Friday, June 26, 2015

Marshall Texas

This is an interesting picture from Marshall, Texas taken in 1939. The picture shows farmers picking up supplies in town, and loading them into a wagon. You can see several other wagons in the picture. So, in the late 30's it looks like people were still using horse and wagon, but I imaine it died out pretty quickly after this.


  1. In the area I grew up in, horses were common for another 20 years. It was a matter of dollars. Horses could do a lot of work and were relatively cheap. We had horses until I left the farm in 1967, We also had tractors, and big equipment. But the horse were there and used with old horse equipment for some jobs. Garden cultivators, potato hillers, gleaning rake, stone boat picking rocks and roots, cleaning pig barns with fresno, and the like. They do not burn gasoline.

  2. I was going to comment that horses would have been in use at least through WW II, if you had one in 1939. Gas was rationed during the war, and so were vehicle parts and things like rubber. But Fred's comment brought up memories. I'm a city girl, but grandparents of friends lived on a small dairy farm, and we'd go visit. They had one horse left; I don't know what they used it for. I was pretty young, in the 1950s, but the grandfather would let us ride the horse if we wanted. I mostly didn't, as my short legs stuck straight out on the broad sides and I had nothing to hang on to.

  3. A friend of mine recalls that they were still using mules on his farm the year he left for the Korean War, which of course was in the 1950s.

    Horses remained in fairly common use on many farms into the 1950s. In military applications they remained in use, albeit declining use, through the end of World War Two in many armies. The U.S. Army retained a Reserve pack unit into the late 1950s, and the Marine Corp retains a pack training facility presently. Various armies retained cavalry much longer than we'd normally suppose, and indeed a few still do.

    Urban commercial use of horses continued through the 1940s, but disappeared rapidly thereafter.

  4. My mother (born 1939) lived in Oklahoma during her childhood. Her grandfather lived next door and she says he drove his horse and wagon into town every week to sell produce. This had to have been after the War in the mid to late 1940s. I suppose he used the horse until he died.

    I live in a very old farmhouse in rural Maryland and the last farmer to work this farm used horses until about 1970, although they also had a tractor.


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