During the Depression the agricultural economy got so bad that many farmers were forced to trade their crops and other goods to people in town that they owed. Basically, people bartered, trading goods and services directly with each other rather than going through the intermediate step of converting the goods and services into a cash value.
Walter Schmitt (left) remembers a time when his blacksmith shop accepted payment in the form of potatoes – which was OK with him because, “No meal is complete without potatoes somewhere. [Laughs.]”
Helen Bolton remembers paying the doctor with corn that was worth 10-cents a bushel at the time. The doctor was able to hold on to it until the price rose to 50-cents a bushel. As Helen says, “They made a good profit.”
Written by Bill Ganzel of the Ganzel Group. First written and published in 2003.