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J. G. Swann.-Township 6, range 11, two miles from Elsah, on the Mississippi river.
E. A. Riehl.-Northeast fr. quarter section 25, township 6, range 11, and the east half of the northwest fr. quarter section 25, township 6, range 11 west, third meridian, eight miles from Alton by road.
J. Balsiger. My farm lies in Madison county, sections 35 and 36, township 4, range 6. It is two and one-half miles from Highland, our market town, which will also be our shipping point, a railroad being built from there to St. Louis, as well as eastward,
J. Y. Bothwell. My farm lies in sections 13, 14, 23 and 24, township No. 3 north, range No. 7 east, on the Ohio and Mississippi railroad, two miles from Clay city.
T. Engleman. My farm is in sections 19 and 20, township 1 south, range 6 west of third principal meridian. It is four miles south of Mascoutah, a town of about 4,000 inhabitants and with five steam flouring mills to which the wheat, the only product of the farm raised for market in this section of the country, is sold. Prices of wheat at Mascoutah average ten or fifteen cents per bushel below St. Louis market prices; competition and jealousy between the mills keeps the prices up at times equal to those in St. Louis.
J. Barber. The location of the farm is section 10, township 2 south, range 1 west of the third principal meridian, in Washington county. Shipping point, Richview Station, one mile distant.
J. Warder.-My farm is located in that part of Illinois known as the White and Black Oak Ridges, south of the prairie region. Our nearest shipping point is Metropolis, on the Ohio river, twenty miles distant. Our nearest market town is Vienna, Johnson county, six miles west of us. Douglass on the Illinois Central railroad, twenty-five miles distant, is our nearest railway station.
2. Character of surface soil, as to depth, color and consistency: of subsoil, whether clay, sandy, or gravelly: natural growth, whether prairie or forest, with varieties of plants and trees growing spontaneously?
E. Moss.-Common prairie, black color, mixture of black sand; subsoil gravelly. G. Chaffee.-Prairie, with clay subsoil.
M. A. McConnell.-Surface somewhat rolling; soil varies, some clay and gravel; prairie, openings and timber; the timber is hickory, red and white oak; openings, burr oak.
A. Baley.-Surface soil black, one foot deep, light prairie; subsoil open yellow loam; can be worked at all times, when no frost is in it.
H. Pierce.-Surface soil, dark, yellowish clay loam, 8 to 18 inches deep; natural growth, oak, hickory, walnut, soft maple and a few butternuts.
J. Tefft.-Upland soil, clay with some portion gravelly; bottom, black, deep clay soil, full of alluvial deposits.
Prairie, covered with
S. Reynolds.-Surface soil, dark loam; subsoil, various. common prairie grass.
J. Schoenleber.-Surface soil, black loam, 12 to 30 inches deep; rolling prairie; subsoil, yellow clay from 3 to 6 feet; below this, blue clay to the depth of 38 feet dug and 44 feet bored.
C. E. Barney.-Prairie; a deep black, sandy loam; clay and gravel subsoil.
V. Aldrich.—Surface soil, clayey loam to the depth of 10 or 12 inches; color, brownish black, or between black and light cold clay soil, mixed with just sand enough to render it pliable and easy to work; it takes in water freely and stands drouth well. This description includes south half of farm, formerly prairie. The natural growth of north half is hazel brush and barren timber, black and white oaks; soil becomes lighter color and more clayey Subsoil of south half, mostly red or brick cold clay to the depth of 15 feet; below this, to the depth of 15 feet or more, a layer of coarse gravel, and then river sand as far as I have penetrated, about 61 feet.
A. Rankin.-Surface soil, black loam, average depth, 20 inches; subsoil, clay. Prairie, spontaneous growth grasses, blue stem prairie grass, blue grass, and white clover.
G. W. Minier.-The surface is slightly undulating, a very little of it may be said to rise to the dignity (?) of a roll, passing off into gentle slopes.
The soil is the common dark mould of the prairies of this part of the State; depth of soil is usually said to be from one to two feet, but I am satisfied it is nearer from one to two hundred feet, as it is all an immense drift, and any depth to which I have yet penetrated, when exposed to the action of the elements, produces well. The subsoil is generally yellow clay. It was nearly all prairie, producing in its natural state, when I first saw it, an immense crop of wild grass and rosin weeds. About ten acres of it was a copse, now a beautiful grove of burr oak, red elm, white hickory, sassafras, blue ash, hackberry, and wild cherry, with here and there a mul. berry and one honey locust.
J. Robinson. The character of the surface soil is black loam mainly, with some black sand near the surface, and yellowish or reddish clay mixed with it; this extends from one and a half to three feet in depth. The subsoil consists of a yellowish and reddish clay, with sand and gravel, sometimes mingled and sometimes in veins or layers; sometimes clear beds of sand or gravel are found from ten to twenty-five feet from the surface, in which usually is found pure hard water; below this is the blue clay, which extends to an unknown depth.
