A man leans back in a rocking chair while reading a newspaper in this historic photo

Photographer George W. Ackerman took this picture of a Coryell County farmer taking a break from the fields in September 1931. Ackerman worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, documenting rural life across the country throughout the early 20th century and the Great Depression. Though the subject’s name was not recorded, he evokes the common agrarian lifestyle of the time. In 1930, Coryell County, which is in Central Texas, was home to roughly 3,000 small farmers, who mainly raised cotton, cattle, sheep, and goats, according to the Handbook of Texas.

From the November 2020 issue
The June 2024 cover of Texas Highways: Treasures from the Coast

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