taos
Torrance
Union
Valencia

5,184
9,611
14,394
9,269
11,036
16,186

12,2
- 31.6
12.7
-4.7
-33.8
17.3

2,090
5,315
11,311
6,372
6,289
8,676

-2.2
46.7
66.9
46.3
-6 .8
18.1

470
1,402
2,276
1,502
1,512
2,202

4.7
65.1
59.9
42.4
4.0
72.8

Hardi ng
Hi dal go
Lea
Li ncoln
Luna

-

61.9
-11.1
40.7
-9.5
65.9
73.8

_

* L e s s than 0 .0 5 p e rc e n t.
a No farm p o p u la t io n
S o u rc e s :

in 1930.

f i f t e e n t h Censu s o f the U n ite d S t a t e s :




1930 and U nited S t a t e s C en su s o f A g r i c u lt u r e :

19 3 5 .

63-3

13.0