The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Prairie Farmer, Vol. 56, No. 2, January
12, 1884, by Various

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Title: The Prairie Farmer, Vol. 56, No. 2, January 12, 1884
       A Weekly Journal for the Farm, Orchard and Fireside

Author: Various

Release Date: February 5, 2006 [EBook #17683]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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

[Pg 17]

The Prairie Farmer

A Weekly Journal for

The Farm, Orchard, and Fireside.


[Transcriber's Note: The Table of Contents was originally located on page 24 of the periodical. It has been moved here for ease of use.]


Agriculture—Dew and Soil Moisture, Page 17; Specialty in Farming, 17; Public Squares in Small Cities, 17-18; Farm Names, 18; Diogenes In His Tub, 18; Field and Furrow, 18-19; Agricultural Organizations, 19; Didn't No. 38 Die Hard, 19; A Grange Temple, 19.

Live Stock—Items, Page 20; Swine Statistics, 20; Iowa Stock Breeders, 20; The Horse and His Treatment, 20; Items, 20-21.

The Dairy—Winter Feed for Cows, Page 21; Churning Temperature, 21; Seas of Milk, 21.

Veterinary—About Soundness, Page 21; Questions Answered, 21.

Horticulture—The Hedge Question, Page 22; Young Men Wanted, 22; Possibilities of Iowa Cherry Growing, 22-23; Prunings, 23.

Floriculture—Gleanings by an Old Florist, Page 23.

Editorial—Items, Page 24; Illinois State Board, 24-25; Sorghum at Washington, 25; The Cold Spell, 25; American Ash, 25; Wayside Notes, 25; Letter from Champaign, 25.

Poultry Notes—A Duck Farm, Page 26.

The Apiary—Apiary Appliances, Page 26; What Should be Worked For, 26.

Scientific—The Star of Bethlehem, Page 27.

Household—How the Robin Came, Poem, Page 28; After Twenty Years, 28; Will Readers Try It, 28; The Secret of Longevity, 28; How the Inventor Plagues His Wife, 28; Recipes, 28; Pamphlets, etc., Received, 28.

Young Folks—The City Cat, Poem, Page 29; Amusing Tricks, 29; Bright Sayings, 29; Compiled Correspondence, 29.

Literature—The Wrong Pew, Poem, Page 30; Yik Kee, 30-31.

Humorous—"A Leedle Mistakes," Page 31; Sharper Than a Razor, 31; A Coming Dividend, 31.

News of the Week—Page 31.

Markets—Page 32.

Dew and Soil Moisture.

Bulletin No. 6 of Missouri Agricultural College Farm is devoted to an account of experiments intended to demonstrate the relation of dew to soil moisture. Prof. Sanborn has prosecuted his work with that patience and faithfulness characteristic of him, and the result is of a most interesting and useful nature.

The Professor begins by saying that many works on physics, directly or by implication, assert that the soil, by a well-known physical law, gains moisture from the air by night. One author says "Cultivated soils, on the contrary (being loose and porous), very freely radiate by night the heat which they absorb by day; in consequence of which they are much cooled down and plentifully condense the vapor of air into dew." Not all scientific works, however, make this incautious application of the fact that dew results from the condensation of moisture of the air in contact with cooler bodies. Farmers have quite universally accepted the view quoted, and believe that soils gain moisture by night from the air. This gain is considered of very great importance in periods of droughts, and is used in arguments favoring certain methods of tillage.

Professor Stockbridge, in 1879, at the Massachusetts Agricultural College, carried on very valuable and full experiments in test of this general belief, and arrived at results contradictory of this belief. He found, in a multitude of tests, that in every instance, save one, for the months from May to November, that the surface soil from one to five inches deep, was warmer than the air instead of cooler, as the law requires for condensation of moisture from the air. That exception was in the center of a dense forest, under peculiar atmospheric conditions. After noting these facts, ingenious methods were employed to test more directly the proposition that soil gains moisture from the air by night, with the result that he announced that soils lose moisture by night. Professor Stockbridge's efforts met with some criticism, and his conclusions did not receive the wide acceptance that his view of the question justifies. In reasoning from observation, Professor Stockbridge noted that the bottom of a heap of hay, during harvesting, would be wet in the morning, the under side of a board wet in the morning, and so of the other objects named. In the progress of tillage experiments related in his Bulletins Nos. 3 and 5, Prof. Sanborn's attention was again called to this question, resulting in the prosecution of direct tests of the soil moisture itself. When completed it is thought that there will then no longer be occasion to reason from assumed premises regarding the matter. The trials were begun late, and under disadvantages; and are to be understood as preliminary to more complete tests during 1884. The experiments were all conducted upon a soil bare of vegetation.

Prof. Sanborn concludes from his experiments thus far that the surface gains moisture from soil beneath it by capillary action, but gathers nothing from the air. This is made strongly probable, if not shown; first, because the soil is warmer by night than the air. (He relies upon other facts than his own for this assertion.) 2nd. Because he found more moisture in the soil when covered over night than when left bare. 3d. Because when hoed, thereby disturbing capillary action, he found less moisture than when unhoed, in surface soil. Finally, he concludes the position proven, for, when he shut off the upward flow of water to the surface of the soil, he found not only less moisture above the cut off or in the surface soil than where no disturbance of capillary action had been made, but actually less moisture in the surface soil than the night before. Strongly corroborating this conclusion is the fact that all of the tests conspire to show that the gain of moisture in the surface of the soil by night is traceable to one source, and only one source.

American Ash.—See Page 25. American Ash.—See Page 25.

The facts of this bulletin accord with the previous ones in showing that mulching and frequent shallow tillage economize the moisture of the soil and add new proof of this to those already given.

Specialty in Farming.

This subject in my estimation should begin to attract attention, especially among the large land owners and farmers of the West. If we study the whole catalogue of money-making enterprises and money-making men, we find that the greatest success has been attained where there has been the greatest concentration on a special line of work. True, it is, that specialists are subject to unexpected changes of the times, and if thrown out of their employment are not well prepared for other work, and yet their chances for success as compared with the "general idea" man are as ten to one.

For an example look at science. How has it advanced? Is it not by the invaluable aid of men who have given their whole lives to the solution of some special problem? It could not be otherwise. If every scientist had attempted to master the majority of scientific truths before he was contented to concentrate his time on some special branch of science, science would have progressed little or none at all. Linnæus opened the way in botany, and the world profited by his blunders. But to be brief—it seems to me that the most successful farmer in the future is to be the man who can so arrange his work that he is led into the deepest research on some one branch of farming. He must be a specialist. He must thoroughly master the raising of fine stock for breeding purposes, for practical profit and the shambles. Attend stock associations, and hear witnesses testify on every hand to the difficulties connected with properly rearing calves for breeding purposes.

The honest breeder, though full of ideas, acknowledges he knows but very little on breeding. His time in farm life, for twenty years or more has been devoted to too many things. Is not the expert swine-grower the successful man? Books are something, but practical experience is something more. It matters little however practical the author of a work on agricultural science may be, unless the man who reads has some practical experience, his application of the author's truths will be a total failure.

We insist, therefore, that the successful farmer must be a specialist. He must devote his time to special more than to general farm work. You ask me to outline in detail the idea thus advanced. You somewhat question its practicability. To attempt it might lead to endless discussion, but let us reduce to example. Farmer A. raises cattle, hogs, and sheep for breeding purposes, devotes some attention to fine horses, and keeps thirty-six cows for dairy purposes. Farmer B. devotes his entire attention to dairying and has invested in dairy cows as much money as A. has in all his stock. Is it not evident that though each farmer began life the same year, the latter man will make the most money, providing the section he is in demands dairy work? It seems to me so. And if we further place limit on the dairyman's work, we should say he can not afford, with fifty or seventy-five cows, to give as much attention to the manufacture of cheese and butter as that work necessarily demands. Even though he employs a specialist in creamery work, he himself must be a specialist to some extent. We say to investing farmers do not put $500 into horses, $500 into fine cattle, and $500 into swine, but concentrate on one class of stock, and give that your time.

J.N. Muncey,
Asst. Ag. Expts. Ag. Col., Ames, Iowa.

Public Squares in Small Cities.


A respectable looking, middle-aged gentleman called upon me not long since and told me he was a resident of an interior city of some eight or ten thousand inhabitants, and at a recent public meeting had been appointed chairman of a committee on the improvement of a small park, which it was thought might be made an attractive ornamental feature of the town.

On further inquiry I learned that the proposed park was simply a public square with a street on each of its four sides, on which fronted the principal public buildings, stores, etc. It was a dead level, with no natural features of any kind to suggest the manner of its arrangement, but they thought it might be made to add to the beauty of the town, and he had called to ask my advice in regard to it.

As the arrangement of such areas had occupied my thoughts a good deal in a general way, it occurred to me that this was a good opportunity to ventilate some opinions I had formed in regard to prevalent errors in their management, and accordingly I addressed him substantially as follows:

"It is very rare that the people of any town show a just appreciation of the value of such an area for ornamental use. Such a piece of ground as you describe in the very business center of a town must of course possess great pecuniary value, and the fact that it has been voluntarily given up and devoted for all time to purposes of recreation and ornament would lead us to expect that they would at least exercise the same shrewdness in securing their money's worth, that they do in their private transactions. They have given this valuable tract for the object of ornamenting the town by relieving the artificial character of the buildings and streets by the refreshing verdure of trees and grass and shrubbery, and that it may afford a place for rest and recreation for tired wayfarers and laborers, and nurses with their children, and a pleasant resort for rest and refreshment when the labors of the day are at an end.

"Its arrangement, therefore, should be such as to set forth these objects so obviously that no one could look upon the scene without perceiving it. The trees should be so arranged in groups and in such varieties as would afford picturesque effects when seen from the principal points of approach. The paths and open areas should be so arranged as to prevent the possibility of saving time by a short cut across, and so provided with seats under the shade of the trees as to invite to repose, instead of this, in nine cases out of ten, the trees (if any are planted) are simply set in rows at equal distances, without the faintest attempt at picturesque effect, and the paths are carried diagonally across from corner to corner for the express purpose of affording an opportunity for a short-cut to every one who is hastening to or from his business. The consequence is that at certain hours the paths are filled by a hurrying throng whose presence would alone suffice to banish the effect of repose which should be the ruling spirit of the place, while at all other times it is comparatively deserted.

"Perhaps these ideas might not be satisfactory to your people, and I have therefore set them forth somewhat at length in order that you may understand what I conceive should be the ruling principle of arrangement."

I perceived that my visitor was somewhat disturbed and it was not till he had told me, in a kind of half apologetic way, that he did not know "but what I was pretty nigh right," that he finally informed me that the [Pg 18]square in question was already divided in the manner I described, by diagonal paths, and moreover that the paths were lined on each side by rows of well-grown trees.

I could not help inquiring what further laying out it required, and it then came out that there had been no thought of a re-arrangement of the component elements of the park in order to give it an expression of grace or beauty, but they had thought I might be able to make it attractive by the introduction of rustic arbors and gateways, or perhaps a fountain or "something of that sort to give it a stylish look."

I gave him an advertising pamphlet containing designs and prices of garden ornaments, and told him they could select and order whatever they liked from the manufacturers,—but declined to give any advice which should connect my name with the work.

I have told this story as the readiest means of setting forth my ideas of the capabilities of such public areas, and also as an illustration of prevailing errors in regard to landscape gardening, which most people seem to think consists solely of extraneous, artificial decoration, by means of which any piece of ground can be made beautiful, however stiff and formal may be the arrangement of the trees, shrubbery, and lawns which give expression to its character as truly as the features of a human face.

Such squares as I have described are the most common and simple forms of public parks, and they might and should in all cases constitute not only a chief ornament of the town, but a most attractive place of resort for rest and refreshment. Nothing beyond the materials which nature furnishes is needed for the purpose, but it is essential that these should be gracefully dispersed, and that they should exhibit a luxuriant, healthy growth.

Above all we should avoid the introduction of artificial decorations which are intended to "look pretty." If arbors or rests are needed, let them be placed at the points where they are obviously required, and be made of graceful patterns; but do not put elaborate structures of rustic work where no one will ever use them, and where in a few years they will be only dilapidated monuments of a futile effort at display.

The Village Improvement Societies which are everywhere springing up should devote their earliest efforts to the tasteful arrangement and care of these public ornamental areas, which should form the nucleus and pattern of the graceful expression which should pervade the streets.

Farm Names.

Since the call of The Prairie Farmer for "something new" I have been afraid to follow any of the old beaten paths so long traveled by agricultural writers; and have been on the lookout for the "something new." Something that does not appear in our agricultural papers, yet of interest to the fraternity. It matters little how trifling the subject may be, if it begets an interest in farm or country life; anything that will make our homes more attractive, more beautiful, and leave a lasting impression on the minds of the boys and girls that now cluster around the farmers' hearths throughout this vast country of ours.

There is a beautiful little song entitled, "What is Home Without a Mother?" which could be supplemented with another of equal interest, to wit: "What is Home Without a Name?" I answer, a dreary waste of field and fence, there being nothing in the mind of the absent one to remind him of his distant home but a lone farm-house, a barn, long lines of fences, and perhaps a few stunted apple trees; and when he thinks of it, his whole mind reverts to the hot harvest field, the sweat, the toil, and the tiresomeness of working those big fields! Nothing attractive, no pleasant memory. Nothing to draw the mind of the youth to the roof that sheltered his childhood. No wonder boys and girls yearn for a change.

Then what are we to do to change this for the better. I say give your country homes a name, no matter how homely or isolated that home may be. Give each one a name, and let those names be appropriate and musical, short, sweet, and easily remembered and pronounced, and then, when you go to visit a neighbor, either on business or pleasure, instead of saying, I am going to Jones', or to Brown's, or Smith's, let it be, I am going over to "The Cedars," or, to "Hickory Grove," or, to "Holly Hill." How much pleasanter it would sound. There would be no mistake about your destination, there being perhaps half a dozen Jones, Browns, or Smiths within five miles of your home, but only one "Hickory Hill." Then, when young folks make up their surprise parties during the long, cold, winter evenings, in place of notifying each other that they are going to surprise the James', the Jones', or the Jackson's, it would be, we are going to surprise "Pleasant Valley" "Viewfield" or "Walnut Hill." Every member of the surprise party would know the place intended, and the squads and companies of sleighs with their closely packed loads of laughing girls, and well filled baskets of good things would begin to marshal on the several roads that lead towards the trysting place; and when the merry-makers reach the well trimmed walnut grove from which the farm takes its name, and march up to the dwelling, instead of shouting: Mrs. Brown, we greet you, or Uncle Brown, etc., it would be: "Walnut Hill" we greet you, which would include all the Browns, old and young.

One of the brightest spots in my memory is the remembrance of "Rose Valley" my childhood's happy home. Every pleasant occurrence of my boyhood clusters around that never-to-be forgotten name. It has acted like a guide, a land mark for me through my life; and my great aim in life has been to make my own home just like dear "Rose Valley." To begin the work, I have set my own house in order; and the following names given to the farms under my care will practically illustrate my plan.

Former owners.Farm names.Present tenants.
Thompson PlaceHickory RidgeA. Maddox
Home"ElmwoodMr. Houck's home
Doutey"South ElmwoodD.Q. Renfrue
Horroll"Gravel HillT.H. Miller
Conran"Cedar GroveA. Miller
Casebolt"MillbrookC. Blettner
Harness"BurnsideA. Tunge
Heller"Pleasant HillJ.H. Kempf
Lewis"WoodlawnW. Lewis
Oaks'"Castle RockNoah Neff
Held"The GladeW. Reubelman
Jackson"BeechwaldG. Edwards
Bottom"Deerfield. . . . . . . . . . . .
Benna"The MoundR. Oliver
Williams"BlacklandsW. Mitchel
McGee"Lone TreeTom Miller
Johnson"South ParkOwen Bush
New LandCedar CliffPeter Heller
"       "Cypress GroveGeo. Surlett
Old HomesteadMiddle ParkJohd Meintz
West of CityWest ParkDave Meintz
East of R. By.Spring ParkJas. Ballinger
Manning PlaceLongviewAug. Klemme
Cox"Meadow HillH. Stinehoff
Davis"LilypondChas. Davis
Renfroe"BeechfieldI. Renfroe
Ruble"Sycamore SpringsMrs. Sarah Miller
BairClover HillW. Gunter
Edmonson"RiversideJ.H. Relley
New"Cotton GroveW.H. Henson
Garaghty"WheatlandJ.H. Relley
Price"RoundpondW. Miller
Jordan"ParsonageWm. Jackson
Bird"RichwoodMrs. Jackson
Laseley"RichlandW. Lackey
New"LakesideD. Edmunson
New"The IslandGeo. Laseley
Sexton"Beech HillJ.H. Irving
Martin"CreekfieldJoe Bair
Miss Co"Catalpa GroveGeo. Burns
Cramer"Hubbleside. . . . . . . . . . . .
Miller"Spring GroveA. Miller
Brown"East Gravel HillJ.H. Miller

I give these as samples to guide my brother farmers in selecting names for their homes. Every one of those farms can be identified by some local peculiarity, prominent and visible. For instance, Davis place is situated close to a large pond covered with white lilies. Standing on the doorsteps of the Manning place you can view a ten-mile stretch of the Mississippi river, while Mr. Relley's place is situated on the banks of that great stream. Such names can be multiplied to an indefinite extent, and duplicated in each county.

If such names were generally in use, it would greatly assist postmasters in their difficult task of knowing which Smith or Brown was intended.

Now brother farmers, I have moved the adoption of appropriate names for every farm in the land; who will second the motion? Give your wives and daughters a chance to name the homestead, and my word for it, it will be both musical and appropriate. Let us give our children something pleasant to think of after they have left the dear old home. To afix the name, paint it on a large board and nail it over your front gate.

Alex Ross,
Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Diogenes in His Tub.

Allow me, Messrs. Editors, to give you notes of what I see, and hear, and learn, and cogitate, and endeavor to inculcate, from my snug little home in my Tub—will you not?

Well—having your assent, I begin by wishing you all—editors, correspondents, typos, and "devils"—a Happy New Year, and your excellent paper unlimited success in 1884, and a long life thereafter. Next, permit me to advert to the contents of some


First, to the pro and con of pasturing corn-stalks. That is a subject, like many others, on which much can be said on both sides. Mr. Stahl (in No. 50) quotes Prof. Sanborn as saying that a ton of corn fodder, "rightly cured and saved," is worth two-thirds of a ton of good timothy hay. That may be true; but to be rightly cured and saved it must be protected from the rains and snows as the hay is; otherwise it will be as worthless as the corn left standing in the field. Most people who have cut their corn and left it standing in the shock during the fall rains, know by experience that large portions of it are rendered useless. And if we deduct the waste of corn by wet, and by rats and mice, and the waste of fodder, added to the cost of cutting, it would seem that a "Subscriber" (in No. 52) has at least a strong side of the argument. But these men are both right, in a degree. In the East in cases where the crop is not large, or in the West, and where the producer has large barns or sheds in which to store his fodder, it had doubtless best be cut and utilized in that way. But where no such facilities exist and the crop is large, as usual in the West, I can conceive of no better way to utilize the product than to feed it where it grew.


Prof. Hamilton (see No. 52) has hit the nail squarely on the head in his essay. I doubt if there has been a more valuable article on wheat-growing in the public prints, for many a day. It gives a new view of the question, and in my opinion illustrates, at least in part, why it was that in the early days of wheat-growing throughout the prairie States, the crops were so much better than now. Wheat was then sown for the most part on newly broken prairie sod, and its character was such that the grain could not be deeply covered, nor could the ground be heaved so much as in later sowings, when it has been mellowed by deeper culture. Prof. Hamilton's essay ought to be read by every wheat-grower in the country. Other valuable articles in No. 52 are those of J.H., on Corn, Prof. Hall's lecture on Schools, and many others—not omitting what the two talented ladies say about hens and bees.


Some alarm has been manifested in certain quarters, and Congress been inquired of, concerning the fact that divers European noblemen have been purchasing large bodies of lands in our public domain. There are no laws, I believe, to prevent foreign noblemen from acquiring lands in large or small quantities in our Territories; but it is clearly contrary to public policy to permit these, or our own capitalists or syndicates to do this thing. The public lands should be held for actual settlers, and for them alone; and it is to be hoped that Congress will so amend the laws as to prevent English or European lords, or American lords, from acquiring large bodies of land. The Government has been generous—too generous—to the railroads in the gift of lands; and that policy ought now to cease, and the roads required to fulfil their side of the contract to the letter.


In connection with the above, it will do to say, that as monopolies increase and gain strength, agrarianism also is extending. Legislation should be so shaped as to check the one, and give no cause for the other. Good government and strict regard for the rights and interests of the masses, are the surest means of checking agrarian and nihilistic tendencies. Had the French monarchy and governing classes been just, the revolution would have been impossible.


It does seem to me that your magnificent offer of your Standard Time or Commercial Map—worth $2 itself—in connection with The Prairie Farmer, all for $2, ought to bring you hosts of subscribers, and that it does is the hope of


Field and Furrow.

The best temperature to preserve apples, potatoes, turnips, or any other roots or fruits stored in the cellar, is just above the freezing point.

Stiff, hard clays intended for tillage in the spring ought, by all means, to be broken up in the fall. A light, sandy soil should, on the contrary, be suffered to remain unbroken.

A wholesale drug house in Indianapolis, tells the editor of the Drainage Journal that tile drainage has reduced the sale of quinine and other fever and ague medicines nearly sixty per cent.

The American Cultivator says that if barley has not germinated the fact of its having been slightly stained by wet is no actual detriment whatsoever; the grain is not really injured and ought to bring to the farmer just as much as the bright samples of equal plumpness.

Dr. E. Lewis Sturtevant, reporting in Bulletin LXXII. of the State Experiment Station his hybridizing tests during the past season with 135 different kinds of corn, incidentally mentions that "the red ears have a constancy of color which is truly remarkable; where sweet corn appears upon red pop and red dent ears the sweet corn partakes of the red color."

An esteemed exchange suggests, if farmers would go to the barn on a wet day and spend their time in making an eaves-trough for the barn or stable, and thereby carry away the drip which would otherwise fall on the manure pile, causing a waste of the elements of plant food contained therein, they will make more money that day than they could any fine day in the field.

American Cultivator: In winter, while the ground is covered with snow and the soil is frozen deeply, it is sometimes curious to note the effect of openings leading down to deep underdrains. The snow will be melted away by the warm air coming up from the unfrozen earth. Even in an uncovered drain three feet deep, a little straw or loose earth will generally protect the bottom from severe freezing.

Cincinnati Gazette: There are so many excellencies about the cow pea, and it is good for so many uses, that we advise our Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky farmers to be sure and cultivate it this year. Next spring, when all danger of frost is over, sow, plant, or drill more or less of these valuable peas, and, in the language of the elder Weller, "you'll be glad on it arterwards," and so will your live stock.

New England Homestead: Nearly level culture, hand-hoeing and slightly hilling but once, and keeping the cultivator running, was recommended at the Waterbury meeting as the best culture for potatoes. It was said that the second hilling induced a second growth of roots higher up on the plant which produced small tubers. If this is not done the additional growth will make large potatoes.

