The principal focus of this study is the upper Kansas river, the area where the several streams converge-the streams flowing out of the Great Plains-which form the main river called the Kansas. Going upstream, they are the Blue, the Republican, the Solomon, the Saline and the Smoky Hill. This country lies west of the first four tiers of counties, the up-river counties from east to west being Riley, Geary, [1] Dickinson, and Saline. Their respective county seats and principal towns are Manhattan, Junction City, Abilene and Salina. In longitude these counties range from 96° 30' to 98° west, the transitional belt between the relatively humid prairie of eastern Kansas and the definitely subhumid edge of the Great Plains. The next four counties to the west are Ellsworth, Russell, Ellis and Trego, which lead up to the 100th meridian and the High Plains proper. In 1865 Lieutenant Julian P. Fitch was making a survey of the Smoky Hill Route to Denver, arriving at Fort Riley June 23, 116 miles west of Fort Leavenworth, and made the following observation:

The country from junction City to a point 12 miles on our road, west of the Saline, is the finest stretch of land, by far, in the West. It is noted for its heavy timber, its luxuriant grass, and the extraordinary richness of the soil. The country, for the most part, is under fine cultivation, and there is today, sufficient corn and other produce to be had, either at Junction City, or Salina, as well as at Abilene, to supply all emigration. This will, of course, increase as emigration increases, and furnish the farmers with a permanent market. . .. [2]

THE CROP RECORD, 1855-1870

The first wheat reported to have been planted in Geary county was twenty bushels, purchased by Joseph Beavers (Illinois) in August 5 from the Delaware Indians, and sown in the fall of that year. He harvested it with a cradle in 1856, sowed part of it that fall and the remainder he took to Manhattan to be chopped for use. [3] In Dickinson county winter wheat was planted in 1858, but the planter did not harvest, a second man having bought the

First Steps in Production, 1855-70 7

claim "with a few acres of wheat for $25 . . . The corn crop was good, but the winter wheat was very poor." The drouth year of 1860 yielded no crop, "the harvesting of winter wheat was done with butcher knives, each man carrying a sack to put the heads in." [4] These examples are significant in illustrating the instability of frontier farm population and the resulting uncertainty of agricultural methods as well as the fact of early attempts at wheat production. These farmers did not remain long enough in one place to learn anything of the peculiarities of either soil or climate, and as certainly could contribute little accumulated knowledge to those who succeeded them.

< :  :  The wheat crop failure of 1860 was particularly gloomy for the territory because, as a result of an extraordinarily heavy corn crop in 1859, an unusually large acreage of winter wheat was planted. If an ordinary harvest had been realized in 1860 it was said that it would not only have breaded the people of Kansas, but there would have been a surplus for market. [5] Representing the Cottonwood and Neosho valleys, somewhat to the southeast of Junction City, the Emporia News, May 5, 1860, sought to explain the disaster of 1860, saying that

The failure of the fall wheat is mainly owing, doubtless, to the excessive drouth. . . ; though some of the causes may be found in the manner and time of sowing. . . . [Although there was a diversity of opinion on the latter point there was] a determination to study more thoroughly than ever heretofore the relations of soil and climate, and from the experience of the past deduce those principles which, when properly applied, shall give comparative immunity to the wheat crop from the damaging effects of even such extraordinary drouths as that which is now upon us.

The failure [of] the present season has not diminished the faith of our best farmers-acquired by the favorable results of many previous years' experience--that Kansas is peculiarly adapted to the growth of wheat, of both fall and spring variety.

< :  :  A few weeks later, the same paper, June 9, 1860, indicated extensive preparations for fall wheat, saying that although seed would scarce, some were sending to Missouri, Indiana and Illinois for it.

We have not conversed with a single farmer in the Neosho or Cottonwood valleys who has not now, as firm as ever, the opinion that

8 Winter Wheat in the Golden Belt of Kansas

and climate are well adapted to the successful cultivation of the wheat crop, of both fall and spring variety. That there has been one failure in four years argues nothing. . . We do not know certainly that the effects of the drouth could have been even partially provided against, but in common with some of our most intelligent farmers, we believe that it could. But suppose that it could not, and that once in five years there should be an almost total failure of the wheat crop. It is not more than is experienced in the Western states generally . . . And as yet there has been no failure of the corn, bean, potato and buckwheat crop. . . . Kansas soil and climate though somewhat akin to those of Iowa and Illinois, are yet radically different in many points, and of course much more so from states further east. These differences, perhaps, have not been sufficiently counted on heretofore; but hereafter the case will be different. Missouri soil and climate more nearly resembles that of Kansas, and we are informed . . . . that the Missouri's . . . raise better corn than the settlers from any other state. . . . If it be true, it is worthy of attention.

<  &3160;  The oldest residents of Kansas were called upon to testify concerning the great drouth of 1860, the general trend of responses being well represented by an interpreter who had been a resident for thirty-seven years, during which time he had not seen a drouth like 186o. He admitted that about every five years there was only about half a crop, but that the Indians never failed to raise enough for their own consumption. [6] In evidence that the failure of 1860 did not discourage further attempts in the Manhattan area, twenty times the acreage was reported for the harvest of 1861 and it was said that finer wheat had never been seen before. This prospect of a big wheat crop raised the issue of flour mills to grind the grain at home. [7] The crop was good, and the planting of the fall of 1861 was large and was done under favorable weather conditions. Through the growing season the bright prospects were noted in the local papers, and the harvest reports were favorable for winter wheat, but not for spring wheat. [8] The editor of the Union commented that "many people were doubtful of the success of fall wheat in this section of country, but . . - it is now plainly shown to be one of the best grain-producing regions in the entire West." He recommended emphatically the sowing of more winter and less spring wheat for the next harvest. [9] The mill question was again an issue as the nearest mills were

First Steps in Production, 1855-70 9

Manhattan and Council Grove, and one correspondent advocated turning the distillery into a mill because, "it is pretty well understood that, because of frequent droughts, corn is a doubtful crop; whereas winter wheat bids fair to do well." The proximity of junction City to Fort Riley, an outfitting point for government posts in the West, as well as its relation to the Santa Fe and mountain trade would provide a large flour trade for a mill with a "large wheat producing country surrounding it." The editor pointed out that "it is already a well attested fact, that our section is unsurpassed in the quality and quantity of its winter wheat. While all other crops have failed, winter wheat has yielded abundantly, and to the satisfaction of all." [10]

<  &3160;  These discussions of the wheat problem brought out incidental references to the idea that the climate of that area was basically different from the humid East. This matter was more formally discussed by correspondent "W.T.," who urged farmers to subscribe for Eastern agricultural papers although they had no "special application to Kansas."

