Rural Survey of Morgan County Missouri, 1916

In 1914, the schools of Morgan County, Missouri, participated in a survey of rural conditions. The results were compiled and published in the Missouri State Board of Agriculture Monthly Bulletin, vol. 14, no. 2 (Feb. 1916), with photographs to illustrate the text. The survey covers economic and social conditions in the farming country.

The material in this survey is very interesting for the light it sheds on farm life in Morgan County at the beginning of the twentieth century. The pictures are particularly interesting. It therefore seemed worthwhile to digitize the survey and make it available.

A note on the photographs: the original photographs are screened (i.e. made up of dots, like newspaper photographs). To reproduce them on the web, I scanned them at high resolution, blurred them to hide the screening, then resampled them to lower resolution and sharpened them. The results are very faithful to the original. Unfortunately, the copy from which I scanned them was tightly bound, and in some cases it was impossible to avoid having the curve of the page appear in the picture. To see an enlargement of any picture, just click on it.

Note: I'd be very interested in hearing from anyone who can identify any of the people or places in the pictures, or add information to the text. I'll add notes to the text when I get extra information.

Table of Contents

[Title page]
To Whom Credit is Due. p.6
Why Morgan County was Chosen. p.9
List of Questions Submitted. p.11
Illustrations. p.12
Public Schools. p.13
Social and Religious Life of Communities. p.16
The Farm Boys and Girls. p.19
Farm Homes. p.21
Farms and Farm Equipment. p.25
Live Stock and Poultry. p.27
Use of Commercial Fertilizers. p.28
Sources of Farm Income. p.28
Towns and Villages. p.30
Old Mills. p.30
Mining and Manufacturing. p.31
A Land of Great Natural Beauty. p.32
Morgan County Crop Yields. p.33
Supplementary Reports. p.34
Farm Homes as Described by School Children. p.35
Assessed Valuation of Morgan County, 1915. p.41
From the 1910 Census. p.42
Live-Stock Products. p.45
Topography, Streams and Soil. p.46
Morgan County. p.48


[Morgan County Courthouse] (Image; Enlargement) p.1
[Union Label] (Image; Enlargement) p.1
Graduating class, Morgan county rural schools, 1914-1915. Ninety in class. (Image; Enlargement) p.3
[Jewell Mayes signature] (Image; Enlargement) p.6
M. Wray Witten, superintendent public schools, Morgan county, Mo. (Image; Enlargement) p.7
First courthouse in Morgan county. Built in 1837. See present beautiful building pictured on cover of this bulletin. (Image; Enlargement) p.7
[Map of Morgan County School Districts] (Image; Enlargement) p.10
Public school building in Versailles. (Image; Enlargement) p.14
One of the rural schoolhouses in Morgan county. (Image; Enlargement) p.15
Here and there, where the first settlements were made, are old houses that seem almost to have souls. This house is said to have been built more than one hundred years ago. (Image; Enlargement) p.17
This effective road-building machine, the Pioneer Tractor, bought at a cost of $5,000, made 100 miles of good road in Morgan county last year. Costs $25 per day to run engine and three graders. This machine well expresses the good roads spirit in Morgan county. (Image; Enlargement) p.18
On a well-improved farm where registered live stock makes money for the owner. (Image; Enlargement) p.21
A log cabin. Some homes of this type are still to be seen in the timbered district in the southern part of the county. (Image; Enlargement) p.22
A comfortable and roomy farm home. (Image; Enlargement) p.22
A remodeled home dating from early days. (Image; Enlargement) p.23
Farm home in prairie section of county. (Image; Enlargement) p.24
Mare and five of her colts on Morgan county farm. (Image; Enlargement) p.25
Silo, barn and farm-built tractor. (Image; Enlargement) p.26
The "razorback" has been replaced by such hogs as these. (Image; Enlargement) p.27
Morgan county has much good poultry. (Image; Enlargement) p.27
Morgan county is increasing her wheat yield. (Image; Enlargement) p.28
Modern school building, church and playground in thriving little town of Stover. (Image; Enlargement) p.29
A hamlet in the southern part of the county. Notice new concrete culvert on Versailles and Linn Creek road. (Image; Enlargement) p.30
Old grist mill on the banks of the Gravois. Mill is driven by water power, the water being conveyed about two miles, through a race, into a lake. Mill was built before the Civil war. Patrons come for many miles to this mill, where corn is ground by use of old-fashioned burstones. (Image; Enlargement) p.31
Partial view of the big clay products works at Versailles. (Image; Enlargement) p.32
Collins' Lake in southern Morgan county. Fed by spring which flows 45 cubic feet per second. (Image; Enlargement) p.33
A modern home in Morgan county. (Image; Enlargement) p.35
In one of the many good wheat fields in Morgan county. (Image; Enlargement) p.35
A crude machine, but notice the beautiful work when directed by skilled hands. (Image; Enlargement) p.37
A farmstead where shade trees are a factor. (Image; Enlargement) p.38
A busy day on one of the modern farms of Morgan county. (Image; Enlargement) p.39
A reminder of pioneer days in Morgan county. (Image; Enlargement) p.40
As seen on a well-equipped Morgan county farm. (Image; Enlargement) p.42
Sawmill from which comes all the oak lumber used in the district. (Image; Enlargement) p.43
Cattle fattened on the farm help to make "fat" the farm. (Image; Enlargement) p.44
One of the farm residences in the Gravois Mills district, and lake that supplies water for the grist mill. (Image; Enlargement) p.46
A creditable display. Much of Morgan county is well adapted to fruit growing. (Image; Enlargement) p.49

Missouri State Board of Agriculture Monthly Bulletin Vol. XIV, No. 2 (February, 1916): A Rural Survey of Morgan County Missouri. Digital version 2001 Peter Binkley; permission to reproduce for non-commercial purposes is granted.

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