activities died down and as the fall of 1940 progressed, he occupied himself in the duties of the farm on which he lived.
Formerly the Bankruptcy Act limited the immunity granted to farmers against involuntary bankruptcy to those who were persons "engaged chiefly in farming or the tillage of the soil." 11 U.S.C.A. § 22, sub. b. Since the amendment of 1938 the definition of a farmer has been constricted. It now requires him to be "an individual personally engaged in farming or tillage of the soil * * * if the principal part of his income is derived from any one or more of such operations"; and it fixed the time for the test of his status to be "the time of the commission of the act of bankruptcy." (supra.)
On September 20, 1940, and on October 10, 1940, Beechwood had resided on the farm which was an incident to his manner of living. On these days he was a lawyer and a dislocated business man working to extricate himself from the burden of the losses that he had inflicted upon himself and his employer, or at least to put himself in the best light possible by mitigating the damage, or place himself in a position to make other amends with which to repair the loss he had inflicted. In no sense could he be held to be one who was personally wresting from the soil or its allied agricultural elements the principal part of his income. Up to that time by far the principal part of his income was derived from his employment by the Fidelity and Casualty Company and his occupation was that of a lawyer and business man who resided upon a farm, which claimed his avocational interest.
The cases he cites fail to support his arguments. The facts of the case of Flickinger v. First National Bank of Vandalia, Illinois, supra, are not analogous to his. In the case of First National Bank & Trust Co. v. Beach, supra [301 U.S. 435, 57 S. Ct. 803, 81 L. Ed. 1206], the court emphasized the personal character of the involvement of the alleged bankrupt in his pursuit of a living solely from the soil or other agricultural elements when it said:
"* * * He was in direct or personal possession of forty-eight acres, one-fourth of the large farm which had been in his family for years. A substantial part of this acreage he cultivated with his own labor, or applied, again with his own labor, to other agricultural uses. He did this, not for diversion or only in spare hours, but as an engrossing occupation, consuming in the words of the stipulation, 'the major portion of his time.' The products of his toil were food for him and his dependents, and the farmhouse was a home. True, the money returns were scanty. To some extent this was so because of the blight which fell upon his apple orchard in 1932 or later, cutting down the revenues yielded from that source. The scantiness of the yield may have turned him into a bankrupt, but it did not change his occupation. One does not cease to be a farmer because drought or wind or pest may have rendered the farm barren. The critical fact is that the debtor worked an acreage large enough to count, that he did not work at anything else, and that he gave to this work, whether profitable or unprofitable, 'the major portion of his time.'"
Beechwood does not meet this criterion established by the Supreme Court prior to the amendment of 1938. Even less so does he meet it in the face of the present law.
The exceptional benefits provided for farmers under the Bankruptcy Act were designed for the protection of those who in good faith seek their livelihood from the soil. Such workers engage in a totally essential employment beset by many economic risks and hazards and when personally engaged, even under most advantageous conditions, are required to exert themselves with utmost vigor for most modest returns. None but those for whom the statutory privilege was created should be permitted to insinuate themselves into the class. To held Beechwood a member thereof would be to encourage business men and lawyers in like situations to equip themselves with rural surroundings to escape the normal remedies of their creditors. His defense, to the petition, that he is a farmer within the meaning of the Bankruptcy Act, has failed.
The other issues having been resolved against him by the verdict of the jury, an order adjudicating him as a bankrupt should be entered.