     Our soil and climate are somewhat peculiar, and hence we must learn more from experience than from observation. Every farmer should consider himself an experimenter. He should endeavor to add something to the common stock of agricultural knowledge. He has a very fair opportunity of displaying all his skill in bringing out the resources of the soil. .. .
     In this State, we have two things specially to guard against-drought and wind.
     Our climate is a very dry one; the fact is undeniable-however we may account for it. We probably shall not often suffer from this cause as we did a year ago, the past summer. We know, too, that the soil will endure without serious injury to crops, such a drought as would nearly destroy vegetation in the Eastern States.-Still we may expect to suffer more or less from the want of rain. Hence it is wisdom, so far as we can, to adopt such a course of husbandry as will not be materially affected by drought. In this connection, the question arises, is deep or shallow plowing the most advantageous? And further, what kinds of grain will suffer the least from drought, and at what time it is advisable to plant the various kinds of grain that are cultivated? . . .
     The winds of Kansas are too well known to need any description. Both man and beast need to be protected against them . . . [With respect to

10 Winter Wheat in the Golden Belt of Kansas

fruit trees] we must allow them to grow very much as nature directs, . In this land of winds everything should carefully maintain a lowly condition. [11]

< :  :  The same text provided the editor of The Kansas Farmer with a justification for his existence:

We know that our soil and climate, the methods of culture and crops raised, are so different from those of other states, that we need a special organ, a Kansas paper . . . . [12]

< :  :  A farmer who had been in Kansas since 1856 had put it a bit differently in saying "that the old routine of farming we learn in other states, often fails here, when some other course proves highly satisfactory. [13] .

< :  :  The winter wheat crop of 1862-1863 suffered somewhat from a fall freeze, and from wind and drouth during the spring and the "restlessness" of the air continued for another week, it was predicted that "this section, . . . will be blowed away." The fears of a disastrous drouth was "all a want of confidence engender, by the year of famine. It will rain in due season." [14] The rains would come just after the middle of April and continued well through the summer when the local paper insisted that "it rains twice day regularly." With the rains came damage from rust. Many men left for army service during the harvest season and hundreds of bushels of wheat were said to have been lost because of lack of harvest labor during the heavy rains. [15] This was one season when spring wheat did better than winter wheat, because it escaped more generally from the rust. [16] The demand for flour mills resulted in three being projected during the summer to serve the Riley-Dickinson county area, and thus by opening a market for the grain raised, larger crops would be encouraged. Late that fall the junction City mill, completed, was operated to capacity. [17]

     unfavorably with fall drouth which affected the eastern part of the state generally, leading into a severe winter, followed by a dry spring. [18] In spite of all these hazards, however, the earlier wheat was said to have greatly recovered and the harvest was better than expected. [19] After summarizing crop reports from various counties the Kansas Daily

First Steps in Production, 1855-70 11

Tribune, July 15, 1864, declared "no one need further doubt that it can be raised to advantage in Kansas," and August 17 recommended the crops in the order in which they should receive attention; wheat, corn, grass and hay. This view was probably influenced in part by the severe summer drouth which ruined the crop to such a point that it was being cut for fodder by the second week in August, and prices quoted in Leavenworth which had reached four dollars per bushel for white potatoes, fifteen for sweet potatoes, and twenty dollars per ton for hay. [20]

< :  :  The fall rains came early in September, breaking the prolonged summer drouth, but ground was not prepared in season. Farmers were advised to plant all they could. The rains continued and by October 1 the wheat was said to be getting really good. [21] The spring of 1865 was said to have been the wettest since 1858. Chinch bugs and grasshoppers were reported in western Kansas, but the extent of damage cannot be determined from the limited newspaper files available for that year. Most crop reports from the lower Kansas valley indicated a large wheat crop. [22]

     The fall of 1865 was "one of the best for sowing fall wheat" in the upper Kansas valley and a rise in price was predicted for the coming two years with a corresponding drop in corn after the 1865 crop. The neglect of wheat was attributed to the recent high price of corn with the result that for the next twenty months a large proportion of flour would have to be freighted from Leavenworth. In part, this view was dictated by the coming of the railroad to Junction City in the near future. [23] Snow and mud were the fare for the winter months, [24] and then came a brief dry period when fears were raised:

In this connection we wish folks would stop to think how ridiculous it is to whine about drouth every time it goes a day longer than they think to without rain. Let Kansas get over that old misfortune, by not keeping it alive forever. . . . [25]

     The rains came, however, and the winter wheat crop season closed with the refrain that the crop was magnificent. [26] The record for the crop year 1866-1867 was largely a repetition of what had gone before, except that there was a severe grass-

12 Winter Wheat in the Golden Belt of Kansas

hopper visitation in the fall of 1866 and further damage in the early summer of 1867. The wheat deteriorated during June when early in the month it was reported that all the world was a frog pond, including "dry Kansas," and later that the floods were "more riotous than ever before." [27]

     After the floods came a late summer drouth which injured the corn crop, and then the grasshoppers made their second annual raid from the air. [28] The few western newspapers available had little to say about the prospects for the crop year 1867-1868. The general trend is indicated by the issue of whether winter-sown wheat would make a crop. [29] Apparently a fair crop was harvested, because the comment was made in connection with the severe summer drouth of 1868, world wide in scope, that fortunately the wheat and oats were out of the way before the dry weather. The failure of the corn crop was pictured as not being disastrous, however, because there was a large stock of old corn in the country, and early corn as far up the Kansas valley as St. Mary's mission promised a crop. [30] An unusual corn exhibit, two stalks fourteen feet high with two and three ears respectively, was featured at Manhattan as doing "pretty well for an unusually dry season." [31]

     Not ordinarily farm-conscious, this lesson of the drouth and the third annual air raid of grasshoppers appears to have moved Editor G. W. Martin, of the Junction City Union, to feature wheat articles during the fall of 1868. [32] Wet winter months led to a prediction of abundant crops for 1869. [33] Later Junction City launched a first class boom, which was primarily urban in its point of view, but the year saw an unusually heavy immigration of farm settlers. The farmer element in the Republican valley north of the river in Geary county followed up the Pottawatomie county meeting of the previous fall and warned Texas cattle drovers to keep out. [34]

     The Union called upon farmers to report harvest yields in the summer of 1869, but the object seemed to be for boom purposes rather than for light upon agricultural improvements and adaptation. The acreage of winter wheat was reported as five times that of the previous year and yields were estimated at thirty to forty-

First Steps in Production, 1855-70 13

five bushels per acre. [35] Disastrous floods occurred in the watershed of the whole area on June 25, just before harvest, and again in July, just after harvest. [36] Serious damage resulted, but the papers were evasive regarding its extent.

