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Title: Address delivered at the quarter-centennial celebration of the admission of Kansas as a state
Author: Martin, John Alexander
Language: English
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                            DELIVERED AT THE
                                 OF THE
                    ADMISSION OF KANSAS AS A STATE,


                          GOV. JOHN A. MARTIN.

                  Topeka, Kansas, January 29th, 1886.

                        KANSAS PUBLISHING HOUSE,

                       THE DEVELOPMENT OF KANSAS:

                      BY GOVERNOR JOHN A. MARTIN.

 _Mr. Chairman, and Ladies and Gentlemen_:

In Grecian mythology it is related that Zeus, warned by an oracle that
the son of his spouse, Metis, would snatch supremacy from him, swallowed
both Metis and her unborn child. When the time of birth arrived, Zeus
felt a violent pain in his head, and in his agony requested Hephæstus to
cleave the head open with an ax. His request was complied with, and from
the brain of the great god sprang Athena, full-armed, and with a mighty
war-shout. She at once assumed a high place among the divinities of
Olympus. She first took part in the discussions of the gods as an
opponent of the savage Ares. She gave counsel to her father against the
giants; and she slew Enceládus, the most powerful of those who conspired
against Zeus, and buried him under Mt. Ætna. She became the patron of
heroism among men, and her active and original genius inspired their
employment. The agriculturist and the mechanic were under her special
protection, and the philosopher, the poet and the orator delighted in
her favor. The ægis was in her helmet, and she represented the
ether—pure air. She was worshipped at Athens because she caused the
olive to grow on the bare rock of the Acropolis. She was also the
protectress of the arts of peace among women. She bore in her hand the
spool, the spindle, and the needle, and she invented and excelled in all
the work of women. She was the goddess of wisdom and the symbol of
thought; she represented military skill and civic prudence. In war she
was heroic and invincible; in peace she was wise, strong, inventive, and

                     THE ATHENA OF AMERICAN STATES.

Kansas is the Athena of American States. Thirty-six years ago the Slave
Oligarchy ruled this country. Fearing that the birth of new States in
the West would rob it of supremacy, the Slave Power swallowed the
Missouri Compromise, which had dedicated the Northwest to Freedom. The
industrious North, aroused and indignant, struck quick and hard, and
Kansas, full-armed, shouting the war-cry of Liberty, and nerved with
invincible courage, sprang into the Union. She at once assumed a high
place among the States. She was the deadly enemy of Slavery; she gave
voice and potency to the demand for its abolition; and she aided in
burying Secession in its unhonored grave. The war over, she became the
patron, as she had been during its continuance the exemplar, of heroism,
and a hundred thousand soldiers of the Union found homes within the
shelter of her embracing arms. The agriculturist and the mechanic were
charmed by her ample resources and inspired by her eager enterprise.
Education found in her a generous patron, and to literature, art and
science she has been a steadfast friend. Her pure atmosphere invigorated
all. A desert disfigured the map of the Continent, and she covered it
with fields of golden wheat and tasseling corn. She has extended to
women the protection of generous laws and of enlarged opportunities for
usefulness. In war she was valiant and indomitable, and in peace she has
been intelligent, energetic, progressive and enterprising. The modern
Athena, type of the great Greek goddess, is our Kansas.

                       THE CHILD OF A GREAT ERA.

It is not a long lapse of time since the 29th of January, 1861. A boy
born during that eventful year cast his first Presidential vote at the
last election. But no other period of the world's history has been so
fertile in invention, so potential in thought, so restless and
aggressive in energy, or so crowded with sublime achievements, as the
quarter-century succeeding the admission of Kansas as a State. During
that period occurred the greatest war the world has ever known. An
industrious, self-governed, peace-loving people, transfigured by the
inspiration of patriotism and freedom, became, within a twelve-month, a
Nation of trained and disciplined warriors. Human slavery, entrenched
for centuries in law, tradition, wealth, and the pride of race, was
annihilated, and five million slaves were clothed with the powers and
responsibilities of citizenship. The continent was girdled with railroad
and telegraph lines. In 1860 there were only 31,186 miles of railway in
the United States; there are now fully 130,000 miles. Less than 50,000
miles of telegraph wires were stretched at the date of the admission of
Kansas; there are now nearly 300,000 miles. The telephone and the
electric light are fruits of this period, and the improvements and
inventions in farm implements, in books and newspapers, in all the
appliances of mechanical industry, and in the arts and sciences, have
revolutionized nearly every department of human activity.

When this marvelous era dawned upon the world, Kansas was a fiction of
the geographers. On the map of our country it was marked as a desert,
and the few explorers who had penetrated its vast solitudes described it
as an arid and sandy waste, fit only for the wild bison or the wilder
Indian. There it had lain for centuries, voiceless and changeless,
waiting for the miracle of civilization to touch and transform it.

The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill made Kansas the central figure
in a tremendous conflict. It became not only the child of a marvelous
epoch, and heir to all the progress, the achievements and the glory of
that epoch, but it stood for an idea; it represented a principle; and
that idea and principle thrilled the heart and awakened the conscience
of the Nation. That a State cradled amid such events, schooled during
such a period, and inspired by such sentiments, should, in its growth
and development, illustrate these mighty energies and impulses, was
inevitable. The Kansas of to-day is only the logical sequence of the
influences and agencies that have surrounded, shaped and directed every
step and stage of the States material and administrative progress.

                           NOT THE HISTORIAN.

