Date of this Version
Thesis (M.A.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1967. Department of History.
This study was undertaken in an attempt to examine farm mortgages, an important aspect of Nebraska’s economy during the period 1870-1921.The inspiration came from the classic study of mortgages written by Allan G. Bogue, Money at Interest, The Farm Mortgage on the Middle Border (Ithaca:Cornell University Press, 1955).This study is not a follow-up on Bogue’s work.Rather it is an effort to illuminate the business practices and beliefs of Robert Emmett Moore, the founder and long-time president of the Security Investment Company located in Lincoln.Moore and his company played an important role in the economic development of the state by supplying mortgages to farmers.
Bogue’s study, though not entirely conclusive, claimed that there were in fact good-natured moneylenders—he depicted them in a more favorably light than the late 19th century agrarians would have liked people to believe.
Bogue made the point that mortgage companies played an important part in the process of western development.While there were loan companies whose main goal was to take the pioneer farmer for everything they could, there were also many firms which provided substantial funds for the development of the Middle Border.
The first and third chapters of this study are devoted to a survey of the general economic situation prior to and after 1900.Moore’s participation in a fifty year period of rapid agricultural development dictated that some general remarks about the economy of Nebraska had to be made.The other chapters provide a detailed examination of the various phases of Moore’s life—his early business undertakings, his political career, and his later business activities.
Advisor: James C. Olson