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Hibbard, Benjamin Horace, 1870-1955 / The history of agriculture in Dane County, Wisconsin

Chapter VII: Density of population,   pp. 203-206 PDF (677.5 KB)

Page 204

crease in density of population, fail, about this time, to coincide
as closely as during the earlier period because the application of
machinery to tobacco raising made it possible to dispense with a
part of the labor, and also because the tendency to subdivide farms
has been less pronounced since about 1885.
  In the last decade twenty-two towns show a gain, and eight a
decline, the rest being the same as before or doubtful. Here
the trend seems to vary from   former periods in some par-
ticulars: the tobacco sections show an advance of four per cent.;
while the advance of the whole county is eight per cent. Evi-
dently those who desire small farms for tobacco growing are find-
ing them outside of the distinctive tobacco district; this might be
hard to establish, but it is certain that tobacco culture has spread
to nearly every town of the county, and that within the last ten
years. In the general farming towns the better culture practised
in all respects has resulted in the employment of more farm la-
borers, and the tendency toward smaller farms94 means an in-
crease in density of population.
  It remains to speak of population in the dairy section. In the
towns of Perry, 'Montrose, Springdale, and Vermont, there has
been an almost uniform decline for the three decades since dairy-
ing became important. Vermliont, which has become more ex-
clusively a dairy town than any other in the county, shows a
decline in population of almost thirty-four per cent. during the
thirty years. The remaining towns which show declines for the
whole period are those where dairying is fast gaining on other
kinds of farming, as in Middleton and Oregon.95 Still, two more,
Roxbury and Berry, show a marked decline in population and
these towns are not easily classified; they are settled very largely
by Germans; are, for the most part, hilly and broken, and as
wheat growing, which persisted longer with them than in other
parts of the county, had finally to be given up, the hills were
turned almost entirely into pastures. The conditions and the re-
sults are thus practically the same as in the dairy district, and no
doubt these towns will before long be classed as dairy towns.
  A smaller number of people are required to farm a given num-
  "4See chapter on Size of Farms and Estates.
  "The villages of Middleton and Pheasant Branch were larger in 1870
In 1890. but the exact numbers cannot be found.

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