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as that from other parts of the Union, has been unprecedented; the immense growth of the State has occurred, in a great measure, during the last ten years, as Kansas, from a population of 107,000 in 1860, has increased to upward of 360,000 in 1870, an advance of over 300 per cent. During the last year 3,298 farins, embracing 647,185 acres, have been taken for actual settlement under the beneficent provisions of the homestead act, while the total disposal of lands in the State by the Government to individuals aggregates 983,190 acres.
So rapid has been the advance of settlements that Congress, ever open to the wants of our hardy pioneers, has constituted two new districts in the State; one embracing the north half of the western land district and the lands along the valley of the Republican and Solomon Rivers, with the land office at Concordia; the other, at Augusta, embraces the trust lands of the Osage Indians, and that portion of their diminished reserve, it is presumed, at no distant period will be laid open to settlement. The other land districts are the Delaware, with the office at Topeka; the Osage, with the office at Humboldt; and the Weswestern, with the office at Junction City.
With these facilities no State has a brighter and more prosperous future than Kansas.
There are now 41,499,082.83 acres undisposed of within the limits of the State.
This State, covering 75,995 square miles, embracing upward of 48,786,800 acres of land, presents a field of attractive and magnificent proportions to the agriculturist.
The climate of the State is mild and healthful, with a mean temperature during the three winter months of 22°, and the summer months of 700. The atmosphere is generally dry, although the rain-fall is immense.
The eastern parts of tbe State are well adapted to the cultivation of all agricultural produce. The surface is rolling prairie, and the soil of the eastern portion and south of the Platte is a rich, black vegetable mold from two to ten feet deep and even of greater depth, and is slightly impregnated with lime and entirely free from stones and gravel, easily plowed to any depth. The sub-soil is mostly yellow clay, yet not impervious to water. The wild grasses grow luxuriantly both upon the bottom and table lands, yielding from one and a half to three tons per acre, and are more nutritious and better adapted to the successful raising of sheep and horned cattle than the cultivated grasses of the Eastern States; the cultivated grasses may be raised, however, to an unlimited extent.
Thousands of cattle are being brought from Texas and fattened on these wild grasses, the meat commanding ready sale in Chicago, realizing to those engaged in this branch of industry rapid and large profits.
The soil of the State readily withstands the extremes of drought and rain to an extent not found in other agricultural regions of the country; whether the rains are excessive or drought and brigh temperature prevail, the crops are equally as good and the yield equal to the most favorable conditions in other States.
The woods are sparse, the limited supply of timber being a drawback to the progress of the settler; nevertheless, settlements are being rapidly made, the construction of the Union Pacific and other railroads enabling the agriculturist to obtain quickly and cheaply the article so essential to prosperity.
The want of the State in this respect is fully appreciated by the people here; the planting of young timber is one of the first objects of the settler; the protection of the young native growth from fire is guarded; as a consequence this most essential article is rapidly increasing.
The eastern and settled portion of Nebraska is well watered by rivers descending from the north, the west, and the central portion, even to the Missouri. The western part of this commonwealth is, with the exception of the two branches of the Platte River, generally wanting in running streams. Here, then, irrigation, the value of which the States of the Pacific Slope have appreciated, will be adopted. But one experiment, however, has thus far been made in this region of Nebraska. This was by the Lincoln County Ditch Company, organized in May 1870, under the State laws. The water is taken from the Platte at a point near and west of Fort Cottonwood; from thence it is carried by a ditch, six feet wide by one foot deep, in a northeast course about eight miles, and thence east four and a half miles to the North Platte. It runs on high ground between the rivers, and will irrigate all the lands on both sides to the extent of 10,000 acres. Over 250,000 cubic feet of water are conveyed by the ditch every twenty-four hours, the entire cost being less than $800, and the expense of repair is trifling, whilst its use on the crops has been attended with the most flattering success. With slight additional expense its capacity can be largely increased.
The success of this experiment will, without doubt, direct the attention of our people to the utility and productiveness resulting from properly-directed efforts to supply the lack of moisture in the soil of this portion of the State.
The principal counties show an aggregate of 850,000 acres under cultivation, of which 285,000 acres are within Richardson County, 100,000 acres in Burt County, 60,500 acres in Platte County, and 55,500 acres in Cass County, while the others range from 3,000 to 50,000 acres. Of this cultivated field, 240,000 acres are devoted to wheat, 159,400 'acres to corn, 125,000 acres to oats, 1,900 acres to'rye, 36,800 acres to barley, and 103,700 acres to potatoes and other crops. The average yield per acre is, of wheat, 23 bushels; corn, 46 bushels; oats, 49 bushels; rye, 24 bushels; barley, 35 bushels; and potatoes, 186 bushels.
No efforts have yet been made in the culture of the tea plant, though an interest in the subject has become manifest, and no doubt its adaptability to the soil will be demonstrated by future experiments.
