Difference between revisions of "Vinson, Willard 1975-12-03,17"

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[[Category: Needs Review ]]
[[Category: Needs Review ]] [[Category: SWC Interviews]] [[Category: 1970s]] [[Category: Cattle Industry]] [[Category: Great Depression]] [[Category: Cattle Shooting]] [[Category: Family Life and Background]]

Revision as of 20:40, 30 July 2019

Willard Vinson, veteran West Texas cattle buyer, begins with his early history and interest in the cattle industry, the effects of the Depression, and the feeding, shipping and marketing of cattle during the 1930s and 1940s. He continues to discuss the changes in the industry from the late 1940s to the 1970s and speculates on its future.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Willard Vinson

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: December 03 and 17, 1975

Location: Potosi, Texas

Interviewer: Richie Cravens

Length: 5 hours


Tape 1, Side 1: Early history, Edom, Van Zandt County, Texas, Life in East Texas (1900s), Making syrup, Shingles for house, Tobacco, Idea of cattle business, First experience with cattle, Limited education, Drought (1916-1918), Grassy Plains, Johnson grass abundance, Box houses, Sharecroppers, Farming practices (1900s), Horse plow, Community life (1915), Educational facilities, Church, Grocery, Colony Hill, Texas.

Tape 1, Side 2: Schools, Going to town (Abilene, Texas, 1912), Livestock, Food staples, Employed by American Railway Express, Swift Company, Fort Worth (1917-1919), Taylor County road work, Beginning cattle business, Buying farm, Decreased cattle prices (1924), Railroad strike (1923), Little meat buying.

Tape 2, Side 1: Cotton farming, Buying calves, Cattle business tactics, Buying car, Paying note, Growing oats, Delivering bread, Restaurants in southern towns, Butcher business, Red Cross aid, Work Programs, Government beef canning project (1933), Cattle shooting (1934-1935), Renting land, Cattle business (1930s), Branding with paint.

Tape 2, Side 2: Cattle prices, Butchering cattle for poor, Cattle program (July 1934-January 1935), Canning factory, Paper work, Government money to poor, Government sheep buying, Government appropriations, Poverty, Beginning of prosperity, Effects of Depression, Cattle buying (1934), Paying debts, Cattle as collateral, Cattle trucking business, Improvement of trucks, Trains for shipping, Shipping costs.

Tape 3, Side 1: Giving money to poor, Plowing under cotton, Cotton prices, Government pig killing (1933), First reliable tractor, First rubber tires, First combines, Horse and mule trades for tractors, Building stock tanks, New Deal, Government support for tenant farmers, Paying debts, World War II and cattle business, Price freeze (1941), Cattle prices, Draft, Auction rings, J. Corey Snow (Abilene, Texas, auction ring), Railroads hurt by trucking.

Tape 3, Side 2: Price of yearling steers, Buying cheaply, Purchase of 800 acres (1941), Raising calves, Shipping cattle, Foreigners bought cattle, Auctioning, Trailer hoppers, Feeder cattle, High Gear grain, Purchase of 700 acres (1945), Buying and selling weights (1940s).

Tape 4, Side 1: Foreclosure, New Deal, Production Credit Program, Distribution of money, Cattle feeding (1940s), Better beef grades demanded, Gooch packing plant, Feeding practices (1940s), Self-feeding in field, Mixed feeds, Meal-hulls feed, Whole grains, Supermarket buyers, Ration composition (1950), Feeders for Vinson’s cattle, Heifers, poor property, Harvest time.

Tape 4, Side 2: Price per pound (1950s), Effects of drought, Bought more feed, Rains (1955), Buying heifers (1953), Credit, Drought brought quality reduction, Heavy rains (1930-1933), Feedlots (1951), Steer and Heifer weights, Investment in cattle, Cautious beginning for feedlots, Expansion, Falling cattle prices, Grain storage, Milo production increased.

Tape 5, Side 1: Expansion finances, Feeding schedules, Replacement calves, Cost of feeds (1960s), Rations in feedlots (1960s), Abilene, Texas feedlots, Two built (1964), Feeding system, Foundering cattle, Mill Machinery, Price of cattle (1960-1975), Soaring prices (Spring 1975), Grain production, Building feed lots, Overfeeding cattle, Holding cattle, Feeding young cattle.

Tape 5, Side 2: No weight stations, Estimating weights, Auctions, Special stock sales, Partial selling, Calf qualities, Round-ups, Cattle variety, Profits of calves, Cultivated land, Cattle on wasteland, Buying and selling cycle, Starting cattle on feed, Weight gains, Weight for feedlot cattle, Extra charges at feedlot, Predictions for cattle business.

Range Dates: 1910-1975

Bulk Dates: 1917-1975

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


Thank you for your interest in this oral history interview. Our oral history collection is available to patrons in the Southwest Collection's Reading Room, located on the campus of Texas Tech University. For reading room hours, visit our website. Please contact Reference Staff at least one week prior to your visit to ensure the oral history you are interested in will be available. Due to copyright issues, duplications of our oral histories can only be made for family members. If an oral history transcript has been made available online, the link will be provided on this page. More information on accessing our oral histories is located here. Preferred citation style can be found here.