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Title: Catholic Colonization in Minnesota - Revised Edition
Author: Minnesota, Catholic Colonization Bureau of
Language: English
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  Transcriber's Notes.







The increase in the number of our Catholic Colonies in Minnesota, and
the changes which population and other causes have brought about, make
it necessary to publish a revised edition of the Immigration Pamphlet,
issued by the Catholic Colonization Bureau of Minnesota, in 1877.

We are pleased to notice the increased interest which is manifested all
over the country, by Catholics, in the matter of Catholic immigration
from the cities to the land.

The sympathy, aid, and words of cheer, we are continually receiving from
friends totally unconnected with our local work, assure us of this
pleasing fact; which we attribute, in a great measure, to the honest,
intelligent advocacy, and generous support our Catholic newspapers have
given to the question.

For ourselves, we are glad to gratefully acknowledge the liberal support
the Catholic editors have given to our work: the confidence which they
placed, from the very beginning, in the purity of our motives and the
soundness of our business arrangements, is an indorsement of which we
are justly proud.

They have recognized that our aim is to do good to the many; and in all
cases where our advice has been taken, our instructions followed, our
warnings heeded, we do not fear that we have injured one.

The approbation of our co-religionists, conveyed to us from all parts of
the country, the success which God has been pleased to give to our
humble labors, are cheering guarantees that we are on the right road;
and we pray God that He will continue to bless our efforts, enlighten us
in our present task, and keep our ardor in the cause we have espoused
strictly within the bounds of truth.

It is an axiom that "they who own the soil own the country."

Happily, in this country, the people's title to the land is recognized,
they are invited to take possession of their own, and the tall,
luxuriant grasses of the broad prairie are the messengers it sends forth
from its virgin bosom, telling of the wealth it has in store to reward
honest, patient labor.

There is no angry contest here for the possession of the soil, but there
is, and should be, a noble, wise emulation among the various races that
have emigrated to these shores, for their just portions of it. The
surplus populations in our cities, the depression of business, the
scarcity of employment, the poverty, suffering and discontent attending
thereon, the magnitude of labor strikes, and the dread of their
repetition, have made the question of immigration to the land from our
over-crowded cities of pressing, national interest. The policy of our
people immigrating in large numbers to the lands of the West, is no
longer a theory to discuss, but a necessity, calling for the active
support of every good, intelligent Catholic.

It is not necessary to review the many causes which have heretofore
retarded the immigration of our people to the land. Among those causes
was one which should endear them to every Catholic heart, and which
stands out in bright contrast to the irreligious indifference of the

_They feared that if they came West, they would be beyond the reach of
church and priest._

The danger of a Catholic settling in any of the Western States now, and
finding himself entirely isolated, by distance, from his church, is
scarcely to be apprehended, for the West has now its handsome churches,
its priests and Catholic schools; but it might come to pass, that coming
undirected, and without any Catholic organization to which he might
apply, the Catholic immigrant might find himself settled in a locality
inconveniently distant from church and priest, and where he and his
family would be separated from Catholic associations.

Bearing this in mind, the religious welfare of those coming to our
colonies, was one of the main features to which Bishop Ireland devoted
his attention when organizing the Catholic Colonization Bureau. Before
the arrival of any of our immigrants, the rule was established that
whenever we opened a colony and invited our people to it, the resident
priest and church should go in with our first settlers, be their number
small or large. To this good rule we attribute, to a great extent, not
alone our success in bringing settlers to our colonies, but likewise
their general contentment in their new homes and brave cheerfulness in
meeting the trials, hardships, and set-backs, which are incident to new

No question is so frequently asked by our correspondents as, "How near
can I get land to a Catholic Church?" In no portion of any of the
Catholic Colonies of Minnesota, established by the Catholic Bureau,
under the auspices of the Right Rev. Bishop Ireland, shall a settler
find himself beyond the easy reach of church and priest.







  "It's na' to hide it in a hedge;
      It's na' for train attendant;
  But for the glorious privilege
      Of being independent."

Thus sung Robert Burns long ago in praise of independence. This is one
of the rewards which the land holds out to the honest, hard-working,
persevering settler; and never does it break its promise to industry and

In the city, dangers surround the poor laboring man; temptations arise
on every side to drag him down; insurmountable barriers oppose his

Well, he may avoid the dangers--we wish to give the best view of the
case, and, thank God, there are thousands of instances to sustain
it--spurn the temptations, and even surmount some of the outward
barriers to his advancement. He may be respectably housed and clothed;
he may have a good boss. Ah, there is the rub, good or bad--


a man at whose nod he must come and go. He may have money in a savings
bank honestly managed; but if a spell of sickness prostrates him, how
much of his hard-earned savings will be left when he rises from his sick
bed? And suppose he feels that he has his death sickness, can you, by
going into sorrow's counting-house, attempt to estimate the agony of the
poor Catholic parent when he thinks of the fate which may await his
children, left fatherless in a sinful city?

There are other pictures of a poor man's city life, which we care not to
draw. But we will take this prosperous workingman, with a good boss,
from the city, and place him in his first rude house on his own land. He
misses many things, many comforts. He misses the society of friends who
used to come round from time to time--the milkman's bell, the butcher's
cart: everything was so handy in the city.

He is lonely: a feeling of desolation comes over him as he stands at the
door of his new home, and looks around at the unimproved land. The land
is rich and good, and the scene is fair to look at; but the reality is
so different from the mental picture he made before setting out for the
West, that he feels sad and disappointed. Then as he looks around him
_at his own_,


At the thought, the spirit of independence which has led this man
thousands of miles, perhaps, to seek a new home, and which sadness and
disappointment--the first effects of a great change--for awhile subdued,
leaps in his heart, and sends the red blood surging through his veins.


His eyes grow bright with pride as he looks out upon the land, a wide
circle of which he calls his own.


And the man, the owner of a wide stretch of real estate, conscious of a
great awaking of self-respect in his being, stands erect at the door of
his own house, on his own property, and feels that no one better than he
is, shall pass him by all day.

How the consciousness of independence, the feeling of self-respect, will
sustain this man through many hardships, disappointments and trials!

In a short time one or two cows take the place of the dingy cans of the
milkman, and some young grunters in the hog pen represent the

After some years are past we visit the scene again. There is no
loneliness here now, for it is harvest time, and the farmer and his sons
are busy in the fields, his wife and eldest daughters busy in the house
preparing for the keen appetites the men will bring in with them. The
first rude shanty has given place to a nice two-story frame house, well
sheltered from sun and wind by the healthy young trees the farmer
planted with his own hands, and in the rear are the snug barn and

Where once the wild prairie grass waved, comes the cheery clatter of the
harvester, and swath after swath of the golden grain falls down before

By and by the younger children return from school, rosy and hungry, and
a small skirmisher is thrown out and enters the pantry; he is repulsed
and falls back on the main body; then, taking advantage of the "good
woman," being obliged to run to the oven to keep the bread from burning,
the whole force advance, a pie is spiked and carried off in triumph.

As the shades of evening fall, a herd of cattle march lazily into the
farm yard, and then from the field come the farmer and his sons. Lonely,
indeed! Why the noise of Babel is renewed here. Dipping his hot face in
a basin of cool water, the farmer splutters out his directions; seizing
a jack towel, he scrubs his face, and continues to halloo to Mike, and
Tom, and Patrick. Why, _the boss has come back_. Ay, but


All things come to an end, so does the farmer's supper; and as we sit
with him on the porch outside we say,

"You have a splendid place here."

"It will do," he answers quite carelessly; but he can't fool us. We know
that he is proud of his success.

"I had to work hard for it," he continues, "but God has been very good
to us."

We are not romancing. We have drawn a picture from the original, which
can be duplicated a thousand fold in this State.

It is not individual success alone we can point to, but likewise the
success of whole farming communities, where the people commenced
poor--many of them, perhaps the majority, with scarcely any means at
all--under disadvantages that would now appear to us, with railroads and
markets on every side, almost insurmountable, and where to-day we cannot
find one exceptional case of failure without an exceptional cause for

Thoroughly acquainted with the Catholic settlements in Minnesota, we
cannot call to mind a case where a hard-working, industrious, sober man
failed to make a comfortable home for his family. We know of many cases
where such a man met with reverses, lost his crop, his cattle, his
horses; but never a case where a man met his reverses with a brave heart
and trust in God, that he did not overcome them, and come out of the
battle a better and prouder man.

Let a poor man in the city find his all swept away from him, and what
does he do? He slinks into its alleys and lanes, his pleasant, decent
rooms are changed for one foul room in a tenement house, from whence,
after a little, charity carries him to a pauper's grave.

We have spoken of the general prosperity of our Catholic settlements in
Minnesota, and we have not to travel far from its capital to find some
of them--only into the adjoining county, Dakota, one of the very finest
in the State.

Fully two-thirds of the lands of the county are owned (mind, _owned_.)
by Catholic settlers, Irish and German.

Some twenty-five years ago, a few poor Irishmen settled in the timber in
this county. It was very generally supposed, at that time, that people
could not live on a prairie in Minnesota; but by and by, those who had
settled in Dakota county found out their mistake, and commenced making
claims on the adjoining prairie, Rosemount prairie, to-day the garden of

But not before Hugh Derham, of the County Meath, Ireland, now the
Honorable Hugh Derham, came along and put up his shanty on the prairie.
"I had seven hundred dollars," he said to us some time ago, "when I came
on here; oxen were dear then, and when I had a yoke bought, together
with a cow, and my shanty up, I had little or none of the money left.
But I went to work, broke up all the land I could, got seed, put in my
first crop, and lost every kernel of it."

To-day this man owns four hundred acres of improved land, in a circle
round his house. Fifty dollars an acre would be a low value to put on
his land. Some four years ago his neighbor, a man of the name of Ennis,
bought one hundred and twenty acres of land adjoining, for something
like ten thousand dollars.

When Hugh Derham settled here there was not a railroad nearer than two
hundred miles of him, now passengers on the Milwaukee and St. Paul
Railroad, passing within half a mile in front of his house, point from
the windows of the cars to his place, as a model home of a thrifty

His handsome, two-story frame house stands embowered in the orchard and
shade trees, sturdy Hugh Derham planted with his own hands; his barn
alone cost three thousand dollars; he has flocks of sheep, herds of
cattle, and horses as he requires them; and he has a good wife, who
assisted him in his early struggles, healthy, fresh and handsome still.
He has had his eldest daughter at a convent school, and bought for her
last year a five hundred dollar piano. It is said that he has some ten
thousand dollars loaned out at interest.

Now, is Hugh Derham's an exceptional case?

If you came along, and we were inclined to brag, and show you a specimen
of our Catholic farmers in Minnesota, we would bring you direct to Hugh
Derham, not for his herds, and stock, and well filled granary--he is
surpassed by many of our farmers in all these--but for the look of
respectable thriftiness all around him. There is his next neighbor, Wm.
Murphy, another well-to-do, respectable farmer, not perhaps as well off
as Derham, but still able to bear some time ago a loss of five thousand
dollars by fire, and to make no poor mouth about it. Another neighbor,
Mich. Johnson, a prosperous man, better still, a high spirited, fine
fellow, and an earnest worker in the cause of temperance. Another
neighbor, Tom Hiland, as rich a man as Derham. In the next township, the
Bennetts--three or four brothers that a poor but good, intelligent,
widowed mother, with much struggling, managed to bring West, and locate
on government land. These brothers now farm five times as much land as
Derham, and raise five times as much wheat.

And as we have been led into giving individual cases of success,--not at
first intended, for such cases must be always in certain features more
or less exceptional--we will give one more, that of Mich. Whalen of
Whalen township, Fillmore county.

His history is a remarkable one, as told by himself to us; remarkable in
his brave struggle for independence, his sagacity, and final success. We
give some points:

About thirty years ago Mich. Whalen landed from Ireland in New York. He
was then forty years of age, and had a wife and eight children--all his

Yes, his wealth, he thought, if he could but reach with them the broad
acres of the West.

So he sawed wood for seventy-five cents a cord in the city of New York:
the more he sawed the less he liked the work, and making a brave effort
he found himself, with wife and children, squatted on one hundred and
sixty acres of government land in Fillmore county, Minnesota.

When the land came into market he was not able to pay the government
price, one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre, but Capt. McKenney, the
then receiver of the U. S. Land Office, managed to give him time, and
the next year's crop enabled him to pay up. At this time John, his
eldest of six sons, was sixteen years of age, and able to help his

To-day Mich. Whalen is the owner of thirteen hundred acres of land in
Fillmore county. The village of Whalen with mills and a fine water
power, is on his land: or rather, on the land of his son John, for as
the boys get married the old man gives them title to portions of the
land, on which they build. There is another mill within a few rods of
the old homestead, and there is not less than from six thousand to ten
thousand bushels of wheat raised on the farm each year.

"Why, Mr. Whalen," said a friend some time ago, "you got on splendidly;
with such a large and almost helpless family at the beginning, I don't
see how you could have managed it."

"We put our trust in God, _avourneen_!" replied the old man, "and we
stuck together."

Where were the special advantages in this man's case; which enabled the
poor wood-sawyer of New York to become one of the solid men of a rich

They are to be found in the fact that he was blessed with good children,
who, as they grew up and became able to help him, remained at home and
did help--and amply are they rewarded for it to day--


But it is of the general prosperity of our Catholic settlements in
Minnesota that we wish more particularly to speak, for as a general rule
there is no business which has not its representative successful men.

Dakota County being close to the capital of the State, (St. Paul,) and
possessing the advantage of having, on the Mississippi River, a market
for its produce, at a time when there was not a mile of railroad in the
State, was settled up at an early day. Among its settlers were Irish and
German Catholics. From that period out these settlers have not alone
held their own, but, year after year receiving fresh additions to their
numbers, they have advanced from township to township, buying improved
farms and wild land, until, as we have stated before, two-thirds of the
lands of the county belong to them.

