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The Cattle Tick Fever Epidemics

In the early 1920s an epidemic of Cattle Tick Fever was affecting most of the southern states, killing animals after only 30 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, providing their land to build concrete dipping vats at intervals across the county. 

Some farmers were strongly opposed to this however, and violence erupted with gun battles and bombs directed at the vats. [Charlton County Herald, March 27, 1931] 

The vats were built, just wide enough for one cow, and they were filled with water and an arsenic compound. [Progressive Farmer…] Then the cattle were driven, single-file, through this poisonous mixture, effectively killing any ticks the animal may have been carrying. Lydia Stone 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]

COMISSISONERS MINUTE BOOK : October 1918 - August 1930


FEBRUARY 4, 1924

…….Moved and carried to pay Dip Inspectors $75.00 per month and Range Riders $75.00 per month and all the fines the Range Riders collect for rounding up and dipping cattle that the owners fail to get.

Each two men will have ten vats in charge.

Moved and carried to pay Mack Lloyd $8.00 for one cow damaged in dipping, which is now dead.

Resolution of Commissioners on the 4 day of February, 1924. This was adopted.

Whereas the Commissioners in and for the county earnestly desire to see the work of tick eradication completed in said county and

Whereas said Board has not sufficient revenue to do said work in the section of the county known as The Bend, on account of not having sufficient physical barriers against two Florida counties which are tick infested, now

Therefore, be it resolved by said Board that if the Dept. of Agriculture, State of Georgia or Federal Department will aid said Board by protecting Florida borders, then said Board wants to go on record as being ready to construct vats in that territory…..

February 19, 1924

Called meeting of the Board. Purpose was to receive applications for Dip Inspectors and Range Riders for Folkston, Winokur and Traders Hill districts. The following names were appointed:

Lewis H. Kennison, Dip Inspector, Folkston

J.M. Brooks, Range Rider, Folkston

B.F. Gay, Dip Inspector, Traders Hill

Theodore Dinkins, Range Rider, Traders Hill

Pratt Crews, Dip Inspector, Winokur

………., Range Rider, Winokur

from DeBrahm's Report
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