Typed as spelled and written
Lena Stone Criswell

Eighteenth Year - Number 45
Marlin, Texas, Saturday, October 26, 1907
Selection of a Farm.

To The Democrat:
       This is a most important question to be considered by any man who proposes to begin framing, or one who expects to change his location.  Perhaps he has been a renter and expects to go into another district and become the owner of a tract of land, it is much better, when possible, for a man to buy but a small one and not pay cash down for it.  The man who owns his farm, though (-)illy improved and meagerly provided with implements, is much happier than he who expends his forces on another man's land.  The thought that he must leave at the owner's bidding, the improvements, association, the conveniences and all that he has brought around him, perhaps just at the age and condition when he is least able to encounter the fatigues and embarrassment attending the moving and making of a new is an exer- (sic) present trouble.
       In the selection of a location, health is the first thing to be sought; the quality of soil surrounding is an after-consideration.  Before making the purchase of a farm upon which you expect to live you should ponder well all that is in any way connected with it.  Remember, you are selecting a home--a spot where you will rear your children, expend your life forever and pass from earth leaving the harvests you have sown to oters. (sic)
       Always avoid a district known to be sickly no matter how cheap the land may be.  Determine in advance what kind of farming you will follow and seek a soil to suit.  But if you are to engage in mixed farming, there are few counties where suitable soil can not be found.  It is true there is poor land in almost, every county in Texas and rich land as hence care must be observed or disappointment will follow; by all means if possible see the land yourself upon which you would make a life settlement before purchasing.  Ascertain what are the present and prospective facilities for furnishing a school education for your children, and social enjoyments for your family, also regarding religious meetings and privileges.  They are important items in building up happy homes.  Look out for pure water on the land you buy both for family and stock purposes.  It is better to buy a farm much run down and out of repair, provided you pay only its real value than to purchase one with improvements which do not suit your purposes.  In other words, it is better to pay $40 an acre for a place that $40 more will make just what you want than 80 dollars for one that never exactly suit you.  Count your money, then invest only a portion in land, reserving sufficient for improvements, tools for cultivation.
       Buy but few acres and pay for them if you have but limited means rather than to go largely in debt and run the risk of losing all.  One small farm paid for is worth more than a large one half paid for.  Unless you are sure of your ability to meet obligations, Debt, with ever growing interest, is the nightmare of far too many farmers in this country.  Forty acres of land thoroughly and intelligently cultivated will put more money in the owner's purse than two or three times that amount skimmed over in a slovenly hurried manner.  System and thoroughness in all things apply most emphatically to farmers, and if the farm is too large for the farmer and his means, many things have to be neglected whereby the (sic) losses money.  Therefore, it is better to purchase a few acres at a time, bearing in mind that as your means will allow land adjoining your farm can be purchased and thus you will gradually but safely and surely enlarge your domain.
       It there is a farm for sale where you would like to live and raise your family, say 160 acres, get four of your neighbors to go with you and buy it and quit renting land.  Forty acres of land in fifteen years more will be a large farm.  This is the old forty-niner talking to you.  The most of you have the money to make a payment; you can work it out in five years and have a home.
                                          J. R. KIRKPATRICK.
Chilton, Texas.


Copyright permission granted to Theresa Carhart and her volunteers for
printing by The Democrat, Marlin, Falls Co., Texas