Travel which side you will, and you shall find evidence that one "can
read as he runs" of their prosperity, intelligence and respectability;
handsome houses, good offices, young orchards, ornamental planting, and
the grand big wheat fields around, which have supplied the means to
build up those pleasant homes.

Traveling along down the Mississippi to the eastern boundary of the
State and taking a wide range of country on the Minnesota side of the
river, we find many prosperous settlements of our people. Again
southwest, up the beautiful valley of the Minnesota River, in Scott,
Sibley, Le Sueur, Nicollet and Blue Earth counties, there are numerous
Catholic settlements, both in the woods and on the prairie. So, too, in
the midland counties of Rice, Steele, Waseca, Olmsted, Dodge and Mower
counties, our people are settled, prosperous and happy, their valuable
farms giving ample and cheerful evidence, how bountifully the soil
rewards honest labor. Nor, in their prosperity, have they forgotten Him
from whom all blessings flow.

Where a few years ago the Catholic settlers, few and poor, waited
anxiously for the visit of the priest, and where the holy sacrifice of
the mass was offered up in the settler's cabin, we now find the resident
priest, the handsome church, and in many instances, the Sisters' school.
In those settlements the whole atmosphere is Catholic; here, with no bad
influences around them, the young people grow up pure and virtuous, with
the love of their religion warm in their hearts. An ample reward to
their parents, those brave men, the early settlers, who displayed such
indomitable perseverance in their battle for


They had to steer their way with the compass, over trackless prairies,
often while the snow lay upon the ground, to blaze their way through the
forest or follow an Indian trail, carrying their provisions on their
backs, and when the claim shanty was put up and the provisions
exhausted, the new settler would often have to return twenty, forty,
sixty miles to some place where he could buy a few more pounds of flour,
and with this and perhaps half a bushel of potatoes to put in the
ground, he would again set off to his new claim.

But in all the privations they went through, those connected with
religion they felt the most. And, praise be to God, among the earliest
evidences of their growing prosperity was the erection of temples to His
worship, that to-day, on every side, ornament the State. Wherever in the
State there is a clustering of Catholic settlements, there you will find
a clustering of Catholic churches.


To a Catholic, this is, after all, the most important view, and must not
be overlooked; at the same time it is obvious that it cannot be done
justice to in a condensed pamphlet of this kind.

There is about the same difference between the moral atmosphere of the
rural Catholic colonies to which we invite our people, and the back
streets and alleys of the over-crowded city, as there is between the
pure air of the prairie and the foul air of the city lane.

Some time ago, a friend from the East, to whom we were showing some of
our Catholic settlements, said to us,

"Why, it is not surprising that the people settled out here in the
country should be moral and religious, they have much to make them so,
and nothing to make them otherwise in their surroundings; but look at
our poor people, huddled together in the tenement houses of New York.
When you find them good, give them praise."

"And many of them are good," we said.

"Oh, yes," he answered; "but the great danger is to the children. The
priest does his best, the Catholic parent grounded in his religion
before he ever saw a city does his best, but his circumstances compel
him to live where the foul air reeks with blasphemy, and low debauchery;
vice and drunkenness are ever before their eyes."

This is a very sad picture, but a very true one. It is a fearful reality
before the eyes of many a poor Catholic parent, who obliged to be
continually absent from his children, knows but too well the society
they are likely to fall into.

In our Catholic colonies in Minnesota a parent has no such dread. He
knows where his boys are on week days; they are helping him on the farm.
He knows where they are on Sundays; they are with him at church. When
they are amusing themselves, he knows that they are with the young
people of his neighbors, their companions and co-religionists.

Here, too, the anxious heart of the loving mother is at rest; for she
sees her daughters associating with the good and innocent of their own
age, and growing up pure and virtuous.

"God made the country and man made the town," is an old saying. The
immigration of those of our people adapted to agricultural life from the
city to the land will be a benefit, not alone to themselves, but to
those they leave behind. By this healthful drain the latter will be left
more room, and have more opportunities to better their condition.

From any side we view it, it is a great and good work to encourage and
labor for Catholic immigration to the land, where INDEPENDENCE shall
reward labor, and Catholic zeal shall spread our holy faith over the
fertile prairies of the West.

We would be very sorry to see, even if it was practicable, our people
leaving the cities _en masse_. Many of them, well adapted for city life,
rise to prosperity and social position in the city. Some to high
professional or business standing, others to moderate respectable
independence; others, in humbler walks of life, to decent homes of their
own, and the city affords to the well brought up children of such homes,
many solid advantages. We want full representation for our people in the
city, and full representation on the land. By encouraging those of our
people adapted, and best adapted for agricultural pursuits, to seek the
land, we benefit them and benefit those who remain behind as well, for
we give the latter healthy room and more opportunities: in a word, we
improve the condition of our people, both in the city and in the



The great drawback to organized colonization is, that people expect too
much; therefore we will be explicit, and state exactly what is proposed
to be done for those coming to the Catholic colonies of Minnesota. In
the first place, they will get in this pamphlet truthful and full
statistics of the State, so far as those statistics are of interest to
them; they will also get full details in regard to our colonies, and all
the directions and information necessary.

When they arrive here (in St. Paul,) by calling at the office of the
Catholic Colonization Bureau they will be directed to whichever colony
they may wish to go. Arrived at the colony, they will be shown over its
lands. Then when the immigrant has made his selection and taken
possession, he must depend from thenceforth, on himself, and the more he
does so the more he will feel himself a man.

The Catholic immigrant coming now to Minnesota will not be subject to
the severe trials and hardships the early settlers encountered, while he
will be altogether exempt from the religious and social privations they
had to bear through many lonely years.

The immigrant is now conveyed to the Catholic Colony he may select, by
railroad train, and finds before him church and priest, market and
settlers; nevertheless he should be a man possessing that noble quality
which western life so well develops--


Under God, it is on himself he must depend for future success.

And here is the proper place to speak of the class of persons whom we
can confidently invite to our Catholic colonies--


Not necessarily those who have heretofore been engaged altogether in
agricultural pursuits, but persons who come to settle on farms, and who
are able and willing to hold the plow. The poor man to succeed on a farm
in Minnesota, must hold his own plow, and do his own chores; and, above
all, have courage and strength to depend upon himself.

If he has a good, healthy, cheerful, wife, who prefers the prattle of
her children to the gossip of the street, why, all the better--let him
come along, and we will put him on the road to


He has made more than half the journey already, when he has secured a
good wife.



The State contains 83,153 square miles or 53,459,840 acres, and is,
therefore, one of the largest in the Union. It occupies the exact centre
of the continent of North America. It lies midway between the Arctic and
Tropic circles--midway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans--and
midway between Hudson's Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It embraces the
sources of three vast water systems which reach their ocean termini,
northward through Hudson's Bay, eastward through the chain of great
lakes, and southward via the Mississippi River. It extends from 43-1/2°
to 49° of north latitude, and from 89° 29' to 97° 5' of west longitude;
and is bounded on the north by the Winnipeg district of British America,
on the west by the Territory of Dakota, on the south by the State of
Iowa, and on the east by Lake Superior and the State of Wisconsin.

In official reports before us, we find many interesting extracts from
the writings of well-known public men, agriculturists, geologists,
professors in various branches of science, engineers, surveyors and
government officials, who have visited Minnesota at various times on
business or pleasure, and who have borne enthusiastic testimony of her
resources, the fertility of her soil, the healthfulness of her climate
and the beauty of her scenery.

A few sentences from all these writings will suffice for us in this

In the official report of General Pope, who was commissioned by the
government to make a topographical survey of portions of the State, we
find the following sentence, which embraces almost all that can be said
in praise. He says:

"I KNOW _of_ NO COUNTRY _on_ EARTH _where so_ MANY _advantages are
presented to the_ FARMER AND MANUFACTURER."

The adaptability of our rich soil for all the staple crops, as proven by
experience, the large yield per acre in wheat, oats, potatoes, &c., &c.,
the immense quantity of good land in large bodies, the truly magnificent
water power within the State, and so beneficently located in its
different sections; all these advantages, seen beneath a sky always
bright, and in a climate at all seasons healthy, may well account for
the enthusiasm which inspired the above eulogy on Minnesota.

The accredited correspondent of the Chicago Tribune, who visited this
State some three years ago, is equally enthusiastic in his published
letters to his paper. We give two extracts from those letters.

     "No wonder the people here wear such smiling countenances. They are
     full of hope. I have yet to see the first despairing or gloomy
     face. Melancholy belongs to the overcrowded cities, and there is
     plenty of it in Chicago.

     "Is it not astonishing that so many able-bodied men should hang
     about our large cities doing nothing, because they can find nothing
     to do, and nearly starving to death, when these broad and fertile
     prairies are calling upon them to come and release the treasures
     which lie within the soil.

     "The resources or this State are immense. It has every variety of
     wealth, and every facility for profitable exchange. There is no
     more productive soil in the world. Then the State has an abundance
     of pine timber. It has a vast amount of available water power, and
     offers every facility and encouragement to manufacturing industry.
     It has mineral wealth on Lake Superior of iron and copper, in
     inexhaustible abundance. There is no region in this country, or any
     country, that I am aware of, that is so well watered. And the water
     is everywhere clear and pure. It is a land of great rivers,
     pellucid lakes, and sparkling streams.

     "All this may sound enthusiastic, but every word is calmly written
     and justified by the facts; and it is strictly within the facts. If
     the advantages of this region were only adequately made known,
     there would surely be a great flow of labor from the cities and
     places where it is not wanted, into a region like this, where every
     variety of labor is needed and where it is certain to meet with a
     rich reward."

In the second extract we give, this correspondent expresses himself in
language very similar to that made use of by General Pope. He says,
still speaking of Minnesota:

     "I know of no other portion of the earth's surface where so many
     advantages are concentrated, and where the man of industry and
     small means may so quickly and with so much certainty render
     himself independent. Here you have a climate of exceeding purity, a
     soil of amazing productiveness, abundance of the clearest water,
     with groves, and lakes, and rivers and streams wherever they are
     wanted. Then the great railway lines are beginning to intersect
     this country in all directions, and thus furnish the farmer with a
     cheap and immediate outlet for his produce."

We will close these brief extracts--taken from the writings of persons
well qualified to form a sound judgment on the subject they were
discussing, and totally unconnected personally with the interests of
Minnesota--with two extracts from a speech of the distinguished
statesman, Hon. Wm. H. Seward, delivered in St. Paul, the capital of our
State, so far back as 1860.

Mr. Seward said, and America has not produced so far-seeing a statesman:

     "Here is the place--the central place--where the agriculture of the
     richest region of North America must pour out its tributes to the
     whole world. On the east, all along the shore of Lake Superior, and
     west, stretching in one broad plain in a belt quite across the
     continent, is a country where State after State is yet to rise, and
     where the productions for the support of human society in the old
     crowded States must be brought forth.

       *       *       *       *       *

     I now believe that the ultimate last seat of government on this
     great continent will be found, somewhere within a circle or radius
     not very far from the spot on which I stand, at the head of
     navigation on the Mississippi river."



In the following we have borrowed much from authorized State reports,
adding our own comments when necessary.


Minnesota abounds in lakes of great beauty. They are from one to fifty
miles in diameter, and are well stocked with a variety of fish. Those
beautiful lakes are found in every portion of the State, sparkling on
the open prairie, hidden in groves, or resting calm and pure in the
depths of the silent forest.

"It may be interesting," says John W. Bond, Secretary of the Minnesota
State Board of Immigration, "to note the areas of a few of the largest
lakes in our State. Lake Minnetonka contains 16,000 acres; Lake
Winnebagoshish, 56,000 acres; Leech Lake, 114,000 acres; and Mille Lacs,
130,000 acres. Red Lake, which is much larger than any other in the
State, has not yet been surveyed.

"The above estimate of 2,700,000 acres in lakes does not embrace the
vast water areas included in the projected boundary lines of the State
in Lake Superior and Lake of the Woods, and along the great water
stretches of the international line."

The importance to the State of having Lake Superior as an outlet for its
produce cannot be overestimated. The day is not distant when a large
amount of grain will be shipped in bulk from the Minnesota harbor
(Duluth) on Lake Superior, to the Liverpool market in England.


Minnesota has five navigable rivers. The Mississippi (The Father of
Waters,) having its rise in Lake Itaska, in the northern part of the

The St. Croix, flowing through a large portion of the lumbering region.

The Minnesota, rising in Dakota Territory and flowing through a large
portion of the State empties into the Mississippi, five miles above St.
Paul. It is navigable, in favorable seasons, about 300 miles.

The Red River of the North, forming the northwestern boundary of the
State for a distance of 380 miles, and navigable about 250.

The St. Louis River, flowing into Lake Superior on our northeastern
boundary, a distance of 135 miles.

Besides these, the largest rivers are the Root, Rum, Crow, Sauk, Elk,
Long Prairie, Crow Wing, Blue Earth, Le Sueur, Maple, Cobb, Watonwan,
Snake, Kettle, Redwood, Wild Rice, Buffalo, Chippewa, Marsh, Pomme de
Terre, Lac qui Parle, Mustinka, Yellow Medicine, Two Rivers, Cottonwood,
Cannon, Zumbro, Whitewater, Cedar, Red Lake, Straight, Vermillion, and
others. These, with a vast number of smaller streams tributary to them,
ramifying through fertile upland and grassy meadow, in every section of
the State, afford invaluable facilities for the various purposes of
lumbering, milling, manufacturing and agriculture.

