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game, and the venison in this county is more delicious than the feast which was provided for the prodigal son. One of the hunters of Saline was in at the death of a buck which he killed on Black Water, that weighed three hundred and two pounds, the largest, it is believed, whose obituary ever found a place in the annals of field-sports. Several have been killed in Saline weighing two hundred and forty pounds, which were considered enormously large. Turkeys and grouse here give animation to prairie scenery, and furnish the table with some of the choicest luxuries of life. Partridges and ducks are also found in Saline, as well as elsewhere in Missouri.
Scott COUNTY boundaries begin in the Mississippi river, opposite the mouth of James's Bayou, or creek; thence with the northern boundary-line of New Madrid county to White Water; thence up the same, with the line of Stoddard county, to the line dividing townships twenty-eight and twenty-nine ; thence to and following the main channel of the Big Swamp to where the same strikes the Cape la Cruse Creek; thence down said creek to the mouth of the same; thence due east to the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi river; thence down the same, in the middle of the main channel, to the beginning.
This county resembles New Madrid, but the country was less injured by the great earthquakes of 1811 and 1812 ; nor is it as much covered with lakes. Scott contains about the same quantity of prairie, and, if it is possible, the prairies are richer than those of New Madrid. The largest prairie in Scott is called Matthew's prairie, and this is in a high state of cultivation. There are a number of small lakes in this county, and these are in the vicinity of the mouth of the Ohio. The northern and western part of Scott is high upland, and broken with a mixture of good and bad soil. The rock found in the uplands of this county is similar to that in Cape Girardeau county. The products of Scott are corn, oats, tobacco, and grass. The stock consists of horses, cattle, and hogs. The soil of this county, and that of New Madrid, exceeds in fertility many of the southern counties. Many of the citizens of this county are engaged cutting lumber for the St. Louis and southern markets, and
in this operation they employ steam-power profitably. There are shipped annually from Scott large quantities of corn, beef, and pork to New Orleans. There are no mill-streams in this county that are considered worthy of notice. At the town of COMMERCE, which is situate on the Mississippi river, at the head of Tiwapata bottom, there is a manufacture of stone ware carried on extensively. This is a thriving little town, and improving as fast as Benton, the county seat of justice.
SHELBY COUNTY lies due west from Marion, and is bounded as follows: “ Beginning at the southeast corner of township numbered fifty-seven, of range numbered nine west ; thence west with the township line, between townships numbered fifty-six and fifty-seven, to the range line between ranges twelve and thirteen; thence with the last-named range line north to the line between townships numbered fifty-nine and sixty; thence with the last-named township line east to the northwest corner of Marion county, at the range line between ranges eight and nine ; thence south with the line last mentioned to the point of beginning.”
Salt river runs through this county from near the northwest corner, in a southeasterly direction. A stream called the North Two rivers likewise waters this county, and on this stream are several mills. The land of Shelby county is generally good, but there is more prairie than tímber. This deficiency in timber is partially made up with the coal-banks with which the county abounds.
SHELBYVILLE is the seat of justice of Shelby county, and is located in a central position. The place has in it two mercantile houses. The town is in its infancy, but promises to improve as rapidly as most of the interior towns. The Palmyra and Missouri railroad will brighten the prospects of Shelby, when the construction of it is begun within its boundaries; until this shall setually take place, many unbelievers in the enterprise will arise, and discourage the improvements that their narrow minds cannot compass. It was difficult for the frog, who heard a description from his kinsman of the enormous size of the ox, to believe whe statement; and it wounded his frogship's pride to suppose
there was any animal on earth of greater importance than himself. It is such humble and diminutive beings as this hero of the fable that oppose anywhere great public works. But there is some reason to hope these croaking animals, who oppose railways in Missouri, may, like the frog, explode in striving to swell their own consequence to dimensions parallel with the merit of those they envy.
The eastern boundary of this county is not more than twentythree miles from the Mississippi, in a direct line. The county, therefore, which is twenty-four miles long, east and west, by eighteen broad, north and south, is not so far from navigable water as to impose much hardship on the farmers in conveying their produce to market. There is a town in Shelby county, recently laid off, to which the name of New-YORK has been given. A railroad depot in this town will give it importance and ensure its growth.
