1920s - Cattle Tick Fever Epidemic

In the early 1920s an epidemic of Cattle Tick Fever was affecting most of the southern states, animals dying after only thirty days’ exposure.[Progressive Farmer, November 1999, p 34] Charlton County cattle owners with large herds were desperate to eradicate the fever ticks and most of them gladly worked with the county commissioners in providing land to build concrete dipping vats at intervals across the county. (Not all farmers were in favor of this and vats were blown up and even gun battles resulted from this action.) [Charlton County Herald, March 27, 1931] After the vats were built, just wide enough for one cow, they were filled with water and an arsenic compound was added. [Progressive Farmer…] Then cattle were driven, one after another, through this poisonous mixture, effectively killing any ticks the animal may have been carrying. Lydia had at least one vat on her land and was reimbursed by the county in the spring of 1924 for the cumbersome work of carting barrels of water to fill it. [Charlton County Commissioners Minute Book, October 1918-August 1930, p. 177] Other cattle owners being paid for hauling water for vats at the same time were A.D. Johns, Charles Williams, J.A. Prescott and Clyde Crews. Pratt Crews was Dip Inspector for the northern end of the county. [Comm. Min. Book, p 177]

Charlton  County Archives