Nov 18 2014

GREELY NO. 2 — Observations Among the Karnes County Grangers—Model Farms and-Prosperous Farmers

HELENA, May 15, 1882, San Antonio Express — On leaving Fairview Sunday evening, I ran down to Graytown, called on my old friend Newton Young. I found him in his garden, hard at work. Right here let me say, give Mr. N. Young two years more experience, and old Bexar will have no better farmer. This is another of Mr. Greeley’s predictions: note result. Young was stacking his oats, which was fine straw, rank, coarse and fine body, but he says they are not as heavy as they should be, because they were not sown quite early enough.

Oats should be sown in October or by the first of November.  His oats should thrash out some fifty or sixty bushels to the acre, his onions were from sets, planted in January, they should have been planted the 1 of October.  Newton showed me his watermelon vines; look promising.  Said he had killed out two rows, following my advice to kill off the insects, used carbolic acid, little too strong.  Instructions were ninety parts of water to ten parts of carbolic acid.

Mr. Young has plowed his corn over four times; he will plow again to kill out the cockle burrs, as his field was grown up in cockle burrs. I told him not to bed his corn but cultivate until level. Old Graytown will bloom again. It is entirely settled by Mexicans, perhaps 100 Mexicans. Young enjoys their confidence, he can control all the labor he wishes, and at reasonable rates. His example and advice is worth much to these Mexicans. I told young he had done wrong in sowing down his peach orchard in oats; potatoes is better. As much as I love to look at the growing crops of the farm, I never forget to notice the ladies. I must say for Mrs. Young that her milk, honey, buiscuit, coffee and yellow legged chickens, left a favorable impression with me as a housekeeper.

Monday morning I drove down the San Antonio river to Floresville. The prospect for a corn crop was as fine as I ever noticed in Texas. It is fifteen miles from Graytown to Floresville.

I called on Mr. Stout, who runs a mill and gin in Lodi (steam.) I was pleased with him, an acquisition to the country.

At Floresville, I called on Mr. Pickett and the Polly family. We talked Johnson grass and grapes. Old Col. A.G. Pickett asked me if I ever saw grapes growing beyond the fifth leaf on the stem from the mail vine. I told him I had not noticed. I commenced counting and added another wrinkle we live to learn until our long slumber blots out all.

Wilson County is a fine county, fine mail facilities, and not properly appreciated. Tuesday morning I started for Mr. C.A. Whetstone’s farm. I believe next season will find more small grain sown than ever before. Here I saw a fine patch of Nicaragua wheat, from four to five feet high and large bearded heads from five to seven inches in length, wet tilled, without rust and will thrash out thirty bushels to the acre. I told Whetstone to sell this only for seed to his neighbors; he said he would sell for a dollar per bushel, and sell a 1000 bushels of oats, rust proof for thirty-five cents per bushel. I told him he could get from forty to fifty cents, he said he could make money by selling oats at thirty-three cents per bushel. Mr. Whetstone has some forty-five acres in oats looking well. His orchard had like all the balance I have seen,  no fruit. Mr. C.A. Whetstone is considered the best farmer in Karnes county, and his section of the country (near Panna Maria.)I have named the Egypt of the west. Mrs. Schultz tells me her people sold more than 10,000 bushels of corn that was raised last year.

The stock interest brings the money and my people feed them. I tell you this Texas is a great country, and I have never seen her more prosperous. Whetstone killed twenty-five head of fine Poland China hogs. (they are fat large) and saved all with the bones in it. Whetstone planted a little late this year; he said if he planted earlier would have done better His Tennessee corn is small. Tobin, hotel man, says he had roasting ears for dinner yesterday, from native corn planted in February; corn at $1 per bushel, will be seventy-five or fifty cents.