Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thanks to the Farm Hand Who Stayed on the Job and Avoided the Lure of $5-a-Day Pay in the City, 1917

“The Man Who Stuck to the Plow,” from the Christian Science Monitor, reprinted in the French Broad Hustler, November 1, 1917

The average citizen of the United States this year owes at least a thought of appreciation to the farm hand who stood by his rake and his plow and refused the lure of higher wages in the cities and larger towns. There was surely something besides selfishness in the motives that caused these men to work in many cases from 12 to 14 hours for a wage of $3 a day, when unskilled labor was bringing $5 for an eight-hour day within 12 hours’ ride from the average eastern farm. Not only have the farm hands helped to sow and cultivate, but thousands of them are still at work on the soil, gathering in a record harvest. One seldom hears of strikes among farm hands, yet few laborers work so long and so energetically as do they.

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