In connection with her rivers, we will say that Minnesota has perhaps
the finest water power, within her bounds, to be found in the world.
This power is found all over the State, and though only very partially
developed, it serves to manufacture 2,600,000 barrels of flour annually,
and runs 250 saw mills.


Minnesota is neither a timber nor a prairie State; yet it possesses in a
large degree the advantages of both, there being unquestionably a better
proportion of timber and prairie, and a more admirable intermingling of
the two than in any other State. It is estimated that about one-third of
Minnesota is timbered land, of more or less dense growth. In Iowa, it
has been officially estimated that only about one-tenth to one-eight of
the State is timbered.

On the head-waters of the various tributaries of the extreme Upper
Mississippi and St. Croix rivers is an extensive forest country, known
as the "pine region," comprising an estimated area of 21,000 square
miles. Extending in a northeasterly and southwesterly direction, about
100 miles long, and an average width of 40, is the largest body of
hard-wood timber between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. It lies on
both sides of the Minnesota River, comprising in all an area of 5,000
square miles, and is known as the "Big Woods."


Prominent among the questions proposed by the immigrant seeking a new
home in a new country, are those concerning the climate, its
temperature, adaptation to the culture of the grand staples of food, and
its healthfulness.

"The climate of Minnesota has often been the subject of unjust
disparagement. 'It is too far north;' 'the winters are intolerable.'
These and other similar remarks have found expression by those who
should have known better. To the old settler of Minnesota, the seasons
follow each other in pleasing succession. As the sun approaches his
northern latitude, winter relaxes its grasp, streams and lakes are
unbound, flowers spring up as if by the touch of some magic wand, and
gradually spring is merged into the bright, beautiful June, with its
long, warm days, and short, but cool and refreshing nights. The harvest
months follow in rapid succession, till the golden Indian summer of
early November foretells the approach of cold and snow; and again
winter, with its short days of clear, bright sky and bracing air, and
its long nights of cloudless beauty, completes the circle."

"Men," says the late J. B. Phillips, Commissioner of Statistics, "suffer
themselves to be deluded with the idea that heat is in some way a
positive good, and cold a positive evil. The world is in need of a
sermon on the gospel and blessing of cold.

"What is there at best in the indolent languor of tropic siestas for any
live man or woman to be pining after? Macauley, after his residence in
India, did not. He said that you boiled there four or five months in the
year, then roasted four or five more, and had the remainder of the year
to 'get cool if you could.' 'If you could!' No way of refrigerating a
tropic atmosphere has ever yet been devised; while you can be perfectly
comfortable in any north temperate zone."

Again he says:

"The healthfulness of Minnesota is one of its strongest points. Having
been, for a long time, a sanitary resort for persons threatened with
pulmonary complaints, it has disappointed no reasonable expectation. It
is equally favorable for those afflicted with liver diseases. Thus for
the two great organs in the tripod of life, the liver and lungs, that
is for two-thirds of life, Minnesota offers the most favorable
conditions. She is more exempt from paludial fevers then any new State
settled in the last half century. The fearful cost of human life it has
required to subdue the soil in the States along the line of lat. 40° has
never been estimated. With a moist, decaying vegetation, and a certain
intensity and duration of summer and autumn heat, sickness of that kind
is certain to come, no matter what they may _say_ about having 'no
sickness here.' It always exists when the requisite conditions are
present. Freed from the depressing influence of this decimating foe, the
average Minnesotian eats with a craving appetite, sleeps well, moves
with a quick step and elastic spirits, and fights his life-battle
sturdily and hopefully to the issue."

The mean yearly temperature of our Minnesota climate, (44.6,) coincides
with that of Central Wisconsin, Michigan, Central New York, Southern
Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine; but in the dryness of its atmosphere
it has, both for health and comfort, at great advantage over those
States. It is well known that dampness is the element from whence come
sickness and suffering, either in cold or warm weather, and the dry
atmosphere of winter in Minnesota, at an average temperature of 16°,
makes the cold less felt than in warmer but damper climates several
degrees farther south.

With the new year generally commences the severe cold of our winter, but
for the last few seasons the old Minnesota winters seem to be giving
place to much milder ones. During last winter the thermometer, in the
most exposed places, scarcely ever marked zero, and now, on the 21st of
December--weeks after they have had fierce snow storms south and
southwest of us--good sleighing in Chicago and St. Louis--we are getting
our first regular fall of snow, (only a slight sprinkling before,) which
is falling unaccompanied with either wind or cold and giving a good
promise of merry sleigh rides during the Christmas holidays.

Whether or not there has come a permanent change in our Minnesota
winters, brought about by causes affected by population and settlement,
we cannot say; but that such a change would not be acceptable to many of
our old settlers we are convinced; not certainly to the enthusiast who
writes as follows of our old, crisp, bright winters:

"Winter in Minnesota is a season of ceaseless business activity, and
constant social enjoyment; and by those accustomed to long wintry
storms, and continued alternations of mud, and cold, and snow, is
pronounced far preferable to the winters in any section of the Northern
States. Here there is an exhilaration in the crisp atmosphere which
quickens the blood, and sends the bounding steps over the ringing snow
with an exultant flurry of good-spirits akin to the highest enjoyment."

Doubtless this was written from the stand-point of warm robes, a light
cutter, a fast horse, and tingling sleigh-bells; nevertheless it is in
the main true. When the surface of the body is warmly clothed, one can
enjoy out-door exercise in the winter with every comfort.

The greatest and only objection that we find against the winter season
in Minnesota, is its length.--It is true that, as a general rule, we
have all our spring wheat in the ground, and for the most part over
ground, before the end of April.--This infringement of winter, as we may
term it, upon the domain of spring, is the draw-back to our climate.

It is a slight one compared to those of other climates, where spring
brings with its flowers, fever, ague, and chills.

The summer months are pleasant. We have hot days, as one can judge by
bearing in mind that our wheat crop is put into the ground, cut and
often threshed, all within three months, but our nights are always
beautiful and cool. Then comes autumn, when the wayside copse, blushing
at the hot kisses of the sun, turns scarlet, and every tint of shade and
color is seen in the variegated foliage of the forest; and then the
hazy, Indian summer--nothing so lovely could last long on earth--when
forest and prairie, dell and highland, palpitate with a hushed beauty,
and to live is happiness sufficient.

Pure air is health, life. Winter and summer, fall and spring, the air of
Minnesota, free from all malaria, is pure. We promise to the new settler
making a home on land in Minnesota, plenty of hard work, and the best of
health and spirits--so far as climate has any effect on those blessings,
and it has a great deal--while doing it. It will not be necessary for
him to get acclimated, but to pitch right in.

Disturnell, author of a work on the "Influence of Climate in North and
South America," says that "_Minnesota may be said to excel any portion
of the Union in a healthy and invigorating climate_."

In connection with this very important subject, health, the following
comparative statement as to the proportion of deaths to population, in
several countries in Europe and States in the Union, will be read with

  Minnesota                   1 in 155 | Wisconsin            1 in 108
  Great Britain and Ireland   1 in  46 | Iowa                 1 in  93
  Germany                     1 in  37 | Illinois             1 in  73
  Norway                      1 in  56 | Missouri             1 in  51
  Sweden                      1 in  50 | Michigan             1 in  88
  Denmark                     1 in  46 | Louisiana            1 in  43
  France                      1 in  41 | Texas                1 in  46
  Switzerland                 1 in  41 | Pennsylvania         1 in  96
  Holland                     1 in  39 | United States        1 in  74

The above is so conclusive an exhibit in confirmation of the
healthfulness of the Minnesota climate, that it exhausts the subject.


Under this head, the late J. B. Phillips, Commissioner of Statistics,
from whose work we have already quoted, says:

"The soil of the arable part of the State is generally of the best
quality, rich in lime and organic matter, and particularly well adapted
to the growth of wheat, over 26,400,000 bushels of which cereal were
produced in 1873, and over 30,000,000 in 1875. Although its fertility
has never been disputed, these authentic figures prove it beyond
question. Good wheat lands in a favorable season will produce from 25 to
30 bushels to the acre. I believe the whole county of Goodhue, in a
yield of between 3,000,000 and 4,000,000 bushels, very nearly averaged
the first figures in 1875. A great portion of the State is equally
adapted to stock raising, and many farmers think it would be more

We will add to this, by way of a note, that in 1877, as will be seen on
another page, Minnesota with only 3,000,000 acres of her land under
cultivation, produced 35,000,000 bushels of wheat, almost all No. 1
quality, and that Goodhue County, mentioned in the extract quoted, had a
yield of 4,050,250 bushels.


We know of no country where stock, horses and sheep, do better than in
Minnesota, and we believe that it will be found true that the climate
conducive to the health of human beings is one where all kinds of
domestic animals will thrive.

We had, some time ago, a very interesting conversation with Mr.
Featherston, an English gentleman residing in Goodhue County, on this

He informed us that he had farmed in England, in the State of New York,
in Kansas, and now in Minnesota, and he was never in a place where sheep
and stock did better than here. "I attribute this," he said, "to the
dryness of our winter weather. Sheep here are not weighed down with wet
fleeces; and as for cattle, they suffer more in southern Kansas, where
they can remain out all the year, than they do here in the coldest days
of winter."

"How is that?" we asked.

"Easily accounted for," he replied. "One part of the day, in Kansas, it
will be raining, the coats of the cattle will be saturated with wet,
then it comes on to freeze, and they become sheeted with ice; this is
very injurious to the health of a beast. Sheep raising in Minnesota I
have found very profitable farming indeed."

"What about the soil of Minnesota?" we asked.

"Well," he replied, "I was home in England two years ago, traveled about
a good deal, and did not see any soil equal to the soil of Minnesota."

Now, in speaking of Minnesota for stock-raising, it must be borne in
mind that it is more expensive to keep cattle here, where they must be
fed many months in the year, than where they can run at large the whole
year; but, if properly housed during winter, young cattle fed on wild
hay--which can be put up for $1.50 per ton--will come out in the spring
in fine condition.

The opportunities of getting wild hay in the localities where our
Catholic colonies are located, are not surpassed in any part of the
State; and it will be borne in mind that if there is extra expense and
trouble in raising cattle here, there is also extra good prices to get
for them. A steer that will sell for $10 in places where, like Topsey,
he "just grows," will sell here for from $30 to $40.

The following, taken from a late report of a committee of the Chamber of
Commerce, St. Paul, will be read with interest:

"Our climate and soil appear to be peculiarly adapted for grazing
purposes. Its healthfulness for cattle of every kind is well
established. The abundant and prolific yield of both tame and wild or
natural grasses, of every description incident to the West, affords
abundant and cheap pasturage during the summer, and the choicest of hay
for winter, which is produced at less expense per ton than in most of
the States in the Union. If necessary, your committee could refer to
countless instances in regard to the profit of raising stock in the
State. The demand for horses has always been in excess of the supply.
Thousands are introduced into our midst every year from the adjoining
States. The demand will increase as the country west of us becomes
settled. Choice herds of cattle have been imported into the State during
the past few years, attended in every instance, as far as your committee
have been able to learn, with much profit to the enterprising parties
who embarked in the lucrative business. The dairy is being introduced in
the shape of cheese and butter factories in many neighborhoods and
attended with much success. It appears that shipments of both these home
products have been made to England with satisfactory results. The
sheep-fold to some extent has been neglected, but those who have engaged
in wool-growing are greatly encouraged. Flocks of sheep brought from the
East have, with their progeny, improved to such an extent by the
influence of our climate, that they have been repurchased by those from
whom they were originally bought, and transported back East to improve
the breed of their stock. The wool becomes of a finer texture when
produced in our State, also an increase in size of the carcass of the

The advantages which our present Catholic colonies afford, abounding in
nutritious grasses and the best quality of wild hay lands, will we trust
turn the attention of settlers to stock raising, butter packing and
cheese factories, and we are informed that some enterprising parties are
going to establish one of the latter at Clontarf, in Swift County
Colony. Farming to be prosperous the industry on the farm must be
diversified; there should be rotation of crops. It will not do to depend
altogether on wheat or to be too ambitious to have a great breadth of it
under cultivation; not an acre more than the farmer knows he will be
well able to have out of the ground in good season, making no chance



In 1849, Minnesota was organized into a territory, and the following
year, 1850, she had under cultivation 1,900 acres of land. In 1877, she
had 3,000,000 acres. In these twenty-seven years, during which the
breadth of her cultivated lands has increased over one thousand five
hundred fold, the quality and average quantity per acre of all the great
staple crops have been equally satisfactory, until we find her to-day,
taking the foremost place as an agricultural State.

To quote from the writings of the Hon. Pennock Pusey, than whom there is
no more upright gentleman nor one more qualified to deal with
statistics, we find that

     "According to the census of 1870, the entire wheat product of New
     England was sufficient to feed her own people only three weeks!
     That of New York sufficient for her own consumption six months;
     that of Pennsylvania, after feeding her own people, afforded no
     surplus; while the surplus of Ohio was but 3,000,000 bushels for
     that year, and for the past six years her wheat crop has fallen
     below her own consumption. In the ten years ending in 1870, the
     wheat crop of these States decreased 6,500,000 bushels.

     "In the light of these facts, the achievements of Minnesota in
     wheat growing, as well as her untaxed capacity for the continued
     and increased production of that grain, assume a proud

This is not too high praise for Minnesota, when we find the great State
of Ohio for the last six years failing to raise sufficient wheat for her
own consumption, while Minnesota with but 2,232,988 acres under wheat,
has, after bountifully supplying her own population, exported in 1877
over fifteen million of bushels.

