Tough Times in Lincoln County – Part II

As the Great Depressions continued to tighten it’s grip on the nation and especially in Lincoln County, Mississippi, the pressure on men to provide for their families increased.  In 1931, residents of Lincoln County were begging, pleading to their state government for help.  There was nothing forthcoming as state treasuries nationwide were depleted to the point of red ink. This was because of a lack of a tax base.  There was little in the way to tax due to so many that were unemployed and people not having money to pay for things.  In Lincoln County, people were at their breaking point.  This was due, in no small part, because of the McDowell family.  Having such a large family, the McDowell’s were in the business of constantly stealing, intimidating and robbing their way to ensure they did not go without three meals a day. Even the county sheriff was intimidated by this family.  So, the law abiding folks of Lincoln County were left on their own.  People were grumbling about the McDowells, to be sure.  But, they didn’t grumble too much.  No one wanted to meet the same fate as Robert Compton.  But, something had to be done or else the only people that would survive the Great Depression would be the McDowell clan.  No one knew if the depression would ever end in 1931.  Many considered this the “new norm.”  Whether it was the new norm or not, the seething anger and unrest among the good people of Lincoln County continued on unabated.  Something had to be done.  There was only one man who would take the lead.  That man was Jacob Dinkins.  Jacob Dinkins was a farmer who barely kept his head above water during this time.  But, that was more, far more than most farmers enjoyed during this time.

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