I am not, however, the historian of this occasion. Very properly the
committee assigned to my honored predecessor, the first Governor of the
State—who has been with and of it during all the lights and shadows of
thirty-one revolving years—the duty of presenting an historical sketch
of the difficulties and dangers through which Kansas was "added to the
stars," and became one of the brightest in the constellation of the
Union. To me was allotted another task—that of presenting, as briefly
and as clearly as I am able, the material development of Kansas, and her
present condition and position. It is at once a delightful and a
difficult task. The growth of Kansas is a theme which has always
enlisted my interest and excited my pride. But I cannot hope to present
any adequate picture of the Kansas you know so well—the Kansas of your
love and of your faith; the imperial young State, at once the enigma and
the wonder of American commonwealths.

                     THREE PERIODS OF DEVELOPMENT.

The development of Kansas, it seems to me, has had three periods, which
may properly be called the decades of War, of Uncertainty, and of
Triumph. From 1855 to 1865, Kansas was an armed camp. The border
troubles, outbreaking late in 1854, continued until the rebellion was
inaugurated. Kansas, in fact, began the war six years before the Nation
had fired a shot, and the call to arms in 1861 found here a singularly
martial people, who responded with unparalleled enthusiasm to the
President's demands for men. In less than a year ten full regiments were
organized, and before the close of the war Kansas had sent over twenty
thousand soldiers to the field, out of a population of but little more
than a hundred thousand. Fields, workshops, offices and schools were
deserted, and the patient and heroic women who had kept weary vigils
during all the dark and desolate days of the border troubles, now waited
in their lonely home for tidings from the larger field of the civil war.

It is doubtful whether Kansas increased, either in population or wealth,
from 1861 to 1864. But the young State grew in public interest and
reputation, and when the heroic men, whose valor and patriotism had
saved the Republic, began to be mustered out, Kansas offered an inviting
field for their energy, and they came hither in great numbers. The
population of the State, which was 107,206 in 1860, had increased to
140,179 in 1865. The assessed value of its property increased from
$22,518,232 to $36,110,000 during the same period, and the land in farms
from 1,778,400 to 3,500,000 acres. It was not a "boom," nor was it
stagnation and decay. Yet it is probable that nearly the whole of the
growth shown by these figures dates from the Spring of 1864.

The real development of Kansas began in 1865, and it has known few
interruptions since. The census of 1870 showed a population of
364,399—an increase of 124,220 in five years, or nearly double the
population of 1865. Railroad building also began in 1865, and 1,283
miles were completed by 1870. The home-returning soldiers and the
railroads came together. Immigrants to other States came in slow-moving
canal boats or canvas-covered wagons, but they came to Kansas in the
lightning express, and most of them went to their claims in comfortable
cars drawn by that marvel of modern mechanism, the locomotive. Our State
has never had a "coon-skin cap" population. It is the child of the
prairies, not of the forest. It has always attracted men of
intelligence, who knew a good thing when they saw it. They brought with
them the school, the church and the printing press; they planted an
orchard and a grove as soon as they had harvested their first crop; and
if they were compelled to live in a dug-out the first year or two, they
were reasonably certain to own a comfortable house the third.

                       THE PERIOD OF UNCERTAINTY.

The period from 1865 to 1875 was, however, a period of uncertainty.
Kansas remained an experiment. The drouth and grasshopper invasion of
1860, a menacing memory for many years, had just begun to grow dim when
the drouth of 1873 and the still more disastrous drouth and locust
invasion of 1874 revived its recollection, and intensified the
uncertainty it had inspired. The intervening years were not, it is true,
without their exaltation and triumphs. Luxuriant harvests followed the
disaster of 1860, year after year in unbroken succession, until 1873,
and we indulged in much jubilant boasting and self-gratulation over our
fruitful soil, our benign climate, and our gracious seasons. But over
and through it all brooded and ran a feeling of question or uncertainty,
which manifested itself in many ways. The newspapers, while affecting to
sneer at those who did not believe Kansas to be a country where rains
always came just when they were wanted, nevertheless recorded every rain
with suspicious prominence. Even the corner-lot speculator watched the
clouds while he was denouncing the slanderers who asserted that Kansas
was "a dry country." "Methinks the lady doth protest too much," might
have been said of the Kansans who, from 1865 to 1875, vehemently
maintained that the normal condition of Kansas was that of a quagmire.

And in the midst of it all came 1873 and 1874, with their twin
devastations and calamities. A fierce sun rose and set for months in a
cloudless sky; the parched earth shrank and cracked; and the crops
withered and shriveled in winds as hot as the breath of a furnace. But
as if the destruction thus wrought was not enough, out from the
northwest came clouds of insects, darkening the sun in their baleful
flight, and leaving the very abomination of desolation wherever they
alighted. It was then that the bravest quailed, and our sturdiest
farmers abandoned all hope. Thousands of people, now among our most
prosperous citizens, would have sold everything they possessed for
one-sixth of its value, during the year 1874, and abandoned the State
forever. But they could find no purchasers, even at such a price.

Somehow—and I mention the fact to their everlasting credit—many of the
newspapers of Kansas never lost heart or hope during that distressful
season. They lauded the State more earnestly, if possible, than ever
before. They asserted, with vehement iteration, that the season was
exceptional and phenomenal. They exhorted the people to keep up courage,
and confidently predicted abundant harvests next year. And to their
influence more than any other, is due the fact that Kansas survived the
drouth and grasshopper invasion of 1874 with so little loss of

                         THE PERIOD OF TRIUMPH.

