1930s

The Root Cause of Stingy

Apr 16, 2013

Go back to May, 1935.  Velma and Ted Wancura have a young son.  They haven't had a wheat crop in years, or rain for that matter.  Most of their cattle herd has been lost in the dust storms.  A tornado took their house.  The Wancuras moved a vacant house in to replace it.

Dark Cloud on the Horizon

Apr 9, 2013

The mid 1930's were the dry years on the high plains.  The drought has taken so much, a tornado took their home, but one young couple continue to persevere.  Velma and Ted Wancura were creative problem solvers.  They had 150 head of cattle, but no grass in the pasture. so   Ted and his brother harvested the cactus that remained for feed.  After burning the spines off with a blow torch, the cactus were placed in a cattle tank where the were well received.  When they were gone, Ted fabricated a truck bed to haul beet tops from the Garden City sugar factory, approximately 50 miles away, where the farm land was irrigated.  That solution worked until weather conditions worsened. 

No Home to Go To

Apr 2, 2013

In 1935, there had been no rain and no wheat crop for the Wancuras.  One day, Velma and Ted decided to drive to Beehler to a farm sale about 14 miles north.  On the way home, they stopped at her parent's home in Beehler to say hello.  The weather turned.  Velma's dad told them to stay for the night. 

The next day they started out for home.  They met a neighbor on the road, who told them there was no reason to travel any further, a tornado had destroyed their home.  It was scattered for miles.  

The Dry Years

Mar 26, 2013

The hard times began long before the dust storms that inspired movies, documentaries, and books.  There was no rain, no crops, wheat was .25 cents a bushel, which would have been something if there was any wheat to harvest.  For Velma Wancura, the dry years meant going back to work as a teacher.    That wage supported her family.