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SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI, AND SURROUNDINGS • 1889


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(previous page) have fewer enemies in this country than in any other of my knowledge, and from present indications, fruit farming ten years hence will rank second only to mining, among the leading industries. THE NATIVE GRASSES, which number over 100 varieties, and make a luxuriant growth both in forest and prairie, have proven a great resource to the early settlers and are still of great value to farmers and stockmen, both for hay and grazing; but they are steadily giving way to DOMESTIC GRASSES, all of which flourish here as if “to the manor born.” Red clover makes the finest growth in these woodland soils that I have ever seen in any country, and is much more tenacious than in the East and North. Timothy does finely on the prairies and in the lowlands. White clover and blue grass are both indigenous and are gradually making their way to the conquest of the whole country. Herds grass and orchard grass do finely, but the climate has too much humidity for alfalfa, which is more at home in the plains and mountains. It goes without saying that Southwest Missouri is a SPLENDID STOCK COUNTRY. Its matchless water supply, mild and equable climate, luxuriant and nutritious wild and domestic grasses, the admirable natural shelter accorded by the wooded hills, gulches and ravines and the astonishing cheapness of grazing lands together with the admirable railway facilities make it one of the most desirable and attractive stock-growing regions available to stock men. Horses, cattle, and mules mature a full year earlier than in the colder North and East, and the general cultivation of blue grass and clover will come very near to making perennial grazing for this whole region. All kinds of stock do well here, and with the establishment of pork and beef packing houses in Springfield, and a first-class home market thereby secured, I believe this will early become the most popular stock growing country in the West. As a sheep country it has no superior, and for BUTTER AND CHEESE DAIRYING, either by creameries or private farm dairying, one could hardly conceive of a better country than this land of clear, cold springs, pure atmosphere, mild climate, superb grasses, and the facilities for reaching the fine butter and cheese markets of the South and West. Many a reader will ask, IS FARMING A SUCCESS in Southwest Missouri? Yes, it is; and very nearly an unqualified success. First, farm lands are so cheap that the investment in them is not large enough to render farming unprofitable, as in many older countries; second, the climate and soils are both generous enough to favor profitable farming; third, an average yearly RAINFALL, of more than thirty inches, dissipates all doubt as to the certainty of crops, and leaves the responsibility of crop-raising with the farmer himself. Better still, during the forty years of farm experience in this region, they have NEVER LOST A CROP. Such a thing as a general crop failure is unknown to this portion of the State. Wind and tide—everything—favor the tiller of the soil in this country. Fuel and fencing are cheap, and cut no figure in his expense account. Everything he must buy is cheap by comparison with its cost in the new prairie States. He is nearer to the great grain, stock and produce markets, and gets better pay for his products than the men of the western plains. He lives in a country of LIGHT TAXES and knows little of the burden of heavy bonded indebtedness as in the older Eastern and newer Western States. Better than all else, he has cast his lot with A PROGRESSIVE COSMOPOLITAN PEOPLE gathered from all portions of the Union, and attracted to this beautiful and fertile region by the grand measure of resources and advantages which any other State might covet. No portion of the American Union can boast a more enterprising, ambitious, intelligent, self-helpful and self-respecting population than the country tributary to Springfield, a fact that explains, in good measure, the remarkable prosperity and growth of this fortunate city. Within the radius of country outlined in these pages, live and thrive nearly A HALF MILLION PEOPLE who have left behind them the provincial conceits and prejudice and narrowness, born of more homogeneous conditions in the lands of their nativity, and in this broader field of opportunity (next page)

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