The period of triumph began in 1875. While the world was still talking
of our State as a drouth-powdered and insect-eaten country, Kansas was
preparing for the Centennial, and getting ready for a great future. And
in 1876, she sprang into the arena of Nations with a display of her
products and resources which eclipsed them all, and excited the wonder
and admiration of the whole civilized earth.

From that time to this the development of Kansas has never known a halt,
nor have the hopes of our citizens ever been troubled by a doubt. More
permanent and costly homes have been builded, more stately public
edifices have been reared, more substantial improvements have been made
on farms and in towns, more wealth has been accumulated, during the
decade beginning in 1875, than during the two previous decades. No
citizen of Kansas, from that day to this, has ever written a letter,
made a speech, or talked at home or abroad, with his fellow-citizens or
with strangers, without exalting the resources and glorifying the
greatness of the State. No Legislature, since that time, has ever
doubted the ability of the State to do anything it pleased to do.

A new Kansas has been developed during that period. The youth of 1875
has grown to the full stature and strength of confident and intelligent
manhood. The people have forgotten to talk of drouths, which are no more
incident to Kansas than to Ohio or Illinois. They no longer watch the
clouds when rain has not fallen for two weeks. The newspapers no longer
chronicle rains as if they were uncommon visitations. A great many
things, besides the saloons, have gone, and gone to stay. The
bone-hunter and the buffalo-hunter of the plains, the Indian and his
reservations, the jayhawker and the Wild Bills, the Texas steer and the
cowboy, the buffalo grass and the dug-outs, the loneliness and immensity
of the unpeopled prairies, the infinite stretching of the plains,
unbroken by tree or shrub, by fence or house—all these have vanished, or
are rapidly vanishing. In their stead has come, and come to stay, an
aggressive, energetic, cultured, sober, law-respecting civilization.
Labor-saving machines sweep majestically through fields of golden wheat
or sprouting corn; blooded stock lazily feed in meadows of blue-stem,
timothy, or clover; comfortable houses dot every hill-top and valley;
forests, orchards and hedge-rows diversify the loveliness of the
landscape; and where isolation and wildness brooded, the majestic lyric
of prosperous industry is echoing over eighty-one thousand square miles
of the loveliest and most fertile country that the sun, in his daily
journey, lights and warms. The voiceless Sphynx of thirty years ago has
become the whispering-gallery of the continent. The oppressed Territory
of 1855, the beggared State of 1874, has become a Prince, ruling the
markets of the world with opulent harvests.

                        THE FACTS OF THE CENSUS.

I am not, in thus exalting the growth and prosperity of Kansas, speaking
recklessly, as I shall show by statistics compiled from the census and
agricultural reports of the United States and our own State. Figures are
always dry, I know. But when they tell the pleasant story of the march
of civilization into and over a new land, surely they cannot fail to
interest men and women who have themselves marched with this conquering
army of industry and peace.


The growth of Kansas has had no parallel. The great States of New York
and Pennsylvania were nearly a hundred and fifty years in attaining a
population Kansas has reached in thirty years. Kentucky was eighty
years, Tennessee seventy-five, Alabama ninety, Ohio forty-five, and
Massachusetts, New Jersey, Georgia, and North and South Carolina each
over a hundred years, in reaching the present population of Kansas. Even
the marvelous growth of the great States of the West has been surpassed
by that of Kansas. Illinois was organized as a Territory in 1810, and
thirty years later had only 691,392 inhabitants, or not much more than
one-half the present population of this State. Indiana was organized in
1800, and sixty years later had a population of only 1,350,428. Iowa was
organized as a Territory in 1838, and had, at that date, a population of
nearly 40,000. In 1870 it had only 1,194,020 inhabitants. Missouri was
organized in 1812, with a population of over 40,000, and fifty years
later had only 1,182,012. Michigan and Wisconsin, after fifty years of
growth, did not have as many people as Kansas has to-day; and Texas,
admitted into the Union in 1845, with a population of 150,000, had,
thirty-five years later, only 815,579 inhabitants.

In 1861 Kansas ranked in population as the thirty-third State of the
Union; in 1870 it was the twenty-ninth; in 1880 the twentieth; and it is
now the fifteenth. During the past quarter of a century Kansas has
outstripped Oregon, Rhode Island, Delaware, Florida, Arkansas, Vermont,
New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, Maryland, Mississippi,
California, North and South Carolina, Alabama, Wisconsin, and New
Jersey—all States before the 29th of January, 1861. Of the Northern
States only eight, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana,
Massachusetts, Michigan, and Iowa, and of the Southern States only six,
Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Virginia, and Texas, now outrank
Kansas in population. At the close of the present decade Kansas will, I
am confident, rank as the eleventh State of the American Union, and will
round out the Nineteenth Century as the sixth or seventh.

