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From Kansas

From Kansas image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
Letter to the Editor
OCR Text

Cantos, M Phimos Oo., K ambas, t Aprll 1, 18H0. i Kd. Coürier :- I send you a letter upon my travels in KaDsas. I arrivcd in Kansas about two wceks ago. Since then I have been traveling throutfh the interior of the state. I find the soil in all parts nearly allied in color and fertility, being that of a dark loam. The ohief productions are wheat, corn and oats. The wheat is looking extremely good. The ruajority raised is known as "Turkey wheat," having been imported froin Europe by the Russians. It is a red wheat, as hard and flinty as California flint. The average yield is from 20 to 30 bushels per acre. The corn raised is wholly white and yellow dent. It does not grow as tall as some of our corn but turn8 out better, yielding from 45 to 60 bushels per aore, shelled. Oats are a staple production in this part of the state, mixed seem to do better than either white or black sown separately. Barley and many kinds of animal grasses is raised quite extensively as Hungarian, etc. As yet, have not seen any tame hay. The farmers say the country is too dry and windy, the soil not being wet enough to retain the seed, it is blown over the country. The state is settling up very fast, McPherson county is the banner county of the state. The first settlement was made at Gypsum Creek township, May 4th, 1866, by Henry B. Tolle. The county organiied in 1870 with a population of 738. At the last oensus in 1878, it wm 11,291. A low estimate of its present population would be 20,000. It can boast of 90 school houses and not a saloon. About one-half of its population consista of Russians, the most of them being known as "Mennonites," so called from their belief in a priest named Meno. Their mode of dressing for worship is aueer enough. Their garb oonsistB of a home made suit of clothes and a dark colored shawl which they wear over their heads. If one of their number dresses in an American style and goes to a house of worship, he is immediately expelled. They are industrious and follow agricultural pursuits ohiefly. It is a great curiosity to visit one of their houses and stables oombincd. They live in one end and their animáis in the other. This would be a great state were it not for the dry weather and wind. There has not been any rain here in nearly three months, and as the wind blows continually, more or less, yon can imagine that it is pretty dry. But still it does not afiFect the crops as it does east Yesterday this country was visited by a cyclone. In many Iart8 houses and buildings were blown down. At McPhersoü, the county seat, the Methodist church was blown to pieces, whirled tbrough the air in atoms; also the front of a large brick blook blown in, and many other buildings of minor importance blown down. At Cantón two dwellings were completely blown to pieoos. The framo of the Methodist church whioh was being covered was whirled through the air like splinters, scarcely a building in town escaped its ravages, as nearly all were blown froin their foundations. The aggregate damage will amount to several thousand dollars in this county. At this writing have not heard of any one being seriously injured. It was a genuino Kansas dirt storm, the air was so fully mpregnated with dirt and dust that one oould scarcely see aero ss the street. It was the 6rst storm of the kind in this part of the state since 1876. The wind blew directly from the west, veering towards the north at sundown. The atmosphere became very cold and thereby freezing quite hard last nigbt, blighting the prospects of a large fruit erop of a few hours hffrfiYours verv trulv.