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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Mitchell County

1878

Map of Mitchell County - 1878

First settlements: Lulu township, May, 1870, by J. E. Owen; Beloit City, March, 1870, T. F. Hersey; Bloomfield township, June 20, 1870, A. L. Bunker; Blue Hills township, October, 1870, G. L. Murrie; Walnut Creek township, 1871, Willis Luckey; Pittsburg township, May, 1870, C. J. Brown; Logan township, 1868, Andrew Pearson; Center township, November, 1870, A. A. Thompson; Hayes township, October,

1870, J. E. Burrows; Solomon Rapids township, September, 1870, G. W. Anderson. - First church buildings: Beloit City, 1874, Methodist; Bloomfield township, 1876, Christian; Blue Hills township, 1873, Baptist; Center township, 1877, United Presbyterian. - First school houses: Lulu township, 1872, on West Asher creek, by district No. 18; Asherville township, Asherville, 1873, district No. 4; Beloit City, 1873, district No. 2; Bloomfield township, 1872, Laban Creek, district No. 16; Blue Hills township, 1873, district No. 39; Walnut Creek township, 1874, district No. 20; Pittsburg township, district No. 25; Center township, 1872, district No. 52; Solomon Rapids township, October, 1872, district No. 11. - First business established: Asherville township, grocery, John Rees; Beloit City, milling, T. F. Hersey; Blue Hills township, grocery, Albert Paddock; Pittsburg township, country store, Sternberg Bros.; Center township, country store, F. Charlesworth; Solomon Rapids township, country store, Yates Douglass. - First marriages: Lulu township, F. Schungle and Linnie Kimberling, March, 1872; Asherville township, W. McConnell and Nancy Marshall, 1868; Beloit City, O. P. Pooler and Mary M. Bell, December 9, 1870; Bloomfield township, A. L. Bunker and Addie Whitemore, January 30, 1871; Blue Hills township, A. M. Dean and Jennie Murrie, December 15, 1873; Walnut Creek township, James Slaven and Miss Williams, 1874; Pittsburg township, Noah Rogers and Miss Belveal, October 6, 1872; Logan township, W. H. Fowler and Ellen A. Smith, September, 1870; Center township, Henry Alger and Hattie Hamilton, April, 1874. - First births: Lulu township, Curtis Owen, October 8, 1871; Asherville township, S. G. Rees, 1866; Beloit City, Laura B. Blanchard, September 15, 1870; Blue Hills township, William Leak, April 6, 1871; Center township, Frederick Thompson. - First post offices: Lulu township, West Asher, September, 1872, S. Boyles, postmaster; Asherville township, Asherville, 1869, John Rees, postmaster; Beloit City, 1870, Harry Lyon, postmaster; Blue Hills township, Round Springs, July 4, 1874, Lee Faulhaber, postmaster; Walnut Creek township, Naomi, 1874, Francis Baker, postmaster; Pittsburg township, Pittsburg, W. A. Pitt, postmaster; Center township, Elmira, David Brooks, postmaster. - In March, 1870, a settlement was made on Oak creek, a tributary of the north fork of the Solomon river, in the extreme western part of the county. This party consisted of W. P. Kenyon, Solomon Meiser, William Corden, Lew. J. Best and J. W. Hatcher. They selected claims, and built a cabin on the northwest quarter of Section 29, Town. 6, Range 10 west. Kenyon and Meiser were both killed, May 9, 1870, by a party of Cheyenne Indians, near the present site of West Hampton. On the 29th of the same month, another band of Indians drove off about all the horses left in that part of the country. Another settlement was made in the spring of 1870, near the centre of the county, by C. J. Brown, G. W. Anderson, R. C. Clark and J. S. Smith. This party put up a stockade, and lived together during that year.

Flouring mill, at Beloit
FLOURING MILL, AT BELOIT.

Mitchell county was organized in 1870.

Population in 1870, 485; population in 1875, 5,370; increase in five years, 4,885; population in 1878, 8,673; increase in eight years, 8,188. Rural population, 7,355; city or town population, 1,318; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 84.80.

POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.
TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop.
Asherville 490 Beloit 478 Bloomfield 430
Blue Hills 426 Beloit City 838 Center 375
Cawker 719 Carr Creek 347 Glen Elder 417
Hayes 281 Lulu 407 Logan 489
Plum Creek 469 Pittsburg 483 Salt Creek 539
Solomon Rapids 460 Turkey Creek 505 Walnut 520

Face of the Country. - Bottom land, 20 per cent.; upland, 80 per cent.; forest (Government survey), 2 per cent.; prairie, 98 per cent. General surface of the country - some portions level, remainder undulating.