In the following table the population of Kansas, as shown by the first
census of the Territory, taken in January, 1855, and the official
enumerations made every five years thereafter, is shown. The figures
also exhibit the proportion of white and colored, and of native and
foreign-born inhabitants; the increase of population every five years,
and the density of population per square mile of territory at the close
of each period. The State census taken in 1865, however, did not show
the proportion of native and foreign-born citizens:

 _Year._│ _Total  │  _In-  │_Density│ _White  │ _Col- │ _Native │_Foreign-
        │  popu-  │crease._│of popu-│  popu-  │ored._ │  popu-  │ born._
        │lation._ │        │lation._│lation._ │       │lation._ │
 1855   │    8,601│     ...│     ...│      ...│    ...│      ...│      ...
 1860   │  107,206│  98,605│     1.3│  106,390│    816│   94,512│   12,694
 1865   │  140,179│  32,973│     1.6│  127,270│ 12,909│      ...│      ...
 1870   │  364,399│ 224,220│     4.4│  346,377│ 18,022│  316,007│   48,392
 1875   │  528,349│ 163,950│     6.5│  493,005│ 35,344│  464,682│   63,667
 1880   │  996,096│ 467,747│    12.2│  952,105│ 43,941│  886,010│  110,086
 1885[1]│1,268,562│ 272,466│    15.4│1,220,355│ 48,207│1,135,887│  132,675

Footnote 1:

  Census of March, 1885.

                           TOWNS AND CITIES.

In 1860 there were only ten towns and cities in Kansas having a
population in excess of 500 each; only three having over 1,000 each; and
only one having over 5,000 inhabitants. In 1880, ninety-nine towns each
had a population in excess of 500; fifty-five towns and cities had each
over 1,000 inhabitants; six had each over 5,000; and three had over
15,000 each. In 1885, each of one hundred and fifty-four towns had over
500 population; ninety-one towns and cities had each over 1,000; twelve
had each over 5,000; six had each over 10,000; four had each over
15,000; and two had each more than 20,000.


The origin and character of the population in Kansas is, in this
connection, worthy of special note. Every State in the Union and every
Territory except Alaska, contributed to the population of this State.
The United States census of 1880 shows that 233,066 persons born in
Kansas were then living in the State. The singular fact that native-born
Kansans were then living in every State and Territory, is shown by the
same authority. Illinois contributed 106,992 to our population; Ohio,
93,396; Indiana, 77,096; Missouri, 60,228; Pennsylvania, 59,236; Iowa,
55,972; New York, 43,779; and Kentucky, 32,979. Three other States,
Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin, each contributed over 15,000; and
all others less than that number.

The same authority shows that the so-called "exodus" from the South has
been greatly exaggerated, Louisiana and Mississippi furnishing only
4,067 of our colored population, while nearly 19,000 came from the three
States of Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee.

The colored people constitute, at the present time, less than four per
cent. of our total population, and the inhabitants of foreign birth a
little more than ten per cent. of the total.


The growth of our State in population has not, however, equalled the
development of its material resources. The United States census of 1880
shows that while Kansas, at that date, ranked as the twentieth State in
population, it was the eighth State in the number and value of its live
stock, the seventeenth in farm products, the fourteenth in value of farm
products per capita, the twentieth in wealth, the thirteenth in
education, the seventeenth in the amount of its indebtedness, State and
municipal, and the twenty-fourth in manufactures. Only one State,
Nebraska, shows a smaller proportion of persons unable to read and
write. And in twenty-eight of the forty-seven States and Territories,
taxation, per capita, was greater than it is in Kansas.

In 1880 Kansas was the sixth corn-producing State of the Union. Only
Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, and Ohio then produced larger crops
of this cereal. But the corn product of Kansas, that year, was only
101,421,718 bushels, while for the year 1885 it was 194,130,814 bushels,
or nearly double the crop of 1880.

                         AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS.

In the following table the aggregate of the corn, wheat, oats, potato,
and hay products of Kansas, for the years 1860 and 1865, and for each
year thereafter, is given. The figures, prior to 1875, are compiled from
the reports of the United States Department of Agriculture; those
following, from the reports of the secretary of our own State Board of

    _Year._│  _Corn,   │ _Wheat,  │  _Oats,  │_Potatoes,│  _Hay,
           │ bushels._ │bushels._ │bushels._ │bushels._ │  tons._
     1860  │  6,130,727│   194,173│    88,325│   296,325│    56,232
     1865  │  6,729,236│   191,519│   155,290│   276,720│   118,348
     1866  │  6,527,358│   260,465│   200,000│   243,000│   123,082
     1867  │  8,459,000│ 1,250,000│   236,000│   314,000│   162,000
     1868  │  6,487,000│ 1,537,000│   247,000│   850,000│   118,000
     1869  │ 16,685,000│ 2,343,000│ 1,500,000│ 1,500,000│   250,000
     1870  │ 17,025,525│ 2,391,197│ 4,097,925│ 2,342,988│   490,289
     1871  │ 24,693,000│ 2,694,000│ 4,056,000│ 3,452,000│   687,000
     1872  │ 46,667,451│ 3,062,941│ 6,084,000│ 3,797,000│   728,000
     1873  │ 29,683,843│ 5,994,044│ 9,360,000│ 3,000,000│   977,000
     1874  │ 15,699,078│ 9,881,383│ 7,847,000│ 4,116,000│   530,000
     1875  │ 80,798,769│13,209,403│ 9,794,051│ 4,668,939│ 1,156,412
     1876  │ 82,308,176│14,629,225│12,386,216│ 5,611,895│   809,149
     1877  │103,497,831│14,316,705│12,768,488│ 3,320,507│ 1,228,020
     1878  │ 89,323,971│32,315,358│17,411,473│ 4,525,419│ 1,507,988
     1879  │108,704,927│20,550,936│13,326,637│ 3,521,526│ 1,551,321
     1880  │101,421,718│25,279,884│11,483,796│ 5,310,423│ 1,534,221
     1881  │ 80,760,542│20,479,679│ 9,900,768│ 2,055,202│ 2,122,263
     1882  │157,005,722│35,734,846│21,946,284│ 5,081,865│ 2,293,186
     1883  │182,084,526│30,024,936│30,987,864│ 6,812,420│ 6,002,041
     1884  │190,870,686│48,050,431│20,087,294│ 7,861,404│ 7,105,132
     1885  │194,130,814│10,859,401│30,148,060│ 7,398,465│ 7,685,340

