The Project Gutenberg EBook of Prairie Farmer, Vol. 56: No. 1, January 5,
1884., by Various

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Title: Prairie Farmer, Vol. 56: No. 1, January 5, 1884.
       A Weekly Journal for the Farm, Orchard and Fireside

Author: Various

Release Date: January 14, 2006 [EBook #17512]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Susan Skinner and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at

[Pg 1]

The Prairie Farmer

A Weekly Journal for

The Farm, Orchard, and Fireside.


[Transcriber's Note: Some pages in the original had the corner torn off. Missing text has been marked [***].]

[Transcriber's Note: The Table of Contents was originally located on page 8 of the periodical. It has been moved here for ease of use.]


Agriculture—Tall Meadow Oat-Grass, Page 1; The Barbed-Wire Business, 1-2; A Rambler's Letter, 2; Let Us Be Sociable, 2; Seed Corn Again, 2; Field and Furrow, 3.

Live Stock—Mr. Grinnell's Letter, Page 4; Prices of 1883, 4; Docking Horses, 4; Items, 4.

The Dairy—Lessons in Finance for the Creamery Patron, Page 5.

Veterinary—Fever, Page 5.

Horticulture—Ill. Hort. Society, Page 6; A Short Sermon on a Long Text, 6; Prunings, 6-7.

Floriculture—Gleanings by an Old Florist, Page 7; Am I a Scot or am I Not, Poetry, 7; Primitive Northwest, 7.

Editorial—Items, 8; Seed Samples, 8; The Pork Question in Europe, 8; Corn, Wheat, and Cotton, 8; Chicago in 1883, 9; Strong Drink, 9; Questions and Answers, 9; Wayside Notes, 9; Champaign Letter, 9.

Poultry Notes—Chat With Correspondents, Page 10; Feather Ends, 10.

The Apiary—Keep Bees, Page 10; The New Bees, 10; Hive and Honey Hints, 10.

Silk Culture—Women In Silk Culture, Page 11.

Household—The Schoolmarm's Story, Poem, Page 12; A Chat About the Fashions, 12; A Kitchen Silo, 12; Items, 12.

Young Folks—Talk about the Lion, Page 13; A Jack-knife Genius, 13; Little Johnny, 13.

Book Notices—Page 13.

Literature—Robin, Dear Robin, Poetry, Page 14; Mrs. Wimbush's Revenge, 14.

Humorous—The Carpenter's Wooing, Poetry, Page 15; Where the Old Maids Come From, 15; Items, 15.

News of the Week—Page 16.

Markets—Page 16.

Tall Meadow Oat-Grass.

Prof. John W. Robson, State Botanist of Kansas, sends The Prairie Farmer an extract from his last report, concerning a tame grass for hay and pasturing which is new to that State. The grass has been on trial on an upland farm for two years, during which time he has watched it very closely. The Professor says, "It possesses so many excellent qualities as to place it in the front rank of all cultivated grasses." He enumerates from his notes:

1st. The seed will germinate and grow as easily as common oats. 2d. It maintains a deep green color all seasons of the year. 3d. Its roots descend deeply into the subsoil, enabling this grass to withstand a protracted drouth. 4th. Its early growth in spring makes it equal to rye for pasturage. 5th. In the next year after sowing it is ready to cut for hay, the middle of May—not merely woody stems, but composed in a large measure of a mass of long blades of foliage. The crop of hay can be cut and cured, and stowed away in stack or barn, long before winter wheat harvest begins. 6th. It grows quickly after mowing, giving a denser and more succulent aftermath than any of the present popular tame grasses.

For several years, he says, we have been looking for a grass that would supply good grazing to our cattle and sheep after the native grasses have become dry and tasteless. In the early portion of 1881, his attention was called to a tame grass which had been introduced into the State of Michigan from West Virginia. This forage plant was causing some excitement among the farmers in the neighborhood of Battle Creek. So he entered into a correspondence with a friend living there, and obtained ten pounds of seed for trial. The result has been satisfactory in every respect. The seed was sown April 1, 1881. It germinated quickly, and the young plants grew vigorously. During the whole summer they exhibited a deep-green color, and did not become brown, like blue-grass, orchard grass, or timothy. As soon as the spring of 1882 opened, growth set in rapidly, and continued till the latter end of May, at which period it stood from three to four feet high. At this time it was ready for the mower; but as the production of seed was the object in view, it was not cut till the second week in June. The plot of ground of about half an acre, on which ten pounds of seed were sown, produced three barrels of seed.

He exhibited a little sheaf of this grass at the semi-annual meeting of the Kansas State Horticultural Society, where it excited much attention—the height, softness of the stem, length of blade, and sweet aroma surprised every one present.

On the last day of August, he went into the plot with a sickle, and cut two handfuls of aftermath which measured twenty inches in growth. This he tied to a sheaf of the June cutting, and exhibited the same at the State Fair, where it attracted much attention and comment.

Here, then, we have, he continues, a grass that will insure a "good catch" if the seed is fresh; that can endure severe drouth; that produces an abundant supply of foliage; that is valuable for pasture in early spring, on account of its early and luxuriant growth; that makes a valuable hay; that shoots up quickly after being cut; and affords a fine crop of aftermath for grazing during the late fall and winter months.

The Professor is very anxious that the farmers of Kansas should test this grass during the season of 1883. Still, his advice is not to invest too largely in the experiment. Purchase from five to ten pounds of seed, and give it a fair trial, and he is confident that the experiment will be satisfactory.

The name given to this valuable grass in the State of Michigan is "Evergreen," but this is only a local synonym. Its scientific name is Avena elatior; its common name, "Tall Meadow Oat-grass." Fearing that he might be mistaken in its nomenclature, he sent a specimen to Professor Carruth, State Botanist. This is his reply:

"Mr. J.W. Robson—Dear Sir: Yours mailed on the 22d, I received last evening. I do not get my mail every day. The specimen of grass you sent agrees perfectly with the Avena elatior, of Wood, and the Arrenatherrum avenaceum, of Gray; but I have never seen this grass before. I agree with you in the scientific name, and also in the common name, 'Tall Meadow Oat-grass.'

Yours truly, J.H. Carruth."

The ground should be plowed in the fall, and early in the spring, as soon as the soil is in good tilth; sow broadcast two bushels (or twenty-eight pounds) of seed to the acre; cover well with the harrow, both lengthways and across the piece of ground sown. Should the ground prove weedy, cut the weeds down with the mowing machine in June, and leave them upon the surface, and they will afford shade to the young plants.

This grass is extensively grown in Eastern Tennessee, and is very popular in that portion of the State. In some portions of Western Virginia it is largely grown for hay and for grass. It is known as tall meadow oat-grass in each of the States we have mentioned above.

The main building for the New Orleans Cotton Centennial Exposition next year will be 1,500 feet long and 900 feet wide, with 1,000,398 square feet of floor space, including Music Hall in the center, with a seating capacity of 12,000 persons. The design also provides for main offices, telegraph office, newspaper department, fire department, police, hospital, waiting-rooms, and life saving apparatus. The building will be the largest exposition building ever erected, except the one in London in 1862. The design adopted was the work of G.M. Jorgenson, of Meridian, Mississippi. There were ten competitors.


The Barb-Wire Industry—Some Facts in its Early History not Generally Known—Its Growth.

Joseph Farwell Glidden, "the Father of the Barb-Wire Business" of this country, is now a hale and hearty man of seventy-one. He was born at Charleston, N.H. When about one year old the family came West, to Clarendon, Orleans county, New York, and engaged in farming. The young lad, besides mastering the usual branches taught in the common schools, gave some time to the higher mathematics and Latin, intending to take a college course, an idea that he finally abandoned. He taught in the district schools for a few terms. In 1842 he came to Illinois and purchased a quarter section of land a mile west of what is now the site of the pleasant and prosperous town of DeKalb. With the exception of three years his life since then has been passed upon this farm and at DeKalb. He has from time to time added to his homestead, his farm now embracing 800 acres. His land is under excellent cultivation, a considerable portion of it having been thoroughly tiled, and his farm buildings are first-class. Mr. Glidden has been twice married. Two children were born of the first union, both dying in infancy. By his second marriage he has one daughter, now the wife of a Chicago merchant.


Mr. Glidden has held several local offices of trust and honor and enjoys in a marked degree the esteem and confidence of the citizens of his neighborhood and county. The rapid accumulation of property of late years, through his barb-wire patents and business, gave him the means to gratify his feelings of public spirit, and in consequence the town of DeKalb has benefited greatly at his hands. Its leading hotel and many other buildings are the work of his enterprise. Mr. Glidden has never lost the simple manners of the farm. He is unostentatious, quiet, genial, and at his hotel makes everybody feel as much at home as though enjoying the hospitalities of his private house. His kindly, firm, and intelligent face is well shown in the accompanying portrait, though, as is usually the case, the hand of the artist has touched his features more lightly than has the hand of time.

Few names are now more widely known among the land holders of the country than that of Joseph F. Glidden, the unpretending gentleman whose life we have briefly sketched. It was his fortune to seize upon an idea, and push it to development, which has not only given him fame and fortune, but which has enriched many others and saved many millions of dollars to the farmers of America. He has not only founded a mammoth industry, but he has revolutionized an economic system of the world. By his ingenuity and perseverance the fencing system of a pastoral continent has been reduced to a minimum of expense and simplicity. Not that he individually has accomplished all this, but as the patentee of the first really successful barb-wire fence, he laid the solid foundation for it all.

The first application for a patent for the Glidden barb was filed October 27, 1873. For some weeks previous to this date Mr. Glidden had had in his mind the idea of a barb of wire twisted about the main wire of the fence, leaving two projecting points on opposite sides. He made some of these by hand with the aid of pinchers and hammer. He strung two wires between two trees and twisted them together with a stick placed between them. A pair of cutting nippers was the next addition to his "kit" of tools. His next means for twisting the two wires together was the grindstone—attaching one end of the wire to shaft and crank, the others being fastened to the wall of the barn. And here, as in most things great and small in this world, woman furnished the motor power. The strong arm of the good helpmeet, Mrs. Glidden, turned the grindstone that twisted the first wire that made the first Glidden barb fence that kept stock at bay in Illinois or the world. Then followed a device for twisting and barbing, and the application of horse power. Business expanded, and steam took the place of the horse, and inventive genius modified and improved the entire machinery, it being estimated that at least the sum of $1,000,000 has been expended in bringing the machinery for barb-wire making to its present state of perfection.

At about the same time that Mr. Glidden was wrestling with his ideas and devices, Mr. I.L. Ellwood was experimenting to accomplish a like result with a thin band of metal, the barbs cut and curved outward from the strip. In the meantime Mr. Glidden had put up a few rods of his hand-made barb-wire along the roadside at his farm. And here again the good genius of woman enters upon the scene. One Sunday Mr. Ellwood and his wife were driving along this road and attracted by the wire fence stopped to examine it. Mrs. Ellwood, much to the chagrin of her husband, remarked: "This seems to me a better device than your own, don't it to you?" It did not then, for the remark disappointed and angered him. But it set him to thinking and before the next morning he was of the same opinion. The two men meeting the next day it did not take long to compromise and unite. Mr. Ellwood dropped his own plans and accepted a half interest in the Glidden patents, and assumed the management of the business end of the concern, in which position he developed ability and tact possessed by few business men in this country.

The barb-wire fence met an unexpected and general demand. We know of few things like it in the history of manufactures. From[Pg 2] this small beginning, scarce ten years ago more than fifty large establishments are now turning out this wire to meet an ever insatiate demand. The establishment of I.L. Ellwood (making the Glidden wire) at DeKalb is the most complete and extensive of them all. The building is 800 feet in length, and is supplied with about 200 machines for twisting and barbing the wire. It gives, when running full force, employment to about 400 men, and turns out a car-load of wire each hour for ten hours per day, on an average, though this amount is considerably increased at certain times of the year. These figures, though not given us by Mr. Ellwood, we are satisfied do not overstate the production of this one factory. The progress of the barb-wire industry of the whole country is shown by the following record of the past nine seasons. In

1874 there were 10,000 lb made and sold.
1875 there were 600,000 lb made and sold.
1876 there were 2,840,000 lb made and sold.
1877 there were 12,863,000 lb made and sold.
1878 there were 26,655,000 lb made and sold.
1879 there were 50,337,000 lb made and sold.
1880 there were 80,500,000 lb made and sold.
1881 there were 120,000,000 lb made and sold.
1882 there were about 180,000,000 lb.

The record for 1883 is not yet made up, but will probably show a corresponding increase.

In 1876 Mr. Glidden disposed of his half interest in the concern of Glidden & Ellwood to the Washburn & Moen (wire) Manufacturing Company, of Massachusetts, receiving therefor $60,000 in cash and a royalty on the future goods manufactured, Mr. Ellwood retaining his interest. The new concern began the purchase of prior unused and conflicting patents involving itself in extensive litigation, but, sustained by the courts, soon gained control of almost the entire barb-wire business of the country. Nearly all wire-making companies are now running under license from the parent concern. The following is a list of the licensees of last year:

When Glidden & Ellwood first began the sale of the Glidden fence, which was confined to the vicinity of DeKalb, they received 25 cents per pound for the barbed wire. Since then, as production has increased and the facilities for manufacturing have been multiplied and perfected, the price has gradually dropped, until now a farm can be well fenced for forty-five cents, or less, per rod, and to the incalculable advantage of the country over fencing by posts and boards, hedges or rails, as any one may see by a simple dollar and cent comparison of materials at his own door.

Barb-wire has done much for the city of DeKalb. It has built its fine business blocks and residences, and it has peopled it with industrious, thrifty citizens. It has made a home market for many of the products of the country 'round about. It should give a new name, "Barb City," to the bustling, busy town. There are three concerns now making barb-wire at this point. The one spoken of is the largest. Next is that of Jacob Haish, an extensive establishment, turning out an excellent wire, and the Superior, run by Mr. Hiram Ellwood, Mr. Glidden having a considerable interest in it.

Mr. I.L. Ellwood is the owner of some 2,600 acres of land in the vicinity of DeKalb. Much of this land is naturally low and wet. The proprietor, with his accustomed energy and intelligence, has set vigorously to work to reclaim it. To this end he has already laid eighty miles of tile. He last year expended nearly $15,000 in this work. His poorest land is rapidly becoming his most productive. Mr. Ellwood has also turned his attention somewhat to horse-breeding, and he is now the owner of a fine stud of draft-horses, the equal of many better-known establishments of the kind in the State. Of his drainage operations we hope to speak more in detail in a future number.

Mr. Glidden told the writer that his first trial of his fence with stock was not undertaken without some misgivings. But he thought to himself, "It will stop them, at any rate, whether it kills them or not." So he took down an old board fence from one side of his barn-yard, and towards night when his stock came up, turned them into the yard as usual. The first animal to investigate the almost invisible barrier to freedom was a strong, heavy grade Durham cow. She walked along beside the wires for a little put her nose out and touched a barb, withdrew it and took a walk around the yard, approached the wires again and gave the barbs a lap with her tongue. This settled the matter, and she retired, convinced that the new-fangled fence was a success.

Barb-wire is now sent from this country to Mexico, South America, and Australia. It is also being manufactured in England under American auspices.

Mr. Glidden, associating with himself a Mr. Sanborn, a young man of push and enterprise, has opened up an extensive cattle ranch in Potter and Randall counties, Texas. They have fenced with wire a tract thirty miles long by about fifteen miles broad, and have now upon it 14,000 head of cattle. Two twisted No. 11 wires were used for this fence, and the posts are the best that could be procured. The wire was taken 200 miles on wagons. The total cost of the completed fence was about $36,000.

Messrs. Glidden & Ellwood put up the first barb-wire ever used by a railway company—the Northwestern. So great was the caution of the company that the manufacturers built it themselves, agreeing to remove it if it proved unsatisfactory. The railway folks feared it would injure stock, the damages for which they would be forced to pay. It is needless to say that the fence was not removed. More than one hundred railway companies are now using the Glidden wire, and it stretches along many thousands of miles of track.

A Rambler's Letter.

I would like to call your attention to the fact that there is considerable cholera among swine in Dewey township, Ill., west from Joliet. Mr. Cooter lost about 130 hogs. Other farmers have suffered equally.

I have been looking over the stock in this part of the country and find it excellent, as a general thing. Many of the farmers are breeders of fine Hereford cattle. They also own first-class horses. Some of them whom I called upon would like to know the address of State Veterinary Surgeon Dr. Paaren, and I should be pleased if you will give it in The Prairie Farmer.[A] I have often thought, Why is it that so many sons of wealthy farmers leave their homes for the purpose of either studying in some classical college, to learn a trade, or to become book-keepers and clerks in mercantile business. I think if farmers would take more interest in agricultural papers, instead of having their children fooling away their time on novels or comic stories and pictures, it would be better for both old and young. Let the parents buy a microscope and let the young folks examine insects and fungi of all kinds, and let them write their experiences down in a book whenever there is leisure time. Or let them write to The Prairie Farmer something in the line of farming, be it agriculture, horticulture, or about raising and caring for stock. In so doing the boys of our farming country will become proud of their noble profession and of their homes. They will gradually be, as every farmer should be, educated up to the times. There are few farmers who can afford to let their sons study in an agricultural university, but every one can surely afford to subscribe for an agricultural paper, it being one of the most profitable investments for himself and family.

The ground is covered with snow to a small extent, and the roads are in a fine condition. The crops are all good here except corn, which is very poor indeed, even the crop in most cases is small. Farmers are not at all satisfied, and times are not at all encouraging.

H.A.P. Weissberger.
Will Co., Ill.

[A] 355 Western Avenue (south), Chicago.

A Farmer's Library.

As this is the season to make up our list of papers and magazines for the ensuing year, I will take a glance around my own cosy room set apart for a library.

It is here that I do the most of my reading, writing, and planning; and although I pretend to be deeply engaged while ensconced in the large willow rocker, strictly forbidding entrance to my farmer office, yet the children and "Spot," my Gordon setter, will intrude, making things lively for awhile, driving my thoughts wool-gathering and breaking many a thread of thought that I had fondly hoped would place my name high on the roll of scribblers. It is a good thing to have the little innocent children and the dog to blame for these shortcomings, as they can not take issue with us on the question.

But I started to talk about a farmer's library; and taking my own for a small sample, let us see how it looks.

For the purpose of keeping my papers in order, I have prepared thin laths of tough wood dressed with the draw knife to a thin edge, the back being one fourth of an inch thick, leaving the lath one and a quarter inch broad; these are cut in lengths to suit the paper they are intended to hold. Take for instance The Prairie Farmer. I cut the lath just two inches longer than the paper is long, then cut notches half of an inch from each end, in which I tie the ends of a cord; this forms a loop to hang up the file. In this I file each paper so soon as read, by which means they are never lost or mislaid. When at the end of each three months the papers are taken from off the file, the oldest number is laid face down on a broad piece of plank and the number that follows laid face down on the top of the first, then they are squared evenly and a strong awl pierces three holes in the back edge through which a strong twine string is laced and tied firmly; this finishes the job, and the book thus simply and quickly made is placed on the shelf with its mates. This done the file is returned to its hook to await the next number.

This is a simple plan for filing papers of any size, and any farmer can do it, there being no expense or outlay for material. On glancing up from the stand on which I am writing, the first objects that attract my notice are my breach loader, cartridge belt, and game-bag hanging on the wall; then by the side of the stove hangs the file of The Prairie Farmer, within easy reach of my left hand; next it swings the Country Gentleman, then comes the Forest and Stream, then Colman's Rural World, then the Drainage Journal; next Harper's Weekly, then Harper's Bazar. This is my wife's paper and she persists in hanging it among mine. Then comes Harper's Monthly and the Century, not forgetting the Sanitary Journal. On the other side of the room we find the Inter Ocean, Democrat, and several other political papers fairly representing both sides, also some standard books of valuable information; and last but not least, the Prairie Farmer Map which you sent for my club.

Now, this may be considered a pretty large outlay for a common farmer to make, but outside of life insurance, I consider it my best investment.

In this selection I get the cream of all matters of practical importance to the farmer. From The Prairie Farmer I get the latest and most reliable information of the great central ruling markets of the West Chicago, which has saved me sundry times from three to five cents per bushel on wheat, sometimes paying the price of the paper twenty times over in one transaction. From the C.G. I get the Eastern markets, while Colman gives the St. Louis; and by a close study of the three a farmer can always make enough to pay for twenty or thirty dollars worth of good current literature for the use of his family. Then the F. and S. is always full of delightful reading for the boys, refining their cruel propensities, and teaching them to be kind to the feathered tribe which are the farmer's friends. By reading it they soon lay aside their traps, nets, and snares, with which they capture whole covies of the dear little Bob-whites, and disdain to touch a feather, only when on the wing, and then with their light, hammerless breach loader. Such reading as that ties the farmer's boys to country life, and makes them contented under the parental roof-tree until they are ready to build up homes of their own. The Journal tells them all about tile making and drainage, a very necessary accomplishment when they get their own homestead.

The pictures in H.W. furnish a fountain of amusement for the little folks, and teach them—with a little help—many things that will be useful to them in life. As a matter of course the "Bezar" is for mother
and the girls, and [***]
consultations [***]
before the fair, a [***]
daughters, your [***]
good when she insisted [***]
be put on the list.

A boy or a girl with [***]
the Century in their hands, [***]
room, with a bright clear lamp [***]
has no thought of city life, or [***]
In those bright pages the [***]
outer world painted in all its various [***]
so interesting and so fascinating [***]
have no desire to see it in reality; in [***]
they bring the brightest and best thought, [***]
historic, and romantic to our hearth and home; furnishing food for the youthful minds, leaving no room for evil or discontented thoughts to enter. Then I say to every farmer who has children, get the magazines for them, they will save you a mountain of trouble.

Then to balance things have one or two spicy news papers, which picture in horrid colors the blackest side of human life. This is necessary to guard the young against the riff-raff of humanity, such as tramps, sharpers, sewing machine and book agents, the lightning rod man, and a dozen other sharp swindlers that prey on the farmer and his family for an existence. The Sanitary Journal treats of health, purity, and cleanliness, and ought to be read and studied by all. Ah, I had almost forgotten The Prairie Farmer Map which hangs by the door. What can I say about it? that it is a handsome ornament for a living room or library? yes, but that is not all, it is useful. When it arrived I took it to the railroad office and compared it with the best map they had, also with a map made by the U.S. land office. I came away satisfied that it was reliable; it ought to be in the home of every farmer in this great country of ours, so that their children can learn and know what a grand heritage they have got. There is no excuse for being without it, as a few pounds of butter or dozens of eggs will procure it and a paper that will gladden the hearts of both old and young.

Alex Ross.
Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Let Us Be Sociable.