Timber. - The limited area of timber is confined to the streams. Varieties: cottonwood, oak, ash, walnut, hackberry and box elder. Much attention is paid to artificial forest growth. Our correspondent says, "the county is dotted with miniature forests of one to thirty acres." The varieties are cottonwood, box elder, soft maple, clm, walnut and ash, and, where properly cared for, their growth is rapid.

Principal Streams. - Salt creek, flowing from west to east. Solomon river, from west to east; tributaries flowing south, Oak, Granite, Limestone, Brown's, Mulberry, Plum and Asher creeks; tributaries flowing north, Car, Walnut, Turkey, Laben, Hardscrabble, Honey, Indian, Marshall and Third creeks. The county is not well supplied with springs; good well water at a depth of from 12 to 20 feet.

Coal. - A little coal has been found in the southern part of the county, and has been mined for local use, but no considerable quantities have been developed.

Building Stone, etc. - White magnesian limestone, from three-inch flagging to large blocks, are found in every school district in the county; easily quarried, soft, and hardens by exposure. Numerous salt springs found in the southern part of the county. The "Great Spirit Spring," on Section 35, Township 6, Range 10, is wonderful for location and formation, and said to be richly impregnated with medicinal properties.

Railroad Connections. - The Central Branch road enters the county near the northeast corner, and extends west to Beloit; is being constructed farther west.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 460,800; taxable acres, 144,431; under cultivation, 76,822.44; cultivated to taxable acres, 53.19 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year, 13,623.44.

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

CROPS. 1872. 1873. 1874. 1875. 1876. 1877. 1878.
Winter Wheat 683.00 683.00 824.00 2,294.75 4,660.00 8,158.00 8,997.00
Rye 469.00 468.00 822.00 3,344.50 6,624.00 4,225.00 3,317.00
Spring Wheat 778.00 1,723.00 7,885.00 11,092.75 14,887.00 8,534.00 25,682.00
Corn 10,138.00 14,934.00 17,144.00 15,676.00 15,980.00 29,893.00 25,890.00
Barley 78.00 259.00 978.00 1,141.37 1,072.00 1,460.00 955.00
Oats 296.00 1,201.00 2,954.00 2,787.25 1,764.00 1,486.00 2,522.00
Buckwheat 24.00 44.00 61.00 29.35 13.50 8.00 13.75
Irish Potatoes 122.00 307.00 554.00 372.03 601.50 557.00 829.00
Sweet Potatoes 7.00 7.00 5.00 20.12 10.00 16.00 14.63
Sorghum 108.00 155.00 292.00 243.14 286.75 378.00 195.75
Castor Beans ----- ----- 3.00 70.75 5.50 38.00 1.25
Cotton ----- 0.25 5.00 0.25 1.00 ----- ------
Flax ----- 8.25 95.00 223.12 66.50 11.00 1.00
Hemp ----- 21.00 ----- 10.12 0.25 ----- 0.50
Tobacco ----- 2.00 5.00 0.50 6.38 11.00 42.69
Broom Corn ----- ----- 56.00 49.66 310.63 927.00 1,674.37
Millet and Hungarian 164.00 293.00 872.00 966.75 1,805.75 3,763.00 2,174.00
Timothy Meadow 25.00 25.00 3.00 ----- 25.25 55.00 22.00
Clover Meadow 3.00 3.00 58.00 ----- 6.00 140.00 19.75
Prairie Meadow 5,648.00 2,389.00 69.00 ----- 1,016.00 1,156.00 1,350.00
Timothy Pasture ----- ----- ----- ----- 0.50 ----- 52.50
Clover Pasture ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- 40.00
Blue-Grass Pasture ----- ----- ----- ----- 0.63 1.00 45.25
Prairie Pasture 1,297.00 1,484.00 1,105.00 1,217.00 462.00 2,382.00 2,983.00








Total 19,840.00 24,006.50 33,790.00 39,539.41 49,605.14 63,199.00 76,822.44

Increase in six years, 287+ per cent.
Average increase per annum, 47.83+ per cent.

