Make your own free website on

     In the spring of 1883 this county met with a loss that is impossible to repair.  That was the early records, which, as historical relics, were valuable souvenirs of the county - besides the actual financial loss by the burning of the court-house.  A larger and more commodious county capitol was soon built and resupplied with new record books and furniture in keeping with the development of our adopted county.
     Party lines were not drawn in our county government until 1885, thirteen years after our organizations.  Then the Republican and Farmers' parties set forth their principles in conventions and nominated their candidates.  The Republicans, being in the majority, elected W.H. Allen for judge; John Sanders, treasurer; George Kelly, clerk; and E.W. Franklin, sheriff.  Since then the Democratic, Independent and Republican parties have been represented in the offices of the country, showing that our people will support the principles and men more than party.

By A Subscriber

     The history of the development of any county will show that its growth and prosperity have not been realized at a single bound, but year by year a little has been achieved.  New resources have been discovered and developed, obstacle after obstacle has been met and overcome.  Experiments have proven what kind of crops to sow, when is the proper tome to sow, and what kind of cultivation is best suited to the soil and climate.  Until these have been decided, a county must be considered in an experimental sate.
     The history of agriculture in this county dates much later than the organization.  In 1883  the writer, in answer to a letter of inquiry concerning this county, received from Westgate, then county clerk, the following:
     "Don't come to this county with a view to farming - a farmer would starve here.  This is a good county in which to raise cattle."
     Traveling over a large portion of the county in the fall of that year, I found that the settlers here were of the same opinion.  No land was broken, no crops were planted, more than garden patches.  All the talk was sheep, horses and cattle.  All seemed to think that in this county this was the only means by which a living could be made.  In proof of which, through the kindness of our county officers I have been able to submit to you these facts taken from the assessors' books of that year:

                        Number of taxpayers in the year 1883 was 331.
                        Valuation of personal property…………………………$275,714.50
                        Valuation of real estate………………………………… 

     This assessment was made on a 25 per cent of cash value and shows that on an average each taxpayer would be rated at $3,450.00 on personal property, and about $220.00 each on real estate.
     At this period the range had all the stock it could support, for it was depended on for both summer and winter.  In 1884 there were three hundred forty-five children of school age, fourteen schools, seven teachers and four schoolhouses. In the autumn of 1883 the happy days of the stock

Next Page

Return to Paddy Miles