     The press reports on the crop year 1869-70 are contradictory. First there was a debate over whether there was a dry winter, the Fort Riley weather station providing the Union with rainfall summaries which were used to prove that it was wet. [37] However that may have been, the same paper had reported dust storms only the previous week:

     A great deal of Kansas is not located w[h]ere it used to be. Some of it we have no doubt is located in South America, while some covers the British possessions. In another place in the same issue the editor said that in a dry spring like this, the farmer "must be up and doing . . . take time by the forelock. . . sow and plant early [and then] leave the arranging of the winds and waterworks to your Maker." [38]

     In May it was reported that "we have had weather during the past week which the oldest inhabitant could in no way explain, or prophesy the result." Wednesday the wind blew from the south, Thursday and Friday the hurricane continued from the north and as the paper went to press Saturday morning it still blew, mixed with a little rain. Later in the month the editor complained of "a certain class in this country that do little else than to croak from morning till night about 'droughty Kansas.' They prophesy a failure of crops whenever it is dry for a `straight' week. . . . The continual whinings of these croakers has become ... a bore in the ears of the community. . .." [39] At harvest time, still a little boom drunk, the editor insisted the prospect was promising and, although not so good as the year before, was better than anticipated. In one issue the winter wheat damage was attributed to the dry weather scare in the spring and in another to a late frost. Yields in Lyon's creek valley were reported as twenty to twenty-five bushels. [40]

     Little credence probably can be given to specific figures, but the inference can be drawn that possibly

14 Winter Wheat in the Golden Belt of Kansas

the crop was only somewhat more than half that of the former year. [41]

     The two counties to the west, Dickinson and Saline, received little news space in the Manhattan and Junction City press, but early in 1870 the Abilene Chronicle was established and a fairly complete file has been preserved. The earliest files of the Salina Herald arc not available. In 1865 a Saline county subscriber challenged the Union's intimation that crops could not be grown there and insisted that settlers had been there eight years, had never had less than two-thirds of a crop, and that it was as good a grain country as any in western Kansas. The specific products listed were corn, hay, butter, cheese. The next year, 1866, a correspondent reported that by the spring of 1865 all the timber land had been taken, after which prairie claims were occupied: It was a great stock country, the article continued, the spring wheat yield was magnificent, thirty-three bushels, but there was not much acreage, and early corn was good. [42] Concerning the crops west of Abilene in 1866, close to the Dickinson-Saline county line came the following: "Near Solomon the farmers are already cutting fall wheat. Our farmers from every direction speak of this crop as being magnificent." [43]

     In the boom column of one of the first issues of the Abilene Chronicle the claim was made that, "In 35 years there has been but one general drouth - 1860 - and even that year the upland prairies produced as much as 15 bushels of winter wheat to the acre. The wheat crop never fails here, while all varieties of grain and vegetables yield abundantly." In all probability this claim was an exaggeration of boomer enthusiasm. But by 18;o Abilene already had a flour mill. [44] The winter wheat situation as of 1870 was described as follows:

On yesterday J. M. Hodge & Co. shipped another car load of wheat to the Shawnee Mills, at Topeka. We learn that winter wheat is worth 80¢ per bushel in this market. There is a large quantity in the hands of the farmers of this county. Messrs. Hodge & Co. bought eleven hundred bushels a few days ago of Mr. John Miller, of Turkey creek, south of Abilene, at 80¢ per bushel. It is first quality winter wheat, of the crop of 1870 [planted the fall of 1869] yielding-25 bushels to the acre. It is not an

First Steps in Production, 1855-70 15

uncommon thing for a farmer to sell a car load at a time. We could give the names of a number within our own knowledge who have done so. We advise our farmers to keep a good supply on hand for new comers . . . . [45]

The local flour dealers advertised winter wheat flour, a distinction which was significant, not only for flour, but for the approaching ascendancy of winter wheat production in the upper Kansas valley. [46] In Junction City, a new flour mill opened for. the 1870 season, the local paper taking up the cry of patronizing home industry; giving the farmer a home market, adding wealth and several families to the town, and keeping money at home. [47]

Heavy rains were reported for the fall of 1870 and accordingly the Union predicted a wet winter and a bountiful crop the next year: "Our mathmetician is already -at work on his rain tables. He thinks it will take less wear and tear of conscience than last spring . . . ." [48] In Riley county the prediction was that the winter wheat acreage would be doubled, while in Dickinson county:

     The farmers of Dickinson generally arc just now busily engaged in sowing fall wheat. A larger breadth will be sown than ever before, and from whit we can learn, the agricultural resources of the county will develop faster during the year to come than for ten years past. [49]

     A real estate advertisement offered a 335 acre farm with forty acres in fall wheat. [50] During January the heaviest snow in years was reported and although early April gave 95° weather, rains followed, "the wind blew so hard the houses became restless," in fact "Old Boreas has howled incessantly all the week," then came a freeze, but at the end of April the "crops are looking splendid, and everything is lovely. We haven't seen a croaker this season." [51]

     The fall and winter of 1871-1872 was dry and less winter wheat was sown in the upper Kansas valley counties than the previous year. The drouth was reported as general over the Northern Hemisphere. [52] In Saline county, "in the fall of 1871 a large area of ground was sown to fall wheat, the most of which was winterkilled. . . ." [53] There was a heavy loss from winter-killing, especially in wheat fields that were not well prepared and drilled. [54] Spring wheat was reported fine, if only the chinch bugs would leave it alone. The final reports on the harvest, however, were

     16 Winter Wheat in the Golden Belt of Kansas

not enthusiastic; the winter wheat was admitted to have been mostly killed, and the spring wheat "very fair." [55]

     There was no consistency in Kansas weather and as a bumper corn crop had been raised in 1872 accompanied by low prices a favorable fall resulted in a great increase in the winter wheat acreage, Geary county reporting ten times that ever sown before. [56] The harvest of 1873 was reported greater than in several years, but as prices were unsatisfactory the rising tide of farmer discontent led to organized attempts to maintain locally the St. Louis price plus the freight. [57]


     The first and most important hazard to winter wheat production was winter-killing, but it was recognized that several factors entered into this problem: the time of planting, soil tillage, method of planting, relation of wind, and the time when moisture was necessary in order to insure a crop, as well as the variety of wheat grown. In the lower Kansas valley the harvest of 1857 was not satisfactory, the political difficulties of late 1856 being in part an excuse for not sowing in the proper season and for sowing in bad condition with the result that as "then winter was so open, windy, and severely cold" the wheat winter-killed. Early planting for the fall of 1857 was urged as essential, insisting that nature sows at the proper season-when the grain of the ripened crop shatters from the head, sowing for the next season. It was stated that four-fifths of the farmers paid for habitual late sowing by a 20 percent to 50 percent loss on each crop. [58] During the drouth winter of 1859-1860 it was pointed out that the late-sown wheat fared worst. [59] Again in 1863 in the upper Neosho valley winter wheat was extensive, some fields were reported completely killed and many others were badly injured. An experienced grower insisted that if the seed had been sown two weeks earlier and made a stronger early growth it would have been beyond danger.60 In the account of the dry fall of 1864 one commentator remarked that unless rain came before November it was useless to sow wheat. [61] Two years later September was wet and farmers were urged to sow early because then "the root penetrates deep,"

First Steps in Production, 1855-70 17

and the luxuriant growth of tops spread protection, before the severity of winter approaches." The argument was advanced that "the soil of Kansas is especially adapted to the successful growth of winter wheat. (1) in the absence of clay it never `heaves' to lift the roots asunder from the subsoil. (2) its chemical composition is adverse to the production of large straw." This was too broad and optimistic a generalization even for the Manhattan region and over the state soil differed widely. The same writer argued also another doubtful point, that whether early sown seed germinated or not "it undergoes the . . . process required by nature, whether rooted and growing before the ground closes by frost, or whether the grain lies in the ground till spring before it germinates. [62] Along the same line of argument the author advocated as an alternative that if wheat was not sown early, then it should not be sown until very late, December to February, thereby undergoing the wintering process without germinating until favorable spring growing weather.

