ILLINOIS STATE ARCHIVES
Hard Times in Illinois, 1930–1940
A Selection of Documents from the Illinois State Archives
LETTER CONCERNING AN APPOINTMENT TO THE STATE AGRICULTURAL CONCILIATORY COMMITTEE
January 12, 1934
Beginning in the spring of 1933 Illinois as well as other states had established a State Agricultural Conciliatory Committee which in turn oversaw county level conciliation and debt adjustment committees. Regional supervisors helped farmers prepare applications and shepherded them through the system. Local committees were composed of farmers and farm creditors who through voluntary proceedings arranged agreements whereby farmers could forestall foreclosures and work out debt payments over time. In the majority of cases refinancing was arranged through the Federal Land Bank of St. Louis. From April 1, 1933 through December 1, 1934 some 3,200 individual Illinois farms had been saved through this process.
William E. Tanner, a successful Kankakee County farmer, had served on his county's local conciliation and adjustment committee. When Gustav Kramer had died, Tanner had been selected as his replacement. Tanner like Kramer before him was the choice of the United Farmers of Illinois, an influential organization whose recommendation the governor listened to.
Points to Consider
Why had William Tanner written Governor Horner?
Why was William Tanner accepting the appointment the governor had made?
According to William Tanner what did nature have to do with justice?
What was the State Agricultural Conciliatory Committee?