The important position which Minnesota is destined, in the near future,
to assume as a great contributor to the supply of the most important
article of food used by the human family, is well put forward by Mr.
Pusey in the paper we have already quoted from. He says:

     "But a more practical as well as serious aspect of the subject
     pertains to those social problems connected with supplies of bread.
     The grave significance of the question involved is not susceptible
     of concealment, when the fact is considered, that while the
     consumption of wheat, as the choice food of the human race, is
     rapidly extending, the capacity of wheat-growing regions for its
     production is rapidly diminishing."

We will now give some extracts from the report of the late J. B.
Philips, Commissioner of Statistics. We select from his report with
great satisfaction, because he has been very careful to make his
calculations rather under than over the truth.

We find the following under the head of

WHEAT, 1875.

The number of bushels of wheat gathered and threshed, according to the
returns reported to the Commissioner for the year 1875, was 28,769,736;
but there were 77,032 acres unreported, which at 17-1/2 bushels per
acre, (the general average,) would make a total of 30,079,300 bushels.

The number of acres reported as cultivated in wheat for 1875 was

Illinois, with her large cultivated area, has until recently been the
largest wheat-raising State. In 1860 she produced 23,837,023 bushels,
and in 1870 30,128,405 bushels.

"In 1871," says one of her statisticians, "the United States produced
235,884,700 bushels of wheat, of which 27,115,000 are assigned to
Illinois, or about 700,000 bushels more than any other State."

In 1871 the product of the United States was 230,722,400 bushels, of
which Illinois had 25,216,000, being followed by Pennsylvania, Ohio,
Wisconsin and Iowa.

In 1870 Illinois produced 30,128,405. "But," says the same authority,
"we now (1870) find Iowa close alongside of us, her product being
29,435,692 bushels of wheat."

It is to be remarked that neither Minnesota nor California were deemed
worthy of notice in this rivalry of these older States. But in three
years from that date Minnesota, as well as Iowa, was "close alongside"
of Illinois, raising from 15 millions in 1870 to 22 millions in 1872,
and 26,402,485 in 1873. In 1874 the wheat product of Minnesota was
within a fraction of 24 millions. I give her yields in this table:


                          Bushels.    Average per acre.
  1872                   22,069,375         17.40
  1873                   26,402,485         17.04
  1874                   23,988,172         14.23
  1875                   30,059,300         17.05

I am not aware that any State ever did, or can, show a better record
than this for four successive years. I give below a few of the


  Ohio, 1850                  30,309,373
  California, 1874            30,248,341
  Illinois, 1870              31,128,405
  Minnesota, 1875             30,079,300
  Iowa, 1870                  29,435,692

"It will be observed," remarks the Commissioner, "that according to
these figures Minnesota ranks fourth."

True enough, but fast on the heels of 1875 comes the crop of 1877, and
with a bounce to 35,000,000 bushels of wheat Minnesota stands at the
head of all as a wheat-producing State.

35,000,000 BUSHELS

of almost all No. 1 grade. In 50,000 bushels of wheat graded in
Minneapolis, something less than 300 bushels graded No. 2, and none
under that figure.

We now give the following condensed statistics for the year 1877.

  Number of acres under cultivation in 1877              3,000,000

      Crops.                                              Bushels.

  Wheat                                                 35,000,000
  Oats                                                  20,000,000
  Corn                                                  12,000,000
  Barley                                                 3,000,000
  Potatoes                                               3,000,000
  Total                                                 73,000,000

Or 24-1/3 bushels to every acre under cultivation. But the average is
much higher than this, for in the above table no account is taken of the
gardens and large breadth of flax under cultivation.

The official report, when published, may differ slightly with the above,
but not to an extent to make any alteration necessary.

We are informed that, in several instances, land giving wheat for the
last twenty years, without being fertilized or manured, produced in 1877
over twenty bushels of wheat to the acre; a fact creditable to the land,
but very discreditable to the farmers engaged in such _land murder_.

While Minnesota has, without dispute, established her reputation as a
great wheat producer, and the dangers which always lie in wait for the
growing crops are perhaps less here than in most of the other western
States, still it must not be supposed that we can expect to be always
free from them. If we had any such idea it would have been dispelled by
our experience the past season. Never since the State was organized was
there a finer prospect of a magnificent wheat yield than we had during
the months of May, June and the first half of July, 1878. It was not
that the general crop was good, but one could not, in a day's travel,
find one poor looking field; but just as the wheat was within a few days
of being fit to cut, a fierce, hot sun, lasting a week or so, came and
wilted up the grain, so that the crop lost materially in quality, weight
and measure.

Yet this evil had its compensating good. Our corn and potato crops were
very fine, so that our farmers have learned a lesson in the value of
having diversity of crops as a leading feature in their farming system,
and be it remembered that without system there is no successful farming.

The following statement is taken from the immigration pamphlet, issued
by the Minnesota Board of Immigration for 1878:


Oats is peculiarly a northern grain. It is only with comparatively cool
atmosphere that this grain attains the solidity, and yields the return
which remunerate the labor and cost of production. The rare adaptation
of the soil and climate of Minnesota to the growth of this grain, is
shown not only by the large average, but the superior quality of the
product, the oats of this State being heavier by from three to eight
pounds per bushel than that produced elsewhere.

The following is an exhibit of the result for the several years named:

                                    No. bushels   Average yield
  Year.          No. acres sown.     produced.     per acre.
  1868                212,064        7,831,623       36.00
  1869                278,487       10,510,969       37.74
  1870                339,542       10,588,689       31.02
  1875                401,381       13,801,761       34.38
  1877                432,194       16,678,000       37.75

The following is a statement of the product of oats in Minnesota,
compared with that in the other States named:

                                  Average       Bushels to
                                  per acre.   each inhabitant.
  Ohio, average of 11 years         23.              9.17
  Iowa                              28.30           17.80
  Minnesota                         37.70           23.88


The foregoing exhibits abundantly sustain the extraordinary capacity of
Minnesota for the production of those cereals which are best produced in
high latitudes. Our State is often supposed to be too far north for
Indian corn. This is a great mistake, founded on the popular fallacy
that the latitude governs climate. But climates grow warmer towards the
west coasts of continents; and although its winters are cold, the
summers of Minnesota are as warm as those of Southern Ohio. _The mean
summer heat of St. Paul is precisely that of Philadelphia_, five degrees
further south, while it is considerably warmer during the whole six
months of the growing season than Chicago, three degrees further south.
The products of the soil confirm these meteorological indications.

The average yield of corn in 1868 was 37.33 bushels per acre, and in
1875--a bad year--25 bushels. In Illinois--of which corn is the chief
staple--Mr. Lincoln, late President of the United States, in the course
of an agricultural address in 1859, stated that the average crop from
year to year does not exceed twenty bushels per acre.

These results, so favorable to Minnesota as a corn growing as well as
wheat growing State, will surprise no one who is familiar with the fact
established by climatologists, that "the cultivated plants yield the
greatest products near the northernmost limits at which they will grow."


A comparison with other States affords the following exhibit:

                                              Bushels per acre.
  Ohio, average of nineteen years                     32.8
  Iowa, average of six years                          31.97
  Minnesota, average of nine years                    30.98


The average yield in Minnesota and other States is here shown:

                                              Bushels per acre.
  Minnesota, average for five years                  120.76
  Iowa, average for five years                        76.73
  Ohio, average for nine years                        74.55


Among the grasses that appear to be native to the soil of Minnesota are
found timothy, white clover, blue grass and red top. They grow most
luxuriantly, and many claim that they contain nearly as much nutriment
as ordinary oats. So excellent are the grasses that the tame varieties
are but little cultivated. The wild grasses which cover the immense
surface of natural meadow land formed by the alluvial bottoms of the
intricate network of streams which everywhere intersect the country, are
as rich and nutritious in this latitude as the best exotic varieties,
hence cultivation is unnecessary. The yield of these grasses is 2.12
tons to the acre, or 60 per cent more than that of Ohio, the great hay


The cultivation of the sugar cane is fast becoming popular among the
farmers of Minnesota, and one Mr. Seth H. Kenney, of Rice county, claims
that it can be made more profitable than even the wheat crop. The syrup
and sugar produced is of the finest character, possessing an extremely
excellent flavor. An acre of properly cultivated land will yield from
one hundred and seventy-five to two hundred gallons of syrup, worth
seventy cents a gallon.


The following short extracts are taken from a paper written by Col. D.
A. Robertson, of St. Paul, a scientific amateur fruit grower; one
thoroughly conversant with the subject on which he writes, and to whose
disinterested labors in this branch of industry the State owes much:

"There is no doubt that Minnesota will become a great fruit State,
because wherever wild fruits of any species grow, improved fruit of the
same or cognate species may be successfully cultivated. The indigenous
flora of Minnesota, embraces apples, plums, cherries, grapes,
strawberries, raspberries, currants and gooseberries. We may, therefore,
successfully and profitably cultivate the improved kinds of all these
fruits. The conditions of success are only these:--experience, knowledge
and perseverance.

"All kinds of Siberian Crab apples, (which are valuable chiefly for
preserves,) including the improved Transcendant and Hyslop, are
perfectly adapted to our climate; and flourish in almost every soil and
situation where any other tree will grow, and also produce great crops.

"At our State Fair at St. Paul, in October, 1871, there was a
magnificent display of home grown fruits, which would have been
creditable to any State in the West. Among the numerous varieties of
excellent fruit exhibited in large quantities were the following:

"APPLES.--Duchess of Oldenburg, Red Astracan, Saxton or Fall Stripe,
Plum Cider, Fameuse, Haas, Jefferson County, Perry Russet, American
Golden Russet, Yellow Bellflower, Ramsdale Sweeting, Geniton, Lucy,
Winona Chief, Jonathan, Price's Sweet, Westfield, Seek no Further, Sap,
Wagner, Winter Wine Tay, English Golden Russet, Dominie, St. Lawrence,
Pomme Gris, Ben Davis, Sweet Pear, and about thirty other varieties."




  _The Railroads of Minnesota, with Termini and Lengths in this State,
  on June 30, 1876._
                      Name of road.            |  Abbrev.
  Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul--              |
        River Division                         |     a
        Hastings and Dakota Division           |     b
        Iowa and Minnesota Division            |     c
        Iowa and Minnesota Division, Branch    |     d
  Iowa and Minnesota Division, Branch          |     e
  Chicago, Dubuque and Minnesota               |     f
  Central Railroad of Minnesota                |     g
  St. Paul & Duluth                            |     h
  Minneapolis & Duluth                         |     i
  Minneapolis & St. Louis                      |     j
  Northern Pacific                             |     k
  St. Paul & Sioux City                        |     l
  Sioux City & St. Paul                        |     m
  St. Paul & Pacific, First Division--Main Line|     n
                "                   --Branch   |     o
                "       --St. Vincent Extension|     p
                "                   "          |     q
                "                   "          |     r
  St. Paul, Stillwater & Taylor's Falls        |     s
                "                  --Branch    |     t
                "                  --Branch    |     u
  Southern Minnesota                           |     v
  Stillwater & St. Paul                        |     w
  Winona & St. Peter                           |     x
  Winona, Mankato & New Ulm                    |     y
     Road abbrev.  |                    Termini.             | Miles.
          a        | From La Crescent to St. Paul            |   128
          b        |   "   Hastings to Glencoe               |    75
          c        |   "   St. Paul to Southern State line   |   127
          d        |   "   Mendota to Minneapolis            |     9
          e        |   "   Austin to Lyle                    |    12
          f        |   "   La Crescent to southern State Line|    25
          g        |   "   Mankato to Wells                  |    40
          h        |   "   St. Paul to Duluth                |   156
          i        |   "   Minneapolis to White Bear         |    15
          j        |   "   Minneapolis to Sioux City Junction|    27
          k        |   "   Duluth to Moorhead                |   253-1/2
          l        |   "   St. Paul to St. James             |   121-1/4
          m        |   "   St. James to southern State line  |    66-1/4
          n        |   "   St. Anthony to Breckenridge       |   207
          o        |   "   St. Paul to Sauk Rapids           |    76
          p        |   "   Sauk Rapids to Melrose            |    35
          q        |   "   Brainerd, 4-1/2 miles south       |     4-1/2
                   |   "   a point 12 miles S. of Glyndon to |
          r        |       a point 28 miles N.               |   104
                   |       of Crookston                      |
          s        |   "   St. Paul to Stillwater            |    17-1/2
          t        |   "   Junction to Lake St. Croix        |     3-1/4
          u        |   "   Stillwater to South Stillwater    |     3
          v        |   "   Grand Crossing to Winnebago City  |   167-1/2
          w        |   "   White Bear to Stillwater          |    13
          x        |   "   Winona to western State line      |   288-1/2
          y        |   "   Junction to Mankato               |     3-3/4
                                                             |  1978

Since the publication of the report of the railroad commissioner as
given above, showing 1978 miles of railroads in Minnesota; there have
been 216 miles built in 1877, and 350 miles in 1878--total, 2544 miles
now operated in the State. In 1862, we had but ten miles of railroad in
Minnesota; in 1878, sixteen years afterwards, two thousand five hundred
and forty-four miles.

This past year, the St. Paul & Pacific Railroad has extended its line to
the British Possessions in Manitoba, connecting with a road there and
giving us direct railroad communication with the vast country lying
north of us; while the Southern Minnesota, the Hastings & Dakota, the
St. Cloud branch of the St. Paul & Pacific, are extending their lines,
like arteries, through the heart of the State. In much less than ten
years, Minnesota will have the most perfect railroad system on this

  Population in 1870                                   439,706
  Population in 1875                                   597,407
  Population in 1877                                   750,000


We are proud of the Homestead Law of Minnesota. The State says to its
citizen: you may be unfortunate, even culpably improvident, nevertheless
you and your family shall not be left homeless or without means to
enable you to retrieve past misfortunes or faults.

