East Texas Hog Killing

        In Shelby County and days before refrigeration, people prepared for the long winters by killing the corn-fed hogs during the first FROSTY cold spell.  This sometimes brought together, not only family members, but neighbors and friends who benefited by the slaughter.  After the hogs were killed a strong stick was placed through the ham-strings of the hind legs, and threaded over a large pole. 
        It was very important to keep the meat clean.   The hams, bacon and sausages were prepared and hung in a smoke-house to cure.   Other parts were prepared for canning, pigs feet, etc. and lard was stored in buckets use in cooking..  Some of the meat was eaten fresh and it was shared with all neighbors.  As someone said "We use every part of the hog except the squeal."

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The year 1919.  The four adults are: L-R: Edd Pate Hooper, Dave May, Catherine Burns Hooper (wife of Sam) and Sam Houston Hooper.  The child in center is Lazelle May (Age 85, year 2003).

Photo courtsey of Edgel May Permenter