Wool-growing will, of course, become a constantly increasing and allimportant branch of industry. The yield during the last year, in ten counties, was 169,129 pounds, valued at $46,910. Of this amount 100,000 pounds, valued at $30,000, was clipped in Otoe County. The principal breed of sheep is the merino, and the price of the wool per pound is 30 cents. But little has been done in the culture of flax and other fibrous productions, though where these plants have been experimented with the efforts have been attended with success.
Mineral productions are confined to coal, lime and sand stone, gypsum, and a showing of iron ore, though it is claimed that gold exists in Seward County. The coal, so far as developed, exists principally in Otoe County, on the Missouri River and south of the Platte, being, without doubt, the continuation of the coal measures of Iowa and Mis. souri.
In Lancaster County there are inexhaustible quarries of sandstone, resembling the Seneca or Potomac stone. When quarried it is so soft as to be easily crumbled, but hardens by exposure to the air to such extent that it can with difficulty be marked with a knife. Near the headwaters of Salt Creek are extensive quarries of blue limestone, presenting the characteristics of Trenton stone. Near Lincoln is found an inexhaustible quantity of beautiful gray magnesian limestone, nearly as hard and susceptible of fine polish as Italian marble.
Like Kansas, Nebraska possesses extensive salt basins. The principal one is situated in Lancaster County, surrounding the city of Lincoln, the capital of the State, and embracing an area of 12 by 25 miles.
These springs contain by weight 29 per cent.®of salt. The absence of fuel for evaporating purposes would, however, be a serious drawback to the development of this region were it not for the excessive dryness of the atmosphere and consequent rapid evaporation, which more than compensates for this loss. The average evaporation, during the summer months, is ten inches of saturated brine in sixty hours.
In the manufacture of salt by solar evaporation .vats are prepared, 16 feet square and 8 inches deep; in these are placed the brine, exposed to the sun's rays and the atmosphere; covers are provided in wet weather, to prevent dilution with rain.
The annual yield of one of these vats is 5,742 bushels, or 1,148 barrels, of salt; and as one well will usually supply 1,000 of these vats, we have, after deduction of loss, not less than 882,000 barrels as its product; at an estimated gross value of $3 per barrel, this will amount to $2,646,000 as the product of one well for a year; while the net value may bo placed at not less than $2 per barrel, making a profit of $1,764,000.
The facilities for manufactures, owing to the limited supply of fuel, are restricted to the streams and water-courses. Consequently, outside of the cities bordering on the rivers, manufacturing is inconsiderable.
In Omaha will, of course, be found the principal manufacturing establishments; this branch of business is, however, yet in its infancy, and not sufficiently developed to give an adequate idea of what the resources of the State are capable in this direction.
The commerce of Nebraska is, of course, mostly domestic, but little produce being shipped from the State, the constant influx of immigration and increase and consumption of produce requiring the retention at home of the products of the State.
The facilities of commercial intercourse are constantly increasing, railroads being rapidly pushed forward in the direction of settlements, and, in the case of the Union Pacific road, far beyond that point.
The Burlington and Missouri River Road has been constructed, in the counties of Cass and Lancaster, from Plattsmouth to Lincoln, a distance of 55 miles, at an average cost per mile, including buildings and rolling • stock, of $30,000. The station-houses are valued at from $500 to $3,000, while the shops at Plattsmouth are valued at $10,000. The company have seven locomotives and 125 freight cars, valued at $132,500. When completed, the road will connect with the Union Pacific Railroad at Fort Kearny.
The Omaha and Northwestern Railroad is to run from Omaha to Niobrara River, via Fort Calhoun, De Soto, Blair, Cuming City, and West Point; thence up the Elk Horn and North Fork to Branzais Creek, and then down to the Missouri River, at the mouth of the Niobrara, an entire distance of 183 miles. Ten miles of this road have been constructed, at a cost of $18,000 per mile; there are 154 miles additional under contract, and $200,000 has already been expended on the work. No trains are yet running on this road.
The Burlington and Southwestern Railway, starting from Rulo, in the extreme southeastern corner of the State, it is contemplated, will run from thence west, via Pawnee City, to Beatrice; thence southwest to a point in Nuckolls County, at or near where the Republican River enters Kansas, and thence to Sheridan, or some point on the Kansas Pacific Railway. Its advantages to Nebraska are the means of communication it gives to the counties of Richardson, Pawnee, Gage, Jones, Jefferson, and Nuckolls. Eleven miles of the road have been built at a cost of $17,500 per mile; from this point to Pawnee City is now under contract, and being vigorously prosecuted. The Midland Pacific Railway runs from Nebraska City to Lincoln, and is now graded 57 miles, with 12 miles finished, at a cost of $18,000 per inile.