The law reads--

     "That a homestead consisting of any quantity of land not exceeding
     eighty acres, and the dwelling house thereon and its appurtenances,
     to be selected by the owner thereof, and not included in any
     incorporated town, city or village, or instead thereof, at the
     option of the owner, a quantity of land not exceeding in amount one
     lot, being within an incorporated town, city or village, and the
     dwelling house thereon and its appurtenances, owned and occupied by
     any resident of this State, shall not be subject to attachment,
     levy, or sale, upon any execution or any other process issuing out
     of any court within this State. This section shall be deemed and
     construed to exempt such homestead in the manner aforesaid during
     the time it shall be occupied by the widow or minor child or
     children of any deceased person who was, when living, entitled to
     the benefits of this act."

Thus the State, in its bountiful protection, says to its citizen, "You
may be unfortunate, even blamably improvident, nevertheless the State
shall not allow you and yours to be thrown paupers on the world. Your
homestead is still left to you, a competency at least."

There are also reserved for the settler, free from all law processes,
all his household furniture up to the value of $300, 3 horses, or in
lieu 1 horse and yoke of oxen, 2 cows, 11 sheep, 3 hogs, wagon, harness,
and all his farming machinery and implements; also a year's supply of
family provisions or growing crops, and fuel, and seed grain not
exceeding 50 bushels each of wheat and oats, 5 of potatoes, and one of
corn, also mechanics' or miners' tools, with $400 worth of
stock-in-trade, and the library and instruments of professional men.

This is the beneficent protection which the State throws around the poor
man's home. Yet there is one way in which he may forfeit it.

Should he have the misfortune to mortgage his homestead the law can no
longer protect him; he is in the toils of the money lender, and should
poor crops or other set-backs come to him now, there is every
probability that he will lose his home.

We say to our settlers, avoid this fatal error, misfortune almost always
follows it; toil, slave, fast, rather than mortgage your homestead.


We come now to a very important part of our work. Under this head we
have made several calculations, for the guidance of the immigrant. They
have been made with care, and are, we think, as nearly correct as it is
possible to make such calculations. By a careful study of them the
intending immigrant will learn





These, with minor details, we have set forth in the following
calculations. They embrace the case of the poor man with a small capital
and the man with quite a respectable capital, who may wish to put it in
a bank that never fails, and in which he will himself be the director
and owner.


a man requires to settle in one of our colonies, and also, if he can
afford it, how advantageously he can lay out a considerable sum for
which he will receive a quick return.

We will take up the poor man's case first, as it is the one we have the
most interest in, and we land him on his land


He puts up a very cheap house; by and by, he will have a better
one--but, in the meantime, he can make this one comfortable, warm and
clean--much better than a cheap lodging in a city.

We will give the dimensions of the house as 16 × 18 ft., to be built of
single boards; these to be sodded on the outside to any depth the owner
may wish. In this way, he can have a house far warmer than a poorly put
up frame house, at the following cost:

  1,600 feet of lumber                                   $25 00
  2 windows, 2 doors                                       6 50
  Shingles                                                 7 25
          Total                                          $38 75

Now, we must furnish the house:


  Cooking stove                                          $25 00
  Crockery                                                 5 00
  Chairs                                                   2 00
  Table                                                    2 00
  3 bedsteads                                              9 00
          Total                                          $43 00


  He buys a breaking yoke of oxen, weighing from 3,200
       to 3,400 lbs. at about                           $100 00
  Breaking plow                                           23 00
  Wagon                                                   75 00
          Total                                         $198 00

Then he goes to work and breaks up, we will say, 50 acres of land. He
has to live sixteen months before his principal crop comes in, but he
can have his potatoes and corn, planted on the sod, within a few months,
to help him out in his living; that is, when he breaks his land the
first year, he will plant a portion of it under corn, potatoes, and
other vegetables, sufficient for his own use, and for feed for his


  For a family of four, 30 bushels of wheat, ground into flour,
        at $1, a bushel                                          $30 00
  Groceries                                                       15 00
  1 cow for milk                                                  25 00
  Fuel                                                            30 00
          Total                                                 $100 00

He has besides, vegetables, and corn sufficient, that he raised on his
breaking, and two hogs that he raised and fattened on the corn, and for
which we should have charged him two or three dollars. In the fall, his
hogs weigh 200 lbs. each, and he can sell them or eat them; we recommend
the latter course.


  He has laid out, for a house                                   $38 75
  For Fuel                                                        30 00
   "  Furniture                                                   43 00
   "  Cattle and farming implements                              198 00
  Cost of living, including price of cow                         100 00
          Total                                                 $409 75

This sum he will absolutely require to have when he arrives on the land.
To this, in his calculations, he must add his expenses coming here.

Railroad fares from different points will be given in another place.

We have not here made any calculations in regard to the purchase of his
land, in the first place because the lands are different prices in
different colonies, and secondly because most of our settlers with small
means, buy their farms on time, getting very easy terms of payments. All
information in this respect will be found in its proper place, when we
come to speak of our colonies. It must be born in mind (and it may be as
well said here as elsewhere) that the Catholic Bureau owns no lands; we
but control them and hold them at their original prices for our
immigrants. We have also secured advantages in prices and terms of
payment which immigrants cannot get outside of our colonies.

Now having no crop the first year, he works out in the harvest and earns

This he requires now, and more when he puts in his first crop, but, as
he will get time for some, perhaps all, of the following charges, we
will not charge them to his original capital.


  1 drag to put in the crop, shaking the seed by hand             $12 00
  Seed wheat for 50 acres. 1 bushel and 2 pecks to the acre        75 00
  Hires his grain cut and bound                                    75 00
  Shocking, stacking, etc., done by exchanging work with neighbors.
  Machine threshing at 5 cents a bushel                            50 00
  Extra labor done by exchanging work.
                                                                 $212 00

We have now come down to the harvest and the second year on the land

  Up to this the settler's expenses have been $621 75.

  Let us see what the land is likely to set off against this sum,
  50 acres of wheat 20 bushels to the acre                     $1,000 00
        Charges                                                   621 75
      Balance in favor of crop                                   $378 25

Adding to this the sixty dollars the man earned the first harvest, he
has in hand $438.25.

It must be borne in mind that the settler has supported himself and
family for sixteen months, his home is made, stock paid for, his farm
opened, and at least $300 added to the value of his land. We will
suppose that he plows the second year fifty acres more and has one
hundred acres under his second crop. With this good set off, we leave
him. Now we will give the


for the same number of acres, where a man hires all his work done. He
may prefer to do this, to buying cattle or horses to break, as he may be
a man who can earn high wages, until his first crop comes in.

  Breaking 50 acres, at $2.50 per acre                    $125 00
  Seed wheat                                                75 00
  Seeding and dragging, at 90 cents per acre                45 00
  Cutting and binding, $1.50 per acre                       75 00
  Stacking, five days, two men and team                     25 00
  Threshing and hauling to market, at 12 cents a bushel    120 00
      Cash expenses of crop                               $465 00


  Fifty acres of wheat, 20 bushels to the acre,
  at $1 per bushel                                      $1,000 00
          Charged to the crop                              465 00
  Balance in favor of crop                                $535 00

Now, the expense of breaking, by right, should not be charged to the
first crop, for it is a permanent value, added to the value of the land,
and should be calculated as capital: 50 acres broken on a farm of a 160,
adds fully $2 an acre to the value of the property.

But in the above calculation, we have not alone charged the first crop
with the breaking expenses, but also with the cash price of every
dollar's worth of labor expended, until the wheat is in the railroad
elevator, and the owner has nothing more to do, unless to receive his
money for it; and yet there is a clear profit over all expenses of

In making these calculations, it is necessary to put a certain value on
the wheat per bushel, and to allow for a certain amount of bushels to
the acre, but it will be obvious to any reader that in both these
important items there are continual variations.

The calculations we now give appeared in the edition of our pamphlet for
1877, and were based, in a measure, on our fine wheat crop for that

The crop of 1878, as we have already stated, fell short of 1877, and
were we basing our estimate on it we should calculate wheat second grade
at 66 cents per bushel, but the crop of 1879 may surpass the crop of
1877; taking the average of many years' crops and prices, our
calculations are as near correct as they can be made.


In our calculation of the smallest sum a man would require, coming to
settle on the land, we made an estimate of a very cheap house indeed,
nevertheless one that can be made warmer than many a more expensive one.
We give an estimate of the cost of a frame house 16×24, a story and a
half high, with a T addition, and a cellar 12 by 16.

We give the exact expenses of a house of this kind as it stands at
present in one of our colonies. It has three rooms up stairs with a
hall, two rooms down stairs with a hall and pantry, and has had one coat
of plaster:

  Material for house                                       $280
  Work                                                       75
          Total                                            $355

A man himself helping, can lessen this item for work, say $25, leaving
the cost of the house $330.

In our first calculation we put down as the lowest sum a man would
require to have after his arrival on the land, $409.75. But in this
calculation we gave him a house, such as it was, for $38.75. Now, if he
wants the better house we have just described, his capital should be


We now come to the case of a man with moderate capital, who wishes to
start with a complete outfit of farming machinery, &c. Coming in the
spring, in time to commence breaking, the end of May, he buys

  Three horses                                        $375 00
  One sulky plow--seat for driver, breaker attachment   70 00
  Seeder                                                65 00
  Harrow                                                12 00
  Harvester and self-binder                            285 00
  Horse rake and mower                                 125 00
  Wagon                                                 75 00
         Total                                      $1,007 00

N. B.--It is calculated that the grain saved by the self-binder over
hand work, pays for the wire used in binding, and in labor 50 cents an
acre is saved, besides the board of two men. We will soon have twine and
straw binders perfected, an improvement which will do away with the
expense of wire altogether.

With a sulky plow and three horses, our farmer breaks 100 acres of land,
and puts it under wheat the following year.

  He has been already at an outlay for horses and machinery
    of                                                         $1,007 00
  Seed wheat costs                                                150 00
  Shocking and stacking                                            70 00
  Threshing and hauling, using his three horses, 10 cents a
    bushel                                                        200 00
        Total                                                  $1,427 00


  2,000 bushels of wheat                                       $2,000 00
  Hay cut by mower                                                200 00
                                                               $2,200 00
        Expenses                                                1,427 00
  Balance in favor of crop                                       $773 00

Now, it will be born in mind, that we have charged the first crop with
horses and machinery, property that, by right, should come under the
head of capital; we have charged it with what will work the farm for
years, and help to produce successive crops, not of one hundred acres,
but of two or three hundred acres; and yet, with all the charges, the
crop shows a profit of $773.

What other business can make such a showing as this?

As a matter of fact, all the ready money the settler will require to
provide himself with machinery, will be ten per cent. on the price; for
the balance he will get two years time at 12 per cent. interest.


While our figures and illustrations in regard to the opening of a farm,
and the expenses attending thereon, have been as explicit and full as
our space would permit, still we regard them but as a basis for a
variety of similar calculations to be made by intending immigrants.

For instance, two friends might buy a breaking team between them, and
break, say twenty acres, on each one's farm. One could do the breaking,
while the other might be doing some other work.

In fact, each man's case has its own peculiar features, which he must
bring his own judgment to bear upon, and we don't pretend to have done
more than to have given him a good guide to assist him in his

Twenty acres would be a pretty fair breaking for a poor man the first
year, and quite sufficient to enable him to support a small family. We
have farmers in the woods, now prosperous men, who for years had not
more than from five to ten acres cleared, for it is hard work to clear
heavy timbered land, and much easier to plant young trees than to cut
old ones down. But heretofore poor men were frequently deterred from
going on prairie land on account of the heavy expense attached to
fencing their tillage land. This was about the highest item of expense.
It is not so now, for in the counties in which our Catholic colonies are
situated, and in the adjoining counties,


is in force, whereby cattle have to be herded during the day, and
confined within bounds during the night. In this way one man or boy can
herd the cattle of a whole settlement, and the heavy, vexatious and
continual tax of fencing is entirely done away with.

All the lands in our Catholic colonies are prairie lands, and in the
colonies and adjoining counties, as we have already stated, the herd law
is in full force.

No one, at the present day, who has any experience in farming in the
West, would settle on an unimproved timber farm. It takes a lifetime to
clear such a farm, and even then a man leaves some stumps for his
grandchildren to take out. But we earnestly impress upon our settlers
the necessity of setting out trees around their prairie homes. The rapid
growth of trees set out on any of our prairies, is absolutely wonderful.
In six years after planting, a man will have nice, sheltering, young
groves, around his house. One of the first things a settler should do
after breaking up his land is to set out some young trees, which he can
buy very cheap. All our railroads carry such freight free. If he cannot
get the trees he can sow the seed, which will do as well.

For comfort on a prairie, trees are a necessity; but it is worse than
useless, it is loss of time, to set them out, unless they are taken care
of: give them solitude, and keep the weeds and cattle from them for a
little while, and they will soon be able to take care of themselves.
Cord-wood can be bought at any of the railroad stations in our colonies
at an average of about five dollars a cord.

There is another matter which may well come under the head of general

While we have shown by figures the good profits which may be calculated
upon by an industrious farmer, still, he must not look for a great
increase of money capital, for some years at least.

While he will be enabled under God, by industry, sobriety and
perseverance to give his family a good, comfortable living, it must be
to the increase in the value of his farm each year, that he must look
for an increase of capital, to that and the increase of his


Above all things, he must attend to the latter; it is almost incredible
the way young stock will increase. A man starting with one cow will have
his yard full of young stock in a few years by raising the calves that
come to him.

