Savage, Forrest 1982-08-24

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Forrest Savage talks about Denver City, an oil boom town, and its growth and decline.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Forrest Savage

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: August 24, 1982

Location: Denver City, Texas

Interviewer: Richard Mason

Length: 1 hour 45 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Background, Arrived at Wason, Texas (May 1939), Many already moved to Denver City, Bought sheep from Colorado City, Texas, Herded on what had been Wason Ranch, Sold sheep, Reasons, Father bought farm land (1941), Rented it out, Lots of rain (1941), Worked land themselves, Dry years, no good crops, Other work done, Other land bought, House burned down (1949), Drafted (1950-51), Wason (again), Described, Building Denver City (1939), Reasons for moving north, Mr. Egan, Wason started, Selling lots, Yochum, town west of Wason, Described, Aured, Location, School, Prevention of its growth, Denver City (again), Problems of growth, Farming crops, Not a lot of land under cultivation, Location of cultivated land, Cotton gins, Location, One burned down, Crops raised, Farming practices, Deep plowing, Irrigation, Deep plowing, More land cultivated, Prices, Prior to 1941, Sell eggs and cream major way to generate cash, Other ways to make money, Mechanization, Hard for father to obtain tractor, Hard to make cotton crop, Lack of tools, Good years (1947-1949), Forrest Savage (again), House burned down, Moving afterwards, Attending school after service, Irrigation began in 1950s, Better equipment, Aluminum pipe (1952), Bracero program, Moved aluminum pipe.

Tape 1, Side 2: Bracero program (continued), Beneficial, Better than present situation, Origins of present Hispanic population, Concentration of Hispanics, Oil field work, Mexican labor in oil fields, Wages in oil fields, Length of shifts, School kids working during World War II, Labor shortage, Denver City problems, Finding a place to live, Forrest Savage, employment, Oil companies, Slow down in oil production (1950s), Affect on Denver City, Flood (1960s), More drilling (1960s), Inexpensive, Changes in agriculture, Irrigation, Wells, Aluminum pipe, Traumatic, Anecdote: loan officer, Electricity, Water supply, Quality, quantity.

Tape 2, Side 1: Changes in agriculture (continued), Irrigation (continued), Water supply (continued), Land values, Prices, Cost of deep plowing, Governmental assistance, Irrigation costs, Machinery, Larger, more powerful, Farm more land, Crops grown, Population in rural areas, Land owned by oil companies, Schools (again), Denver City (again), Problems, Crime and corruption, Jobs, Housing, Crime rate, Seagraves, Texas, Oil industry, No production.

Tape 2, Side 2: Seagraves (again), Oil industry (continued), Agriculture, Oil production, Government regulations, Natural gas production, Roads, Using crude oil.

Range Dates: 1939-1982

Bulk Dates: 1950s-1960s

Access Information

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