The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941 Page: 40
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of the Grange coming in strongly at this time, the Order would
not have recovered from its slump in 1878 and 1879. The co-
6perative idea was popular with few classes except the farmers,
however. When Grangers tried to organize a store, they were
faced with the problem of raising the necessary capital from
a group of poverty-stricken farmers. Banks were not willing
to make loans for this purpose. Most opposition came from
wholesale and retail merchants. "The business men, under
whose eye our business has directly fallen, have watched our
every movement as a hawk does its prey," Rose said.27 Retail
merchants devised various schemes to bring financial ruin on
the Grange stores. In small towns they banded together and
each sold a separate staple commodity that the farmers needed
at or even below cost. The farmers, finding that their stores
could not meet these prices, went to the retail stores to do
their purchasing. The farmers' lack of sufficient cash to break
away from the banks and credit merchants hampered the co-
dperatives which were supposed to sell for cash only. Farmers
were unable to abandon completely the mortgage system which
had, to a great extent, limited their patronage to credit mer-
chants. Many cooperative managers were forced to depart from
the cash plan in spite of their better judgment. Too many of
them allowed friendly pressure for credit to overbalance their
sense of duty. Scarcely any two stores were operated exactly
alike. Patrons often made the mistake of choosing their man-
agers not for their business abilities but because of their popu-
larity. Grangers, often short of capital, searched for persons
with money to invest in their stores instead of limiting the
membership to Patrons.28
Cooperative leaders frequently came into clashes with drum-
mers. Store operators found this group of middlemen especially
anxious to extend credit to them in order to lead them to vio-
late the Rochdale Plan.29 Store operators continually com-
plained to officials of the Association that they could buy from
other concerns more cheaply than from the Grange agency.
Because of the freight rates from Galveston to North Texas
27"Minutes of Texas Cooperative Association," p. 49.
2sRose to R. W. Porter, October 3, 1882, Rose Letter Book.
29"Minutes of Texas Cooperative Association," p. 50; Rose to G. W.
Powell, January 2, 1882, L. N. DeWitt, April 20, 1882, Rose to A. J.
McDaniel, May 18, 1882, Rose to Jim Childers, August 1, 1882, Rose
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941, periodical, 1941; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146052/m1/48/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.