It is a fact that men who came to this State without any means whatever,
and settled on land, are to-day among our most prosperous farmers; but
they came uninvited, at their own risk, and if they had failed, they
could only blame themselves.

The case is altogether different in regard to persons coming to our
Catholic colonies. They come invited, and depending upon the information
we give to them; therefore, there must be no misunderstanding on either

We say to the immigrant, with the capital we have specified, you can
open a farm in Minnesota, and if you are industrious, brave and hopeful,
we promise you, under God, an independent home. If you come without this
capital, you do so at your own risk.



We now come to speak of our Catholic Colonies. In doing so we will be as
accurate and as truthful as it is possible to be. At the same time we
recognize the difficulty of making others see things as we see them,
they are too apt to draw imaginary pictures from our facts. For instance
when we speak of settled communities and towns, it should be borne in
mind that our oldest settlement was only opened in the spring of 1876,
our two latest in the spring of 1878, and that both farms and towns
exhibit the rough, unfinished appearance of new places in the West,
which it takes time, perseverance and industry to mould into thrifty
comeliness; with the aid of the two latter (perseverance and industry)
the former (time) will be but a very short period indeed. We have now
four Catholic Colonies in Minnesota, two in the western and two in the
southwestern part of the State.


This is the oldest and doubtless best known of our colonies. The colony
lands commence 120 miles west of St. Paul and extend for 30 miles on
each side of the St. Paul and Pacific railroad. Within the bounds of the
colony are four railroad towns, one of them, Benson, being the county
seat; but the two colony towns proper, are De Graff and Clontarf, being
organized and run, as they say out West, by our own people.

In fact, Swift County Colony may very well be spoken of as two colonies,
for the present under one name, the Chippewa River dividing the colony
lands about in the center, having De Graff on the east and Clontarf on
the west. Each town too, has its own Catholic church, congregation and
resident priest--the Rev. F. J. Swift, pastor at De Graff, and the Rev.
A. Oster, pastor at Clontarf.

The colony lands on the east side of the Chippewa, stretch out from the
town of De Graff, 18 miles in length and 12 miles in width, and Clontarf
lands on the west side of the river, have equal proportions.

This division and explanation may be of service to correspondents, some
of whom frequently write to one or other of the resident priests, for
information, in preference to writing direct to the Catholic Bureau, in
St. Paul.

When Bishop Ireland in 1876, got control of the unsold railroad lands
within the present bounds of Swift County Colony, there was a large
quantity of Government lands lying beside these railroad lands, and open
for homestead and pre-emption entries, so that a great number of our
people were able to secure farms of 80 and 160 acres by merely paying
the fees of the U. S. Land Office.

Early settlers too, on the railroad lands, had an opportunity by paying
cash to get their farms much below the market value, for the St. Paul
and Pacific Railroad Company (the owner) having fallen behind hand in
paying the interest on its bonds held by foreign capitalists, these
bonds became depreciated in the market, but were, nevertheless, good for
their full amount, in payment of the lands belonging to the company.

In this way we were enabled in the first edition of our pamphlet for the
year 1877, to offer lands, much below, in some instances more than half
below, their average value; but as prices depend altogether on the
market value of the bonds, a value which is always fluctuating, we deem
it unwise to bind ourselves to arbitrary prices. The average railroad
price of lands in Swift County Colony is $6.50 per acre; the actual cash
price, by buying bonds and paying for the land with same, will be much
less than this, and we will, when called upon get the bonds for the
immigrant at their then value, but what the exact prices of the bonds
may be or how long they will remain in the market available for the
purchase of land, we cannot take upon ourselves to say.

In this connection we wish to point out to immigrants, that irrespective
of paying for land in bonds, for which they must pay cash, they can make
contracts, on long time, with the company, for their farms.

There are other ways too by which our people can make homes in this
well-settled colony. Non-Catholics who were settled in the county before
the colony was established, will be willing to sell out. Homesteaders,
too, who got their land free from the government, and made improvements,
are frequently anxious to realize a little capital by the sale of those
improved farms, and go still farther west. There is also a large
quantity of school and State lands in the county, which will be in the
market in 1879; so notwithstanding that the greater part of the colony
railroad lands have passed from the control of the Bureau into the
possession of settlers, and that all the government lands have been
taken up, we look forward, with pleasure, to see many more of our people
settling in Swift county next spring. They will find a goodly number of
their co-religionists settled before them and anxious to give them a
friendly welcome. There are very few of the New England or Middle States
that have not representatives in the colony.

From a communication received from the Register of the United States
Land Office at Benson, the county seat, we find that since the Bureau
opened this colony in 1876, 425 Catholic settlers have taken up
government land in the colony; of these, 300 families were Irish, the
remainder Germans, Poles and French. About an equal number of
Catholics--a large majority Irish--have taken railroad lands--80,000
acres of which have been sold; so that we can claim at least 800
Catholic settlers, with their families, in Swift County Colony at the
present writing. Driving west from De Graff to Clontarf, seventeen
miles, and still eleven miles farther west from Clontarf to the _Pomme
de Terre_ River, one is never out of sight of a settler's house; and
some of those farm houses would be a credit to a much older settlement,
for we have settlers who farm as much as five hundred acres, while
others again farm but eighty acres. The general quality of the soil is a
dark loam, slightly mixed with sand and with a clay sub-soil, admirably
adapted for wheat, oats, &c., &c., while the bountiful supply of good
water and the large quantity of natural meadow lands, scattered all over
the colony--there is scarcely a quarter section (160 acres) without its
patch of natural meadow--give the settler an opportunity to combine
stock raising and tillage on his farm.

The village or town of De Graff has a railroad depot and telegraph
office; a grain elevator, with steam power--which is the same as saying,
a cash market for all farm produce--six or seven stores, with the
general merchandise found in a country town; lumber yard, machine
warehouse, blacksmith, carpenter and wagon maker shops; an immigrant
house, where persons in search of land can lodge their families until
they are suited; a resident doctor, and resident priest, Rev. F. J.
Swift; a fine commodious church; a handsome school house and pastor's
residence. No saloon. The business men of the town are our own people,
and a Catholic fair, for the benefit of the new church, held last fall,
and patronized exclusively by the colonists, netted $1,000 clear.

Traveling along the railroad and passing through Benson, half way
between De Graff and Clontarf, we come to the latter, the youngest town
in this young settlement, but it has a very fine class of settlers
around it: west of the village the land is as fine as any in the State,
known as the Hancock Ridge.

Clontarf has two general stores, a grain elevator, an immigrant house, a
railroad depot, blacksmith shop, a large church and a very handsome
residence for the priest, the Rev. A. Oster. No part of the colony is
settling up more rapidly than the portion around Clontarf and several
new buildings will go up in the village next summer. Swift County Colony
is fast beginning to wear the features of a settled community. Many of
our farmers have harvested this year their second crop; our merchants
report that they are doing a lively business; bridges are being built,
roads laid out, plans of improvement discussed by the settlers; and we
challenge any part of the West to produce a more intelligent rural

True to the memory of the old land and their love for their church, the
settlers have given familiar names to many of the townships in the
colony, such as Kildare, Cashel, Dublin, Clontarf, Tara, St. Michaels,
St. Josephs, St. Francis, &c., &c.

The St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, running through the whole length of
the colony, has, by its late extension, become one of the great railroad
thoroughfares of the northwest, and added much to the value of the
colony lands. Commencing at St. Paul, the capital of Minnesota, it
crosses the Northern Pacific at Glyndon in this State and continues on
to St. Vincent, situated on the line separating the State of Minnesota
and the British Possessions in Manitoba. Here it connects with a
railroad just completed and running to Winnipeg, the capital of the
British province of Manitoba.


This colony is located in Big Stone County, west of Swift. It is our
Homestead Colony, and one which we feel very proud of. What is thought
of Big Stone County by Western men, in connection with stock raising, is
shown by the following extract from a published communication.

"Stock raising now receives more attention from the prairie farmers than
ever before, since the erroneous impression heretofore existing that the
wintering of cattle was too expensive, has been entirely disproved.
Numbers of settlers from the lower part of our State, and from Iowa,
have removed to Big Stone County with large droves of cattle, that they
herd on the vast natural meadows of that county, which also furnish all
the necessary hay for winter food." We will add to this, that the soil
of Big Stone County, for agricultural purposes, is deemed as good as any
in the State, without exception.

The lands in the county being government lands, we could not of course
have any control of them, they were open to all comers; but by prompt
action the Bureau located during the months of March, April and May, one
hundred and seventy-five families in the county. Many of those colonists
were poor people who were induced to leave Minnesota towns and settle on

But we will let a resident of the colony, one who has examined every
quarter section in it and materially aided in its settlement, speak for

In answer to a letter from us, Col. J. R. King, a resident of
Graceville, and a practical surveyor, who has acted as agent for the
Bureau since the opening of the colony, writes:

"During the months of March and April, 1878, a great number of claims
for our people were entered in the United States Land Office, but before
any of them come on to their lands, Bishop Ireland shipped, in March,
five car loads of lumber for erecting a church building; the church was
commenced the same month and completed, in the rough, in about three
weeks. This is the first instance, in my knowledge, where a church was
erected in advance of settlement. Our Right Rev. Bishop must have had a
foreknowledge of what was to follow.

"In the short space of three months there was built, in a radius of six
miles from Graceville Church, over 150 comfortable cabins, and on each
claim from five to ten acres broken for a garden and planted with
potatoes, corn, beans, turnips, &c., &c., which yielded quite a good
supply for the present winter. Our colonists had the advantage of being
early on the ground and had their gardens planted in May.

"The colonists broke during last summer from fifteen to thirty acres per
man, so that next spring they will be able to get in wheat sufficient to
carry them through the second winter handsomely. They are all in the
very best spirits and could not be induced to return to the cities--for
they already feel independent and masters of the situation.

"The soil here is splendid and the country beautiful. Gently rolling
prairie, with numerous ponds or small lakes and plenty of the finest

"The balance of Big Stone County, outside of our colony, has all been
taken up; a large majority of the claims occupied and substantial
improvements made by the settlers, who are first class. Traverse County,
adjoining us on the north, is fast filling up.

"I must not forget to say that we have good water in abundance; my own
well is sixteen feet deep, with as fine, pure water as ever was found.

"And now to tell you about our little village, Graceville, named in
honor of our revered Bishop, the Right Rev. Thos. L. Grace. It is
beautifully situated on the north shore of one of the two large lakes
known as Tokua Lakes, and has three general stores, one hotel, one
blacksmith and wagon shop, a very handsome little church and the
priest's residence attached. Around the lake is a fine belt of timber
which adds much to the beauty of the place. The village is 26 miles due
east from Morris, on the St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, but the Hastings &
Dakota Railroad, now built close to the line, will run through our
county next summer; by and by we will have a cross road running through
the colony lands.

"Our resident pastor is the Rev. A. V. Pelisson, a veteran missionary,
who is doing a wonderful deal of good, temporal and spiritual, among his
people, and is 'the right man in the right place,' full of energy and

"The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered up in our church every day,
and on Sundays we have High Mass, for Graceville has a sweet church

"It is most edifying to see the crowd of men, women and children who
flock in from all points of the compass to church on Sundays. Father
Pelisson had the first temporary church taken down and in its place he
has erected one of the prettiest and neatest churches in the State; a
credit both to the good father and his people who so cheerfully assisted
in its erection, under many difficulties.

"From the roof of the church I can count to-day over 70 houses where
last March there was nothing but a bare prairie. If God prospers our
people next season with good crops, they will be over their
difficulties, in a fair way to prosperity."

We do not know that we have anything to add to Col. King's very graphic
and truthful statement in regard to Graceville Colony and the prospects
of its settlers, very many of whom were so poor when they went in, that
it required Western pluck to face the prairie. The building of the
Hastings & Dakota Railroad last summer, giving them employment, was a
great help.

No doubt they had and will have a rough time of it for a little longer,
but, they are toiling with hope, with the hope of an honest independence
in the future. And with this hope in his heart, the settler toils and
feels himself "every inch a man."

Traverse County, mentioned in Col. King's letter, has, at the present
writing, a large quantity of government land open to homestead and
pre-emption entries. (See the Homestead Law in another place.) There is
no doubt too, but that persons, during the land excitement last year,
made government claims in Big Stone County--some within the colony
bounds--which, from one cause or another, they will neglect to hold, by
not fulfilling the conditions required by the law governing such claims.
In all cases of the kind the lands revert to the government and are
again subject to entry. Yet, so rapidly are those lands taken up that we
cannot promise to our people, coming from the East, that when they
arrive, they will find any homestead land adjoining or within any of our


This colony, situated in Nobles County, in the southwestern portion of
the State, close to the State line of Iowa, on the Luverne and Sioux
Falls branch of the Sioux City and St. Paul Railroad, was opened in
September, 1877.

Before going into details in regard to the colony we will give some
extracts from an article (lately published) treating of southwestern
Minnesota, where, as we have stated, St. Adrian colony is located.

"Southwestern Minnesota has made rapid progress in stock raising. As
capital increases, and the utility and profit of stock raising become
better understood by the farmer, we shall see fine flocks and herds, in
addition to the fields of waving grain, and our rich prairies teeming
with the life they can so amply sustain. The abundance of clear, sweet
water, dry atmosphere, its elevation, rich pasturage, freedom from
disease, and direct and ready access to all the prominent markets, unite
to make Minnesota the paradise of stock raisers. Good hay can be put in
the stack in Southwestern Minnesota for $1.25 per ton. It can be secured
without other expense than cutting, and with very little labor, enough
can be made for the maintenance of a large amount of stock.