     As the years passed the issue of early planting continued. The Abilene Chronicle pointed out that many farmers did not plant until October, although early planting "is one of the most important points connected with growing winter wheat, and one that is also greatly overlooked." The reason urged was that only by sowing early could the wheat plant become well rooted and form top growth to protect the roots from freezing and from the sun. [63]

     Closely allied were the problems associated with handling the soil and the method of planting and their relations to the wind. There was little specific discussion of plowing beyond the general insistence upon putting the soil in good condition and there was no mention of alternative types of plows. Harrowing and rolling entered the discussion, but the most important issue was the method of sowing wheat, the drill being the focus of the farm implement problem. Not more than two crops out of three could be expected, according to one estimate, when seed was broadcast and harrowed in, the method prevailing in eastern Kansas in 1857, because "our winters are too open, cold and windy;"

18 Winter Wheat in the Golden Belt of Kansas

The best way is to put the seed in deep with the seed drill; and this will be found the least expensive way, when the wild sod has been exhausted and sufficient seed shall be sown to make it pay the expenses of the seed drill. At first some half dozen farmers should unite in buying one for joint use. The drill leaves the ground in furrows, the wheat comes up in the furrows, and as the frosts of winter throw out the roots, the winds, rains, etc., level down the ridges, thus recovering and protecting it. Plowing in grain answers nearly the same purpose, and as but few grain drills have vet been brought to Kansas, our farmers still have to make use of the plow in their stead.

     The same author warned against planting winter wheat on newly turned sod, "wide strips of sole-leather," if it was not sufficiently rotted for the harrow to break it up. Rather it would be better to leave it until the next season for spring crops. [64]

     Some three years later, in another drill article the same paper argued that "the success of this crop depends, in a great measure, upon the manner in which it is put into the ground," but before sowing the ground. should be plowed, and plowed deep. The depth to which the drill should plant the seed was at least two and a half inches. Thus far the procedure was not different from the earlier article, but now the use of a heavy roller was recommended:

This will pack the surface so as to prevent the rapid evaporation of the moisture from the soil. It will also prevent the wind from uncovering the roots and exposing them to the frosts of winter. If wheat thus put in fails to make a crop, it will be no fault of the farmer. [65]

     The use of the roller as indicated was diametrically opposed to the objective indicated in the earlier article which emphasized that the drill formed furrows as resistance against wind, the blowing of the soil from the ridges covering rather than exposing the roots.

     One of the relatively few comments upon plowing was elicited by the great drouth of 1859-1860, when it was said that the big lesson of the wheat failure was the importance of better preparation of the ground. Two farms, lying side by side, were cited. On one deep plowing saved the crop from the total loss suffered in the other field. The author advocated plowing to a depth of six inches. [66]

First Steps in Production, 1855-70 19

     The scarcity of drills resulted in continued resort to plowing-in wheat, and the severe winter of 1862-1863 seemed to confirm the wisdom of the practice as "that which was plowed in was alone secure. 67 Similar discussions were under way in the near-by Lyon County Farmers' Club, where one group broadcast wheat, advocating harrowing-in east and west to leave tooth marks or furrows crosswise to the prevailing south and north winds, which would blow the dirt upon the roots, not away from them. The discussion leader of another group advocated the drill for planting wheat in Kansas, because the seed would be placed deeper in the soil. He thought that under proper management wheat yields which varied from twenty to forty bushels per acre could be leveled tip to a thirty-five bushel average. Although it does seem contradictory, both discussion leaders advocated rolling. The first after the harrow and the latter after the drill, a practice which would compact the soil, but would smooth the surface rather than leave it furrowed against the wind.68

     In 1864 the argument was made that in spite of the dry fall of 1863 when only about half of the seed germinated, the crop would have been doubled had the seed been drilled instead of sown broadcast. The extra yield on ten acres alone would have paid for a drill, because, it was argued, the drill put the seed deep enough that dry spells did not affect it. Implement dealers were advised to bring in a lot of drills for fall use. Another argument for labor-saving machinery was that "as the army is taking away so many of our farm hands, let us supplant their places by drills, labor-saving machinery-especially just now with wheat drills."

     Boys and women could drive a drill; a woman could raise wheat while her man fought. Six to ten farmers could club together to buy a drill, if necessary, or one buy the machine and drill for the neighbors; "so let the cry be `wheat, more wheat, and better wheat'." [69] The editor of the Tribune followed up this article with an editorial advocating the roller after the drill;

But put in with a drill, the seed is buried well down in the earth, out of the reach of birds, and out of the way of the wind; for as is well known to all old Kansans, in autumn we generally have severe winds.70

20 Winter Wheat in the Golden Belt of Kansas

     The statement was made in 1865 that drilling instead of sowing was being practiced in the vicinity of Junction City. [71] A year later in the Manhattan area drills were sufficiently scarce to call forth comment that "it is a favorable omen to Kansas that Drills are being introduced," and farmers were advised to "drill in the grain deep. If the ground is loose, roll thoroughly." [72]

     Apparently the use of the drill had not been extensive as far west as Junction City by 1868, because the editor of the Union wrote August 1 of overhearing a farmers' conversation relative to drills "and the necessity for their use in this country."

They both held that drills would render fall wheat a complete success. The time will shortly be here again for sowing fall wheat, and we would like to have farmers discuss this question in our columns. If they will be of advantage in increasing the certainty of the crop, and from all we can learn there is no doubt of it, steps should be taken to introduce them. [73]

     It would seem that possibly the editor was insufficiently acquainted with his farming community except that a subscriber responded to the invitation asserting that "there is no excuse whatever for not raising the most excellent quality of Fall wheat in Kansas." If the farmer could be sure of a snow cover during winter it would make no difference, he continued, but the drill "will hide his grain deep in the ground and free from the disturbing element [the Kansas wind]."

Let the grain drill be introduced; give it a thorough trial; let the result be made known, and in two or three years thereafter every farmer in Kansas will have one of these implements, . . . . [74]

     Following through along the same line late in September, the editor wrote:

We have said much recently on the subject of the Wheat Drill, with a view of inducing, if possible, their use the present season in putting in fall wheat. Those who know assure us that no part of America is better adapted for fall wheat than Kansas, if some pains be taken to provide against certain peculiarities of the climate. Wheat, drilled in, will remain where it is put and not be blown about by the storms of winter. . . .

