Zorns, Bruce 1985-03-18

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Bruce Zorns, Terry County banker and farmer, discusses the history of the Brownfield area, including the role of agriculture and oil in the regional economy.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Bruce Zorns

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: March 18, 1985

Location: Brownfield, Texas

Interviewer: Richard Mason

Length: 2 hours


Tape 1, Side 1: Background, Family residences, Education, Texas Tech, Parents’ purchase of farm, Farming: Terry County, Texas, Tending work animals, Trading animals for tractor (c. 1927), Popularity of tractor, Crops raised, Harvest of maize, Cotton prices (1930s), Effect of tractor, Early attempts at irrigation, Problems encountered, First well in Terry County (late 1920s), Grandfather, Ferguson gubernatorial campaign, Reasons for supporting Ferguson, Education (again), Texas Tech (again), Room and board, Courses taken, Making architectural blueprints, Texas Tech (again), Campus, Faculty, James Murdough, Campus (again), Landscape, Social life, Costs, Hilton Hotel, Association with La Ventana, Election, Benefits and detriments, Employment opportunities, Campus book store, Bootlegging, Employment at Brownfield State Bank (1936), Rate of pay, Promotion.

Tape 1, Side 2: Agriculture, Terry County, Corn production (early 1930s), Marketing, Grady Goodpasture, Concrete elevator, Construction, Grady Goodpasture (again), Corn production (1930s) (again), Water requirements, Cotton production, Harvest, Picking, Snapping, Mechanization, Sleds, Marketing, Buyers, Irrigation, Water depletion, Recharge of Ogallala Aquifer, Methods of water distribution, Growth of sprinkler system, Lateral lines, Bracero labor, Farming lifestyle (1980s), Irrigation (again), Sprinkler system (again), Early costs (1950s), Financing, Incentives, Operation, Rotary system, Loss to evaporation, Costs (1980s), World market competition, Cost of cotton production (1980s).

Tape 2, Side 1: Agriculture, Terry County (continued), Irrigation (again), Effect on area, Growth of Brownfield, Abuse of government subsidy, Brownfield economy, Ties with Lubbock, Agri-business, Banking, Finance of agriculture, Success of individual, Banking institutions, Management problems, Federal control, Oil field activities, Denver City, Texas, Life of wells, Brownfield, Texas, Future prospects, Curry Holden, Oil field activities, Technological advances, Electronics, Brownfield (again), Economy, Desert environment.

Tape 2, Side 2: Ogallala aquifer, Recharge, Soil conservation, Sand control techniques, Water erosion, Wind erosion, Mexican-American population, Problems perceived, Decrease in demand for agricultural labor, Cotton production, Terry County (again), Varieties grown, Co-operative, Closure of cotton oil mill, Development of West Texas, National economy, Agri-business (again), International competition, Cotton breeding, Anderson Grain.

Range Dates: 1920-1985

Bulk Dates: 1930-1985

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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