       *       *       *       *       *

"This section has been settled but seven years, yet it is already
teeming with a population of wide-awake, industrious people, whose
fields are evidences of the innate wealth of the region. The soil of
Southwestern Minnesota is adapted to the successful cultivation of
grain, and so celebrated has its grain producing qualities become, that
capitalists have put their money into large tracts of land, and have now
immense fields under cultivation, and their investments have proven
extremely profitable. There are farms of 600, 1,000 and 2,000 acres, all
producing Minnesota's great staple, wheat. Every year, as the success of
these investments becomes known, new and large farms are opening.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Southwestern Minnesota is on the move, and to those who wish to locate
in a thriving, driving, pushing, growing country, no locality on the
green earth promises more faithfully, and none will redeem its pledges
with greater pride to the wide-awake, stirring husbandman. The very
soil teams with wealth, and the air is laden with the most precious
gifts of health."

Making allowance for the rather high coloring of the above extracts, its
facts are correct. Southwestern Minnesota has many advantages for stock
raising, its soil is good, none better. Stock raising has been carried
on successfully there to the advantage of a great many poor settlers,
and men of wealth have opened large grain farms in this section of the
State; the largest of these farms adjoins the colony lands of St.

Of the 70,000 acres of railroad land which Bishop Ireland holds the
control of for colony purposes, 22,000 acres have been sold to settlers.

The colony lands adjoin the railroad town of Adrian. A little over a
year ago it had three houses, now it is one of the brightest, liveliest,
most bustling little burgs in Southwestern Minnesota. But, as in the
case of Graceville, we will let a resident of St. Adrian speak for the
town and colony. The following is an extract from a letter which we
received the other day from the Rev. C. J. Knauf, the pastor in charge
of the St. Adrian colony.

Father Knauf resides in the town of Adrian--where immigrants, bound for
the colony, leave the train--and takes an active part in locating
immigrants. Father Knauf writes:

"The village of Adrian consisted of three houses when I came here,
September 20, 1877, one year and three months ago to-morrow; now there
are 68 houses in the village. We have three hotels, one restaurant (no
beer,) three lumber yards, one steam feed mill, four general stores, one
drug, two hardware stores, one jewelry store, one barber shop, one large
livery stable, two furniture dealers, four dealers in farming machinery,
one shoe maker, one tailor, three blacksmiths, one carpenter shop, four
wheat and produce buyers; a public school house, costing $1,800; a
Catholic Church, well finished, and the pastor's house, the latter
costing $1,840.

"I sold, up to date, 22,000 acres of land. Thousands of acres were
broken last season. I was the first Catholic to arrive here: now we have
sixty Catholic families in the colony. Next spring we will have 160
Catholic families, for a great many bought farms last year, had breaking
done--some broke extensively, others moderately--and will move on, with
their families, to their new farms, next spring, in time to put in their
first crop."

In explanation of that portion of Father Knauf's letter which speaks of
parties who have purchased farms in the colony but who have not moved on
to them as yet, we will say, that since the Bureau, at the solicitation
of many correspondents, agreed to have land selected and contracts made
out for persons anxious to secure land in some one of our colonies, and
yet unable, from one cause or another, to come on immediately; a great
many have adopted this mode to get land.

We find from Father Knauf's letter that he has on his books the names of
one hundred families who have secured land in St. Adrian colony, and
will move on to their new homes next spring, so that he is looking
forward to very lively times.

There is also coming out to St. Adrian Colony in the spring a
brave-hearted little lady from Brooklyn, N. Y., to get in her first
crop, and put up her first farm house. She was on here last summer,
spent a month or so at St. Adrian, bought 270 acres of land, left money
to pay for the breaking of 200 acres, and will come on to settle in the
spring. She has no doubt but that she will make the venture pay, and
prefers to make the trial rather than have her money bearing small
interest in the East.

Lands sell in the colony from $5 to $7.50 per acre. A discount of 20 per
cent. from these prices is allowed for cash. The conditions for time
contracts are as follows: At time of purchase, one-tenth of principal
and interest on unpaid principal; second year, interest only; third year
one-fourth of remaining principal and interest on unpaid principal; same
for three ensuing years: after the expiration of which the full price of
the land is paid.

As an instance, showing the value set on land in this part of Minnesota,
we will state, that school lands, sold last spring, at public sale, in
the neighborhood of St. Adrian, brought from $7.50 to $17 per acre: the
price obtained heretofore having been $5 per acre.

On stepping from the train at St. Adrian, last summer, one witnessed a
scene of bustle and activity similar to those frequently described by
writers in sketches of Western life in new settlements, with some
important exceptions, for neither in Adrian nor in any of the towns
under the control of the Catholic Bureau, can there be found rowdies,
nor the saloons that vomit them forth. This fact may take from the
dramatic effect of such sketches, but it is the anchor of family unity
and love, the harbinger of prosperity.

The town of Adrian is 197 miles from St. Paul. A daily train from St.
Paul to Sioux Falls, D. T., passes through it; it has also railroad
communication with Sioux City, Iowa.

The lands of the colony are first-class, both for agriculture and stock
raising: and to those of fair capital we strongly recommend St. Adrian

The colonists are German and Irish Catholics.


This is the latest opened of our colonies, Bishop Ireland having only
secured control of the lands last April. It is situated in Murray County
(Southwestern Minnesota,) adjoining Nobles County on the north, and in
the whole 52,000 acres of land secured by the Bishop for the colony, we
very much doubt if one poor section (640 acres) could be found, nor do
we suppose that any of the land will remain unsold by the 1st of next

While the beauty of the location and fertility of the soil, make Avoca
one of the most desirable locations in Minnesota, the easy terms on
which a farm can be secured, are additional and substantial advantages
for men of small means.

The centre of the colony--the village of Avoca, situated on a beautiful
lake--is just twenty miles from Heron Lake, a station on the St. Paul
and Sioux City Railroad, 160 miles southwest of St. Paul; but the
Southern Minnesota Railroad, which will give this portion of the State a
direct communication with the Milwaukee and Chicago markets, is now
completed to within forty-five miles of Avoca, and we expect to see it
running through our colony lands by next fall. This will give to the
settlers in Avoca Colony, a direct southern route to Chicago, and a
choice of markets for their produce: the latter an advantage which
farmers can well appreciate.

The price of lands in the colony are from $5 to $6.50 per acre, on the
following easy terms of payment. At the time of purchase, interest only,
one year in advance, seven per cent., is required; at the end of one
year, interest only for another year; at the end of two years, one-tenth
of the principal, and a year's interest on the balance; at the end of
three years, one-tenth of the principal, and interest on balance; at the
end of each year thereafter, twenty per cent. of the principal, and
interest on balance; until all is paid.

We subjoin a practical illustration of these terms:

We will say that January, 1879, a man contracts for 80 acres of land at
$5 per acre, this will come to $400, with 7 per cent. interest, which
sums he will have to pay as follows:

  Jan. 1st, 1879, At time of purchase, one year's interest
                    in advance, at 7 per cent.                    $28 00

  Jan. 1st, 1880, One year's interest in advance,
                    at 7 per cent.                                 28 00

  Jan. 1st, 1881, Ten per cent. of principal.             $40 00
                  One year's interest on balance $360,
                    at 7 per ct.                           25 20
                                                          ------   65 20

  Jan. 1st, 1882, Ten per cent. of principal.              40 00
                  One year's interest on balance $320,
                    at 7 per ct.                           22 40
                                                          ------   62 40

  Jan. 1st, 1883, Twenty per cent. of principal.           80 00
                  One year's interest on balance $240,
                    at 7 per ct.                           16 80
                                                          ------   96 80

  Jan. 1st, 1884, Twenty per cent. of principal.           80 00
                  One year's interest on balance $160,
                    at 7 per ct.                           11 20
                                                          ------   91 20

  Jan. 1st, 1885, Twenty per cent. of principal.           80 00
                  One year's interest on balance $80,
                    at 7 per ct.                            5 60
                                                          ------   85 60

  Jan. 1st, 1886, Twenty per cent. of principal.                   80 00
            Total.                                               $537 20

The advantage of the terms is, that the principal payments are all
postponed until the farmer has had time to raise several crops from his
land. A quarter-section of land will support a family, pay for itself,
leave after seven years a balance in cash, and be worth more than twice
its original value.

We have already selected several 80 and 160 acre farms in Avoca for
persons not in a position to come on immediately to the land. Now let us
explain how this operates.

An intending immigrant writes to the Bureau to have 80 acres of land in
Avoca at $5 per acre, selected for him, (as a general rule a man should
take a quarter-section, 160 acres, by doing so he will be likely to have
both meadow and tillage land on his farm.) For those 80 acres, he pays
down, before getting his contract from the railroad company, one year's
interest, $28. He writes on then, next spring, to the Bureau, to have 30
acres of his land broken and ready for a crop the following
spring--1880. His breaking will cost at $2.50 per acre, $75. He will
have paid the first year $103, and have his land ready for the seed; he
comes on then the second spring, 1880, pays $28, another year's
interest, to the railroad company, puts in his crop and has it saved and
ready for market in August. Up to this time--not calculating the
expenses chargeable to the crop, which we have estimated already in
another place--he has paid out $131, and has his farm opened and in a
fair way to pay for itself.

In soil and location the Colony of Avoca is not surpassed in the
Northwest. Nine miles from the village of Avoca there is a large body of
timber. Settlers can also get coal from Iowa.

The Rev. Chas. Koeberl is pastor of the colony, address, Avoca, Murray
County, Minnesota. He writes to us under date of December 20th, 1878:

"In regard to this colony it promises, thank God, to be a great success.
Since June, when the land sales commenced, we have sold 9,850 acres, and
forty-five Catholic families are preparing to move into the colony next
spring. Immigrants will have in our village of Avoca, a building where
they can leave their families until they have put up their houses, also
a boarding house and store.

"In speaking of our climate you can boast honestly of its health. Among
200 families belonging to my missionary district, I have not known of
one case of internal disease, during my seven months' stay here. It
would be well to particularly mention in your forthcoming pamphlet, that
this is a prairie, not a timber county. I receive so many letters asking
about the cost of clearings, &c., &c.

"I expect quite a rush for land in Avoca, next spring, and will be glad
if our people come on early, in time to plant potatoes, corn, &c."

       *       *       *       *       *

In bringing this brief review of our Catholic colonies to a close, we
again thank the Catholic press of this country, for its honest advocacy
of Catholic immigration to the land. The favorable notices its editors
have given to our humble labors in our own field of duty, and the
service rendered to our work thereby, can never be forgotten by us.

Our friend, P. Hickey, Esq., editor of the _Catholic Review_, came
specially from New York, last summer to visit our colonies, to judge for
himself; and what he saw, the favorable impressions he carried away with
him, together with sound argument in favor of Catholic colonization,
have appeared, from time to time, since his return, in able and lucid
articles from his pen.

       *       *       *       *       *

God has blessed our labors beyond our expectations. We see our colonies
fast merging into settled communities, where honest labor goes hand in
hand with religion, and where men work not for a mere pittance from a
master's hand, to support them for a day or a week, but with the hope,
the prospect, of an inheritance for their children, in the future.




Decidedly the best time for the emigrant to come to Minnesota is the
spring. If possible, he should not arrive later than the first week in
May. He should have his land selected in time to commence to break for
garden stuff and corn about the 20th of May, then he can continue to
break, for his next year's wheat crop, up to the early part of July.

The month of June is the month for breaking, for then the grass is young
and succulent, and will rot readily. A man coming in the early part of
June can have land broken for his next year's crop, but he loses the
advantages of garden stuff and sod corn to help him out in his living
until his first crop comes in.


All your bedding that is of value. All your bedclothes. All wearing
apparel, good clothing of every description: nothing more. Do not think
of bringing stoves, nor any kind of house furniture. You can get all
such at the stores in the colonies, or here in St. Paul, new, for nearly
what the freight on your old furniture, worthless and broken, perhaps,
by the time it arrived here, would come to. The better way is to sell
what you have in this line, before leaving, and buy here.


We intend that our closing remarks shall treat fully and clearly on this
very important portion of our subject. They will be found under the head


Here we will but say what we have already written.


to our colonies.

No doubt the country builds up the town, and we look for quite a
building up of our young Catholic towns next summer; but, in the way of
business, stores and mechanics' shops, the home supply is generally
fully up to the demand, and at present we would not feel justified in
inviting any one to our Catholic colonies but a man


And who is able and willing to work one.


                        1st Class.  2d Class.   Immigrant.
  New York                $35 25     $30 25      $24 00
  Philadelphia             33 50      28 45       24 00
  Montreal                 36 25      26 00
  Toronto                  29 25      23 00
  Buffalo                  29 25      23 00
  Cleveland                25 25      20 00
  Chicago                  15 25      12 00
  Milwaukee                12 25       9 00

N. B.--The above are the fares from the points mentioned to St. Paul.
Doubtless persons coming in a large party from the same place would get
special low rates. From St. Paul to any of our colonies, immigrants are
carried for half fare; about $3 for an adult. They also get low rates
for baggage &c., &c.


Immigrants, on arriving in St. Paul, will immediately report themselves
at the Catholic Colonization Office, situated in the basement of the
Cathedral school building, corner of Sixth and Wabashaw streets. There
they will be received by an agent of the Bureau, who will give them all
necessary information and instructions, also half-fare tickets to
railroad points in the Catholic colonies, and procure for them
half-freight charges on goods and extra baggage. Office hours from 8
o'clock A. M. to 6 o'clock P. M.

All communications should be addressed to

                       St. Paul, Minn.


We wish that this concluding chapter of our pamphlet may be read
carefully, and thought well over by intending immigrants.