Cincinnati Gazette: During sundry recent visits to Tennessee, we noticed that a considerable share of the immigrants arriving were from Michigan. They are mostly of the second generation from the settlers from the East in that State—men in the prime of life, who are seeking cheap lands in a genial climate, where the pastoral, dairy, and fruit-raising pursuits to which they are accustomed may be pursued with perfect success. Michigan farmers are usually intelligent, practical workers, who understand their profession and like it. They, and such as they, appreciate the advantages they will enter upon in their new homes at the South.

New England Farmer: Prof. Goessmann, as Director of the State Experiment Station, has been analyzing a sample of rye hay, sent to the Station by Secretary Russell of the State Board of Agriculture. The sample was not cut till in full bloom, but Prof. Goessmann finds it compares well in nutritive value with a medium good quality of meadow hay. This agrees with our own estimate of well cured rye hay, judged by its effect in practical feeding to stock. Animals usually have to learn to eat it heartily, as they do many other kinds of coarse fodder which are inferior to the best hay. Rye should be cut before it comes in full bloom, to obtain the greatest feeding value from the fodder. It is then liked better, and a larger per cent will be digested.

Republican, Manhattan, Kan.: In traveling through a considerable portion of the country this week, we noticed that the wheat looked exceedingly promising. The contrast between the green fields and the dry grass and naked trees was cheering to behold. Cattle are in good condition; most of the farmers are provided with sheds or shelter of some sort to protect the animals, but we saw some small bunches of young cattle standing in unprotected enclosures shivering from the north wind; it is cruel to take them through the winter without so much as a wind break to turn off the scorching blasts. Surely every farmer can afford to build a wind break, at least a pile of brush and old hay, around the stock yards. The cost would be more than made up in the saving of feed.

They are growing some pretty heavy crops of wheat in New Hampshire. The Lebanon Free Press reports that Harlan Flint, of Hanover, raised this year eighty bushels of wheat on five acres of ground, and Uel Spencer, of the same town, 206 bushels from four and a half acres, while the town farm crop averaged forty-three bushels per acre. That raised by Mr. Flint was winter wheat, and Spencer's White Russian. A Meredith correspondent of the Laconia Democrat says that eight farms adjoining each other, in that town, have produced this year 524 bushels of wheat. Reports from all sections of the State show that a great yield of wheat has been secured wherever the crop has been [Pg 19]sown. Perhaps by the time the prairie skinners of the Northwest have spread over all the wheat bearing land this side of the Rocky Mountains, they may begin the New England States and travel the continent over again.

Correspondent Farm and Fireside: There is nothing so much needed about many houses as good walks in paths that must be used daily. There is hardly an excuse for not having them when either brick, gravel, or timber can be had. A good walk through muddy yards can be easily and cheaply made by placing poles side by side, a short distance apart, and then filling the intervening space with gravel, or with broken corn cobs, or with sawdust. Oak planks will last many years, if turned over occasionally, and this also counteracts warping. One of the best of walks through a level barn-yard can be made by cutting off short pieces from logs, a foot or more in diameter, and setting them upon end in a shallow trench. Such a walk from the barn to the kitchen will always be clean, and there will be less to disturb the temper of the women folks of the household, to say nothing of the good effect upon the men folks who take pleasure in lightening the labor required to keep everything neat and tidy within doors.


[Officers and members of farmers' organizations of all kinds are invited to send for publication in this department notices of meetings, time of holding fairs, and other pertinent information. We desire to make of it a weekly bulletin that shall be looked for with interest by members of clubs, granges, fair associations, and agricultural and horticultural societies.]

The Maine State Grange has elected the following officers: Master, Frederick Robie, of Gorham; Overseer, H.E. Gregory, of Hampden; Lecturer, D.H. Thing, of Vernon.

At a meeting of the Wisconsin State Grange resolutions were passed requesting the Legislature to separate the State Agricultural Experiment Farm from the State University, and to locate it in an agricultural district.

At the Vermont State Grange's annual meeting at Brattleboro, December 13-14, 1883, 72 granges were represented. For the first time since the organization of the grange its doors were opened to the public, and the State Board of Agriculture met with it. Worthy Master Franklin's address revealed a healthy condition of the Order in Vermont.

The meeting of the Massachusetts State Grange was an excellent one. Master Draper was again re-elected. The committees' reports and discussions revealed a hearty interest in and sympathy with the experimental station and the agricultural college, but the present system by which the college trustees perpetuate themselves was sharply criticised, and a change in the law was recommended. It was also "Resolved, that as Patrons of Husbandry, we recommend such a change in the law as will withhold the State bounty from all societies that permit liquor selling or gambling at their annual fairs."

The annual meeting of the Michigan Grange last month was largely attended. The Secretary's report showed the grange to be in good condition. The committee on the agricultural college recommended the admission of girls to that institution. Reports were adopted recommending the restoration of the duty on wool, so that it shall equal that on manufactured woolen articles; urged that taxpayers be required to make oath to their assessments; recommended the continued fostering of the sorghum industry; condemned the extortionate practices of many millers in the State, urging co-operative mills if necessary to remedy the same, and asks the appointment of a committee to draft a bill similar to the Reagan bill to remedy some of the evils of transportation.

Didn't No. 38 Die Hard!

New England Homestead: "The eminent men"—George B. Loring, Daniel Needham, Charles L. Flint, Benjamin P. Ware, and George Noyes—composing the late Massachusetts grange No. 38, couldn't appreciate what had happened to them when the State Master's action in revoking the charter of their grange was sustained by the National Grange tribunal. So Brother Ware hied him to Barre, last week, to bring the matter up before the State Grange at its annual session. No doubt the "eminent men" supposed that the presence of the Hon. Mr. Ware would alone be sufficient to cause the State Grange to tremble and humbly beg pardon for their Master's action in disturbing the serenity of this mutual admiration society. Alas, pride must have a fall! Judge of the consternation of these "eminent men" when the State Grange unanimously refused admittance to Brother Ware because he was a suspended member! Now if the honorable delegate from No. 38 deceased had known when he was "set on," he would have silently packed his grip sack and returned to the secrecy of the obscure agricultural newspaper office at 45 Milk street, Boston, the "headquarters" of the corpse of No. 38. But like all "eminent men" he made a grave mistake. At a subsequent session he induced a friend to move that he be given a hearing, but the grange again voted against taking any further action in the matter. This double rebuff was effectual. With his hopes dashed to the ground, the honorable suspended brother crept sadly away to the depot, and when last seen was trying to derive some consolation from his flattering picture as it appeared in the Homestead of December 15.

As our able contemporary, the Maine Farmer remarks, it was a triumph of principle, proving that the grange recognizes no aristocracy. Thus may it ever be!

A Grange Temple.

At its last meeting the National Grange determined to enter upon the work of erecting, in Washington city, a building in which the records and archives of the Order may be preserved. It is proposed to raise the money needful to erect such a building in a way which shall enlist the brotherhood at large, and yet not to be burdensome to even the least wealthy of the members. The National Grange asks each subordinate grange to solicit from every name on its roll a contribution of not less than fifty cents. The money so collected is to be kept separate from all other funds, and is to be used for no other purpose than the building of a Grange Home in Washington. The treasurer of the National Grange is directed to procure a book in which the names of all contributors, and the sums contributed, shall be properly entered. In due time a building-fund certificate will be prepared, containing an engraving of the building, and such other devices as may be agreed upon, and a copy of the same will be sent to every individual who donates the sum of fifty cents or more.


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[Pg 20]

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Hon. A.M. Garland is expected home from Australia about the first of February.

Col. J.W. Judy & Son, the popular thoroughbred cattle auctioneers of Tallula, Ill., last year sold 2,057 head of cattle for $500,620.

Ohio Jersey cattle-breeders will hold a convention at Columbus, on the 15th. The Short-horn breeders of the State will meet at the same city on the same day.

Mr. C. Huston, Blandinsville, Ill., has gone to Scotland to purchase Clydesdale horses. He expects to be gone about half the year, and will make several shipments.

Wm. Yule, Esq., the well-known Short-horn breeder, of Somers, Kenosha county, Wisconsin, names, through The Prairie Farmer, March 19th prox., for his public sale for 1884.

At the annual meeting of the American Guernsey Cattle Club, held at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York, December 20th, Dr. J. Nelson Borland, New London, Conn., was re-elected President; Edward Norton was chosen Secretary and Treasurer.

Three new cases of pleuro-pneumonia were recently discovered near West Chester, Penn. Thus far the disease has been confined to three dairy herds. All infected animals are promptly appraised, condemned, killed and paid for by the State. The disease was introduced there by cows purchased at Baltimore.

The twenty-ninth volume of the new series of Coates' Short-horn Herd-Book has just been published by the English Short-horn Society. It contains the pedigrees of bulls ranging from (47311) to (48978). The larger half of the volume is devoted to the entry of cows with their produce. Each breeder's entries of females are recorded together under his own name. Her Majesty the Queen heads the list, followed by the Prince of Wales.

The offices of the American Short-horn Breeders' Association in Chicago were badly damaged by fire on Sunday, December 30. Some 1,500 pedigrees were destroyed and many others partially destroyed. Pedigrees received previous to December 20th, were saved. It will take time and work to restore these pedigrees and the loss must cause some delay in the work of the office. It will be remembered that the records of the association had a narrow escape at the time the Evening Journal office burned.

The following are the officers of the National Chester-White Swine Record Co. for 1883: Hon. Jack Hardin, Pleasureville, Ky., President; H.W. Tonkins, Fenton, Mo., Vice-President; W.B. Wilson, Eminence, Ky., Treasurer; E.R. Moody, Eminence, K., Secretary. The capital stock of the company is $5,000, in shares of $10 each. Fees are charged as follows: Book of 100 blank pedigrees, with stub for private record and instructions for filling, $1; for entry in Record, each pedigree, $1; stockholders, 75 cents; Record will be furnished at cost of publication.

At the late meeting of the American Merino Sheep Register Association at Burlington, Wis., the following officers were chosen: President, C.S. Miller, Caldwell, Wis.; First Vice-President, Daniel Kelly, Wheaton, Ill.; Second Vice-President, F.C. Gault, East Hubbardton, Vt.; Secretary, A.H. Craig, Caldwell, Wis.; Treasurer, George Andrews, Mukwonago, Wis.; Directors, C.A. Dingman, Troy Center, Wis.; G.B. Rhead, Norvell, Mich.; George Peck, Geneva, Ill.; E. Campbell, Pittsfield, Ohio; S.D. Short, Honeoye, N.Y.; John S. Goe, Brownsville. Pa.; F.C. Gault, East Hubbardton, Vt.; E.F. Gilman, Farmington, Me.; Ward Kennedy, Butler, Ind.; A. Wilson, Richfield, Minn.; Fayette Holmes, Russell, Kan.; H.J. Chamberlain, Davilla, Tex. Registering committee, T.W. Gault, Waterford, Wis.; C.A. Dingman, Troy Center, Wis.; Perry Craig, Caldwell, Wis.

Here is an excellent prize winning record: S.H. Todd, of Wakeman, Ohio, won on Chester-Whites and Poland-Chinas in 1883 as follows: At the Tri-State Fair, at Toledo, O., sweepstakes for best herd of Poland-Chinas, and the same on Chester-Whites. At the Michigan State Fair he took sweepstakes on Chester-White boar; at the Illinois State Fair, sweepstakes, for best Poland-China sow; do. for Chester-White sow, and the grand sweepstakes of $50 for the best herd on the ground regardless of breed. He also won in breeders' ring the prize for best herd of Chesters, and the prize for best boar with five of his get; also first and second prizes for sow with five of her pigs. Besides these notable premiums Mr. Todd's stock won for him nearly 100 class prizes at various leading fairs.

Swine Statistics.

One of the Chicago dailies recently made the point that this city should be the center of the swine and pork statistics of the country on the ground that here is the center of trade in these products. The point is a good one. Some years ago the bulk of the hogs of the West was marketed at Cincinnati. At that time the Price Current of Cincinnati with commendable enterprize established itself as an authority in swine and pork statistics, and it has held the position from that day to this, despite the fact that Chicago has for several years received and packed several times as many hogs annually as has the original porkopolis. And this year, as usual, the Chicago press is dependent upon Cincinnati for packing statistics throughout the extensive swine-growing regions of the country. Of course it makes no real difference to merchants or producers where the figures emanate from so that they are comprehensive and reliable. It is only a bit of local pride that suggests the idea that here should the records be kept and the statistics compiled. If there is not sufficient enterprize here to capture the business, there is no ground for complaint. We should not have alluded to the matter, probably, but for the fact that the Cincinnati Price Current, with its hog-packing statistics, for the season of 1883 has just brought it to notice. Here the figures are compared with those of last year:

Chicago, packed1,405,0001,500,000
Kansas City254,059233,336
St. Louis200,000207,000
Louisville, Ky.142,000118,000
Cedar Rapids, Iowa91,61886,965
Cleveland, O.62,28042,352
Keokuk, Iowa28,60131,411

Iowa Stock Breeders.

The Iowa State Improved Stock Breeders' Association had a good attendance at its annual meeting at Ames, last month.


Hon. J. Kennedy read a paper on the subject "Will Sheep Breeding Pay." Viewed from a financial point of view, he thought there had been no better financial results from any commodity than from the sheep—the wool and mutton—when given proper care and attention. Speculators and traffickers in wool and woolen goods were failing all over the country, but he attributed this to want of fitness for the business in which they were engaged. Though the present depression in the wool market was somewhat due to tariff tinkering, was more the result of over-production—greater supply than demand.

Mr. Grinnell said that at one time he was the owner of a flock of 6,000 sheep, but wool went down in price, and he did not think it profitable to keep so large a flock, and sold out.

Col. Lucas believed the owner of 160 acres of land could not do better than to put upon the tract at least 100 sheep.

Hon. E. Campbell had found the business profitable where flocks were fairly dealt with. He thought Iowa one of the best places in the world in which to raise sheep. He believed that both sheep and cattle could be profitably kept upon the same farm. His favorite cross is Cotswold and Merino. The average weight of fleece in his own flock was over six pounds.


Col. John Scott introduced the subject of swine by reading a compilation of historical facts regarding them. He presented drawings, showing the different breeds and the improvements made in them, in form and size.

Mr. Failor spoke of the Jersey-Reds as his favorite breed for docility and other essentials.

Prof. Knapp said the most profitable hogs are those with sound constitutions, good muscular systems, of early maturity, and in general made to resist diseases which prevail from time to time, all over the country.

Mr. Young said that when we want an animal for the farm, we must first look to soundness of constitution. Breed is not of so much consequence. A breed should not be run after merely because it is novel. He breeds Poland-Chinas. In order to gain the most prolific breeding, the sows of this breed should not be allowed to get too fat before dropping the first litter; simply keep them in good condition.

C.R. Smith thought early breeding injurious to the swine interests of the country.

H.W. Lathrop asserted that the forcing system of putting on meat had injured the constitutions of many of our breeds of hogs. In times past, when less pampering was in vogue and hogs were allowed wide range, there was less disease than now.


Mr. Clarkson, of Des Moines, read a paper entitled "Plain and Practical Thoughts for Common Farmers." It treated of the breeding and care of cattle.

Mr. Roberts said the more care there is bestowed upon cattle, the more profitable they are. He had bred up from a good Short-horn bull. Other members agreed upon the necessity of improving the grade of cattle. The best demand is always for the best stock.

Hon. J.B. Grinnell read his paper upon the extent of the cattle interest and the necessity of protecting our cattle from contagious diseases, in this connection, the following resolutions were passed:

Resolved, That we earnestly urge upon Congress, in view of the fact, the cattle interest is one of the most important industries, the justice and expediency of passing laws providing for an effectual eradication of pleuro-pneumonia from the entire territory of the United States, and also preventing the introduction of all contagious diseases in the future. This is the only authority to which we can go for the power for this purpose, as Congress has the exclusive power to regulate commerce with other nations, as well as among the several States; and, as there is now no law in any of the States to prevent any man who has a herd infected with a malignant, contagious disease, from taking them anywhere he pleases to the herds of any of the States; to prevent which, there must be a law more comprehensive in territorial power and extent than any State has. Therefore, it is of the most vital importance that the authority to regulate inter-State commerce should promptly act to protect our great cattle interest from total annihilation.

Resolved, That the Legislature of Iowa, as a police regulation, should put the power in some hands, carefully and wisely guarded from abuse and wasteful extravagance, to arrest by isolation and destruction, if necessary, any contagious disease which may suddenly be developed in any neighborhood. This, however, not to include any of doubtful contagious character, such as hog cholera; and that we respectfully ask the Governor to call the especial attention of the Legislature to this subject, though there is no pleuro-pneumonia in our State now, nor has there ever been any, but we need laws to arrest it if any should be introduced.

Resolved, That nations, as well as individuals, who ask justice should do justice, therefore, we insist that our Government should as carefully and vigilantly seek to prevent the exportation of contagious cattle diseases as to prevent their importation. This policy would create a feeling of national comity, and an effort to eradicate the scourge of nations (the cattle diseases).


The committee on resolutions submitted the following, which was adopted:

Whereas, It has become impossible to keep sheep in safety in many parts of this State, owing to the loss occasioned by the ravage of wolves and dogs: therefore, be it

Resolved, That this association petition the State Legislature to increase the bounty on wolves and the tax on dogs.

Resolved, That the President of this association be requested to appoint a committee to draft a bill embodying the sense of this meeting in reference to a wolf and dog law.


The next meeting of the Association will be held at Ottumwa, commencing the first Tuesday in December next.

Col. Scott is to prepare and publish the proceedings of this meeting. The edition will be 5,000 copies.

The following are the officers for 1884: President, C.F. Clarkson; Vice-presidents, H.C. Wheeler, B.F. Elbert, R. Stockdale, H. Wallace, W.H. Jordan, E.W. Lucas, and P. Nichols; Secretary and Treasurer, Fitch B. Stacy.

The Horse and His Treatment.


History chronicles no improvement in the horse made by the agency of man. The horses of the days of Pharaoh, or of Homer, have their superiors in no part of the civilized world to-day. The Arabs have for ages been noted for the excellence of their horses, but that excellence was not created, nor has it been increased by the arts of man. Since the time of Cromwell the horses of England have steadily degenerated. Those most conversant with the matter say that this degeneracy has been the most marked and rapid during the last fifty years. The horses of this country lack the value of their ancestors of the Revolutionary period. Nowhere, or at no time, can man boast of improving the horse by the arts of breeding. What is the reason of this?

The horse, the ox, the hog, and the sheep comprise the four great classes of domesticated farm animals. In certain directions man has improved these three last. These improvements have made them more valuable. The ox has been bred to make more flesh from the same amount of food, and to lay on fat at an earlier age; the cow has been bred to give instead of a supply of milk barely large enough to sustain her young, a bountiful yield, and of a richer quality; the hog has been bred into a veritable machine to convert food into pork; the sheep has been bred to yield more wool, and of a finer texture, and to make more mutton. All these changes have been beneficial because the value of the animal lay in its production of beef, milk, pork, wool, or mutton, as the case might be. It is true that these changes have been accomplished at the expense of vigor and endurance. These two qualities are important in the hog, ox, or sheep, but those that have been developed so far overshadow their lessening that on the whole we can say that the arts of man have improved our kine, swine, and sheep.

But it is not so with the horse. Its value does not depend upon the quantity and quality of its flesh, milk, or bodily covering. Unlike the others its value depends upon the work it can do. Hence vigor and endurance are the prime essentials of a good horse. But as man has lessened the vigor and endurance of the hog, ox, and sheep, so he has of the horse. This is the invariable result of human art. Whenever man tampers with the work of nature he is certain to lessen bodily vigor. It could not be otherwise. For the course of nature, undisturbed and undeflected, is always towards the greatest health. Man changes the course of nature and the result is lessened vigor and endurance.

Man has improved some qualities of the horse. He has increased its speed, perhaps, but only for short distances. Our race horses of to-day would make a sorry record with those of days no longer past than those of the "pony express," to say nothing of the couriers of centuries ago, because they have been made to deteriorate in vigor and endurance. We have ponderous, heavy horses to-day; but they can not do as much work before the plow or dray as those of the eighteenth century. We can not point anywhere to horses produced by breeding that are the equals of the horses of the days of chivalry. They lack not only in vigor and hardihood, but in intelligence. As the perfect symmetry of development by the course of nature has been destroyed by man the intelligence of the animal lessened. Whenever the hand of man has touched his equine friend it has been only to mar.

This decrease in the excellence of the horse can not be shifted from man to time. One instance alone demonstrates the unfairness of this. The Andalusians are now mere ponies, yet they are the descendants of those noble beasts ridden to victory by the Spanish chivalry in the days when the valor of the horse was as important as the valor of the knightly rider. Taken from their hills and valleys to serve in the haunts of men, and to be subjected to the arts of breeding, they have sadly degenerated. But the horses of the Spanish explorers of both North and South America escaped, and to-day the descendants of these same Spanish horses are, under the nurture of nature and nature's ways, the superb wild horses of the new world. They are the work of nature; the Andalusian ponies are the work of man's art.

As this degeneracy is the necessary co-existent of man's breeding, so far as it is produced by this cause it can not be escaped. But a good part of the evil is not the necessary sequence of breeding per se. It is also attributable to errors in treatment so palpable and easy of correction that it behooves us to note and avoid them. In my next I shall briefly mention a few of the most important of these.

Breeder and Sportsman: The old story of the countryman and his deceptive plug was recently repeated in Jersey, where people are supposed to have their eye-teeth cut. It was an old gray pacer this time, attached to a dilapidated wagon by cords and odd ends of harness. The astute hotel proprietor refused to give $20 for the outfit. Owner then [Pg 21]replied that he would pace the horse over a good track in three minutes. Landlord bets $100 to $50 that he can't do it. Money was then put up, and owner wanted to draw, as the track was a good way off, and he could not spare the time to attend to the matter. Landlord insisted that the horse must pace or pay forfeit. A sulky and harness were borrowed, and judge placed in the stand, according to Hoyle. Owner claims the right to three trials, according to National Association rules. Point conceded. Old crowbait is scored up and given the word. Works off the mile very slick in 2:43. Landlord feels small, and $100 goes into owner's pocket. Another greenhorn bets $100 that horse can't beat 2:43. Rips off another mile 2:42, and owner pockets the money. Landlord feels better; owner better yet. Latest advices: same old side-wheeler won two or three hundred same way at Flemington, some more at Paterson, and has had a little pacing circuit all to himself. "What fools these mortals be!"

The following by Richard White in the New York Sun, might very properly have been dedicated to those trichinæ-frightened twins, Bismarck and Paul Bert.

Sing, heavenly muse, the noble quadruped,
Whom Orientals oft presume to scorn,
Who glorifies the food that he is fed,
Extracting carbon from convenient corn.
Peaceful his life, his death almost sublime,
His end a grand effect of modern art;
Scarce has he bid a sharp adieu to time,
When he is packed and ready for the mart.
He goes abroad, our land to represent;
The earth, from pole to tropic, is his range;
He fills the bill for use and ornament,
Greases the world, and regulates exchange.
Though ministers abroad may lightly treat
The rights that only appertain to men,
They must protect our Western corn-fed meat,
Defending our four-footed citizen.
If Bismarck bars our barrels, tubs, or cans,
Forcing our pork to make its way incog,
Upset his schemes, and overthrow his plans,
And clear a pathway for the native hog.

