A Rural Survey of Morgan County, Missouri (1916) <Previous 
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[p.25, continued]

Farms and Farm Equipment.

At the time this survey was made Morgan county was credited with 107 automobiles, but this number has since been increased. The survey also shows 152 silos on Morgan county farms, and of these 105 have been built during the last two years. This fact, together with the statement that Morgan [p.26] county farmers own 203 manure spreaders, is pretty thorough proof of the kind of farming that is being carried on. The fertility of the soil is being saved and the land built up to even a higher state of productivity. Of the number of farm operators owning their own farms the report shows 1,553, and of these farms many have been under the same ownership for twenty years or more. In fact, it is not unusual to find a third generation represented on the same farm. The average term of ownership for all farms is twelve years. There has been some immigration into the county from northern and eastern states. These new settlers have come, in the main, to the prairie parts of the county. There are 704 farms in the county located on the prairie and 350 timbered farms. The others represent a combination of prairie and woodland.

The rural population is generally of a permanent character, even where farms are rented. The leases are frequently continued from year to year for a term of years. The average rented farm has had the same tenant for three and one-half years.
Silo, barn and farm-built tractor.
Silo, barn and farm-built 
tractor.
All this has its influence in promoting better farming. Most of the farms of Morgan county, excepting in the rougher districts or where open ranges prevail, are well fenced. Of farms reported, 953 are fenced mainly with wire, 296 with rails and 33 with hedge. Plank fences are more largely used on twenty farms. Three report a combination wire and hedge fence, and eleven, combination plank and hedge, with eleven reporting primitive brush fences common to the newer, timbered country. Where farms are fenced with plank, they are usually near a sawmill.

The equipment of the average Morgan county farm is perhaps just about in keeping with that for the entire state. The survey shows 645 binders, 995 mowers, 2,052 farm wagons, together with the usual [p.27] equipment of other tools and machinery. Many of the wheat drills are provided with fertilizer and grass-seeding attachment. The gasoline engine is coming into more common use, being a part of the farm equipment of a fair per cent of the farms. The gasoline tractor as in use on fewer than a dozen farms. As showing the interest in dairying, nine farms report cream separators in use.


The "razorback" has been replaced by such hogs as these.
The "razorback" has been replaced by 
such hogs as these.
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Missouri State Board of Agriculture Monthly Bulletin Vol. XIV, No. 2 (February, 1916): A Rural Survey of Morgan County Missouri. Digital version 2001 Peter Binkley; permission to reproduce for non-commercial purposes is granted.