September 19th, 2012

John Veeder Plantz: Entrepreneurial Pig Farmer (yecch!)

I've posted about this particular great-great grandfather before. He's the one who decided not to serve in the Civil War, and was next found in Iowa, lying about how old he was, while his twin brother did serve. John kept lying about his age; a false birth year is on his headstone.

So I can't say I'm honestly surprised by what I found him doing in 1911. I was trying to figure out what happened to the youngest daughter of John Plantz by searching newspaper archives for relevant Plantzs. While at genealogybank, I found this from the Denver Post, 29 Jan 1911, page 9.

"Delta Revolts at All Pork Products"
"John Plantz Pleads Guilty to Feeding Putrid Meat of Animals to Pigs."
"Delta, Colo., Jan 28. -- Pork and pork products of all kinds have been tabooed by the people of Delta, hundreds of whom declare upon their oath that they will never again eat anything in the way of pig meat.
"It all came about when John Plantz, who lives in North Delta and raises hogs for local consumption, pleaded guilty to scouring the hills for the carcasses of animals of any kind, hauling them to his ranch and boiling the meat in large cauldrons, after which it was fed to hogs. The nauseating odors arising from the cooking of the putrid flesh caused Plantz neighbors to complain and the county health officer made an investigation. As the result of this investigation, Plantz was arrested and fined to the limit when he pleaded guilty."

Doesn't really help with finding Susan Melvina, who would have been around 14 at the time. As bad as it was for the neighbors, can you even imagine what it would have been like growing up smelling that?


In the Denver Post of 15 Apr 1919, a list was published of young men who had registered with the local draft board but failed to appear when called. Versions of his list had been published already, and the Post devotes some large print and column inches to asking for corrections, noting that some of the men listed as "army slackers" may have enlisted already and even died at the front, but by failing to notify the draft board, well, paperwork.


I stumbled across this because William Nelson Plantz appears on it. I believe at the time he was building radio towers for the Navy in France; that's where he met and married his wife. Probably not a "slacker".