David Rankin, Farmer, 1906

In a recent farm magazine, a young farmer was recognised in an article as one of  America’s (United States)  best.  Lo, and behold, he is from Tarkio, Missouri and the article made mention of David Rankin, Missouri Corn King, who died in 1910, but had amassed 30,000 acres, 12,000 head of cattle, and 25,000 hogs. It was reported that he raised a million bushels of corn in a single season, much of it from a 6,000 acre field.

David Rankin, Farmer: Modern Agricultural Methods Contrasted With Primitive Agricultural Methods By The Life History Of A Plain Farmer (1909)

So, i did a quick search online about Farmer Rankin and to my delight, discovered he wrote a small book about his life and how he managed his assets to obtain such wealth.  ALthough the writing is not fancy and sometimes seems disjointed, his simple outline is a great insight into basic business management.  Some of his early income would have been taxed at a 3%-5% rate, but that income tax was rescinded in 1872.  Full on income tax didn’t come about until 1913.

But the crux of his idea, is to invest in time saving modern implements and buy land.  For a time, he was paying 17%-18% interest on money he borrowed to buy land.  Granted, he had some good hits that were just plain lucky, but not always.

You can read his short book here for free online or it can be ordered for a modest amount on Amazon.

5 thoughts on “David Rankin, Farmer, 1906”

  1. I believe I’m the farmer your speaking of. Angelo Erickson Tarkio, Missouri Progressive Farmer Magazine. If you ever want to visit about David Rankin look me up. I own a couple of Rankin Farms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello. My name is James Rankin and David Rankin is a distant relative. I visited Tarkio in the mid 1970’s when the mule barn was still standing. My brother and I are working on our family tree and I would be interested in visiting Tarkio again and would like to know if I can meet you while I am there? Please let me know.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. i (the blog writer) do not live in Tarkio, so i’m guessing you are trying to reach Angelo who commented above. Hope it all works out. Very interesting to discover and explore your ancestral roots.


  2. A seed corn company sent my father a copy of David Rankin, Farmer in the early 70s , I must say it had a great effect on me , Particularly his advice of selling a finished product.

    Liked by 1 person

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