A look back to cows

This coming Saturday has been identified as “Cow Appreciation Day.” In addition to the other “c”—cotton—this area has also had cattle raising as a very important parts of its economy since the late nineteenth century.

March 2, 1905— The beginning of a new era was marked in Florence today when the ordinance prohibiting the running at large of cows within old Florence went into effect.

Jan. 4, 1906-– Athens just held an election to determine whether cows should be allowed to roam at large on its streets and the friends of the cow running at large and destroying the town carried the day. The council had passed an ordinance depriving the town cow of the privilege of pasturing on the front yards and flowers of the town, but a petition went before the body asking for the right to vote on the matter and the council, following the democratic rule of allowing home rule, granted the request with the above result.

Oct. 9, 1909--Up in New Decatur, where the cows are allowed to roam at will, it is said that one of those cows has become not only adept at opening front gates, but that she has learned to turn a hydrant cock so as to get a drink. In the yard of one of the New Decatur schools there is a hydrant and oftentimes the teachers found this hydrant running and accused the children of turning it on and leaving it so. This the children denied. The other day the teacher watched the cow walk up to the hydrant, turn on the water with her mouth, drink all she wanted, and then quietly walk away.

April 5, 1910—The scarcity of milk cows and beef cattle was never so noticeable in this section of the country as now. In fact, it is almost impossible for the local meat market men to get beef cattle to supply their customers. It is next to impossible to find a milk cow. Ordinary cows are selling at $50, and very scarce at this figure. Butter and milk are fast becoming a luxury.

July 16, 1910— During a heavy rain and thunder storm here yesterday evening lightning struck a house in the Georgia quarters, completely demoralizing the chimney and otherwise injuring the end of the house. At another portion of the town a fine cow belonging to W. C. Harmon was instantly killed.

April 17, 1916-– Fearing serious trouble when the farmers in the extreme rural districts are forced to dip their cattle this week to free them of cattle ticks, local government workers have secured the services of Mrs. G. H. Mathis, famous field agent of the Alabama Bankers' Association, who will make a series of addresses throughout the county to reassure the people. The usual reports that cows go dry from dipping and that dipping stunts the growth of cattle have been circulated.

Nov. 21, 1916— Knocked down by a cow that she was milking, Mrs. Irene L. Langston, a prominent and wealthy landowner of this county, succumbed today to injuries she received when she was thrown to the ground.

Aug. 23, 1921— Watermelons are now so plentiful and the price obtainable for them is so low that growers are feeding much of their harvest to their cows

May 1, 1922— H. S. Mobley speaks to area farmers on "The Dairy Cow." Stresses her relation to the financial success of the farmer.

Sept. 19, 1923— Andrew Orr put a mortgage on Mary today. Mary is his blue Jersey cow.

Jan. 7, 1946— Miss Rachel Hereford (later Mrs. Charles C. Oden) gave an interesting talk on the different parts of the cow to the Danville 4-H Club today.

Sept. 2, 1976— The last of the city's old stockbarns, this one having been operated by the late Pat Kimbrough, will be demolished and paved over for off-street parking. At one time there were ten mule, horse, and cow barns in the downtown area.

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