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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Ottawa County

1878

Map of Ottawa County - 1878

First settlements: The first settlers who made improvements in the county were William Still, George Darling, and a Frenchman named Le Pere. They built cabins near the mouth of Coal creek in May, 1855. - The first birth in the county was a son to S. M. Wright, in 1861, - The first death was the wife of E. W. Branch, which occurred on the 13th of August, 1859. - The first marriage was between D. W. Bruce and Matilda Jones in the spring of 1865. - The first school in the county was taught by Charlotte Ingersoll, in 1864, at Concord. - Rev. J. H. Hawley, a Methodist minister, preached the first sermon, in the house of Mrs. Boss, at Fort Solomon, in 1865. - Col. Kirwin started the first store, in the early part of 1866, at Fort Solomon. When the county seat was located at Markley's Mill (now Minneapolis), he moved his store to that place. The county has suffered several times from Indian depredations, the last one being, on June 9, 1869, at Summerville.

The county was organized in 1866.

Population in 1870, 2,127; in 1875, 4,429; increase in five years, 2,302; population in 1878, 6,664; increase in eight years, 4,537. Rural population, 5,998; city or town population, 666; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 90.

* POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.
TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop.
Bennington 554 Centre 608 Chapman 464
Concord 395 Culver 795 Fountain 786
Logan 1,081 Minneapolis City 547 Ottawa 710
Sheridan 724 ----- ----- ----- -----

Face of the Country. - Bottom land, 25 per cent.; upland, 75 per cent.; forest (Government survey), 2 per cent.; prairie, 98 per cent. Average width of bottoms, three miles; general surface of the country, gently undulating.

Timber. - Average width of timber belts, 80 rods. Varieties: oak, hackberry, walnut, ash, elm, mulberry, box elder and cottonwood.

Principal Streams. - The Solomon flows from the northwest to the southeast corner of the county. The Saline river flows across the extreme southwest corner of the county in a southeasterly direction. The smaller streams are, Coal, Sand, Lindsay, Salt, Pipe, Yockey, Henry, Mortimer and Chapman creeks. The county is well supplied with springs; good well water reached at an average depth of 30 feet.

Coal. - None developed.

Building Stone, etc. - There is an abundance of sandstone and some limestone, neither of first rate quality; mineral paint and pottery clay said to be abundant, but not worked.

Railroad Connections. - Branch of the Kansas Pacific R. R. from Solomon City, a station on the K. P. R. R., to Minneapolis.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 460,800; taxable acres, 216,411; under cultivation, 74,775.80; cultivated to taxable acres, 34.55 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year, 15,097.31.

HEAVY YIELDS. - Statements by Olney & Sexton, Minneapolis:

Winter Wheat. - Hon. John Henry raised 90 acres of wheat of the Red May variety, on Section 12, Township 11, Range 4 west which was planted September 15 to 25, and harvested June 5 to 20. The ground was river bottom, which was ploughed in July and August and the seed drilled in; the yield was 40 66-100 bushels per acre, the cost being as follows:

Ploughing, per acre$1.25
Harrowing, once.25
Drilling.50
Seed1.00
Harvesting1.50
Threshing, at 7 cents per bushel2.80
 
Total cost per acre$7.30

Winter Wheat. - John McClellan, living near Minneapolis, raised 19 acres of Red Chaff white wheat, on bottom land, located in Section 21, Township 10, Range 4 west. It was planted September 8 to 10, and harvested July 2 to 5, the average yield per acre being 61 77-100 bushels. The ground was in wheat the year before, the stubble was burned off, and the seed drilled in without ploughing, using 1-1/4 bushels to the acre.

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $757.50; poultry and eggs, $4,018.40.

STATEMENT showing the Acreage of Field Crops named from 1872 to 1878, inclusive.