In presenting these figures it is worthy of note that while, as already
stated, the U. S. census reports for 1880 show that Kansas ranked as the
twentieth State in population and the sixth in its corn product, it was
also the eleventh wheat-producing State of the Union, the eleventh in
its oats product, sixteenth in barley, tenth in rye, eighth in hay, and
seventeenth in potatoes. Thus the rank of Kansas, in agricultural
products, was far ahead of her rank in population.

                          THE AREA OF KANSAS.

The total area of Kansas is 52,288,000 acres. In 1865 only 243,712 acres
of this vast territory were under cultivation; in 1870 the area
aggregated 1,360,000 acres; in 1875, 4,749,900 acres; in 1880, 8,868,884
acres; and in 1885, 14,252,815 acres. In the following table I have
compiled figures showing the area under cultivation, and the value of
the crops produced in Kansas each year, from 1865 to 1885, inclusive:

                    _Year._│ _Acres in │ _Value of
                           │  crops._  │  crops._
                     1865  │    243,712│ $5,347,875
                     1866  │    273,903│  6,023,849
                     1867  │    397,622│  8,129,590
                     1868  │    562,120│ 10,467,163
                     1869  │    855,801│ 15,807,550
                     1870  │  1,360,000│ 18,870,260
                     1871  │  1,322,734│ 17,335,120
                     1872  │  1,735,595│ 15,498,770
                     1873  │  2,530,769│ 28,311,200
                     1874  │  3,179,616│ 30,842,630
                     1875  │  4,749,900│ 43,970,494
                     1876  │  5,035,697│ 45,581,926
                     1877  │  5,595,304│ 45,597,051
                     1878  │  6,538,727│ 49,914,434
                     1879  │  7,769,926│ 60,129,780
                     1880  │  8,868,884│ 63,111,634
                     1881  │  9,802,719│ 91,910,439
                     1882  │ 11,043,379│108,177,520
                     1883  │ 11,364,040│106,707,529
                     1884  │ 13,011,333│104,297,010
                     1885  │ 14,252,815│ 92,392,818

                          VALUE OF FARM CROPS.

The value of the farm crops of Kansas, for the five years ending with
1870, aggregated $59,298,414; for the next succeeding five years their
value was $135,958,214; for the next five years, $264,334,824; and for
the five years ending with 1885 the farm crops of Kansas aggregated in
value $503,485,316. Thus during the past twenty years the farmers of
Kansas have produced crops whose aggregate value reached the enormous
sum of $963,076,768.

                        FARMS AND FARM PRODUCTS.

The increase in the value of farms, of farm implements, and of farm
products, (including farm crops, products of live stock, and market
garden, apiarian and horticultural products,) is shown in the following
table. It will be seen that these values have generally doubled every
five years:

              _Year._│ _Value of │ _Value of  │
                     │  farms._  │    farm    │
                     │           │implements._│
                       _Value of farm products._
               1860  │$12,258,239│    $727,694│ $4,878,350
               1865  │ 24,796,535│   1,200,720│ 10,653,235
               1870  │ 90,327,040│   4,053,312│ 27,630,651
               1875  │123,852,466│   7,935,645│ 43,970,414
               1880  │235,178,936│  15,652,848│ 84,521,486
               1885  │408,073,454│   9,604,117│143,577,018

The value of the farm products of Kansas, from 1876 to 1880, inclusive,
aggregated $356,557,802, while their value from 1881 to 1885, inclusive,
aggregated the enormous sum of $738,676,912.

                             TAXABLE ACRES.

The steady development of the State is further illustrated by the
figures showing the increase of taxable acres. In 1860 only 1,778,400
acres were subject to taxation; in 1865 this area had been enlarged to
3,500,000 acres; in 1870 to 8,480,839 acres; in 1875 to 17,672,187
acres; in 1880 to 22,386,435 acres; and in 1885 to 27,710,981 acres.

                              LIVE STOCK.

In the number and value of its live stock, Kansas ranked, in 1880, as
the eighth State of the Union. In 1860 the live stock of Kansas
aggregated in value only a little over three million dollars; in 1865 it
aggregated over seven millions; in 1870, over twenty-three millions; in
1875, nearly twenty-nine millions; in 1880, over sixty-one millions; and
in 1885, nearly one hundred and eighteen million dollars. The following
table gives the number of horses, mules, cows, cattle, sheep, and swine,
and their aggregate value, for the years 1861 and 1865, and every year
thereafter to and including 1885:

