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Prairie Farmer's Reliable Directory
Of
Farmers and Breeders
Logan County, Illinois

[transcribed from pages 12 and 13]
by Nancy Mason Howerton

Logan County Agriculture

Logan County is essentially a grain-raising section. The great bulk of its farmers perhaps between 80 and 85 percent market most of their crops through the elevator. Livestock feeding and growing is not a popular industry, taking the county as a whole, though there are areas here and there where the stock business has a fairly strong local hold.

Logan County is on the south border of the far famed Illinois corn-belt. The general lay of the land is much the same as McLean, eastern Tazewell, DeWitt and other border counties. Most of it is practically level, some of it is just gently rolling and only a comparatively small area is rough or hilly. The north part of the county is the Wisconsin glaciation, the end of which comes about on a line drawn east and west 10 miles north of Lincoln, the county seat, or about through Union. At this point is the terminal moraine of theis soil area. The rest of the county belongs to the Illinois glaciation. The Illinois glaciation is from 60 to 100 feet lower than the Wisconsin, and there is a little rough land along the moraine.

There are no important rivers in Logan County, the only streams being the creeks. Most of these creeks are bordered with trees, but aside from this there is no timbered area in the county, the rest being a treeless prairie. Along these streams are also some hills, but not enough to make a considerable part of the county's area.

The bulk of Logan County's soils belong to the brown silt loam classification, or the common type of the Illinois corn-belt. Mixed through this brown silt loam are considerable areas of black clay loam, an extremely rich and productive type of soil which is found all through the corn belt also. The timbered sections of the county and almost all sections that were once timbered, are timber soil. There are also some small areas of minor importance of gray silt loam.

On most Logan county soils there is a marked deficiency of phosphorus, analyses shoeing from 900 to 1200 pounds per acre. A few farmers are experimenting with raw rock phosphate in a small way to supply this deficiency, but thus far little systematic soil improvement work has been carried on. A few men here and there are using limestone. Five years ago very few soils in Logan County were sour, but now almost all of them show an acid reaction.

The common rotation of the county is corn and oats, or corn and wheat. Clover has not come into the use that it has in McLean or Livingston or the other nearby counties. Most clover not used for livestock feeding is plowed under the fall after is sowed, or early the following spring, and only a limited number of fields are left the second year to be plowed down then. Alfalfa is not at all common, though here and there farmers are growing it successfully.

It is through its Shire horse-breeding industry that Logan County is most noted in a livestock way. Centering around Mt. Pulaski the Shire business has attained a magnitude as great as in any section of Illinois. This booming industry finds expression in the Mt. Pulaski Horse Show, held in October each year. This has grown in the last four or five years to be the largest local horse show in Illinois, excepting alone the Bushnell Horse Show in McDonough county. The size of the h horse show rival that at the State Fair and the International, most of the horses coming from the south half of Logan county, but some from beyond the border from Sangamom, Christian, DeWitt and Macon.

A good percentage of these Shire horses are purebred, and most of the stallions in the good horse county in Logan County are purebred Shires. Since the Mt. Pulaski Horse Show was started there is a noticeable quickening of interest in the purebred shire business, as there good horses have had a way of winning most of the prizes at the show. The Mt. Pulaski show really has had a profound influence in improving the draft horse business of the county. There are a few Percherons, but now many, and practically no representatives of the other draft breeds.

Around Elkhart is a considerable Shorthorn breeding industry, and in fact this breed is scattered throughout the county. There are a few Angus herds, also, but no Herefords. There are no purebred herds of diary cattle except at two of the state farms. Dairying is not an important industry, there being only half a dozen farms devoted to it.

East of Lincoln is a considerable cattle-feeding section, some of the large feeders handling as many as 200 steers per year. Cattle-feeders are scattered here and there over the county. Many farmers raise and fatten hogs, but there are no especially large operators. The hog business is scattered over the entire county.

One of the most interesting things about Logan county agriculture is the systems of leasing lands employed by the large estates in the county. Over 60 percent of the land is farmed by tenants. The largest land-holding is by the estate of Lord Scully, which owns many thousand acres in the northwest part of the county. This section is called the "Scully Prairies". The Scully lands are rented for $5 per acre, the tenant furnishing all the equipment. On some of the Scully lands the buildings are mere shacks, on others are some of the finest rural dwellings in the county.

Next to the Scully Estate in size is the Gillett Estate around Elkhart. Among the other large land-holdings are the Scroggins Estate at Mt. Pulaski, Judge Foley's land east of Lincoln, and E.W. Bates' land around Lincoln. Practically all of these lands, as well as practically all others in the county, are are rented either for cash or for grain rent. Renting partnerships are rare.

Attempts have been made a time or two to organize a Better Farming Association. These have not been successful. However, it is believed among the boosters of this movement that it can be "put across" at the next attempt, and the plan is to start this soon.

Chicago's Banner Receipts

Following are given banner receipts at the Chicago Union Stock Yards for periods mentioned:

Largest Receipts of the Stock in One Day

Cattle, November 16, 190849,128
Calves, May 1, 1906..  9,284
Hogs, February 10, 190887,716
Sheep, October 16, 1911 71,792
Horses, May 17, 1915.  2,300
Cars, January 11, 1904  3,228

Largest Receipts of Stock in One Week

Cattle, week ending Sept. 19, 1891.95,524
Calves, week ending April 21, 191219,027
Hogs, week ending Nov. 20, 1880..300,486
Sheep, week ending Sept. 27, 1913.231,647
Horses, week ending Nov. 7, 1914..    7,031
Cars, week ending Dec. 13, 1902.    8,471

Largest Receipts of Stock in One Year

Cattle, 1892.3,571,796
Calves, 1911   521,512
Hogs, 1898...8,817,114
Sheep, 1912..6,055,546
Horses, 1913.   165,253
Cars, 1890.    331,557

February 10, 1908, receipts of hogs at the Chicago Stock Yards were 87,716, with an additional 1,649 direct to downtown packers, making the day's total 89,365.

The week ending December 11, 1915, arrivals of hogs at the Stock Yards were 298,818 and downtown packers received 12,725, making a record grand total of 311,543. In December 1915, hog receipts at the Chicago Stock Yards, were 1,174,530, with 57,051 direct to packers outside the yards or a combined total of 1,231,581.

There arrived at the Chicago Stock Yards in 1898, 8,717,114 hogs, but in the same year 546,337 additional hogs were received direct by packers outside the yards, making a grand total of 9,363,451.




This page is "1917 Agriculture" on the Logan County, Illinois, ILGenWeb site. The address of this page is http://logan.illinoisgenweb.org/agriculture1917.htm.