Oliver, Max 1982-09-22

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Max Oliver discusses the history of farming in the vicinity of Balmorhea, Texas.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Max Oliver

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: September 22, 1982

Location: Balmorhea, Texas

Interviewer: Richard Mason

Length: 1 hour 45 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Incorporation of Balmorhea (1957), Water problems, Lions’ Club, Water, Incorporation, Opposition to Incorporation, Revenue bond system, Lions’ Club (again), Origination (1955), Heyday, Industrial interest in Balmorhea, Change in interest, Population, 1957-1982, Facilities available prior to installation of sewage system, Irrigation farming in Balmorhea , Peak period, Decline in availability of water, Soil conservation service dams, "Pump farms", After World War II, 1965 Boom/Bust.

Tape 1, Side 2: Decline in availability (continued), Farmers’ contract with gas company expired, Increased land defaults, Speculators, Influx of people during farming boom, Atmosphere during the "boom" period, Flamboyance of people, Effect of bust on Balmorhea and surrounding towns, Decline in acreage under cultivation, Effect of system of water delivery, Bracero program, Benefits of program to Balmorhea, Problems caused by braceros, compared to problems, with illegal migrant workers today, Effects of government allotment program on area farmers, Sources of land financing, Billie Sol Estes, Characteristics, Effect of his problems in Pecos, Personality.

Tape 2, Side 1: Billie Sol Estes (continued), Testing his deal, Finding out his scam, FBI involvement, Newspaper involvement, Move to Ruidoso, New Mexico, Boom and bust in Ruidoso, Horse racing, Population, Schools Growth period (1970s), Cultural diversity, 1920s in the Balmorhea area, Exhibition trains to see land, Prosperity for Balmorhea, Supplied by Pecos routed Southern Rail Road, Advent of cotton, 1930s, Necessity of mechanization to cotton farming, Cotton gin in Toryville (c. 1913), Water wheel (early 20th century), Gasoline engines (1930s), Electricity to Balmorhea, c. 1930, Electricity by generator, Changes wrought by mechanization (again), Tractors, Fordson, Rubber tire tractors, Effects of Depression and Dust Bowl, Highway work, Farming "booms" in Balmorhea area.

Tape 2, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1913-1983

Bulk Dates: 1930-1983

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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