We wish it for their benefit, and our own benefit and protection. It is,
we might say, a fearful responsibility to advise another in a matter
which contemplates a change in his habits, mode of life, and home, and
such a change should never be undertaken, especially by a man of family,
without a most thorough investigation, not alone as to the place he
intends going to, but likewise as to his own fitness for the change.

When you have examined this pamphlet from cover to cover, then commence
an examination of yourself, not forgetting your wife, if you have one,
who is part of you, and a very important part in connection with this
question of your going upon land.

This is especially necessary if you and your wife have lived for years
in a city and become habituated to city life. It is a great change from
city life in the East to country life in the West, especially when the
part of the country one moves to is new and settlements just forming.

You are not to expect to realize the advantages of the change right off;
it is through yourself, through your own grit and industry, those
advantages must come.

To a Western farmer there is nothing bleak or lonely in a prairie; to a
man coming fresh from a city and looking on it, for the first time, with
city eyes, it may, very likely, seem both. Indeed, a sense of loneliness
akin to despondency is a feeling which the newly-arrived immigrant has
generally to contend against, a feeling which may increase to a perfect
scare if he is a man anxious to consult Tom, Dick and Harry--who are
always on hand--as to the wisdom of the step he has just taken.

We speak from experience, from facts we have a personal knowledge of.
Our labors in the cause of immigration have brought to us much happiness
and some pain.

To illustrate: Two immigrants arrived here last year, in high spirits,
called at our office a few minutes after landing, and so impatient were
they to go hunt up land that they were quite disappointed to find they
would have to stop over one night in St. Paul. Well, the next morning
they called at the office again, all courage, all desire to go upon land
wilted out of them, and informed us that they had changed their minds
and were going back to Massachusetts.

Why? Well, they had met a man at the boarding house they stopped over
night at, who advised them not to go out and settle on a prairie. He
told them, too, that "he was fifteen years in Minnesota and never could
get a dollar ahead."

Now here were men, rational to all appearance, having traveled two
thousand miles or so to settle upon land, when they came within sight of
the land, as we may say, losing all desire to visit it, all courage, all
confidence in disinterested, experienced friends, and in the information
they gave to them; in everything but the word of a loafer, who never did
a day's good in his life, nor never will, and who was anxious to shuffle
off the onus of his slipshod condition from himself to the country.

Here is another case, which occurred a few months after Swift Colony was
opened and while the country around looked still wild and lonely.

Two men arrived here from Philadelphia. They went on to the Catholic
colony in Swift County, and in a day or two returned, saying that they
had made up their minds to go back to Philadelphia. Why? Did they not
find everything as it was reported to them? "Oh, yes, the land was good,
and there was a good chance for a poor man to make a home on it, if he
could content himself, but it was too lonely for them."

Lonely, to be sure it was; with the noise of the city still ringing in
their ears, with its crowds and its gaslights still in their eyes, these
men found the prairie lonely, and without pausing to consider all the
circumstances, they turned their back upon it.

They were both decent, intelligent men, and, had they remained, taken
land, gone to work, opened a farm, and seen their first crop ripening,
you could no more have got them back to Philadelphia than you could get
them into the penitentiary.

Now, we say to those for whose benefit this pamphlet has been written,
if you come here you must come fully prepared to feel the effects of a
great change. If you come from a city, you will, doubtless, feel lonely
for a while, until you get accustomed to prairie life; you will miss
many immediate comforts; you will have to put up with discomforts, with
disappointments, with trials. The man who feels he can stand up against
all such difficulties in the present, and look bravely to the future for
his reward, let him come to Minnesota. The man who feels within him no
such strength, who is easily disheartened and inclined to listen to the
idle talk of every man whom he meets, let him stop away and listen;
better to listen now, where you are, than after going to the expense of
coming here.

To the family man we say: We would much prefer that you should come on
here in the spring and see for yourself before breaking up your present
home and bringing on your family.

If you settle down, you can send or go for your family; if you are not
pleased with the change, there will not be much harm done.

Another very important piece of advice we give to you: If your wife is
very much opposed to going upon land, do not come out. A discontented
wife on a new farm is far worse than the Colorado beetle. But if she
urges you to come, if, in this matter, she thinks of your welfare and
that of her children, rather than of the society of the gossips she will
leave behind her; if she says to you, "we will have the children out of
harm's way anyhow," then come with a brave heart and the smile of the
true wife and mother shall be as a sunbeam in your prairie home.


Although we cannot promise government land in any of our colonies, still
we give the following synopsis of the laws affecting such land, as
likely to be of benefit to those who wish to secure homes in this way.


1. _Who may enter._--First, every head of a family; second, every single
person, male or female, over the age of twenty-one years, who are
citizens of the United States, or have declared their intentions to
become such.

2. _Quantity that may be entered._--80 acres within ten miles on each
side of a land-grant railroad, and 160 acres without.

3. _Cost of entry._--Fourteen dollars.

4. _Time for settlement._--After making his entry the settler has six
months within which to remove upon his land.

5. _Length of settlement._--The settler must live upon and cultivate his
entry for five years. At any time after five, and within seven years, he
makes proof of residence and cultivation.

6. _Proof required._--His own affidavit and the testimony of two

7. _Residence._--Single, as well as married men, are required to live
upon their homesteads.

8. _Soldiers' Homesteads._--Every honorable discharged soldier, sailor
or marine, who served for ninety days, can enter 160 acres within
railroad limits, upon payment of eighteen dollars. The time spent in the
service will be deducted from the five years' residence required.


1. _Who may enter._--The same qualifications are required as in a
homestead entry.

2. _Quantity that may be entered._--40, 80, or 160 acres.

3. _Limitations._--But one-fourth of any section can be entered.

4. _Requirements._--No settlement is required. By the amended law only
ten acres need be broken and set out in trees on 160 acres, (quarter

First year, break five acres.

Second year, break five acres and cultivate in crop first year's

Third year, set out trees in first five acres broken and crop second
five acres.

Fourth year, set out trees in latest five acres broken.

N. B.--Seed or cuttings can be put in in place of trees.

If the timber entry be but 80 acres, one-half the quantity before given
is planted; if 40 acres, one-fourth.

5. _Proof required._--Affidavit of party, and testimony of two

6. _Cost of entry._--Fourteen dollars for any entry, without regard to

A man making a Homestead entry, is also entitled to make a
Timber-culture entry. This would give him, outside of the ten miles
railroad grant, half a section of land; a son or daughter, twenty-one
years of age, can also enter under the Homestead and Timber-claim acts,
half a section; and thus one family can secure a whole section of land.


Under this act, a man can enter 80 acres of government land, inside the
ten miles railroad limits, price $2.50 per acre; or 160 acres, outside
the railroad grant, for which he will have to pay, getting two years
time $1.25, government price.

If he wishes, he can pay up in six months, on proof of actual residence,
having made the improvements on the land required by the law, which are
easily done, and get his title; having secured this, he can then enter
80 or 160 acres more, under the Homestead act. He cannot Pre-empt and
Homestead at the same time.

None of the government conditions for securing land are at all
burdensome to the actual settler; whether required by law or not, to be
a farmer, a man must live upon his land and cultivate it.








_It is the only Northwestern Line connecting in same Depot in Chicago,
with any of the great Eastern or Southern Lines, and is the most
conveniently located with reference to reaching any depot, hotel, or
place of Business in that city._

PASSENGERS approaching Chicago by any Railway, will find Parmalee's
Omnibus Checkman on the trains, who will exchange their checks, and give
them all requisite information. Parmalee's Omnibusses are on hand at all
depots, on arrival of trains, to convey passengers to the depot of this
Company. Passenger Agents of this Company are at the several depots, on
arrival of connecting trains, for the purpose of directing and assisting

A thoroughly ballasted Steel Rail Track, Palace Coaches and Sleeping
Cars, and finely upholstered Second Class Cars, all perfect in every
features of this Popular Route.

_Tickets for St. Paul and Minneapolis are good either via Watertown,
Sparta, La Crosse, Winona, and the famed Mississippi River Division, or
via Madison, Prairie du Chien, McGregor, Austin and Owatonna._


  228 Washington Street. Boston.
                      63 Clark Street, Chicago.
  Union Depot, cor. Canal and West Madison
              Streets, Chicago.

  And at all Principal Ticket Offices in the country.

                         _T. E. CHANDLER, Agent, Chicago._
  A. V. H. CARPENTER, Gen'l Passenger and Ticket Agent.



The Crowning Success of a Century's Experience.


Neither Vibrator nor Apron Machine but combines the good qualities of

_It Threshes more Grain, Separates more Perfectly, is Lighter Running,
Cleans Grain Cleaner, than all others, and has no equal for Timothy or

It will thresh and separate wet grain as well as dry. It has at the same
time both an over and an under blast. In strength, durability, and
economy, it has no rival.

=IMPROVED MOUNTED PITTS POWER=, with a Powerful Brake and a Drop Gear

=IMPROVED MOUNTED WOODBURY POWER=, more strongly and durably built than
any other of its kind in the market.

For Sale at most of the principal towns in the West.

For Circulars and Price Lists, address,

_Manufactured by_

                                  SEYMOUR, SABIN & CO.
                                     STILLWATER, MINNESOTA.


The North-Western Chronicle.


The Catholic Newspaper of the North-west.

Devoted to Catholicity, Literature and General Information.



=Farm Statistics, Local Intelligence=,




=$2.50 per Year, Payable in Advance.=

        Catholic Block, Third Street.
            ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA.



The Marsh Harvester and Harvester King, with or without their celebrated
Automatic Crane Binder Attachment for 1879.


We present, on this page, a cut representing the latest improvements in
grain-cutting machinery, as shown in the celebrated _Marsh Harvester
with Automatic Crane-Binder Attachment_.

The Marsh Harvester itself is too widely and favorably known to require
an extended description or commendation. It was the first of this class
of grain-harvesting machines, and, indeed, for some years the only one,
forcing itself into favor against the united opposition of the various
reaper manufacturers who are now so clamorous in praise of their
imitation harvesters. It also made practicable automatic grain binding.
All attempts to put self-binding attachments to other reapers proved
futile, and have only been successful when attached to harvesters
cutting and elevating the grain, as is done by this harvester.

The manufacturers of the Marsh Harvester have been fully alive to the
importance of having a self-binding attachment to their harvesters that
should be correspondingly for a binder what their harvester is admitted
to be--_the best of its class_. To this end they have had skilled labor
specially employed for several years, and have invented and patented
several important improvements and devices, and have bought others. They
have also had their binders in the grain fields for several years past,
following the progress of the harvest from Texas to Manitoba. Last
season this binder did remarkable work. Such minor defects as the most
thorough tests and roughest usage developed have been carefully

It is no longer a question of success with this binder, success is a
fully demonstrated fact. Another thing will be obvious to all who
carefully examine this binder, that it is very simple and easily
understood. This is an indispensible requisite to a successful machine.

Farmers are too busy and too much hurried in harvest time to study
mechanics or tinker on machinery. They want a machine they can put in
the field, and do good work, without bother, loss of time or undue
perplexity. This harvester and binder will do good work with certainty.

The Marsh Harvester cuts a five-foot swath the King cuts six feet. All
of these harvesters are so made this year that a binder attachment can
be put on at any time hereafter, so that a farmer, desiring to divide
the expense, can buy the harvester this year and the binder next.

Look at it! A few years ago it required six or seven men to do, with a
self-rake reaper, what the Marsh Harvester and Binder will do with one
man or one boy. The Harvester also does the work cleaner and better. It
binds every straw, and saves enough in this way to nearly or quite pay
for the wire. The wire-bound bundles can be made as large or as small as
you like. The wire is unobjectionable in threshing, the wire passing
through without injury to the thresher. No cattle will eat wire, and no
one has ever been known to be injured by it. It requires about three
pounds of wire to an acre of grain of average stand. This machine
reduces the cost and the labor of grain harvesting to a minimum. No
progressive farmer can afford to do his work with an old-fashioned
reaper. He might almost as well return to the hand sickle.

It is now a question of the best binder. _Thus far the manufacturers of
the Marsh Harvester have furnished the best harvester, and now they
offer the best binder_, and still propose to keep their machines in the
lead, as they have been, and are now.

We also manufacture the old and reliable WARRIOR MOWER, admitted by all
to be one of the best mowers in use. Apply to the nearest agency or to
Gammon & Deering, Chicago, Ill., for circulars containing full
particulars in regard to those machines.

  =_W. H. JONES & CO._=,                   =_GAMMON & DEERING_=,
  General Agents for Minnesota             Manufacturers, Chicago, Ill.
  and Manitoba.

Transcriber's Notes:

The original edition did not include a table of contents.

Some inconsistent hyphenation (i.e. overcrowded vs. over-crowded) has
been retained from the original -- text quoted from different sources
may have different standards.

Within several long quotes, series of asterisks on line ends have been
replaced with thought breaks -- these presumably indicate abbreviations
to the quotations.

Page 14, changed "successs" to "success."

Page 16, changed "similiar" to "similar."

Page 24, removed stray comma from "average, quantity."

Page 30, changed "indegenous" to "indigenous."

Page 31, inconsistent capitalization in table retained from original.
Split table to fit width of text edition; HTML edition provides better

Page 37, changed "every dollars'" to "every dollar's."

Page 42, added missing period after "Rev" in "Rev. F. J. Swift."

Pages 43 and 44, normalized "DeGraff" to "De Graff" for consistency.

Page 49, changed "$1800" to "$1,800" for consistency.

Page 53, converted oe ligature to oe in "Koeberl" for Latin-1
compatibility; HTML edition retains ligature.

Page 55, added period after "Minn."

Page 60, removed extraneous space from "$2. 50."

Page 64, changed "to busy" to "too busy."

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