Dr. Detmers, V.S., stationed at the Union Stock Yards at Chicago, by the Department of Agriculture for the purpose of inspecting swine, alleges that during the last four months he has examined at one packing-house not less than four thousand hogs and has seen at least ten times that number, but has not seen the slightest trace of disease, as he certainly should if any had existed. During the last two years but very little swine plague has prevailed anywhere, and, as far as he knows, no diseased hogs have been shipped; nearly if not all the small rendering tanks having been closed.

M. Pasteur, the eminent French scientist, says epizootic hog-cholera, even of the most virulent type, can be prevented by inocculation with the attenuated virulent virus. He also says it is proven that the period of immunity is more than a year; that, consequently, this is long enough for the requirements of hog-raising, since the period of fattening does not generally exceed a year. Yet, in spite of these happy results, I repeat that the question of the use of vaccination for different breeds needs new investigation, so that the vaccination of swine may be made general.

The Dairy. Dairymen, Write for Your Paper.

Winter Feed for Cows.

The increasing demand for milk in our cities and villages, and for gilt-edged butter during the winter season, is leading some of our most intelligent farmers to study more carefully the problem of winter dairying. "It costs more to make butter in winter than in summer," says the American Agriculturalist, "but if a select class of customers in cities or elsewhere, are willing to pay for the increased cost of producing it fresh in zero weather, then there is no good reason why they should not be gratified. Its feasibility is already established on a small scale, and there seems to be no discernible limit to the demand for a first-class article during the six months when the pastures are barren. The farmer who has the capital can readily provide a barn that will make his cows nearly as comfortable and healthy in winter as in summer, and shelter all the food they need to keep up a constant flow of rich milk. We have not attained, perhaps, all the information necessary to secure the best rations for winter milking, yet we are approximating toward that knowledge. Some think they have found in ensilage the one thing needful. Yet, some of the parties dealing in gilt-edge butter begin to complain of that made from rations consisting largely of ensilage. We shall probably have to put down early cut hay with the flavor of June grass in it as an essential part of the winter rations for first-class butter. We doubt if the bouquet of the June made article can be found elsewhere. Another ration will be Indian meal, our great national cereal, which is abundant and cheap and likely to continue so. Then we want green, succulent food with the dry fodder to sharpen the appetite and help the digestion. This suggests roots as another ration. We have carrots, mangolds and sugar beets; all easily raised, and cheaply stored in barn cellars or pits. And from our own experience in using them during several winters in connection with dry feed, we judge them to be a safe ration in butter-making. Cabbage also is available, and in districts remote from large markets, might be grown for this purpose. Near cities it is probably worth more for human food than for fodder. The whole subject is yet in the tentative state, and all are looking for further light!"

Churning Temperature.

A correspondent of the New England Homestead found difficulty in making the butter "come" from cream raised in the Cooley Creamer. In a later issue several correspondents tried to help her through the difficulty. One said:

First of all be sure your cream is ready to come before you churn it. If you have no floating thermometer, please get one right away. Deep set cream needs not only to be ripened, but the temperature must be right—not less than 62 degrees, and 65 degrees is better. Don't guess at it, but be sure. Mix each skimming with the others thoroughly, and keep the cream pail in a warm place at all times.

Another said: Keep the cream at 60 degrees to 65 degrees all the time before it goes into the churn. Take care to thoroughly mix the different skimmings. Sometimes in cold weather the butter will nearly come, and then hold on without any advance. In such cases, put into a thirty-quart churning, half a cupful of salt and four quarts of water heated to 55 degrees; it will cut the butter from the buttermilk in five minutes. My butter sells for fifty cents a pound and this is the way I manage.

Another: Sour your cream before churning and have it as near 62 degrees as you can, and you will have no trouble. The first fall we had the Cooley we had one churning that would not come into butter. I found it was perfectly sweet. Since then I have been particular to have it ripe and have had no trouble.

Seas of Milk.

A newspaper correspondent contributes the following which is of course made up of a mixture of facts and guesses. But as it is somewhere near the truth, as a general thing, we do as all the rest of the papers are doing, print it.

"There are nearly $2,000,250,000 invested in the dairying business in this country," said an officer of the Erie Milk Producers' Association yesterday. "That amount is almost double the money invested in banking and commercial industries, it is estimated that it requires 15,000,000 cows to supply the demand for milk and its products in the United States. To feed these cows 60,000,000 acres of land are under cultivation. The agricultural and dairy machinery and implements in use are worth over $200,000,000. The men employed in the business number 700,000 and the horses nearly 1,000,000. The cows and horses consume annually 30,000,000 tons of hay, nearly 90,000,000 bushels of corn meal, about the same amount of oat-meal, 275,000,000 bushels of oats, 2,000,000 bushels of bran, and 30,000,000 bushels of corn, to say nothing of the brewery grains and questionable feed of various kinds that is used to a great extent. It costs $400,000,000 to feed these cows and horses. The average price paid to the laborers necessary in the dairy business is probably $20 a month, amounting to $168,000,000 a year.

"The average cow yields about 450 gallons of milk a year, giving a total product of 6,750,000,000 gallons. Twelve cents a gallon is a fair price to estimate the value of this milk at, a total return to the dairy farmer of $810,000,000. Fifty per cent of the milk is made into cheese and butter. It takes twenty-seven pounds of milk to make one pound of butter, and about ten pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese. There is the same amount of nutrition in three and one half pounds of milk that there is in one pound of beef. A fat steer furnishes fifty per cent of boneless beef, but it would require about 24,000,000 steers, weighing 1,500 pounds each, to produce the same amount of nutrition as the annual milk product does."


About Soundness.

It may be supposed that the hackneyed term "sound" is so explicit as to need no comment,—and most people conceive it to be so; but the term "sound" really admits of as much contrariety of opinion as the word "tipsy;" one man considers another so if, at ten at night, he is not precisely as cool and collected as he was at one in the day. Another one calls a man so when he lies on the floor and holds himself on by the carpet. So,—as to soundness, some persons can not see that a horse is unsound, unless he works his flanks like the drone of a bagpipe, or blows and roars like a blacksmith's bellows; while some are so fastidious as to consider a horse as next to valueless because he may have a corn that he never feels, or a thrush for which he is not, nor likely to be, one dollar the worse.

So far as relates to such hypercritical deciders on soundness, we will venture to say that, if they brought us twenty reported horses in succession, we would find something in all of those produced that would induce such persons to reject them, though, perhaps, not one among the lot had anything about him of material consequence. To say the least, we will venture to assert that nine-tenths of the horses now in daily use are more or less unsound. We make no reservation as to the description of horse, his occupation, or what he may be worth. We scarcely ever had, indeed scarcely ever knew, a horse that had been used, and tried sufficiently to prove him a good one, that was in every particular unequivocally sound. We have no doubt that there are thousands of owners of horses who will at once say we are wrong in this assertion, and would be ready to produce their own horses as undeniable proofs, whereby to back their opinion and refute ours. They may, perhaps, say that their horses are never lame—perhaps not; that is, not lame in their estimation or to their eye; but we daily see horses that go to a certain degree indubitably lame, while their owners conceive them to be as indubitably sound. These horses, perhaps, all do their work perfectly well, are held as sound by owners, servants, acquaintances, and casual observers; but a practical eye would detect an inequality in their going, as a watchmaker would do the same in the movement of a watch, though we might look for a week, or listen for the same length of time, without being able to either see or hear the variation. The watch might, however, on the average keep fair time; but it would not be a perfect one; and what matters, if it answers all the purposes for which we want it? A really bad watch that can not keep time is a different affair;—it is pretty much the same with a horse. If the unsoundness is such as to render him unable to do his work, or even to do it unpleasantly to himself or owner, or if it is likely to bring him to this, our advice is to have nothing to do with him. If, however, this is not the case, or likely to be so,—if you like him—buy him.

It is not improbable that a man may say, I begin to believe that few horses that have done work are quite sound; but a sound one I will have; I will, therefore, buy a four-year old, that has never done a day's work. We will acknowledge that if he does so, he may probably get his desideratum; but do not let him make too sure of this. There are such things as four-year olds, unsound, as well as worked. But, supposing him to have got this sound animal; what has he got? An animal that he has to run the risk of making useful, so far as teaching him his business goes; and by the time this is effectually done, and the colt has arrived at a serviceable age, he will probably be quite as unsound as many of those he has rejected; independent of which, and supposing him to continue sound, the breeder of this horse must have better luck or better judgment in breeding than his neighbors, if more than one in five or six that he does breed turn out desirable horses in every respect. If he turns out but a middling sort of beast, it is but small satisfaction to know that he is sound; in fact, so little satisfaction should we feel, that, if we were compelled to keep and use him, so far from rejoicing that he was sound, we should only regret that he was not dead.

In relations to the doings of dealers in horses, it is not our present object to expose the tricks of the trade, or to prejudice the unsophisticated buyer against all horse dealers. There are honest horse dealers, and there are dishonest ones; and we are sorry to say that, in numbers, the latter predominate; that honesty in horse dealing is not proverbial. But horse dealers, like other mortals, are apt to err in judgment; and all their acts should not be set down as willful wrong-doings. However, be their acts what they may, the general verdict is against their motives. Therefore, supposing we could bring any person or number of persons to believe the fact that a man conversant with horses might sell, as a sound horse, one that might, on proper inspection, be returned as unsound, all that we could say or write, would never convince the majority of persons that a dealer could innocently do the same thing. If his judgment errs, and leads him into error as to the soundness of his horse, it is set down, not as willful or corrupt perjury as to oath, but most undoubtedly as to his word and honesty.

Questions Answered.

Glanders, Chronic Catarrh, and "Horse Distemper."—H.P.W., Peotone, Ill.—Query—What are the symptoms whereby a person may know the difference between glanders, catarrh, and ordinary horse distemper?

Reply—Among the prominent symptoms of glanders may be mentioned a discharge of purulent matter from one or both nostrils; one or both glands on the inside of the lower jaw bones are more or less swollen, hard and knotty. One or both nostrils are sometimes swollen and glued up by a sticky, unhealthy looking pus, sometimes streaked with blood. On opening the nostrils, pustules and ulcers are seen on the inner surface. The nose may sometimes bleed. The eyes are often prominent and watery; the coat rough and staring if the horse is in lean condition; and the voice more or less hoarse. The appetite is not often impaired. Sooner or later, farcy buds may appear on the head, neck, body or limbs, generally along the inner side of the thighs. In chronic nasal catarrh or so-called gleet, the glands between the jaw bones are very slightly, if at all, enlarged; they are loose, not hard and knotty, as in glanders. This ailment, which is apt to persist for months, unless properly treated, may leave an animal in an unthrifty state, with a staring coat, disturbed appetite, dullness at work, cough and discharge from one or both nostrils; but there are no pustules or ragged sores or ulcers within the nose, as in glanders. Chronic nasal gleet, however, is apt to run into glanders; and, as there is no telling when the beginning is, such a horse, with chronic discharge from the nose, should always be looked upon with suspicion, and be kept away from other horses. The difference between glanders and influenza or ordinary horse distemper, is so marked that a mistake is not easily made. The more prominent symptoms of distemper are as follows: With signs more or less prominent of a general febrile condition, there is great dullness and debility, frequent and weak pulse, scanty discharge of high-colored urine, costiveness, loss of appetite, and a yellow appearance of the membranes of the mouth and the eyes. The eyes appear more or less sunken, upper lid drooping and lips hanging, giving the animal a sleepy look; there is cough, soreness of the throat, and labored breathing; the mouth is filled with frothy slime, the legs are cold and sometimes more or less swollen below the knees and hocks. In the advanced stages of distemper, there is a free discharge from both nostrils.

Brittle Hoofs.—I.F.C., Camden, Ill. If the animal is shod, the shoes should be removed and reset at least once a month, to allow the feet to be properly pared and trimmed. If habitually brittle, it will be proper to keep such feet off from much moisture, and instead provide dry floor of whatever kind. Once or twice a week such feet should be given an ample coat of some simple hoof ointment, such as equal parts of tar, tallow and beeswax, carefully melted together, and stirred till cold.

Lung Disease in Swine.—A.J.T., Emery, Ill. Most internal diseases of swine, especially inflammation of the lungs, which is often given the wrong name of thumps, are very intractable and apt to prove fatal when occurring during the winter months. Prevention is the sheet anchor for these troubles, and it must be a poor farmer indeed who can not manage to provide clean, comfortable and dry housing for his live stock during this season, or who can not comprehend that such is necessary for the well-doing of animals as well as of himself. Any animal, even a hog, will of course suffer more, or less severely when constantly exposed to chilly winds, draft of cold air, wet ground and damp surroundings, icy or frozen drink or food, etc.

Blindness After Lockjaw.—M.J.G., Los Angeles, Cal. Let the animal go loose in a comfortable, roomy, well-bedded shed, from which strong light is excluded. Apply, once daily, to the hollow space above the orbit of the eyes, a small portion of fluid extract of belladonna. Give food which does not require much hard chewing.

[Pg 22]

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.

HORTICULTURAL Horticulturists, Write for Your Paper.

The Hedge Question.

At one of the December meetings of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society a prize essay from the pen of John J. Thomas, of Union Springs, N.Y., was read on the subject "Hedge Plants and Hedges."

The subject of the essay was proposed in the form of a question, "Are live hedges to be recommended either for utility or ornament, and if they are, what plants are most suitable?" The answer to this question was given from the experiments of the essayist during the last forty years. The deciduous plants tried were the buckthorn, Osage orange, honey-locust, privet and barberry. The evergreens were the Norway spruce, hemlock, and American arbor-vitæ.

The buckthorn has the advantage of great hardiness, thick growth, and easy propagating and transplanting, and requires but a moderate amount of cutting back. But the growth is not stout enough to resist unruly animals, unless in very rich soils, and even a moderate amount of cutting back is an objection to farmers.

The cost of buckthorn hedges, including the preparation of a strip of soil five feet wide, purchase of plants, setting, and occasional horse cultivation on each side, was about twenty-five cents a rod the first year. The yearly cultivation and cutting back, until the hedge had reached full size, was three or four cents a rod. Though the buckthorn has nearly passed out of use on account of its inefficiency, it is not impossible that it may be extensively planted when cultivators find that it may be converted into an efficient barrier by inclosing two or three barbed wires extending its length through the interior—these wires, supported on occasional posts, being successively placed in position as the hedge increases in height, the branches growing around the wires and holding them immovably in position. Galvanized wire should be always used, on account of its durability.

Osage orange hedges require more care than buckthorn, in assorting plants of equal size and vigor, and the rejection of feeble plants. Like all other hedge plants, they should be set in a single line, and eight inches apart is a suitable distance. For the first few years the ground must be kept well cultivated. It is partly tender and will not endure the winters at the North, unless on a well-drained soil. Hence the importance of placing a good tile drain parallel to the hedge and within a few feet of it. Thus protected, good hedges have stood for twenty-five years where the thermometer has often shown ten or twelve degrees below zero, and sometimes lower.

No hedge is more commonly mismanaged than the Osage orange. It is planted in imperfectly prepared ground; vigorous and feeble plants are planted indiscriminately, cultivation and pruning are omitted or not done thoroughly, resulting in broken and irregular lines. When more care is given, the hedge is nearly spoiled by being pruned too wide at the top, the heavy shade above causing meagre growth and openings below. It should be pruned in wedge shape, but shearing is objectionable as causing a thick and short growth of leaves at the exterior, excluding light from the inside and causing bare branches there. Cutting back more irregularly with a knife allows the growth of interior foliage, and gives more breadth to the hedge. The sheared hedge presents an unnatural stiffness in ornamental grounds; but skillfully cut back with the knife it has more of the beauty of natural form. The manner of pruning is very important, both as regards utility and beauty. For farm barriers hedges do not require so elaborate care. Another mode of treatment has been adopted in the Western States. The trees are trimmed and the main stems trained upright for a few years. They are then cut half off at the ground and bent over at an angle of thirty degrees with the ground, a tree being left upright at distances of four or five feet, and the inclined ones interwoven among them, a straight line of trees being thus formed. The tops are then cut off about three feet high. New shoots spring up in abundance and form an impenetrable growth, as many as fifty having been counted from a single plant the first year. The top is cut to within a few inches each year of its previous height. Hedges made in this way have no gaps.

A similar treatment may be adopted when a hedge becomes too high by long years of growth. The trees are first partly trimmed with a light axe or hook with a long handle, and then half cut off at the ground and bent over. A new growth will spring up and form a new hedge. This course was adopted by the essayist with a hedge planted twenty-eight years ago, and which has been a perfect farm barrier for more than twenty years. The cost of this hedge was about twenty-five cents a rod the first year, and the three subsequent cuttings for sixty rods cost about twenty dollars, averaging less than a dollar a year. But it was usually too tall and shaded, and occupied too much ground, to be recommended where land is valuable.

Ninety rods of Osage orange hedge, properly trimmed, cost about the same for the first four years of cultivation, but more for annual cutting back. It was planted twenty-four years ago, and has been a perfect barrier for about twenty years. The yearly cost of pruning was about four cents a rod for ten or twelve years, and since it has become larger and higher nearly double. For cutting back a stout hook with a handle two and a-half feet long or a stout scythe was used. Hedge shears are too slow except for ornamental hedges, and even for these the knife is preferable.

The Honey locust has been extensively used for hedges of late years on account of its hardiness. Seed should be selected from the most thorny trees. The trees have a tall, slender, and not hedgy growth, and require thorough cutting back to secure a thick mass of branches at the bottom, and very few have received this treatment when young. The care in planting and rearing is similar to that required by the Osage orange.

Many hedges have been injured or even destroyed by pruning after the summer growth has commenced. The pruning must be done in spring before the buds swell, if vigorous growth is to be preserved. But strong-growing hedges, that are likely to become too high, may be checked by summer pruning.

Though the cost of planting and starting a hedge is less than that of building a good board fence, they are not adapted to farmers who will not give them the continued care required to keep them in good order. This conclusion is justified by observing how few have succeeded with hedges, and many have allowed them to be ruined by neglect.

The evergreens which have been employed have been exclusively for ornamental screens, and not for farm barriers. The Norway spruce may be placed at the head on account of its rigid growth, hardiness, and the freedom with which it may be cut back, it will bear more shade than many other evergreens, and hence the interior of the screen is green with foliage. The cutting back should be done with a knife, and not with shears. Next to the Norway spruce is the hemlock, which excels the former in its livelier green in winter, while it is unsurpassed for retaining interior foliage. It will bear cutting back to an almost unlimited extent in spring before growth commences. But it is not so stiff as the Norway spruce as a barrier. The American arbor-vitæ, though much used, becomes destitute of foliage inside, and is browned by winter.

By the introduction of barbed wire an important change is likely to take place in planting hedges. Barbed wire makes a cheaper fence for its efficiency than any other material. A serious objection to it is the danger of animals being lacerated against it, the wires being nearly invisible. This objection may be obviated by inclosing the wires in visible hedges. Efficiency may also be thus imparted to small-growing hedge plants, such as privet, barberry and small evergreens, which will require but little labor in pruning and would become handsome ornaments. The purple barberry, for example, would present an attractive appearance during a large portion of the year. A new value may thus be given to hedges by rendering moderate growers and those easily kept in shape efficient barriers for farm and fruit gardens.

Young Men Wanted.

Perhaps one of the greatest needs of horticulture at the present day, is young men to engage in the work—intelligent, patient, energetic young men, who will begin and make it a life-labor and study. What nobler employment in which young men can engage? What field for study and investigation can be found for them which offers a more gratifying and pleasant pursuit, and promises richer and more substantial results?

There are so many open questions connected with the science; so many points that need investigation, so many problems to be solved; so much to learn that is yet unknown—that the needs for more laborers are great and pressing; and the wonder is that more of our young men are not entering upon the work.

That young men are needed, rather than the old or middle aged, is because many of the investigations to be undertaken require a lifetime to perfect, and can only be brought to a profitable issue in a long series of years. Such, for instance, as the production of new varieties of fruits; the relative hardiness and longevity of trees; the effects of soil and climate, heat, cold, etc., upon plant life; the degeneracy of species, etc.;—all of which require a long series of experiments to determine. Older men, here and there, are engaged in these investigations; but they are passing away in the midst of their work only partially accomplished, and their labors are thus in a degree lost.

Our farmers' sons—stout, healthy, energetic young men—are the ones upon whom this labor and high duty more properly devolves. To them belongs, or should belong, the honor and glory of pushing forward this noble work. Many of these, however, are mistakenly leaving the farms to engage in trade and speculation; while others who remain at home mostly incline to other branches. The agricultural colleges are doubtless developing a few faithful workers for these too neglected fields; but these munificently endowed institutions are believed to fall far short of their duty in this respect.

I will close by recommending this matter to the thoughtful consideration of the young readers of The Prairie Farmer, who, as a class, I believe to be as capable and intelligent as the country affords, and with the remark that I know of no business in life to which I would sooner urge any young friend of my own to devote his talents and his energies.


Possibilities in Iowa Cherry Growing.

Prof. Budd, of Iowa, sends The Prairie Farmer the following copy of his address before the Eastern Iowa Horticultural Society, remarking that its appearance in this paper may lead the Bloomington nurserymen to look up this very important line of propagation:

The topic assigned me is, as usual, experimental horticulture. I select the division of the work implied in the heading for the reason that it is, as yet, mainly an unoccupied field of inquiry. If the idea occurs that my treatment of the question is speculative rather than practical permit me to suggest that thought and investigation must always precede the work of adapting fruits to a newly occupied country, especially if that country is as peculiar in climate and soil as the great Northwest.

In the summer of 1882, I was fortunate in having a fine opportunity for studying the varieties and races of cherries in Continental Europe. The fruit was ripening when we were in the valley of the Moselle in France, and as we went slowly northward and eastward it continued in season through Wirtemberg, the valleys and spurs of the Swabian Alps to Munich in Bavaria, through the passes of the Tyrol in Saltzburg to Austria, Bohemia, Siberia, Poland, and Southwestern Russia. Still farther north of St. Petersburg and Moscow we met the cherries from Vladimir on every corner, and our daily excursions to the country permitted the gathering of the perfectly ripened fruit from the trees.

Still again when we passed six hundred miles east of Moscow we had opportunities for picking stray cherries of excellent quality from trees standing near the 56th parallel of north latitude.

To undertake to tell of the varieties of the fruit and the relative hardiness of the trees—as estimated from the behavior of varieties we knew something of—of the many varieties and races we studied on this extended trip would make too long a story. On the plains of Silesia, north of the Carpathian mountains we first began to be intensely interested in the cherry question. Here the cherry is the almost universal tree for planting along division lines and the public highways. As far as the eye could reach over the plains when passing over the railways, the cherry tree indicated the location of the highways and the division of estates. As we passed the highways running at right angles with the track we could get a glimpse down the avenues to a point on the plain where the lines seem to meet, and we were told that unbroken lines along the highways were often found thirty to fifty miles in length.