RANK of Mitchell 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 46 47 35 21 23 22 17
Corn 39 33 41 44 46 41 45








Total Acreage in all Crops 43 44 45 50 46 41 42

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. 8,997.00 839.00 in. 215,928.00 134,348.00 in. $110,123.28 $57,096.28 in.
Rye - bu. 3,317.00 908.00 de. 99,510.00 2,335.00 in. 29,853.00 700.50 in.
Spring Wheat - bu. 25,682.00 17,148.00 in. 436,594.00 282,982.00 in. 187,735.42 95,568.22 in.
Corn - bu. 25,890.00 4,003.00 de. 1,061,490.00 283,695.00 de. 148,608.60 39,717.30 de.
Barley - bu. 955.00 505.00 de. 28,650.00 4,930.00 de. 7,449.00 1,617.60 de.
Oats - bu. 2,522.00 1,036.00 in. 100,880.00 47,384.00 in. 16,140.80 8,116.40 in.
Buckwheat - bu. 13.75 5.57 in. 220.00 124.00 in. 176.00 99.20 in.
Irish Potatoes - bu. 829.00 272.00 in. 77,097.00 35,322.00 in. 19,274.25 1,613.25 de.
Sweet Potatoes - bu. 14.63 1.37 de. 1,345.96 574.04 de. 828.10 443.10 in.
Sorghum - gall. 195.75 182.25 de. 22,511.25 20,958.75 de. 11,255.63 10,479.37 de.
Castor Beans - bu. 1.25 36.75 de. 12.50 367.50 de. 15.63 364.37 de.
Cotton - lbs. ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Flax - bu. 1.00 10.00 de. 11.00 110.00 de. 11.00 116.05 de.
Hemp - lbs. 0.50 .50 in. 460.00 460.00 in. 27.60 27.60 in.
Tobacco - lbs. 42.69 31.69 in. 31,590.60 23,450.60 in. 3,159.06 2,345.06 in.
Broom Corn - lbs. 1,674.37 747.37 in. 1,339,496.00 597,896.00 in. 50,231.10 22,421.10 in.
Millet and Hungarian - tons 2,174.00 1,589.00 de. 6,522.00 4,767.00 de. 22,827.00 16,684.50 de.
Timothy Meadow - tons 22.00 33.00 de. 33.00 49.50 de. 148.50 222.75 de.
Clover Meadow - tons 19.75 120.25 de. 35.55 216.45 de. 159.97 974.03 de.
Prairie Meadow - tons 1,350.00 194.00 in. 2,025.00 291.00 in. 5,062.50 727.50 in.
Timothy Pasture acres 52.50 52.50 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Clover Pasture - acres 40.00 40.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Blue-Grass Pasture - acres 45.25 44.25 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Prairie Pasture - acres 2,983.00 601.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----







Total 76,822.44 13,623.44 in. ----- ----- $613,469.70 $114,796.00 in.

HEAVY YIELDS. - Statement by S. B. Floyd, Blue Hill:

Winter Wheat. - A new variety, called Yellow Sea wheat, was planted by Michael Prenenger, living near Blue Hill, on Section 31, Township 8, Range 9. He planted 8 acres on the 10th of October, and harvested June 15, sowing broadcast among cornstalks, and ploughing in with single shovel. He gathered 32 bushels to the acre, at a cost of $3.75 per acre. This crop was raised on upland, a black limestone soil.

Winter Wheat. - Isaac A. Moore sowed 10 acres of Grass wheat, September 15, and harvested it July 15. This crop averaged 33 bushels to the acre. The seed was drilled in, the soil being upland, a dark mulatto, located on Section 32, Township 8, Range 9. Mr. Moore's post office address is Blue Hill.

Mr. Floyd says, in addition to the above:

"I hear of a number of farmers whose crops of wheat averaged 40 bushels, and some as high as 50 bushels per acre, but have not yet been able to obtain statements from any of these."

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $1,615.50; poultry and eggs, $5,215.44.

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1st, 1878, 386,758 bushels, or an average of 223 bushels to each family.

Dairy Products. - Cheese manufactured in 1875, 580 lbs.; in 1878, 468 lbs; decrease, 112 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 63,632 lbs.; in 1878, 178,137 lbs.; increase, 114,505 lbs.

Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 3,038; in 1878, 3,837; increase, 799. Mules and asses, in 1877, 318; in 1878, 395; increase, 77. Milch cows, in 1877, 2,627; in 1878, 2,762; increase, 135. Other cattle, in 1877, 5,029; in 1878, 5,142; increase, 113. Sheep, in 1877, 4,715; in 1878, 5,026; increase, 311. Swine, in 1877, 11,434; in 1878, 19,133; increase, 7,699.