STODDARD COUNTY, recently taken from the southwest part of New Madrid and the southern section of Cape Girardeau counties, is bounded as follows: beginning in the main channel of the St. François river at the mouth of Black Mingo; thence up the same until it strikes the main channel of the swamp'; thence along the main channel of Castor river ; thence up the same to the mouth of Cane Creek ; thence up the inain channel of the swamp; thence with the said main channel of the swamp to White Water; thence down the same to the line dividing the counties of New Madrid and Scott ; thence west until it strikes the western edge of Castor and Little river swamp; thence down the western side of said swamp to the parallel of latitude of thirty-six degrees; thence along the said line to the St. François river, and up the same to the beginning.
This being a new county, and recently organized, no notice will be taken of its county-seat. The northern part of Stoddard is thin land, and the face of the country is broken, containing considerable rock and gravel. Castor river passes through this part of the county, and it is a fine mill-stream. This stream is sometimes called Little river. Its course continues within the county a distance of twenty miles, and its waters are discharged into a swamp, and there it loses its original course and channel. This is the commencement of the great swamp south of New Madrid. Stoddard county, south of the hilly country, resembles the lands of New Madrid. Here begins West prairie, stretching from the eastern swamp, made by Castor river, to the west and main St. François river, which, as it runs west, is likewise lost, making lakes and swamps on both sides of the old bed of the river. West prairie is about fifteen miles wide at the northern part of it, and gradually diminishes in width as it extends southwardly. This prairie is twenty miles in length; it is not so fertile as the prairies in the south generally are, but it is good farming land. The two great swamps of Castor on one side, and the main and west branch of the St. François on the other, are the boundaries of Stoddard. From the West prairie, proceeding to the southern part of the county, there is a body of timbered land about sixteen miles in length, and from six to ten miles wide. A large portion of this timbered tract is very fertile. Beyond this woodland Grand prairie lies, which is extremely beautiful, and the soil is very rich. This prairie is about nine miles in length, and extends to the Arkansas state line. It varies in width from three to five miles. Very little of West prairie, or the country south of it, has been surveyed or offered for sale. The bands of Indians who formerly inhabited this isolated region have been recently removed from it; and it is now settled with a good white population, who confidently look for the enactment of pre-emption laws to ensure them the fruits of their labour. The citizens of this county and their neighbours of New Madrid derive considerable profit from the sportive pursuits of trapping and hunting, at seasons when their farming interests permit this indulgence. In the hunting-grounds of Stoddard, about two years ago, a wandering buffalo was slain by an Indian hunter. A few of these animals may yet find concealment and security in the forests and underwood on the low grounds of New Madrid. The people of this county, being cut off from a free intercourse with the adjoining counties and navigable water, and surrounded by almost impassable swamps, except on one side, raise nothing for exportation except cattle and hogs, which consume their grain in fattening. If it were not for the “ organs of destructiveness” strongly developed by the bears, panthers, and wolves with which the settlements are invested, the people of Stoddard would enjoy the singular advantage of inhabiting the best stock country in the world.
The minerals of Stoddard that have been discovered are iron and coal. The earthquakes of 1811 and 1812 injured the country embraced within the present boundaries of this county more than
other part of the state. But the slight shocks occasionally felt here have long ago ceased to create alarm, or shake their confidence in the foundations of the fortunes laid by the citizens of this rich county. The most usual communication between the counties of Stoddard and New Madrid is in canoes, through the lakes and swamps that are spread out over the sunken lands in the vicinity of the channel of the east branch of Castor river. The distance from the principal settlements of Stoddard by this devious water-route is about one hundred miles, and only twenty by land.
VAN BUREN County lies south of Jackson county, on the western boundary-line of the state. Its limits are thus described by statute : Beginning at the southwest corner of Johnson county ; thence east to the line between ranges twenty-eight and twenty-nine; thence south to the line between townships thirtynine and forty; thence west to the western boundary-line of the state ; thence north to the beginning.”
The county-seat of Van Buren is not yet located, and the conflicting interests of settlements on the main Grand river waters, and on the timbered land of Big Creek, one of the principal branches of Middle Grand river, may for some time delay the location of the seat of justice ; but when a spot for the county town is selected, it is in contemplation to call it “Democrat." There is at present but one store in Van Buren, and this is situated on a high point of prairie, adjoining a grove of timber, on one of the numerous branches of Big Creek. The view from this point takes in a region of prairie country, interspersed with groves of good timber, and spotted with farms, forming a half circle from the east, southwardly, around to where the sun sets,