"They weren't supposed to have children on a stock train, but the depot agent at Lushton sold my dad a ticket for me. We got to Lincoln and we stopped off. They do some switching in Lincoln on the trains. And they had what they called a beanery there where the railroad help worked, and so we got to eat lunch there. And then we went to get on the train, why the conductor said I couldn't get on 'cause you weren't suppose to have kids on the train, on our freight train. And Dad said, 'Well we got this far, what are you going to do about it now?' And he said, 'Well, come on.' So he let me on, and I got to ride clear to Omaha. We got into Omaha around 4:00 o'clock and they let us off out there in the railroad yard. Then we had to walk quite a ways to get to the exchange building. At that time, the commission men left their offices open. You could go in and sleep on the benches. It was usually too late to go the hotel or anything. So, we went in the commission man's office and laid on the bench until morning, and then went out in the yards and found our cattle. They had 40 or more, maybe 80 acres of pens, you know, hundreds of pens, small pens. They used to get 15- or 20,000 head a day I think in there. One time Omaha was the largest, even above Chicago, for the livestock market."

Kenneth Jackson - A kid at the stockyards


Other Excerpts from Kenneth Jackson's Interview:

Milking the cows
Picking corn
Riding ponies to school
A day at school
Starting a 1920s tractor
How stockyards work
A kid at the stockyards

Entire Interview with Kenneth Jackson