A happy new year to all of the readers of The Prairie Farmer, and may your labors of 1884 be crowned with success. Mr. Granger, what are you doing these long winter evenings? Can't you find time to write a few lines to the readers of The Prairie Farmer? You can send a little report from your county, at least. Come, let us be a little more sociable and talk more to each other through the columns of our paper. We can learn something by reading each other's views on different subjects. In my next I shall try and tell some of the careless fellows how to run a farm to make it pay. If I fail to give a little light on the subject perhaps some one else will try it. We are having what you might call winter, now. Snow is about six inches deep, but the weather is not very cold. The thermometer has not been below zero but once. Nearly all of the corn is gathered; only about one-third of the crop is sound enough to keep until next summer. Farmers are feeding their soft corn to hogs and cattle. In that way the soft corn will pay pretty well after all, for fat stock brings a good price. Stock cattle are wintering well, for feed in the fields is good, and most farmers have got plenty of good hay. The weather was so nice the first part of this month that the farmers did a large amount of plowing. Potatoes are plenty and cheap; worth from 30 to 40 cents. Apples are scarce, and good ones bring a big price. Butter is worth from 25 to 30 cents.

Knox Co., Ill.

Seed Corn Again.

There has been much complaint of soft corn in this section on account of planting foreign seed last spring, but it is all solid since the late cold spell.

Those who planted seed of their own raising and got a stand have fair corn, while much of that which was raised from Kansas and Nebraska seed was caught by the frost when in the milk. Now we will be in just the same "fix" about seed next spring that we were last. This county has lost thousands of dollars this year in the corn crop alone, all of which might have been avoided by going through the fields before freezing weather and selecting seed and properly drying it before it froze.

And now right here I want to say that the great secret of good farming is simply being punctual in attending to the small matters, and I "guess" Fanny Field would say the same about poultry.

Z.L. Thompson.
Iroquois Co., Ill.

[Pg 3]

REMEMBER that $2.00 pays for The Prairie Farmer from this date to January 1, 1885; For $2.00 you get it for one year and a copy of The Prairie Farmer County Map of the United States, free! This is the most liberal offer ever made by any first-class weekly agricultural paper in this country.

Field and Furrow.

Says the Iowa Register: One hundred bushels of corn will shrink to ninety in the crib, and to an extent more than that, depending on the openness of the crib and the honesty of the neighbors.

The agricultural editor of the New York Times says that no doubt many farmers who are intending to underdrain their farms would save money by employing an expert at the first to lay out the whole system and make a good beginning, and so avoid any possible mistake, which might cost ten dollars for every one paid for skilled advice.

The New York Times says that lime seems to be a preventive of rot in potatoes in the cellar. Some potatoes that were rotting and were picked out of a heap of forty or fifty bushels were put into a corner and well dusted with air-slaked lime. They stopped rotting at once, and the decayed parts are now dried up. There is no disagreeable smell about them.

Cincinnati Gazette: It is remarked that when young hogs are fed mainly on corn they stop growing at an early age and begin to grow fat; but that green food makes them thriftier and larger than dry grain. In fact, it is better to prevent all domestic animals from becoming very fat until they have attained a fair natural size, particularly breeding animals.

A member of the Elmira Farmers' Club recently expressed the opinion that bad results would always be found with wheat sown on land into which the green growth of any crop had just been turned, although it was believed that buckwheat was the worst green manure. All green growth incorporated with the soil near the time of seeding will in all cases be found prejudicial to wheat.

It is announced that Robert Clarke, of Cincinnati will have ready, in February, an extensive work on sorghum, containing the results of the latest experiments and experience of the most successful growers, as to the best varieties and their culture, and also the details of the latest and best machinery used in the economical manufacture of sirups and sugars therefrom. The work is by Prof. Peter Collier, whose name is a guarantee of the value of the book. It will be very fully illustrated.

A Michigan man writes the Michigan Farmer: I have noticed tarred twine and willows recommended for binding corn stalks. I think I can propose a better substitute than either for those who are using a twine binder: save the strings from straw stacks this winter. They are less trouble than grass and never slip. Tie a knot in the end of the twine with your knee on the bundle, then slip the other end through in the form of a bow, take off your knee and the spring of the bundle will draw the knot tight. Pull the bow and use again.

"Human labor," says Dr. Zellner, of Ashville, Ala., "is the most costly factor that enters into the production of cotton, and every consistent means should be adopted to dispense with it." And then the doctor, who has the reputation of having raised some of the finest samples ever grown in the South, describes how, by planting at proper distances, in checks five by three apart, one-half of the after labor of cultivating may be saved. About the same amount of plow work is said to be necessary, but not more than one-fourth as much work with the hoe as is required by cotton in drills.

Prof. J.W. Sanborn: "Deep tillage in times of drought of surface-rooted crops, like corn, is an erroneous practice, founded on erroneous views. 'Plowing out corn' not only involves too deep tillage in drought but adds to the mischief by severing the roots of corn, needed at such times. Our double-shovel plows work too deeply. Our true policy, in drought, for corn is frequent and shallow tillage. For this we now have after the corn gets beyond the smoothing harrow, no suitable implement on our markets, with a possible exception."

Correspondent New York Tribune: Of the use of oatmeal for cows mention is not often made in this country; but when spoken of it is always with praise. That it is better than corn meal there can be no doubt; it is richer in both albuminoids and fat; and the usefulness of these two nutriments, and especially the former, for making milk is shown not only by the results of numerous careful experiments, but by the acknowledged usefulness of oil-cake meal. Where this meal is used freely there would be less use for oatmeal; but under some circumstances it might be advantageously substituted for the bran in the favorite mixture for cows of Indian meal and bran.

The following paragraph appears in an English cotemporary: The introduction of a new industry connected with farming into Ireland will be hailed by everybody, and therefore we rejoice to learn that a company has been formed with the design of purchasing or renting nearly a million and a quarter acres of land in Ireland, and devoting them to beet culture, from which the sugar will be extracted in a manufactory erected on the land. The promoters of the new company expect that from the 120,000 acres which they propose cultivating they will produce 400,000 tons of sugar in the year. Immense quantities of sugar extracted from the beet-root are manufactured on the continent and imported into these countries, and there is no reason whatever why Ireland should not have her finger in the sugar pie.

In a paper before the Oxford (Ohio) Farmers' Club, on the subject "The Morality of the System of Grain Gambling," Mr. Wetmore said: There is a difference between speculation and investment. Putting money into an established industry is an investment. Putting it into a doubtful or untried business, with the hope of gaining much or risk of losing all, is speculation. The latter is infatuating as it increases the risk and yet turns to profit. Investments pay no high per cents. Speculations may pay much or lose all. Hence it is unsafe; and the farmer who makes his gains only by a yearly turn of his crops, should not try speculation, but may judiciously invest his surplus year by year in things of real value, as land or chattels. Invest the last dollar, but speculate only with loose change. No man can safely invest in a business with which he is not familiar.

A lawful wire fence in Georgia is described by legislative enactment as composed of not less than six horizontal strands of barbed wire tightly stretched from post to post. The first wire no more than four and a half nor less than three and a half inches from the ground; the second wire not more than nine and a half nor less than eight and a half inches from the ground; the third wire not more than fifteen and a half nor less than fourteen and a half inches from the ground; the fourth wire not more than twenty-two and a half nor less than twenty-one and a half inches from the ground; the fifth wire not more than thirty-two nor less than thirty-one inches from the ground; the sixth wire not over fifty-five nor less than fifty-three inches from the ground. Posts to be not over ten feet apart, and every alternate post to be securely set in the ground. Provided, a plank not less than ten inches wide shall be used instead of two strands of wire at bottom of fence, it is also required that a railing shall be placed at equal distance between the two top wires, which shall answer the same purpose as a wire, and to extend from post to post in like manner.

Correspondent Country Gentleman: I notice that your journal recently gave currency to the "saltpetre method" of extracting stumps, and W.H. White also recommends it in your columns. His method is to bore a hole in the stump in the fall of the year, fill in the hole with saltpetre, plug up till the following summer, then fill the hole with kerosene and fire the stump. It is alleged that the saltpetre and kerosene will so saturate the stump that it will be entirely consumed, roots and all. This recipe has been floating around the press for years. It is usually credited to the Scientific American, but that paper has several times denied its paternity. The uselessness of the process can easily be learned by trial. There are few more inflammable substances than pitch and turpentine. The roots of pine stumps are saturated with these, but it is impossible to burn them out. The addition of saltpetre would not help much. Yet there are seasons when the soil and air are so dry that hard wood stumps may be burned out without either saltpetre or kerosene. We had such a year in 1881, when corn and clover standing uncut in the field were burned. In some instances the curbing was burned out of wells during terrible forest fires that raged in Michigan. If tried in such a season the recipe would undoubtedly be successful. In any ordinary season it is "no good."

No matter how wretched a man may be, he is still a member of our common species, and if he possesses any of the common specie his acquaintance is worth having.



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Mr. Grinnell's Letter.

Last week we briefly noted the fact that Hon. J.B. Grinnell, of Iowa, Secretary of the Committee of the National Cattle-Growers' Convention, appointed to secure legislation for the protection of live stock from contagious diseases, had issued a circular letter to the public. In this letter he discusses with his usual intelligence and ability the important question in hand. As it will form the basis of Congressional discussion and prove an important factor in shaping legislation, we give the letter space in our columns. Mr. Grinnell says:

To find a legitimate market for our surplus products is a question of grave concern. After meeting home demands the magnitude of foreign consumption determines in a large degree the net profits of production. It thus becomes the especial concern of the American agriculturist and statesman to find the best market for meat products. The profits in grain-raising for exportation, which impoverishes the soil, are exceptional, while our animal industries enrich it, augmenting the rural population in the line of true economy, the promotion of good morals, and the independence and elevation of the citizen. Under the laws of domestic animal life gross farm products and rich, indigenous grasses are condensed into values adapted to transportation across oceans and to various climes with little waste or deterioration; thus the brute a servant, becomes an auxiliary to the cunning hand of his master, blending the factors which determine our facilities for acquisition in rural life, and attractions which stimulate enterprise, adventure, individual independence, and contribute to National wealth.


No nation has so large a relative portion of its wealth in domestic animals, and none can show such strides in material advancement during the present century. But what is our foreign trade? The exports of provisions from the United States during the last fiscal year were in value about $107,000,000. Those in 1882 amounted to $120,000,000, equal to a falling off in a single year of $13,000,000. Our exports of manufactured articles for the last year aggregate $211,000,000, against $103,000,000, a gain of $108,000,000 in a single year. It was a reasonable expectation that our animal exports would have increased in like ratio as the manufactures, which would have enhanced the value of all domestic animals and furnished, instead of a mortifying fact, a proud exhibit.

The causes of a decline are not found in high prices at home nor in inferior product; rather in suspicions of diseases, and the clamor of interested parties which led to arbitrary restrictions, oppressive quarantine regulations, and forbidding beeves which were ripened for the highest markets to pass beyond the shambles; and the egress of young immature cattle on the English pastures. Pork products up to the Chicago meeting were prohibited by France, and they are inhibited now from Germany, our long-time valuable customer. It was their whims, caprices, jealousies, commercial restrictions and bans which decreased our exports and led the Commissioner of Agriculture to call the Chicago meeting of November.

The convention developed facts and was fruitful in results: That there were solitary cases of pleuro-pneumonia, and limited to the eastern border States; that Western herdsmen had just cause of alarm on account of the shipment of young stock West from the narrow pastures and dairy districts of the East. It was shown that across the ocean there was a morbid appetite for suspicions and facts which would justify severe restrictions and an absolute inhibition of our products.

The Cattle Commission formed by the Treasury Department gave decided opinions and imparted valuable information, but they were constrained to admit that they were powerless in an emergency to stop the spread of contagious diseases, and that it was a vain hope that there would be an increased foreign demand for our cattle and meat without radical Congressional enactment.

Skilled veterinarians, fancy breeders, political economists, and savants from the East met the alarmed ranchmen, enterprising breeders, and delegations and officials from many agricultural and State associations, representing millions of cattle and hundreds of millions of dollars, resolved that a meeting should be held at Washington, and a committee was appointed to secure appropriate legislation.

In the discharge of duties assigned to the Secretary I at once repaired to Washington for consultation and to gather pertinent facts. The heads of the State Treasury and Agricultural Departments were awake to the necessity of early and radical legislation. President Arthur evinced great cordiality, and gave good proof of his interest by calling attention in the annual message to the approaching meeting in Washington, which I have called the 10th of January.


I have sent out in a circular to the committee the following "head-land" facts of startling import, which should be well considered:

1. That there is an investment of $1,008,000,000 in cattle as estimated by the Department of Agriculture, representing 41,171,000 animals. That of swine is $291,000,000, representing over 43,000,000 animals.

2. That losses annually on exportation of cattle and beef, consequent upon restrictive regulations and the decreased relative consumption of our beef, aggregates many millions of dollars. We reach an approximate estimate by these facts relative to our foreign trade as follows:

The exports of 1880-81 were 368,463 animals. Those of 1882-83 were 212,554—a loss of 155,009 animals, and in value a loss of $11,506,000 in two years.

The exports of fresh beef for two years were less by 40,071,167 pounds, and by a value of $2,191,190. The value of pork products decreased in the same time to the extent of $35,679,093.

This shows a falling off of about $25,000,000 per annum for two years, as compared with the receipts for the two preceding years.


It should be known that the pleuro-pneumonia often mentioned as a scare or a myth by the thoughtless and optimist is a stern reality. Its journeys and track of destruction among cattle have been as marked as that of small pox and cholera—contagious diseases which have so tearfully decimated the human family. Lung diseases of the modern type were known before the Christian era, and were considered by Columella and other Latin writers. Australia resigned her great herds to flocks of sheep, as did South Africa, never yet recovered from the blow to her cattle industries.

England has been tardy in the publication of her losses by lung-fever, yet it is a fact which forbids secrecy that calamity has reached the enterprising breeders, and colossal fortunes have been swept away by the cattle-plague. In our own country it has been no more the policy of secretive owners to publish facts than that of city authorities to proclaim the prevalence of small-pox in the town. Still, startling facts have sprung from original sources of inquiry. A town meeting is called in the State of Connecticut, terror-stricken owners in New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania meet for council. Massachusetts had a Governor twenty years ago bold in telling truth, which led to searching investigations by experts and officers of the State. With autocratic power they made a diagnosis of diseases, which led to the stamping out of the infection by law, and a truthful proclamation that the plague was stayed.

The sacrifice of 1,000 brutes at a cost to the Commonwealth of about $70,000 was a trivial sum compared to the perils that beset a State valuation of $7,000,000, for bovines, and the cattle of the Nation, numbering 40,000,000, and worth nearly $1,100,000,000.

The monarchies of the Old World have set us an example; even Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have pioneered for the world by sagacious acts and the stern enforcement of law in prevention.


worthy of us is not secrecy, but boldness—sacrifice commensurate with exposure. This will lead to the formulation of a bill by the Washington Convention, which Congress will enact in the interest of individuals, the State, and for the National protection. If State-Rights theorists bring objections, the law may be so equitable to the States that its ratification may be asked on the ground of a just National policy and a right which inheres to the General Government under the Constitution in the regulation of commerce between the States. This implies a power to destroy a contagious disease which if allowed to spread would arrest all commerce in bovines between the States. A State may and ought to waive the question of damage if it is fixed by a neutral Commissioner, and the General Government and not the State meets the losses to which unfortunate cattle owners maybe subject. This will be the touchstone—trust by the State and statesmanlike generosity by the Nation—that means courage for the now fearful ranchman of the unfenced domain, and the furnishing of a "clean bill of health" for our products seeking a foreign market. Having evinced zeal in doing justice, it can ask for justice—that the rights of our meat-producers be respected under our


Commerce means a mutual exchange, and having performed our home duty will be in no mood to tolerate a whim or a caprice. Non-intercourse has been proposed in Congress. That may be a final resort when a conference, practical discussion, and even arbitration have failed. A graver subject measured by dollars may yet engage the statesman diplomat than the Geneva arbitration, and we shall have no fair status in discussion or arbitration until our meat and cattle are made healthy by prevention and the best sanitary laws known to civilized countries.


Cattle-raising as an attractive and profitable vocation is now exciting a deep interest. A lull in politics forbids the wants of our agriculturists, numbering 60 per cent of the population, being waived out of notice and their voiced demands drowned by partisan clamor. The treasury has hundreds of millions in its vaults and a fraction of 1 per cent of our surplus will only be required, under a just disbursement, to isolate and destroy the diseases which fetter our commerce and repress home enterprise.

A full and able convention at Washington is assured by the responsive letters received. The State of Iowa will make her requests to Congress by fine-stock meeting and other associations, as becomes the State with $100,000,000 invested in domestic animals.

Who can be indifferent in the face of our great perils, and recounting the losses by foreign restrictions and inhibition? We are emphatically a Nation of beef-eaters, and by the extent of our domain and healthful climate are justly entitled to the honored designation of the first producer among civilized nations.

It is the question of healthful food for the masses, of profitable tonnage for the railways, and of deep concern in cultivating fraternal relations abroad, not less than a question for the political economist in maintaining a good trade balance-sheet. If we can impress our Congressional delegations with the necessity of early and decisive legislation, we shall have accomplished a noble work and have earned the warm commendation of millions of citizens whose interests have been neglected and whose vocation and property have been imperiled.

For the committee by request of the Chicago Convention.

J.B. Grinnell.

During the first eleven months of 1883, no less than 411,992 animals in Great Britain were attacked by by foot-and-mouth disease. December opened with a greater number of ailing animals than did November.

An Iowa farmer is experimenting with steamed clover hay for feeding hogs.

Prices of 1883.

The average price of Short-horns at the public sales in this country in 1883, as reported by the auctioneers, was $205.56. The Breeder's Gazette figures up the number of cattle of the different breeds disposed of at public sales as follows:

Short-horns3,284$ 675,057$205.56
Angus and Galloways4416,865383.13
Red Polled154,435295.70

Of the above Short-horns, 1,609 were sold in Illinois, 541 in Kentucky, and 1,134 in other States. In Illinois the average price received was $222.23; in Kentucky, $271.01, and in other States, $149.73. Of the beef breeds there were sold $4,018, the total receipts were $1,015,772, making the general average $253.80. Of the dairy breeds 1,979 were sold at an average of $400.10.

It will be seen that the average for Short-horns is less than that for either of the other breeds though, of course, the number sold is greatly in excess of the others. In 1882 the average for Short-horns was but $192.10, and in 1881 but $158, so that on the whole the breeders are perfectly satisfied with the way the business is running.

The dairy breeds did remarkably well in 1883, the Holsteins coming up well to the Jerseys, but the latter leads greatly in point of numbers.

The pure bred cattle business of the country as indicated by these sales is exceedingly prosperous.

In Great Britain the Short-horn sales were less numerous than last year, or, in fact, any year since 1869, but the average was better than since 1879. In 1880 the average for 1,738 head was $225, while in 1881 and 1882 the average further declined to $175. In 1883 the average was close upon $230, but, upon the other hand, the number of animals sold fell to 1,400. The highest price paid was 1,505 guineas, for a four-year-old cow of the fashionable Duchess blood, which was purchased by the earl of Bective at the sale of Mr. Holford's herd in Dorsetshire. The Australians purchased largely at the Duke of Devonshire's annual sale in 1878, and this year American and Canadian buyers bid briskly for animals of the Oxford blood. These were the only two sales at which the average reached three figures, the next best being that of a selection from Mr. Green's herd in Essex, when forty-one lots averaged $360 each, or less than half secured by the Duke of Devonshire's Short-horns.

Docking Horses.

An English veterinary society has lately been discussing the question of docking the tails of horses. The President looked upon docking as an act of cruelty. By docking, the number of accidents from the horse holding the rein under the tail was greatly increased, for the horse has less power of free motion over the tail. If a short dock is put over the rein, the animal has so little control of the tail that he can not readily liberate the rein. The "stump" is sensitive, the same as the remaining part of an amputated finger. In the majority of cases he considered docking entirely unnecessary.

On the contrary, Doctor Axe (rather a suggestive name for an advocate of docking) thought the practice improved the looks of a horse, thus rendering it more salable. His sentimentality did not allow him to argue this question of increased value. He did not think docking increased accidents. Statistics, not assertions, were needed to establish facts of this kind. As to the remark of the President, that the shortened tail could not be so easily freed from the rein, he said it would depend on who was driving; an expert would more quickly disengage the rein from a docked tail. It may be true, he said, that there was more flexibility in an uncut tail because its more flexible portion had not been removed; but the docked tail had not the same power of covering and fixing down the rein that the long tail possessed. The long retention of a certain degree of sensibility after amputation was a known fact, but neither this, nor the operation itself, involved much pain. He detailed the structures divided, and said that they possessed a low degree of sensation. He would be glad to see horses have the free use of all their members, if practicable, and would leave them their tails if the removal of them could not increase the animal's comfort, value, or power of being safely used, but he would not do anything to lessen the value of horses without good reason.

It seems that prosecutions for docking, under
the cruelty to[***]
common in England [***]
convictions are not [***]
in the discussion [***]
vigorous prosecutions are [***]

We notice that with [***]
and docking are on the increase [***]
of this country. Fortunately [***]
beasts, public sentiment in this [***]
against the barbarous act; still [***]
is it that fashion has not yet so [***]
the taste of the majority of people [***]
convince them that docking adds to [***]
beauty of the noble animal. But the rage is now to imitate the English in nearly all manners and customs, and it may not be long before the miserable fashion will gain new headway with us.

Too much care can hardly be taken in packing pork so as to have it keep through the season. The chief requisites are pure salt and freeing the meat from every taint of blood. The pieces of pork should be packed as closely as possible. After a few weeks if any scum rises on the surface of the brine it should be cleaned out and the brine boiled so that all impurities may be removed. If pork is to be kept all summer twice boiling the brine may be necessary. For some reason a barrel that has once held beef will never do for a pork barrel, though the rule may be reversed with impunity.

One of the firm of Galbraith Brothers Janesville, Wis., is now in Scotland to make selection for an early spring importation of Clydesdales. While making mention of this we may say that Messrs. Galbraith though disposing of twenty-one head of Clydesdales at the late sale in Chicago, have yet on hand an ample supply of superior horses of all ages from sucklings upward. They will be pleased to receive a visit from intending purchasers of this class of stock, and from all interested in the breed.

The first lot of Dr. W.A. Pratt's Holsteins, from quarantine, recently arrived at Elgin. The Doctor informs us that the animals are in prime condition and choice in every respect. He says he is preparing to open a ranch near Manhattan, Kansas, for the breeding of high grade Holsteins and Short-horns. He will also keep on this ranch a choice herd of pure-bred Holsteins for supplying the growing Western demand for this very popular dairy stock.


The Free Seed Distribution alone of the Rural New Yorker is worth at catalogue prices more than $3.00. This journal and the Rural, including its Seed Distribution, will be sent for $3.00. For free specimen copies, apply to 34 Park Row, New York. The Rural New-Yorker is the Leading National Journal of Agriculture and Horticulture.

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[Pg 5]

The Dairy. Dairymen, Write for Your Paper.

Lessons in Finance for the Creamery Patron.[A]

Any business to be permanent must make reasonable returns for the capital employed and give fair compensation for the labor bestowed upon it, otherwise it will be abandoned, or if continued at all it will be done under the protest of economic law. In addition to the ordinary circumstances attaching to business enterprise, the creamery business is essentially and peculiarly co-operative. It thrives with the thrift of all concerned—owner and patrons. It fails only with loss to all. The conditions of success, therefore, to the patrons are included in the conditions of success to the creamery, and vice versa.

