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A Letter From Dakota

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SlKi Editor. - Haring Just fliiished :i trip through tlic west and inspected tlic great wheat growing región of Dukota, and having had the good fortune to meet an oíd resident of Aun Arbor, 1 will tell you sometliing about it. Fargo ig just across tlie Ued Kiver, which separaten Minnesota from Dakota, and is t llvely place. It now has bar lini-s of rajlwuy and more building, üf course tlie Northern Pftdflo, running almost directly east and woM, is tlie inain line, and boarding a train one tuorning I was soon landed at New Bullalo about ',i') miles west of Fargo. A friend liad written that south of this point tlieic eould be seen as fine a country as Dakota fiiruished, and as we bowled away over the prairie, with bis good horse and easy carrtage, I was compelled to admit he liad not overdrawn the picture. The prairie con¦Itted of long, undulating swells, Uke Die billows of a great sea, and stretched away till the horizon and landscape met and nielted away in the diin distance. The seclions of land are divided into "odds" and "evens," the railroad graut comprised the former and the governnient retaincd the latter for "homesteads"' or actual settlers, and we found these altérnate seetlons already well occupied, while quite a portion of the railroad land had been bought and converted Into great wheat farms. After a ride of about lifteen miles we crossed a small stream called Maple River, a tributary to the Cheyenne, wliich in turn erapties into the Red, and thus on to the Hudson Bay and the f rozen oeean of the north. Fording the Maple then, the country seemed even more lovely if possil)le, and we soon came in sight of a long black line, and cluster of new houses. The lirst proved to be the grade of the southwest branch of the Northern Pacific, which commenecs at Fargo and is destined for the Black Hills región. The cluster of buildings is a new place growing apon the new line, ealled Sheldon, after the owner of the site and adjoiuing land. "Si.x weeks ago," said my friend, "not a blow had been struck here. All of the lumber and building material has been drawn across the prairie from New Butlalo, 23 miles, and you see an example of western push.'' There were about a doen buildings, two stores nearly finished, a boarding house, blacksmithshop, etc., etc. White settlers and land purchasers are coming in very fast. Descending into a cellar I found the black alluvial soil to be three feet six inches in depth, it being the deepest soil I saw while in the teroitory. The water was exceptionally cold and tree from alkiiü, and found at a depth of aboutO feet froin the surface. The town has no conipeting poFnt nouier than liftecn miles and none of Iniportance nuarer than Fargo, about 40 miles. It is situated betweea the llaplc and (Jheyeime rivt-rs, about flve miles from either stream, and these river bottoms are eovereJ with timber, a very desirable Item in tuis country. We found four foot wood could be procured for $3 per cord. Before leaving I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. E. E. Sheldon, and found him to be an Ann Arbor man, having come to this reglón mostly on account of health, but had engaged in business, and it now looks as if he would achieve both- health and lucre. He owns the whole section (640 acres) upon which the town Is located, lots were being platted and sold, new buildings were going up, the postmaster was daily expecting his commission, a Duluth capitalist was talking of a 25,000 bushei elevator, and indeed things looked as if Sheldon was on a permanent boom. Mr. Sheldon said favorable inducements would be held out to any one who would put up a good hotel building, steam grist mili, shoe shop, etc. The wheat erop this year is lighter than usual, averages about IS to 20 bushels per acre, although some ylelded aa high as 33 bushels to the acre. The great Cheney, Dalrymple and Williams farms are about . 25 miles from Sheldon, and this whole re?ion of the Red River valley is unsurpassed as a wheat country. The cereal this ycar grades No. 1 hard, the hlghestgradeknown , s a red spring wheat and produces tlie


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