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Retiring the Work Horse

Cotton was King, but not the only crop in the South. More than half the total value of Georgia’s annual agriculture production came from cotton. Prices had risen at the turn of the century, and they stayed high for twenty years. Farmers took advantage of the opportunity by planting more than 5 million acres of cotton in 1916, compared with 3.5 million acres in 1900. The increased acreage, combined with rising prices, more than tripled the value of the state’s cotton crop.

On September 21, 1919, an article in the local newspaper proclaimed, "New Tractor Company Closes $1,000,000 Deal." Yancey Bros. Co. had closed a contract for five hundred Hart-Parr kerosene tractors and equipment. It was the largest tractor contract ever in the South.

Hart-Parr was excited to be represented by Yancey Bros. Co., which according the newspaper, "They are distributors of the ‘Caterpillar’ tractor in Georgia and South Carolina and have made a wonderful success putting the Caterpillar on the market in this territory."

Georgia’s farms were mostly small in the post-war years, and the move to mechanization would be slow. The 1930 census reported $139 worth of implements and machinery per farm. However, with more than 300,000 farms statewide, there were enough prosperous operations for the Yanceys to find buyers for their tractors.

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Foundations 1914 - 1938
Era Stories