The object of this paper is to suggest some of these conditions and some of the instances of violation of them.

It is hardly necessary to discuss the case in which peculiarity of soil or climate, the greater profitableness of some other kind of industry, or other reason, would so restrict the size and number of dairy herds as to make the locality a barren dairy region. Notwithstanding the splendid achievements of the dairy industry it is safe to say that it may not be profitable in any and every locality. Given the soil, the climate, the water, the people intelligent and disposed toward the exacting duties of this business, there are still many questions to be considered and many mistakes to be avoided.

It has been a pet idea in this country that competition is the corrective of all industrial evils. Competition without doubt holds an important place among the industrial forces, but may be carried so far as to defeat the very objects it is adapted to subserve, when intelligently encouraged. Carried to the extent of employing two persons or more to do the work of one, of absorbing capital without the full employment of it, it becomes destructive and expensive. We find, for instance, in many towns, a large number of commercial establishments doing business at an immense profit on single transactions, but the transactions are so few and so divided up among struggling competitors, that neither secures a profitable, nor even a respectable, business. With choice cuts of meat from twelve to eighteen cents a pound and butcher's stock at three and four cents, we often see butcher shops multiply, but the price of meat usually remains the same. Indeed, the very increase of middle man establishments beyond the employment of these to their full capacity, and the consequent full utilization of the capital and labor employed, is a sure loss to somebody, and if it does not all go to the producer it is almost always shared by him.

One of the greatest burdens which the creamery business has to carry to-day is the excessive number of its creameries beyond legitimate demands. The co-operative idea, so far as it enters into this business, implies the most profitable use possible of the resources employed in it both of patron and creamery owner, and a fair and equitable distribution of the profits. Said a large creamery owner to me recently, "I find the comparative value of my butter steadily decreasing from year to year. I have the same territory, the same butter-makers, the same patrons, substantially, but my butter is not up in quality and price as it used to be. I ascribe it to the excessive competition prevailing in it, i.e., it is one of its results. I have lost my influence over patrons in securing the best quality of cream. If I make any criticism of their modes or practices they say to me, 'Mr. ——, if you do not want my cream I will let the other creamery have it. Do just as you like about it; take it or leave it.'" But the loss of one or two cents a pound on the net proceeds of a season means five or ten per cent of its value, or of the entire season's results enough difference to make any community in a few years rich or poor, thrifty or unthrifty, according to the circumstances in the case.

Further: the idea of co-operation implies the doing of equal and exact justice to all included within the co-operative limits. This, an excessive and unprincipled competition greatly interferes with. It can properly be demanded by every fair and honest patron of a creamery that every other patron should be as fair and honest as himself. Indeed, this is an essential part of the implied contract. But in the case of excessive competition no restraints can be imposed and no penalties can be made to follow attempts to violate the principles of equity, except the possible inconvenience of changing from one creamery to another. The straight and honorable patron is powerless; the owner of the creamery is powerless; and the co-operative element is rendered a nullity.

Further: the co-operative element, in the relations of creamery and patrons, requires that the price of milk or cream shall vary with the market price of the finished product. Contracts for the future are mere speculation, as a rule. If the transaction is large and the turn of the market unfavorable to the creamery, ruin is liable to come to the business, and loss and disaster follow to all concerned. If the turn of the market should be the other way, among the numerous patrons there is sure to be more or less dissatisfaction and a more or less breaking up of the condition of friendly reciprocity which should exist between creamery and patron. Patrons may damage their own interest by exacting too much from the creamery as well as by accepting too little, and a greedy grasping after an unreasonable share of the profit on the part of the creamery owner is sure to bring retaliation, disturb cordiality of feeling, and bring loss to all concerned.

The remedy for most of these evils can only come from intelligent and wise action on the part of the creamery patrons of a given locality. They should study to prevent an unseemly and expensive competition. They, as the encouraging source, will surely in the end pay the expense of it. It has been said that no people in the world enjoy paying taxes like Americans, provided they are only indirect, sugar coated, and with some plausible pretense. It would seem, however, that even American dairymen could see that the maintenance of superfluous creameries, superfluous teams for hauling cream and milk, superfluous men for manufacturing and handling the product is an extra expense of which they will surely bear their full share; if not at once, they will do so before the outcome is reached.

Another thing the patrons of creameries may properly take note of is that the expense of manufacturing butter in all well regulated creameries is nearly the same, and the value of the product does not widely differ. When a creamery therefore claims large and peculiar advantages, and offers a price for milk or cream markedly above the ordinary price paid for it by other creameries, you may be sure there is something illegitimate about it. It may be done to drum up business, to beat a rival, or it may be a downright swindle, it surely will not be lasting, and the operator intends at some time to recoup for himself.

It is to be remembered that the dairy business is not one which can be taken up and laid down hastily without greater or less inconvenience, expense, and loss. Like most other branches of agriculture, it must be engaged in with the purpose of a steady, long, strong pull in order to be a success. It has the advantage of springing directly from the earth without fictitious help, props, or governmental protection, so-called. It taxes no other industry for its own benefit, and has expanded to its present magnificent proportions in spite of the burdens laid upon it from outside sources.

But it is written "And Satan came also." Nothing could more aptly describe the full influence of adulteration which has come upon this industry. It has come clothed in deceit and fraud, the very habiliments of the devil. It can be exterminated no more than sin itself. It must be fought by exposing its nature; by stamping upon it its own features. Wise legislation, I believe, will be in the direction of Government inspection and the sure and prompt punishment of fraud. The interest of the creamery patron is more deeply involved in this matter than that of any other class, just as in other branches of production the perils and losses by fraud, deterioration, and adulteration ultimately fall back upon the producer of the raw product. The apathy now existing among the producers of milk and cream is ominous of evil, and discouraging to those who are working in the interest of unadulterated goods. We have no doubt that the time will come when not only the adulteration of butter, but the adulteration of other food products as well, will only be carried on under the stamp and inspection of Government supervision.

The thoughts I have presented are intended to be suggestive rather than dogmatic, and I leave the subject with the hope that the intelligence of the average dairyman may be as active in tracing and comprehending the subtler principles of trade and commerce relating to the products of his labor as he is in comprehending the more immediate facts of his calling, such as breeding, seeding, and the handling of the raw products of his herd.

[A] Paper read before the Illinois Dairymen's Convention by C.C. Buell, of Rock Falls.



Many kinds of horse fevers have been described by antiquated veterinary writers; but most exist only in the imagination of the writers, or have been manufactured out of the mistaken analysis of human fevers. All the real fevers of the horse may be comprised in two,—the idiopathic, pure or simple fever, constituting of itself an entire disease, and the symptomatic fever, occasioned by inflammatory action in some particular part of the body, and constituting rather the attendant of a disease than the disease itself.

Though idiopathic fever is comparatively infrequent in occurrence, it unquestionably meets the attention of most persons who have extensive stable management of horses, and its general tendency to degenerate into local inflammation and symptomatic fever, seems to arise far less from its own nature than from foul air, vicissitudes of temperature, and general bad management. If idiopathic fever is not easily reduced, the blood accumulates in the lungs, the viscera, or some other internal part of the body, and provokes inflammation; or, if a horse, while suffering under this fever, be kept in a foul or ill-ventilated stable, or be exposed to alternations of heat and cold, he speedily becomes locally inflamed from the action of the filth or exposure. The symptoms of idiopathic fever are shivering, loss of appetite, dejected appearance, quick pulse, hot mouth, and some degree of debility; generally, also, costiveness and scantiness of urine; sometimes, likewise, quickness of breathing, and such pains of the bowels as accompany colic. Idiopathic fever, if it does not pass into inflammation, never kills, but is generally always curable.

Cattle are subject to both idiopathic and symptomatic fever, very nearly in the same manner as the horse, and require, when suffering them, to be very similarly treated. The idiopathic fever of cattle has, in many instances, an intermitting character, which may easily be subdued by means of ordinary care; and, in other instances, has a steady and unintermitting character, and is exceedingly liable to resolve itself into pleurisy, enteritis, or some other inflammatory disease. The symptomatic fever of cattle is strictly parallel to the symptomatic fever of horses, and is determined by the particular seat and nature of the exciting inflammation. But besides these fevers, cattle are subject to two very destructive and quite distinct kinds of fever, both of an epizootic nature, the one of a virulent and the other of a chronic character,—the former inflammatory and the latter typhoid. Numerous modifications of these fevers, or particular phases of them, are more or less extensively known among our readers as black-leg, bloody murrain, etc. The fever which in many instances follows parturition, particularly in the cow, is familiarly known as calving fever, or milk fever; and the ordinary fevers of sheep, swine, dogs, upon the whole, follow the same general law as the ordinary fevers of the horse, and are classifiable into idiopathic and symptomatic.


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The Fate Which Overtook the "City of Boston."—Captain Murray's Ideas and Experiences.

A few years ago, the City of Boston sailed from harbor, crowded with an expectant throng of passengers bound for a foreign shore.

She never entered port.

The mystery of her untimely end grows deeper as the years increase, and the Atlantic voyager, when the fierce winds howl around and danger is imminent on every hand, shudders as the name and mysterious fate of that magnificent vessel are alluded to.

Our reporter, on a recent visit to New York, took lunch with Captain George Siddons Murray, on board the Alaska, of the Guion line. Captain Murray is a man of stalwart built, well-knit frame and cheery, genial disposition. He has been a constant voyager for a quarter of a century, over half of that time having been in the trans-Atlantic service. In the course of the conversation over the well-spread table, the mystery of the City of Boston was alluded to.

"Yes," remarked the Captain, "I shall never forget the last night we saw that ill-fated vessel. I was chief officer of the City of Antwerp. On the day we sighted the City of Boston a furious southeast hurricane set in. Both vessels labored hard. The sea seemed determined to sweep away every vestige of life. When day ended the gale did not abate, and everything was lashed for a night of unusual fury. Our good ship was turned to the south to avoid the possibility of icebergs. The City of Boston, however, undoubtedly went to the north. Her boats, life-preservers and rafts were all securely lashed; and when she went down, everything went with her, never to re-appear until the sea gives up its dead."

"What, in your opinion, Captain, was the cause of the loss of the City of Boston?"

"The City of Limerick, in almost precisely the same latitude, a few days later, found the sea full of floating ice; and I have no doubt the City of Boston collided with the ice, and sunk immediately."

Captain Murray has been in command of the Alaska ever since she was put in commission and feels justly proud of his noble ship. She carries thousands of passengers every year, and has greatly popularized the Williams & Guion line. Remarking upon the bronzed and healthy appearance of the Captain, the reporter said that sea life did not seem to be a very great physical trial.

"No? But a person's appearance is not always a trustworthy indication of his physical condition. For seven years I have been in many respects very much out of sorts with myself. At certain times I was so lame that it was difficult for me to move around. I could scarcely straighten up. I did not know what the trouble was, and though I performed all my duties regularly and satisfactorily, yet I felt that I might some day be overtaken with some serious prostrating disorder. These troubles increased. I felt dull and then, again, shooting pains through my arms and limbs. Possibly the next day I would feel flushed and unaccountably uneasy and the day following chilly and despondent. This continued until last December, when I was prostrated soon after leaving Queenstown, and for the remainder of the voyage was a helpless, pitiful sufferer. In January last, a friend who made that voyage with me, wrote me a letter urging me to try a new course of treatment. I gladly accepted his counsel, and for the last seven months have given thorough and business-like attention to the recovery of my natural health; and to-day I have the proud satisfaction of saying to you that the lame back, the strange feeling, the sciatic rheumatism which have so long pursued me, have entirely disappeared through the blood purifying influence of Warner's Safe Rheumatic Cure which entirely eradicated all rheumatic poison from my system. Indeed, to me, it seems that it has worked wonders, and I therefore most cordially commend it."

"And you have no trouble now in exposing yourself to the winds of the Atlantic?"

"Not the least. I am as sound as a bullet and I feel specially thankful over the fact because I believe rheumatic and kidney disease is in the blood of my family. I was dreadfully shocked on my last arrival in Liverpool to learn that my brother, who is a wealthy China tea merchant, had suddenly died of Bright's disease of the kidneys, and consider myself extremely fortunate in having taken my trouble in time and before any more serious effects were possible."

The conversation drifted to other topics, and as the writer watched the face before him, so strong in all its outlines, and yet so genial, and thought of the innumerable exposures and hardships to which its owner had been exposed, he instinctively wished all Rheumatic Cure which entirely eradicated who are suffering from the terrible rheumatic troubles now so common might know of Captain Murray's experience and the means by which he had been restored. Pain is a common thing in this world, but far too many endure it when they might just as well avoid it. It is a false philosophy which teaches us to endure when we can just as readily avoid. So thought the hearty captain of the Alaska, so thinks the writer, and so should all others think who desire happiness and a long life.

The Prairie Farmer


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HORTICULTURAL Horticulturists, Write for Your Paper.

Illinois Horticultural Society.

The ad-interim committee of the Illinois State Horticultural Society for the northern part of the State reported through Mr. O.W. Barnard and Arthur Bryant, Jr. Mr. Barnard had found the orchards thrifty and healthy. The yield of apples had not been large this season, but orchardists generally felt encouraged in regard to the future of their orchards. He had found the high clay soils preferable for the apple. Mr. Bryant reported the apple crop small. Some orchards had borne good crops, especially of the Ben Davis. In others, this variety had failed.


Mr. W.T. Nelson, of the committee on orchard culture, recommended the planting of orchards on high, sloping ground. In the rather low and level country in which he lived (Will county) orchard trees lasted but fifteen or twenty years. But few varieties seem to do well in any locality. He would advise men about to set out orchards to ascertain what varieties do well in their particular locality, and then plant no others. He would not prune young orchards. He recommended the tiling of orchards.


Mr. Nelson's report opened up the subject of high or low lands for orchards. Mr. Robinson got more apples from trees on low lands than from elevated sites. Prof. Budd did not commit himself to either theory, but remarked that some varieties do best on low lands, while others preferred the higher situations. Parker Earle thought that this theory of low lands for our apple orchards was contrary to the past teachings of the society. In his opinion high grounds are preferable. The subject was a complicated one for Prof. Burrill. He had seen many low ground orchards that bore good crops this year. There are many modifications that effect the crop. It is not merely the elevation of orchard sites. It was his belief that high ground, all things considered, is the best. Mr. Robinson was not enthusiastic about the tile drainage of orchards. Our trees need more water than they usually get. They do not suffer from too much water, but from dry summers and rolling land. Mr. Spalding, of Sangamon county, had found his nursery trees poorest when planted on a depressed surface. He tiled extensively. His subsoil was a clay loam. Nine years ago he laid tile 3½ feet deep and 30 feet apart. He did not believe in manuring young trees. Too rapid growth is not wanted. Trees in Illinois grow as much in one year as they do in two years in the State of New York, where they raise more fruit than we do. The most rapid growing trees are the tenderest. He does not force the growth of his orchard trees. He is satisfied nurserymen have manured their young stock too much. The question of high or low land was not settled. It was hard for members to give up the old theory that high lands are best for orchards in Illinois; but it may be set down as a fact that the matter, as first brought to public discussion through The Prairie Farmer by B.F. Johnson, Esq., of Champaign, is having wide discussion among our fruit men. It will result in close future observation and closer scrutiny of past results. Without doubt this is the leading new horticultural question of the day. It requires a careful collection of facts and a broad generalization. The theories and teachings of the past are nothing if facts are opposed to them.


Mr. Ragan, of Indiana, read a suggestive paper upon the relation of the fruit-grower to the commission man and the transportation companies. The paper led to considerable discussion. Mr. Earle always sells his fruit through a commission house. Without the commission men market-fruit growers could not do business. He found no difficulty in getting honorable men to do business with. When he got a good man he stuck to him. The commission man is just as important a factor in the fruit business as the grower or consumer. He believes in a liberal percentage for commissions. Dealers can not do an honest business for nothing. He is willing to pay ten per cent to the man who sells his fruit to the best possible advantage, and who makes prompt and honest returns. The cheap commission man is to be avoided. The proper handling of fruit by intelligent dealers at fair rates is what we want. He ships small fruits in full quart boxes. Uses new boxes every time. Wants no returned crates. To get best returns we must have neat packages. Stained drawers, baskets, old barrels, and the like do not help to sell fruit. He would advise shipping black and red raspberries in pint boxes; blackberries and strawberries in quart boxes. He picks his berry plantations every day during the ripening season. Sundays not excepted. No man who is not prepared to work seven days in the week during the picking season, or who can not get help to do the same, will succeed in the raising and marketing of small fruits. He has this year paid two cents per quart for picking blackberries and strawberries, and the same for pints of raspberries. It requires from five to ten pickers to the acre. He likes women or grown-up girls to do this work. As to varieties he likes Longfellow and Sharpless. They ripen slowly and everyday picking is not so necessary. Mr. Pearson said the apple growers in his locality find that judgment must be used in marketing apples. The Lord made little apples and we must do the best we can with them. A neighbor had small apples and the shippers grumbled at them. The neighbor would not stand this and shipped his apples to Chicago and had them sold on their merits. The result was satisfactory. An Iowa buyer came down there and offered 50 cents per bushel for apples without regard to size, etc., and he got them and shipped them in boxes to Muscatine where they were made into jelly, dried fruit, etc. We can have no cast iron rules in regard to marketing, but must be governed by circumstances. This year it was better for his people to sell as they come, without the trouble of hand picking, sorting, and careful packing. We must act like intelligent men in this business as in all others. Circumstances alter cases. Good common sense is a prime requisite. Mr. Miller agreed with Mr. Earle about packages for marketing fruit. He uses white wood boxes from Michigan.


Mr. Earle was questioned about the use of castor bean pomace for strawberries. He uses it mixed with wood ashes. It is capital on poor land. He likes unleached ashes in both strawberry and orchard culture. He pays six cents per bushel for them. The castor bean pomace is good for anything in the poor soils of Southern Illinois. He uses about half a ton to the acre. Spreads with a Kemp spreader. Five hundred pounds per acre will show excellent results. Has tried a tablespoonful of the mixture to the strawberry plant when setting out. Has tried salt to kill grubs in asparagus beds, but found it to kill the weeds and most of the asparagus, while the grubs seemed to enjoy the application. Did not find it of much value as a manure. Bone dust had shown no particular results. Superphosphates acted much like the bean pomace. Does not think coal ashes of much value. He uses the pomace as early in the spring as possible. Sometimes he plows it under and sometimes applies after the plants are set, and cultivates it in. One application answers for two years' cropping. He fruits a strawberry plantation but two years, and he sometimes thinks one year sufficient. He does not agree with some of his neighbors that mulching has resulted unfavorably. Does not think the mulch has increased the noxious insects. Knows of a plantation not mulched at all, that suffered more than any other this year from the tarnished plant bug.


Mr. Vickroy reported for Central Illinois. In August of the present year he visited the orchards in the vicinity of Champaign, among them the noted Hall fruit farm, near Savoy. He found the orchards in fair condition. Many were sheltered by belts of trees. He observed that in the lower or bottom land he found in connection with drainage, the best orchards and the healthiest trees, and that on the more rolling or higher grounds the trees were not as hardy nor did not bear as well. His observations led him to believe in the draining of orchards, although it was opposed to his previous education and of the teachings he had received in this society. He regarded the experimental orchard which he visited at Champaign a failure, for the very reason that it was on too high ground; that the trees were dying, and many were not bearing. There were, however, some varieties that showed good fruit. In his visit referred to, he found the following varieties of apples did well in this latitude:

Fall Varieties—First, Snow; second, Standard; third, Maiden Blush; fourth, Colvert; fifth, Baker Sweet; sixth, Pound Sweet; seventh, Fall Romanite.

Winter Varieties—First, Minkler; second, Rawles' Genet; third, Willow Twig; fourth, Little Romanite; fifth, English Russet; sixth, Ben Davis; seventh, Michael Henry Pippin; eighth, Jonathan; ninth, Gravenstein; tenth, Rome Beauty.

In varieties in pears he gave the Howell and the Bartlett. In grapes he recommended the Martha in white grapes.


Mr. E.A. Riehl, of Alton, read a very exhaustive and complete report on grapes and grape culture, including the so-called grape rot. The suggested remedies were bagging and training vines up on elevated wires, so the sun and air could get freely to the fruit. This point was combated by Dr. Shrœder. Grapes ripen best in the shade. Another gentleman suggested that with the wire system as suggested by Mr. Riehl, the grapes are shaded by the foliage in all the hottest part of the day.


Prof. Forbes gave a learned and scientific dissertation on contagious diseases of insects, and a number of germinal diseases, and experimental and successful attempts to kill them. The Professor showed that nausea is contagious and may be transferred by diseased worms, and that therefore the spread of disease in worms would considerably lessen the danger to plants and fruits from their inroads. These facts, said the Professor, give us reason to hope that we have discovered another means of defense from destructive insects.

Mr. Earle will try pyrethrum next season for the tarnished bug. Prof. Budd gave a brief sketch of latest methods of killing off noxious insects as followed by J.N. Dixon, of the State of Iowa, one of the greatest fruit farmers in that State or in the Northwest. He destroys the insect by sprinkling the trees with water diluted with arsenic, using one pound of white arsenic to 200 gallons of water. This has proven a great success and is not at all expensive. Some members objected to the use of arsenic on account of its poisonous properties. London-purple or Paris-green were recommended by some. Some members did not like to have hogs running in their orchards; others found them a benefit if but few were permitted. They did a good work. If the orchard is overstocked with them they do harm. They root about the trees and rub against them. It is not an uncommon thing for them to kill the trees in the course of a couple of years.


Dr. Schrœder, member of the committee on pear culture, made no formal report, but in brief remarks urged the general planting and raising of the kind of fruit as being profitable and productive. Mr. Samuel Edwards, of Mendota, chairman of committee on currants, read a very interesting report on currants and gooseberries, in which it appeared that the cultivation of this fruit was neglected and was on the decline. Dr. A.L. Small, of Kankakee, made a report on plums, in which he recommended the general planting of this fruit, he making a specialty of plum trees, and regarded the plum as a fruit that was coming more in demand and popular, and one that readily adapts itself to the many kinds of climates and soils.

Mr. Weir also read a paper on plums and plum culture. He recommended the Chickasaw because it is hardy and not liable to have its blossoms injured by a late spring, like many fruits. He named the Newman and Wild Goose among other so-called seedlings that were very good. He expressed the opinion that there was but one distinct species of plum in the United States.


Mrs. Mary J. Barnard, of Manteno, from the committee on floriculture, strongly urged the cultivation of house-plants, not only as beautifiers, but to give the most pleasant occupation to every lady of the family. She referred to the earlier flowers of summer especially—the crocus, snow-drop, lily of the valley, tulips. Next to these came the annuals; with little trouble these could be had for months. The wild flowers of the prairies were spoken of, and she suggested that we should obtain seed of the flowers and raise such as we wish. The paper was a good one and was well received. Mr. Baller, a florist of Bloomington, said that of late the demand for plants had fallen off. The reason given was that there was an increased general knowledge among the people. At the present, the chief demands are for hot-house, cut flowers, and monthlies. The reason given for the falling off of the demand for plants was the fact that plants were more easily raised since the introduction of base-burners. This, he thought, could be still further increased by having a double sash, and the building of bay windows on the south and east of the houses. He reported, however, that there was still a good market for hot-house flowers among the rich for decorating purposes, funerals, etc.