     In addition to this comment on blowing, the editor cited a report of the federal department of agriculture which stated that drilled wheat was not injured by freezing. [75] In this editorial there

First Steps in Production, 1855-70 21

was no direct admission that there had been little if any results from his agitation of the drill question, but there seems to be little reason to conclude otherwise. The files of the paper confirm this, as there was not a single drill advertisement published during the fall season, and not until the spring of 1871 did drills appear in advertisements of implement dealers and even then only incidentally.

There seemed to be no such thing as winning a decisive victory in securing the general adoption of new practices. Successful plowed-in wheat was reported in 1872 in Pottawatomie county, just east of Manhattan. [76] The Abilene Chronicle printed a drill article the same spring repeating the old contention that —

It seems to be a well established fact that all fall wheat, put in the ground early last fall with a drill, is coming out all right this spring, while that sown late and harrowed in is pretty much a failure. This should teach farmers the necessity of using the drill. [77]

     In view of the fact that only during the decade of the nineteen-twenties were exact experiments completed demonstrating the relation between soil moisture and the prospect of a winter wheat crop, it is not at all remarkable that there was little explicit discussion of this problem during the decade of the eighteen-sixties. In explaining the disastrous crop failure of 1860, however, an observer commented that "had the ground been full of water from copious winter rains, the crops would have matured in spite of the dry weather afterward. [78] Four years later in connection with the fall drouth of 1864,
the comment was made that unless there was rain before November it was useless to sow winter wheat. [79] In connection with the big crop of 1871 it was pointed out in April that there had been heavy rains in the fall, winter snows, and abundant showers in the spring which should insure a good harvest. [80] The summer of 1874 was notorious for its drouth but when comparisons were made between 1874 and 1860 declaring that it was worse than 1860 the editor of The Nationalist replied that although the summer months themselves were drier, to mid-June there had been abundant rain, while in 1860 the preceding winter had been dry. [81]

22 Winter Wheat in the Golden Belt of Kansas

     The insect-hazard added to the uncertainty of crops, especially the chinch bugs in a late wet spring like 1864,82 and three successive grasshopper visitations during the summer of 1866 1867 and 1868. [83] These affected both winter and spring willed the other small grains and corn. A more consistent menace was wheat rust which struck frequently during wet summers. [84] The repeated admonition to plant crops early was directed not only toward avoidance of the summer drouth and heat, but also grass-hoppers and rust damage. [85]

     In this study the emphasis is upon winter wheat, but the fact should not be overlooked that spring wheat was raised in greater acreage during early years than winter wheat. As the limited statistics collected for the early census periods did not distinguish between the two types there is no way of knowing specifically the relative amounts. As has been indicated when winter wheat failed to survive the winter, spring wheat was widely substituted. [86] As late as 1870 the discussion leader of the State Farmers' Institute at Manhattan recommended spring in preference to fall wheat. [87] As time passed, however, farming methods improved and experience gradually shifted the trend to winter wheat which matured earlier and was therefore less subject to damage by drouth, summer hot winds, chinch bugs, and grasshoppers.

     Although some attention was given to varieties and their relative adaptability to soil and climate, they were not made an issue. Among the winter varieties named in the press were: Michigan White, Mediterranean Red, White Bluestem, Red Amber, Red Lancaster, and Red or Little May, all soft winter wheats. [88] Of these, the May received the widest endorsement, but all were standard varieties in the Eastern states. Probably the other factors in wheat culture were considered of more importance in determining success or failure of the wheat crop.


     The resourcefulness and ingenuity of the Western farmer ill the face of climatic hazards is one of the most remarkable features of the process of adaptation to prairie-plains environment. Injury to crops or even disaster only stimulated efforts at new experimen

First Steps in Production, 1855-70 23

tation. Cotton was grown as far west as Geary county during the early sixties, and was listed in 1864 with misplaced enthusiasm as among the proven drouth resistant crops. [89] Tobacco took its turn in experimentation, but only for a short time. [90] Gipsy rice corn was offered as a never failing crop, making a big yield and superior to buckwheat for bread. [91] It did not make the success claimed and dropped out of crop planning. Sweet sorghum was more successful and was an important crop because of the syrup made from it irrespective of its forage value for livestock. Planted almost from the beginning of occupation of the territory it was listed during the disastrous season of 1864 as a proven drouth resistant crop. [92] Hungarian grass and millet received a following for tame hay. [93] Although not grown in large quantity, buckwheat was one of the most important staple crops in the eastern counties, but was not widely raised in the upper Kansas. In drouth years it became more conspicuous than otherwise, because after most all other crops had failed it could be planted in mid-summer and with a favorable late summer and fall still make a crop. Buckwheat planting was recommended in 1864 as late as the fourth week in August. [94] Flax was tried in Geary county and recommended in 1862 for further experiment. The market argument was urged particularly on the proposition that it could stand transportation costs, or still better, the linseed oil could be extracted as a home industry. [95] Under a subsistence era of farming the vegetable crops occupied an important role in operations and entered into planning calculations. White potatoes were a staple, the prospects of early and late plantings or varieties being reported almost as consistently as corn and wheat. Sweet potatoes were considered drouth resistant. [96] Fall turnips figured in late planting in any year, but conspicuously when most early summer crops had failed. [97]


     The relative merits of timbered bottom lands and treeless, upland was a problem debated persistently from the opening of the territory. In part the timbered land tradition was just that, a tradition which had become an integral part of the cultural pattern of a people always accustomed to humid environment. On the

24 Winter Wheat in the Golden Belt of Kansas

other hand, however, there were current practical considerations which seemed to give the tradition the authority of necessity. As the rank and file of the pioneers were without money, the timber on the land could be utilized, without transportation and price except hard work, for most all the necessities of frontier existence: house, furniture, fuel, fence, implements. The upland farm recant the paying out of cash for most of all of these things, and transportation from their source to the place of use. But in this period the prairie-plains country had neither cash nor cheap transportation. Closely allied with these reasons and possibly a part of the process of rationalizing virtues out of necessity, the idea became firmly fixed that land that would not grow trees would not produce crops. From the first settlement of Kansas, the upland had its partisans but they were in the minority. A conspicuous example or two may be used to illustrate the problem as seen by contemporaries:

We have said more than once, that those who come to Kansas and settle down upon prairie claims. . . will be in far better circumstances five years hence, than those. . . who settle upon timbered lands, or part timber and part prairie, [and also they would escape the diseases associated with the lowlands] . . . It is those only who have from one to two thousand dollars ready money to expend, who can settle upon prairie claims with the certainty of immediate fortunes. Those without money, or with a very limited amount, must be content to get along a slower way, else settle on timber claims.

