Noble County Sentinel - Holiday Edition - Dec. 23, 1897
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A Fine Agricultural Section in the "Land of the Fair God."
Where Nature Yields Abundance and to Spare - Rich Soil, Mild Climate, and Great Diversity of Crops, Insure Success to Industrious Hands - Desirable Homes for the Energetic.
Noble county is situated in the northeast part of Oklahoma. It lies directly south and a little east of the central part of Kansas. It is one of the largest counties; only those to the extreme west, which have not yet been settled, having a larger area. The surface of Noble county is composed of fertile valleys and rolling prairies, being traversed by a number of large streams with innumerable tributaries, along the banks of which usually grow timber sufficient to supply the country with material for building fences, improving land, and fire wood for years to come. The Redrock river enters the county on the northwest and flows out on the east side. The Black Bear crosses the central part of the county, Cow Creek, or more properly speaking, the Rio del Bovine, traverses the county from the southwest and empties into the Black Bear. All of these streams are fed by springs and flow fresh water. Their valleys are very productive, especially for crops requiring much moisture. Nearly one-half of the countv is occupied by Indian reservations, not yet opened to settlement, the Otoes and Poncas, but the Indians are quite civilized, and much of their land is in cultivation. The resources of Noble county, so far as yet developed, are almost purely agricultural, although there are indications of rich mineral finds. Lime and sandstone are abundant, and granite has been reported found, but no scientific analysis of the quality. However, with nothing more than agriculture and fruit growing for sustenance, the soil of this county is rich enough to support a family on every forty acres. It is now well settled, compared to the rural districts of the Western States, there being a family on every 160 acres. The population of the county is 13,000. Probably thirty per cent. of these reside in the city of Perry and the remainder in the country, engaged in agriculture, stock raising and fruit growing. Other postoffices in the county are Whiterock, Morrison, Redrock, Ceres, Polo, Sumner, Pedee and Richburg. Society and the moral status of the people is up to the standard of any state in the Union, both in the city and the rural districts. The people who have immigrated to this county are a class of hardy, ambitious folks. who desire to locate where their energies would be rewarded. They have came (sic) from all parts of the country and have seen more or less of the world, making them cosmopoliton, social and liberal in their views and ideas of life. Many of those who have taken homes in the country are people of education and refinement, who have been engaged in the professions or in business, and have taken this step for a change. Others have been prosperous and well-to-do farmers in the states who have sold their farms because they became so valuable that they ceased to be profitable, and they have moved out into this new country where they can give their children a chance, such as they themselves enjoyed as pioneers of the older states, and where they can escape the cold winter of the north and pass the remainder of their days in peace and quiet. School districts are organized in every quarter of the county. Many have erected handsome buildings and maintain eight and nine months school. The progress of the rural districts in the line of education has been one of the marked features of their good citizenship. Churches are to he found here and there: almost every denomination is fostered, and where they have not yet erected a building they hold services in the school houses. Literary and debating societies are generally organized during the winter months, and it cannot be said that the intellectual and moral nature of man is neglected in any community of Noble county. This county has a larger percentage of persons who own their homes than any county in any state. More than eighty per cent. of the people here own their farms or if they reside in town, the residence which they occupy. This is one of the best indications of good citizenship, patriotic, home-loving people. American institutions can never fall so long as the homes of the country are protected. The people are generally out of debt and do business on a cash basis. The local merchants does not think of running an account. It is not the custom and the people do not expect it.
Of all the crops produced by the farmers, wheat and small grain seem to lead, and are cultivated more successfully here than in the golden wheat belt of Kansas, the Dakotas and Minnesota. The crop ranging from twenty to forty bushels to the acre, though fields have been known to produce much larger. It is always of a high quality of hard and soft wheat. No spring wheat is sown here and there is now a larger acreage in than ever before. The oats crop is of much importance. Every crop since the opening has proven very satisfactory, yielding a great number of bushels per acre, and generally bringing a good price. Corn does well here and the yield pays very nicely for the labor that is expended upon it. But it is not claimed that this country is equal to the finest lands in the north in the production of this staple. The stalk grows very large and tall here, Oklahoma having received the premium at the World's Fair for the tallest corn. Forty or fifty bushels per acre and on bottom land, sixty and seventy bushels is considered a good crop though some have reported much larger. Considering the less amount of labor required to till the soil here to the amount that is required in black, wet, swampy lands, the farmer probably gets as large returns. Kaffir corn is largely cultivated. or rather it grows without being cultivated, making the finest sod crop that can be planted. It is easily raised and makes the best of feed for all kinds of stock. It can be fed in the fodder, the bunches cut off or threshed. It grows in bunches something like cane only the grains are larger and very nutritous. It will thresh seventy-five bushels to the acre. Cotton is an important crop in this county, five thousand bales were produced this year. The land yields from one-half a bale to the acre, which would make a profitable crop with any thing like a fair price. Early potatoes and vegetables for the northern market can be made a success, and car after car is shipped in the spring season. They can be grown here from a month to six weeks earlier than in the states north of us, and a ready market is found at Kansas City, St. Louis, Omaha, St. Paul and the cities of the north. The much advertised fruit lands of California are not superior to these lands in the fruits which we produce, although they may cultivate a greater variety. The climate, soil and all things taken together, naturally fits this region for successful fruit growing, and the farmers are rapidly taking increased interest in horticulture. A county society has been organized and much light thrown upon this industry of late. The varietie (sic) of trees that are being put out are apple, pear, peach, apricot, plum, cherry, quince, etc. A large local nursery has been started in the county, and some of the large concerns in the adjoining states consider this their best field for the future. Raspberries, strawberries, and all kinds of small fruits produce remarkably well. This county presents a most inviting field to the farmer, the stockmen or the horticulturist looking for a home where he can be surrounded by all of the blessings that wide-awake western civilization can bestow, and reside where the natural conditions are so favorable for pleasure and. profit. The mild climate here cuts the farmer's expenses almost (continued on page 10).