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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Russell County

1878

Map of Russell County - 1878

Population in 1870, 156; in 1875, 1,212; increase in five years, 1,056; population in 1878, 3,239; increase in eight years, 3,083. Rural population, 2,915; city or town population 324; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 90.

Face of the Country. - Bottom land, 20 per cent.; upland, 80 per cent., forest (Government survey), 1 per cent.; prairie, 99 per cent. Average width of bottoms, three-quarters of a mile; general surface of the country, undulating; some portions bluffy.

Timber. - A mere fringe along the streams. Varieties: cottonwood, ash, elm and willow; on Paradise creek, some oak, black walnut and cedar.

Principal Streams. - The Smoky Hill river flows from west to east through the southern part of the county. The Saline river, from west to east, a little north of the centre; principal tributaries from the north, Paradise and Wolf creeks; a number of smaller streams tributary to both rivers. The county is moderately supplied with springs; well water is obtained on the bottoms at a depth of from 10 to 40 feet; on the high prairies, from 20 to 200 feet.

Coal. - Poor coal, in inconsiderable quantities, has been developed, in veins of from 30 to 40 inches, of which 500 tons have been mined during the year, valued at $2 per ton at the mine; lignite.

Building Stone, etc. - The western part of the county has some limestone of fair quality. There is an abundance of excellent building stone, 6 to 9 inches in thickness, easy of access. It has been shipped east and west on the Kansas Pacific Railway for building purposes. There is an abundance of sandstone of poor quality. There are some salt springs, mineral paint and pottery clay, but they have not been developed, and their quality and quantity are not known.

Railroad Connections. - The Kansas Pacific Railway runs through the county from east to west, a little south of the centre. Stations, Bunker Hill and Russell.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 576,000; taxable acres, 70,871; under cultivation, 21,136; cultivated to taxable acres, 29.82 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year, 7,364.50.

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $1,030; poultry and eggs, $1068.50.

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1st, 1878, 14,895 bushels, or an average of 23 bushes to each family.

Dairy Products. - Cheese manufactured in 1875, - lbs.; in 1878, 10,600 lbs.; increase, 10,600 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 3,765 lbs.; in 1878, 27,527 lbs.; increase, 23,762 lbs.

Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 1,023; in 1878, 984; decrease, 39. Mules and asses, in 1877, 96; in 1878, 151; increase, 55. Milch cows, in 1877, 1,019; in 1878, 1,185; increase, 166. Other cattle, in 1877, 4,405; in 1878, 5,615; increase, 1,210. Sheep, in 1877, 10,695; in 1878, 10,502; decrease, 193. Swine, in 1877, 976; in 1878, 1,800; increase, 824.

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

CROPS. 1872. 1873. 1874. 1875. 1876. 1877. 1878.
Winter Wheat 19.00 ----- ----- 992.50 1,829.00 4,789.00 9,181.00
Rye ----- ----- ----- 310.50 485.00 854.00 537.00
Spring Wheat ----- ----- ----- 584.00 614.00 581.00 892.00
Corn 567.00 ----- ----- 1,833.00 1,771.00 4,693.00 6,934.00
Barley 2.00 ----- ----- 161.75 160.00 46.00 137.00
Oats 7.00 ----- ----- 507.50 239.00 182.00 364.00
Buckwheat ----- ----- ----- 9.50 1.00 4.00 10.00
Irish Potatoes 5.00 ----- ----- 43.80 79.00 81.00 160.00
Sweet Potatoes ----- ----- ----- 1.00 9.00 19.00 30.00
Sorghum 1.00 ----- ----- 53.25 74.75 134.00 94.00
Castor Beans ----- ----- ----- 1.12 0.50 5.75 0.50
Cotton ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- 2.00 0.50
Flax ----- ----- ----- 43.50 ----- 2.00 -----
Hemp ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Tobacco ----- ----- ----- ----- 0.50 1.75 2.50
Broom Corn ----- ----- ----- 50.37 127.25 62.00 31.50
Millet and Hungarian ----- ----- ----- 905.75 1,126.00 2,315.00 2,267.00
Timothy Meadow ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- 18.00
Clover Meadow ----- ----- ----- ----- 2.00 ----- 10.00
Prairie Meadow ----- ----- ----- 640.00 54.00 ----- 467.00
Timothy Pasture ----- ----- ----- ----- 4.00 ----- -----
Clover Pasture ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Blue-Grass Pasture ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Prairie Pasture ----- 270.00 9,911.00 ----- -----








Total 601.00 ----- ----- 6,407.54 16,487.00 13,771.50 21,136.00

Increase in three years, 3417 - per cent.
Average increase per annum, 1139 - per cent.

