Henry A. Wallace's Irrigation Frontier: On the Trail of the Corn Belt Farmer, 1909 (Western Frontier Library)

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9780806123325: Henry A. Wallace's Irrigation Frontier: On the Trail of the Corn Belt Farmer, 1909 (Western Frontier Library)
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When Franklin D. Roosevelt’s agriculture secretary and vice-president, Henry A. Wallace, had completed his junior year at Iowa State College in 1909, his family sent him on a western tour in search of the Corn Belt farmer.” Young Henry was to report to the family journal, Wallace’s Farmer, how former Corn Belt farmers were prospering in the districts newly irrigated under public or private auspices, such as Arizona’s Salt River, Idaho’s Boise-Payette and Twin Falls, and farms on the Arkansas River near Garden City, Kansas.

Wallace’s articles, collected and reprinted here for the first time, are lively descriptions of up-and-coming western locales such as Amarillo, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; the orange groves of southern California; the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys; and the Greeley District of Colorado. Along the way, the young reporter and agriculturist critiqued dry farming in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and wrestled calves on a Matador Land Company ranch in the Texas panhandle.

Henry Wallace made a specialty of down-home conversation with farmers and their wives and of cross-examining the real-estate agents who profited from the government’s commitment to sell water rights to the new property owners. He wrote what today we call New History, concentrating on the impact of irrigation on individuals more than technology, law, or institutions.

Modern-day readers will prize Wallace’s clear, expert analysis of the different environments that he visited and his farmer-conservationist ethic. Social historians will be interested as he explains how the closer proximity of irrigated farms and greater abundance of neighbors would produce prosperous communities with schools, roads, and social institutions better than most that then prevailed in America’s rural regions. They will be fascinated to learn how the cooperative aspects of irrigation farming tempered the independence of the immigrants from the Corn Belt.

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About the Author:

Richard Lowitt is retired as Professor of History at the University of Oklahoma and is the author of numerous books, including a three-volume biography of George W. Norris, American Outback: The Oklahoma Panhandle in the Twentieth Century, and The New Deal and the West.

Judith Fabry is a Ph.D. candidate and teaching assistant in the department of History at Iowa State University.

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9780806139258: Henry A. Wallace’s Irrigation Frontier: On the Trail of the Corn Belt Farmer, 1909 (The Western Frontier Library Series)

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ISBN 10:  0806139250 ISBN 13:  9780806139258
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press, 2007
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Wallace, Henry A.
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Book Description University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, 1991. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition; First Printing. Western Frontier Library; Vol. 58; 32mo 4" - 5" tall; 228 pages. Seller Inventory # Wal10010

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Wallace, Henry A; Lowitt, Richard and Fabry, Judith (edited and with An Introduction by)
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Book Description Univ Of Oklahoma Pr, Norman, Oklahoma, U. S. A., 1991. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. "A most impressive book that should appeal to readers who are interested in both Henry A Wallace and the American West. Wallace, a future Secretary of Agriculture, Vice President, and candidate for presidency, had not yet celebrated his 21st birthday when he made the tour on which his contribution to the book was based, and his essays testify to the strength of the young man's intellect and his talents as a traveler and illustrate his point of view. " - Richard S. Kirkendall, University of Washington. New, still in publisher's plastic. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Seller Inventory # 003093

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