The Prairie Farmer will, from time to time, consider other papers and discussions at this meeting, for there was much more of interest said and done than can be condensed into a simple running report. We advise farmers to send one dollar to the Secretary and receive therefor a copy of the Transactions when issued.

A Short Sermon on a Long Text.

The text will be found in Leviticus 16: 21-22-23; but whether its application can be found is uncertain. Horticulturists are prone to find scape-goats to carry their sins of omission and commission; and they load these—a great burden—upon them, and send them off to be lost in the wilderness. Providence is most usually chosen by them for this purpose. Most of their mistakes and failures—sins, let us call them—are ascribed to Providence; and He is expected to carry the burden. But I strongly urge they remain our own after all.

I am led to these conclusions by the fact that among the many failures in fruit culture there are some splendid successes; and that these successes occur with those, as a rule, who are guiltless of these sins; and that just in proportion to the magnitude of the guilt is the success insured. In other words—that almost invariably are our failures to be attributed to our own want of skill and our neglect—most generally the latter. Here and there we note cases of marked success—of heavy crops and large returns for care and labor invested. These are mostly on a small scale; as for instance, one man produces from at the rate of 200 to 300 bushels of strawberries per acre, on a few rods of ground. Another, his neighbor, gets about as many quarts. The conditions of soil and climate are about the same. Now is Providence to be charged with this disparity? Certainly not. The same care, the same intelligent management, and the same amount of labor bestowed, would have produced as favorable results in the one case as in the other.

And so, as to larger tracts. I hold that what my neighbor can do on a dozen square rods, he and I both ought to be equally able to do on five or ten, or twenty times as large a tract. But, you say, these large yields are the results of extraordinary care. True, they are; and that proves my theory—that extraordinary care will produce extraordinary results. What one man can do once, he can do again and all the time; and we all can do the same. Extraordinary care may be defined as the care necessary to produce good results, and if that care were always applied it would cease to be extraordinary.

I myself saw in my neighbor's field a crop of strawberries, on two rows, which at the safest and closest calculation I could make, yielded at the rate of over 300 bushels per acre. He had but the two rows; had given them extraordinary care—had kept them clear of grass and weeds—and the ground mellow—and had mulched them with forest leaves. Those two rows were in a field of several acres in size. The same care in planting, in cultivating, in mulching, and the whole tract would have produced corresponding results. That same year, my crop, on soil equally as good, reached a yield of less than one-fifth in amount. Why this difference? Providence favored him and didn't favor me, I might say, if I felt disposed to make a scape-goat of Providence for my misdeeds. But I do not believe that Providence did anything of the sort. The fault was my own; and I have no right to attempt to shift the responsibility. And it was not want of knowledge either. We, none of us, do as well as we know how. Our failures are mostly the results of sheer neglect. Mistakes, we incline to call them. Let us call them sins, and repent of them; and not endeavor to do as Aaron did, pack them off into the wilderness. When we bring ourselves to thus correct our mistakes, our crops will be increased threefold, and Providence will no longer be made a scape-goat for us.



The strawberry was introduced into England from Flanders in 1530.

Gardeners in London, England, are always ready to buy toads. The regular market price for them ranges from $15 to $25 per hundred.

Soap-suds are a valuable fertilizer for all forms of vegetation; especially serviceable[Pg 7] for small fruits, and in the fruit garden proper will never be wasted.

An Italian claims to have discovered that by drenching the foliage of grapevines with a solution of soda the filaments of the mildew fungus will be shriveled, while the leaves will remain uninjured. A Wisconsin nurseryman, however, advises the use of flowers of sulphur, which he believes a good remedy, also, when applied to the vines and when added to the soil surrounding them.

A correspondent of the Germantown Telegraph says that he has found salt a valuable remedy for rust on blackberry vines, and concludes: "I have applied two or three handfuls on the surface of the ground, immediately over the roots, when the plants were badly rusted; in two or three weeks the disease had disappeared, and the plants had made a good growth. I believe moderate applications of salt, sown broadcast over a blackberry patch, would be of great benefit as a fertilizer and health renewer."

Gardener's Monthly: In the discussions on forest culture, little is said of the willow, which forms a very interesting department. The white willow, Salix Candida, is often used for coarse work. S. Vinnunatis and S. Russelliana, are the most commonly used in the Eastern United States, under the name of Osier, or basket willow, and S. Forbyana, a variety of S. rubra, or the red willow is often used for fine work. In the Editor's recent visit to the Northwest a number of fine species were noted which would evidently be worth introducing for basket-making purposes.

The Germantown Telegraph says: "To grow good crops of blackberries the soil should be good and especially deep, for the roots run down wonderfully when possible for them to do so; and as the growing fruit requires its greatest nourishment in the usually dry month of August, it is an advantage to have deep soil for the roots to draw a supply from. A deep, sandy soil will generally grow the best crop of berries, while a clay soil tends to produce rust. Good cultivation, good soil, and a judicious use of manure make stout and vigorous canes, with a crop of berries in increased ratio."

Indiana correspondent Orange County Farmer: I have had a good deal of experience in propagating currants. I always plant my currant cuttings in the fall as soon as the leaves fall off. They will make durable roots two to four inches long the same fall, while the buds remain dormant. They will make double the growth the next season if set in the fall, and they should be set in ground that will not heave them out by the effects of frost and should be covered just before winter sets in with coarse litter. Remove the covering early in the spring and examine the cuttings to see if any of them hove, and if so, press them down again. Should they heave up an inch or more, if well pressed down, they will start and make better growth than cuttings set in the spring. In either case, however, the cuttings should always be made in the fall.

A Rural New Yorker correspondent gets down to the real art of grape eating. Hear him tell how to manipulate the fruit: No! the man who holds the grape between his thumb and dexter finger and squeezes or shoots the pulp into his throat, does not know how to enjoy the fruit, and is not likely to appreciate the good qualities of a fine grape. Let the berries follow each other into the mouth in rapid succession until three or four are taken, while with each insertion the teeth are brought together upon the seeds without breaking them. The acid of the pulp is thus freed to mingle with the saccharine juice next the skin, and a slight manipulation by the tongue separates the seeds and skins from the delicious winey juices; after this has tickled the palate, skins and seeds may be ejected together. Close to the skin lies a large part of the good flavor of the grape.

On the subject of protecting trees from mice, R.W. Rogers, in Ohio Farmer says: "As the season is near at hand when farmers will have to look to the protection of their young fruit trees from ground mice, I send you my method if you deem it worthy of publishing. It is as follows: Take old tin fruit cans, put them on the fire until the parts that are soldered have become heated, when they will come apart. Take the body of the can and encircle it around the tree, letting the sides lap each other, and press firmly in the ground before it has become frozen. The mice coming in contact with the tin will turn them in another direction. It is far better than mounding up or tramping snow about them. Most any farmer can gather up enough for a good sized orchard, and make them pay compound interest, which otherwise would be a nuisance or pitched out of the back window."


Gleanings by an Old Florist.


The successful raisers of many kinds of flowers use, more or less, some kind of what might be called artificial stimulants other than the ordinary manuring of the soil at the time the plant is set out, whether it be in pot culture or in the open benches. This is no new thing under the sun; not a few who have been in the habit, and found great results, have tried to keep a monopoly, and have been more or less close-mouthed in the matter. Perhaps one of the oldest forms of this feeding extra stimulants to their pets was in the form of liquid manure made from various materials, as horse, sheep, cow, and other manures. They are sometimes prepared with ever so much mystery in the matter of quantity, time of preparation, quantity given, etc., all of which was supposed to have its influence. Of one thing, however, there was certain, tangible evidence that many of these persons managed, if for exhibition, to carry off the best premiums; and if for the market were pretty sure to command the best prices, and what is more, obtain the greater results financially.

Soot, guano, ammonia, and in later years, material obtained from the immense slaughter-houses, such as blood and other offal in a highly concentrated form, find, perhaps, nowadays, more advocates; principally because the first-mentioned list contains articles that give off very offensive odors while being applied, so that the more fastidious are loath to use them. What may not be very offensive to the plodding florist would be highly so to the more refined, or when the general public comes more into contact with the crops while being so applied. In almost all of the cases where the ingredients mentioned are used they are diluted with a large quantity of water, except in the case of the droppings of the animals; the latter are often used by florists in the form of a very heavy mulch, depending upon the ordinary watering to carry down to the roots such parts of the dressing as would dissolve in the water, and thus give extra stimulant, and at a time when it would do the most good, because, ordinarily, the more water necessary the greater the growth going on, and vice versa, if plants are in a state of rest, either from a finished growth or from lowness of temperature, but little water would be needed, and but little benefit from the mulch, except such as undoubtedly arises from the ammonia itself in the manure permeating the atmosphere, which again, however, would be the most active when heavy watering was necessary, simply because of the high and humid temperature.

For obvious reasons the votaries of window gardening will use those giving off little or no unpleasant odors. Others again make the soil so rich in the first instance that much less of what may be called artificial manures are required during growth. But without some skill in this matter it is not safe, for if much of the material is not thoroughly decayed (which, however, has then lost most of its volatile ingredients) it is, in the common vernacular of the gardener, too rank to give good growth and results, whether it be in fruits, flowers, or foliage. For example, in Henderson's horticulture he recommends, as the best soil for potting, loam and hops. He says, "Not the least simple of these operations is the preparation of our potting soil. We have, we may say, only one heap—a big one it is—but it contains only two ingredients, rotted sods, from a loamy pasture, and rotted refuse hops from the breweries, in about the proportion of two of the sods to one of hop. One-year-old rotted manure, if the hops cannot be obtained." It is evident upon its face that so large a proportion as one-third of a fresh manure or hops would be disastrous; but well rotted, and with care otherwise in temperature and other desiderata, it would be a highly stimulating soil. This was in 1869. We well recollect the commotion the hop business caused in the horticultural world at the time, as Henderson recommended it for plunging pots in, setting pots on mulching outdoors, and almost every purpose. And did he not grow the best of stuff and himself practice what he preached. Spent hops in this city were eagerly sought after and used, apparently with great success, in almost every florist's establishment as well as market garden. What before was a nuisance to the breweries was eagerly sought after; like most things, however, it had its day, and is now seldom seen again. We might, however, say that its decline undoubtedly arose from its unpleasant features, as it drew myriads of insects in its train and often emitted a very unpleasant odor. Its great value consists in that it is the seed of the hop plant, all seeds contributing by far the greatest value in manures.

In the green-house the object aimed at, is the greatest possible results from limited area. Of the atmosphere the gardener has almost absolute control—no siroccos, biting frost, or destructive winds interfere. He can beat nature all to pieces in growing plants faultless in shape and in quantity of flowers, but his soil is of limited extent for the roots to wander in. To counteract this, he can give in other forms just as much and no more nutrition as is necessary to effect his purpose, and here comes in this artificial supply of manurial agents.

Mr. DeVrey, the successful superintendent of Lincoln Park, uses horn shavings. This is the cleanest and most pleasant material that we ever recollect to have seen used for the purpose, it is the refuse in the factories where the horns from the slaughterhouse are steamed and manipulated into the numerous objects they are applied to, not the least being into knife and fork handles, and the like. It is in the form of thin shaving of half an inch to an inch in length, quite dry and light, entirely free from odor. He takes all they make, and this year has a ton of the material for which he pays at the rate of three cents per pound. The method of using is simply to mix with the soil at the time of potting, giving it, to the common eye, as oil specked all through with a white flaky substance. Its effect is very visible in a clear, healthy growth, given off gradually, and as it is quite common where vast quantities of plants are required to be grown in small pots, when there appears to be a necessity of some new stimulant, it should be given by the amateur in a larger pot. This is done by shaking nearly all the soil from the roots and re-potting again if possible in the same sized pots, thus doing away with all artificial watering, and yet having healthy, luxuriant growth all the time.

A pound of the material, which is light, will be enough for a wheelbarrow of potting soil. After all, the question is not so much the exact material employed of a number of similar agents, as it is with the intelligence brought to bear so as to apply at the right time the right quantity, and under the best possible circumstances.

Edgar Sanders.



If I should bring a wagon o'er
From Scotland to Columbia's shore,
And by successive wear and tear
The wagon soon should need repair:
Thus, when the tires are worn through,
Columbia's iron doth renew;
Likewise the fellies, hubs, and spokes
Should be replaced by Western oaks;
In course of time down goes the bed,
But here's one like it in its stead.
So bit by bit, in seven years,
All things are changed in bed and gears,
And still it seems as though it ought
To be the one from Scotland brought;
But when I think the matter o'er,
It ne'er was on a foreign shore,
And all that came across the sea
Is only its identity.
I came, a Scotchman, understand,
By choice, to live in this free land,
Wherein I've dwelt, from day to day,
'Till sixteen years have passed away.
If physiology be true,
My body has been changing too;
And though at first it did seem strange,
Yet science doth confirm the change;
And since I have the truth been taught,
I wonder If I'm now a Scot?
Since all that came across the sea
Is only my identity.

—Wm. Taylor, in Scientific American.

Primitive Northwest.

Mr. C.W. Butterfield contributes an article on the Primitive Northwest, to last number of the American Antiquarian. He says that early in the seventeenth century French settlements, few in number, were scattered along the wooded shores of the river St. Lawrence in Canada. To the westward, upon the Ottowa river, and the Georgian bay, were the homes of Indian nations with whom these settlers had commercial relations, and among some of whom were located Jesuit missionaries. In the year 1615, Lake Huron was discovered. To it was given the name of the Fresh Sea (Mer Douce). But, as yet, no white man had set foot upon any portion of what now constitutes the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Eastern Minnesota. And thereafter, for nearly a score of years this whole region remained, so far as the visitation of white men was concerned, an undiscovered country; and such it continued down to the year 1684. However, previous to this date, something had been learned by the French settlers upon the St. Lawrence, of this (to them) far off land; but the information has been obtained wholly from the Indians. This knowledge was of necessity crude and, to a considerable extent, uncertain. Such of it as has been preserved is properly treated of under the following heads: First, as to what had been gleaned concerning the physical aspects of the country; second, as to what had been brought to light relative to the various tribes inhabiting this region.

Previous to 1634, nothing had been learned of Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, or Lake Michigan although it was understood there was some kind of a water-way connecting the Fresh Sea (Lake Huron) with Ontario. A little knowledge had been gained of a great body of fresh water lying beyond the "Mer Douce," "a grand lac," so called by the French—now known as Lake Superior. The length of this superior lake with that of the Fresh Sea (Lake Huron), the Indians declared was a journey of full thirty days in canoes. At the outlet of the great lake was what was described by the savages, as a considerable rapid, to which the French gave the name of "Sault de Gaston," the present Sault St. Marie, in the St. Mary's river, the stream, which, it is well known, flows from Lake Superior into Lake Huron.

Accounts also had been received from the Indians prior to the year last mentioned, of a lake of no great size, through which flowed a river discharging its waters into the Fresh Sea (Lake Huron). These were reports of Lake Winnebago and Fox river, in what is now the State of Wisconsin. As the French upon the St. Lawrence had no knowledge as yet of Lake Michigan, they imagined the location of this small lake, and its river was beyond, and to the northwest of Lake Huron and that they emptied into it; Green Bay into the head of which Fox river really flows, being (like Lake Michigan) wholly unknown to them.

It had further been reported by the Indians before this date that there was a mine of copper on an island in what has been mentioned as probably Lake Winnebago; doubtless, however, this island should have been located in Lake Superior. A specimen of native copper had as early as 1610, been exhibited by an Indian to an interested Frenchman upon the St. Lawrence, and an account given by him as to the rude method employed by the savages in melting that metal. But other islands besides the one containing the copper mine had been brought to the knowledge of the French settlers. A large one southeast of the "Sault de Gaston" being described, and two smaller ones, to the south of it. These islands were, it is suggested, the Great Manitoulin, Drummond, and Little Manitoulin, of the present day.

Dr. Leeds has said that spices were adulterated to a great extent, but only such substances were added as were purely non-poisonous. Mustards were never found to be pure. Vinegars were also highly adulterated. Competent officers, who shall be specialists, should be appointed in each State to examine manufactured and natural foods to detect adulteration. So far these examinations have been made by college professors. The State Boards of Health should take the matter in hand and see that it has the proper attention.

A French periodical, La Culture, gives the following simple method for testing the purity of water. In an ordinary quart bottle three parts filled with water dissolve a spoonful of pure white sugar, cork it well and put it in a warm place. If at the end of forty-eight hours the water becomes turbid and milky there can be no doubt of its impurity, but if it remains limpid it may be considered safely drinkable.

The Prairie Farmer


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Political talk is generally very eloquent, but it lacks the insignificant element of truthfulness. A great deal of the buncombe of politics reminds us of the lines of Lord Neaves, not long since deceased:

[Transcriber's note: This is where the article ends in the original and the lines in question are not to be found in the rest of the periodical.]

[Pg 8]


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The Prairie Farmer




For forty-three years The Prairie Farmer has stood at the front in agricultural journalism. It has kept pace with the progress and development of the country, holding its steady course through all these forty-three years, encouraging, counseling, and educating its thousands of readers. It has labored earnestly in the interest of all who are engaged in the rural industries of the country, and that it has labored successfully is abundantly shown by the prominence and prestige it has achieved, and the hold it has upon the agricultural classes.

Its managers are conscious from comparison with other journals of its class, and from the uniform testimony of its readers, that it is foremost among the farm and home papers of the country. It will not be permitted to lose this proud position; we shall spare no efforts to maintain its usefulness and make it indispensable to farmers, stock-raisers, feeders, dairymen, horticulturalists, gardeners, and all others engaged in rural pursuits. It will enter upon its forty-fourth year under auspices, in every point of view, more encouraging than ever before in its history. Its mission has always been, and will continue to be—

To discuss the most approved practices in all agricultural and horticultural pursuits.

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Every housekeeper ought to have this very useful scale. The weight of article bought or sold may readily be known. Required proportions in culinary operations are accurately ascertained. We have furnished hundreds of them to subscribers, and they give entire satisfaction. During January, 1884, to any person sending us THREE SUBSCRIBERS, at $2.00 each, we will give one of these scales, and to each of the three subscribers Ropp's Calculator, No. 1.

A meeting of farmers interested in ensilage will be held at 55 Beekman street, New York, Wednesday, January 23, at 12 o'clock. All interested in the subject are invited to attend.

The Iowa State Horticultural Society will hold its annual meeting at Des Moines, January 15-18. Prof. J.L. Budd, Ames, will forward programmes on application. The usual reductions in railway and hotel fares are expected.

Professor S.R. Thompson, Superintendent of the Nebraska Agricultural College farm, has been chosen to represent Nebraska at the meeting to be held at Washington, D.C., next week, for the purpose of taking action in regard to contagious diseases of cattle. He requests stock men and all others interested in the cattle industries of his State to correspond with him, and make such suggestions as they may think proper for guidance at the meeting.

Since its organization in 1853 to 1882 inclusive, the managers of the Illinois State Fair have offered the following amounts in premiums for live stock: Cattle, $70,406; horses and mules, $81,825; sheep, $24,450; swine, $25,320; poultry, $8,214;—total $210,215, which must be considered pretty substantial encouragement. The total offered in premiums for all classes of exhibits has been $303,961. Thus a little more than two thirds of the entire amount has been given to the breeders and importers of stock.

The officers of the Northwestern Dairymen's Association say that every indication warrants the conclusion that the coming convention at Mankato, Minn., commencing February 12, will prove the grandest success in the history of the association. A full array of the best dairy talent of the entire Northwest will be present. The purpose is both in the arrangement of the programme and in the conduct of the discussions, to make of the coming convention an institute for study and instruction which no intelligent and progressive farmer can afford to miss.

The Missouri State Board of Agriculture asks the aid of one competent man in every township in the State to give it estimates of crops, etc., in his vicinity. The aim is to give as full and reliable statistics for crop reports as it is possible to collect. The State provides but $1,250 for the general expenses of the Board, and it is thus dependent upon voluntary aid in the matter. The Board will defray all expenses of postage and stationery. Competent persons willing to undertake this work for the public good should address J.W. Sanborn, Secretary, Columbus, Mo. Such persons will receive, free, the monthly and annual reports of the Board.

In March of last year Secretary Fisher, of the Illinois State Board of Agriculture, submitted his report for 1882 to Gov. Hamilton. This report has just made its appearance. It has taken the State printer ten months to get the volume printed and bound for distribution, a work that any respectable job office in Chicago would have turned out in four weeks without any extra exertion. The report is valuable, of course, but it would have been worth a deal more had it appeared last April. Such papers as the report of Prof. Forbes, State Entomologist, for instance, might have been of immense benefit to the people of the State if the information it contains regarding noxious insects had reached them in early spring.


We have letters from several parties desiring us to publish an offer they make to send packages of seed corn and other seeds to any one applying and inclosing stamps to pay for trouble and postage. Some of these parties also send samples of the seed. There is one great difficulty in the way of publishing this class of communications. Once we begin, the door is open to the practice of petty frauds upon our readers which we have no right to encourage or allow. Now we are almost certain that all these writers, thus far, are honorable men, who wish to confer a favor upon their brother farmers, and who do not wish to gain a farthing in the transaction. But some of them are personally unknown to us, and we do not feel like vouching for their responsibility, still less so because it is difficult to tell who will next propose a similar scheme. There is to be a brisk trade in seed corn during the next four months, and parties having a well tested article will find no difficulty in disposing of it at good prices, providing they can convince people they have exactly what they claim. The way to do is to advertise the seed corn in the regular way, giving as references such men as the postmaster, justice of the peace, banker, etc., as may be most convincing and convenient. We are as anxious as any one can be to see the people supplied with well ripened and well cared-for corn grown in the proper latitude, and we are equally anxious to guard them against imposition.


The question of admitting American pork into France is not yet settled. The Corps Legislatif is again "all tore up" by rash statements made by member M. Paul Bert, who has published a letter at Paris in which he argues that the use of our pork must result in disease, and that a general outbreak may be feared at any moment, so long as the products of diseased swine are offered in French markets. He endeavors to strengthen his position by pretending to quote from Dr. Detmers, Department of Agriculture Inspector at the Chicago Stock Yards. He alleges that Detmers has reported that diseased and dying hogs are sold daily in Chicago, and then shipped as pork, bacon, and lard to Havre and Bordeaux. To this audacious or mendacious charge Dr. Detmers replies as follows:

The statement made by M. Paul Bert, as contained in a cable dispatch from Paris, is not only a perversion of facts, but a falsehood cut from whole cloth. I never certified, wrote, or said that dead hogs are shipped to packing-houses, or that these carcasses are shipped abroad. All I ever said in regard to transportation of diseased or dead hogs is contained in my official reports to the Commissioner of Agriculture, Washington, and can be found in his annual reports of 1878 and 1879, on pages 355 and 418 respectively, where it is accessible to everyone. I simply called attention to the transportation of diseased and dead hogs to the rendering tanks—entirely distinct from packing houses—as affording a means of spreading the then prevailing disease—swine plague, or so-called hog cholera.