     That there was no "grubbing" or "logging" to be done, was a telling argument; it was only necessary to plow the broad expanse of upland and plant the seed. Such timber as was essential could be bought of those who had it and needed cash. Substitutes were available for many timber uses, wire (smooth, not barbed until the 1870's) for an immediate fence with Osage orange hedge planted alongside to make a permanent live fence by the time the fence posts decayed. Wood for fuel could be bought, and often it was pointed out that coal was widely distributed throughout Kansas. Instead of streams and springs for water supply, wells could be had at less than fifty-foot depths in most places. [98]

First Steps in Production, 1855-70 25

     It is one thing to demonstrate the problem on paper, but quite another to overcome custom and practical difficulties. As late as 1866 and as far west as Salina the predominant tradition still held sway, the commentator pointing out that by 1865 the timber claims were all taken and only then were prairie lands occupied:

Settlers taking prairie claims depend upon those who have timber claims and on ditching and on the Osage Orange for fencing, and the railroad to bring cheap lumber. Speaking of lumber, one of the greatest wants of the County is more saw mills . . . The want of lumber keeps a great many from building. [99]

     In 1870 a successful Dickinson county farmer, James Bell, declared that "he would rather go out on the open prairie, without capital, and make a good farm, than to undertake to do so in a timber country." When he came to the county six years earlier his only capital had been a team. [100] Another upland advocate insisted that "our uplands for farming purposes, are superior to bottom land," and enumerated health and fruit growing as advantages as well as field crops made certain by deep plowing to overcome excesses of either rain or drouth.101 To overcome the traditional handicaps of the upland, stone was used extensively for houses, barns and fences. [102] Drive or tube wells, with pumps, met the water problem. [103] Windmills as power for such wells were represented as providing the means of occupying the upland ridges for both livestock and farming purposes. The success of the railroad windmill at Junction City was cited, estimates of the cost of a mill and well was set at $565, and concerning the Kansas wind the people were told that "if Kansas .. . does not utilize this wealth, it is entirely the fault of its own stupidity." [104]

     Farmers planted their own fences with Osage Orange seed, bought plants already started by nurserymen, or engaged an Osage Orange hedge contractor who took the full responsibility. [105]

     Wood continued to serve as fuel although increasing scarcity led some to advocate conservation among other things, by using some stone for buildings and fences, [106] coal for fuel as well as systematic planting and protection of new timber for future needs.

26 Winter Wheat in the Golden Belt of Kansas

     The extensive army wood contracts for Fort Riley aroused the Union to protest that "if government would spend one-half the money expended on these wood contracts in sinking a shaft for coal, it would prove profitable." Three years later, however, the editor switched to the other side of the fuel-timber question. [107] A few used coal after the railroad provided transportation, but coal burning did not become general until the late seventies. [108] At Abilene, T. C. Henry, advocated the use of coal even if a farmer had timber for fuel, because the time necessary to cut wood could be more profitably employed in more efficient and extensive farming operations. [109] This position is significant also as a recognition that subsistence farming was not adaptable to a high degree of efficiency in agriculture, especially in a subhumid region, and that a more specialized commercial agriculture was necessary.

     The process of adaptation to environment through experimentation was necessarily slow, several factors outside the farm tended to confuse the problem, and many of the tools essential to possible adjustment yet awaited development: cheap windmills, barbed wire, tillage and harvesting implements, mechanical power, new crops from Asia and Africa and new varieties of the accepted staples. The close of the Civil War marked a turning point. In the absence of natural water transportation and of railroads, the requirements of Great Plains commerce and of army supply prior to that date had created a seller's market. Corn, hay and livestock dominated the scene at artificial prices. These were produced by a depleted manpower under the handicaps of a frontier stage of development, war-time scarcities and high prices. Stolen horses and Cherokee cattle were sold cheap and contributed to the stocking of many a Kansas farm. Corn was raised regardless of its adaptability to climate.


     During the Civil War the Pacific railroad had been authorized, and the line, which Kansas hoped would become the main line, was opened to Lawrence late in 1864. The end of the war and the prospect of the coming of the railroad to the upper Kansas valley were momentous factors in the economic outlook of 1865.

First Steps in Production, 1855-70 27

     G. W. Martin, editor of the Junction City Union, reviewed the situation in editorials and related matter in his issue of August 26, 1865. The news item that seems to have inspired him to the first of these, "The Beginning of the End," was a post-office order that Santa Fe mail start from Lawrence, the head of the railroad, instead of Kansas City:

The moment the railroad passes Topeka westward, that moment will the great Santa Fe road play out. .. The opening of the Smoky I-fill Route, together with the completion of the Union Pacific Railroad westward, will bring this way a monopoly of all the freight and travel now going over the Platte and Santa Fe. . . .
     On the line of this new route of travel is the richest agricultural and pastoral region of the continent. The beneficence of the Homestead Act, inducing settlers, will add to its natural advantages.

     The second editorial was "Fall Wheat," favorable planting conditions and the prospects of the coming two years. "The recent high price of corn has given to the raising of that staple an impetus to the neglect of wheat," but the price of corn "most likely, will be low after the exhaustion of the present crop." He was predicting twenty-five cent corn. On the other hand, "wheat will command $2 at least," on account of the great emigration and the necessity of bringing flour from the Missouri river. Calculating the wheat yield at twenty-five bushels and corn at forty bushels per acre, he predicted that one acre of wheat would be worth five of corn. [110]

     The third article was a success story reprinted from the Topeka Record. A woman with five children had settled thirty-five miles west of Junction City, near the mouth of the Solomon river in 1860. Her capital was $400, two yoke of oxen and a wagon, and in 1865 they owned 1,200 acres of land, 200 head of cattle, and had sold during the year 1,200 bushels of corn at $2.50 per bushel, twenty-two head of steers at $75 each, and 900 pounds of butter at seventy-five cents per pound. No doubt the story was a product of boomer exaggeration, but the article concluded "We think the story that western Kansas is a desert must be about `played out'."

     The following year the ambitions of Junction City as a trading point were reviewed. Because of the controversy over the loca-

28 Winter Wheat in the Golden Belt of Kansas

tion of the railroad route to the westward, the coming of the railroad was expected to make the city a terminus for a longer period than towns usually enjoyed that distinction. As a permanent advantage, the railroad would make tributary all the country to the south in the direction of Council Grove and to the northwest, up the Republican valley and two wagon roads were laid out to exploit those advantages. On July 2 the Santa Fe mail did start from Junction City. [111]

     During these years large numbers of native cattle and sheep were driven in from the east and Cherokee cattle from the south. [112] The volume of these livestock movements prior to 1867 has been obscured by the exaggerated emphasis that has been given to the Texas cattle trade through Abilene and other Western points beginning in 1867. For years the farmers had been obliged to herd their growing crops against depredations of livestock. James Bell related in the spring of 1870 how he had herded his crops for the first four years near Abilene, 1864-1868, but by 1870 he had completed the enclosure of his whole farm of zoo acres with a post and board fence at a cost of $1,200. [113] That was farming under adversity, but the Texas herds from 1867 to 1872 made the life of the unfenced farmer a burden. The business men of the town who benefited from the Texas trade allied themselves with the cattle interests to the serious detriment of the small farmer, and the trade thrived in defiance of the legislative enactments of 1867 and later.

