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)
1IIB3APl-IIISTO)RY 1 ('I A(:UICIlTURE IX DANE COUNTY. 185 CHAPTER VT. SIZE OF FAR'MS AND ESTATES. In studving the size of estates"" for an early period either for 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, in- 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 Is so large as to require a resident farmer upon each tract."
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