M. Paul Bert seems to be a true demagogue, otherwise he would not resort to a falsehood to please his constituents. I never in any manner, directly or indirectly, stated or intimated that packers are or ever were in collusion with dealers in diseased live stock. Moreover, the laws and regulations of the Chicago Stock Yards are such as to render it absolutely impossible that a dead hog should be smuggled into them, and if an animal should die while in the yards it is at once delivered to a soap-grease rendering establishment outside of the Stock Yards, and can not possibly get into a packing-house.

This reply came too late to have any effect upon French legislation, and the decree of prohibition has been re-enacted. So far we notice no marked effect upon the prices of pork products in this country, but later it must result in depression. We notice the leading papers of the United States are advocating the retaliatory measures proposed months ago by The Prairie Farmer against European States interdicting the importation of our meat products. We refer to the prohibition of French and German adulterated and poisonous wines and liquors, and dry goods and silk goods colored with poisonous dyes. It must come to this at last if such totally unreasonable legislation against American products is to continue in those countries.


The preliminary crop estimates by the Statistician of the Department of Agriculture have been completed. He says the average yield of corn per acre for 1883 was within a fraction of twenty-three bushels, which is 12 per cent less than the average for a series of several years past. The quality is another thing.

It is doubtless true, Mr. Dodge says, that the quality of the corn north of parallel forty is worse than for many years, increasing practically the amount of shortage indicated by the number of bushels. As the whole corn grown in 1883 in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Dakota, added to half that grown in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska, would make 400,000,000 bushels only—a fourth of the whole crop—so that the possible depreciation of 40 per cent in all of it would be equivalent to a 10 per cent reduction in the value of the entire crop. The Illinois Department agents make the quality 31 per cent less than the average in this State. An effort will be made later, after the worst of the crop has been fed, to ascertain the feeding value of the year's product. It is not proposed, however, to reduce the product to the equivalent of merchantable corn, or "sound" corn, as no crop ever is free from immaturity or imperfection. There always are some Northern fields caught by frost, some neglected acres, some choked with weeds or flooded by over-flows, and so on—corn, which is mainly "nubbins." What is intended without reference to panic or exaggeration is to find out the exact truth and then tell it. There is [Pg 9]nothing gained, be it to farmers or consumers, the Statistician adds, in suppressing truth on the one hand or exaggerating the losses on the other. One feature of corn-growing in 1883 should prove a lesson to the farmers of the country; that is, the general use of seed corn in the West, grown in lower latitudes. The planting of Nebraska seed in Minnesota and Kansas seed in Illinois, has demonstrated the folly of attempting to acclimatize the Southern maize in the more Northern districts. Much loss from frost would have been avoided had the seed been carefully selected from the best corn grown in the immediate neighborhood.

The wheat crop is estimated, as before, slightly in excess of 400,000,000 bushels.

The cotton product, as shown by the December returns, is about 6,000,000 bales. There will be another investigation after the close of the cotton harvest and the shipment of a large portion of the crop, when precise results will be approached more nearly than has been possible hitherto.

The Department evidently feels a little "nettled" over the criticisms that have been made upon its estimates of the last two corn crops. Again we must protest that the amount of harvested corn in the West will fall considerably below Mr. Dodge's figures. Whether or not the Department sees fit to "reduce the product to the equivalent of merchantable corn" such an estimate would be of interest, and when it gives the result of the feeding quality of the corn, there will be something of a basis furnished for such a calculation, especially as we shall have by that time a pretty accurate account of the exported corn of the crop of 1883 and the amount "in sight," as the grain merchants say. It is true that there is nothing gained to consumers by "suppressing truth on the one hand or exaggerating losses on the other" but there is something lost to consumers by overestimating yields at about the time the harvest is ready and when speculators can use Government estimates to force down prices.

The statistical machinery of the Department of Agriculture is far from perfect, but it is the best the Government has supplied it with, and it is not wise or fair to criticise its estimates too severely, based, as they often must be, upon inadequate returns. The most that can be said is that the Department should be exceedingly careful not to err on the side that may result in injury to the producers, for, as we understand it, it was created solely to advance their interests.


Compared with the other great cities of the Union, and even with previous years in her own history, Chicago had a prosperous business year in 1883. The total trade of the year foots up $1,050,000,000, which is a slight gain over that of 1882. The receipts of flour were 4,403,982 barrels; wheat, 20,312,065 bushels; corn, 74,459,948 bushels; oats, 37,750,442 bushels; rye, 5,662,420; barley, 10,591,619. Of cattle there were received 1,878,944 head; hogs, 5,640,625; sheep, 749,917; horses, 15,255; dead hogs, 55,656. Of seeds, 122,582 tons; broom corn, 15,038 tons; butter, 53,987 tons; hides, 34,404 tons; wool, 20,122 tons; potatoes, 13,000,000 bushels; coal, 4,042,356 tons; hay, 50,000 tons; lumber, 1,848,817,000 ft.; shingles, 1,154,149 M.; salt, 1,096,587 barrels; cheese 23,590 tons. The total value of farm products of all kinds is estimated at $402,000,000, which is $20,000,000 above the valuation of that of 1882. The products of Chicago manufactures are valued at $325,000,000. In 1881 the receipts of hogs amounted to 6,474,844 head, and in 1882, 5,817,504 head. The wholesale mercantile trade has fallen off somewhat, as it has all over the country, owing to depression that seems to be universal. In manufactures the city is making wonderful development. In growth she is still unchecked and without a rival in the world among large cities and business centres.


We often see in the papers the amount in dollars and cents, that strong drink costs the people of this country. Some one has been making out similar statistics for Great Britain, and finds that if the total house rent is added to the rent of farms in the three divisions of the Kingdom the total is $30,000,000 less than is usually spent for drink. Add together the cost of the linen goods, cotton goods, coal, tea, coffee, sugar, milk, butter and cheese and the total is only $45,000,000 in excess of the sum spent in drink. And this is only the direct cost. The indirect expense of drink—the crime and misery entailed, the cost of prisons and almshouses, criminal courts and trials, the loss from idleness, incapacity, blunders, sickness—towers above these figures in colossal magnitude. Counting all these things it may be said of both countries that strong drink costs more than sufficient to supply the personal needs—food, clothing, and homes—of all the people. It is indeed a fearful showing.

Answers to Correspondents.

Charles De Long, Artesia, Miss.—The Prairie Farmer has the reputation of knowing all about the prairies, north and south, and, therefore, I appeal to it to tell me whether the Japan persimmon will be likely to be hardy in this section, some portions of which is, as you probably know, a prairie country?

Answer.—The Japan persimmon, Diospyros kaki, is, as we understand it, an evergreen of sub-tropical origin, and will not be likely to fruit satisfactorily far north of the region of the orange. Like the fig, in your latitude, it may stand what frosts you have and, like it, attain considerable growth, but you will seldom get a crop. We know enterprising nurserymen are telling us it will grow and fruit as far north as Washington; but we were told the same story about the eucalyptus, which proved to be no more hardy than the orange. Our authorities for these opinions may be regarded as first-class—no less than LeBon Jardinier, who says it can not be grown and successfully fruited outside the region of the orange. Recently, at a horticultural exhibition at Nice, France, there was a fine show of the kakis contributed by a gardener in the vicinity of Toulon, of which the official report gives this account: "Among the newer exotics were the kakis, of Japan, grown at Toulon. The fruit is about the size of an average apple, a bright, orange-red in color, and the tree is very productive. The Japanese make a great account of it, both as a fruit, when ripe, and as a source for obtaining tannin, in its green state. It appears to accommodate itself remarkably well to the climate of Provence, and especially merits to be introduced into Algeria, where it will even do better in all reasonable probability.". In respect to the appearance of the fruit, it more nearly resembles in shape and size a bell pepper, than an apple, but the color is orange-red, as described. It is pretty sure to cut a great figure among the fruit products of Florida, where its successful cultivation will lend additional attractions to that already seductive State.

Mrs. Sarah Y. Staples, Dallas, Texas.—I do not ask you for a remedy for the roup, with which my fowls have been recently affected; but for a course of treatment to follow to prevent its return?

Answer—The roup may be brought upon healthy fowls if they are shut up in narrow and unventilated quarters at night, and of days turned out in cold or wet weather. And it will almost certainly follow if they are confined under glass, as they sometimes are in winter, in abandoned green-houses. In the first place, see fowls have a dry and airy roosting place, but where they will be out of a draft or cold currents. Feed once daily in the morning, the following compounded rations. Raw onions one part, pork-cracklins one part, and bread or boiled potatoes one part, chopped tolerably fine, but do not wet the mixture before feeding. If you can substitute a few bits of garlic for twice the measure of onions, it will be all the better for the health of the fowls, but they might taint the taste of the eggs. If fowls are fed this mixture once daily, it don't matter much what the other food is, whether corn or small grain, though for laying mill-screenings or shrunken wheat is best.

Asa Gray, Rockford, Ill.—I have seen it stated the daily rations of the cowboys of the Southwest, in certain sections and during some months, was confined to raw beef, rock salt, and red peppers. How is it?

Answer.—We don't know. Will someone familiar with cowboys and their manner of living report. However, all things considered, the ration is not a bad one, for the reason that raw beef digests in half the time of beef well cooked, and the large, sweet pepper of the Southwest deprived of its seeds is not near as hot in the mouth as it is commonly represented.

R. Root, Clarksville, Iowa. 1. Does the basket willow have to be cultivated like a field crop? 2. Is there more than one kind, and if so which is best? 3. What kind of soil is best adapted to its cultivation?

Answer.—1. In some respects, yes; the land having to be given over to them exclusively. In France the cuttings are planted from twelve to fifteen inches apart in order to obtain long and slender shoots. 2. There are half a dozen cultivated in Europe, the best two being the Salix rubra or red Osier, and the Salix vitellina or yellow Osier. But a hardier variety, Salix viminalis, is commonly preferred in this country where the cultivation, though often undertaken, has never been very successful, from the fact that American labor can not compete with the labor of women and children in Europe. 3. In cool climates having a moist atmosphere the Osier willow is successfully grown where ordinary crops thrive, but in warmer and drier sections low and moist land must be chosen. Indeed the whole tribe of willows love cool, moist situations, and the richer the soil the stronger and quicker the growth. We should be glad to hear from correspondents who cultivate, or who live where the Osier is grown and prepared for market, the details of the whole industry.


Wayside Notes.


I don't know that I really ought to take any credit to myself for it, but I hope I have done something toward increasing the number of farmer correspondents for the hale old Prairie Farmer. I can't help noticing, as I do with pleasure, that the number is increasing. Furthermore, the correspondents all write well, I mean, simply; they seem to have something to say, and say it in a manner that can be readily understood. Their writings are instructive, too. Well, I hope this writing fever, like most others, will prove highly contagious, and have a run through the entire Prairie Farmer family. I know from experience the malady is not a dangerous one. At least it don't do the writers any harm; if the readers can stand what I say, I am satisfied. The editor may boil down our communications, or chop them up and serve them in any style he chooses, so that he presents all the good we mean to say, and we will be satisfied. Will we not, fellow-contributors?

Rufus Blanchard, for many years a leading map publisher of Chicago, told me the other day, that in 1838 he was farming in Union county, Ohio. That year he grew about 1,000 bushels of oats, some 250 bushels of wheat, and raised 100 hogs. He sold his oats for eleven cents per bushel, his wheat for twenty-five cents, and his hogs for one cent and a quarter per pound. He hauled his grain to Columbus, forty miles, to market, and took his pay in salt. I remarked that this was pretty rough farming. "On the contrary," said he, "in those days we were happy as clams. We had all the pork we wanted without cost, for our hogs fattened themselves on the mast of the woods. We paid by toll for grinding our wheat into flour. The woods supplied us with deer, turkeys, and many other kinds of game. Our clothing was homespun. We had plenty of corn meal and cheaply grown vegetables, and helped each other in sickness or accident. If a neighbor's log house burned down, we all joined together in putting him up a better one than he had before. We had pretty good schools and interesting religious meetings without expensive pew rents or style in dress. We visited each other and had plenty of sound amusement. I never was so happy or so well contented in my life," he added, and I believe him, for his face is wrinkled with care and saddened by misfortune. It don't do, you see, to get too far removed from this simple, natural life.

I am looking out for a little colder weather. The pond is not yet frozen sufficiently for us to cut ice as we want it. But both my neighbor and myself have gotten all things in readiness for the harvest. I like an open winter pretty well, but I do want ice.

It seems to me that Dr. Detmers is always going off "half-cocked." He once did the foreign cattle shipping interest great harm by an ill-advised and unwarranted dispatch concerning the prevalence of pleuro-pneumonia at the Chicago Stock Yards, and now I notice that his alleged statements regarding diseased hogs and the disposal of them at the same point have furnished the French Corps Legislatif an excuse for enacting the decree prohibiting the introduction of American pork products into France. Isn't it about time the Department of Agriculture at Washington sat a little down on this man who writes too much with his pen? Not that I would silence any man who sticks to facts, no matter whose soap-bubble he pricks; but a simple alarmist who rushes into print mainly for the pleasure it gives him to see his name in print, and to know that he is talked about, deserves to be squelched. For aught I know, though, Dr. Detmers has been misrepresented by the wily Frenchmen. What has Dr. Loring to say on the subject?

But, after all, as I think the editor of The Prairie Farmer himself said some months ago, this foreign agitation of the live stock question may result in great good, inasmuch as it must lead to proper legislation in this country against the introduction and spread of contagious diseases among animals. It is without doubt the basis of the proceedings at the Chicago cattle-growers' convention in November last, and of the present movement for immediate Congressional action upon the matter. The difficulty abroad will, I believe, prove short-lived.

Letter from Champaign.

With the exception of two days, the 22d and 23d, which were stormy and gave us ten to twelve inches of snow, followed by a little sleet and rain, the latter half of December has been as delightful as the first half was, though a good deal colder. The sleighing since the 17th has never been better; and as there is ten inches to a foot of solid snow now lying on the ground, it is likely to last some time longer. The sleet and rain formed a crust an inch and a half thick, and though it is not very strong, it, together with the compact snow, makes getting down to the grass beneath quite out of the question, and stock have to depend on the stalk fields or be fed hay and corn.

This will make a heavier draft upon the grain and hay in reserve than has been anticipated by those who depend on carrying their stock through mostly on grass, and be sure to lessen the surplus and raise the price of corn, oats, and hay accordingly. Corn in the field is drying out so fast under the influence of the dry, cold weather, stock do not refuse soft corn as they did after the first sharp frost in November and December. It is now seen that it would have been better to have left all the soft and some of the immature corn in the field, than to have husked and cribbed it as many did and lost more than would be believed, if reported, by mould and rot.

At any rate the fall wheat is safe so long as the present covering of snow lasts, and this more than compensates for the loss of winter pasture. The snow, as near as I can learn, covers all Illinois, except a few counties on the west, and as usual, is quite as heavy in the timbered regions of which Vandalia is near the center, as in Northern Illinois. So far the cold season considerably resembles the winter of 1878-79, and let us hope it will continue to the end, that we may have light snows and many of them, good sleighing and moderate temperature through January and February.

It has mystified me, as I have do doubt it has many others, why European Governments have had so much to say about trichinæ in the hog, of which we have had scarcely any, and so little of hog cholera, of which we have had a good deal. But the mystery is now cleared up. The sickness and losses from hog cholera, have either by error or intention been reported to the several European Governments as results of almost universal trichiniasis, and they have acted accordingly. That it should be so, seems surprising, but that it is so, we have the proof in the following paragraph from a late number of the Journal D'Agriculteur Pratique. The writer, Dr. Hector George, one of the regular contributors, in a long article opposing rescinding the order prohibiting the importation of American pork products into France, first quotes the report of the Chicago Board of Health, that 8 per cent of hogs slaughtered in Chicago are afflicted with trichinæ, goes on to say: "This per cent, however considerable it may be, is far inferior to the reality if we judge from an official dispatch addressed to Earl Granville by Mr. Crump, English Consul at Philadelphia." in 1880 trichiniasis destroyed 700,000 hogs in Illinois alone. According to an official report by Dr. Detmers to the Government of the United States, the hogs sick or dead from trichiniasis are hurried to the packing houses and are thereafter prepared and immediately sent off to Europe.

M. Paul Bert, from whom we have recently heard on the same subject and in the same strain, no doubt got his inspiration from the article in the Journal D'Agriculteur Pratique after which he probably read the official report of Dr. Detmers, to whom he refers, and like Dr. George, either did not understand or intentionally misconstrued it for political purposes. Perhaps what Dr. Detmers did report was bad enough and extravagant enough, but it had exclusive reference to hog cholera then prevalent, as any one can satisfy himself who will turn to the reports or the Department of Agriculture for the several years 1879, 1880, and 1881. B.F.J.

A Record of Unfashionable Crosses in Short-horn Cattle Pedigrees; a book of 240 pages; the only work of the kind in existence. Send for a circular. F.P. & O.M. Healy, Bedford, Taylor Co., Iowa.

[Pg 10]

Remember that $2.00 pays for The Prairie Farmer from this date to January 1, 1885; For $2.00 you get it for one year and a copy of The Prairie Farmer County Map of the United States, free! This is the most liberal offer ever made by any first-class weekly agricultural paper in this country.

Poultry Notes Poultry-Raisers. Write for Your Paper.

Chat With Correspondents.

Notwithstanding the fact that I have repeatedly said I would not answer questions unless they came through The Prairie Farmer the people who, by ways and means best known to themselves, have managed to obtain my address, keep right on asking questions by mail at a rate that would drive me frantic if anything could. But nothing ever troubles me long at a time, so I take your disregard of my wishes good naturedly, as I take everything else that I can't help, and in the future I will answer all questions whether they come through The Prairie Farmer or not, sometime. To be sure "sometime" is not very definite, but it is the best I can do. My poultry letters are "too numerous to mention" and it requires no small amount of time to answer them all; but I won't growl about that if you will only be patient and not grumble if you don't get an answer "by return mail," or "in the next paper." All questions of general interest will be answered in these columns as soon as possible, while those that require an immediate answer will be attended to by mail. Poultry raisers who desire information that I can give, and who have not my address, can address The Prairie Farmer. However, let me ask you not to write except when necessary, and then please put your questions as plainly as possible, and "be as brief as the nature of the subject will permit."

And when you are writing to me don't use postal cards. Postal cards are only intended for the briefest of business messages, but lots of people use them for nearly all their correspondence. I know one man who writes love letters on postal cards. Most women and some men manage to make one side of a 5 × 3 inch postal card do duty for four pages of commercial note. They will write up and down and across lots and on the bias until the whole thing is so hopelessly mixed and tangled up that if the mystery of a woman's ways, or the fate of Charlie Ross were solved upon one of these cards all the "experts" in the world could not unravel it. A penny saved may be as good as a penny earned, and I have no objections to your saving it in a legitimate way, but when it comes to saving it at the expense of my time, patience, and eye-sight, I object most decidedly. Hereafter I will not answer postals; I will not even read them.

An Iowa woman writes: "If it is true that vaccination prevents chicken cholera, how does it happen that fowls which had the genuine chicken cholera last season took the disease again this season and died from the effects of it? This happened on our place." I have puzzled my brains on the same thing but I am not scientific enough to explain things that I don't know anything about, so I leave that conundrum to be answered by some of the learned people who have the whole theory of chicken cholera at their tongues' end.

Several correspondents want to know how to get rid of rats in poultry-houses. One man says that he firmly believes that there are more rats than chickens in his poultry-house, and although he has tried half a dozen different kinds of rat-traps he rarely catches anything in them.

I never found rat-traps much good; some of them would catch one or two, but after that the rest of the tribe would fight shy of all such devices for their undoing. A well trained rat terrier proved to be the best rat-trap we ever had on the premises, and for the poultry raiser who likes dogs a good ratter would be a good investment. Or you can use some one of the "exterminators" that may be obtained at the drug stores. Remove your fowls to some other building, prepare the poison according to directions, and place it in the poultry-house. The best kinds to use are those that make the rats thirsty and cause them to die immediately after drinking; water can then be left in the hen house and the dead rats will be found close by. When you have rat poison in the house see that it is properly marked and put out of reach of children and careless hired girls; and always see that all remnants of bait are taken care of.

A Nebraska man wants to know why his hens don't lay. Says they are mostly early pullets, have a fairly comfortable poultry house, all the grain they will eat twice a day, and plenty of fresh water at all times.

It seems to me that "all the grain they will eat twice a day" is rather overdoing the grain business. Have some of that grain ground, mix with boiled vegetables and feed warm every morning; also give green food and raw bone, and my word for it your hens will soon "lay like sixty."

Fanny Field.

Feather Ends.

Plymouth Rock pullets are not always early layers, for they often grow for ten or twelve months before laying, though some say as early as six months after being hatched. The best plan the keep Plymouth Rocks is to get the pullets hatched as early as possible. April is as late as should be desired, but a Plymouth Rock cock crossed on common hens will produce pullets that may be hatched later.

N.Y. Times: A poultry-house should be large enough to be airy, but if it is kept strictly clean and sweet it will do no harm to be somewhat crowded. A house 24 feet long, 10 feet wide, 5 feet high behind and 8 feet in front, and having four roosting poles, all on a level and only a foot from the floor, will hold 60 to 80 fowls. This manner of arranging the roosts prevents a good deal of quarreling to get on the top perch.

Poultry-rearing for export appears to be largely on the increase in Germany; and Rummelsburg, near Berlin, boasts of the largest goose market probably in the world. There arrive daily at that station on an average forty cars with geese and ducks. Every car contains about 1,500, thus making about 400,000 birds shipped every week, or an annual total of 20,000,000. The largest portion of these birds are reared and fattened in the surrounding provinces, and thence dispatched to all parts of Germany, England, Belgium, France, Switzerland, and other European countries.

Farmers' Call: Turkeys do not require as warm quarters in winter as do other fowls. They will rest on a cherry tree when the mercury is frozen solid in the thermometer bulb, and then fly down in the morning and wade through the snow to cool off. This is a hint to the turkey raiser. Do not confine the turkeys in quarters too warm and close, and be sure that they have three or four hours' exercise each day in the open air. The turkey is really a hardy fowl and easily wintered if you do not pet it too much. Be a little unkind to it in cold weather. About all the shelter they will need is a wind-break. Give them plenty of highly nutritious food.

Mr. Harrison Weir writes: "What the farmers should do is this—they should produce their poultry of the finest quality, poultry of the stamp of the old Dorking—plump birds, thick-skinned birds, small-boned birds, and birds with little offal—fat them well, truss them well, and send them to market. The white-legged beauties would take the highest price, and, if well seen to, would very soon drive the foreign fowls from our markets, and English gold would gladden the home of the English henwife. I may mention that a neighboring farmer intends rearing 3,000 chickens next spring, all to be off his ground before the beginning of May, when the cattle will come out. He expects to get 75c. a head, and I believe he will, and it will pay him if he does."