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1. Kansas Free State, Lawrence, January 7, 1856, from the St. Louis (Mo.) Republican; New York Daily Tribune, October 22, 1856, from the New Orleans (La.) Picayune.
2. The National Era, Washington, D. C., April 23, 1857. For other discussions of trees and climate see the New York Daily Tribune, October 13, 1856, and "Trees" by "W. T.," in The Smoky Hill and Republican Union, Junction City, March 13, 1862. (The name of this newspaper was changed in the course of years to the Junction City Union, and hereafter in this book it is cited by the short title.)
3. Lawrence Republican, December 17, 1857.
4. Letter dated December 20, 1857, in Ibid., January 7, 1858, and reprinted in The Kansas News, Emporia, January 23, 1858.
5. Junction City Union, December 3, 1870: " 'A Kansas farmer recently got up in his sleep and plowed two acres of ground before he woke up-and then he stopped plowing.' We find the above joke going the rounds of the papers. It must be a drive at the scratching, which many of our Kansas farmers palm off for plowing.
6. Ibid., October 17, 1861, "Letter from Madura," fifteen miles northwest of junction City. For a historical study of the instability of farm population see J. C. Malin, "The Turnover of Farm Population in Kansas," The Kansas Historical Quarterly, 4 (November, 1935) 339-372.
7. Martha Caldwell, Annals of Shawnee Methodist Mission, . . . (1939) 31. For the harvest of 1847 or 1848 see the Richard Mendenhall article, Lawrence Republican, January 7, 1858.
8. "Letter From a Farmer," Ibid., November 3, 1859, and editorial, December 15, 1859; "What Crops Shall We Raise?," Ibid., April 5, 1860; "The Farming Interest," Ibid., May 17, 1860; Doctor Buck, Jefferson county, before the Kansas State Agricultural Society, 1864, in Report of the State Board of Agriculture ... 1873 (Topeka, 1874) 31, 32.
9. Lawrence Republican, June 16, 1859
10. Ibid., November 15, 186x, and "W. T.," Ibid., November 29, 1862.
11. Ibid., February 13, 1862.
12. The Kansas Farmer, Lawrence, August, 1865, p.120. J. S. Brown was the editor.
13. Ibid., 116. A. B. W., Bachelder, July 12, 186.
14. Emporia News, July 25, 1863; Junction City Union, April 11, 1863.
15. Ibid., July 25, August 22, 1863; Emporia News, July 25, 1863.
16. Junction City Union, August 1, 1863, in Humboldt creek news.
17. Ibid., July 4, August 22, September 5, November 28, 1863.
18. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, August 9, 1864, from The Kansas State Journal, Lawrence, March 10, 1864; Kansas Daily Tribune, June 17, July 15, August 2, 9, 1864.
19. Ibid., June 24, July 15, August 9, 1864; The Kansas State Journal, Lawrence, July 28, 1864, exchanges from Emporia News, Baldwin City Observer, Ibid., August 11, 1864, from White Cloud Chief.
20. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, August 12, 13, 1864.
21. Ibid., September 7, October 1, 1864; Junction City Union, October 1, 1864.
22. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, February 16, 24, March 2, 24, April 6, 1865; Junction City Union, June 10, 1865; Kansas Weekly Tribune, Lawrence, June 8, 15, 22, July 13, 1865.
23. Junction City Union, August 26, 1865.
24. Ibid., December 16, 23, 1865, January 6, 13, 1866.
25. Ibid., April 28, 1866.
26. Ibid., May 26, June 30, 1866; Kansas Radical, Manhattan, July 14, 1866.
27. Ibid., September 8, 1866, February 2, 1867; Manhattan Independent, June 1, 15, 22, 29, August 3, 1867; Junction City Union, September 1, November 17, 1866, February 23, April 13, 1867.
28. The Manhattan Independent, September 7, 21, 1867.
29. Ibid., December 28, 1867, Lorenzo Westover letter.
30 Junction City Union, August 15, 1868, from the Lawrence Republican. 31 The Manhattan Independent, August 8, 1868.
32. Junction City Union, August 1, 22, September 26, 1868.
33. Ibid., January 2, 1869.