CROPS. 1872. 1873. 1874. 1875. 1876. 1877. 1878.
Winter Wheat 1,796.00 1,160.00 1,276.00 5,117.91 10,180.00 19,060.00 25,599.00
Rye 209.00 239.00 251.00 2,694.50 4,147.00 4,156.00 2,796.00
Spring Wheat 1,544.00 3,729.00 4,288.00 7,532.50 7,611.00 4,455.00 11,889.00
Corn 6,973.00 6,291.00 7,000.00 11,840.50 9,866.00 18,577.00 18,738.00
Barley 119.00 337.00 354.00 1,567.12 2,647.00 1,470.00 903.00
Oats 930.00 1,487.00 1,636.00 2,871.50 2,124.00 2,216.00 3,080.00
Buckwheat 20.00 15.00 15.00 4.00 7.00 20.00 15.50
Irish Potatoes 297.00 242.00 254.00 242.96 357.66 424.00 412.00
Sweet Potatoes 2.00 3.00 4.00 3.62 4.50 10.00 5.80
Sorghum 19.00 40.00 40.00 115.08 66.75 163.00 207.50
Castor Beans ----- 1.00 1.00 24.00 10.00 58.00 -----
Cotton ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Flax ----- 0.25 0.25 70.00 15.00 27.00 5.25
Hemp ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Tobacco ----- ----- ----- 2.35 0.75 3.68 2.25
Broom Corn ----- ----- ----- 81.37 157.00 300.00 132.50
Millet and Hungarian 236.00 270.00 270.00 865.75 1,103.00 2,329.00 2,067.00
Timothy Meadow ----- ----- ----- ----- 11.00 8.75 62.00
Clover Meadow ----- 9.00 9.00 ----- 5.00 0.25 1.75
Prairie Meadow 4,581.00 430.00 430.00 274.00 2,612.00 1,487.00 2,330.00
Timothy Pasture 4.00 4.00 4.00 ----- ----- ----- 1.00
Clover Pasture ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- 1.50 0.25
Blue-Grass Pasture ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- 0.31 5.00
Prairie Pasture 1,526.00 1,097.00 1,097.00 2,735.00 2,861.00 4,912.00 6,523.00








Total 18,256.00 15,354.25 16,929.25 36,042.16 43,785.66 59,678.49 74,775.80

Increase in six years, 309+ per cent.
Average increase per annum, 51.50+ per cent.

RANK of Ottawa County in the Crops named below, as to Acreage, and in Cultivated Acreage for the years mentioned in the foregoing table.

CROPS. 1872. 1873. 1874. 1875. 1876. 1877. 1878.








Wheat 35 32 48 24 24 14 15
Corn 45 50 54 51 55 52 53
Total Acreage in all Crops 47 52 55 51 49 45 43








STATEMENT showing the Acres, Product and Value of Principal Crops for 1878, together with the Increase and Decrease as compared with 1877.

CROPS. ACRES IN
1878.
INCREASE
OR
DECREASE
FROM 1877.
PRODUCT
IN 1878.
INCREASE
OR
DECREASE
FROM 1877.
VALUE OF
PRODUCT
IN 1878.
INCREASE
OR
DECREASE
FROM 1877.







Winter Wheat - bu. 25,599.00 6,539.00 in. 639,975.00 354,075.00 in. $383,985.00 $169,560.00 in.
Rye - bu. 2,796.00 1,360.00 de. 55,920.00 10,576.00 de. 16,776.00 4,502.72 de.
Spring Wheat - bu. 11,889.00 7,434.00 in. 118,890.00 29,790.00 in. 59,445.00 2,925.00 de.
Corn - bu. 18,738.00 161.00 in. 749,520.00 86,445.00 de. 134,913.60 9,518.85 in.
Barley - bu. 903.00 567.00 de. 22,575.00 14,175.00 de. 9,933.00 724.50 de.
Oats - bu. 3,080.00 864.00 in. 138,600.00 32,232.00 in. 24,948.00 8,992.80 in.
Buckwheat - bu. 15.50 4.50 de. 310.00 90.00 de. 248.00 72.00 de.
Irish Potatoes - bu. 412.00 12.00 de. 41,200.00 20,000.00 in. 10,300.00 1,360.00 de.
Sweet Potatoes - bu. 5.80 4.20 de. 638.00 462.00 de. 478.50 566.50 de.
Sorghum - gall. 207.50 44.50 in. 23,862.50 5,117.00 in. 11,931.25 2,558.75 in.
Castor Beans - bu. ----- 58.00 de. ----- 522.00 de. ----- 522.00 de.
Cotton - lbs. ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Flax - bu. 5.25 21.75 de. 57.75 185.25 de. 57.75 197.40 de.
Hemp - lbs. ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Tobacco - lbs. 2.25 1.43 de. 1,665.00 1,058.20 de. 166.50 105.82 de.
Broom Corn - lbs. 132.50 167.50 de. 106,000.00 134,000.00 de. 3,975.00 5,025.00 de.
Millet and Hungarian - tons 2,067.00 262.00 de. 6,201.00 786.00 de. 23,253.75 2,947.50 de.
Timothy Meadow - tons 62.00 53.25 in. 93.00 79.87 in. 418.50 359.41 in.
Clover Meadow - tons 1.75 1.50 in. 2.97 2.54 in. 13.36 11.42 in.
Prairie Meadow - tons 2,330.00 843.00 in. 4,194.00 1,517.40 in. 10,485.00 3,793.50 in.
Timothy Pasture acres 1.00 1.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Clover Pasture - acres 0.25 1.25 de. ----- ----- ----- -----
Blue-Grass Pasture - acres 5.00 4.69 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Prairie Pasture - acres 6,523.00 1,611.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----







Total 74,775.80 15,097.31 in. ----- ----- 691,328.21 $175,846.29 in.