Poultry houses should be whitewashed inside and out. For the inside we add two tablespoonfuls of carbolic acid or a pound of sulphur to a pailful of the wash (to kill vermin); do not be afraid of putting on too much, but apply the wash to every corner and crevice in the building. If you have plank floors, clean them off nicely and put on three or four inches of fresh earth. Dirt floors should be dug up the depth of one foot. Wash your windows (if you have any in your house, and if not you ought to have them), so that the fowls can see daylight, and in bad weather they will enjoy the confinement of the poultry houses much better. Wash off the roosts with kerosene oil at least once a week. Take every nest box and wash inside and out, and put in clean straw, sprinkling upon it some sulphur or loose tobacco. Observe these rules, and your fowls will do better and keep healthier. We find this good advice floating about and do not know its source. The hints are worth remembering.

The Throat.—"Brown's Bronchial Troches" act directly on the organs of the voice. They have an extraordinary effect in all disorders of the throat.

The Apiary

Keep Bees.

The beginning of the new year is a general time of settling accounts and making resolutions for the future. The head of many a family is overcast with gloom as he ascertains the true state of his affairs, and perceives how little he has to show from the past year of toil. His family may have been industrious in a general way, and yet been consumers only, and not producers. We knew a farmer's family where there were three daughters just budding into womanhood. On inquiring of the mother what she had to sell to clothe her daughters with, she answered, Not a thing. Have you no butter, eggs, fowls, honey, or bees-wax to sell from this good farm? No, nothing. These girls were not idle! Oh no. They pounded the organ, and the result was music as sweet as filing a saw; crocheted, darned lace, and helped mother. When their father went to town they asked him to bring them a pair of shoes, a bustle, or a necktie, with no thought or care. And all the while the neighbors said "he was hard run."

There are few farmers' families that are so situated that they can not care for a few colonies of bees. They not only need the sweets they gather, but these industrious insects help to fertilize the bloom of their orchards and meadows. Nature has appointed this insect, and it alone, to do this work for her.

Honey can be used in many ways as a substitute for sugar—in canning fruit, making cookies, and for other culinary purposes.

We would advise all those contemplating bee-keeping to start on a small scale, if they have had no previous training. Two colonies are plenty, and then let their knowledge increase in the same ratio as do their bees. The next thing in order, after purchasing bees, should be a good standard work on apiculture; and study it well. A person should be full of theory, and then they are ready for practice. Those who are energetic, willing to work, intelligent and willing, eager to learn, observing, persevering, and attentive to their work, will rarely ever fail in apiculture.

We have heard farmers say that bees will not flourish with the same care given to other farm stock, and that they have not time to attend to them. We would recommend to all such to try the experiment of procuring a colony or two of beautiful Italians, in some good movable frame hive, and present them to the family, with abundance of bee literature, and see if they are not taken care of, especially if the almighty dollar puts in an appearance.

Mrs. L. Harrison.

The New Bees.

Prof. Cook, at the late Michigan Convention of Bee-keepers, spoke in this wise on the topic of the New Bees:

"I have had no experience with the Cyprian bees, but I think more and more of the Syrian. I find no trouble to handle them, and take my large class of students, new to the business, right into the apiary. These thirty or forty students daily manipulate the bees, doing everything that the bee-keeper ever needs to do, and rarely ever get stung. I find that the comb honey of the Syrians is excellent, that the bees go readily into the sections. We did not get all our sections so that they could be crated without the use of the separators; but I am not sure but that it was more our fault than the fault of the bees. They are very prolific, breeding even when there is no nectar to gather, and they often gather when other bees are idle. I have this fall secured from Mr. Frank Benton a Carniolan queen, and shall try crossing the Carniolans with the Syrians. Perhaps we can thus secure a strain with the amiability of the Carniolan, and the business of the Syrians."

Hive and Honey Hints.

Mr. Willingford, of Carlingford, Ontario, who had a crop of several tons of honey this year, has taken it to England for sale.

Manufacturers of tobacco, of pickles, of cakes and cookies, confectioners, and pork-packers are now using honey more extensively than ever in the preparation of their specialties.

A singular instance of bee-swarming occurred a short time ago in Singapore harbor, on board the British steamer Antonio, which at the time was lying entirely outside the shipping in the roads. A swarm of wild bees from the shore suddenly located themselves directly under the sternpost of a boat lying above the deck, and all attempts to drive them away proved unavailing, the chief officer being very severely stung in endeavoring to get rid of them. They held to their position for several days, and were eventually destroyed after the steamer had hauled alongside the wharf.

Rev. L.L. Langstroth recently said: When I commenced bee-keeping, a sting caused much swelling, but in time this trouble passed away. Several years passed, during which I handled no bees, and when I again attempted it, I found myself more susceptible to the poison than ever, but by continuing to work with the bees, disregarding the stings, my former indifference returned.

Ohio bee-keepers will discuss the following questions at the Columbus meeting on the 14-16: How to winter bees successfully. How many brood-frames are necessary in one hive? What can be done to prevent adulteration of honey? How to create a home market for honey. How many colonies can be kept in one locality? Can we do without separators? What shall we do with second swarms? Which is the most salable section—one-half, one, or two pounds? Which are best—deep or shallow frames? Is it advisable to have a standard-size frame for all bee-keepers?

Many are inquiring the proper way to let bees out on shares, so as to have both parties satisfied. I do not know any such way, for the most I have known in regard to letting bees out on shares resulted in both parties being dissatisfied. But it all depends on what the agreement is; and perhaps you had better have it down in writing. One case I have recently heard of, the agreement was to divide the profits. Well, it so happened that there was no profit, but there was a pretty big loss; and as no provision had been made for this state of affairs, each one felt disposed to put the loss on to the shoulders of the other. I decided it would be about fair to divide the loss; but very likely circumstances might make this not the right way after all. So says the editor of Gleanings. It strikes us that he is all right, but if he had said to bee-keepers "use the same common sense as to contracts that people do in other kinds of business," he would have covered the whole ground.

The Prairie Farmer


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Silk Culture.

Women in Silk Culture.

The feminine portion of our population is getting to be mighty independent. Instead of waiting, Micawber-like, for something (a man) to turn up they are going to work to turn it up themselves. They would rather make a living for themselves than have a man to make it for them. They are teaching schools, operating telegraph instruments and telephones, clerking, keeping books of account, type-writing, doing short-hand reporting, lecturing, preaching, practicing law, and some have so far fallen from grace as to be editing papers. But many of these occupations present closed doors to our country girls and women. Many of these can not leave their country homes, and these occupations, with the exception of school teaching, can not be carried on in the country. Others, who could leave home, are chary of braving the wiles and temptations of the city, and their friends are still more loth to have them go. The great need is some work, light, respectable, and yet fairly remunerative, which our country lassies can carry on at home. School teaching is possible, but teaching country district schools is the most thankless of all drudgery, and, besides, a majority of our young women are not able to endure the worry and close confinement. If it can be made successful, sericulture offers by far the best opportunity to country girls to earn their own pin money, or even their own living. It can be engaged in at home; it is light, pleasant, and interesting work; and there is no doubt that American silk can be produced of such a quality that there will be a brisk demand for it at good prices. But if all this be true the question at once presents itself, Why have not American women engaged largely in sericulture?

The answer is that they have been appalled at the very outset by the alleged expense of the undertaking. The promoters of the enterprise took to writing books. There was an excuse for this amounting almost to a necessity. To engage in silk culture, a person must be possessed of some special knowledge. It is no harder than poultry or bee-keeping, but a person to succeed at these must have some expert knowledge, and as sericulture was a new thing, beginners must have books containing what they needed. But these authors made the business much more difficult and expensive than it should be. First of all, they laid it down as one of the Medes and Persian laws of sericulture, that the worms must have mulberry leaves to subsist upon. Mulberry sprouts are costly to begin with; then the trees must grow at least two years, and should grow five years, before the leaves are used. This, of itself, was enough to deter but a very few from silk culture. But they made it appear, also, that very expensive appliances for a cocoonery were necessary, and only the most costly breeds of worms should be used, entailing greater expense and difficulty. The books were, and for that matter are, filled with dry scientific details of the internal construction of the worm and of its habits—details which only confused the learner and which, though giving an author material from which to deduce rules of instruction, should have been omitted from the book and their place supplied with the rules deduced. In short, it seemed to be the prime object to make sericulture as hard and forbidding as possible, and to deter the people from it rather than to induce them to engage in the work. For this very reason there has been considerable popular indifference to it, and from the agricultural press it has not received that attention which so promising an industry deserves. I would not be so unjust as to leave the reader to infer that all authors on sericulture have been thus guilty. There have been some very few who from the very start have presented it in as easy and practicable a light as was consistent with successful work. Nor would I be ready to assert that those who have said it could not be made financially profitable without mulberry groves, fancy priced worms, and expensive appliances, have done so from base motives. Yet it would appear as if not a few could be justly indicted of this; for they have mulberry sprouts, fancy priced worms, and costly appliances to sell. And perhaps it occurred to them that if they deterred the people generally from taking hold of it, they would have less opposition and competition.

But be this as it may, the fact is that it is not necessary to have mulberry groves, costly appliances, or even fancy priced worms (though good worms only should be reared), in order to profitably engage in sericulture. I know of no business presenting so promising an opening that requires less capital. And I say this, having no axe to grind in any way, simply for the sake of those girls and women who might make money by it, and who would do so if they only knew the facts. I have no book, no sprouts, no worms, nothing whatever, to sell.

I have said that the leaves of the mulberry are not essential to silk growing. If this be true the greatest obstacle in the way of sericulture becoming a great national industry will have been removed. And that it is true is proven by the experience of not a few practical silk-growers. Without exception those who have tested the matter say that the leaves of the Osage-orange are equal to those of the mulberry, and some say they are better. My position brings me into correspondence with the leading specialists in agricultural pursuits, and among others with many practical silk-growers. To-day I received letters from three silk-growers, one in Illinois, one in Kansas, and one in California. Each had fed the leaves of the Osage-orange exclusively for the last two years, and with the best results. One said there was no doubt that they were at least equal to the leaves of the mulberry, and the other two pronounced them superior. One of our best authorities on sericulture, Prof. Barricelli, has shown by means of chemical analyses and other scientific data, that as nourishment for silk-worms the Osage is superior to the mulberry. In fact, nine-tenths of the practical silk-growers of the West, those who are making it not only practicable but profitable, are now feeding Osage leaves exclusively. This should be known by the people at large. There can be no monopoly of the Osage-orange. No one can demand of the expectant silk culturist exorbitant prices for Osage sprouts. In very few localities will it be necessary to plant the Osage even. We have an abundance of Osage hedges, particularly in the West. In such localities the silk culturist will be at no expense whatever for food for the worms, and will not be under even the necessity of waiting a couple of years for it to grow. When this is more fully understood by the girls and women of the country, we may expect silk culture to assume the importance of a profitable national industry.

John M. Stahl.


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The Youth's Companion

FOR 1884.

THE COMPANION presents below the Announcement of its Fifty-Seventh Volume. Its unusual character, both in the range of its topics, and its remarkably brilliant list of Contributors, will, we trust, be accepted as a grateful recognition of the favor with which the paper has been received by more than 300,000 subscribers.

Illustrated Serial Stories.

A Story of English Rustic Life, byThomas Hardy.
The Foundling of Paris, byAlphonse Daudet.
A Boys' Story, byJ.T. Trowbridge.
The Covenanter's Daughter, byMrs. Oliphant.
A Story of Adventure, byC.A. Stephens.
My School at Orange Grove, byMarie B. Williams.

Science and Natural History.

Eccentricities of Insanity, byDr. W.A. Butler.
Common Adulterations of Food, byDr. J.C. Draper.
The Home Life of Oysters, and other Natural History Papers, byArabella B. Buckley.
Wonders in Ourselves; or the Curiosities of the Human Body, byDr. Austin Flint, Jr.
Insect Enemiesof the Garden, the Orchard and the Wheat-Field, byA.S. Packard, Jr.
Demons of the Air and Water.A fascinating Series of Papers on Sanitary Science, byR. Ogden Doremus.
The Youth Of the Brain, "Speech in Man," "Animal Poisons and their Effects," and Other Papers, byDr. W.A. Hammond.
Strange Ways Of Curing People. A Description of Curious Sanitaria,—the Peat, Mud, Sand, Whey, and Grape Cures, byWilliam H. Rideing.

Encouragement and Advice.

Hints for Poor Farmers, byC.E. Winder.
The Failures of Great Men, byJames Parton.
A Dietary for Nervous People, byDr. W.A. Hammond.
Hints for Country House-Builders, byCalvert Vaux.
The Gift Of Memory, and Other Papers, giving Instances of Self-Help, bySamuel Smiles.
A New Profession for Young Men.The Opportunities for Young Men as Electrical Engineers, byThomas A. Edison.
At the Age Of Twenty-One.A Series of Papers showing what Great Men had accomplished, and what they proposed doing, at that period of their lives, byEdwin P. Whipple.

Original Poems.

And Many Others.

Illustrated Adventure and Travel.

Shark-Hunting, byT.B. Luce.
Four Amusing Stories, byC.A. Stephens.
Outwitted. An Indian Adventure, byLieut. A. Chapin.
A Honeymoon in the Jungle, byPhil. Robinson.
Wrecked Upon a Volcanic Island, byRichard Heath.
Stories of the Cabins in the West, byE.J. Marston.
Adventures in the Mining Districts, byH. Fillmore.
The Capture of Some Infernal Machines, byWilliam Howson.
Breaking in the Reindeer, and Other Sketches of Polar Adventure, by W.H. Gilder.
An American in Persia, by the American Minister Resident, Teheran, S.G.W. Benjamin.
China as Seen by a Chinaman, by the Editor of the Chinese American, Wong Chin Foo.
Stories Of Menageries. Incidents connected with Menagerie Life, and the Capture and Taming of Wild Beasts for Exhibition, by S.S. Cairns.
Boys Afoot in Italy and Switzerland.The Adventures of two English boys travelling abroad at an expense of one dollar a day, by Nugent Robinson.

Reminiscences and Anecdotes.

Stage-Driver Stories, byRose Terry Cooke.
Stories of Saddle-Bag Preachers, byH.L. Winckley.
My First Visit to a Newspaper Office, byMurat Halstead.
Queen Victoria's Household and Drawing-Rooms, byH.W. Lucy.
Child Friendships of Charles Dickens, by his Daughter,Mamie Dickens.
Our Herbariums; Adventures in Collecting Them, byA Young Lady.
My Pine-Apple Farm, with incidents of Florida Life, byC.H. Pattee.
Bigwigs of the English Bench and Bar, by a London Barrister,W.L. Woodroffe.
At School with Sir Garnet Wolseley, and the Life of a Page of Honor in the Vice-Regal Court of Dublin, byNugent Robinson.
Student Waiters. Some Humorous Incidents of a Summer Vacation in the White Mountains, byChild McPherson.

The Editorials of the Companion, without having any bias, will give clear views of current events at home and abroad. The Children's Page will sustain its reputation for charming pictures, poems, and stories for the little ones.

Issued Weekly. Subscription Price, $1.75. Specimen Copies Free.

SPECIAL OFFER.—To any one who subscribes now, and sends us $1.75, we will send the Companion free to January 1st, 1884, and a full year's subscription from that date.



Please mention where you read this Advertisement.

[Pg 12]

For nothing lovelier can be found
In woman than to study household good.—Milton.


A frosty chill was in the air—
How plainly I remember—
The bright autumnal fires had paled,
Save here and there an ember;
The sky looked hard, the hills were bare,
And there were tokens everywhere
That it had come—November.
I locked the time-worn school-house door,
The village seat of learning.
Across the smooth, well trodden path
My homeward footstep turning;
My heart a troubled question bore,
And in my mind, as oft before,
A vexing thought was burning.
"Why is it up hill all the way?"
Thus ran my meditations:
The lessons had gone wrong that day
And I had lost my patience.
"Is there no way to soften care,
And make it easier to bear
Life's sorrows and vexations?"
Across my pathway through the wood
A fallen tree was lying;
On this there sat two little girls,
And one of them was crying.
I heard her sob: "And if I could,
I'd get my lessons awful good,
But what's the use of trying?"
And then the little hooded head
Sank on the other's shoulder.
The little weeper sought the arms
That opened to enfold her.
Against the young heart, kind and true,
She nestled close, and neither knew
That I was a beholder.
And then I heard—ah! ne'er was known
Such judgment without malice,
Nor queenlier council ever heard
In senate, house or palace!—
"I should have failed there, I am sure,
Don't be discouraged; try once more,
And I will help you, Alice."
"And I will help you." This is how
To soften care and grieving;
Life is made easier to bear
By helping and by giving.
Here was the answer I had sought,
And I, the teacher, being taught
The secret of true living.
If "I will help you" were the rule.
How changed beyond all measure
Life would become! Each heavy load
Would be a golden treasure;
Pain and vexation be forgot;
Hope would prevail in every lot,
And life be only pleasure.

Wolstan Dixey.

A Chat About the Fashions.

Although the lady readers of The Prairie Farmer have probably by this time made up the heavier part of their winter wardrobe, still a few suggestions may not be out of place, for the "fashions" is a subject of which we seldom tire.

In discussing the subject of silk and silk-culture at the late Woman's Congress, Mrs Julia Ward Howe said that "although silk is said to be depreciating in value, and is not quite as popular as formerly, yet we must confess it lies very near the feminine heart," at which statement an audible smile passed over the audience, as each one acknowledged to herself its truth.

We are glad to see that wrappers are becoming quite "the thing" for afternoon home wear, and a lady now need not feel at all out of place receiving her callers in a pretty, gracefully made wrapper. The Watteau wrapper is made of either silk or brocaded woolen goods, conveniently short, the back cut square at the neck, and folded in a handsome Watteau plait at the center, with a full ruche effect. A yolk portion of silk fills in the open neck and is sewed flatly underneath to the back. The side seams are curved so that a clinging effect is produced at the sides. Jabbots of lace extending down the front, and a prettily bowed ribbon at the right shoulder, with a standing collar at the neck, and a linen choker collar give the finishing touches to the toilette.

Velvets and velveteens seem to be taking the place of silk, and are really quite as cheap. In fact, velveteens are cheaper, as they are so much wider. A suit of velveteen is fashionable for any occasion—for receptions, church or street costume. The redingote or polonaise is very stylish and pretty, especially for a tall, rather slight person. For a young miss the close-fitting frock coat, with pointed vest effectively disclosed between the cut-away edges of the coat fronts, is much worn. The latter curve away from the shoulders and are nicely rounded off at their lower front corners. An underarm dart gives a smooth adjustment over each hip, and in these darts are inserted the back edges of the vest. Buttons and buttonholes close the vest, but the coat fronts do not meet at all. The coat and long-pointed overskirt can be made of any heavy material, but the vest should be of silk; a deep box-plait on the bottom of the underskirt made of silk to match the vest will make the suit very stylish and pretty.

There ought to be great satisfaction among the wearers of bonnets and hats this season, because they can so easily have what they want—big or little, plain or decorated, as they please. For a person with dark hair, gold braid loosely put around the edge of a velvet capote is very becoming. Bunches of tips are worn much more than the long, drooping plumes, though both are fashionable; while birds—sometimes as many as three on a hat—are often preferred to either. We notice upon the street a great many elegantly dressed ladies with but a single band of wide velvet ribbon fastened somewhat carelessly around the bonnet and tied in a bow under the chin. Unique it may be, but undoubtedly the taste of the wearer, would be the verdict of the passer by. In fact, one can scarcely be out of the fashion in the choice of a bonnet or hat, but care should be taken that it be just the thing for the wearer, and that it be properly put on.

I firmly believe in the doctrine that "good clothes tendeth toward grace." What woman can not talk better when she knows she looks well? She can then forget herself and lose all self-consciousness, which is a state most devoutly to be desired by all women—particularly our young women. So, girls, study your costumes, especially the "superfluities," or "furbelows," as they are wont to be called; make yourselves look as pretty as you possibly can—and then forget yourselves.

I wish all our lady readers might have been here the holiday week, for the stores were perfect bowers of beauty. It was a pretty sight in itself to watch the crowds of happy-faced children, with their little pocket-books in their hands, at the various counters buying presents for father, mother, brothers, and sisters. Children always enjoy Christmas more when they can make, as well as receive, presents. So I hope all our little readers were made happy by both giving and receiving.

I am sorry I could not give you a more satisfactory talk on the fashions, but our space is limited this week. I hope the ladies will not forget that our "Household" department is open to them, and that they will contribute anything that may be of interest to the others.

Mary Howe.

A Kitchen Silo.

The farmer's wife in the Netherlands has long been using a sort of a silo. Probably she had been doing so for long years before M. Geoffrey began experimenting with preserved stock food in France. The Netherland housewife's silo consists of an earthenware jar about two feet tall. Into one of these jars in summer time she places the kidney bean; in another shelled green peas; in another broad beans, and so on. Making a layer about six inches deep in each. She sprinkles a little salt on top and presses the whole firmly down. Then she adds another layer and more salt. She leaves a light weight on top to keep all well pressed down and exclude the air, in the intervals between pickings for often the harvest of a single day will not fill the jar. When full, she puts on a heavier weight, and covers all with brown paper. She thus has green vegetables preserved for winter. The ensilage is said to be "more or less good, according to taste."

Chicken Salad: Two common sized fowls, one teacup of good salad oil, half a jar of French sweet mustard, the hard-boiled yolks of ten eggs, half a pint of vinegar, one teaspoonful of cayenne pepper, eight heads of celery, one teaspoon of salt or a little more if required. Cut and mix the chicken and celery and set away in a cool place. Mash the eggs to a paste with the oil, then add the vinegar and other things, mix thoroughly, but do not pour it over the salad until about half an hour before serving, as the celery may become wilted.

Soft Gingerbread: One cup butter and two cups sugar well worked together, three eggs well beaten in, one cup New Orleans molasses, one cup good sweet milk and five cups of flour into which has been stirred one teaspoonful baking powder, not heaped, two tablespoonfuls ground cinnamon and one tablespoonful ground ginger. Bake in small dripping pans not too full, as they will rise.

Mixture of two parts of glycerine, one part ammonia, and a little rose water whitens and softens the hands.


Books Free!

Good books are valued by intelligent men and women more than silver and gold. They are treasures in every home. They are to the mind what light and heat are to plants. They

Store the Mind with Useful Knowledge;

the mind directs the hands. An intelligent man has an advantage over one who is ignorant, whether he is a farmer, or mechanic, or merchant, and is surer of success in his occupation. Think how

Losses of Time and Money may be Saved

by having some book at hand containing just the information desired in some line of the rural industries. We offer an excellent opportunity for any one to obtain BOOKS FREE for himself or family, and also for societies, farmers' clubs, and associations to make additions to a library, or to start one.

These books comprise standard works, and the latest and best books for

Farmers, Stockmen,
Dairymen,  Fruit-Growers,
Gardeners,  Florists,
Poultrymen,  Apiarists,
Silk-Culturists,  Housekeepers,
Architects,    Etc., Etc.

The Prairie Farmer Publishing Company will give to any person, association, or club, who will obtain and send subscribers to The Prairie Farmer (including both new subscribers and renewals), at the regular price of the paper ($2) each, any of the books contained in our Book List on the following terms:

For three subscribers, books to the amount of $1.50.

For four subscribers, books to the amount of $2.00.

For five subscribers, books to the amount of $2.50.