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

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








Wheat 58 ----- ----- 56 57 48 47
Corn 59 ----- ----- 64 65 63 63
Total Acreage in all Crops 59 ----- ----- 62 61 63 63








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. 9,181.00 4,392.00 in. 211,163.00 115,383.00 in. $122,474.54 $41,061.54 in.
Rye - bu. 537.00 317.00 de. 10,740.00 8,048.00 de. 3,222.00 2,790.16 de.
Spring Wheat - bu. 892.00 311.00 in. 16,056.00 6,760.00 in. 8,028.00 581.20 in.
Corn - bu. 6,934.00 2,241.00 in. 242,690.00 78,435.00 in. 60,672.50 27,821.50 in.
Barley - bu. 137.00 91.00 in. 4,658.00 3,554.00 in. 1,630.30 1,299.10 in.
Oats - bu. 364.00 182.00 in. 18,200.00 11,648.00 in. 5,460.00 4,411.68 in.
Buckwheat - bu. 10.00 6.00 in. 140.00 100.00 in. 112.00 80.00 in.
Irish Potatoes - bu. 160.00 79.00 in. 14,400.00 10,350.00 in. 5,040.00 2,407.50 in.
Sweet Potatoes - bu. 30.00 11.00 in. 2,400.00 880.00 in. 1,440.00 384.00 de.
Sorghum - gall. 94.00 40.00 de. 10,810.00 4,600.00 de. 5,405.00 2,300.00 in.
Castor Beans - bu. 0.50 5.25 de. 4.50 41.50 de. 5.63 40.37 de.
Cotton - lbs. 0.50 1.50 de. 85.00 255.00 de. 7.65 26.35 de.
Flax - bu. ----- 2.00 de. ----- 16.00 de. ----- 16.80 de.
Hemp - lbs. ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Tobacco - lbs. 2.50 .75 in. 1,850.00 555.00 in. 185.00 55.50 in.
Broom Corn - lbs. 31.50 30.50 de. 23,625.00 25,975.00 de. 885.94 974.06 de.
Millet and Hungarian - tons 2,267.00 48.00 de. 6,801.00 2,171.00 in. 28,904.25 9,2?6.75 in.
Timothy Meadow - tons 18.00 18.00 in. 27.00 27.00 in. 121.50 121.50 in.
Clover Meadow - tons 10.00 10.00 in. 15.00 15.00 in. 75.00 75.00 in.
Prairie Meadow - tons 467.00 467.00 in. 467.00 467.00 in 1,401.00 1,401.00 in.
Timothy Pasture acres ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Clover Pasture - acres ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Blue-Grass Pasture - acres ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Prairie Pasture - acres ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----







Total 21,136.00 7,364.50 in. ----- ----- $245,070.31 $82,020.53 in.

Sheep Killed by Dogs. - None reported.

Wool. - Clip of 1877, 40,662 pounds.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $17,175.60.

Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 3. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 285; pear, 2; peach, 3,919; plum, 69; cherry, 143. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 3,948; pear, 386; peach, 7,469; plum, 386; cherry, 864.

Herd Law. - The herd law is in force in this county.

Fences. - Stone, 440 rods; cost, $880. Rail, no report.Board, 986 rods; cost, $1,449.42. Wire, no report. Hedge, 547 rods; cost, $382.90. Total rods of fence, 1,973; total cost, $2,712.32.

Apiaculture. - Bees, none reported.

Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $11,252.

Manufactures. -None reported.

Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $214,939.50; railroad property, $271,999.94; total assessed valuation of all property, $781,097.44; true valuation of all property, $1,301,829.07, Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $42,496.47; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, .05+.

Newspaper History. - The Pioneer, a monthly journal devoted to the land business, was the first paper published in Russell county. It was printed at Abilene, but dated at Bunker Hill. It was published by Harbaugh & Corbett, and existed only a few months, in 1871.

The Western Kansas Plainsman was established on the 25th of April, 1872, at Russell. A. B. Cornell was editor and proprietor. Its name was soon shortened to The Plainsman, and as such it was published until October, 1876, when it was discontinued. In politics The Plainsman was Republican.

The New Republic was started at Banker Hill, on the 9th of May, 1872, by John R. Rankin. In a short time Harbaugh & Corbett obtained control of the paper, and afterwards W. B. Christopher became its editor. On the 15th of September, 1874, the publication of the paper was suspended.

This paper was a strong advocate of the Republican party. The material fell into the hands of Dollison Brothers, who moved it to Russell, where on the 19th day of November, 1874, the publication of the Russell County Record was commenced. The Record was suspended after nearly a year's existence. On the 16th of November, 1875, its publication was resumed, and it is now the only paper in the county. It is strongly Republican.

The Russell Advance was commenced on the 8th of March, 1878, by W. H. Johnson and John N. Maxwell. It was a thorough Republican paper. It was only published a few months, ceasing to exist October 5, 1878.

Schools. - Number of organized districts, 28; school population, 1,332; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $30.80; females, $21.36. School houses built during 1878, frame, 4. Total number of school houses, 15; frame, 5; stone, 10. Value of all school property, $19,065. No report on shade trees.

Churches. - Baptist: membership, 65. Congregational: organizations, 2; membership, 41; value of church property, $1,500. Episcopal: organizations, 1; membership, 10. Lutheran: organizations, 1; membership, 30. Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 5; membership, 120; value of church property, $1,000. Presbyterian: organizations, 1; membership, 25. Roman Catholic: organizations, 2; membership, 100; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $400.

*No reports for 1873 and 1874.

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 Ashleigh Johnson, January 2002.


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