It will thus be seen that the enterprise of the people is equal to the demands of the age, and that the value and utility of railways as means of intercommunication are fully comprehended by the community. Capitalists, too, see in the future the value of the yet undeveloped resources of the State, and invest their money, confident of an ultimate profitable interest.
The value of real estate and personal property, in nineteen leading counties, is $34,244,000; value of raw material produced, $1,318,500, to which is added by manufacture, $392,808.
There are many enterprising cities within the State, such as Omaha, destined to be a great commercial capital, Nebraska City, Plattsmouth, Lincoln, Rulo, Beatrice, Dakota City, Fremont, Columbus, with others of minor note.
Omaha, as the eastern terminus of the Union Pacific Railway, is preeminently the leading city of Nebraska, and is growing in wealth and population with extraordinary rapidity.
Lincoln, the capital, was created under the legislative act of June 14, 1867, making provision for locating the seat of government and public buildings. Commissioners selected the site of the village of Lancaster, in Lancaster County, situated on an elevated surface in the midst of an agricultural and thrifty population, with rock, timber, and water-power within two miles, and equidistant from Kansas and the towns of Pawnee City, Nebraska City, Plattsmouth, Omaha, Fremont, and Columbus. The streets are 120 feet wide, and twelve acrés each have been reserved for the capitol, State university, and a city park. Other reservations are made for a county court-house, for a city hall and market space, for a State historical and library association, and seven sites for public schools. Desirable reservations are also set apart for ten religious denominations, upon which to erect houses of worship. One also for the order of Odd Fellows, and one for the Masonic fraternity.
At the several sales of lots held within the year ensuing, $75,580 were realized. The capitol is built of red sandstone, and faced with the magnesian limestone of Beatrice. The building is designed after the Roman Italian style of architecture, is 120 feet in beight to the top of the main tower, covering an area of 175 feet in length by 100 feet in breadth, making 175,000 square feet, and costing in the aggregate $500,000.
The hall of representatives and senate chamber are on the second floor, and are 30 feet in height, while other public offices are arranged with a view to comfort and convenience. On the wings of the building are constructed four fire-proof towers, 70 feet in height, divided into apartments for the safe-keeping of the State archives, public documents, and statutes. The building is situated at the summit of a slight eminence on the east side of the town site, of which it commands a full view.
The State university is of a modern style of architecture, in the form of a Greek cross, ornamented with tower and mansard roof; its extreme length is 156 feet, and height to the top of the tower, 112 feet; the basement, of brown sandstone, faced with rock-work finish, presents an elegant and durable appearance. The superstructure is of brick, while the approaches, steps, and landings are of hard white limestone.
The university is also of modern style, is endowed with 146,000 acres of land, and an annual fund which for this year amounts to 60,000 dollars. The lunatic asylum is also of modern architecture, with tower and mansard roof.
Nearly every branch of business is represented in the industry of the town, and three well-conducted newspapers are published in the place, daily, weekly, and monthly. There are ready employment, good wages for mechanics and others, and excellent opportunities for the profitable investment of capital.
There have been disposed of in the State during the last fiscal year, for actual settlement and at private entrý, 1,276,575 acres of land ; of this 456,439 acres have been taken under the homestead law, adding to the productive interests of the State 3,382 farms. There is still left for settlement an area of the surveys along the line of the Union Pacific Railroad and elsewhere in the State, which opens an attractive field to the immigrant.
TERRITORIES TRAVERSED BY THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN RANGES.
This Territory was organized under the act of Congress approved September 9, 1850, the country covered by its limits having formerly constituted the Mexican province of New Mexico, a part of Upper California, and a part of the State of Texas. It is bounded on the north by Colorado, on the west by Arizona, on the south by Mexico and Texas, and on the east by Texas and Indian Territory; extending from 103° to 1090 west longitude from Greenwich, and from 31° 21' to 37° north lati. tude, or an average of 352 miles from north to south, and 332 miles from east to west; the portion formerly comprising parts of the provinces of the Mexican Republic, chiefly acquired by the United States under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo; the
State of Texas having assented to the subtraction of the remaining portion from her territory by acceptance of the provisions of the before-mentioned act of September 9, 1850, which act reduced her boundaries and provided for ample remuneration for the lands subtracted. The area of the Territory is 121,201 square miles, or 77,568,640 acres.
The general face of the country is constituted of high level plateaus, traversed by ranges of mountains, from which occasional isolated peaks rise to a great height, and intersected by rapid streams of water flowing through beautiful fertile valleys and channeling in the rock precipitous cañons. The general course of the mountains, valleys, and streams is from north to south, with the tendency to a deflection from northwest to southeast, or toward Mexico and the Isthmus of Panama, the territory including the southern extension of the mountains constituting what is called in more northern latitudes the Great Rocky Range, this being an elevated continental vertebral column, extending from the Arctic Ocean to South America without losing its identity or the chain of connecting peaks being broken, and following a line parallel with the general contour of the Pacific coast throughout its whole extent. The