 _Year._│_Horses._ │ _Mules._ │ _Cows._  │_Cattle._
        │          │          │          │
        │          │          │          │
  1861  │    20,344│     1,496│    28,550│    74,905
  1865  │    32,469│     2,490│    71,996│   130,307
  1866  │    38,968│     2,863│    82,075│   139,428
  1867  │    39,968│     2,936│    85,120│   140,560
  1868  │    42,859│     2,405│    89,461│   146,399
  1869  │    50,573│     2,597│   109,142│   165,430
  1870  │   117,786│    11,786│   123,440│   250,527
  1871  │   156,000│    14,900│   162,000│   345,000
  1872  │   180,900│    16,300│   191,100│   397,400
  1873  │   198,900│    17,400│   214,000│   457,000
  1874  │   220,700│    19,100│   231,000│   507,200
  1875  │   207,376│    24,964│   225,028│   478,295
  1876  │   214,811│    26,421│   227,274│   473,350
  1877  │   241,208│    32,628│   261,642│   519,346
  1878  │   274,450│    40,564│   286,241│   586,002
  1879  │   324,766│    51,981│   322,020│   654,443
  1880  │   367,589│    58,303│   366,640│   748,672
  1881  │   383,805│    58,780│   406,706│   839,751
  1882  │   398,678│    56,654│   433,381│   971,116
  1883  │   423,426│    59,262│   471,548│ 1,133,154
  1884  │   461,136│    64,889│   530,904│ 1,328,021
  1885  │   513,507│    75,165│   575,887│ 1,397,131

 _Year._│ _Sheep._ │ _Swine._ │ _Value of
        │          │          │   live
        │          │          │  stock._
  1861  │    17,569│   138,224│ $3,332,450
  1865  │    82,662│    95,429│  7,324,659
  1866  │   108,287│   127,875│  9,127,306
  1867  │   106,287│   132,750│ 10,081,590
  1868  │   101,789│   140,662│  9,962,311
  1869  │   107,896│   137,848│ 12,902,830
  1870  │   109,088│   206,587│ 23,173,185
  1871  │   115,000│   304,800│ 31,823,484
  1872  │   116,100│   381,000│ 28,488,704
  1873  │   123,000│   457,200│ 30,013,898
  1874  │   141,000│   484,600│ 31,163,058
  1875  │   106,224│   292,658│ 28,610,257
  1876  │   143,962│   330,355│ 32,489,293
  1877  │   205,770│   704,862│ 33,015,647
  1878  │   243,760│ 1,195,014│ 36,913,534
  1879  │   311,862│ 1,264,494│ 54,775,497
  1880  │   426,492│ 1,281,630│ 61,563,956
  1881  │   806,323│ 1,173,199│ 69,814,340
  1882  │   978,077│ 1,228,683│ 83,869,199
  1883  │ 1,154,196│ 1,393,968│104,539,888
  1884  │ 1,206,297│ 1,953,144│115,645,050
  1885  │   875,193│ 2,461,520│117,881,699


Kansas is an agricultural State. It has no gold or silver, no iron, and
just coal enough to furnish fuel. It is the farmers' and stockmen's
State. Its development simply shows what good old Mother Earth, when in
her happiest vein, can do. "Agriculture," says Colton, "is the most
certain source of strength, wealth, and independence; commerce, in all
emergencies, looks to agriculture both for defense and for supply." The
growth and prosperity of Kansas afford a striking illustration of what
intelligent farmers, with a productive soil and a genial climate for
their workshop, can accomplish—what wealth they can create, what
enterprise they can stimulate.

It is difficult, however, to comprehend what the figures I have given,
showing the amounts and values of Kansas products, really represent.
When we read that Kansas produced, last year, 194,130,000 bushels of
corn, the nine figures set down do not convey any adequate idea of the
bulk and weight of this crop. But when it is stated that the corn crop
of Kansas for 1885 would fill 485,000 freight cars, and load a train
2,847 miles long—reaching from Ogden, Utah, to Boston—we begin to
comprehend what the figures stand for.

The wheat crop of the State, last year, was called a failure. It was,
for Kansas. And yet it would fill 31,939 grain cars, and load a train
189 miles in length. The oats crop of the State, for the same year,
would fill 44,335 cars, and load a train 260 miles long; while the hay
crop would load 768,534 cars, making a train 4,510 miles long.

These four crops of Kansas, for 1885, would fill 1,329,808 grain cars,
and load a train 7,804 miles in length. In other words, the corn, wheat,
oats, and hay produced in Kansas last year would load a train reaching
from Boston to San Francisco by the Union Pacific route, and back again
from San Francisco to Boston by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fé route.

                          COMPARATIVE VALUES.

In speaking of the value of the farm crops and farm products of Kansas,
I can present a dearer idea of the wealth our farmers have digged out of
the earth by some comparisons. In 1881 the products of all the gold and
silver mines of the United States aggregated only $77,700,000; for 1882
they aggregated $79,300,000; for 1883, $76,200,000; and for 1884,
$79,600,000—making a total, for those four years, of $312,800,000. The
value of the field crops of Kansas, for the same years, aggregated
$411,092,498; and the farm products of the State for the same period,
aggregated in value $595,099,894—or very nearly double the aggregate of
all the gold and silver products of all the mines of the country.

The gold and silver products of the world average about $208,000,000 per
annum. The farm products of Kansas for 1885 aggregated $143,577,018, or
nearly three-fourths the value of the gold and silver product of the

For the past four years the farm products of Kansas have aggregated in
value each year more than double the annual yield of all the gold and
silver mines of the United States.

The gold and silver products of Colorado, for 1883, aggregated only
$20,250,000; those of California, $16,600,000; of Nevada, $9,100,000; of
Montana, $9,170,000; of Utah, $6,920,000; of Arizona, $5,430,000; and of
New Mexico, $3,300,000. The corn crop of Kansas for the same year was
alone worth more money than the combined gold and silver products of
Colorado, California and Nevada; the oat crop of Kansas was worth
$705,000 more than the gold and silver product of Arizona; and the Irish
potato crop of Kansas was worth more than the gold and silver product of
New Mexico.

