NEGenWeb Project
Boone County, Nebraska

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HISTORICAL SKETCHES

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CEDAR RAPIDS, NEBRASKA.

1902.

 


MAYFIELD JOB PRINTER


INTRODUCTION.

We present this little book to the public in plain, truthful statements showing the advantages and developments of Cedar Rapids and Boone county. We have tried not to exaggerate, and our aim has been to give a clean and concise resume of our county, city and inhabitants, in the hope of directing the steps of those desiring to locate a home or business in Boone county.

G. A. MAYFIELD.


About Cedar Rapids


A Descriptive Pen Picture of Nebraska, Boone County and Cedar Rapids.

Their History, Resources, Advantages, Industries and Future.


IN the early part of the nineteenth century the first expedition was made up the Platte river by a party under the leadership of two men named Clark and Lewis, respectively. They were sent out by the United States government to explore the then unknown West. The party consisted of nearly three hundred men, all armed and provided, having come by steamer as far as the month of the Platte, they found the stream unnavigable; the boats were abandoned and the trip undertaken on foot. The expedition as recorded in the annals of history, was one fraught with hardships and loss of life. As the river wound its way out across the desolate waste of barren country the early explorers followed on from day to day toward the setting sun until they reached the snowy range and returned--but few in number--over the Southern slope. Little did these men dream that they were opening a way and revealing as it were, a country so soon to be settled with the brightest, best, happiest and most contented class of people on the face of the globe. Little did they know that the country through which they traveled would soon be dotted here and there with cities, towns and farms to take the place of the tented villages of the roving hands of hostile Indians and the herds of wild buffalo would soon give way to the millions of domestic animals.

The country through which these adventuresome men passed was

NEBRASKA

Nebraska contains an area of 76,647 square miles, is 208 1/2 miles wide arid 413 miles long, largely plateau, varying in altitude from 880 feet to

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CEDAR RAPIDS, NEBRASKA.

6,000 feet, 25 per cent of the state being well watered valleys. The average rain fall is forty inches in the west. The lowest mercury ever known is 32 degrees, but the cold is little felt owing to the dryness of the climate which, with other known conditions, make the state an exceptionally healthy one, (specially so far as lung diseases are concerned.) The territory was organized in 1854, extending from British Columbia to the Rocky Mountains, but by various acts was cut down until it was admitted as a state over the president's veto on March 1, 1867, with its present boundaries. But we are not writing Nebraska (sic), only Boone county, and in her agricultural wealth she owes largely to her

SURFACE AND STREAMS.

The surface of the county is generally rolling and free from ponds and marshes. The Cedar river and its tributary streams drain the county, and the valleys through which these flow are of unsurpassed fertility and rise by gentle slopes from the streams to the upland prairies, which stretch away in undulating swells, rising and falling, one beyond another, until lost in the lights and shades of the distant horizon

There is still some timber along the rivers and small creeks, chiefly

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CEDAR RAPIDS, NEBRASKA.

the oak, maple, elm, cottonwood and Willow varieties; while all over the country can be seen innumerable large and creditable groves of shade and ornamental trees which were planted by the farmers and early settlers in years gone by.

THE SOIL

Is one peculiar to the belt through which runs the Cedar river. It differs from the soil in other parts of the state. It is known as the bluff deposit and is composed of light mulatto colored fine material, containing more or less calcareous matter and a small percentage of clay, which has proved to be a very productive soil, it possesses the singular properties of obviating the disastrous results both of drouth and long continued rain. The climate is all that could be desired. There are no swampy lands to cause malaria but a bracing, clear, dry atmosphere.

The early settlement of the county was an era of speculation, but that time is past, and today the adventuresome homesteader who came to this county in the early day is counted among the desirable land owners of Boone county, and deservedly so as the frontiersman's duties are anything but easy, and today the land purchased by the old settlers in the early days is worth from eight to

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CEDAR RAPIDS, NEBRASKA.

ten times as much as it was at the time of its purchase.

Everything the farmer plants and properly cultivates--makes no difference whether it is a hill of beans or a thousand acres of corn it is going to yield a good harvest; or anything one attempts to raise in the way of live stock--don't care whether it is a brood of chicks or a herd of Shorthorn cattle, he is going to receive good returns if they are given half a chance. Yes, this is the place for the farmer, the stockman and the fruitman. Nature has intended it to be. In fact, the oldest settlers have never seen a total failure of crops in Boone county.

The county is so well supplied with living streams of water, and they are so well distributed that the people of the county could not possibly make an improvement upon the arrangement if they were allowed the privilege and endowed with the power to make a re-adjustment of the system of streams and water courses.

The principal streams are the Cedar river, which flows through twenty miles of the county, the Beaver creek winds through forty miles of land and the Plum, Horse, Shell and a half dozen other smaller

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CEDAR RAPIDS, NEBRASKA.

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creeks, with numerous branches, all have rich valleys.

Fully forty per cent of the land in Boone county is valleys and bottoms the fertility of which cannot be excelled. The uplands lie in long, sweeping divides between the valleys, and are very fertile, being for wheat culture, preferred by many to the valley lands.

This is a great stock feeding county and thousands of head of feeders are sent to the eastern markets each year.

With all those advantages in the line of natural wealth, we find one city deserving of special mention in this edition, and the reader is already anxious to read of

CEDAR RAPIDS,

which is a substantial and progressive village, located in one of the best portions of Boone county.

There are no pyramids, except the eternal hills, in Cedar Rapids, neither are there any ancient buildings nor ruins of castles old to carry the memory back to the romance of early centuries. It is a city of the present, filled with all those forces of push energy and vitality so characteristic of this hustling eventide of the twentieth century.

Neither is it a city sprung up in a night, but one which has reached its proud eminence through the efforts of an industrious people, who have been aided in their work by a boun-

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