New York Troopers - History
Preserving the Past for Those Who Follow
 
.
Login


  

 . 

 
 

MILK STRIKE SYNOPSIS

During the Great Depression years, prices paid for milk had fallen to
such a low level that dairymen could not possibly meet their most
pressing obligations. Even the bare necessities of life could not be
secured by many farm families, and many dairymen were threatened with the loss of the farms and homes in which their meager lifetime savings were invested. In March - April 1933, a large group of dairy farmers in Western and Central New York organized a four-day strike in order to force the state legislature to implement price controls. From March 31 to April 8th, strikers 90,000 strong remained in abeyance awaiting state legislative action that never occurred. This resulted in renewed acts of violence primarily at Avon, Elba, Websters Crossing & Chili, NY. Words escalated into action, when on March 29th, strikers stopped several milk haulers near Pittsford, NY dumping their milk loads onto to the highway. Violent acts continued at Rochester, Williamson & Avon, NY. On April 10, 1933, the Pitcher Bill establishing a State Milk Control Board was passed & signed by Governor Lehman. This brought an end to the strike leaving the farmers with high hopes for the future.
On August 1,1933 farmers organized a larger and more confrontational strike in protest against the State’s Milk Control Board refusal to grant dairy farmers a larger share of the consumers milk dollars. They charged that the Board’s price fixing had favored corporations and their associated co-ops at the expense of farmers. Violence erupted at Oneida, Lewis & Herkimer Counties. At Booneville, 400 strikers attacked a trooper escorted milk convoy and were repelled with night sticks & tear gas with many strikers hospitalized. Troopers Fritz & Kearns were injured near Fonda, NY. Troopers Ed Doody, Andy Fisher & Mickey Fort were injured near Honeoye Falls, NY. The fiercest fighting took place near Vernon & Oriskaney where Troopers George Marshall & George Coburn were hospitalized the result of being struck by rocks and steel pipes hurled at the troopers. Trooper Harold Kemp was hit in the head with an axe handle near Chili, NY. On
one day alone, strikers dumped 6000 gallons of milk near Syracuse, NY. With over 200 hundred strikers arrested and hundreds more injured from being struck by riot sticks, the violence finally waned on August 11, 1933 bring an end to the Milk Wars. As one trooper commented, "Every farmer that was rapped with a stick will bear a grudge against the troopers". We have to live with the farmer through the year & its too bad this had to happen.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
END
 

 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
END