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The Loup City Riot

Loup City, Nebraska; Sherman County

In Sherman County and throughout Nebraska, the Great Depression brought about unrest among farmers and workers due to low food prices, dust storms, and drought. Farmers demanded fair prices for their products and labor, leading to the Farm Holiday Movement. This movement encouraged farmers across the Midwest to hold off on selling their crops and goods until they received what they deemed as a fair price. In Loup City, opinions were divided on this matter and the movement. Even the local newspaper in the area could not agree. In Loup City, The People’s Standard supported farmer and worker complaints while The Sherman County Times did not want protests or “outsiders” coming into town to demonstrate. 

Unfortunately, these different opinions led to violence on June 14, 1934. A rumor that women poultry workers at the Fairmont Creamery plant might strike for higher wages brought outside supporters of the Farmers Holiday Movement into town to support them. As the largest employer in Loup City, the Creamery employed many women to pluck chickens. These workers requested reasonable work hours, overtime pay, and clean bathrooms. Supporters from other outside Nebraska came to town to demonstrate in support of the creamery workers. They marched from the courthouse lawn to the creamery and back, but were met with hostility from Loup City residents who were against outsiders demonstrating in their town. A physical altercation ensued, resulting in jail sentences and fines for the strike supporters. This event marked the end of the Farm Holiday Movement in Nebraska.








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