A Rural Survey of Morgan County, Missouri (1916) <Previous 
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[p.20]

The Farm Boys and Girls.

As no country produces a better crop than its children, it is a pleasure here to speak of the boys and girls of Morgan county, a majority of whom have had a part in the preparation of this bulletin. Fortunately for these boys and girls, they are being reared amid natural rather than artificial surroundings, and most of them are apparently being educated for the farm rather than from it. If we may judge from the papers, essays and reports submitted by the school children, there is being cultivated a love for the farm and the farm home. This is as it should be. Apparently the parents appreciate the fact that the best way to keep the boy and girl on the farm is to give them an interest in the farm. In forty-one of the school districts a good per cent of the children have started bank accounts of their own. Of those so starting bank accounts forty-three per cent personally earned the money rather than having had it given to them. The amounts earned by the school children, as reported by the survey, are rather indefinite and vary considerably. In one district thirteen pupils report having earned a total of $569 during the year. In another district the pupils earned $368.50.

Poultry is one of the principal sources of income of the children. The trapping of wild animals for their furs also nets many dollars to the farm boys, 299 of whom report that they have earned some money from the sale of furs during the year. In sixty-two districts some of the children have chickens of their own. Another but less important income in which some of the older farm boys who are yet in school share is that from bee trees. There are still many bee trees found in the wooded portions of the county. It would seem also from the survey that the farm boys and girls of Morgan county own more live stock than is owned by those in many other counties. In the reports made to the teachers it is shown that the boys and girls who are still in school own 368 pigs, 63 ponies, 97 sheep, 119 horses, 157 cows, 91 lambs, 38 calves, 10 mules, 342 hogs, 21 goats and 21 donkeys or burros. These figures and classifications are just as the school children reported them.

As the best farmer is the one who now and then goes away from home, gets new ideas and returns to put them into practice, so is the child benefited by an occasional visit. In the full development of the normal child there is need of play, recreation and pleasure. Children need to come together and develop the play instinct. Then youth wants to see. The [p.21] Land of Over There, even though it may be no greater distance than the adjoining township or near-by town, is a land of interest. In this connection it may be said that, according to their own reports, practically every child in Morgan county has been at a picnic, and more than eighty per cent have attended a fair, many going to the State Fair at Sedalia.

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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.