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Gustav Stickley (ed.) / The craftsman
Vol. XIV, Number 4 (July 1908)

Forbes-Lindsay, C. H.
The rural settlement: its social, economic and ├Žsthetic advantages,   pp. 407-416 PDF (3.1 MB)


Page 414


THE RURAL SETTLEMENT
will act in the more important capacity of freight carriers, conveying
merchandise and machinery to the farms and hauling produce thence
to the shipping points. The farmer will be supplied with power to
operate his agricultural machinery, and his wife with power to run
her churn or her sewing machine. The settlements will be lighted
by electricity. The same force will be employed in their industrial
plants and in their homes, for heating and cooking.
    The Western farmers are quite alive to the economy and conven-
ience to be derived from the use of electricity. On the Minadoka
project, where the power-house is in operation, eighty-five per cent.
of the farmers have subscribed to the service, which is furnished to
them at a fraction above cost. It is worthy of note that the source
of all these public utilities will in every case be in the hands of the
people, for the Government is pledged to turn over to the landowners
the entire irrigation systems, with the exception of reservoirs, ten years
after their completion.
    Each settlement will be a logical station for a railroad, a market
for the farmer's produce and a shipping depot for the buyer. The
centralization and community of interests will effect many economies
which it is impossible at present to particularize and will enable every
farmer to enjoy conveniences and comforts that would otherwise be
beyond his reach. Not the least of these will be improved professional
services. The settlements will become the permanent residences of
lawyers, doctors, dentists and veterinary surgeons of ability who will
displace the itinerant quacks that infest the agricultural districts.
With the concentration of the demand, a better class of craftsmen,
too, will make themselves available to the farmer.
   Next to the home, the three great social institutions of the rural
districts are the church, the school and the grange. None of these
is extending anything like the degree of benefit that should be derived
from it and this in each case is because of the scattered constituency.
Upon the rural settlement plan all of these institutions are afforded
greatly enlarged scope for activity and influence, while their mainte-
nance is effected with increased economy.
    Our agricultural life differs greatly from that in European coun-
tries, where the farmers live mostly in villages, and the isolated farm-
house is the exception. The difficulty experienced by our farmers in
getting help is largely due to the fact that hired labor in the country
is almost exclusively performed by single men, and necessarily so.
Very few farms have dwellings to accommodate the families of laborers.
This not only militates against the employment of a married man
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