As a rule these street and division trees are of a race wholly unknown in this country excepting a few trees of the Ostheim in Iowa and Minnesota. They are classed in the books as Griottes with colored juice and long, slender, drooping branches. The trees are smaller than our English Morello with low stems, and neat round tops. While some other races are hardy on this plain as far north as Warsaw in Poland and Russia the Griottes are grown for three main reasons. (1) The trees are deep rooted and so small in size that they do little shading of the street or cultivated fields. (2) They rarely fail to bear full crops as the fruit buds are hardier and the fruit buds expand later than the Kentish and the other and more upright forms of the Morello. (3) The fruit is less acid and richer in grape sugar than the Kentish forms making it more valuable for dessert, culinary use, and above all for making the celebrated "Kirsch wasser" which here takes the place of wine. Some of the thin twigged Griottes with dark skins and colored juice are as large in size as our Morello and nearly or quite as sweet. That they will prove hardy and fruitful with us we can hardly doubt as they grow on the dry plains of Northeast Europe where the Kentish forms utterly fail. Why have they not been introduced? I once asked this question of Mr. George Ellwanger, of Rochester, N.Y. He replied that in the early days of their nursery some varieties of the Weichel type were introduced in their collection. But the Eastern demand ran in the line of the Heart cherries and the Dukes, and if sour cherries were wanted for pies the Kentish forms with uncolored juice seemed to be preferred. I suspect the difficulty of propagation and the inferior look of the little thin twigged trees in the nursery had something to do with the ignorance of our people of the merits of this hardy and fruitful race. In the trying climate of the Swabian Alps, the Tyrol, and the east plain of Silesia, Hungary, Poland, and South Russia, the trees are on their own roots mainly, and the sprouts are used for propagation. When small they are placed in the nursery with the tops and roots cut back in the form of root-grafts. For the use of methodic growers and or planting on private grounds where sprouts are not wanted the trees are budded or inarched on Prunus Padus.

How will we propagate this valuable race of the cherry? The scions are too small for profitable grafting, and budding on our Morello seedlings hardly answers, as the slow-growing top favors sprouting from the root. Perhaps we shall find that our bird cherry (Prunus Pennsylvanica) is best suited for our use. The question of propagation of this race is important, as the cherries grown in immense quantities in the Province of Vladimir, one hundred and fifty miles east of Moscow, and in all the provinces of the upper Volga are of this thin twigged race. Beyond all doubt it is the coming cherry for universal use in Central and Northern Iowa, and even in Dakota and the far Northwest. Yet it is not the only race of the cherry which will thrive on our prairies and prove longer-lived, more fruitful, and far better in quality than any we now have.

On the grounds of the Pomological Institute, at Proskau, Silesia, we saw many varieties of the Amarelle and Spanish cherries that will bear more summer heat, an aridity of air, and a lower summer temperature than our Richmonds or English Morello. In leaf and habit of growth these Amarells of Austria and South Russia are much like our Carnalion, but some of the varieties bear large fruit, as nearly sweet as is desirable for dessert use. The race known as Spanish bears sweet fruit, much like our tall growing Hearts and Bigarreaus, but the leaves are smaller, firmer, and thicker, and the habit of the tree is nearly as low and spreading as that of the Amarells. In Austria we are told that the original stock of these round-topped, sweet cherries came from Spain, but as we went east to Orel, Veronish, and Saratov we met varieties of this race on the grounds of amateurs and proprietors who told us that the race was indigenous to Bokara and other parts of Central Asia. While these varieties are hardier than the Richmond the trees are lightly protected with straw during the winter for protection of the fruit buds, when paying crops are secured. North of Orel the Griottes alone are grown on the bush plan, with from three to six stems springing up from the crown. In Vladimir tens of thousands of acres are covered with these bush cherry orchards, producing many train loads annually of fruit of surprising excellence, considering the far northern and inland location of the plantations.

On the college farm we have some specimens growing of the Ostheim, Vladimir, double Natte, and other forms of the Griottes, [Pg 23]and a few specimens from Orel and Veronish of the Amarells and the Spanish races. We have now orders out, of which we have received a part, for perhaps fifty other varieties from Austria, Poland, and South Russia.

For the present these will be planted in experimental orchard with a view to noting their behavior in our climate. Until scions are grown here we can not make much advance in propagation. The work is necessarily slow, but it can not fail, I think, to finally demonstrate that so far we have been on the wrong track in attempting to grow cherries on the prairies of the Northwest.


If turnips or other vegetables to be fed to stock become frosted, place them in a cool cellar, cover lightly with straw, and let them remain frozen. If they do not thaw they will be little harmed for feeding.

Snow should not be allowed to accumulate on evergreens. If so, and it partly thaws and then freezes, it can not be removed, but will catch the snow and wind, often to the entire destruction of the tree.

A frost proof vegetable house is described as made with walls fifteen inches thick, double boarded, the space between the boards being filled with sawdust. The ceiling is also boarded, with about ten inches of sawdust between the boards.

New England Homestead: The early black cranberry is the popular early berry on Cape Cod. It escapes the early frosts and so the crop produces better prices. A larger, lighter and longer berry is the James P. Howley, which is being introduced in Essex county. The latter variety is not so early as the former, but bears well, and in the protected bogs along shore is frequently preferred.

Northwest Farmer: Mr. Edison Gaylord, of Floyd county, Iowa, advocates setting trees in a leaning posture, to prevent them from being killed by the combined effects of the wind and sun on their southwest side. Prof. J.L. Budd, of the Iowa Agricultural College, says, in confirmation of Mr. Gaylord's view, he saw hundreds of the finer cherry and plum trees in Russia planted at an angle of forty-five degrees towards the one o'clock sun. He says that only for a short time will trees thus set have an awkward appearance.

The most convenient boxes in which to start seeds and cuttings are those known as "flats" among gardeners. A good size for the kitchen garden in which to start tomato seeds, etc., or for the ordinary conservatory, is two feet long, sixteen inches wide, and three inches deep. These shallow boxes are easy to handle, take up little room, and allow of much better drainage to the young plants. Salt or soap boxes can be easily cut up into three or four boxes three inches deep. Neat leather handles on each end of the box will increase its handiness. The bottom is better if made of several pieces of board, as the cracks insure good drainage.

James Vick's plan of catching slugs is as follows: "Take some pieces of slate, or flat stones, or flat pieces of tin, and lay them about in the garden among the plants, distributing them very liberally; just at sundown go out and place a teaspoonful of bran on each piece of slate or tin, and the slugs will soon become aware of it, and begin to gather and feed on it. In about two hours, when it is dark, go out again with a lantern and a pail containing salt and water, and pick up each piece on which the slugs are found feeding, and throw slugs and bran into the brine, where they instantly die. It is well, also, to go around in the morning, and many slugs will be found hiding under the pieces of slate, and can be destroyed in the brine. By following up this method persistently for a few weeks the garden may be effectually rid of the nuisance."

A correspondent of the Iowa Register advises us as to the proper manner of performing this operation: "To heel trees in properly, a trench should be dug on high, dry ground from two and a half to three feet deep; one side of which should slope from the bottom at an angle of 35 to 45 degrees. The trees should then be set against the sloping side of the trench and sufficiently apart to allow of fine earth being brought in close contact with every part of every root. When the roots and bodies of the trees are carefully covered, the trench should not only be filled but rounded up so as to form a mound over them. When air spaces are left among the roots they are liable to mould and rot. And very frequently, when they have not been buried sufficiently deep, the outside bark becomes detached from them and will slip off when they are being taken from the trench."

A correspondent of Gardening Illustrated (England), says this is the way to make an asparagus bed: Trench the soil at once two spits deep, and work in stable manure as the work proceeds, or if procurable, seaweed and plenty of sand, or any gritty substance, such as road scrapings. It should be left as rough as possible on the surface until April next, when the young plants will be in the best condition for planting, viz., with shoots a few inches long; then draw wide drills, and spread the roots of the plants out, covering with fine sandy soil, leaving the tips of the shoots just peeping through the soil, and if mild showery weather prevails the growth will be rapid. Put some pea-sticks to support the growth and keep it from suffering by wind waving. Merely keeping from weeds is all the other attention required until November, when the old tops may be cut off, and a dressing of rotten manure spread on the surface of the bed, to be lightly forked in during the following spring.

The Rural New Yorker says as follows: We plant the Cuthbert raspberry for late, the Hansel for early—both are of a bright red color, and suitable for market as well as for home use. For a yellow plant the Caroline. It is hardy and productive, though not of the first quality. For canning, or for table use, if you like a fruit full of raspberry flavor though a little tart, Shaffer's Colossal. It is rather dark in color for market, and perhaps a little soft. For a hardy, early, red raspberry that is sweet and delicious for home use, plant the Turner. For a raspberry that is excellent in every way, plant the new Marlboro. For the earliest and most productive of blackcaps, plant the Souhegan. For a larger and later blackcap, plant the Gregg. For currants, plant the Fay's Prolific for red, and the White Grape currant for white. For grapes, plant the Lady for earliest white, Moore's Early and Worden for early black. For later, plant the Victoria or Pocklington, for light colored; the Vergennes, Jefferson. Brighton or Centennial for red, and the Wilder, Herbert or Barry for black. For strawberries, try the Cumberland Triumph, Charles Downing, Sharpless, Manchester (pistillate), Daniel Boone, James Vick, Mount Vernon, Hart's Minnesota, and Kentucky. You can not select a better list for trial unless by experience you know already what varieties will succeed best on your land.


Gleanings by an Old Florist.


In the days of our boyhood the propagating house was, in the more pretentious nurseries, a very sacred place, under lock and key, and some of its mysteries supposed to be so profound that prying eyes of other establishments were not welcome.

Bell glasses in those days were thought to be indispensable, and some of the plants desired to be propagated were found to require months, sometimes nearly a year, before they could be transferred from the cutting pots. The hot-water tanks, and other bottom heat appliances of the present day were then unknown; and these appliances have resulted in greater simplicity of management. Still we are bound to admit that the demands here generally embrace a class of plants that, as a rule, are found to root the most readily, while those that have always been known to tax the propagator's skill, as the Heaths, New Holland, and others called hard wooded plants, are but little called for in this market.

At that time nearly everything was placed in pots of almost pure white sand, surrounded by the ordinary atmosphere of the house; while nowadays the establishment must be small indeed if it does not contain some place where the bed is so arranged that the heat at the bottom is from ten to fifteen degrees above that of the house proper. Here lies the whole secret as to whether it is a part of a single green-house or a house devoted exclusively to propagating purposes. For the purpose of being able at all times to control the temperature of the top, the propagating house has often a northern exposure, except in the very dead of winter. With a bright, clear sun above it is almost impossible in the daytime to keep down the temperature of the house sufficiently to prevent the young cuttings from wilting, after which disaster is very likely to follow in their final rooting. Given a top temperature never above 55 or 65 degrees, with a bottom always from 10 to 15 degrees higher, if the cuttings are in good shape it is a simple matter to root them in from seven to fifteen days; though the time it takes depends, of course, upon the plant and condition of the wood. At first efforts used to be contrived to get this bottom heat by means of the old flue system, with plenty of material covering the bricks, to break, in part, the dry burning nature of the heat.

Then hot water came in and furnished what was thought the acme of a propagator, and tanks of elaborate workmanship, and made of the finest material down to the commonest wood, were made so a circulation of hot water was kept up over as large an area as the necessity of the owner might require.

The results seemed excellent, but lo, every now and again, disastrous failures would occur. A material would spread all around called by the florist the cutting bench fungus, that would sweep through his crop like a plague; all sorts of theories would be given, and numberless articles appear in the horticultural periodicals of the day on its cause and cure. Presently it was found that those who did not use a tank of water, but had inclosed a space to be heated by hot water pipes, did not seem to suffer so much from the invidious foe. Much moisture was found an excellent remedy for the enemy, though it might have been its first cause, as it could be best warded off by dousing with the once praised hot water tank.

Whether a house is used exclusively or not, the ordinary hot water pipes are simply inclosed in a brick or wood space, with ventilators that may be opened to let off part of the confined heat into the house at pleasure. The front benches used are about two feet six inches to three feet in width, over, say four 4-inch pipes, up to within eighteen inches or two feet of the glass. On this is a platform over which three to six inches of sand is put, and in this bed are placed the cuttings where, with the differences before mentioned, they are kept as uniform as possible, and the sand kept decidedly wet. Almost everything we called soft wooded, or that can be got from the soft wood, even including most of our hardy shrubs, can be rooted with almost unerring certainty in the larger establishments by the hundreds of thousands.

As modern ideas demand large propagating, even in the summer, when it is next to impossible to keep these proportions of top and bottom heat, if in an ordinary propagating house, such firms as Miller & Hunt, strike out with another idea to overcome the difficulty. This is none other than instead of glass, they have a muslin canvas-covered house, in which they have again pits, where mild bottom heat can be obtained by the use of spent hops, tan bark, manure, or other material. Of course, it would be idle to talk of a summer bottom heat of 60 deg., but instead of that, they get one of about 80 deg., and depend upon a close, uniform, high, moist temperature to carry out the same results.

With this, rose plants can be and are raised by the hundreds of thousands from the single eye to a cutting, with a loss of not five per cent in the aggregate, and often not one per cent. It is very evident that with new or scarce plants this is an enormous average, as by its means firms can import the new European plants in the spring, at perhaps very high rates, start them into immediate, rapid growth, and from half a dozen plants to work on, maybe in the next spring markets have hundreds for sale.

This is all new as managed by us old 'uns in former times, but he who expects to be up with the present day and cater for that class of patronage, must take the new and not the old way of doing things, or he will, in the vernacular of the streets, "get left."

As we are on this particular topic, however, and as the amateur window plant-grower may want to propagate some little stock as well, even if not on these "high-falutin" ways, it might not be amiss to say that beyond the methods of "slipping" here and there cuttings in and among others growing in pots, or, mayhap, in a pot all by themselves, they can readily root lots of plants in a water and sand bath, which is nothing more than taking a deep saucer, putting half an inch of sand in the bottom, filling up the saucer full of water, and keeping it full; stick your cuttings into this, place right in the sunniest spot of your window, and they will grow about as certain, many of them, as if treated by the florist's more portentious method. Likely the reason of all this is, the water keeps the cuttings from wilting long enough for them to put forth their efforts for existence in the shape of new roots, obtained from the stored up material in the cuttings, and as soon as this is done they become new individual plants, requiring only to be transferred into a suitable medium of earth to go on as an independent, but similar existence to the plant from which they were obtained.

Edgar Sanders.

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.

We send specimen copies only of The Prairie Farmer.

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.


Price of the two.The two for
Harper's Weekly$6 00$4 60
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Western Farmer (Madison, Wis.)3 002 00
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St. Louis Globe-Democrat3 002 15
St. Louis Republican3 002 15
Scientific American5 204 15
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Standard (Baptist)4 703 60
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New York Independent5 004 00
Christian Union5 004 00
Boston Pilot (Catholic)4 503 50
American Bee Journal4 003 50
Florida Agriculturist4 002 75
Breeder's Gazette5 003 50
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Globe (Boston)3 002 75
Youth's Companion3 753 00
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Am. Poultry Journal (Chicago)3 252 75
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Wide Awake4 503 00
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American Agriculturist3 502 50
Poultry World3 252 75
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For clubbing price with any publication in the United States not included in the above list send us inquiry on postal card.



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


of Government Lands in Northwestern Minnesota and Northeastern Dakota.


Land and Emigration Commissioner,


I have a positive remedy for the above disease; by its use thousands of cases of the worst kind and of long standing have been cured. In deed, so strong is my faith in its efficacy, that I will send TWO BOTTLES FREE, together with a VALUABLE TREATISE on this disease, to any sufferer. Give Express & P.O. address. DR. T.A. SLOCUM, 181 Pearl St., N.Y.

NOW Is the time to Subscribe for The Prairie Farmer. Price only $2.00 per year. It is worth double the money.

[Pg 24]


THE PRAIRIE FARMER is printed and published by The Prairie Farmer Publishing Company, every Saturday, at No. 150 Monroe Street.

Subscription, $2.00 per year, in advance, postage prepaid. Subscribers wishing their addresses changed should give their old as well as new addresses.

Advertising, 25 cents per line on inside pages; 30 cents per line on last page—agate measure; 14 lines to the inch. No less charge than $2.00.

All Communications, Remittances, etc., should be addressed to The Prairie Farmer Publishing Company, Chicago, Ill.

The Prairie Farmer

Entered at the Chicago Office as Second-Class Matter.


[Transcriber's Note: Original location of Table of Contents.]


Remember that every yearly subscriber, either new or renewing, sending us $2, receives a splendid new map of the United States and Canada—58 × 41 inches—FREE. Or, if preferred, one of the books offered in another column. It is not necessary to wait until a subscription expires before renewing.


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.

To set forth the merits of the best breeds of domestic animals, and to elucidate the principles of correct breeding and management.

To further the work of agricultural and horticultural organization.

To advocate industrial education in the correct sense of the term.

To lead the van in the great contest of the people against monopolies and the unjust encroachments of capital.

To discuss the events and questions of the day without fear or favor.

To provide information concerning the public domain, Western soil, climate, water, railroads, schools, churches, and society.

To answer inquiries on all manner of subjects coming within its sphere.

To furnish the latest and most important industrial news at home and abroad.

To give full and reliable crop, weather, and market reports.

To present the family with pure, choice, and interesting literature.

To amuse and instruct the young folks.

To gather and condense the general news of the day.

To be, in brief, an indispensable and unexceptionable farm and home companion for the people of the whole country.

The style and form of the paper are now exactly what they should be. The paper used is of superior quality. The type is bold and clear. The illustrations are superb. The departments are varied and carefully arranged. The editorial force is large and capable. The list of contributors is greatly increased, and embraces a stronger array of talent than is employed on any similar paper in this country. We challenge comparison with any agricultural journal in the land.

The Prairie Farmer is designed for all sections of the country. In entering upon the campaign of 1884, we urge all patrons and friends to continue their good works in extending the circulation of our paper. On our part we promise to leave nothing undone that it is possible for faithful, earnest work—aided by money and every needed mechanical facility—to do to make the paper in every respect still better than it has ever been before.


To each Subscriber who will remit us $2.00 between now and February 1st, 1884, we will mail a copy of THE PRAIRIE FARMER for One Year, and one of our New Standard Time Commercial Maps of the United States and Canada—showing all the Counties, Railroads, and Principal Towns up to date. This comprehensive map embraces all the country from the Pacific Coast to Eastern New Brunswick, and as far north as the parallel of 52 deg., crossing Hudson's Bay. British Columbia; Manitoba, with its many new settlements; and the line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, completed and under construction, are accurately and distinctly delineated. It extends so far south as to include Key West and more than half of the Republic of Mexico. It is eminently adapted for home, school, and office purposes. The retail price of the Map alone is $2.00. Size, 58 × 41 inches. Scale, about sixty miles to one inch.


Another Special Offer.

"The Little Detective."

Weighs 1-4 oz. to 25 lbs.

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.

The sorghum-growers of Kansas are invited to meet at Topeka, the second Wednesday in February. The Kansas wool-growers meet on the 15th of this month.

Do not forget the Mississippi Valley Horticultural Society meeting at Kansas City, January 22-25. This will prove one of the important horticultural events of the year.

If any of our friends have Vols. I to XIV, and the years 1861, 1863 to 1873, and 1875 to 1883, of The Prairie Farmer, they would like to dispose of, we should be glad to hear from them.

The fifteenth annual exhibition of the Montana Agricultural, Mineral and Mechanical Association, will be held at Helena, September 8th-13th, 1884. President, S.H. Crounse; Francis Pope, Secretary.

The twenty-fifth annual fair of the Linn County (Iowa) Agricultural and Mechanical Society will be held on the fair grounds at Cedar Rapids, September 9, 10, 11, and 12, 1884. C.G. Greene, Secretary, Cedar Rapids.

If you are in need of a first-class wind mill, find out all about the Nichols' Centennial as advertised in our columns by Nichols & Daggett, and see if you do not think it just fills the bill. It is strong, durable, steady, and it takes and uses all the wind there is going.

Hon. E.B. David, member of the Illinois State Board of Agriculture from Mercer county, made a brief call at The Prairie Farmer office last week. From him we gathered the facts regarding the late meeting of the Board mentioned elsewhere. Mr. David has long been a staunch friend of The Prairie Farmer, and his call was a very welcome one.

Immigration at the port of New York fell off last year to the amount of 66,405 persons, or about 14½ per cent from that of 1882. The total number landed this last year was 388,342. The greatest decrease was from Sweden and Russia. From England came 30,818; Ireland, 52,555; Germany, 164,036; Italy, 24,101; Norway, 11,536; Hungary, 11,448; Switzerland, 9,447; Denmark, 7,770; Bohemia, 4,652. Last year the arrivals were 182,893. It is not unlikely that there will be a greater falling off this year for times are not sufficiently promising here to greatly stimulate emigration from Europe.

The Crystal Palace Company, of London advertise the holding for six months, from April 3 next, of an "exhibition of arts, manufactures, and scientific, agricultural, and industrial products," and invite the participation of American exhibitors. A court in a central position on the main floor has been set aside for expected American contributions, and the ordinary charge for space is two shillings per square foot. This will probably seem a trifle steep to American exhibitors who are not accustomed to pay for space in their own exposition buildings.

Last year was not a very surprising one in the matter of railway extension within the limits of Illinois. The report of the Railway and Warehouse Commissioners will show that but 135 miles of track were laid. But there are 10,456 miles of track in use in the State. The companies among these lines numbering sixty-four, operate 29,370 miles of road or nearly 20,000 miles outside of Illinois. The total net income of these companies was $81,720,256 and the dividends amounted to $36,374,474. In 1882 the dividends amounted to but $29,000,000. The average freight charges in 1883 were 1.09 cents per mile, while the year before they averaged 1.20 cents, hence it must follow that the amount of traffic greatly increased over that of 1882.

A lecture course for farmers at the Nebraska Agricultural College, will be given from February 4-15, by the regular instructors in the college. One or more lectures will be given on the following topics: Breeds of cattle and swine; breeding, improving, and care of stock; care of farm machinery; health on the farm; adulteration of food; economical farming; tame grapes; ensilage; what to feed; meteorology and plant growth; sorghum-growth and manufacture; horticulture; principles of pruning; the digestive organs of domestic animals; injurious insects. A number of leading farmers of the State have been invited to lecture upon their specialties. All the facilities of illustration and study owned by the college will be at the disposal of the students attending the course. These include several compound microscopes, a good agricultural library, meteorological apparatus, six breeds of cattle and four of swine, orchard, nursery, arboretum, vineyard, etc., etc. A limited number will be boarded at the college farm for a price not to exceed three dollars per week. Persons attending will be aided in securing cheap board in the city. Persons expecting to attend or desiring further information should write to S.R. Thompson, Dean Agricultural College, Lincoln, Neb.

Some of our readers may wish to paste this item in their scrap books. It cost to run the United States Government last year the sum of $251,428,117, expended as follows: To supply deficiencies, $9,853,869; legislative, executive, and judicial expenses, $20,332,908; sundry civil expenses, $25,425,479; support of the army, $27,032,099; naval service, $14,903,559; Indian service, $5,219,604; rivers and harbors, $18,988,875; forts and fortifications, $375,000; military academy, $335,557; post-office department, $1,902,178; pensions, $116,000,000; consular and diplomatic service, $1,256,655; agricultural department, $427,280; expenses District of Columbia, $3,496,060. The interest on the public debt amounted to $59,160,131 and the amount of principal paid off was $134,178,756. The receipts from internal revenue were $144,720,368, and from custom duties $214,706,496.

