The Truman Area Community Network
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
[Back to State of Missouri 1904 Index] [Return to History Page]