Thursday, January 13, 2011

Occupation: Junk Dealer

Many of the men in my family were farmers all their lives.  When I began researching the Crapser family several years ago, I had no idea what Grandpa Oral Crapser had done for a living.  I was under the impression that he had lived in town all his life, so I knew it wasn't a farmer.   It wasn't until I located the family in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census in Brookings, South Dakota that I learned of Grandpa Oral's occupation.

The census taker had marked the occupation as "Junk Dealer".
Source:, 1930 U.S. Federal Census.  To see the census lines for the Crapser family, click here.

Upon seeing "Junk Dealer" my initial reaction was a laugh.  I finally understood that it was Grandpa Oral, who shared with his sons and grandsons the passion for collecting random items.

Much to my surprise, while digging through Grandma Leola's collection of photos, I found a photo of Grandpa Oral's truck taken a few years later. 

The signage clearly states:

"Oral Crapser, Dealer in Hides & Furs".

Ah ha!  Mr. Census Taker, it's not junk he deals! It's hides and furs!

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