Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bartley Davis of Hinton Township

Bartley Davis had the following letter published in the Pioneer Magnet (Big Rapids, Mecosta County, Michigan) from Thursday May 9, 1878.

Bartley Davis (letter found on Page 1 Column 5)
I have been in this county, and on the same farm in the town of Hinton, seventeen years the 13th day of April, 1878.  I have 70 acres improved, 60 acres of it in a good state of cultivation.  My soil is clay loam, with a clay subsoil.  My principal crop for the first ten years was hay.  Best yield per acre, 2 1/2 tons; average, 1 1/2 tans.  Price realized for same, $20 per ton.  Oats, best yield, 55 bushels per acre; average, 35.  Price received on average, 40 cents a bushel.  Winter wheat, best yield 34 bushels per acre; average, 25 bushels.  I have given considerable attention to raising of spring wheat.  My smallest yield has been 15 bushels per acre; largest yield, 28 bushels per acre; average 20 bushels.  Peas average 20 bushels per acre, and they have brought one dollar a bushel.  Corn does well: from 75 to 100 bushels of ears per acre.  I cannot state definitely as to the yield of potatoes.  It depends so much on the attention given to the destruction of the potato beetle.  I believe that 300 bushels per acre can be realized, with proper care and cultivation.  Grapes do well.  I have four varieties bearing, viz: Concord, Ionia, Wilder and Salem.  I have a young orchard of 135 apple trees, some of which have been bearing for five years: and they have borne every year since they commenced.  Wild land in this vicinity is worth from eight to ten dollars an acre; improved land, from thirty to forty dollars an acre.
Dated April 6, 1878 - Bartley Davis

Bartley Davis had less than a year to live from the date of this letter.  I clipped the biographical sketch from the Portrait and Biographical Album of Mecosta County.

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