The Minnesota State Horticultural Society will hold its seventeenth annual meeting at the College of Agriculture, Minneapolis, four days, beginning with January 15th, and with the Minnesota State Forestry Association on the 18th. A cordial invitation is given to all persons interested in horticulture and forestry to be present. A large number of papers and reports are to be read, followed by discussions. These reports are by persons who possess a thorough practical acquaintance with the subjects presented, including such men as Peter M. Gideon, J.C. Plumb, Dr. T.H. Hoskins, Prof. C.W. Hall, Prof. J.L. Budd, Dr. F.B. Hough, H.J. Joly, J.F. Williams, and others. A number of premiums are offered for apples, grapes, plants, and flowers, vegetables, seeds, and miscellaneous objects. John S. Harris, of La Crescent, is President, and Oliver Gibbs, Jr., of Lake City, is Secretary.


The Illinois State Board of Agriculture held a business session in Springfield last week. All the members were present at one time or another during the meeting. The premium list was revised for the fair of 1884. The premiums for speed were somewhat increased over last year. In cattle sweepstakes classes it was decided that no animals can be allowed to compete except the winners of a first prize in other classes in which they had been entered, except in the case of the grand sweepstakes, to which will be permitted animals not previously entered for any prize.

The Board is to make a laudable attempt to stimulate corn culture and to benefit the corn growers of the State. It offers $100 for the best bushel (ears) of corn grown in each of the three grand divisions of the State, and a second prize of $50 for the next best sample in the three divisions. The premium samples are to become the property of the Board, and the winners of prize premiums must deliver on cars directed to the agricultural rooms, Springfield, twenty-five bushels (ears) of same variety that shall equal in merit the premium bushel. The winners of the second premiums must send the samples and fifteen bushels of same variety and of equal quality. The premiums will not be paid until the comparisons of the premium corn with the larger lots are made by a committee of the Board at its winter meeting in January next. The corn thus donated to the Board will be distributed to farmers throughout the State for planting in 1885.

Premiums are to be offered for tools, implements and appurtenances used in the coal mining and handling industry of the State.

Premiums for poultry have been increased, and an expert will be selected to do all the judging in the poultry department.

The chicken exhibit at the Fat Stock Show will not be continued.

The committee of dairymen appointed at the late meeting of the Illinois Dairymen's Association did not present themselves at the State Board meeting to confer about holding a dairy exhibit either at the State Fair or the Fat Stock Show, as instructed to do. No explanation of the failure was made. The State Board, however, to leave nothing undone to establish its desire to meet the dairymen half way or more, appointed a committee consisting of Messrs. David, Chester, and[Pg 25] Griffith, to confer with the DeKalb committee, in Chicago, at some convenient time to be agreed upon.

It was decided to hold the next Illinois State Fair at Chicago the week beginning September 8th, and the Fat Stock Show at the Exposition Building, Chicago, beginning November 11th.


Prof. Wiley, of the Department of Agriculture at Washington, will soon issue his report upon the sorghum business of 1883. Newspaper correspondents have been permitted to make a digest of the report. He pronounces erroneous the prevalent impression that every farmer may become his own sugar-maker. Sorghum, unlike sugar beet, contains various non-crystallizable sugars, the separation of which demands much skill and scientific knowledge. Sorghum-sugar will have to be made in large factories. The existing factories have shown that it can be made, but how profitably or unprofitably can not be stated by Prof. Wiley, who suggests that farmers near factories may, in effect, make their own sugar by raising the cane and trading it at factories for sugar. Cane giving sixty pounds of sugar per ton ought to bring the farmer thirty-five pounds, the rest of the sugar and molasses going to the manufacturer to pay expenses and yield profit. The profitableness of making sugar from sorghum depends largely on utilizing all waste products. The scums and sediments make manure hardly inferior to guano. Bagasse, or crushed cane, can be turned into manure by being thrown into hog-pens, as at Rio Grande, N.J., or it will make a fair quality of printing paper. It is not economical to burn it. If the manufacture of sorghum-sugar is proved to be profitable, it will result in supplying to a large extent our demand for sugar, but as sorghum makes a great deal more molasses in proportion to sugar than sugar-cane does, the Professor concludes that when there is enough sugar there will be a great deal more molasses than can be disposed of.

Prof. Wiley has made experimentally some fair samples of rum and alcohol from sorghum molasses. Under favorable circumstances one gallon of molasses weighing eleven pounds would give 2.75 pounds absolute alcohol, 3.03 pounds of 90 per cent, and 5.5 whisky or rum. Thus each gallon of molasses would give nearly half a gallon of commercial alcohol and two thirds of a gallon of whisky or rum. As it has been abundantly proved, he says, that sugar can be made from sorghum, the Government should make no further experiments in this direction. Prof. Wiley has tried the diffusion process, and finds it yields 20 per cent more sugar, but at a somewhat higher cost than grinding. The Government, he thinks, should purchase machinery for large experiments in the diffusion process, and should raise its cane somewhere else than near Washington, as land there is expensive and not adapted to the purpose. The Government should also make arrangements with agricultural colleges or other agencies in various States for experimenting with sorghum-culture to determine what parts of the country are most favorable to the culture of sugar-producing plants. Prof. Wiley suggests in each State the trial of two acres divided into ten plots—five for sorghum, four for beets, and one for corn—to test for purposes of comparison the general fertility of the soil and the character of the season. The Government ought to carry on for a series of years the process of selection of sorghum seed in order to secure an improvement in the quality of the cane.


The cold weather of last week seems to have extended over nearly the entire North American Continent. Nothing for severity has been known to equal it during a long series of years. East, West, North, and South it was all the same, differing in degree of course, but uniformly colder than scarce ever known in the same latitude.

The greatest loss to stock so far as heard from was in that in transit to market. On some of the roads the losses were heavy. A dispatch from Independence, Mo., says a train of fifteen cars, loaded with mules from Texas via the Iron Mountain and Southern road, arrived there on the 5th, when it was discovered that at least 100 of the mules had frozen to death, and the others were in a freezing condition. The mules were two years old and direct from grass. They had been three days without food.

Many trains arriving at Chicago had scores of frozen animals.

No great disaster is yet reported from the far West or from Minnesota and Dakota. Still there must have been great suffering not only among the dumb brutes, but among human beings as well. It is fortunate that polar waves do not visit us more frequently.

The effect upon fruit, buds, trees, and shrubs is not yet ascertained. It will be a marvel if many localities are not barren of fruit of nearly all kinds next year.

The Prairie Farmer will be very glad if its readers will favor it with their ideas and the results of their observations in regard to the damage of all sorts done by the intense cold of the first week of the year.

Questions Answered.

William Miller and F. Myrick, Peotone, Ill.—1. What are the laws in regard to drainage passed by the last Legislature? 2. Who is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and who his associates?

Answer—1. This is a question probably neither lawyers nor judges in Illinois are competent to answer. It you doubt it procure from the clerk of your County Court a copy of the public laws of 1883 and read the fifteen pages relating to drainage. 2. The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court is M.R. Waite, and his associates are S.F. Miller, S.J. Field, J.P. Bradley, J.M. Harlan. W.B. Woods, S. Mathews, H. Gray, and S. Blatchford.

Samuel Snodgrass, Meade Co., Ky.—1. I have some large, old, and apparently healthy, apple trees, but they are comparatively barren. What can I do for them? 2. I have others which appear to be going to decay and will soon die. Had I better anticipate their death by cutting them down, or try to save them as I would like to do, for their associations with the past.

Answer—1. We know no better course for you to take than to dig a deep ditch all around the trees, say three feet wide and as many deep, and just within the outer reach of the limbs, and fill this in with half the earth removed and the other half made up of vegetable matter, ashes, road dirt, and such manure from the barn and stable as you can spare. Having done this make an arrangement about each tree that will retain all the rainfall which comes down to the earth beneath and collect as much more from the open spaces about as possible. 2. Your old and decaying trees may be saved if decay has not gone too far. But the remedy is an heroic one, and rather expensive as you will find. First treat the decaying trees as described for the healthy ones, with the exception you add a greater proportion of fertilizers and manure when you fill in the ditch with half new material. Then (and all this work should be done, as it can readily be done, in your latitude during the cold months when vegetation is at a stand) give the old trees a thorough pruning, even going as far as to remove 90 per cent of all the leaf and fruit buds on the tree. Then wait for results, looking for nothing more than a new growth of wood the first year, but fruitfulness thereafter and a new lease of life. But remember as in the first place, care must be taken to supply abundant water, indeed as much more as the average rainfall, so much being absolutely necessary to afford the roots the amount of manurial plant food, in solution, the new departure demands. Every fruit-grower knows when a dwarf pear has borne a certain number of crops, fruit buds cease to form and the tree becomes nearly barren. If at this stage the dwarf is deprived of every bud, whether fruit or leaf, and the limbs are left to resemble bare sticks, and at the same time the earth about the roots is fortified with wood ashes and well rotted manure, a handsome growth of branches will be made the first year and a crop of fruit result the second. This, the writer has tried with perfectly satisfactory results twice on the same dwarfs, and has others which, having been submitted to this course of treatment, in the fall of 1882, made a handsome growth in 1883, and have set fruit buds for a good crop in 1884. The life of an average apple tree in Illinois is scarcely more than 35 or 40 years; but there is no doubt if, when they begin to show signs of decrepitude or decay, they are treated as above, they may be made to live and bear fruit for perhaps a hundred years.

American Ash.

There are five well-known species of this genus (Fraxinus Americana), and they occupy an important place as valuable timber trees. This is especially true of the white ash, more commonly called the American ash. Of this tree the late Arthur Bryant, Sr., said in his Book on Trees: "It is one of the most valuable and worthy of culture for the quality of its wood and the rapidity of its growth. When full grown it is one of the largest of the trees of our forests. * * * * The prairie soils of Iowa and Central and Northern Illinois are well adapted to the growth of the white ash."

Wayside Notes.


It is a strange and almost an unheard of thing for any one to say a good word for the "tree peddler" but I am going to say it if it breaks the heart of every horticultural baby in the land. Since a time to which the memory of man runneth not back, the poor "tree peddler" has been abused and maligned by horticultural speakers and writers. In conventions he has been ridiculed and denounced. Every cross-road nursery-man not possessed of stock sufficient to warrant a line of advertising even in his local paper, nor business force enough to send an agent through his own neighborhood to take orders for trees, has spoken in a horticultural meeting or written a letter to his favorite paper, warning the farmers against the wiles of the oily tongued fellow with colored fruit plates, specimens of preserved fruits, and an order book for trees, shrubs, and vines. And I think I have known of some of the big fish in the nursery business who with one end of their tongues have lashed some other big fish in the same business for employing irresponsible agents to sell stock for them, while with the other end they were commanding a small army of the same class of agents to go forth into all the world and preach the gospel of tree planting and—sell trees. Others have sold and continue to sell trees to peddlers without limit, for cash, and of any and all varieties called for, while they denounced the system of peddling in unmeasured terms. Now it is just as possible for a tree peddler to be an honest man as it is for the man who grows trees to sell to be honest. I do not say that all men belonging to either class are honest. It would be equally absurd to say that all of either class are dishonest. I despise the quack, the liar, the deceiver in any business, and I have no respect or love for the man who will sell worthless varieties of trees or wrongly named varieties, knowingly. Honesty here as elsewhere is the best policy. But here is a fact, as I believe: It is better to plant an inferior tree than none at all, and I know of neighbors who would go down into their graves without ever planting a tree if some persuasive peddler had not talked it into them to do so, and these same neighbors now have quite respectable orchards. Here is another fact: One half the orders sent to nursery-men by farmers during the past twenty years have called for varieties utterly worthless for the localities in which they were to be planted. And the tree peddler often gratifies the purchaser by pretending to sell to him a sort which he has made up his mind to have because he knows it was good in his old home a thousand miles away. But the peddler, not having this variety, and knowing that if he did have it it would prove worthless, substitutes a Ben Davis or some other approved variety, and it goes into the ground and in due time produces an abundance of excellent fruit. In this case the peddler does a really good thing. If nursery-men will stop propagating everything but varieties adapted to the country and the markets, and many of them are doing this, the tree peddler will be powerless for mischief—will in fact become a great public benefactor. But so long as nursery-men will continue to grow and sell worthless varieties, and so long as the people will remain in ignorance regarding adaptability, so long will the dishonest peddler remain an unmitigated nuisance and fraud. In brief these three things are wanted: Intelligent and honest nurserymen; orchard planters who either know what varieties are best for them to have, or who are willing to trust the selection to the afore-mentioned intelligent and honest nursery-men; and third, first-class talkers, intelligent as to varieties and methods of culture, who buy only of the intelligent and honest nursery-men, to go through the country and sell trees. It is unfortunate that it takes so many words to express what I wanted to say, but I am done at last.

I have got it! Yes, all the ice I want is now white for the harvest in our "artificial" pond. It is the only thing that reconciles me to this fierce visit of polar weather. As soon as a trifle milder wave gets along our way we shall carefully store away sufficient for the year's use. By the way, where are the poor deluded woodchucks, muskrats, and Old Settlers, who told us we were to bask in mild etherialness all winter long? I am disgusted this morning, with the mercury at 30 degrees below zero, and still going down, at the whole batch of them, and with Vennor and Hazen, and all professionally weatherwise men and things. I have heard of little real suffering in my neighborhood from the cold, among either humans or brutes. Doubtless, when the weather moderates and people get out to tell each other all about the cold spell, there will be many true tales of intense suffering and more than the usual romancing about the terrible week. And then the Oldest Inhabitant will thaw out, and with all the self-satisfaction that superior age and experience crown him with, will tell how much colder it was in such and such a year, until we wish this little spell had sealed his memory and mouth, for we do all take a great pride in living in a time that excels all other times, albeit, if it be only in a storm or a freeze. But in these things the early times of the Old Settler can never be excelled, no matter in what century he flourishes. He is always master of the situation. His experiences are like those of no other settler that ever lived and died. With him, imagination has gradually usurped the place of experience and its isothermal dips and dodges carry him through hotter and through colder seasons than are marked down in any Standard Time Prairie Farmer, or any other map or chart in existence. But for this weather business I should like to live next door to the Old Settler, for he is generally truthful, good, kind, full of practical knowledge and common sense.

Letter from Champaign.

We are having some very sharp winter weather, and sleighing as uninterruptedly good since the 20th of December as I ever remember. This morning, January 5th, the mercury reported 28 degrees below zero at 5:30 a.m., and 20 degrees below at 10 o'clock. This is the coldest since January 29th, 1873, when 36 degrees below was recorded at the Industrial University here, and 42 degrees below by the spirit thermometer at one of the Jacksonville institutions. But the wind was west at that date, and it is so to-day, showing our coldest weather comes from that direction rather than from the northwest or north. The explanation I suppose to be, those great fountains of cold storage, the Colorado mountains, lie west and southwest of us, and are several hundred miles nearer than the lower peaks and ranges northwest.

It is an interesting and important truth to know at this time that an unexpected source for seed corn has been discovered here at home. It has been ascertained by experiment and investigation that the early frosted corn, which has been allowed to stand in the field, has a sound germ, and though shrunken, will make fairly good seed, whereas corn which was not frosted till late in October, and ripened in most respects, save drying out, is wholly unfit for seed, having had the cells of the kernels ruptured by the freezings it has been subjected to. This rupture of cells the grain of the frosted corn escaped, having parted with the surplus water of vegetation before hard weather set in. However, the early frosted and shrunken cane fit for seed may be confined to this county or neighborhood, or a narrow area, and therefore I advise every one who thinks of making use of it to ascertain for himself, by the usual methods, whether the germ is sound or not.

Several parties have written me—one from Missouri, another from Indiana, and a third from Kentucky, that they have seed corn for sale, cheap and in quantity. I have no doubt of it, and I have accordingly advised each to advertise it in The Prairie Farmer, if they are really desirous of selling, stating briefly what variety, where grown, and at what price. I should be glad to advertise it for them gratuitously, but the contract of The Prairie Farmer with its contributors contains a clause to the effect that "they shall neither use its columns to grind their own axes nor the axes of anybody else." With the recourse of early frosted corn to go to, and the assistance of appropriately selected seed from abroad, the gross mistakes and disappointments of 1883 are pretty certain to be avoided in 1884.

No doubt many who are more or less familiar with the Reports on Hog Cholera in the official publication of the Department of Agriculture, ask themselves why Dr. Detmers is singled out by Frenchmen as the sole authority on swine diseases, when his colleagues of the commission, Dr. Salmon and Laws went nearly as far as he did in their extravagant statements. But the prominence Dr. Detmers has obtained in the estimation of Frenchmen is now explained in this: At a late sitting of the French Academy of Sciences that eminent savant, Pasteur, referred to him and his investigations in flattering terms. Giving an account of the discovery of the microbe which causes the rouget of swine in France, Pasteur said: "Respect for historic truth compels me to state, however, that in the month of March, 1882, the microbe of the rouget was discovered at Chicago, in America, by Professor Detmers, in a series of investigations which did great honor to their author." With the indorsement of one of the most eminent scientists in the world, before a body equally distinguished, Dr. Detmers may find some compensation in being singled out as the scape goat for an unfortunate commission which has cost the country many millions.


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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.

A Duck Farm.

You will not find it on the map because it is not mentioned there, and I shall not tell you where it is because I promised the little woman who owns it, and who gave me permission to tell other women what she had done, that I would not mention her name or the name of the place where she lives and works. How did I happen to find her? I didn't find her; it just happened—i.e., if anything ever happens in this queer old world of ours. We bumped our heads together once in a railway accident, and we have been firm friends ever since.

Her farm is only a bit of land, some thirty acres, but for the last five years she has made from ten to twelve hundred dollars a year from it, and most of the money came from the ducks. She sells eggs for hatching, and ducks for breeding and for exhibition, but the main object is ducks and feathers for market. She thinks ducks are less trouble and quite as profitable as hens. She keeps twenty-four stock ducks, eight males and sixteen females, through the winter. The ducks commence laying from the middle of February to the first of March, and lay from 100 to 125 eggs each in a season. The first laid eggs are set to get ducks to sell for breeding stock and for the early summer market. For this purpose the eggs from the ducks that are two or three years old are used, and when hatched the ducklings from those eggs are marked by punching a small round hole in the web of the feet. She thinks, and rightly, too, that the eggs from the older ducks procure larger and more vigorous birds than the first eggs from the young ducks.

As soon as the weather gets warm enough to ship without danger of chilling on the way, she sells eggs for hatching at $3 per dozen, and finds no difficulty in disposing of as many as she cares to spare at that price. Her sales of eggs for hatching amount to about $100 yearly. Besides the eggs used and sold for hatching she generally sends a twenty-four-dozen case to New York just before Easter. These large, finely-shaped, pure white eggs sell readily for Easter eggs, and bring from forty to fifty cents per dozen.

From the eggs set on her own place during the season she raises from ten to twelve hundred ducks each year. The ducklings are hatched from the first of April up to about the first of August. Most of the ducklings are raised by hen mothers, and she keeps some fifty hens for that purpose. The hens are all pure Buff Cochins, and are kept until they are two years and a half old. Besides raising two broods of ducks each season, each hen pays her owner an average profit of seventy-five cents a year from the sale of eggs for market. When fattened for market at the end of the second season, these Cochin hens are large and heavy, and the carcass of the old fowl generally sells for enough to pay for a pullet to take her place. No chickens are raised on the farm; the pullets are bought of a neighbor who keeps the Buff Cochins.

She aims to set several hens and the incubator at the same time; when the eggs hatch the incubator ducklings are divided up among the hens; one hen will care for twenty ducklings until they are old enough to care for themselves. The eggs hatch well—those in the incubator quite as well as those under hens, and when the incubator ducklings are once mixed up with the others she finds it impossible to distinguish "which from 'tother."

When the ducklings are ten or twelve hours old they are moved with the mother hen to coops and safety runs, which are placed in an orchard near the house. This orchard contains about four and a half acres, and the coops are scattered over it a few rods apart. On the side of the orchard that leads to the "pond lot," the bottom board of the fence is a foot wide and comes close to the ground in order to keep the ducklings from taking to the water too early in life.

When the ducklings are four weeks old the hens are taken away, but the ducklings are kept in the orchard until they are six weeks old, or until they are well feathered on the breast and under part of their bodies, when they are turned into the pond lot, where they "take to the water like ducks."

The pond lot contains nearly thirteen acres, five of which are covered with water. Originally, this lot was a piece of low, rocky, bushy pasture land, between two low ranges of hills. A stream of clear, sparkling water, a famous trout brook, ran through the center. The woman who proposed to raise ducks saw at once the advantage of such a situation, and had a dam constructed near the upper end of the lot, and later another was made lower down, so that the lot contained two large ponds. Where the fences which separate my friend's land from that of her neighbor cross the stream, water-gates are put in, which keep the ducks from swimming out with the water; and the bottom boards of the fence around the rest of the lot keep them from getting out that way. Two well-trained dogs guard this lot at night, and woe to the two-footed or four-footed prowler who intrudes.

The duck houses are simply long, low sheds—with the exception of the one where the breeding stock is wintered, which is inclosed—placed on the slope a few rods back from the water. They were built of refuse lumber, and the cost was comparatively trifling. Connected with the house for the breeding-stock is a small yard where the ducks are shut in at night through the laying season. From the time when they are twelve hours old till within twenty-four hours of the time when they are killed for market, the ducklings are well fed with a great variety of food. From the first meal until they are turned into the pond lot they are fed every two hours between daylight and dark. "Little and often," is the motto. Before they take to the water the ducklings are fed a little cooked meat once each day, and doubtless this ration of meat has much to do toward making the fine large ducks that my friend has a reputation for raising. After they are turned into the pond lot the ducklings are fed but three times a day till within two or three weeks of the time when they are to be marketed; then they are confined in the fattening yards and fed oftener.

The fattening yards are situated between the two ponds, and so arranged as to inclose a portion of the stream.

The ducklings are marketed as fast as they reach a suitable age and size. She commences sending them to market about the middle of June and keeps it up till about the middle of September, when she quits till near the middle of January. These prime young ducks, getting into market at a time when such poultry is scarce, bring good prices—from 22 to 25 cents a pound, dressed. By the time the price begins to decline she has marketed all the earlier ones that she cares to spare, and the later-hatched she keeps growing till mid-winter, when fine ducks are again scarce and the price goes up. At Thanksgiving and during the holidays when the markets are crowded with poultry of all kinds, she holds on to her ducks, unless she has an order at an extra price.

At first my friend kept the Rouens; then she tried the Aylesburys, but now she keeps only the pure Pekins, and is so well satisfied with them that she has no desire to change for anything else. She says, "For laying qualities, quick growth, great size, fine flesh and fine feathers, the Pekins can not be excelled."

On her place I have seen six-weeks old Pekins that weighed six pounds a pair alive, and those that dressed from three to four pounds each at ten or twelve weeks. At five and six months her ducks dress from six to eight pounds each. For the feathers, the best and finest of which are carefully saved by themselves, my friend obtains forty cents per pound.

All the work connected with the duck-raising, except now and then some heavy work which is necessary in the pond lot, is now performed by my friend and her three children, a boy of fifteen, and two girls of thirteen and eighteen.

There is a moral to this, but if you can't find it it will not do you one bit of good.

Fanny Field


An old physician, retired from practice, having had placed in his hands by an East India missionary the formula of a simple vegetable remedy for the speedy and permanent cure of Consumption, Bronchitis, Catarrh, Asthma and all throat and Lung Affections, also a positive and radical cure for Nervous Debility and all Nervous Complaints, after having tested its wonderful curative powers in thousands of cases, has felt it his duty to make it known to his suffering fellows. Actuated by this motive and a desire to relieve human suffering, I will send free of charge, to all who desire it, this recipe, in German, French, or English, with full directions for preparing and using. Sent by mail by addressing with stamp, naming this paper.

