Adam Schauber Oral History

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Record 9/16
Copyright HSKC and Tyler Campbell
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Date 08/19/1982
Abstract George Adam Schauber (born 1885)

Adam Schauber was born in Baltimore and moved to Church Hill in the 1890s and the Chestertown area in the early 1900s. He worked on his father's farm, and began dairy work driving a milk delivery route in the 1910s. In about 1914, he built his own dairy and began bottling milk. "I bought [Robert MacGrogen's] milk outright for six cents a quart without having him do anything else but deliver it in cans, ten gallon cans. So that's where we started out on that, it was the first one I guess on the Eastern Shore, pasteurized milk. We got a pasteurizer and pasteurized the milk and it charged a half a cent extra a quart for it which was eight and a half cents a quart. Of course I should have really charged ten cents but I didn't have much sense."

The business grew, and in 1917 the 28-year old bachelor married Ella Mae Hurd. His business expanded and they bought two more farms, then the Great Depression struck him hard. By 1932, he went bankrupt. "When you buy farms and mortgage it and then the mortgage, interest has to be paid, the taxes have to be paid …. And of course I had to pay bills and didn't get enough money to meet the. bills…. Nobody had any money. Nobody could pay anything. If they owed a bill they couldn't pay. And couldn't buy anything cause they didn't have no money to buy with….We used to make two and a half dollars a bushel when I bought those farms and at that time when I sold the farms you couldn't get fifty cents a bushel for it. One fifth as much and the com twenty-five cents a bushel was all you would get, that's all I got for my corn, twenty-five cents a bushel and of course the renter got half of that, so the corn we raised really paid me twelve and a half cents a bushel and the wheat twenty-five cents a bushel. And I had to pay the fertilizer out of that, the taxes on the farm and everything."

Schauber went back to working for others, but eventually was able to buy another farm with the help of a local banker Fred Usilton and Farm Security Administration loans, which he was able to pay off within a few years. He credits the trust among neighbors, the willingness to work hard even when the pay was low, and the ability to borrow money based on your reputation for his eventual success.

Transcribed. 3 original cassette tapes.
Interview date 05/13/1982
Length of interview 84 minutes
Media Compact Disc
Narrator Schauber, Adam
Object ID 2673
Object Name Disc, Compact
Title Adam Schauber Oral History
COPYRIGHT INFORMATION ~ Oral histories copyright Historical Society of Kent County. Images copyright Tyler Campbell. Duplication or publication only with permission.

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Last modified on: September 07, 2012