For six subscribers, books to the amount of $3.00.

For seven subscribers, books to the amount of $3.50.

For eight subscribers, books to the amount of $4.00

For ten subscribers, books to the amount of $5.00.

For Twelve Subscriptions and Upward,

A Dollar's Worth of Books for Every Two Subscriptions sent at $2.00 each.

All books given under these offers will be delivered at our office, No. 150 Monroe street.

If it is desired that they shall be forwarded by express, they will be packed and delivered at the express office by us, the receiver to pay cost of carriage.

Sent by mail to any part of the United States or Canada, the postage will be seven cents on each dollar's worth of books.

It is necessary that parties to whom the books are given shall remit us the postage before the books are sent.

A Dictionary Free!

This is no catchpenny affair, but a valuable lexicon. It is the popular


on the basis of Webster, Worcester, Johnson, and other eminent American and English authorities. It contains over 32,000 words, with accurate definitions, proper spelling, and exact pronunciation; to which is added a mass of valuable information. It is enriched with 400 illustrations.


every subscriber at the regular price of The Prairie Farmer gets this Dictionary FREE, if preferred to our commercial map.


And Account Book for 1884.

This is the most useful thing in the way of a memorandum book and calculator ever issued. It is a work of nearly 80 pages of printed matter and an equal number of blank leaves, ruled, for keeping accounts. The contents include a vast array of practical calculations, 100,000 or more in number, arranged for reference like a dictionary, so that a farmer or business man may turn to the figures, and find the answer to any problem in business.

There are three kinds. We use No. 3. Full leather; assorted colors, with flap, slate pocket, and a renewable account book, ruled with divisions or headings especially adapted to farmers' use. The retail price of this book in leather is $1. We will send it free to every subscriber to The Prairie Farmer who sends us $2. Or we will send three copies of No. 1, the cheaper issue.


American Etiquette and Rules of Politeness.

It is the latest and best standard work recommended and endorsed by all who have read it. The acknowledged authority. Beautifully and appropriately illustrated; handsomely and substantially bound. It contains 38 chapters, treating on all subjects relating to etiquette. We send this book—plain edition, to any subscriber desiring it who sends $2.00 for The Prairie Farmer year, or for two subscribers to The Prairie Farmer at $2 each, we will send American Etiquette bound in English cloth, burnished edges.

Our large and varied premium list will be issued in a few days. Send for it.



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To Our Readers.

THE PRAIRIE FARMER is the Oldest, Most Reliable, and the Leading Agricultural Journal of the Great Northwest, devoted exclusively to the interests of the Farmer, Gardener, Florist, Stock Breeder, Dairyman, Etc., and every species of Industry connected with that great portion of the People of the World, the Producers. Now in the Forty-Second Year of its existence, and never, during more than two score years, having missed the regular visit to its patrons, it will continue to maintain supremacy as a Standard Authority on matters pertaining to Agriculture and kindred Productive Industries, and as a Fresh and Readable Family and Fireside Journal. It will from time to time add new features of interest, securing for each department the ablest writers of practical experience.

THE PRAIRIE FARMER will discuss, without fear or favor, all topics of interest properly belonging to a Farm and Fireside Paper, treat of the most approved practices in Agriculture, Horticulture, Breeding, Etc.; the varied Machinery, Implements, and improvements in same, for use both in Field and House; and, in fact, everything of interest to the Agricultural community, whether in Field, Market, or Home Circle.

It will give information upon the public domain, Western soils, climate, etc.; answer Inquiries on all manner of subjects which come within its sphere; give each week, full and reliable Market, Crop, and Weather Reports; present the family with choice and interesting literature; amuse and instruct the young folks: and, in a word, aim to be, in every respect, an indispensable and unexceptionable farm and fireside companion.

Terms of Subscription and 'Club Rates':

OneCopy, 1 Year,postage paid$2.00
TwoCopies, "    "3.75
Five""sent at one time8.75
Ten""sent at one time, and one to Club getter16.00
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[Pg 13]


A Talk About the Lion.

We wonder how many of The Prairie Farmer boys and girls have seen the lion, "king of beasts," as he is called. Perhaps not all of you as yet, though many of you doubtless will as the years roll on—and, by the way, you will find that the older you grow the more quickly will they speed away. So be careful in this, the beautiful springtime of your lives, to so cultivate and make ready the garden of your minds that the coming manhood and womanhood may not only find you with well developed arms and limbs and muscles, ready to face the world and to help lift some of its burdens, but also with a mind that has kept even pace with the body—because of constant growth.

We think we will have to depart from our usual natural history articles some day, and have a talk with the boys and girls on this subject of growth—growth in its largest, broadest sense, the mind, soul, and body all growing together into the stature of a perfect man.

But to return to the lion. This animal is the largest of the cat family and is found, only in Asia and Africa. The Asiatic lion is not so large nor so fierce as the African, and has a much smaller mane. The mane of the African lion is long and thick, and gives the animal a very noble appearance; the female, however, has no mane. The lion is always of one color, that is, without spots or stripes, generally tawny, though the mane is dark sometimes nearly black. The lion gets its full growth when seven or eight years old, and lives usually about twenty-five years, though some have been known to live much longer in menageries.

These animals see much better in the night than in the day, so they generally hide away during the day and search for food in the gray dawn of the morning. They feed chiefly on antelopes, zebras, giraffes, and wild cattle. It is said that the lion rarely attacks man, only in cases of extreme hunger; indeed, they seem somewhat afraid of man. Dr. Livingstone says that when the lion meets a man in daylight it will stop two or three seconds to stare at him, then turn slowly round and walk off a few steps, looking over its shoulder, then begin to trot, and when at last he thinks he is no longer seen will bound away like a hare. The Doctor says also, that the roar of the lion is very like the cry of the ostrich, but the former roars only at night, however, while the latter cries only by day.

Did you not think it wonderful when you saw for the first time, perhaps, a keeper walk boldly into the lions' cage, when in their natural state they are so very fierce and wild? Well, we think it is wonderful, although the keepers tell us that they are easily tamed.

In ancient times they were used in many more ways than they are now. Hanno, the Carthaginian general, had a lion to carry his baggage, and Mark Antony often rode through the streets of Rome in a chariot drawn by lions. A short time ago we read a story of a slave named Androclus, who, while hiding away from his master in the deserts of Africa, cured a lion of lameness by pulling a thorn out of its foot. The slave was afterward caught, carried to Rome, and condemned to be eaten by the wild beasts. He was thrown into a lion's den, but the beast, instead of killing him fawned upon him and showed the greatest delight at seeing him; Androclus was surprised to find that it was the same lion whose foot he had cured in the desert. The Emperor, it is said, was so much pleased at the sight that he gave the slave his pardon, and presented him also with the lion, after which he used to lead the great beast tamely through the streets, held simply by a little chain.

In modern times, also, lions have been known to exhibit strong friendship for man. In 799, two lions in the Jardin des Plantes (Garden of Plants), at Paris, became so fond of their keeper that when he was taken sick they gave signs of the greatest sorrow, and when he recovered and came back to them they rushed to meet him, roaring with joy, meanwhile licking his hands and face.

Perhaps you have read of Theodorus, King of Abyssinia (he killed himself in 1868), who used to keep several tame lions in his palace and treated them almost like dogs.

Travelers tell us, too, that these great animals often show fondness for other animals, as, for instance, an old lioness belonging to the Dublin Zoological Gardens was taken sick, and was greatly annoyed by the rats. At last a little terrier dog was put into the cage, but was received by the lioness with a surly growl; finally when the old animal saw the little dog could kill her enemies, the rats, she coaxed him to her, and petted and fondled him, so that they soon became great friends.

The lion is a mammal of the order carnivora, or flesh-eating animals.

The word lion comes from the Latin leo, Greek leon, lion.

Would you like me to tell you next week about a bear I saw upon the hills of Nova Scotia, near the scene of Longfellow's beautiful Evangeline, a few months ago?

Mary Howe.

A Jack-knife Genius.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: William Yohe claims to be the champion jack-knife artist of the day, although he was born in St. Louis and not Yankeedom. A reporter heard of this professional lacerator of pine sticks and sought him out. It was not until the inside of an unused Methodist church at Kirkwood, this county, was reached that Mr. Yohe and his knife was cornered. The knife was slashing cigar-boxes to pieces at railway speed when the reporter opened up with: "Are you the man who makes an automatic world's fair and St. Louis Exposition with a knife?"

"No, that isn't what I call it. I am making what I call the Missouri Pacific and Strasburg Cathedral Automatic Wonder, with the Golden Ark of the Covenant. It will contain over 180,000 pieces and will have 1,100 moving and working figures."

All around the gaunt and dismantled church were piles of cigar-boxes and laths and myriads of nicely-carved pieces of wood, apparently portions of models of buildings. The whittler was a small man, with keen eyes and ready tongue and about thirty-six years of age. In the course of an hour's conversation he said in substance: "I didn't know that I was anything extra of a whittler until about 1869, when, in a small way, I made some models. I was in Texas working at millwrighting. The first large piece I ever made was a model of a Bermuda castle. Afterward I made Balmoral Castle, Bingen Castle, Miramar Castle, and the Texas State Capitol at Austin. Solomon's Temple contained 12,268 pieces and had 1,369 windows. It is now on exhibition in Texas. The Austin Capitol Building has 62,844 pieces and 561 moving people. Every room and department in the building was given, with all the officers and legislators. Everybody was represented, down to the man sawing wood in the basement for the furnaces. All the figures were moved by a wooden engine, which was run by sand falling on an overshot wheel. I made this piece at odd moments in 1881.

"I have just hired this church and begun steady work. I shall sleep and eat in this church until about May 1, next. The material? Yes, it does take considerable. I have already used up 967 cigar boxes and 300 laths. It will take in all 1,800 cigar boxes, 500 laths, and 500 feet of lumber. The cigar boxes I get for one cent each. I used no tools except my knife."

Little Johnny Botts found a garter snake in the park the other day and he brought it home and hid it in the piano. When his sister's young man opened the instrument that evening to play "For Goodness Sake" he thought he had 'em and yelled like a Piute on the war-hath. They won't believe in Johnny's innocence somehow, and his father said that after dinner he'd attend to his case. When the family sat down to table Johnny solemnly entered the room in his stocking feet and carrying a pillow which he placed on his chair before sitting down. "What new monkey shine is that?" growled old Botts. "S-s-s-h, pa," said Johnny anxiously; "I was playing fireworks with Billy Simson this afternoon and I swallowed a torpedo." "Did, eh?" "Yes, and if anything should touch me kinder hard I might go off and all bust up."

Three Thousand Dollars

in prizes is offered by the Youth's Companion for the best short stories either for boys, for girls, humorous stories, or stories of adventure, to be sent them before May 20th, 1884. The terms and conditions of the competition are issued in a circular—for which all who desire to compete are invited to send.

Sin is very much like the ordinary North American mule. It may be very tame and docile at the front, but in the rear there is always a sly kick hidden away and you'd better be on your guard.



ARIUS THE LIBYAN: An Idyl of the Primitive Church. Author unknown. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Chicago: Jansen, McClurg & Co. 12mo. Cloth. Price, $1.50.

This is a romance of the church in the latter part of the third and the beginning of the fourth centuries. The scene is laid near Cyrene, A.D. 265. It is an exquisitely written idyl of primitive Christian life, and can not fail to attract a great deal of attention, especially now that the public mind is being turned in the direction of early church history. It deals in a powerful, yet simple, manner with that subtle question, the Trinity of the Godhead, and gives the reader many new thoughts in connection with it. The characters portrayed awaken an unusual degree of interest, being as they are, persons eminent in history, both secular and religious. As one follows the story to its close he can not but agree with the author, that Arius, the hero and arch-heretic of the Nicene age, was "one of the grandest, purest, least understood, and most systematically misrepresented characters in human history." The latter portion of the book brings out, prominently, the real character of Constantine, stigmatized by Arius as "that unbaptised pagan, the flamen of Jupiter." The noble plan of the book and the grave importance of the questions that agitate the characters, combine to make it a valuable production to both believer and skeptic.

THE ORGANS OF SPEECH. By G.H. Von Meyer, Professor In Ordinary of Anatomy at the University of Zurich. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Chicago: Jansen, McClurg & Co. 12 mo. Cloth. Price $1.75.

This book is the forty-sixth volume in the international scientific series, and needs no better introduction than the well-known name of the author. The subject of the organs of speech and their application in the formation of articulate sounds is treated in a masterly and exhaustive manner. The object of the author has been not merely "to enter into the field of discussion upon the various modifications of sounds, * * but to bring forward a sufficient number of examples in confirmation of the laws explained," in which purpose he has most admirably succeeded. The work contains forty-seven wood cuts, and will be a valuable addition to any library. We would recommend it especially to teachers of vocal music and declamation.

FIFTY YEARS' RECOLLECTIONS. By Jeriah Bonham Peoria, Ill.: J.W. Franks & Sons. Sold by subscription.

This is a carefully compiled work, giving the author's observations and reflections on the historical events of Illinois for the past fifty years, it also gives very interesting and full biographical sketches of many of the prominent men who have, during this time, figured in the affairs of the State, so far as Mr. Bonham's personal acquaintanceship and recollections extend. The sketches, condensed, yet complete, of the sixteen Governors of Illinois, from Shadrach Bond, the first Governor, down to the present time are especially interesting. The book will be enjoyed by the old settlers of the State on account of its personal reminiscences, which are all true, not drawn from the imagination.

The Youth's Companion, Boston, is another famous, and deservedly so, American juvenile publication. It has attained an immense circulation. Among its contributors are a score or more of the most talented American authors. It is edited with great care and ability. See advertisement on another page.

From W.D. Hoard, a report of the proceedings of the eleventh annual Dairymen's Association of Wisconsin, held at Elk Horn, January 31 and February 1-2, 1883. The pamphlet was compiled by D.W. Curtis, Secretary of the association, Fort Atkinson, Wis.

The second edition of Bee-Keeping for Profit: A New System of Bee Management, by Mrs. Lizzie E. Cotton, West Gorham, Me. Illustrated. Price, $1.00.

Seventeenth annual report of the Northwestern Dairymen's Association, with addresses and discussions delivered at the meeting held at Mankato, Minn., February 14-16, 1883. R.P. McGlincy, Secretary, Elgin, Ill.

The Florida Annual. Edited by C.K. Munroe, 140 Nassau st., New Fork. Price, 50 cts.

How to Become a Good Mechanic. The Industrial Publication Co., New York. Price, 15 cents.

Tennessee Crop Report for November, 1883, with the report of the Tennessee Weather Service. 49 South Market st., Nashville, Tenn.

From C.V. Riley, Bulletin No. 3 of U.S. Department of Agriculture: Division of Entomology. Contains reports of observations and experiments in the practical work of the Division, made under the direction of the entomologist. With plates.

Landreth's Rural Register and Almanac. Philadelphia, Penn.


The following list embraces the names of responsible and reliable Breeders in their line, and parties wishing to purchase or obtain information can feel assured that they will be honorably dealt with:

Mills, Charles F.Springfield, Illinois
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Chester Whites.
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[Pg 14]



Robin, dear Robin, could you come back to me,
Back to the hame you'll never mair see,
Could you sit down at evening and crack wi' me,
Oh, what a proud, happy woman I'd be!
On the white hearth the fire should burn clearly,
Nothing of comfort or rest you should lack,
And I would always be kindly and cheery,
Could you come back to me—could you come back.
Oh, Robin, Robin, I've miss'd you fu' sairly,
Morning, and evening, and a' the day long;
Many have treated me unca unfairly:
O for your arm so tender and strong:
If once again in your love I could hide me,
Little I'd care though all else I should lack
Sairly I'm needing your wisdom to guide me,
Oh, my lost darling, if you could come back!
Never again with frowns would I greet you;
Never again to your love be unkind;
Ever with kisses and smiles I would meet you;
Oh, in the days that are gone I was blind!
Oh, I was selfish, and foolish, and fretful,
Now I remember—remember in vain;
But I would never be cross or forgetful,
Could you come back to me, darling, again!
No, you will never come back to me—never!
But I shall come to you, Robin, some day.
Then you will ken a' my loving endeavor,
Just to grow better since you went away.
Yes, you will ken, in that happy to-morrow,
I hae been true to you, darling—sae true!
Asked my heart always, in joy or in sorrow,
"Will it please Robin, the thing that I do?"
Oh, in that wonderfu', wonderfu' meeting,
What shall I say to him? what will he say?
We shallna weary life's story repeating,
Seeing the end o' the sorrowfu' way.
With such a hope, then, how could I say truly,
"Robin, dear Robin, come back unto me!"
Heart, answer the thought sae wild and unruly,
"Robin, dear Robin, I shall come unto thee!"

Harper's Weekly.


(Concluded from last week.)

It was a large picnic party. Mr. Charles Brookshank had drawn Mrs. Wimbush's arm through his own, and strolled away from the rest.

"How delightful it would be if one could know the language of birds, as folks did in the old Hindu fairy tales! Would it not, Mr. Brookshank?"

"My dear Mrs. Wimbush, they do nothing the whole day long but make love and cry 'Sweet, sweet!' I would I were a bird, to make love in music."

The widow sighed, but it was more like a purr of pleasure.

"What did I know of love till you came here?" continued Mr. Charles. "Absolutely nothing—except," he added, with reservation, "in a professional way. And then we lawyers generally see the dark side of the picture—the damages and the decrees nisi. But your visit has brightened my whole life. O Mrs. Wimbush, you can not have been blind to my secret! You have seen it written legibly in my face, and have not interposed to check its development. I see you understand me, just as by intuitive fine feeling you can penetrate the meaning of Mendelssohn's Songs without Words. Mrs. Wimbush, you have already far advanced toward learning the birds' language. I may rely upon your consent?"

"Charles, this happiness is indeed too much," ejaculated the widow.

"You need never be separated from your daughter Carry. A home for one is a home for both; and I will cherish her while I live."

"But, Charles dear, she may marry."

"Marry, ma'am? Bless my soul, of course she will! She will marry me! She has said so, don't you see?"

Mrs. Wimbush never said another word, but fell flat down upon the grass.

"What on earth has got the woman?" thought Mr. Charles. "She couldn't have taken it worse if I had proposed to murder her daughter."

In their walk they had strayed through the trees close to the outskirts of another picnic party. Mr. Charles immediately ran to ask some fair volunteer to come to the assistance of Mrs. Wimbush, who had fainted. At hearing the name, an active middle-aged lady sprang up and followed him. It was Mrs. Marrables. The sight of her mother brought Mrs. Wimbush round quicker than any smelling bottle could have done. She sat up.

"Mother, Mr. Brookshank; Mr. Brookshank, my mother, Mrs. Marrables." They bowed. "Have the goodness to leave us together, Mr. Charles." He bowed and obeyed. "Mother," said Mrs. Wimbush, "what on earth brought you here? I thought you were at Taunton."

"No, dear. I have been at Bournemouth three weeks, I came merely for change. Only last week I heard of your being here, and should have called, but have been so much occupied, and I felt sure of meeting you somewhere, and thought the surprise might be the more agreeable. We've had a most delightful picnic with the Mount Stewart folks. But what was all this fainting about? One would think Mr. Brookshank had been proposing to you."

"He certainly made me a proposal mother, but I was quite unprepared for it, and was overcome."

"What an imaginative and sensitive-minded girl you must be, Matilda! You make me feel quite young. When will you be old enough to attend to business? You will accept him, of course? Well, do as you please; you may reckon on my consent, you know. But I must get back to my party, and perhaps you had better rejoin yours. Ta-ta."

Jilted for her daughter! It wasn't pleasant. When Mrs. Wimbush got home, she blew up Carry for being so sly.

"Well, mamma," said Carry, "of course I thought you knew all about it. I never made any secret of the affair. I knew very well that you had rejected Mr. Tom, but I could not possibly suppose that was any reason why I should refuse Charles. Of course he is older than I am, but he is only five-and-thirty, and has a good position; and I am sure we shall always give you a welcome; Charles said so."

"Well," thought Mrs. Wimbush, "he has money, and it will be all in the family; that's at least a comfort."

The effect of the little episode of the last chapter was that the brothers were made friends, and Tom recovered his spirits, and could laugh heartily at what he had before supposed was his brother's rivalry.

Mrs. Wimbush repented her that she had rejected Mr. Tom. Her repentance produced a salutary desire on her part to make atonement for the past. She would have him yet. When a widow says so much as that about a man, let him 'ware hawk.

A month went by, and behold Mrs Wimbush and Mr. Tom Brookshank seated tete-a-tete at an evening party, where the music which was going on was sufficiently loud to render private conversation inaudible save to those to whom it was addressed.

"I fear," said the widow, affecting an absent manner, "I treated you very unkindly, Mr. Tom. You took me so entirely by surprise, that, really, I—hardly know what I said. I have been very unhappy about it—very."

"Forgotten and forgiven," whispered Mr. Tom.

"How generous of you! you make me so glad! because now that your brother Charles is going to marry my daughter, we shall be in some sort related, and I could not bear you to think unkindly of me."

"No," said Mr. Tom, fidgeting a little, "I shall never do that."

"How droll!" said the widow. "Let me see, what will the relationship be? You will be my son-in-law's brother, and consequently I shall be your mother-in-law once removed. You will have a mother younger than yourself, Mr. Tom. I hope you will not presume upon her youth to be a bad boy."

"All this is very true," he answered; "but I see the relationship in a far different light. I shall be your father-in-law, and consequently my own brother's grandfather-in-law."

"You mistake, Mr. Tom. Don't you see that Carry—"

"No mistake at all about it, ma'am, for I've promised to marry your mother, Mrs. Marrables!"

"Monster!" cried Mrs. Wimbush aloud, and went off shrieking.

The music stopped, and there was a great fuss. But above all the others was heard the voice of Mrs. Marrables. "Don't be alarmed, pray. She is subject to it; she went off just like that the other day at a picnic. Poor young thing, a very little upsets her. Let me come to my little gu-url, then."

They moved her into another room. Presently Mrs. Wimbush opened her eyes. "Mother! how dare you come near me! Go away, do! You ought to be ashamed of yourself, at your time of life!"

"My time of life! Why, I'm only fifty-four—about ten years older than Tom. How can you talk so to your mother!"

"Mother, if you don't leave the room, I will. It's really disreputable to have you for a mother. You've never done me any credit."

"My dear, I am so glad to think you feel well enough to leave the room that I will remain."

Mrs. Wimbush got up and went home.

Jilted, first for her daughter, and next for her mother! This was too much. Mrs. Wimbush went to church as regularly as any one, but revenge, after all, is very sweet.

Six weeks afterward Mrs. Wimbush recovered sufficient fortitude to go and call on her mother.

"Well, child, I'm glad you are going to be friendly; there is nothing like harmony in a family circle. Let us consider the relationships into which we are about to enter, that we may rightly judge of our responsibilities and duties. I and my granddaughter are going to marry two brothers—the consequence is, she and I will be sisters-in-law. But as you are mother of my sister-in-law, you will nearly be my mother-in-law, which is a very singular relationship for a daughter to sustain toward her mother, especially when she is not the wife of one's father-in-law. Now, as"—

"Wait a moment, dear mamma; I've news for you; I'm going to marry old Unguent! Old Mr. Brookshank has asked me to be his wife, and I've consented. The consequence is, I shall be head of the family, and bona-fide mother-in-law to you all. I don't think we need trouble about harmony, for we shall be a united family, more so than any I know of."