The natural growth on this land, before cultivation, was the wild herbage of the prairie, and since being cultivated, if let alone, would be the various weeds that infest our prairie farms; these would soon be followed by thistles and briars, and they, if the land was not pasture, by our various timbers, such as cottonwood, red and white elm, ash, wild cherry, maples, locusts and box elder; if the land be pasture it would soon be blue grass and white clover.
J. R. Tull. The soil is mostly thin; sul soil is a clayey loam, underlaid with limestone, and is what might be termed a limestone soil. My farm is partly timber and part prairie. The natural growth of timber is mostly black oak, some hickory, white oak, ash, black walnut, sugar maple and linden.
T. Gregg.—Our surface soil is a vegetable mould overlying a clay subsoil; beneath which is, first, a deposit of sand some fifteen feet thick, and, second, a tenacious bluish clay, beneath which, again, is limestone rock. Most of the bluffs in this vicinity contain valuable quarries of a beautiful building stone, specimens of which, together with samples of soils, I send for the museum of the Industrial University.
The natural growth of timber on these bluffs consists of the following, viz: white and black oak, hickory, white and sugar maple, wild cherry, elm, honey locust, mulberry, ash, sassafras, hazel, and blackberry and raspberry.
A. C. Hammond.—Soil, a dark clay loam, from ten to twenty inches deep; subsoil a tenacious yellow clay. Natural growth, hazel, crab apple, and wild plum.
The surface, rolling and well drained by several streams. The soil varies from one to three feet in depth and is bedded on a very strong yellow clay; it is slightly sandy with very little gravel. The natural growth is part forest and part prairie; about 130 acres forest and the rest prairie. The forest trees are the black walnut, sugar maple, wild cherry, blue ash, hickory, elm, mulberry, coffee nut, pawpaw, and some honey locust plants.
H. Sodowsky.-Surface, black mould two feet in depth; subsoil, clay; farming land, prairie.
S. P. Boardman.-The surface soil is a warm, light-colored soil-as compared with the blackest soil of this part of the State-having sufficient sand in it to show a little on the surface after a rain. It is about fifteen to seventeen inches in depth. Deer creek, a small branch of Salt creek, runs across the farm diagonally, entering at the northeast corner and passing out on the west line of the farm, within less than a half mile of the southwest corner. High, rolling prairie wholly on the east side, and level bottom land on the west side of the creek. This "Deer Creek Bottom" is a mile in width, and differs from creek bottoms generally, in that, instead of the soil being of great depth, it is comparatively shallow, being mixed with small pebbles from the size of a pea to an ounce ball.
The subsoil of the high prairie, as well as of the bottom prairie, is clay, but the subsoil of the creek bottom is whiter, and of a firmer consistency than that of the upland.
The natural growth of the entire farm, with the exception of a small fringe of willows along the creek, is prairie grass.
G. Harding. Surface soil, a rich black loam 18 inches deep; subsoil, yellow clay. A great deal of rosin weed growing spontaneously before breaking the sod; afterwards cottonwood trees.
G. W. Vaughan.—A very dark loam, from 12 to 18 inches deep. The soil of the flat land is much deeper and darker colored than that of the rolling land, which is more mixed with gravel and sand. The level land, of which most of my farm consists, lasts much better than that which is rolling, but is not so agreeable to till in a wet season, like that just passed. My farm is all prairie, and its natural growths are various kinds of weeds, grasses and the cottonwood tree.
S. Butler.-Prairie; surface soil of a dark color, to a tolerable depth; subsoil of a sandy clay.
D. Gove.-The soil is a vegetable loam, slightly mixed with sand, and is from 14 to 3 feet deep; the subsoil is clay, with some gravel. The natural growth of the prairie is the same as is common in Central Illinois, and as soon as fed heavily by stock it kills out, and blue grass makes its appearance spontaneously. The timber land is covered with black walnut, elm, hickory, and the different species of oaks, cherry, etc.
J. G. Swann.—Yellowish clay, 12 inches in depth; forest growth, common sedge grass, hickory, black and white oak.
E. A. Riehl.-Character of soil, varied; surface broken, as the bluffs on the Mississippi river usually are. Soil rather sandy than otherwise, though in spots it is clayey. Part is bottom land. Natural growth, timber-hickory, oak, sassafras, mulberry, ash, sumac, red-bud, etc.
J. Balsiger.—The surface soil is a black or brown loam, consisting of humus more or less mixed with clay and some little sand; this layer is of unequal depth, in some places in the lower parts of the farm two feet and more, and on the higher parts less deep. The subsoil is a red, and in some places a white or gray clay. The natural growth is timber, although Looking Glass Prairie is not far off, consists of oaks-white, black, overcup, burr, spanish, red, laurel, black-jack, post-oakhickory, black-walnut, honey-locust, sycamore, red and white elm, mulberry, wild cherry, crab-apple, cottonwood, wild plum, red-bud, sassafras, white ash, willow, hackberry, liquid amber, red maple, persimmon, white thorn, hazel and grape vine.
J. Y. Bothwell.—Surface soil, dark gray from 8 to 10 inches deep; subsoil, yellow clay. Mostly prairie; some brush land brought into cultivation; growth on brush land consists of pin oak, cherry, mulberry and elm; hazel and blackberry under growth.