Sheep Killed by Dogs. - Number of sheep killed by dogs, 42; value of sheep killed by dogs, $126.

Wool. - Clip of 1877, 16,699 pounds.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $36,300.29.

Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 148.88. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 493; pear, 1,403; peach, 40,543; plum, 7,697; cherry, 3,077. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 17,678; pear, 1,053; peach, 59,306; plum, 6,659; cherry, 3,298.

Herd Law. - The herd law has been in force since 1872. There seems to be pretty nearly a unanimous sentiment in its favor. The people believe that stock should be fenced in, not out, and that, without the law, stock men would come in and crush out all local interests by making the county simply a grazing ground. The law encourages hedge growing, and it is claimed that its repeal would make hedge growing impossible, on account of the encroachments of cattle of non-resident owners. The advocates of the law claim that to fence in farming land, instead of that devoted to stock, would be to so increase the cost of farming as to render it unprofitable, and that its repeal would be fatal to agriculture, and nearly depopulate this part of the State by its abandonment to roaming herds. They further claim that the aggregate value of stock of all kinds owned by residents and taxed, will soon be greater under the herd law than it would be without it.

Fences. - Stone, 2,423 rods; cost, $4,846. Rail, 2,132 rods; cost, $2,984.80. Board, 3,323 rods; cost, $4,818.35. Wire, 7,994 rods ; cost, $5,995.50. Hedge, 27,419 rods; cost, $13,709.50. Total rods of fence, 43,291; total cost, $32,354.15.

Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 25.

Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $41,907.

Manufactures. - Asherville township: water-power saw and grist mill, capital, $2,000; water-power grist mill, capital, $15,000. Beloit township: water-power flour and saw mill. Glen Elder township: water-power flour and saw mill. Carr Creek township: water-power flouring mill, capital, $5,000. Cawker township: water-power flouring mill. Pittsburg township: wagon manufactory, capital, $1,000. Turkey Creek township: steam saw mill; water-power flouring mill, capital, $5,000.

Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $372,184; total assessed valuation of all property, $1,036,268; true valuation of all property, $1,727,113.33. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $61,059.06; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, .06-.

Newspaper History. - The Mirror was the first paper published in the county, the first number being issued April 5th, 1871. A. B. Cornell was the proprietor. It was issued irregularly for several months, and then suspended.

The Beloit Gazette was first issued April 11th, 1872, by A. B. Chaffee and J. J. Johnson, under the firm name of Chaffee & Johnson. June 25th, 1872, Johnson purchased Chaffee's interest. September 3d, 1874, W. H. Johnson purchased a half interest in the paper, continuing with it until April 2d, 1875, when J. J. Johnson again became sole proprietor. February 11th, 1876, Mr. Johnson sold the Gazette to G. W. Anderson, who has continued the publication to the present time. The paper has been repeatedly enlarged, and is now a thirty-six column sheet, and is Republican in politics.

The Beloit Index was started December 1874, by G. W. McBride, but it existed only thirteen weeks, the material being returned to the foundry.

The Beloit Record, a monthly publication, devoted to real estate, was first issued February 20th, 1877, by Mark J. Kelley and G. W. Bertram, under the firm name of Kelley & Bertram. It was continued for one year.

The Beloit Record, weekly, was issued by Kelley & Bertram, August 10th, 1877. February 15th, 1878, M. J. Kelley became sole proprietor, and in March following, enlarged the paper to twenty-four columns. The Record is a Republican paper.

Schools. - Number of organized districts, 97; school population, 3,682; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $26.72: females, $19.00. School houses built during 1878, 20; log, 1, frame, 10; stone, 9. Total number of school houses, 80; log, 6; frame, 32; brick, 1; stone, 41. Value of all school property, $41,661. No report as to the ornamentation of school grounds.

Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 7; membership, 320; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $1,000. Congregational: organizations, 2; membership, 40; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $2,500. Episcopal: membership, 6. Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 18; membership, 601; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $4,000. Presbyterian: organizations, 2; membership, 45; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $4,000. Roman Catholic: organizations, 3; membership, 1,000; church edifices, 3; value of church property, $2,000. United Presbyterian: organizations, 2; membership, 77; value of church property, $1,200. Universalist: organizations, 1; membership, 45.

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 organizaed 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 Brett Wimberly, Spenser Massengale and Kyle Ogle, November 2001.


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