"Black rice farmers in Matagorda County history" By Thelma D. Smith

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Binding rice into bundles

From the Matagorda County History & Genealogy page

   Rice farming in Matagorda County, had its beginning around 1899 or 1900. Teams of mules, horses or oxen were used to ready the land into rice acreage.  
   The more modern equipment had not been established.
   Canal companies came into existence and irrigation pumps were utilized.  
   Water was pumped from the Colorado River through canals and bar ditches, so that the rice farmers could contract and have access to water for irrigating their crops.
   Around 1901, rice mills and warehouses were in operation.  
   Farmers, gathering their crops, could haul them to these places for storage until a buyer came along.
   African-Americans worked in the rice fields from the time of preparing the land for planting until the crops were harvested. 
   They worked for others who actually were the owners and reaped the end results; however, there were a few African-Americans who were the actual owners, and did reap the end result of the rice crops.

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