W.A. Noyes, 149 Power's Block, Rochester, N.Y.

A guilt frame—the prison window.

The Apiary

Apiary Appliances.

In the last issue of The Prairie Farmer the "Italian and German Bees" were described true as life, by that prince of writers, L.L. Langstroth. After a careful perusal of the article named, in which the good and bad traits of each race are delineated, any person ought to be able to choose intelligently which bee is best, all things taken into consideration, for him to procure.

In starting an apiary, there is another item of equal importance, and that is what kind of dwellings should be erected for the occupants of this future city. The wants of the future tenants should be considered; provide them with all modern conveniences, as to pantry and larder, and don't forget, as some architects do, that abodes should be ventilated as well as warm. Some bee-masters prefer houses that are high between ceilings, others low; some prefer large houses, many again those that are smaller. The size has to be made according to the frame chosen. There are five different sizes of movable frames now in use among bee-keepers, and those are equally successful who use either size. The Langstroth is more in common use than any other. Some object to it, claiming that it is too shallow.

In looking at the plates of the five different sizes of frames, an idea is gained how minds differ. Each one has its advocates, and its votaries claim that the frame they use is the very best for all purposes. We were once looking out of the window of a friend's house on her neat, well-kept apiary, and remarked what baby hives. And we found no fault with the baby, when this lady showed us her beautiful white sections of comb-honey, and ate her delicious peaches, canned, with extracted honey for sweetening.

It must be fun to handle the little Gallup, but the Langstroth has an advantage over all others; it consists in this: that it is most used, and if a person desires to sell his hives and frames, he can more readily do so. It is also easily obtained, as it is kept in stock by supply dealers, and can be quickly sent forward when ordered, but if it was an off size wanted, a delay would occur; some change might have to be made in the machinery, and it would cost more, as well as the delay occasioned, which, if in the midst of the honey harvest, might cause great loss.

Other appliances of the apiary, to suit this frame, are kept by supply dealers; such as extractors, comb-baskets, uncapping cans, etc. With any of these frames a hive can be made large or small, by regulating the number of frames. If the hives are bottomless, as many make them, a tall hive can be made by tiering up, as is practiced by those who work for extracted honey. The Adair frame was formerly used in a hive called the "New Idea, or Non-swarming Hive." Its non-swarming qualities consisted in its being a long hive, and if empty frames were always kept in front, so that the bees had to pass through empty space to reach the brood nest, they would not swarm.

Frames should be placed in a hive an inch and one-half from center to center, and should have three-eighths of an inch space between them and the hive. This last item was considered of enough importance to have a patent issued for it. If the distance from the top of the frames to the honey board, or between the frames and the hive, is less than three-eighths of an inch, the bees will propolis it together, and if it is more, they will build comb between.

Mrs. L. Harrison.

What Should be Worked For.

As publishers, says the Weekly Bee Journal, we should,

1. Encourage planting bee-pasturage, that there may be, every season, a crop of honey to gather, in order to make apiculture a certain occupation.

2. Foster district and local societies to afford mutual instruction, and strengthen fraternization.

3. Institute large and attractive honey and apiarian exhibits at all fairs, to educate the community to the desirableness of a superior product.

4. Cultivate a discriminating domestic market, to encourage superiority and excellence.

5. Sell at all times, and in all places, an honest article under an honest name.

Brown's Bronchial Troches for Coughs and Colds: "I do not see how it is possible for a public man to be himself in winter without this valuable aid."—Rev. R.M. Devens, Pocasset, Mass.

The Prairie Farmer


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REMEMBER that $2.00 pays for The Prairie Farmer from this date to January 1, 1884; $2.00 pays for it 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.


The Star of Bethlehem.

"We have seen his star in the East," said the wise men. From what remote region of antiquity may we suppose that this fancy came, that important events to the world of man were heralded by marvelous phenomena of the heavens? To the ignorant man, there can never be any world outside of that with which he is concerned. So the primitive man had no use for planets, comets, and the like, that were not in some way concerned with his destiny. And we no doubt own our magnificent modern science of astronomy to the quack system of astrology, which was only a device to induce the heavenly bodies to minister to the importance and conceit of man.

The accepted Scriptures tell us that the birth of the Savior of mankind was heralded by the appearance of a remarkable star in the sky. Taking this assertion to be true, it might be a matter of some interest to consider what explanations have been made of this phenomenon. A large majority of religious teachers, we admit, even to the present day, have attempted no explanation whatever, but have settled the subject by calling the star a miraculous appearance, concerning whose true nature we can know nothing. But two solutions of the phenomenon have been given by well-known astronomers, either of which, if accepted, will place the miracle in the list of purely natural occurrences.

Kepler held that the Star of Bethlehem was simply a conjunction of the planets. Astronomy, which, more fortunate than history, can bring unimpeachable witnesses to its record of past events, assures us that there was a remarkable conjunction, or rather three conjunctions of the planets Jupiter and Saturn, in the year of Rome 747, or seven years before the Christian era. It is now generally admitted that Christ was probably born at least four years before the date fixed upon as the first "year of our Lord," and remembering how much uncertainty hangs about this date we might consider ourselves fully justified in placing it, as Kepler did, in the year 7 B.C. This being granted, let us see how the occurrence of the conjunctions in this year explains the miracle of the "Star."

In the first place, note that the Magi, or Wise Men, of the East (presumably the country of Chaldea) were the first to call attention to the star as indicating the birth of the "King of the Jews." The Chaldeans were devoted to astrology, and it is only reasonable to infer that whatever remarkable appearance they saw in the sky, they would endeavor to explain it by their astrological laws. On the 29th of May, 7 B.C., a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn occurred, in the 20th degree of the constellation Pisces, close to the first point of Aries; on the 29th of September of the same year, another conjunction of these planets took place, in the 16th degree of Pisces; and on the 5th of December, a third, in the 15th degree of the same sign. (These are not conjectures or inferences, but known astronomical facts.) If we suppose that the Magi, intent on their study of the heavens, saw the first of these conjunctions, they actually saw it in the East, for on May 29, it would rise three and one half hours before sunrise. It is not necessary to suppose that the planets approached near enough to each other to appear as one star, for they probably did not—it was their conjunctions that gave their astrological significance. It plainly indicated to these observers that some important event was impending, and what could be more important than the birth of a great man? But where was this one to appear? The sign Pisces was the most significant one for the Jews, for according to astrological legend, in the year 2865 A.M. a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in this sign had heralded the birth of Moses; the proximity to Aries indicated that the hero foretold was of kingly lineage; the Jewish expectation of a great king had become a well-known story in Chaldea during the captivity, ergo, the inference was prompt and sure, this conjunction indicated the birth of the expected King of the Jews. That they might be among the first to do honor to so great a personage as they believed this king to be, the wise men soon set out for Judea. The journey probably took them five months or more. On their way they witnessed the second conjunction, which no doubt only strengthened their faith. If they performed the journey from Jerusalem to Bethlehem at the time of the third conjunction, December 5, in the evening, as the narration implies, the stars would be some distance east of the meridian, and would seem to move from southeast to southwest, or towards Bethlehem. Their standing over the house we may regard as an additional statement that crept into the narration probably through its repetitions.

Such is Kepler's explanation of the Star of Bethlehem. But before he had given this to the world, indeed while he was an infant in his cradle, Tycho Brahe had connected the phenomenon with that of one of the great variable stars of the solar system.

The latter astronomer discovered, in 1572, what appeared to be a new star in the constellation, Cassiopeia. It was a star of the first magnitude when first perceived, and daily it increased in brilliancy, till it out-shone Sirius, equaled Venus in lustre, and could be perceived, even by the naked eye, at noonday. For nearly a month the star shone; at first it had a white light, then a yellow, and finally it was a bright red. Then it slowly faded, and in about sixteen months had disappeared.

Amidst all the conjecture concerning this remarkable appearance, some regarding it as a new world in process of creation, others as a sun on fire, Tycho Brahe held to the belief, though unable to prove it, that it was a star with a regular period of light and of darkness, caused possibly by its nearness to, or distance from, the earth. When the telescope was invented, forty years later, the accuracy of this theory was known. At the spot carefully mapped out by Tycho Brahe, a telescopic star was found, undoubtedly the same one whose brilliant appearance had so startled the world in 1572. Upon this, astronomers began to study the annals of their science for similar appearances, and found that a very brilliant star had appeared and disappeared near the same spot in the heavens in 1264, and also in 945. The inference was that this star had a period of about three hundred years, and counting back, imagination might place one of its periods of brilliancy very near the time of Christ's birth. For this reason it received the name of the Star of Bethlehem, and many have fully accepted the theory which makes this variable luminary identical with the "Star of the East."

This second theory has especial interest just now, for if astronomical calculations are correct, we may look for the reappearance of this remarkable star during the coming year. If it does fulfill the prediction of its return it must be reckoned as one of the most noteworthy phenomena of the century.

For the benefit of amateur observers, who are as likely as any to be the first to perceive this remarkable sight, we may say that Cassiopeia, the constellation in which it will appear, lies very near the North Star. You all know how to find the Polar Star by the pointers of the Great Dipper; continue this line beyond about an equal distance, and you will strike Caph, the largest star in Cassiopeia, or the Chair, so-called because the stars form the outline of an inverted chair. Near one of these the wandering luminary will probably flash out, "to amaze a wondering world."

We may remark, in conclusion, that though there are quite a number of variable stars, their nature and the cause of their changes are but imperfectly understood. The Star of Bethlehem has no doubt an orbit, which brings it much nearer the earth at some times than others. But astronomers do not believe that the mere fact of distance explains all changes. There is a star known as Mira, which for eleven months is wholly invisible to the naked eye, then flames forth as a star of the first magnitude, and is visible for a period of nearly three months, fading at its close into darkness again. The star Algol, in the constellation Perseus, is usually of the second magnitude, but every two and a-half days it begins to decline in brilliancy, becomes very faint, and remains thus for about three hours, and then waxes bright again. Possibly this may be caused by the shadow of another star. In 1866 a star of the eighth magnitude, in the Northern Crown, suddenly flamed up into extraordinary brilliancy, remained thus for several months and gradually subsided. This star was examined with the spectrum, and showed lines of burning hydrogen. This led to the theory, now held, that the increase in brilliancy of these stars is caused by the incandescence of this gas. These fixed stars are all supposed to be suns of other systems, and to be surrounded—like our sun—with envelopes of fiery gases; from some cause not at all understood these gases may, at regular periods, flame up with fiercer heat than usual, and produce this appearance of greatly increased light. This is a very inadequate explanation, no doubt, but it is the best that astronomers have yet been able to devise in the matter.



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.



Use the Magneton Appliance Co.'s



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CATARRH, It is needless to describe the symptoms of this nauseous disease that is sapping the life and strength of only too many of the fairest and best of both sexes. Labor, study, and research in America, Europe, and Eastern lands, have resulted in the Magnetic Lung Protector, affording cure for Catarrh, a remedy which contains No Drugging of the System, and with the continuous stream of Magnetism permeating through the afflicted organs; must restore them to a healthy action. We place our price for this Appliance at less than one-twentieth of the price asked by others for remedies upon which you take all the chances, and we especially invite the patronage of the many persons who have tried drugging the stomachs without effect.

HOW TO OBTAIN This Appliance. Go to your druggist and ask for them. If they have not got them, write to the proprietors, enclosing the price, in letter at our risk, and they will be sent to you at once by mail, post paid.

Send stamp for the "New Departure in Medical Treatment without medicine," with thousands of testimonials,

218 State Street, Chicago, Ill.

Note.—Send one dollar in postage stamps or currency (in letter at our risk) with size of shoe usually worn, and try a pair of our Magnetic Insoles, and be convinced of the power residing in our Magnetic Appliances. Positively no cold feet where they are worn, or money refunded.




If You Do, the Books Described Below Point the Way.

The most promising field for men of talent and ambition at the present day is the railroad service. The pay is large in many instances, while the service is continuous and honorable. Most of our railroad men began life on the farm. Of this class is the author of the accompanying books descriptive of railway operations, who has been connected continuously with railroads as a subordinate and officer for 27 years. He was brought up on a farm, and began railroading as a lad at $7 per month. He has written a number of standard books on various topics connected with the organization, construction, management and policy of railroads. These books are of interest not only to railroad men but to the general reader as well. They are indispensable to the student. They present every phase of railroad life, and are written in an easy and simple style that both interests and instructs. The books are as follows:

"RAILWAY EXPENDITURES—THEIR EXTENT, OBJECT AND ECONOMY."—A Practical Treatise on Construction and Operation. In Two Volumes, 850 pages.$4.00
"HAND BOOK OF RAILWAY EXPENDITURES."—Practical Directions for Keeping the Expenditure Accounts.2.00
"RAILWAY REVENUE AND ITS COLLECTION."—And Explaining the Organization of Railroads.2.50
"THE BAGGAGE PARCEL AND MAIL TRAFFIC OF RAILROADS."—An interesting work on this important service; 425 pages.2.00
"TRAIN AND STATION SERVICE"—Giving The Principal Rules and Regulations governing Trains; 280 pages.2.00
"THE TRACK ACCOUNTS OF RAILROADS."—And how they should be kept. Pamphlet.1.00
"THE FREIGHT TRAFFIC WAY-BILL."—Its Uses Illustrated and Described. Pamphlet..50
"MUTUAL GUARANTEE."—A Treatise on Mutual Suretyship. Pamphlet..50

Any of the above books will be sent post paid on receipt of price, by

150 Monroe St. Chicago, Ill.

Money should be remitted by express, or by draft check or post office order.

Cut This Out & Return to us with TEN CTS. & you'll get by mail A GOLDEN BOX OF GOODS that will bring you in MORE MONEY, in One Month, than anything else in America. Absolute Certainty. Need no capital. M. Young, 173 Greenwich St. N. York.

40 (1884) Chromo Cards, no 2 alike, with name, 10c., 13 pks, $1. GEORGE I. REED & CO., Nassau, N.Y.

[Pg 28]

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


Happy young friends, sit by me,
Under May's blown apple-tree;
Hear a story, strange and old,
By the wild red Indians told,
How the Robin came to me:
Once a great chief left his son,—
Well-beloved, his only one,
When the boy was well-nigh grown,
In the trial-lodge alone
Left for tortures long and slow
Youths like him must undergo,
Who their pride of manhood test,
Lacking water, food and rest,
Seven days the fast he kept,
Seven nights he never slept.
Then the poor boy, wrung with pain,
Weak from nature's overstrain,
Faltering, moaned a low complaint;
"Spare me, Father, for I faint!"
But the chieftain, haughty-eyed,
Hid his pity in his pride.
"You shall be a hunter good,
Knowing never lack of food;
You shall be a warrior great,
Wise as fox, and strong as bear;
Many scalps your belt shall wear,
If with patient heart you wait
One day more!" the father said.
When, next morn, the lodge he sought,
And boiled samp and moose-meat brought
For the boy, he found him dead.
As with grief his grave they made,
And his bow beside him laid,
Pipe and knife, and wampum-braid—
On the lodge-top overhead,
Preening smooth its breast of red
And the brown coat that it wore,
Sat a bird, unknown before.
And as if with human tongue,
"Mourn me not," it said, or sung;
"I, a bird, am still your son,
Happier than if hunter fleet,
Or a brave, before your feet
Laying scalps in battle won.
Friend of man, my song shall cheer
Lodge and corn-land hovering near.
To each wigwam I shall bring
Tidings of the coming spring;
Every child my voice shall know
In the moon of melting snow,
When the maple's red bud swells,
And the wild flower lifts its bells.
As their fond companion
Men shall henceforth own your son,
And my song shall testify
That of human kin am I."
Thus the Indian legion saith
How, at first, the robin came
With a sweeter life from death,
Bird for boy, and still the same.
If my young friends doubt that this
Is the robin's genesis,
Not in vain is still the myth
If a truth be found therewith:
Unto gentleness belong
Gifts unknown to pride and wrong:
Happier far than hate is praise—
He who sings than he who slays.
—J.G. Whittier in St. Nicholas.

After Twenty Years.

The following tale of love and faithful waiting is told the New York World by its Canton, Ohio, correspondent:

At the residence of Thomas Barker, three miles from this village, two people were to-day made man and wife. William Craig left his pretty girl sweetheart in a fit of jealous anger on the eve of Dec. 9, 1863, returned a week or two since, found his betrothed still single and true, and this afternoon the long deferred marriage was consummated. All the surviving friends of their youth were present, and many half forgotten associates came from neighboring towns and farms to join in the merrymaking.

Twenty years ago Will Craig worked on his father's farm near here during the day and spent his evenings at the residence of a farmer neighbor. The attraction was Mary Barker, a pretty seventeen-year old girl. Craig was deeply in love and so was Mary, but like many other girls she liked to play the coquette occasionally.

Their wedding-day was set for Christmas, 1863, and the prospective bride felt secure. One evening, however, the pretty Mary pushed her coquetry too far. On December 7, 1863, Farmer Barker gave an old-fashioned "sociable" in honor of his daughter's approaching wedding. Craig was there, of course, but his happiness was marred by the presence of a Pittsburg youth—a new comer. Mary allowed this young man to pay her many attentions.

Craig was madly jealous. After all his attention he thought his betrothed showed too much regard for his rival, and as she only laughed at his pleadings he grew angry and threatened to leave. Her seeming indifference made him desperate, and he declared:

"If you dance once more with that fellow you will not see me again for twenty years."

"You couldn't leave me for even twenty hours if you tried ever so hard," she replied, and with a coquettish smile she went off to dance with his rival.

Craig went home alone that night and the next day was missing. The most careful search failed to reveal any trace of him. The old couple continued to till the farm without the aid of the strong-armed son, and at the neighbor's down the road pretty Mary Barker went about her household labors with a demure air that told plainly how she regarded her lover's disappearance. She refused to "keep company" in the old-fashioned way with any of the young farmers who would willingly have taken young Craig's place. She went out very little, kept a cat and grew domestic in her habits. She had an abiding faith that Craig would return, and to all entreaties would only shake her head and say: "I am waiting for Will." The firm contour of the cheek grew somewhat less rounded, the springing step less elastic, but she would not think of marriage.

Friday, December 7, of this month (December) was just twenty years since the disappearance of William Craig. In the twilight a bearded man of forty came up the walk and as Miss Barker opened the door he put out both hands and said:

"Mary, I have come again."

"I am sorry you waited so long Will," was the quiet reply, as she led him into the house, where each told the story of the weary waiting, and Christmas was fixed upon once more as the day for the wedding.

To the eager questions of old friends as to where he spent the time, he told them, as he had already told his wife, how he had at once gone to Philadelphia, enlisted in the army under an assumed name, then, after the war, gone to Nebraska and taken up a tract of valuable land. This he had diligently cultivated until at present he is in more than comfortable circumstances. The Craigs will leave early in January for their Nebraska home.

Will Readers Try It.

The other day, says an exchange, we came across the following recipe for making ink in an English archæological journal. Archæology is the "science of antiquities," and surely this recipe is old enough to be good. It occurred to us that during the summer vacation many of our boys who are longing for something to do, might earn some money by manufacturing some of this ink and selling it in their neighborhood. At any rate the recipe is a good one and worthy of a trial by old folks as well as young people. Here is the recipe, and the way it was discovered, as told by a writer in Notes and Queries:

While examining a large number of MSS. of an old scribe some twenty years ago, I was struck with the clearness and legibility of the writing, owing in a great measure to the permanent quality of the ink, which had not faded in the least, although many of the MSS. were at least two hundred years old. It was remarkable, that the writer must have been celebrated in his day for the excellence of his calligraphy, for I met with a letter or two from his correspondents in which there was a request for the recipe of the ink he used. I found his recipes, which I copied, and from one of them, dated in 1654, I have, during the last fifteen years, made all the ink I have used. The recipe is as follows:

Rain water, one pint; galls, bruised, one and one-half ounces; green copperas, six drachms; gum Arabic, ten drachms. The galls must be coarsely powdered and put in a bottle, and the other ingredients and water added. The bottle securely stoppered, is placed in the light (sun if possible), and its contents are stirred occasionally until the gum and copperas is dissolved; after which it is enough to shake the bottle daily, and in the course of a month or six weeks it will be fit for use. I have ventured to add ten drops of carbolic acid to the contents of the bottle, as it effectually prevents the formation and growth of mold, without any detriment to the quality of the ink, so far as I know.

The Secret of Longevity.

A French medical man who has just died at the age of one hundred and seven, pledged his word to reveal the secret of his longevity, when no more, for the benefit of others. It was stipulated, however, that the precious envelope containing the recipe for long life was not to be opened until he had been buried. The doctor's prescription, now made known, is simple enough; and easy to follow; but whether it is as available as he pretends, the Journal of Chemistry says, is extremely doubtful. He tells his fellow-men, that, if they wish to live for a century or more, they have but to pay attention to the position of their beds. "Let the head of the bed be placed to the north, the foot to the south; and the electric current, which is stronger during the night in the direction of the north, will work wonders on their constitutions, insure them healthier rest, strengthen their nervous system, and prolong their days." It is, he adds, to scrupulous attention to the position of his bed that he ascribes his longevity, the enjoyment of perfect health, and the absence of infirmity.

How the Inventor Plagues His Wife.

A facetious chap connected with one of our daily newspapers give the following amusing burlesque on the trials of an inventor's wife:

"It is all very well to talk about working for the heathen," said one, as the ladies put up their sewing, "but I'd like to have some one tell me what I am to do with my husband." "What is the matter with him?" asked a sympathetic old lady. "William is a good man," continued the first, waving her glasses in an argumentative way, "but William will invent. He goes inventing round from morning till night, and I have no peace or comfort. I didn't object when he invented a fire escape, but I did remonstrate when he wanted me to crawl out of the window one night last winter to see how it worked. Then he originated a lock for the door that would not open from midnight until morning, so as to keep burglars out. The first time he tried it he caught his coat tail in it, and I had to walk around him with a pan of hot coals all night to keep him from freezing." "Why didn't he take his coat off?" "I wanted him to, but he stood around till the thing opened itself, trying to invent some way of unfastening it. That's William's trouble. He will invent. A little while ago he got up a cabinet bedstead that would shut and open without handling. It went by clockwork. William got into it, and up it went. Bless your heart, he staid in there from Saturday afternoon till Sunday night, when it flew open and disclosed William with the plans and specifications of a patent washbowl that would tip over just when it got so full. The result was that I lost all my rings and breastpin down the waste pipe. Then he got up a crutch for a man that could also be used as an opera-glass. Whenever the man leaned on it up it went, and when he put it to his eye to find William, it flew out into a crutch and almost broke the top of his head off. Once he invented a rope ladder to be worn as guard chain and lengthened out with a spring. He put it round his neck, but the spring got loose and turned it into a ladder and almost choked him to death. Then he invented a patent boot heel to crack nuts with, but he mashed his thumb with it and gave it up. Why, he has a washtub full of inventions. One of them is a prayerbook that always opens at the right place. We tried it one morning at church, but the wheels and springs made such a noise that the sexton took William by the collar and told him to leave his fire engines at home when he came to worship. The other day I saw him going up the street with a model of a grain elevator sticking out of his hip pocket, and he is fixing up an improved shot tower in our bed-room."