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1st, 1878, 188,582 bushels, or an average of 141 bushels to each family

Dairy Products. - Cheese manufactured in 1875, 190 lbs.; in 1878, 1,265 lbs.; increase, 1,075 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 63,927 lbs.; in 1878, 138,439 lbs.; increase, 74,512 lbs.

Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 2,564; in 1878, 3,081; increase, 517. Mules and asses, in 1877, 281; in 1878, 413; increase, 132. Milch cows, in 1877, 2,387; in 1878, 2,770; increase, 383. Other cattle, in 1877, 6,094; in 1878, 5,107; decrease, 987. Sheep, in 1877, 6,059; in 1878, 5,208; decrease, 851. Swine, in 1877, 7,072; in 1878, 13,037; increase, 5,965.

Sheep Killed by Dogs. - Number of sheep killed by dogs, 70; value of sheep killed by dogs, $210.

Wool. - Clip of 1877, 30,099 pounds.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $76,728.22.

Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 137.37. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 1,061; pear, 1,296; peach, 32,256; plum, 1,129; cherry, 917. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 10,094; pear, 1,131; peach, 25,177; plum, 1,795; cherry, 2,792.

Herd Law. - The herd law has been in force four years throughout the county. The effect upon the general prosperity of the county is good.

Fences. - Stone, 2,109 rods; cost, $4,218. Rail, 4,084 rods; cost, $5,921.80. Board, 6,262 rods; cost, $9,079.90. Wire, 22,525 rods; cost, $16,893.75. Hedge, 62,597 rods; cost, $43,817.90. Total rods of fence, 97,577; total cost, $79,931.35.

Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 5.

Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $32,746.

Manufactures. - Bennington township: water-power flouring mill; water-power saw mill. Culver township: water-power saw mill. City of Minneapolis: water-power flouring mill; water-power saw mill; steam plow manufactory; horse-power elevator; stoneware factory. Sheridan township: water-power flour and saw mill, capital, $4,000; water-power saw mill.

Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $174,719; total assessed valuation of all property, $867,830.76; true valuation of all property, $1,446,384.60. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $113,916.54; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, 13+.

Newspaper History. - The Solomon Valley Pioneer, the first paper published in Ottawa county, was issued at Lindsay, in September, 1870, and continued until May, 1873.

The Ottawa County Independent was started in January, 1871, by J. E. Wharton, at Minneapolis. It is still published. Markley & Campbell, proprietors; William Goddard, editor. Republican in politics.

The Sentinel, first issued at Minneapolis in August, 1875, by Hoyt & Crosley. Thomas Midgley bought Crosley's interest in January, 1876, and Midgley transferred his interest to Hoyt in 1877. In August, 1878, W. Hooper bought a half interest. The Sentinel is Republican in politics.

In 1871, Steele & Wooden issued three numbers of a real estate paper called the Solomon Valley Settler.

In October, 1874, the Solomon Valley Mirror, a monthly real estate journal, was started by C. C. Olney. In January, 1878, F. M. Sexton became a partner in the enterprise. Regular monthly issue, twenty-five hundred copies.

Schools. - Number of organized districts, 62; school population, 2,564; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $29.10; females, $22.05. School houses built during 1878, frame, 5. Total number of school houses, 49; frame, 41; stone, 8. Value of all school property, $33,682. In a very few instances trees of an artificial growth ornament the school grounds.

Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 5; membership, 156. Lutheran: organizations, 4; membership, 70. Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 16; membership, 410; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $2,400. Presbyterian: organizations, 4; membership, 90; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $2,000. Roman Catholic: organizations, 2; membership, 500.

Transcribed from First Biennial Report of the State Board of Agriculture to the Legislature of the State of Kansas, for the Years 1877-8 embracing statistical exhibits, with diagrams of the agricultural, industrial, mercantile, and other interests of the state, together with a colored outline map of the state, and sectional maps, in colors, of each organized county, showing their relative size and location, railroads, towns, post offices, school houses, water powers, etc., etc. Topeka, Kansas: Kansas State Board of Agriculture. Rand, McNally & Co., Printers and Engravers, Chicago. 1878. Transcribed by Kara Haggard, March 2002.


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