Before her marriage, Mrs. Marrables set to work to draw up a table of the relationships involved by the three weddings. It is an extensive work in three volumes, and when our readers see The Brookshank Family advertised, they will know what it means.

New Clubbing List
FOR 1884.


We offer more liberal terms than ever before to those who desire to take, in connection with The Prairie Farmer, either of the following weekly or monthly periodicals. In all cases the order for The Prairie Farmer and either of the following named journals must be sent together, accompanied by the money; but we do not require both papers to be sent to the same person or to the same post-office.

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Our responsibility for other publications ceases on the receipt of the first number; when such journals are not received within a reasonable time, notify us, giving date of your order, also full name and address of subscriber.


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[Pg 15]



"Oh, beam my life, my awl to me!"
He cried, his flame addressing—
"If I 'adze such a love as yours,
I'd ask no other blessing!"
"I am rejoist to hear you speak,"
The maiden said with laughter—
"For tho' I hammer guileless girl,
It's plane what you are rafter.
Now if file love you just a bit,
What further can you ax me?
Can—will you be content with that,
Or will you further tacks me?"
He looked handsaw her words were square—
"No rival can displace me—
Yes, one more favor I implore,
And that is, dear Em, brace me!"
She came full chisel to his arms;
It really made him stair
To have her make a bolt for him
Before he could prepare.
He tried to screw his courage up,
And did his level best
To nail the matter then and there,
While clasped unto her breast.
Says he: "It augers well for me,
All seems to hinge on this;
And, what is mortise plane to see
The porch child wants a kiss."
He kissed her lip, he kissed her cheek,
And called her his adoored—
He dons his claw-hammer next week,
And she will share his board.

—Detroit Free Press.

Where the Old Maids Come in.

"Do you know, sir," inquired an American tourist of his companion, while doing England, "can you inform me the reason for the fresh, healthful appearance of the English people? Their complexion is far superior to ours, or our countrymen over the herring pond."

"Well, I know what Prof. Huxley says."

"And what reason does he advance?"

"Well, Huxley says it is owing to the old maids."

"Owing to old maids! You surprise me."

"Fact. Huxley figures it out this way. Now, you know the English are very fond of roast beef."

"But what has that to do with old maids?"

"Go slow. This genuine English beef is the best and most nutritious beef in the world, and it imparts a beautiful complexion."

"Well, about the old maids?"

"Yes, you see the excellence of this English beef is due exclusively to red clover. Do you see the point?"

"All but the old maids. They are still hovering in the shadows."

"Why, don't you see? This red clover is enriched, sweetened, and fructified by bumble bees."

"But where do the old maids come in?" said the inquisitive American, wiping his brow wearily.

"Why, it is as plain as the nose on your face. The only enemy of the bumble bee is the field-mouse."

"But what have roast beef, red clover, bumble-bees, and field-mice got to do with old maids?"

"Why, you must be very obtuse. Don't you perceive that the bumble-bees would soon become exterminated by the field-mice if it were not for—"

"Old maids?"

"No, if it were not for cats, the old maids of Old England keep the country thoroughly stocked up with cats, and so we can directly trace the effects of the rosy English complexions to the benign cause of English old maids, at least that's what Huxley says about it, and that's just where the old maids come in. Science makes clear many mysterious things."

"Those picture cards I brought back from Boston," remarked Mrs. Partington, in a pensive mood. "They are momentums of the Art Loan Imposition."

Don't give up in despair, girls. Naomi didn't marry until she was five hundred and eighty years old—and then she was sorry she hadn't waited a century longer.

"Is you gwine to get an overcoat this winter?" asked a darkey of a companion. "Well I dunno how dat's gwine to be," was the reply. "I'se done got my eye on a coat, but de fellah dat owns it keeps his eye on it too."

Her nephew had just come home from his day school. "What have you been learning this morning?" asked Mrs. Ramsbottom. "Mythology, aunt," answered the little man, "all about the heathen gods and goddesses." "Then I must brush up my memory," said Mrs. Ramsbottom, "and ask you a question or two. Now, first, who was Juniper?"

"What is a limited monarchy, Johnny?" "Well, my idea of a limited monarchy is, where the ruler don't have much to rule." "Give an example?" "An example! Lemme see! Well, if you was bossin' yourself, for instance."

It was at the close of the wedding breakfast. One of the guests arose, and, glass in hand, said: "I drink to the health of the bridegroom. May he see many days like this." The intention was good, but the bride looked as though something had displeased her.

Illinois Central Railroad.

The elegant equipment of coaches and sleepers being added to its various through routes is gaining it many friends. Its patrons fear no accidents. Its perfect track of steel, and solid road-bed, are a guarantee against them.

The Prairie Farmer


Youth's Companion

One Year, $3 for the two.

It is not required that both papers be sent to one address, nor to the same post-office.

Address Prairie Farmer Pub. Co.,
150 Monroe Street, Chicago.



invested in a postal card and addressed as below


give to the writer full information as to the best lands in the United States now for sale; how he can


them on the lowest and best terms, also the full text of the U.S. land laws and how to secure


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Land and Emigration Commissioner,

AGENTS WANTED, Male and Female, for Spence's Blue Book, a most fascinating and salable novelty. Every family needs from one to a dozen. Immense profits and exclusive territory. Sample mailed for 25 cts in postage stamps. Address J.H. CLARSON, P.O. Box 2296, Philadelphia, Pa.


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When any debility of the GENERATIVE ORGANS occurs, Lost Vitality, Lack of Nerve Force and Vigor, Wasting Weakness, and all those Diseases of a personal nature, from whatever cause, the continuous stream of Magnetism permeating through the parts, must restore them to a healthy action. There is no mistake about this appliance.

TO THE LADIES:—If you are afflicted with Lame Back, Weakness of the Spine, Falling of the Womb, Leucorrhœa, Chronic Inflammation and Ulceration of the Womb, Incidental Hemorrhage or Flooding, Painful, Suppressed, and Irregular Menstruation, Barrenness, and Change of Life, this is the Best Appliance and Curative Agent known.

For all forms of Female Difficulties it is unsurpassed by anything before invented, both as a curative agent and as a source of power and vitalization.

Price of either Belt with Magnetic Insoles, $10, sent by express C.O.D., and examination allowed, or by mail on receipt of price. In ordering send measure of waist, and size of shoe. Remittance can be made in currency, sent in letter at our risk.

The Magneton Garments are adapted to all ages, are worn over the under-clothing (not next to the body like the many Galvanic and Electric Humbugs advertised so extensively), and should be taken off at night. They hold their POWER FOREVER, and are worn at all seasons of the year.

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THE PRAIRIE FARMER is the Cheapest and Best Agricultural Paper published. Only $2.00 per year.





Every Scale Guaranteed by the Manufacturers, and by Us, to be Perfect, and to give the Purchaser Satisfaction.

The PRAIRIE FARMER Sent Two Years Free

To any person ordering either size Wagon Scale at prices given below.

2-Ton Wagon or Farm Scale (Platform 6 × 12 feet), $35; 3-Ton (7 × 13), $45; 5-Ton (8 × 14), $55. Beam Box, Brass Beam, Iron Levers, Steel Bearings, and full directions for setting up.

The Prairie Farmer Sent 1 Year Free!

To any person ordering either of the following Scales, at prices named below.

The Housekeeper's Scale—$4.00

Weighing accurately from 1/4 oz. to 25 lbs. This is also a valuable Scale for Offices for Weighing Mail Matter. Tin Scoop, 50c. extra; Brass 75c. extra.

The Family Scale—$7.00.

Weighs from 1/4 oz. to 240 lbs. Small articles weighed in Scoop, large ones on Platform. Size of Platform, 10½ × 13½ in.

Platform Scales—4 Sizes. The Prairie Farmer Scale—$10.00

Weighs from 2 oz. to 320 lbs. Size of Platform 14 × 19 inches. A convenient Scale for Small Farmers, Dairymen, etc.

The Prairie Farmer Scale—$10.00 Platform Scales—4 Sizes.

400 lbs., $15; 600 lbs., $20; 900 lbs., $24; 1,200 lbs., $28; Wheels and Axles, $2 extra.

In ordering, give the Price and Description given above. All Scales Boxed and Delivered at Depot in Chicago. Give full shipping directions. Send money by Draft on Chicago or New York Post Office Order or Registered Letter. Address



THE STANDARD REMINGTON TYPE-WRITER is acknowledged to be the only rapid and reliable writing machine. It has no rival. These machines are used for transcribing and general correspondence in every part of the globe, doing their work in almost every language. Any young man or woman of ordinary ability, having a practical knowledge of the use of this machine may find constant and remunerative employment. All machines and supplies, furnished by us, warranted. Satisfaction guaranteed or money refunded. Send for circulars. WYCKOFF, SEAMANS & BENEDICT, 38 East Madison St, Chicago, Ill.

GIVEN AWAY $10,000 IN PREMIUMS TO AGENTS Ladies or Gentlemen, selling our NEW BOOK For particulars write for Circular C. RAND, McNALLY & CO., CHICAGO.



Dealer in Timothy, Clover, Flax, Hungarian, Millet, Red Top, Blue Grass, Lawn Grass, Orchard Grass, Bird Seeds, &c.


Warehouses{115, 117 & 119 Kinzie St.
{104, 106, 108 & 110 Michigan St.

Office. 115 Kinzie St. CHICAGO, ILL.

[Pg 16]


The Emma Bond case has been given to the jury.

Queen Victoria will go to Baden Baden in February.

The war feeling in France against China is increasing.

Four colored men were lynched at Yazoo, Miss., on Saturday last.

Serious trouble is threatened between the Orangemen and the Catholics of Ireland.

The works of the Lambert & Smith Wire Fence Company, at Joliet, Ill., burned last week.

Mr. Villard is sick from nervous prostration. Rumor says he is financially embarrassed.

It is expected that the Directors of the Suez Canal Company will pay a dividend of 18 per cent this year.

John D. Leslie, a grain-dealer of Elkhart, Indiana, was ruined by handling corn which failed to pass inspection.

Gen. Grant fell upon the sidewalk in New York, the other day, and hurt his hip severely. He is recovering.

N.G. Ordway, Governor of Dakota, is charged with accepting bribes in making appointments of County Commissioners.

Holloway, the great pill man of England, is said to be worth $25,000,000. He spends $250,000 per year in advertising.

The extensive sewerage system which Boston has been several years in constructing is at last finished, at a cost of $4,500,000.

Bradner Smith & Co, and the National Printing Company, Chicago, were partially burned out on Sunday. Loss about $200,000.

Among the distinguished dead of the year may be mentioned Chambord, Gambetta, Gortschakoff, Alexander H. Stephens, Karl Marx, Schultze-Delitzsche, Turgeneff, and Prof. Anthon.

It is reported that the Salters' Company, one of the largest and most successful of the London guilds, has decided to dispose of its Irish lands, and is now offering them to tenants on twenty years' time.

During the year 1883, up to the close of business Saturday night, 7,243,969 gallons of spirits were produced in the Chicago distilleries. The total receipts of internal revenue in the first district of Illinois for the year were $8,774,890.

The outcry over the houses of the poor has spread to Paris. Alarming statistics are published of the increase of overcrowding and the consequent spread of disease, and no less than 650 schemes of reform have been presented to the Municipal Council. The deaths between 1870 and 1883 have increased per 100,000 inhabitants from 48 to 96 in typhoid-fever, from 53 to 101 in diphtheria, from 11 to 74 in small-pox, from 30 to 43 in measles, and from 7 to 18 in scarlet-fever.

Alarm has been created in French commercial circles by rumors that the American Congress will make reprisals for the prohibition by France of the importation of American salted meats by passing a law increasing the duties on French wines or providing for the seizure of French adulterations. The National, of Paris, says: "France must expect that the Reprisals bill now before Congress, which was first directed against Germany, will now be turned against France."

P.T. Barnum has just made his will. In order that there might be no question as to his sanity upon which to ground contests after his death, he had eminent physicians examine him, and secured their attestation that he was of sound mind. The will and its codicils cover more than 700 pages of legal cap, closely written, and disposes of real estate and personal property of the value of $10,000,000 to twenty-seven heirs. The property is in New York, Brooklyn, Bridgeport, Colorado, and several other places. Mr. Barnum values his interest in the Barnum and London Shows at $3,500,000. He gives largely to charitable institutions.

The number of lives lost by the more noticeable accidents of last year give a total of 125,000, or over 342 for each of the 365 days of 1883. These colossal figures are attained principally through the results of three calamities—Ischia, Java, and Syria. Aside from the earthquakes the year was unequaled in shipwrecks, cyclones, fire-scenes, and mining horrors. Over thirty people were killed for each day in January, the Newhall fire, the Russian circus horror, and the Cimbria shipwreck being the principal of thirty calamities during the month. Three hundred and ninety-eight people went down in the Cimbria alone. Two hundred and seventy people burned in the circus at Berditcheff. The panic later on at Sunderland, England, caused the death of 197 children and 150 workmen were drowned like rats in the tub called the Daphne on the Clyde. There were 1,697 murders, 107 executions, 135 lynchings, and 727 suicides.



Office of The Prairie Farmer,
Chicago. Jan. 2, 1884.


The general bank business of Chicago last week was rather dull. But few new business contracts were made as everyone was waiting for the New Year to begin before extending business.

In the loan market money was quoted throughout the week at 6@7 per cent interest.

Eastern exchange opened Saturday at 25c off between banks, but subsequently sales were made at 25c per $1,000 premium. The market closed at 25@30c per $1,000 premium.

Railway stocks in New York with the exception of Northern Pacific were firm on Saturday.

Government securities remain unchanged at last week's quotations.

4's coupons. 1907Q. Apr.123
4's reg., 1907Q. Apr.122
4½'s coupon, 1891Q. Mar.114
4½'s registered, 1891Q. Mar.114
3's registeredQ. Mar.100


More was done on the Board of Trade in corn and hog products at the close of the week than in wheat and other grains. The bears had decidedly the best of it on Saturday. Wheat receipts were liberal and everybody seemed willing to sell. Outside orders to purchase were exceedingly light. There were many transactions in corn but prices showed a gradual decline.

Flour was quiet at about the following rates.

Choice to favorite white winters$5 25@5 50
Fair to good brands of white winters4 75@5 00
Good to choice red winters5 00@5 50
Prime to choice springs4 75@5 00
Good to choice export stock, in sacks, extras4 25@4 50
Good to choice export stock, double extras4 50@4 65
Fair to good Minnesota springs4 75@5 25
Choice to fancy Minnesota springs5 50@5 75
Patent springs6 50@7 00
Low grades2 25@3 50

Wheat.—Red winter, No. 2 99@95c: car lots of spring, No. 2, sold at 93¾@97¾c; No. 3, do, 77½@81c.

Corn.—Fluctuating but active. Car lots No 2, 57¾@58c; rejected, 46½; new mixed, 48@48¼c.

Oats.—No. 2 in store, closed 32@33.

Rye.—May, in store 54@59.

Barley.—No. 2, 66@67c; No. 3, 44c.

Flax.—Closed at $1 41.

Timothy.—$1 23 per bushel. Little doing.

Clover.—Quiet at $5 90@6 15 for prime.

Provisions.—Mess pork, January $14 02½ per bbl; May, $14 52. Green hams, 83/8c. per lb. Short ribs, $7 40 per cwt.

Lard.—January, $8 75; February, $9 07½.


Lumber unchanged. Quotations for green are as follows:

Short dimension per M$ 9 50@10 00
Long dimension, per M10 00@11 50
Boards and strips, No. 211 00@13 00
Boards and strips, medium13 00@16 00
Boards and strips, No. 1 choice16 00@20 00
Shingles, standard2 10@ 2 20
Shingles, choice2 25@ 2 30
Shingles, extra2 40@ 2 60
Lath1 65@ 1 70


Note.—The quotations for the articles named in the following list are generally for commission lots of goods and from first hands. While our prices are based as near as may be on the landing or wholesale rates, allowance must be made for selections and the sorting up for store distribution.

Beans.—Hand picked mediums $2 10@2 15. Hand picked navies. $2 20@2 25.

Butter.—Dull and without change. Choice to extra creamery, 32@35c per lb.; fair to good do 26@30c; fair to choice dairy, 25@30c; common to choice packing stock fresh and sweet, 20@25c; ladle packed 10@13c; fresh made, streaked butter, 9@11c.

Bran.—Quoted at $11 87½@13 50 per ton; extra choice $13.

Cheese.—Choice full-cream cheddars 12½@13c per lb; medium quality do 9@10c; good to prime full cream flats 13@13¾c; skimmed cheddars 9@10c; good skimmed flats 6@7c; hard-skimmed and common stock 3@4c.

Eggs.—In a small way the best brands are quotable at 26@27c per dozen; 24@25c for good ice house stock; 16@20c per pickled.

Hay.—No 1 timothy $8 50@9 50 per ton; No 2 do $7 50@8 00; mixed do $6 50; upland prairie $8 00@9 50; No 1 prairie $5 50@6 50; No 2 do $4 50@5. Small bales sell at 25@50c per ton more than large bales.

Hides and Pelts.—Green-cured light hides 8c per lb; do heavy cows 8c; No 2 damaged green-salted hides 6c; green-salted calf 12@12½ cents; green-salted bull 6 c; dry-salted hides 11 cents; No. 2 two-thirds price; No. 1 dry flint 14@14½c. Sheep pelts salable at 28@32c for the estimated amount of wash wool on each pelt. All branded and scratched hides are discounted 15 per cent from the price of No. 1.

Hops.—Prime to choice New York State hops 22@26c per lb; Pacific coast of 23@26c; fair to good Wisconsin 15@20c: Wisconsin 1882's 8@12c.

Poultry.—Prices for live lots were: Turkeys 12@13c per lb; chickens, 7@8c; ducks 8@10c per lb.; geese 8@10c per lb. for full feathered. Dressed turkeys sell at 1@2c per lb more than live offerings.

Potatoes.—Good to choice 35@40c per bu. on track; common to fair 25@30c. Illinois sweet potatoes range at $3@3 50 per bbl for yellow. Baltimore stock at $2 25@2 75, and Jerseys at $5. Red are dull and nominal.

Tallow and grease.—No 1 country tallow 7@7¼c per lb; No 2 do 6¼@6½c. Prime white grease 6@6½c; yellow 5¼@5¾c; brown 4½@5.

Vegetables.—Cabbage, $8@12 per 100; celery, 35@40c per per doz bunches; onions, $1 00@1 25 per bbl for yellow, and $1 for red; turnips, $1 35@ 1 50 per bbl for rutabagas, and $1 00 for white flat.

Wool.—from store range as follows for bright wools from Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan Indiana, and Eastern Iowa—dark Western lots generally ranging at 1@2c per lb. less.

Coarse and dingy tub25@30
Good medium tub31@34
Unwashed bucks' fleeces14@15
Fine unwashed heavy fleeces18@22
Fine light unwashed heavy fleeces22@23
Coarse unwashed fleeces21@22
Low medium unwashed fleeces24@25
Fine medium unwashed fleeces26@27
Fine washed fleeces32@33
Coarse washed fleeces26@28
Low medium washed fleeces30@32
Fine medium washed fleeces34@35

Colorado and territory wools range as follows:

Lowest grades14@16
Low medium18@22

Wools from New Mexico:

Lowest grades14@16
Part improved16@17
Best improved19@23

Burry from 2c to 10c off; black 2c to 5c off.


The total receipts and shipments for last week were as follows:


Cattle.—The above figures show a falling off of 18,850 head from the previous week's receipts. This contraction on the part of shippers is said to have been on account of advice from the commission men who argue that the unusual demand during Christmas week following the previous large supply would not be very large. Dressed-beef operators bought freely and there was a general advance in prices. The quality of the beef was not first-class. The highest price paid for the best was $6 65 per cwt. Sales were principally at $5@6. Common lots brought $4 25@4 95. Some poor ones went at $4. Cows for butchers sold at $3@4, and inferior lots at $2@2 90. Bulls brought from $2 to $4 75. A few car loads of Texans sold at $3 50@4 50 per cwt. Veal calves brought $4@7 for 100 lbs. Milch cows were lower as the supply has been large. There was a falling off of about $10 per head; they sold for $25 to 55 per head.

Hogs.—During the past week they formed a strong combination to break the market, all the 20 packing houses doing business here agreeing to buy only a stipulated number of hogs each day. The plan worked as was anticipated, and although the receipts for the week dropped to 89,000 against 187,470 during the previous week, there was a steady decline from day to day. Shippers were good buyers, taking on an average 5,500 hogs daily, but city packers bought only about 11,000 or 12,000, leaving at times upwards of 28,000 or 30,000 unsold at the close of the day. Choice hogs declined only moderately, but other descriptions were very weak. Up to date there have been packed in the West this season about 100,000 head more than to same time last year. The market closed on Saturday at $4 65@5 90 for heavy; $4 60@5 30 for light, and $3 25@4 60 for skips and culls.

Note.—All sales of hogs are made subject to a shrinkage of 40 lbs for piggy sows and 80 lbs for stags. Dead hogs sell for 1½c per lb for weights of 200 and over and [Transcriber's Note: blank in original] for weights of less than 100 lbs.

Sheep.—The demand has been brisk and prices for good lots advanced fully 25c per cwt. The receipts have fallen off greatly. Sales were made of common to choice at $2 50@4 65. No fancy droves were received, and they were nominal at $4 75@5.



106 S. Water St., Chicago.

Refers to this paper.



Breakfast Cocoa.

Warranted absolutely pure Cocoa, from which the excess of Oil has been removed. It has three times the strength of Cocoa mixed with Starch, Arrowroot or Sugar, and is therefore far more economical. It is delicious, nourishing, strengthening, easily digested, and admirably adapted for invalids as well as for persons in health.

Sold by Grocers everywhere.

W. BAKER & CO., Dorchester, Mass.



The State of Michigan has more than 4,500 miles of railroad and 1,600 miles of Lake transportation, schools and churches in every county, public buildings all paid for, and no debt. Its soil and climate combine to produce large crops, and it is the best fruit State in the Northwest. Several million acres of unoccupied and fertile lands are yet in the market at low prices. The State has issued a NEW PAMPHLET containing a map and descriptions of the soil, crops and general resources of every county in the State, which may be had free of charge by writing to the


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Will be mailed FREE to all applicants and to customers of last year without ordering it. It contains illustrations, prices, descriptions and directions for planting all Vegetable and Flower Seeds, Plants, etc. Invaluable to all.


State & Monroe Sts., Chicago.

Will send prepaid to any address their


for 1883, 600 pages, 210 Engravings of Instruments, Suits, Caps, Belts, Pompons, Epaulets, Cap-Lamps, Stands, Drum Major's Staffs, and Hats, Sundry Band Outfits, Repairing Materials, also includes Instruction and Exercises for Amateur Bands, and a Catalogue of Choice Band Music.


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End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Prairie Farmer, Vol. 56: No. 1,
January 5, 1884., by Various


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