34. For Pottawatomie county meeting, see the Manhattan Independent, September 12, 1868; Geary (Davis) county meeting, Junction City Union, June 12, 1869.
35. Ibid., June 26, August 14, September 11, 1869.
36. Ibid., June 26, July 3, 10, 24, 1869.
37. Ibid., February 26, 1870.
38. Ibid., February 19, 1870.
39. Ibid., May 7, 21, 1870.
40. Ibid., June 18, 25, 1870.
41. The frontier counties suffered crop failures so serious that the legislature of 1871 appropriated $6,000 to provide spring seed wheat and corn. Distribution was made March 20 and 22, respectively, at Waterville and Ellsworth.-Ibid., March 18, 1871.
42. Ibid., July 8, 1865, May 19, August 18, 1866.
43. Junction City Union, June 30, 1866, Local News column.
44. Abilene Chronicle, March 3, 1870.
45. Ibid., January 12, 1871.
46. Ibid., November 17, 1870, et seq. In 1866 Lorenzo Westover had pointed out the price premium of winter over spring wheat.-Kansas Radical, Manhattan, September 8, 1866. This was just prior to the coming of the railroad to Junction City and Abilene, which was available by the time the wheat then being planted was ready for market.
47. Junction City Union, August 27, 1870.
48. Ibid., August 20, October 1, 1870.
49. Abilene Chronicle, September 1, from the Manhattan Standard; Ibid., September 15, 1870.
50. Ibid. The same advertisement was run by T. C. Henry's real estate firm of Shane and Henry, on January 12, 1871.
51. Junction City Union, January 21, April 8, 15, 22, 29, 1871; Abilene Chronicle, March 9, 23, May 25, 1871; The Nationalist, Manhattan, April 14, 1871.
52. Abilene Chronicle, September 14, 1871; The Nationalist, Manhattan, October 13, November l0, 17, 1871,
53. Reported by A. Sheldon, Secretary, Saline County Agricultural and Mechanical Society, Transactions of the Kansas State Board of Agriculture ..., 1872, page 239.
54. Abilene Chronicle, April 11, 1872, from Neodesha Citizen; Wichita Eagle, April 26, 1872, several Kansas exchanges; The Nationalist, Manhattan, March 22, 1872.
55. Abilene Chronicle, July 11, 1872; report of A. Sheldon, Saline County Agricultural and Mechanical Society, Transactions of the Kansas State Board of Agriculture ... 1872, p. 239.
56. Junction City Union, October 26, 1872; The Nationalist, Manhattan, September, 1872; Abilene Chronicle, September 19, 1872.
57. Junction City Union, July i2, August 16, 1873
58. Lawrence, Republican, August 20, 1857.
59. Ibid., January 73, 1860.
60. Emporia News, February 14, 1863.
61. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, August 10, 1864.
62. Lorenzo Westover in the Kansas Radical, Manhattan, September 8, 1866. He repeated his argument the next year.--The Manhattan Independent, December 28, 1867.
63. Abilene Chronicle, October 3, 1872.
64. Lawrence Republican, August 20, 1857.
65. Ibid., September 13, 1860.
66. Ibid., May 17, 1860.
67. Junction City Union, December 6, 1862.
68. The Emporia News, June 13, 1863.
69. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, August 9, 1864, from the Kansas State Journal, Lawrence.
70 Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, August 10, 1864.
71. Junction City Union, May 20, 1865.
72. Kansas Radical, Manhattan, September 8, 1866.
73. Junction City Union, August 1, 1868.
74. Ibid., August 22, 1868.
75. Ibid., September z6, 1868.
76. The Nationalist, Manhattan, March 22, 1872
77. Abilene Chronicle, April 11, 1872, from the Neodesha Citizen.
78. Lawrence Republican, December 20, 1860.
79. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, August l0, 1864.
80. The Nationalist, Manhattan, April 14, 1871.
81. Ibid., August 14, 1874.
82. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, May 26, 1864; The Nationalist, Manhattan, April 26, 1872.
83. Junction City Union, September 1, 1866, August 15, 29, 1868, February 27, 1869; Manhattan Independent, September 7, 1867, August 8, 22, 1868.
84. Lawrence Republican, July 2.1, 1859; Junction City Union, July 18, August 1, 1863; Emporia News, June 13, July 25, 1863.
85. Lawrence Republican, July 21, 1859; Emporia News, June 13, 1863; The Kansas Farmer, Lawrence, October, 1865, p. 149; Junction City Union, February 27, 1869.
86. Lawrence Republican, January 23, December 27, 160 Junction City Union, June 18, 1864, May 19, 1866.
The U. S. Census of 1870 was the first to list winter and spring wheat separately, but the statistics arc of little value, beyond the general indication of larger production of the latter. The census takers began collecting data before the crop of 1870 was matured, therefore, the production in bushels was for the crop harvested in 1869. Some of the returns were not made until after the harvest of 1870 was gathered and figures for 1870 were given. Because of dissatisfaction in Geary county the first census returns were thrown out and a new enumeration began at the end of November, 1870. Ninth Census of the United States, 3: 71-73. See, also, Junction City Union, November 26, 1870. The federal census did not give crop acreage, only production, until 1880, but again no distinction was made between the spring and winter types, and there is no means of knowing which fall year's acreage found its way into the data, 1878 or 1879.

87. Western Home Journal, Lawrence, January 27, 1870.
88. Herald of Freedom, Lawrence, September 19, 1857; Lawrence Republican, December 27, 1860; Emporia News, June 13, 1863; Kansas Radical, Manhattan, September 8, 1866; Abilene Chronicle, October 3, 1872; The Nationalist, Manhattan, August 29, 1873; Doctor Buck, Jefferson county, before Kansas State Agricultural Society, 1864, Report of the State Board of Agriculture . . . 1873, pp. 31, 32.
89. Junction City Union, October 24, 1861; Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, August 2, 1864.
90. Junction City Union, December 19, 1861, February 20, 1862.
91 Ibid., February 13, 1862.
92. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, August 2, 13, 1864.
93. Kansas Weekly Tribune, Lawrence, June 1, 1865; Manhattan Independent, August 10, 1867; Junction City Union, August 20, 1870.
94. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, August 23, 1864.
95. Junction City Union, March 13, 1862; Manhattan Independent, June 29, 1867.
96. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, August 2, 1864.
97. Ibid., August 23, 1864.
98. Herald of Freedom, Lawrence, April 11, 1857; Topeka Tribune, November 12, 1859; Junction City Union, January 1, 1870; "Farms on the Upland.... How to Make a Wire Fence."
99. Ibid., May 19, 1866, Saline county news.
100. Abilene Chronicle, May 12, 1870.
101. S. J. Willes, "Farms on the Upland.... How to Make a Wire Fence," in Junction City Union, January 1, 1870.
102. Ibid., November 14, 1868, August 28, 1869; Manhattan Independent, August 10, 1867.
103. For early tube or drive well advertisements and rivalries, see Ibid., March 30, et seq.; Ibid., July 20, 1867, "Caution," also a rival advertisement.
104. Junction City Union, February 27, 1869.
105. Abilene Chronicle, March 3, April 21, May 19, 1870.
106 Junction City Union, May 20, 1865, December 12, 1868, January 2, February 6, 1869.
107. Ibid., July 22, 1865, December 12, 1868.
108. Abilene Chronicle, December 7, 1877. The Solomon news column reported "Coal is coming into very general use this winter." The editor of the Chronicle had been asking, during this winter, "Wood wanted on subscription." On December 7, he added, "We don't want 'kraut' on subscription."
109. Ibid., November 10, 1870,
110. The Fort Riley price of corn in 1864 cannot be determined from materials available. The Leavenworth market price was quoted at the end of August at $1.20 while winter wheat was $2.00 to $2.25 and spring wheat $1.50. To the price of corn at the Missouri river must be added freight and handling charges by wagon train to Fort Riley or other interior army posts. The Emporia price of corn was $1.25.-Leavenworth Daily Conservative, August 31, September 27, 1864. The Fort Zarah (near Great Bend) contracts for 15,000 bushels of corn were let at prices ranging from $4.00 to $4.93 delivered at the fort.-Junction City Union, September 10, 1864. Bids for 35,000 bushels more were rejected at the same time because the prices were too high. Wheat raised in the upper valley would have had to stand freight to mill and back, plus handling costs.
In 1865, corn from the new crop was bought at $1.19 delivered at Fort Riley.-Ibid., November 4, 11, 1865. By the following summer the price had declined on the crop of 1865 so that July contracts were let in 1866 at 67 to 93 cents delivered at Fort Riley. --Ibid., July 7, 1866. November contracts were let at 86 and 88 cents.-Ibid., November 24, 1866.
111. Ibid., April 28, June 30, 1866.
112. Spanish fever outbreak brought in by southern cattle.-Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, August 24, 1864; Breaking up of Cherokee cattle theft activities.-Kansas Weekly Tribune, Lawrence, August 3, 17, 1865; Native cattle and sheep driven west and other data.-Junction City Union, April 22, June 3, November 18, December 16, 1865. An estimate was made that in 1863 some half million Eastern native cattle, mostly from Missouri, were driven over the overland route through northern Kansas for the Western territories. This estimate seems much too high.
113. Abilene Chronicle, May 12, 1870.