Contributed by MERLE (BUS) CORNELIUS and produced by SUSAN STAFFORD.

Horses for France by Bus Cornelius

I will set a stage for you of the times in 1937 - 38 - 39:


1937 Benny Goodman swings as teenagers scream.
1937 The Hindenburg blows up at Lakehurst N.J.
1937 Eight Soviet Generals shot.
1937 Joe Louis is champ.
1937 Earhart lost at sea.
1937 Niemoeller jailed for resisting Nazis.
1937 Buchenwald: fourth concentration camp by the Nazis.
1937 Nazis take parents away from children.
1938 Hitler promotes him self to military chief.
1938 Adolph Hitler hailed as Nazis take Austria.
1938 Minimum wage set at 40 cents an hour.
1938 Hitlerís army takes over Sudetenland.

     As you can see by the head lines, Hitler was beginning to take over all of Europe.

     Late in 1938 word was spread through the middle west that the French Army would be at Memphis Tenn to buy mules for the French army and later they would be in Fort Scott to buy horses. A lot of farmers in the area were buying tractors and had horses to sell. My uncle, Bill Owens, started to buy the better horses, one day in November. Bill had Mart Fields load about twenty horses into his truck and I went with them to see the French Army officers buy the horses. Bill knowing a good horse when he seen one had bought the best in our area. Upon arriving at the sales yard in Fort Scott all the horses had a hole cut into each ear and a number attached. The French men began inspecting the horses and most of Billís horses were rejected and we brought them home. The French did not want good riding horses they wanted the old nags which could pull a big gun and when they were killed in battle they had not lost much. The following week he bought all the old nags in the area, took them to Fort Scott and all were accepted. The horse sale did not mean much to me, but seeing those French officers all dressed up in there colorful uniforms up was something I remembered a long time.

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