Donathon, Ardell and Berniece 1983-01-06

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Ardell and Berniece Donathon discuss farming in the El Paso Valley during the 1940s and 1950s.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Ardell and Berniece Donathon

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: January 6, 1983

Location: Wilderado, Texas

Interviewer: Richard Mason

Length: 1 hour, 50 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Move to Dell City, Texas, 1946, Purchase of land, Partnership with Dewey Leatherman, Dealing for land, Housing, Drilling wells, Failed wells, Purchased option, Renting land from Claude Boyles, 1947, Terms, Clearing land, Housing, Pre-irrigating for cotton, Problems, Remedy, Results, Rabbit problem, Rabbit drive, Solution, First crops, Fertilizer, Crops planted, Production yield, Experimental plot of cotton, Cotton marketing, Anderson-Clayton Industries, 1948, Cotton gins, Cotton allotment, Crop financing, Irrigation, Water waste due to gophers, Lining of ditches, Damage to ditches, Remedies, Damage to ditches (again), Failure to "sub"

Tape 1, Side 2: Farming, Dell Valley, Rainfall, Land prices, Farming boom, First year families, Second year families, Settlement process, Families, Garage, Grocery store, Road, Dell City, Texas, Naming of town, Errol Stone, Naming of town (again), Rainfall, Dell City, Soil alkalinity, Insect problems, Control methods, Machinery, Kerosene and Lanterns, Insecticides, Environmental concerns, Weed control, Cotton, Types grown, Paymaster, Acala, Pima, Allotments, Production, Harvest, Anderson-Clayton gin (again), Labor, "Wet backs", Recruiting, Conditions, Accumulation, Game warden patrol, Roundup

Tape 2, Side 1: Anderson-Clayton Gin (again), "Wet backs" (again), Roundup (again), Return of workers, Bracero labor by contract, 1949, Bracero stations, Recruiting, 1949, Changes in process, 1950, Housing facilities required, Recruiting, 1940 and 1950 (again), Cost, Schools, Dell City, School in the trailer house, Sierra Blanca Independent School District, Cooperation, Problems, Teachers, Church services, Building church, 1949, School (again), Original school, 1949, New school, Ted Andrus, School Board service, Ted Andrus (again), Death; El Paso, Texas, Attitude of Sierra Blanca toward Dell City, Judge Tom Neeley, Irrigation well, Round Mountain, Pipeline, El Paso Natural Gas, Discovery of windmill, Installment of pumps, Development of land, Location

Tape 2, Side 2: Round Mountain well (again), Discovery of gold, Lynch purchase of land, Mineral rights, Leaving Dell City, 1956, Hail storm, October 11, 1956, Crop damage, Drilling dry holes, Working for smelter: Amarillo, Texas, 1941, Farming, post-World War II, Renting farm in Plainview, Move to Dell City, December, 1947, Flood; May 1949; Dell City, Mountains, Anecdote: bringing home groceries, Roads, Cloud development, Stalled out in car, Water depth, Crops planted, Anecdote: bath water coffee, Flood, 1960s, Irrigation ditches as control

Range Dates: 1946-1959

Bulk Dates: 1946-1950

Access Information

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