A hot shovel held over furniture removes white spots.

A paste of equal parts of sifted ashes, clay, salt, and a little water cements cracks in stoves and ovens.

Fried potatoes: Chop fine cold boiled potatoes; heat some butter in a frying pan and put the potatoes in. A few minutes before taking them from the fire stir in some well beaten eggs. Serve hot.

Sardines picked up fine, and mixed with cold boiled ham also minced fine, and all well seasoned with a regular Mayonnaise dressing, make a delicious filling for sandwiches.

Rye Bread: Make sponge as for wheat bread; let it rise over night; then mix up with rye flour, not as stiff as wheat bread. Place in baking pans; let rise, and bake half an hour longer than wheat bread.

One of the best ways to cure sore throat is as follows: Wring a cloth out of salt and cold water, and keeping it quite wet bind tightly about the neck. Cover this with a dry cloth. It is best to use this remedy in the night.

A delicious hot sauce for puddings is made of six tablespoonfuls of sugar, two of butter, and one egg; beat the butter, sugar, and the yolk of the egg together, then add the white beaten to a froth; lastly stir in a tea-cupful of boiling water and a teaspoonful of vanilla.

A Dish for Breakfast: Take six good cooking apples, cut them in slices one-fourth of an inch thick; have a pan of fresh, hot lard ready, drop the slices in and fry till brown; sprinkle a little sugar over them and serve hot.

A little curry-powder in chopped pickle gives a delicious flavor to it. A tablespoonful of the powder to four quarts of pickle is about the right quantity to use, unless you like to use the curry in place of pepper; then at least twice this quantity should be put in.

A good way to extract the juice of beef for an invalid is to broil the beef on a gridiron for a few minutes, and then squeeze the juice from it with a lemon-squeezer. Put a little salt with it. This may be given, as the sick one prefers, cold or hot, or it may be frozen, and given in small lumps.

Rolls: Flour, two quarts; sugar, one tablespoonful; one half cup of yeast; one pint of scalded milk, or water if milk is scarce, and a little salt. Set to rise until light; then knead until hard, and set to rise, and when wanted make in rolls. Place a piece of butter between the folds and bake in a slow oven.

For Earache.—A writer in the Druggists' Circular says: "The remedy which I here offer has, after repeated trials, never failed to afford almost instant relief. It is perfectly simple, easy of application, costs but little, and can be procured at any drug store: Olive oil, 1 ounce; chloroform, 1 drachm. Mix, and shake well together. Then pour twenty-five or thirty drops into the ear, and close it up with a piece of raw cotton to exclude the air and retain the mixture."

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.

Pamphlets, Etc., Received.

Gunnison, Colorado's Bonanza County, by John K. Hallowell, Geologist, Denver, Col. Price 50 cents, postpaid.

Midland Florida: The Eden of the South. By "Carl" Webber, New York.

United States Consular Reports, No. 35, for November, 1883.

The Saskatchewan Fife Wheat: Its history, from its first importation from the Saskatchewan Valley, in Manitoba, six years ago, till the present time. By W.J. Abernethy.

Price list of Huntsville nurseries, Huntsville, Ala.

Oscar Close, Greendale. Catalogue of nurseries, Worcester, Mass.

Price list of L.R. Bryant's cider vinegar works, Princeton, Ill.

Vich's Floral Guide. Here it is again, brighter and better than ever; its cover alone, with its delicate tinted background and its dish of gracefully arranged flowers, would entitle it to a permanent place in every household. The 1884 edition is an elegant book of 150 pages, three colored plates of flowers and vegetables, and more than 1,000 illustrations of the choicest plants, flowers, and vegetables, with directions for growing. The price, only 10 cents, can be deducted from the first order sent for goods. Rochester, N.Y.

The Great Rock Island Cook Book, dedicated to the women of America, Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway. This book contains a selection of the most useful recipes and other valuable information in the culinary art. It will be found especially valuable for the young housekeepers, as they can hardly fail to become good cooks with such a guide.

Buist's Almanac and Garden Manual for 1884, Philadelphia. This little book is in its fifty-sixth year, and is one of the best of its kind published. It contains a full descriptive list (with cuts) of all kinds of vegetables, and many kinds of flowers.

Report of the crops of the year, December, 1883. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

The Household Magazine for January comes to us in its usual bright, readable form. It is an unusually good number and will be enjoyed by the ladies.

Catalogue of Clydesdale and Cleveland Bay horses. Imported and bred by the Door Prairie Live Stock Association, Door Village, La Porte, Ind.

[Pg 29]

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.



He is gaunt and thin, with a ragged coat,
A scraggy tail, and a hunted look;
No songs of melody burst from his throat
As he seeks repose in some quiet nook—
A safe retreat from this world of sin,
And all of its boots and stones and that—
For the life of a cat is a life of din,
If he is a city cat.
He is grumpy and stumpy, and old and gray,
With a sleepy look in his lonely eye,
(The other he lost at a matinee—
Knocked out by a boot from a window high.)
Wherever he goes, he never knows—
Quarter or pause in the midnight spree,
For the life of a cat is a life of blows,
If he is a city cat.
He is pelted by boys if he stirs abroad,
He is chased by dogs if he dares to roam.
His grizzled bosom has never thawed
'Neath the kindly blare of the light of home.
His life's a perpetual warfare waged
On balcony, back yard fence, and flat;
For the life of a cat is a life outraged,
If he is a city cat.
The country cat is a different beast.
Petted, well-housed, demure, and sleek;
Three times a day he is called to feast,
And why should he not be quiet and meek?
No dreams of urchins, tin cans, and war,
Disturb his sensuous sleep on the mat;
Ah! cat life is a thing worth living for,
If he isn't a city cat.
And even when dead, the cat
With strident members uneasy lies
In some alley-way, and seems staring at
A coming foe with his wild wide eye,
Nobody owns him and nobody cares—
Another dead "Tom," and who mourns for that,
If he's only a city cat.
Providence Press.

Amusing Tricks.


Procure a good, large apple or turnip, and cut from it a piece of the shape to resemble the butt-end of a tallow candle; then from a nut of some kind—an almond is the best—whittle out a small peg of about the size and shape of a wick end. Stick the peg in the apple and you have a very fair representation of a candle. The wick you can light, and it will burn for at least a minute. In performing you should have your candle in a clean candlestick, show it plainly to the audience, and then put it into your mouth, taking care to blow it out, and munch it up. If you think best, you can blow the candle out and allow the wick to cool, and it will look, with its burned wick, so natural that even the sharpest eyes can not distinguish it from the genuine article.

Once, at a summer resort in Massachusetts, I made use of this candle with considerable effect. While performing a few parlor tricks to amuse some friends, I pretended to need a light. A confederate left the room, and soon returned with a lantern containing one of these apple counterfeits.

"Do you call that a candle?" I said.

"Certainly," he replied.

"Why, there is scarcely a mouthful."

"A mouthful? Rather a disagreeable mouthful, I guess."

"You have never been in Russia, I presume."


"Then you don't know what is good."


"Yes, good. Why, candle ends, with the wick a little burned to give them a flavor, are delicious. They always serve them up before dinner in Russia as a kind of relish. It is considered bad taste in good society there to ask a friend to sit down to dinner without offering him this appetizer."

"The bad taste would be in the relish, I think."

"Not at all. Try a bit."

I took the candle out of the lantern, and extended it toward my confederate, who shrank back with disgust.

"Well," I said, "if you won't have it, I'll eat it myself." And so saying, I put it into my mouth and munched it up, amid the cries of surprise and horror of the assembled party. Two old maids insisted on looking into my mouth to see whether it was not concealed there.

Having soaked a piece of thread in common salt water, tie it to a small finger-ring. When you apply the flame of a candle to the thread it will burn to ashes and yet sustain the ring.


Take a piece of chalk, and ask, if you make a circle, whether any boy standing in it thinks he can jump out of it. As soon as one proposes to do so, bring him into the center of the room, draw a circle with the chalk around his jacket, and say, "Now jump out of it!"


Ask one young lady in the company whether she thinks, if she clasped her hands, she could walk out of the room. On her saying she could, request her to pass her arm round the leg of the table or piano, join her hands, and walk away.


Fill a small glass with water, cover it with a hat, and profess your readiness to drink it without touching the hat. Put your head under the table, make a noise, as if drinking, rise, and wipe your lips. The company, thinking you have drunk the water, one of them will certainly take up the hat to see. As soon as the hat is removed, take up the glass and drink its contents. "There!" say you, "you see I have not touched the hat."


Wind some linen thread tightly round a smooth pebble, and secure the end; then, if you expose it to the flame of a lamp or candle, the thread will not burn; for the caloric (or heat) traverses the thread, without remaining in it, and attacks the stone. The same sort of trick may be performed with a poker, round which is evenly pasted a sheet of paper. You can poke the fire with it without burning the paper.


Take a ruler, or any other piece of wood, and ask whether, if you laid it down on the ground, any of the company could jump over it. Of course one or two will express their readiness to jump over so small an obstruction. Then lay the ruler on the ground, close against the wall, and tell them to try.


Take a piece of wood, such as a lucifer match, and say to one of the company, "How long do you think it would take you to carry this piece of wood into the next room?" "Half a minute." perhaps one will reply. "Well, try, then," say you; "carry it." You then cut off little pieces, and give them to him one by one. He will soon be tired of the experiment.


Fill a glass carefully, place a piece of paper on the top, place your hand on the paper, and tilt the glass round sharply, when it will be found that the pressure of the air upward on the paper will retain the water. The glass may then be held by the bottom.

Health and Home says: I want to tell you of something very funny to do, if you have a little brother or sister who does not mind dressing up and standing still for a few moments. My aunt showed me how to do it the other day, when sister Nelly had a birthday party. We took little brother Tommy out into the library and stood him upon a high wooden stool, and dressed him up very finely in mamma's clothes. The stool made him so full that the dress was of just the right length. Then Uncle Ned, telling him to stand straight and firm, carried him, stool and all, into the parlor. I wish you could have heard the girls and boys laugh! He had such a comical look—with his tall body and little round face—just like some of those French Parian figures. One little girl handed him a fan, and then it was too funny to see the tall lady fan herself affectedly with her very small, dimpled hands. All the boys and girls just shouted.—Young People.

Bright Sayings.

A writer in the School-Boy Magazine has gathered together the following dictionary words as defined by certain small people:

Bed time—Shut-eye time.

Dust—Mud with the juice squeezed out.

Fan—A thing to brush warm off with.

Fins—A fish's wings.

Ice—Water that staid out in the cold and went to sleep.

Nest-Egg—The egg that the old hen measures to make new ones.

Pig—A hog's little boy.

Salt—What makes your potato taste bad when you don't put any on.

Snoring—Letting off sleep.

Stars—The moon's eggs.

Wakefulness—Eyes all the time coming unbuttoned.

If you would have good health, go out in the sunshine. Sickness is worse than freckles.


The Mysterious Element in the Mind that Arouses Vague Apprehensions—What Actually Causes It.

The narrative below, by a prominent scientist, touches a subject of universal importance. Few people are free from the distressing evils which hypochondria brings. They come at all times and are fed by the very flame which they themselves start. They are a dread of coming derangement caused by present disorder and bring about more suicides than any other one thing. Their first approach should be carefully guarded.

Editors Herald:

It is seldom I appear in print and I should not do so now did I not believe myself in possession of truths, the revelation of which will prove of inestimable value to many who may see these lines. Mine has been a trying experience. For many years I was conscious of a want of nerve tone. My mind seemed sluggish and I felt a certain falling off in my natural condition of intellectual acuteness, activity, and vigor. I presume this is the same way in which an innumerable number of other people feel, who, like myself, are physically below par, but like thousands of others I paid no attention to these annoying troubles, attributing them to overwork, and resorting to a glass of beer or a milk punch, which would for the time invigorate and relieve my weariness.

After awhile the stimulants commenced to disagree with my stomach, my weariness increased, and I was compelled to resort to other means to find relief. If a physician is suffering he invariably calls another physician to prescribe for him, as he cannot see himself as he sees others; so I called a physician, and he advised me to try a little chemical food, or a bottle of hypophosphates. I took two or three bottles of the chemical food with no apparent benefit. My lassitude and indisposition seemed to increase, my food distressed me. I suffered from neuralgic pains in different parts of my body, my muscles became sore, my bowels were constipated, and my prospects for recovery were not very flattering. I stated my case to another physician, and he advised me to take five to ten drops of Magende's solution of morphine, two or three times a day, for the weakness and distress in my stomach, and a blue pill every other night to relieve the constipation. The morphine produced such a deathly nausea that I could not take it, and the blue pill failed to relieve my constipation.

In this condition I passed nearly a year, wholly unfit for business, while the effort to think was irksome and painful. My blood became impoverished, and I suffered from incapacity with an appalling sense of misery and general apprehension of coming evil. I passed sleepless nights and was troubled with irregular action of the heart, a constantly feverish condition, and the most excruciating tortures in my stomach, living for days on rice water and gruel, and, indeed, the digestive functions seemed to be entirely destroyed.

It was natural that while in this condition I should become hypochondrical, and fearful suggestions of self-destruction occasionally presented themselves. I experienced an insatiable desire for sleep, but on retiring would lie awake for a long time, tormented with troubled reflections, and when at last I did fall into an uneasy slumber of short duration, it was disturbed by horrid dreams. In this condition I determined to take a trip to Europe, but in spite of all the attentions of physicians and change of scene and climate, I did not improve, and so returned home with no earthly hope of ever again being able to leave the house.

Among the numerous friends that called on me was one who had been afflicted somewhat similarly to myself, but who had been restored to perfect health. Upon his earned recommendation I began the same treatment he had employed but with little hope of being benefited. At first, I experienced little, if any, relief, except that it did not distress my stomach as other remedies or even food had done. I continued its use, however, and after the third bottle could see a marked change for the better, and now after the fifteenth bottle I am happy to state that I am again able to attend to my professional duties. I sleep well, nothing distresses me that I eat, I go from day to day without a feeling of weariness or pain, indeed I am a well man, and wholly through the influence of H.H. Warner & Co's Tippecanoe. I consider this remedy as taking the highest possible rank in the treatment of all diseases marked by debility, loss of appetite, and all other symptoms of stomach and digestive disorders. It is overwhelmingly superior to the tonics, bitters, and dyspepsia cures of the day, and is certain to be so acknowledged by the public universally. Thousands of people to-day are going to premature graves with these serious diseases, that I have above described, and to all such I would say: "Do not let your good judgment be governed by your prejudices, but give the above named remedy a fair and patient trial, and I believe you will not only be rewarded by a perfect restoration to health, but you will also be convinced that the medical profession does not possess all the knowledge there is embraced in medical science."

A.G. Richards, M.D.,
468 Tremont street, Boston, Mass.

Compiled Correspondence.

E.B.F., Scotia, Neb., writes: The weather, so far this winter, has been extremely warm. No snow to exceed one inch since October. Cattle and hogs doing finely. Corn planted early is a good crop both as to quality and quantity, but late planted is soft. Wheat and oats were an extra good crop, wheat yielding from 25 to 35 bushels per acre, and oats from 50 to 75 bushels.


Cobden, Ill., Jan. 6.—We have been through the coldest weather ever experienced here since weather records have been kept, which is twenty-five years or more. Yesterday morning the mercury reached 24 degrees below at my house, which is 200 feet higher than the village. Reports from lower situations run down to 26, 28, with one of 30. This is six degrees lower than the lowest record ever made here, which was twenty years ago, when on the 1st of January it marked 18 below at my house, with some other records two or three degrees lower. At that time peach orchards were badly killed. There can be no doubt that such is the case now. And if it has been proportionately cold north, I fear that the injury to all kinds of fruit trees must have been very serious.

Parrer Earle.

Kane Co., Jan 7.—The weather has been intensely cold here since the 3d instant. The thermometer has been from 4 to 28 degs. below zero at 7 a.m., and from 2 to 16 degs. below at 2 p.m. The 5th was the coldest. The mercury dropped to 28 degs. below at sunrise; in some places 32 degs. below. On the 6th, 22 degs. below at 7 a.m.; at 12 m. 4 degs. below; at 5 p.m. 10 degs. below. Domestic animals were kept closely housed, except while being watered. Where they were exposed to the weather, they froze. We have not had such continued cold weather since January 1864, when for ten successive days it was intensely cold. Some farmers are short of coarse feed, and are shipping bran and middlings from Minneapolis, and corn from Kansas and Nebraska. Many farmers who were shipping milk to Chicago, are now taking it to the cheese factories. There has been an over supply of milk in the city. The dividends for October were from $1.16 to $1.25 per cwt.


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.


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
Mills, Charles F.Springfield, Illinois
Mills, Charles F.Springfield, Illinois
Chester Whites.
W.A. GilbertWauwatosa Wis.
Mills, Charles F.Springfield, Illinois


Jerseys for Sale.

One heifer, 2 years old in May, due to calve in April. Heifer, 2 years in June, and due to calve in April. Cow, 4 years old, due to calve in May. Bull calf 5 months old, and one good yearling bull. Address

L.P. WHEELER. Quincy, Ill.






Newfoundland Pups and Rat Terrier Pups.

Concise and practical printed instruction in Training young Shepherd Dogs, is given to buyers of Shepherd Puppies; or will be sent on receipt of 25 cents in postage stamps.

For Printed Circular, giving full particulars about Shepherd Dogs, enclose a 3-cent stamp, and address


P.O. Box 326, CHICAGO. ILL


By S.B. REED, Architect.

One of the most popular Architectural books ever issued, giving a wide range of design from a dwelling costing $250 up to $8,000, and adapted to farm, village, and town residences. It gives an

Estimate of the Quantity of Every Article Used

In the construction, and probable cost of constructing any one of the buildings presented. Profusely illustrated. Price, postpaid, $1.50. Address



Of the United States and Canada, Printed in Colors, size 4×2½ feet, also a copy of THE PRAIRIE FARMER for one year. Sent to any address for $2.00.

AGENTS WANTED EVERYWHERE to solicit subscriptions for this paper. Write Prairie Farmer Publishing Co., Chicago, for particulars.

[Pg 30]



There's one who wrote in years gone by in clear and ringing rhyme—
A poet of an elder day and of a distant clime—
Who sang of mortal misery, of sufferers long and lorn,
"Man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn!"
The hand that held that golden pen—that golden tongue—is dust;
A dust that's dear to hearts that hold his homely truths in trust;
And you who read this simple tale of wrath, and ruth, and wrong,
May hear the echo of the sob that breaks upon my song!
I sat upon the Sabbath-day within the sacred fane,
The sunlight through the windows poured like rainbow-tinted rain;
While maids and matrons passing fair, and men of high degree,
All fashion's proudest votaries, knelt low on bended knee.
And there was one of stature tall, whose robe of silken sheen
Draped quiet grace and courtesy that might have shamed a queen,
Save only that her pallid face, and drooping, tear-dimmed eyes,
Looked like the Peri's, waiting by the gates of Paradise.
What is it moves that jeweled throng of dainty worshippers?
Their hearts have probed the cruel wrong that rankles sore in hers;
For she who sat beside her there—ah, heart of hardest stone!
Swept forth with stern and haughty stare, and left her there alone.
Then one, God bless her woman's heart! the loveliest woman there,
Stepped down the aisle with stately tread, and calm and steadfast air;
With gentle voice, and tender eyes distilling heaven's own dew,
She whispered to the shrinking girl, "I've room, my friend, for you."
I think earth's sorest sinners need a judge less stern than they
Who wear their ermine clasped across a breast of common clay!
I think heaven's loveliest angels come among us circling down,
To bear the cruel earthly cross, and then regain the crown.
Alas! alas! for paltry pride arrayed in rich attire,
And woe is me for priestly praise which is our heart's desire!
Would we could seek, like pilgrims gray, beside that sunlit sea,
The simple faith that lit the shores of sacred Galilee!
Sometimes it seems that ages past our souls have sojourned here;
But God's great angel guards the gate and stands beside the bier;
For when some mystic touch awakes the chords of memory,
His awful hand holds down the note, and clasps the quivering key.
Bend low, bend low the lofty brow and bring the sack-cloth gown;
Throw dust and ashes on our heads, and through the sinful town;
I think the green earth grows more gray, beneath its golden sun,
Because the good God sits in heaven, and sees such evil done.
Edward Renaud.


After father died some ten years ago, I found, that for three years we had been living on credit. I was eighteen, strong and well, but did not know how to work. In the little back room of the New York tenement house (by the way, the landlady seized my clothes for our rent) I considered my future. I had inherited a great faith in relatives, from my father, so I wrote to seven. I received six polite notes, telling me to go to work, and the following letter:

Jonesboro, Colorado—Jackson's Ranch.

Dear Nell.—I'm your cousin Jack. Your father once give me money to come out West. I've took up land, got a comfortable home, no style or frills, but good folks to live with and healthy grub. I've got the best wife you ever see and seven fine youngsters. The city ain't no place for a friendless girl. Wife wants you to come. She'll be a mother to you. Come right off. I'll meet you at Denver.


Inclosed was a check sufficient to defray expenses; so I started. Denver was then only a large town and the depot a barn-like structure. I got out of the cars and stood bewildered among all the emigrants and their bundles. Some one touched me on the shoulder—a roughly-dressed, broad-shouldered man with long, blonde beard and big blue eyes.

"Are you Nell?" he said.

"Yes; and you're Cousin Jack."

"I knew you," he said, as he led the way, "by your black clothes an' sorrerful look, an' them big blue eyes, like yer father's as two peas. We'll git the shader outer 'em when we get home. Yer father was a mighty good man. Bless yer dear heart, don't let them tears come. This 'ere's a dry country, we don't waste no water."

Comforting me in his kind, rough way, he reached his team, a big green wagon, drawn by two wild-looking steeds which I afterward knew to be bronchos. A fat, blonde boy, about twelve, held the reins.

"That's Ted," said Cousin Jack. "Ted, this is Miss Nell, yer cousin; give her a hug." The fat boy solemnly obeyed.

After this he seemed to have a special claim on my affections because he met me first. Jack's wife was a jolly, plump woman, with brown eyes and curly hair. She always had a baby in her arms and another at her heels. She adored Jack. I never knew them to have a quarrel. I soon grew to love the life at the ranch. I liked the big, half-finished house, its untidyness and comfort—its pleasant, healthy atmosphere. I loved the children, the household pets—Shep, the sagacious dog; Thad, the clever cat; the hens and sheep; the horses Dolly, Dot, and Daisy, that did the plowing, and the marketing at Denver, twelve miles away, and were so gentle and kind we used to ride them without saddle or bridle. I learned that cattle grew fat on the dry-looking grass and gave the best of milk. I learned to love the broad plains and the glorious sunsets, and to watch the distant bands of Indians with half fear, half interest. I helped Cousin Mary, sewed and cooked, kept the house and children neat, and lifted many burdens from her weary shoulders. We were so happy. The children and I took long walks over the plains, and Ted and I took many rides on Dolly and Dot, and in the long winter evenings I told the children stories. Occasionally Harry White came over to visit us from his ranch five miles away. He lived with his old mother; he and Jack were dear friends. Harry needed a wife, Jack used to say, winking at me.

One day Jack went to Denver for supplies. He went alone, and coming home later than usual, Ted and I and baby Mame went out to meet him. Jack looked sober and guilty, and seemed ill at ease. If he ever drank, I should have thought him intoxicated. In the wagon was a queer-shaped heap under a horse-blanket. I was sure it moved. When we got behind the barn Jack said, sheepishly, avoiding my eye.

