LOW WAGES AND A SMALL PRICE FOR CATTLE
IN THE EARLY DAYS
By S. C. Turnbo

One of the early day settlers in Texas County, Mo. was Sam Griffin who gave the writer some interesting accounts of early times in that part of Missouri on the 12 of August 1906 while he lived one mile and a half south east of Oneta Post Office, Indian Territory. Mr. Griffin was born in Muggs County Tennessee September 27, 1846 and was not quite 4 years old when his father settled on Hog Creek in Texas County. It was very thinly settled when we arrived there in 1850. Among the earliest settlers along Hog Creek and vicinity was Abner Linch who was a Methodist preacher. Mr. Linch’s wife was named Serena. There were also Dave McKinney and Margarette McKinney his wife, Lewis Mize and Nancy his wife and Sammy Hughes whose wife’s name is forgotten. I recollect that in the winter after our arrival there my father cleared a few acres of land and raised a small crop of corn in 1851 and we cut it up in August and put in shocks, and before we could haul it to shelter I and my brother Jim Griffin had to guard the deer from destroying the shocks. To give you an idea of how numerous the deer were then on Hog Creek I will tell you that I stood in the door of our cabin one day and counted 35 deer in one bunch. Squirrels were more plentiful than deer. Soon after I was old enough to hunt I took the dogs with me in the woods one day without a gun to note how many squirrels I could catch and kill that day and I killed 45, some of which I killed with stones after the dogs had treed them. The dogs catched some of them on the ground. Several squirrels run into hollow trees and as I had no axe with me I could not capture them. Owing to the ravages of wild beast hogs were scarce in Texas County when I was a little fellow and they cost many to buy them. There were only a few for sale. When a man bought hogs it was usually a sow and pigs. The sow never cost anything but the pigs brought a fine price. The pigs were paid for and the sow was thrown in for good weight, for instance, if a man bought a sow with five young pigs following her $5 dollars were given for the pigs and the one buying the pigs got the sow for nothing. If the sow had ten pigs they cost $10 and the sow was given free. Wages and the price of cattle were very low in the early fifties. I can call to mind when the making of rails ten feet in length were 12 ½ cts per hundred and good milk cows were worth only $7.

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