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Wisconsin Farmers' Institutes / Wisconsin Farmers' Institutes : a hand-book of agriculture
Bulletin No. 11 (1897)

Powers, A. C.
Country roads,   pp. 115-121 PDF (2.0 MB)


Page 116


WISCONSIN FARMERS' INSTITUTI.
.-n .na *tMo D.nA a Kins of
whr UCV M  pangn  Ur. u  wnsSV at Wu      e,              -y
down inequality of surface, cut away time, as you are often compelled to
hills, fill in low places, build solid and make two or even three trips to
mar-
permanent bridges or look to the in- ket to draw  what would be a light
terest of the community by displaying load  on the macadamized road, and
the same degree of enterprise in the the enhanced value of property adjoin-
way of road making they would in any ing such a road would doubly pay the
other line of business, losing sight of investment.
the fact that no investment will pay  Perhaps there are some who doubt
as large a dividend as a tix for good the soundness of this assertion and
roads if the money is judiciously ex- say we lack the proof. Let me may it
pended.                             has been tried in hundreds of eases
and in no one instance has it failed to
How the Ancients Built Roads,     produce such results. And I am in-
formed by a gentleman residing in the
I recently read a short article in the northeastern part of Illinois that
land
Rural World which I wish to repro- lying  contiguous to  the  proposed
duce at  this  time. When Appius Sheridan     drive has materially  ad-
Clkudius started out to build the nom vanced in price, in some instances
famous Appian Way, he didn't wait enough to make quite a payment to-
for carriage builders, bicycle clubs and wards the improvement.
farmers' picnics to pass resolutions on  We can expect the same result in
the subject He simply put men to Wisconsin as has been shown in the
work   and  constructed a road  330 eastern or older states.  Admitting
miles in length by 16 feet wide from  that we need better roads and -we
Rome south through Capua to Briudisi think the most fossilized old fogies
we
and, although 2206 years have passed have will not argue that we are wrong,
since then, the Appian Way Is still the the only controversy then is in the
best country road in all Europe.    mode of application and if we have
When Napoleon determined     that 70,000,000 population, it would seem
France should have the best highways that we have nearly as many Ideas as
on earth for the rapid movement of to what should or should not be done,
troops and the ready supply of armies from those that would bond the state,
with provisions, he didn't pause for county and town, while others like
the adoption of a constitutional amend- Mieawber,  sit  by  the  wayside
ment, but at once took his men out and waiting  for something to turn up
built the roads, and they are today in when good roads, like the Gospel,
can
nearly as perfect conditions as when be had without money and without
ccnetructed. This dictatorial way of price.
doing things is of course neither pos-
slble or advisable in a republican       Some Surprising Figures.
country, but we cite this bit of history  Few people take a correct view
of
for the several lessons it teaches. the actual profit to farmers end busi-
First, that if we expect better roads we ness men in general, of good roads,
or
shall have to  build them. Second, how much they could afford to pay for
that one man at the head is better than them. Is it not a fact that in some
a thousand, and last, but by no means seasons for weeks together all busi-
least, that roads thoroughly built will ness is at a complete standstill
caused
be as lasting as time itself.      by the impassable condition of the
roads, and the loss incurred amounts
A Few Benefits of Good Roads.     to millions of dollars annually, caused
Good roads will pay from almost any by not marketing grain or other crops
standpoint. They will pay in satisfac- in proper season and to the merchant,
tion. They will pay in a savi;g on who finds his shelves filled with unSe-
-1 77 - '71-
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116
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