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State of Missouri (1904) - Hickory County

Map of County
High Resolution (xx x xx) Version of Map

Striking about Hickory County is the beauty and low price of its prairie lands. It is characterized by four alternating strips of undulating prairie and rough lands, of north and south trend. Beginning at the west side of the county, prairie of undulating type extends one-fourth across, followed successively by strips of rough breaks of Pomme de Terre River, prairie, and foothills of an Ozark unevenness which breaks through the border of Camden County. Corn, hay, cattle, horses, hogs, and milk and butter are chief products from 1,763 farms averaging 1,223 acres [sic. - should be 123.3 acres], embracing in aggregate 101,897 acres of cultivated land. County contains 415 square miles of surface, equal to 265,600 acres, valued at $,2349,940.

POPULATION: -- White 9,984, colored 1; American born 9,793, foreign born 194; total 9,985. Farm homes owned 1,248, rented 472, other homes owned 197, rented 114; total families 2,021.

FINANCE: -- County tax 50 cents on one hundred dollars; school tax from 10 cents to 90 cents; average 42 cents; total assessed valuation $2,224,366; assessed valuation per cent of real valuation, 60; no county debt; no township debt.

TIMBER: -- Two-thirds originally; one fourth cleared. Hickory, black oak, post oak exist in commercial quantities since timber has been little removed except in clearing land. White oak, elm, wild cherry, walnut, and black jack are prominent varieties. Saw mills have been of size comparing to local demand.

MINERALS: -- Iron, zinc and lead, coal, limestone, and oil. First four are found in small pockets, zinc and lead principally near Pittsburg. Pockets soon exhausted, have been worked at several points on Pomme de Terre River. Oil excitement once prevailed, based on indications near Quincy. Limestone for local foundations is found or river and creeks.

LAND: -- The two prairies, one upon the west side of Pomme de Terre River being twice the size of that upon the east side, embrace one-third of the county. Soil is black, prairie loam, one to two and a half feet in depth. Prices range from $20 to $30 an acre, being highest in vicinity of Weaubleau, a railroad point. The western prairie is gently undulating; the eastern slightly less so. Prices in former exceed those for similar land of latter location, $2.50 to $5.00 an acre, owing to railroad facilities of the western side of the county. Two-thirds of Hickory County is timber land, three-fourths of which is now tree bearing. This three-fourths of two-thirds may be had at $7 to $10 an acre. Heaviest timber is on the eastern border. Soil is clay, mixed with gravel and surface stone. Wheat is primarily favored on this soil. The cleared timber lands are creek and river bottoms. Soil is black or brown, endless depth, sometimes bearing few surface rock. Corn is principal product. Prices $25 to $35. No damaging overflows.

MANUFACTURED PRODUCTS: -- Flour, railroad ties, and hardwood lumber for demand within county.

TRANSPORTATION: -- The Frisco Railroad has 7,42 miles taxed roadbed. Gives direct service to Kansas City and Springfield. Extension of Missouri Pacific from Warsaw to Springfield is feasible, and likely. Pomme de Terre River is used for railroad tie transportation, making connection with the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Steel bridges cross river in most frequented points. There is no toll.

CHURCHES: -- Weaubleau, Cross Timbers, and Hermitage have two each; Wheatland has three Protestant churches. Weaubleau Christian Institute is the leading educational institution; co-educational; enrolls one hundred pupils.

WATER: -- On prairies, wells reach limestone water at 40 to 50 feet. In hills springs are used. Ponds are dug for live stock on prairies.

FISH AND GAME: -- Catfish weighing fifty pounds have been caught in Pomme de Terre River. This river and Little Niangua are stocked with buffalo, bass, drum, suckers, redhorse, and jack salmon. Wild turkeys are largest game.

DAIRYING: -- Farmers are rapidly taking to dairying, owing largely to the adaptability of climate and land lay. Near the railroad on the west side of Hickory county are several farms contributing daily to Kansas City dairy markets.

FUR INDUSTRY: -- Otter and mink are trapped in winter; the fur industry amounting to considerable.

TOWNS: -- Weaubleau, largest railroad town; Hermitage, county seat; Wheatland, Cross Timbers, centers of respective farming districts.

NEWSPAPERS: -- Hermitage Index; Weaubleau Leader; Hermitage Republican.

                     COUNTY'S 1902 CROP
                     ACRES           PRODUCT           VALUE
Corn                 39,985         1,399,745 bu.    $  412,845
Wheat                 8,949           143,185 bu.        78,750
Oats                  5,645           169,350 bu.        44,875
Hay                  14,245            21,370 tons      106,850
Forage                1,935             2,420 tons       12,100
Flax                     35               210 bu.           215
Broom Corn               13             6,500 lbs.          180
Clover seed `                             220 lbs.        1,230
Grass seed                                660 lbs.        1,080
Tobacco                   7             4,900 lbs.          465
Potatoes                393            49,125 bu.        15,720
Vegetables              470                              24,935
Total                                                $  699,245

                     LIVESTOCK AND PRODUCTS
KIND                                  NUMBER           VALUE
Cattle                                 14,669        $  403,400
Horses                                  5,176           310,560
Mules                                   1,018            66,170
Asses and Jennies                          41             3,690
Sheep                                   5,745            17,235
Swine                                  20,204           202,040
Chickens                               89,259 )
Turkeys                                 1,632 )          49,055
Geese                                   2,624 )
Ducks                                     805 )
Swarms of bees                            656             1,130
Honey                                  21,867 lbs.        2,735
Wool                                   18,250 lbs.        3,040
Milk                                1,259,832 gal.)
Butter                                223,642 lbs.)      70,235
Eggs                                1,070,960 doz.       81,745
Total                                                $1,211,035

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