T. Engelmann.—My farm is situated on an elevation near the southern end of Looking Glass Prairie. The slopes of the elevation were originally covered with forest, and are so yet, to a small extent. The prairie, which stretched from the foot of the elevation north and south for many miles, has entirely disappeared, and has made room for large fields; not one square foot of original prairie is to be found within many miles. The slopes of the elevation were overgrown with a great variety of trees and plants; principal among which were hazel, blackberries, sumac, sassafras, wild grapes, plums, persimmons and wild cherry, also several varieties of oak and elm. The surface soil is a dark mould, from 10 to 20 inches deep. The subsoil on the slopes of the hill is heavy red clay, sparsely mixed with sand. In what formerly was prairie the subsoil is gray clay, well mixed with sand.
J. Barber. The soil is a dark loam, somewhat sandy, and about 12 inches in depth. The subsoil is a hard clay and greatly inclined to wash. Natural growth, what is usually found on the prairies of our State.
J. Warder. The principal geological formation in our section is a very heavy body of sand-stone, with occasional changes to limestone. The face of the country is roughly broken, the slopes are steep and rocky, with precipitous cliffs near the streams. The tillable soil is mostly confined to the ridges, which may be compared to small plains or table-lands. These are in many places level and beautiful. The soil is light brown in color, slightly sandy and warm. At a depth of some inches it becomes more loamy, and at a greater depth is underlaid with yellow clay or loam, and below that sand and gravel. These lands have a perfect surface drainage. They may be plowed very soon after a rain, or they may be cultivated early in the spring. They are well adapted to sustaining severe drouths. This is owing, I think, to the fact that the plant roots reach that deep, moist substratum which underlies the surface soil.
That this deep, open and moist substratum does exist, is proven by the magnificent growth of timber, mostly of deep-rooting species, as follows: Yellow poplar, black walnut, white oak, black oak, hickory, sugar maple, black gum, hazel, etc.
The labor of clearing has been immense, and much good timber has been wasted by girdling trees and leaving them for time to do its work. These stand in the
fields from five to ten years, are ploughed around and hoed around, their great roots stretching out on all sides, proving a great draw on time and temper, yet there they stand-those giants of the forest-stretching out their naked arms in a solemn, threatening manner, till some boisterous day they come down with a terrible crash. It is clear then that in this region we will not need many reapers and mowers, at least for some time to come. Wheat we do not consider a paying crop; however, the most of farmers raise for home consumption, with some surplus. Corn is our great staple; next to that, tobacco. Cotton was planted extensively during the war, but is now almost given up. I have also raised oats, rye and buckwheat, with different degrees of success. Our soil seems to be more peculiarly adapted to the culture of fruit, and also of vegetables-those of a bulbous nature in particularas sweet potatoes, onions, beets and turnips. This is owing to the warm, sandy soil, with the open and moist substrata, to which is ascribed, as before mentioned, the growth of deep-rooted forest trees. This physical constitution of the soil causes that adaptation for the vigorous growth not only of fruit, but for all other species of trees,
3. Number of acres 'n your farm: number in cultivation: number in woodland or wild pasture: division of fields: rotation of crops?
E. Moss,-120 acres.
G. Chaffee.-160 acres; 60 to 80 in corn and oats annually; remainder in pastures and meadow; sow oats after corn.
M. A. McConnell.-690 acres; 500 in cultivation; 100 in openings, all grown up. White clover in pasture, and has been for 30 years. Farm is divided into fields of from 25 to 40 acres, except where cattle run.
Asa Baley-40 acres in four fields; two years in grain, two in grass. First after grass is corn; second crop is small grain with grass seed.
H. Pierce.-16 acres in cultivation (Nurseryman); corn, sorghum, or potatoes for first crop, followed by barley. Usually corn is planted for a number of years, and then wheat to seed down with.
J. Tefft-242 acres, all under fence; only about 15 under the plow; woodland and wild pasture, 100 acres.
J. Schoenleber.-160 acres ; 96 acres under cultivation; 50 acres timothy meadow; the remainder wild prairie and slough grass. Farm is equally divided by fence; 15 acres enclosed for pasture, horses and cows; 40 acres in clover and timothy, for hogs; 6 acres for orchard and vineyard.
C. E. Barney.-160 acres.
V. Aldrich-160 acres; 120 acres under cultivation; 40 in woods pasture. Divided into 6 fields. Rotation of crops, wheat, corn, sometimes rye or oats, and then corn. Small grain never does as well the second year on the same field, or after a crop of corn, as it does the first.
A. Rankin.-Farm of 80 acres; plow land 61 acres; pasture 13 acres; orchard and vineyard 16 acres. Sow clover with wheat and oats, and plow it under the next spring for corn. Sow timothy and clover for meadow and pasture; cut it two or three years, and plow under for wheat or corn. Plow in September with second crop on.
G. W. Minier.-I have 160 acres; enough for any man; wouldn't have any more. All in cultivation except the woodland, which is in pasture. My farm is divided