The following is a letter sent to the Pioneer Magnet (Big Rapids, Mecosta County, Michigan) from Thursday May 9, 1878.
Statement of Luther Cobb (found on Page 1 Column 2)
I have lived in the township of Big Rapids for twenty years, and now have sixty acres improved. Frost killed part of my first crop of wheat, but it yielded twelve bushels per acre. My second crop - winter wheat - yielded thirty-six bushels per acre. Since then I have not had less-than fourteen bushels per acre, excepting 1876, when I had twenty acres that yielded only 119 bushels. In 1875, I had thirteen acres which produced 384 bushels - nearly thirty bushels per acre. I had 657 bushels of oats the same year from nine acres. Have raised thirty bushels of spring wheat per acre, but have sowed it only a few times. It has always done well, however, with one or two exceptions. My wheat has yielded on average not less than eighteen bushels per acre, and I have never sold for less than $1.10 per bushel. Hay has yielded from one to two tons per acre. Have never sold any for less than $10; from that to $60 per ton. I think it has averaged about $18. Have raised some fruit, such as apples, plums and cherries. Trees grow very thrifty and bear well, when they have proper cultivation and care. Have had all the fruit I needed for family use for ten years past, and some to sell some years. Made three barrels of cider from transcendent and rejected apples one year. Have had grapes every year since they commenced bearing. My potatoes have yielded from one to two hundred bushels per acre, and they have brought from 40 cents to $1.25 per bushel. I raised last year 120 bushels of beets on about twenty-four square rods of ground, or at the rate of 800 bushels per acre. My soil is clay loam; timber was beech, maple, basswood, and elm.Dated April 8th, 1878 - Luther Cobb
I clipped the 1880 census record for Luther Cobb and his family below.
I also see that timrawson04 posted photos of the family over at Ancestry.com attached to the Awesome Rawson Family Tree. When you see the census record, combined with the description of the farm and the family photos, you certainly can see this family come to life.
| Luther Cobb Abigail Baker Wright Cobb Carrie Almeedie Cobb|
I can just see Luther out in the field hoeing his beets...