"Well, Ted, I calkerlate I've got su'thing in that there waggin that 'ul astonish yer marm."

Little Mame pulled the blanket off the heap; she had been peeping under it all the while she was in the back of the wagon. There lay a human being. Such an object; short and squat, dressed in a queer blue blouse with flowing sleeves, wide trousers and queer wooden shoes. He had small, black eyes, a shaven poll, from which depended a long thin queue. His countenance was battered and bruised, his clothes torn and bloody.

"There was a row down to Denver," said Jack; "the Christian folks stove in these 'ere heathen's winders, tore their houses down, an' killed half on 'em. I cleared out soon as I could. When I got half way home I heard a noise back o' me, and out crawled this thing. I was so dumfounded I couldn't speak. He thought I was going ter send him back, an' he fell ter cryin' an' jabberin' in that yap of his, an' clingin' onter my han' an' kissin' of it. It sorter turned my stomach. I told him ter set down, give him some crackers ter eat, covered him up an' told him he could live with me. What do you s'pose marm'll say?"

"Oh! Cousin Jack," I said, "of course, she will not care. Your home is a refuge for all the wretched and unfortunate."

"Now don't, Nell," he said, turning as red as a rose, and busying himself about the harness. The Celestial looked at us solemnly: Mame toddled up to him. He looked at her curiously, but did not move.

"Get out, John," said Jack, "you needn't be scared no more; we're to home."

He got out stiffly, and, to my surprise, turned and lifted the baby down. She caught his pig-tail, and pulled it in wild delight. He seemed grieved when I took her away. When Jack told Mary, the good soul found a thousand reasons why he should stay, and hurried to make him a bed in the attic. The Celestial did not say much, but when Jack called him "John," he smiled a sad smile.

"Melican man callee John. Hump. Yik Kee."

So with due consideration for his feelings we addressed him as Yik Kee. He was of great use. He helped take care of the children, did the washing (Mary did not fancy his method of sprinkling clothes) and helped Jack on the farm. We made him one of the family. He was always pleasant and smiling, but was a man of few words.

Cousin Jack added much to his income by trading in hides. Ranchmen living at a distance sold their hides to him and Jack sold them to traders who came around at certain times in the year. Harry White was a partner in the business. He used to go on a sort of round-up and visit the ranches all over the country. The cattle of the ranchmen roamed in vast herds over the plains, protected only by the brand of the owner. Cattle stealing was frequently practiced. Offenders in this respect were shown no mercy. They were convicted, tried, and executed only in the court of Judge Lynch. I never blamed the ranchmen for this; it was impossible to guard the herds in the vast area over which they traversed, and the cattle must be protected in some way. Gil Mead was a wealthy ranchman, who lived about ten miles from us. He owned the largest herd of cattle on the plains. They were branded with the vowels of his name. E.A., which could be recognized anywhere. He always shipped his cattle East to his brother in Chicago. I feared the man. He was tall and gaunt, with deep-set black eyes and low forehead. His home was unhappy; his wife cross and ugly, and his children wild and unruly. This made him more than commonly disagreeable.

I think it was in the fall of '74 that Harry White brought the big load of hides to Jack. Both were much pleased at the bargain they made. Harry gave glowing accounts of a new customer—a ranchman from Chicago, who had taken up an abandoned homestead. He had purchased many cattle from his cousin, Gil Mead, and hoped to rival him in the number and quality of his herd. Jack packed the hides away to keep till December, when we expected the dealer.

One afternoon, not long after this, Gil Mead rode up to the house, looking very agreeable and pleasant. A couple of strangers, also ranchmen, were with him. They wanted to look at the hides, one of the men being a trader, Gil said. Jack was in Denver, so Yik Kee and I went to the barn with them. They looked the hides over carefully, and conversed in low tones, Gil with a suppressed oath. Finally they thanked us courteously and took their leave.

"Hump; no goodee," said Yik Kee, but he wouldn't say any more.

At five that evening, when we were at supper, a crowd of twenty-five or thirty men rode up on horseback. Jack came out and met them, inviting them in to take supper, in his generous, hospitable way. They wanted him to go to Denver with them, there was to be a meeting there of importance to ranchmen. The meeting would be at eight. They had brought with them an extra horse for Jack. Mary looked around for Yik Kee to help her, but he had mysteriously disappeared.

I faintly remembered seeing his white, horrified face peering around the barn at the horses. I noted the visitors ate little—the food seemed to choke them. Some of them watched Mary and the baby in a queer sort of way. When Jack, as was his custom, kissed his wife and babies good-by, one of the visitors, an oldish man, coughed huskily, and said: "Blest if I kin stan' this." They all rode off, Jack the merriest of all, waving his hat till he was out of sight.

When we were clearing up the unusual quantity of dishes, Yik Kee appeared at the end window and beckoned me. I followed him out. Ted was with him. Behind the barn were the three horses saddled. Shep was with them, released from confinement, where he had been secured from following his master.

"Foller 'em," said Ted in an excited whisper. "Yik's afraid they're up to something."

"What is it, Yik?" I said, sternly. "No fooling now."

For answer he twisted his long pig-tail around his neck, tying it under his left ear in a significant manner.

"Hump, he hangee; stealee cow."

"Oh, Mary," I sobbed, remembering Gil Mead's visit, and his strange actions, and dimly seeing what Yik Kee meant, "I must tell Mary," I said, wildly.

"Hump, no," said Yik Kee. "Yellee sick," and he closed his eyes in a die-away sort of manner. "Go now—too latee."

We mounted.

"Mother'll think we're gone to ride," said Ted, as we galloped over the plains. He was deathly pale, poor little fellow, but he sat erect and firm. I saw his father's big Colt's revolver sticking out of his pocket. He was a determined boy. Even in my despair, in my wild hope that I could save Jack by begging on my knees, that I could cling to him, that they would have to kill me first, I could not help a smile at the comical figure Yik Kee presented on horseback. His loose garments flapped in the wind, his long pig-tail flew out behind, and he bobbed up and down like a kernel of corn in a corn-hopper.

It was a soft, warm night, lighted only by the pale young moon and the twinkling stars. We rode as fast as our horses could gallop. Shep was close at our heels. Way ahead, when we reached the top of a little hill, we saw the crowd of horsemen. They were riding toward Denver. We galloped on with renewed zeal. They turned into a cross road leading to Mead's ranch. On this road was a bridge over Dry Gulch, which was in the spring a roaring torrent. Beyond the bridge, across the fields, was the hay-stack of Mead, where was stored sufficient to feed his domestic cattle through the winter. We at last reached the turn in the road. They were three miles in advance, riding rapidly. Yik Kee stopped at the turn. "Hump! Can't catchee. Hangee at bridge. You goee!" He turned his horse and sped across the field, deserting us basely.

We rode on, Ted and I. He was pale and still; my cheeks were burning. We neared the bridge. The high mound of earth before us hid us from sight. We stopped our horses and listened. The men had lighted torches, some were preparing a rough gallows under the bridge; two were uncoiling rope; some held the horses of the others beyond the bridge. The men were masked now, and I could see by the lighted torches that this number was increased. Jack was very white and sad, but he showed no fear.

"I am innocent, gentlemen," he said, slowly, "but I refuse to tell you of whom I bought the hides."

I understood him. Could Harry White be a cattle thief? I felt as if I were going mad.

"What shall we do?" whispered Ted, cocking his revolver?

Suddenly a bright red light illuminated the heavens, followed by clouds of black smoke and a queer crackling noise. A yell from the men—Gil Mead's voice above the rest. The hay-stack was on fire. It seemed to me in the gale around it that I could see a foreign-looking human vanishing across the plain.

The men mounted their horses, Gil Mead at the head, and set off across the fields at a mad gallop. They must save the stack. They left Jack, bound hand and foot, and guarded by one man.

Shep, the wonderful dog, had kept by us until now, slinking in the dark shadows. Now, gliding sidewise and still, he reached the man on guard whose back was to us, and with no warning growl caught him by the throat with strong white teeth that could choak a coyote in a second. The man, who was in a sitting posture, fell back with a groan. Ted struck him over the head with the butt of the revolver, and pulled off the dog. I cut Jack's bonds with a knife. He looked at us wonderingly and staggered to his feet.

"Never mind how we came, Jack," I said; "quick, mount the horse beyond the bridge, and ride to Denver for your life. They will not harm a woman and child."

"Harry White," he muttered, the loyal soul that even now could think of another's danger.

"I will tell him."

"No, no; not of this—only say, if he stole the cattle, to fly the country. They will find out, sooner or later."

He galloped down the road. Ted and I mounted, calling off Shep, who sat on his haunches watching the unconscious man, and then we, too, sped down the road. The hay-stack was giving out great columns of black smoke, but the fire was dead.

Ahead of us was a riderless horse, Dolly, who greeted her master with a joyful whinny. Where was Yik Kee? Then Dot, my horse, shied from the road at a recumbent black figure. It was the indomitable Yik Kee, who had crawled all the way from the stack on his stomach, so that he could not be seen, after lying in the ditch till the blaze had faded out. "Hump! no catchee Chinee; heap sore," he said, laconically rubbing his stomach.

He mounted Dolly, and we rode on to White's ranch. Harry rushed out at the sound of horses' feet, at midnight. There, under the twinkling stars I looked into his eyes, and I told him the whole story. He showed no guilt, but only said we must stay the night at his ranch, for the men would come back to Jack's for him, and then mounting his fleet colt rode off down the road. I comforted his mother as best I could. At day-break we rode home.

Mary was in a wild state of alarm. Where had we been? Where was Jack? and how cruel we were to leave her alone. She said that at one o'clock three masked men had come to the house and searched it and the [Pg 31]premises, and had not molested her or the children, only asking where Jack was, very sternly and sharply.

At noon Jack, Harry, the sheriff, and a party of armed men from Denver rode up, stopping only a moment to tell me they would be back at night. I dared not tell Mary, and she worried all the afternoon at their strange conduct. At night Jack and Harry came home, looking tired but happy. Then Jack told Mary, and she clung to him as though she could never let him go.

It seemed the pleasing ranchman from Chicago was one of a band of cattle thieves. He sold the hides to Harry, who, honest and open himself, was slow to suspect wrong dealings in others. The sheriff had caught the men skinning a cow that belonged to Mead, and had captured the gang and taken them to Denver.

The men concerned in the attempt to lynch Jack were sincerely sorry. Their regrets would not have availed much, however, if they had succeeded in their purpose. They gave each of the children ten acres of land; they gave Ted sixty-five, and me, whom they pleased to consider very plucky, one hundred and fifty acres. I felt rich enough, and time has made it very valuable land. The man on guard was our warmest admirer. He thought Ted, Shep, and I wonders of courage. He said when I came down on the bridge with the open knife, he thought his last hour had come.

Gil Mead committed suicide not long after this. He was always queer. No one ever knew that Yik Kee set the stack afire. I tell you Jack rewarded the faithful fellow—gave him a good farm, taught him to work it, and built him a house. The funniest thing was Yik Kee had a wife and three queer little children back in China, and Jack sent for them, and Yik Kee and his family are as happy as they can be. The children play with Jack's (he has twelve now) and get along finely together.

In '75 I married Harry White, which, I suppose, was foreseen from the beginning—at least, Jack says anybody could have seen it. The most serene and satisfied face at the wedding was that of the Celestial. In my inner consciousness, notwithstanding he is a "heathen Chinee," I have the conviction that as great a hero as is seen in modern times is the man of few words, Yik Kee.—The Continent.


"A Leedle Mistakes."

"I see all how it vhas now," observed Jacob Handonder, as he came out.

"Oh, you do! You are the man who got drunk and raised a fuss on a street car?"

"I vhas der man, and I tell you how it vhas. You see, I vhas tight. I took too much beer."

"Can a saloon-keeper take too much beer?"

"Vhell, maype I vhas seek. I shtart to go home. Vhen der sthreet car comes along I pelief it vhas my house. I got in und look all aroundt, but I doan' see Katarina. I call out for der shildrens, und eferybody laughs at me. Maype dot makes me madt, und der drifer calls a boliceman, und I vhas galloped down here."

"So it wasn't your home?"

"Not oxactly. It vhas a leedle mistake."

"It'll cost you $5."

"Vheel, dot ain't so bad. I pay him oop und go home to preakfast."

"Be careful next time."

"Oh, I vill dot. Next time I vhas tight I go home on some shtreets midout cars. If I take some ice-wagon for my house I pelief I got cooled off pooty queek."

Sharper Than a Razor.

A long-waisted man, with the nose of a fox and an eye full of speculation, walked up to a second-hand clothier, in Buffalo, the other day, and said:

"See that overcoat hanging out down there?"

"Of course."

"Well, I've taken a fancy to it. It's rather cheeky to ask you to go down there, but I'll make it an object; I won't give but $8 for the coat, but I'll give you $1 to buy it for me. You are also a Jew and know how to beat him down. Here are $9."

The dealer took the money and started off, and in five minutes was back with the coat.

"Good!" chuckled the other. "I reckoned you'd lay him out. How much did you make for your share?"

"Vhell, ash dot is my branch shore, and I only ask six dollar fur de goat, I was about tree dollar ahead."

A Coming Dividend.

Last fall, when a would-be purchaser of railroad stock called upon Russell Sage and asked him regarding the outlook of certain stock, Mr. Sage replied:

"Splendid idea! That stock is certain to raise fifteen per cent."

"Upon what do you base your calculations?"

"Upon the immense crops to be moved along that line."

The other day the same gentleman again interviewed Mr. Sage regarding the same stock, and the great financier replied:

"Best outlook in the world for that stock! Certain to advance fifteen per cent."

"Do you base your calculations upon last fall's crops?"

"No, sir; it's going to be an open winter, and the line will save enough in snow-plows to declare a dividend of five per cent."

At a party: Merchant—"Ah! How d'do, Mr. Blank? How is your paper coming out? I read it daily. By the way, you are getting up a report of this grand assembly, I suppose?" Editor—"No. By the way, how is your store coming on? My cook buys a good deal of you. You are here drumming up custom, I suppose?"

"Yes," said Mrs. Towers, as she expatiated upon the beauties of her flower-garden, "I have given it great care, and if you come over in a week or two, I expect to be able to show you some beautiful scarlet pneumonias."

The Prairie Farmer


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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.

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

The Housekeeper's Scale—$4.00

Weighing accurately from ¼ 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 ¼ 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.

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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.

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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 32]


Gen. Butler is now out of office.

A verdict of not guilty was rendered in the Emma Bond case.

St. Petersburg, Russia, is in a panic over recent acts of the Nihilists.

Two wolves have lately been killed in the vicinity of Douglas Park, Chicago.

Another effort is soon to be made in Congress to reinstate Fitz John Porter.

Brokers in Dubuque have offered $330,000 cash for the B.F. Allen Homestead.

At Winnipeg on Thursday of last week the mercury was 45 degrees below zero.

Albert E. Kent, of San Francisco, gives $25,000 for a chemical laboratory at Yale College.

Judge McCrary, of the Supreme Court, has resigned, and accepted a position as a railway attorney.

The Government of China has ordered the construction of two more torpedo boats at the German port of Stettin.

St. Louis had many fires last week. There were nine outbreaks within forty-eight hours. The firemen were completely worn out.

There were 319 failures in the United States last week—the largest number yet recorded within the same number of days.

There was strong talk at Hillsboro of lynching the discharged prisoners in the Emma Bond case, but better counsel prevailed.

Governor Stoneman presided at a meeting in San Francisco, where arrangements were made to hold a world's exposition in 1887.

The mercury at Charleston, S.C., was 13 degrees below zero January 4th. Through New England the weather was extremely cold.

Mary, the seventeenth wife of the late Brigham Young, died at Salt Lake City Saturday from blood poisoning. She has fourteen survivors.

A pie made of tainted meat caused the poisoning of sixteen boarders and three Sisters at a convent in Montreal. Two of the former are dangerously ill.

It is announced from Paris that the French government is intending to sell the railways owned by the Republic. The Rothschilds stand ready to purchase them.

By a railroad accident near Fort Dodge, on Wednesday last, three persons were killed and several wounded. Among the killed was Mrs. J.H. South, of Bureau Co., Ills.

Mrs. Holcomb, daughter of the murdered millionaire Crouch, of Michigan, has committed suicide. There is some suspicion that she knew something about the murder.

A nihilist proclamation has been issued threatening the Czar. There is much anxiety at Gatschina palace. It is now said the Czar's injury in the shoulder the other day was caused by a bullet.

The United States Consul General at Cairo reports the deaths by the cholera epidemic at from 65,000 to 70,000. A member of the international tribunal says there are still from one to three fatal cases each day.

The Gould system of railroads is about to establish a telegraph school at St. Louis, with a view not only to educating operators, but of selecting pupils from the acclimated people along the Southwestern lines.

The Catholic convent at Belleville, Ill., took fire from the furnace Saturday evening, and in an hour was reduced to ashes. Sixty pupils made desperate efforts to escape, some of them leaping from the windows. Twenty-seven lives were lost.

The Secretary of State at Springfield has issued papers of incorporation to Col. Wood's museum, at Chicago, with a capital stock of $100,000. The Colonel is said to have secured a lease of his old stand on Randolph street, and the Olympic Theatre.

Henry Villard closed his business career by handing over to assignees his mansion on Madison square and other property, with instructions to dispose of the same, pay a mortgage of $200,000, and discharge any indebtedness to the Oregon Railway Company, the residue to be given to his wife.

The directors of the Northern Pacific road held a meeting in New York, on Friday, of last week. A letter was read from Henry Villard, resigning the presidency of the company because of nervous prostration and in deference to the interests of the stockholders. The resignation was accepted, and a special election was ordered to choose a successor. The directors voted Mr. Villard $10,000 per annum for his services. Vice President Oakes reported the line in first-class order except one hundred miles near the junction west of Helena. It is understood that the Oregon Navigation company will reduce its dividends to 8 per cent. The Oregon Transcontinental has raised $3,000,000 in Boston with which to lift its floating debt.



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


The extremely cold weather of the past week interfered with business very generally. In financial circles, as in others, the arctic wave made matters rather quiet. Early in the present week, however, business at the banks was active. The arrival of delayed mail trains added to the volume of business; but while there was much activity, the monetary situation remained about the same as usual.

In the loan market quotations were 6@7 per cent.

Eastern exchange sold at 70@75c per $1,000 premium.

Government securities are as follows:

4's coupons, 1907Q. Apr.123¼
4's reg., 1907Q. Apr.123¼
4½'s coupon, 1891Q. Mar.1141/8
4½'s registered, 1891Q. Mar.1141/8
3's registeredQ. Mar.100


The leading produce markets have been irregular for several days past, and the tendency, in the main, was downward. Yesterday wheat was moderately active, but the market was depressed at the close. There was a drop, also, in corn, oats, mess pork, and lard.

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 50 @ 4 75
Choice to fancy Minnesota springs5 25 @ 5 75
Patent springs6 00 @ 6 50
Low grades2 25 @ 3 50

Wheat.—Red winter, No. 2 96 @ 98c; car lots of spring, No. 2, sold at 93¾ @ 95c; No. 3, do. 77½ @ 81c.

Corn.—Moderately active. Car lots No. 2, 573/8 @ 575/8c; rejected, 46½; new mixed, 48 @ 48¼c.

Oats.—No. 2 in store, closed 33½ @ 335/8.

Rye.—May, in store 58 @ 58½.

Barley.—No. 2, 62 @ 63c; No. 3, 44c.

Flax.—Closed at $1 41.

Timothy.—$1 25 per bushel. Little doing.

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

Provisions.—Mess pork, February, $14 45 @ 14 47½ per bbl; May, $15 @ 15 05. Green hams, 83/8c, per lb. Short ribs, $7 42½ per cwt.

Lard.—January, $8 75; February, $8 85.


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 00 @ 2 10. Hand picked navies, $2 15 @ 2 20.

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.

Broom-corn.—Good to choice hurl 6½ @ 7½c per lb; green self-working 5 @ 6c; red-tipped and pale do. 4 @ 5c; inside and covers 3 @ 4c; common short corn 2½ @ 3½c; crooked, and damaged, 2 @ 4c, according to quality.

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 25 @ 26c per dozen; 20 @ 23c for good ice house stock; 18 @ 19c per pickled.

Hay.—No. 1 timothy $10 @ 10 50 per ton; No. 2 do. $8 @ 9; mixed do. $7 @ 8; upland prairie $8 00 @ 10 75; No. 1 prairie $6 @ 7; No. 2 do. $4 50 @ 5 50. 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 25 @ 26c per lb; Pacific coast of 23 @ 26c; fair to good Wisconsin 15 @ 20c.

Poultry.—Prices for good to choice dry picked and unfrozen lots are: Turkeys 14 @ 15c per lb; chickens 10 @ 11c; ducks 10 @ 12c; geese 9 @ 11c. Thin, undesirable, and frozen stock 2 @ 3c per lb less than these figures; live offerings nominal.

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 @ 6½ c. Prime white grease 6 @ 6½ c; yellow 5¼ @ 5¾c: brown 4½@5.

Vegetables.—Cabbage, $8 @ 12 per 100; celery, 35 @ 40c per doz bunches; onions, $1 00 @ 1 25 $ 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
Medium22 @ 26
Fine16 @ 24

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:


The live stock receipts are increasing, and show a large gain over last week.

Cattle.—The receipts for Sunday and Monday were rather large, being estimated at 6,800 head of cattle, as against 3,700 received in the corresponding time last week. Shipping grades of cattle were active and firm yesterday at $5 @ 6 67½, exporters taking a fair number. Common lots were lower, with sales to dressed-beef buyers as low as $4 25. A good share of the day's trading was done at $5 70 @ 6 60. Quotations are as follows:

Fancy fat cattle$ 6 75 @ 7 00
Choice to prime steers6 05 @ 6 70
Fair to good shipping steers5 55 @ 6 00
Common to medium steers4 25 @ 5 50
Butcher's steers4 50 @ 5 00
Cows and bulls, common to good3 00 @ 4 25
Inferior cows and bulls2 00 @ 2 95
Stockers3 40 @ 4 40
Feeders4 25 @ 4 75
Milch cows, per head25 00 @55 00
Veal calves, per 100lbs4 00 @ 7 25

Hogs.—The receipts Sunday and Monday were estimated at 18,000 hogs, against only 6,700 received in the corresponding time last week. Although the receipts have been increasing during the last few days, supplies are still remarkably small for the first half of January. The great bulk of the crop has undoubtedly been marketed, but there are known to be a very good number still unmarketed, and it is believed that farmers are unwilling to ship freely to this market while packers are so largely inactive, fearing a decline in prices. Shippers have been taking most of the hogs lately. Butchers took in the neighborhood of 1,900 hogs, leaving a few thousand still unsold. Sales were made of heavy at $5 10 @ 6 25; light at $5 10 @ 5 75, and skips and culls at $3 50 @ 5.

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 for weights of less than 100lbs.

Sheep.—The market opened with a good supply, the receipts for Sunday and Monday being estimated at 2,500 head, as against 1,968 received in the same time last week. There was an active local and shipping demand for all desirable offerings, and prices ruled firm at the recent advance, sales being made of fair to choice at $3 65 @ 5 60.



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End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Prairie Farmer, Vol. 56, No. 2,
January 12, 1884, by Various


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