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

Chapter V: The size of farms and estates,   pp. 185-191 PDF (1.4 MB)

Page 185

                         CHAPTER VT.
               SIZE OF FAR'MS AND ESTATES.
  In studving the size of estates"" for an early period either
the state of Wisconsin or Dane county, it is necessary to notice
several chapters of contemporaneous history. To begin with,
the movement of settlers to this district began at a time when
wildcat banking was at its height, when paper money was as
easily made as paper cities, and both were offered on long time,
easy terms, and small payments. Several of these paper towns
contended for the location of the capital of the new territory,
which had been cut off from Michigan in 1836, and within a few
weeks it was located at the Four Lakes.    This was by no means
an accident, for although hardly a man on the territorial council
had seen the spot, or even knew where it was, there were at least
two men who knew very definitely-these were the governor of
Michigan and the man destined to be the first governor of Wis-
consin. Their powers of persuasion exceeded that of any
of the rival aspirants, each of whom       had the best possible
site for the citv which was variously located from Des
'Moines, Iowa. to Green Bay, Wisconsin.      Be that as it may,
the location of the capital city at Madison had a direct influence
on the adjacent country, and during the same year a large amount
of land was purchased, proximity to the new city being the main
desideratum. The size of the purchases ranged all the way from
single forties taken by men who carried the chain in surveying
  "The term estate is used to mean the amount of land owned by one person.
  On the size of the estates, which is surely an exceedingly Important Item,
  volving as it does the subdivision or concentration as the case may be,
In land
  ownership, the censuses are uniformly silent. In the report of the eleventh
  census (see "Agriculture by Irrigation," p. 1) this matter is
disposed of by
  the naTve remark that I'a person can have v  one farm unless the estate
  so large as to require a resident farmer upon each tract."

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