                          PROPERTY VALUATIONS.

The property valuations of Kansas have increased in steady proportion
with the growth of the State in population and productions. In 1860 the
true valuation of all the property of the State was estimated at
$31,327,891; in 1865 it was estimated at $72,252,180; in 1870 it had
increased to $188,892,014; in 1875 to $242,555,862; in 1880 to
$321,783,387; and for 1885 the true valuation, at a very moderate
estimate, was $550,000,000.

The following table presents the assessed valuation of all the property
of the State for the years mentioned, and also the assessed valuation of
all the real, personal, and railroad property. It will be seen that the
increase in the total assessed values from 1865 to 1875 was $85,434,344,
while from 1875 to 1885 it was $127,300,928.

       _Year._│ _Total._  │   _Real   │ _Personal._ │_Railroad._
              │           │ estate._  │             │
        1860  │$22,518,232│$16,088,602│   $6,429,630│        ...
        1865  │ 36,126,090│ 28,133,276│ [2]7,992,814│        ...
        1870  │ 92,100,820│ 65,499,365│[2]26,601,455│        ...
        1875  │121,476,352│ 89,775,784│   19,422,637│$12,277,931
        1880  │160,891,689│108,432,049│   31,911,838│ 20,547,802
        1885  │248,845,276│161,791,641│   56,685,818│ 30,367,817

Footnote 2:

  In 1865 and 1870, the railroad property was assessed as personal, and
  is included under that head.

                          KANSAS MANUFACTURES.

Kansas is not a manufacturing State. Its prosperity is based upon the
plow. It has, however, coal deposits equal to the needs of its
population, valuable lead mines in the southeast, and salt and gypsum in
abundance. But the manufacturing establishments of the State are
steadily increasing in importance as well as in number. In its flouring
and grist mills Kansas ranked, in 1880, as the thirteenth State of the
Union; in meat packing, as the twelfth; and in cheese products, as the

In the following table the number of manufacturing establishments,
including mines and railroad shops, their capital, products, etc., is
given for the years named:

 _Year._│_Establishments._│_Capital._│_Employés._│ _Wages._ │_Value of
        │                 │          │           │          │products._
 1860   │              344│$1,084,935│      1,735│  $880,346│$4,357,408
 1870   │            1,470│ 4,319,060│      6,844│ 2,377,511│11,775,833
 1880   │            2,803│11,191,315│     10,062│ 3,995,010│30,843,777
 1885[3]│            3,900│19,000,000│     16,000│ 6,300,000│48,000,000

Footnote 3:

  Partly estimated.

                       TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES.

The transportation facilities of Kansas are unsurpassed. Only seven
States of the Union, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana,
Iowa and Missouri, have within their borders more miles of completed
railway than has Kansas. For fully two hundred miles west of our eastern
border, every county except one is traversed by from one to six lines of
railway. There are eighty-six organized and eleven unorganized counties
in the State, and of these all except fourteen organized and seven
unorganized counties have railways within their limits. In 1864 Kansas
had not a mile of completed railroad. In 1870 we had 1,283 miles; in
1875 over 1,887 miles; in 1880 an aggregate of 3,104 miles, and there
are now 4,750 miles of completed railway in Kansas.

                         THE SCHOOLS OF KANSAS.

Education has gone hand in hand with the material growth of Kansas. It
has been the boast of our people, for twenty years past, that the best
building in every city, town or hamlet in the State was the school
house. The census of 1880 revealed the fact that only 25,503 inhabitants
of Kansas, over ten years of age, were unable to read. The growth of our
school system is shown by the following figures:

 _Year._│_Scholars │ _School  │  _School  │_Teach-│ _Amount  │_Value of
        │enrolled._│ houses._ │districts._│ ers._ │ paid to  │  school
        │          │          │           │       │teachers._│ houses._
 1860   │     5,915│       154│        ...│    189│       ...│       ...
 1865   │    26,341│       640│        721│    899│   $86,898│  $122,822
 1870   │    63,218│     1,501│      1,950│  2,210│   318,596│ 1,520,041
 1875   │   141,606│     3,715│      4,560│  5,383│   689,906│ 3,742,507
 1880   │   231,434│     5,315│      6,134│  7,780│ 1,088,504│ 4,049,212
 1885   │   335,538│     6,673│      7,142│  8,219│ 1,989,169│ 6,704,176

In 1861 the amount expended for the support of common schools was only
$1,700, while the expenditures for the same purpose, during the year
1885, aggregated $2,977,763. For the five years ending with 1865, the
expenditures for public schools aggregated $262,657.21; for the next
succeeding five years they aggregated $2,259,497.89; for the next five,
$7,552,191.43; for the next five, $7,509,375.23; and for the five years
ending with 1885 the expenditures for public schools aggregated
$12,630,480.64. Thus Kansas has expended for the support of her common
schools, during the past quarter of a century, the enormous sum of

The table following shows the expenditures each year, from 1861 to 1885,
inclusive, and illustrates not only the growth of Kansas, but the
general and generous interest of its citizens in public education:

                         1861  │      $1,700 00
                         1862  │      11,894 45
                         1863  │      26,867 03
                         1864  │      81,221 30
                         1865  │     137,974 45
                         1866  │     225,426 27
                         1867  │     364,402 50
                         1868  │     431,316 54
                         1869  │     565,311 17
                         1870  │     673,041 41
                         1871  │   1,074,946 09
                         1872  │   1,701,950 44
                         1873  │   1,657,318 27
                         1874  │   1,638,977 99
                         1875  │   1,478,998 64
                         1876  │   1,165,638 80
                         1877  │   1,394,188 11
                         1878  │   1,541,417 12
                         1879  │   1,589,794 30
                         1880  │   1,818,336 90
                         1881  │   1,996,335 64
                         1882  │   2,194,174 65
                         1883  │   2,579,243 62
                         1884  │   2,882,963 53
                         1885  │   2,977,763 23
                         Total │ $30,214,202 40

                        CHURCHES AND NEWSPAPERS.

Churches have multiplied and newspapers increased as have the schools.
In 1860 there were only 97 church buildings in Kansas, and they had cost
only $143,950. In 1870 the number of churches had increased to 301,
valued at $1,722,700; and in 1880 they numbered 2,514, costing an
aggregate of $2,491,560.

There were only 27 newspapers published in Kansas in 1860, and of these
only three were dailies. In 1870 the number had increased to 97, of
which 12 were dailies. In 1880 there were 347 newspapers, including 20
dailies. During the year just closed 581 journals, of which 32 were
dailies, were published in Kansas. The aggregate circulation of our
newspapers, in 1860, was 21,920, while for 1885 their circulation
aggregated 395,400. Every organized county has one or more newspapers,
and, as a rule, our journals are creditable to their publishers and to
the State.

                          WHAT OF THE FUTURE?

And now, having sketched the growth of Kansas during the past quarter of
a century, it is proper to ask, what of the future? I answer, with
confidence, that Kansas is yet in the dawn of her development, and that
the growth, prosperity and triumphs of the next decade will surpass any
we have yet known. Less than one-fifth of the area of the State has been
broken by the plow—ten million of fifty-two million acres. Multiply the
present development by five, and you can perhaps form some idea of the
Kansas of the year 1900. The light of the morning is still shining upon
our prairie slopes. The year just closed witnessed the first actual,
permanent settlements in the counties along our Western frontier—not
settlement by wandering stockmen or occasional frontiersmen, but by
practical, home-building farmers and business men. The line of organized
counties now extends four hundred miles, from the Missouri river to the
Colorado line. The scientists, I know, are still discussing climatic
changes, and questioning whether the western third of Kansas is fit for
general farming. But the homesteader in Cheyenne or Hamilton counties
entertains no doubt about this question. He has no weather-gauge or
barometer, but he sees the buffalo grass vanishing and the blue-joint
sending its long roots deep into the soil; he sees the trees growing on
the high divides; he watches the corn he has planted springing up, and
waving its green guidons of prosperity in the wind; he sees the clouds
gathering and drifting, and he hears the rain pattering on his roof—and
he knows all he cares to know about climatic changes. He is going to

                         A PROPHECY FULFILLED.

On the 7th of May, 1856, a great American, learned, sagacious, and
confident in his faith that right and justice would at last prevail,
said, in a speech delivered in the City of New York:

  "In the year of our Lord 1900, there will be two million people in
  Kansas, with cities like Providence and Worcester—perhaps like
  Chicago and Cincinnati. She will have more miles of railroad than
  Maryland, Virginia, and both the Carolinas can now boast. Her land
  will be worth twenty dollars an acre, and her total wealth will be
  five hundred millions of money. Six hundred thousand children will
  learn in her schools. What schools, newspapers, libraries,
  meeting-houses! Yes, what families of educated, happy and religious
  men and women! There will be a song of Freedom all around the Slave
  States, and in them Slavery itself will die."

Read in the light of the present, these eloquent words of Theodore
Parker seem touched with prophetic fire. The ideal Kansas he saw,
looking through the mists of the future, is the real Kansas of to-day.
The marvelous growth, the splendid prosperity, the potent intellectual
and moral energies, and the happy and contented life he predicted, are
all around us. At the threshold of the year A. D. 1886, fifteen years
before the limit of his prophecy, Kansas has cities like Providence and
Worcester; has more than double the railway mileage Maryland, Virginia,
and both the Carolinas could then boast; has land worth, not twenty, but
fifty and a hundred dollars an acre; has wealth far exceeding five
hundred million dollars; has schools, newspapers, libraries and churches
rivaling those of New England; and has 1,300,000 happy, prosperous and
intelligent people.

The prophecy has been fulfilled, but the end is not yet. The foundations
of the State, like those of its Capitol, have just been completed. The
stately building, crowned with its splendid dome, is yet to be reared.
Smiling and opulent fields, busy and prosperous cities and towns, are
still attracting the intelligent, the enterprising and the ambitious of
every State and country. The limits that bound the progress and
development of Kansas cannot now be gauged or guessed. We have land,
homes, work and plenty for millions more; and for another quarter of a
century, at least, our State will continue to grow. For we are yet at
the threshold and in the dawn of it all. We are just beginning to
realize what a great people can accomplish, whom "love of country
moveth, example teacheth, company comforteth, emulation quickeneth, and
glory exalteth."

                          TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES

 1. Silently corrected simple spelling, grammar, and typographical
 2. Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.
 3. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Address delivered at the quarter-centennial celebration of the admission of Kansas as a state" ***

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