Letter of 1898 - Part One of One

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Letter of 1898

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1989 02:40:53
To: a_seeker@ix.netcom.com
Harold Miller
Subject: Reasons for Migration

Hello. Someone asked "Why do these people move?" I will copy to the List a "Letter to the Editor" of The Bucklin Herald, Bucklin, Missouri, Friday, December 2, 1898. Since it is rather long, I'll break it up into several messages. [Note: these have been combined.] Incidentally, Bucklin is in Linn County, in the north-central part of Missouri and very good land. Letters like this enticed some. Also land agents visited the farmers in this area of Missouri [probably others also] and offered to trade several times the number of acres of Texas land for their Missouri farms. Many, who wanted to provide land for all their sons, agreed to the deal.

Letter from S.F. Perry, Glendale Texas, Nov. 18, 1898.

Editor Herald: Dear Sir: After leaving Bucklin on the 27th of September with the usual mishaps and delays on the road incident to such trips, we arrived at our new home in fair shape and are now domiciled in the same. But we had not fiarly estimated the labor and ill convenience necessary to be done and borne to dovetail things in and around our new home, hence we have bgeen very busy trying to do so. My wife and family are well pleased with the new order of things. The town of Glendale is admirably located on a high beautiful spot of ground overlooking the surrounding country and presents a beautiful landscape. We find the Texas people kind, neighborly and generous almost to a fault, which is characteristic of southern people. There is now about 150 people in Glendale and that number or more are billed to come in during the fall and winter. Several houses are now being built and a good number are preparing to build at once. Everybody is busy and as many more could get employment. Good carpenters get two dollars per day. Wages for common laborers are about the same as in Linn county. The saw mills, one of which is in two miles of Glendale, pay their hands from $1.25 to $1.50 per day.

A good number of the old citizens who have heretofore had the benefits of the lands without cost or price are buying lands and securing homes. The weather has been pleasant and beautiful since we came; have had a great deal of rain but no continued cloudy days. The fact that we never had muddy roads here is a source of great pleasure to old Missourians. Our school will open next Monday. It has been delayed by reason of abandoning the old school house three-quarters of a mile out in the country and building a magnificent new one thousand dollar house in town by J.H.York & Co. who present it to the town without cost and without price to the patrons. The school will open with 35 or 40 students. Building material can be had for one-half what it costs in Missouri; except lime which is much higher, which we attribute to the fact that but little is used. We believe this to be essentially a stock country. Cattle as a rule do well on the range the year around and often are not fed any during the winter. The farmers as a rule do not feed any stock except cows and work horses through the winter. This is not a grain country as compared with the Missouri prairie land, but a large sufficiency can be raised for the demand. I have seen several fields of corn which I think would easily make forty bushels per acre. There is no established market for corn, and every man has his own price; some want 50 cents, some 40 and some 25 cents per bushel. I bought some for 25 cents and paid all asked for it.

The old farmers never tried to raise wheat and know absolutely nothing about it. An Illinois farmer has put out a field of wheat and thinks it will do well. Vegetables and garden stuff of all kinds do well except tomatoes. A sufficient amount of them can be raised for home consumption as long as they will keep. They are like the sweet potato in north Missouri, more can be raised than will keep. Sweet potatoes can and are raised abundantly and very easily. All that is necessary is to set the plants or a bud from a vine growing from the first of April to the fifteenth of July and cultivate if you have time, if not you may get from one to five hundred bushels per acre any how. Mellons and cantelopes are easily raised and could be made a profitable industry. Red clover and alfalfa is successfully grown in an adjoining county and it is believed it will do equally well here and some of our new comers are going to try them. Ribbon and sugar corn do admirably well and all produce from 300 to 600 gallons to the acre and is sold from 30 to 50 cents per gallon. The growing of tobacco is a new industry, but it is found to be a valuable crop. Two crops can be raised from same stock. A German colony just south of Glendale make tobacco an exclusive crop. This year they had in twelve or fifteen hundred acres and the quality is claimed to be equal to the celebrated Havana leaf, and is worth from $25 to $60 per hundred pounds.

I find that without exception the longer the new comers are here the better they like the country. As far as has been tried fruits of all kinds, except apples, do well. Very few of the old citizens have done anything in the fruit line. I saw a sample of pears grown here, the largest and finest I ever saw any where. A farm, fruit and vegetable association has been organized here and it is hoped that much good may be accomplished by it. In conclusion, will say, myself and family are satisfied with our move. S.F. PERRY

Page date is March 9, 1998
combined all 4 pages 11 January 2003