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Devoted to the Interests of the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union and Other Kindred Organizations.
VOL. III. NO. 28. TOPEKA, KANSAS, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 1892. TDK OWNERSHIP OF AMERICAN HOME8. Ia the Cleveland Press Henry George, jr., has an interesting and valuable arti cle, based upon the census statistics, re garding the ownership of homes and farms in the United States. He says: "With a view of getting some light upon this most important matter, the Single Tax Club, of 8t Louis, two years ago drew up a petition to the superin tendent of the eleventh census to collect data to show what percentage of the peo ple own their own homes and farm, what proportion are tenants; of those who occupy their own homes and farms, what proportion have their property free from debt; and, of the homes and farms which are under mortgage, what per centage of the value Is so mortgaged? "This petition was adopted not only by all the single tax clubs throughout the United States, but by all the Knights of Labor Assemblies, all the Farmers' AW ance Associations, and other farmer and industrial organizations. Bo strong was the demand, Indeed, that Congress passed a special act extending the investigations of the census bureau to this work and made an appropriation of half a million dollars. The census bureau accordingly set about its task, which was found at the outset to be a gigantic one. No such work had ever been undertaken before In this country, and it was a problem to know how to proceed. At length a very slmde Dlan was decided upon that of sendlne out . printed lists of questions Into selected districts that seemed to be representative of larger regions. The Idea was to make a thorough canvass oy sending to every occupier of a home or farm within the selected district the list of questions, asking, among other things whether he owned or hired the home or farm, whichever it might be, upon which he resided: and if he owned it, whether it was mortgaged, and if mortgaged, to what extent ."This information has for some time been coming In but It Is only now begin nlng to be tabulated. In a few weeks a bulletin will be Issued showing tabulated returns from two districts, representative of a laree part of the western country By the kindness of the superintendent, Mr. PorteT, and of the expert in charge of this division of the census work, Mr Holmes, I am able to give some Idea of the remarkable conditions sliown by the returns In these two districts. "One district consists of a group of ten nelghb rlog counties in Kansas, a little west of Topeka Kansas was selected because It seemed to be attracting more attention than anv of the other states In that part of the country. The other dla trlct embraces ten counties in the south western part of Ohio, and includes the ilty of Cincinnati. This district, cover Ing the manufacturing Miami Valley, was thought to show the average condi tion prevailing in the state. "It was ascertained that there were in the ten Kansas counties 18.878 farm. Reports were returned from all but 1,805 thse. or about 7 per cent, which ie about the percentage of farms in Ohio not heard from and of the homes in nota states nut reported. The number Is so Inconsiderable that the result could not possibly be affected more than 1 per cent, for better or for worse, so that the following averages maybe taken as ap proximately correct Mr. Holmea formulates results in tne following clear manner: ITnaParoanti;aAf hlrsd farm! Ill lSX)... . S3 1830...- 13 Ohio-Percentage of huvd farms In isao 37 IOOU ID Kanis,-Perpentage of owned farms subject to Incumbrance 64 nMn Parountaora nt nwnfld fa mi iUDieCt 10 ....-r.- ... . incumoerance "That is to say, extending the same percentage over the whole of Kansas as are found in tne ten counues mvesu eated. It would be found that out of every nine farms two were owned free of debt, three were worked by tenants, and four were worked by owners subject to an in cumbrance of 38 per cent of their value. "In Ohio, on the basis of these returns, out of every eight farms four are owned free of debt, three are worked by tenants, and one is occupied by owner subject to an incumbrance of 87 per cent of its value. MAs to homes, the returns show as fol lows: Kama Percentage of hired homes. ....... 43 r4,. p.M.nfii rvf hlra1 hnrrtM. Inelnalni Cincinnati yjvx" W Ohio-Percentage of hired homes, outside Cln- ciunan v ; Kansas Percentage of owned homes subject . Innnmhrtnna 41 rMn Vimantaira nt nmnaA hnmM IllblACt tO VUf-4BI-VUHV w lncumonnce "Or. to put the same thing in another form, out of every ten homes In the ten Kansas counties examined, three are owned free of debt, five are hired, and two are occupied by owners subject to an incumbrance of 39 per cent of their values. "In the ten counties of Ohio, Including Cincinnati, out of every fifteen homes, four are owned free of debt, ten are hired. and one Is occupied by the owner sub Ject to an Incumbrance of 43 per cent of its value. "In the ten counties of Ohio, outside of Cincinnati, out of every twelve homes, five are owned free of debt, six are hired, and one is occupied by the owner sub lect to an incumbrance. "In Kansas the farm mortgage aver ages $1,423, on which the interest is $1U a year. The Kansas home mortgage aver ages $358, on which the Interest amounts to 174. "In Ohio the average farm mortgage amounts to $1,422 and the home mort gage Is $1,854. The average interest paid on the Ohio farm mortgage amounts to 85 a vear. and on the Ohio home mort gage $97 yearly. The lowest interest paid In any of the twenty counties was found to be In the county containing umcin nati. where It was 6.08 per cent lae average Interests on the Kansas farms was 8.12. It should be said that tbea in terest figures represent not only the legal interest stipulated for in tne insiru ment of the loan, but also the fees and exactions of the loan agents. "Details of tenancy are presented as follows: KANSAS. Counties, of Hired Farms, of Ulrrd farms 1HW- Chase .' 19 2? Clay law Dickinson 13 oa Geary 15 38 McPherson 10 75 Marlon. woo Mnrrli 1022 Ottawa. 9.M 15.83 Saline 12 44 1830. 35 69 30 16 33.1S 29 60 32 73 39 73 37 69 30.80 23 55 3065 33.25 Ten counties 13 13 OHIO. Pr.n nnti VtTCt&tAQS. Counties. of llirtd Farms, of mrm a arms, 1H90. iW Adams 18 40 37 39 Brown " mi Rnttflr 30 48 41 33 Clermont 21.80 36 40 Clinton 23.92 38.34 Oreene 28 a w Hamilton 33 5i Hlntiland iR5 31 J Prebhf 30 49 37 68 Warren 29 8 w Ten counties. 24 00 3710 'The ominous importance of the figures ctows as the figures are weighed. What Is true of ten average counties is true more or less of a whole state, and to say that nearly a third of the farms of Kan sas, and nearly a half of the homes are rented, and that over 60 per cent of tne other farms, and over 40 per cent of the other homes, are heavily mortgaged, Is to show that the tariff has not been such a blesslne to the western farmer as Its sup porters have given us to believe, and also that the talk about plenty of free land or cheap land to be had in Kansas is a delusion and a snare. These figures mean, In plain terms, that the people of Kansas are being divorced from tne son and are becoming renters: that the pro cess of divorce Is rapidly accelerating, it hvinv Inrrpnnftd 150 ner cent In ten years, and that before many decades, if present conditions prevail, there will come to pans much the same order of thinz as exist In deeply-sympathized with Ireland, where few are owners ana the mass are tenant! or the hired servant $1.00 PER YEAR. of tenants. Indeed, there would be a great difference to the disadvantage of the American tenants; the eviction laws ar much harsher in America than In Ireland, and American citizens could, and can to-day, be more cruelly treated with the sanction of the law than can be shown has been the case In any one In stance through the protracted period of the Irish agrarian agltaion. "Doubtless when the tabulation of the returns of some of the northwestern states commences, an even worse condi tion of things will be discovered, as the recorded mortgage indebtedness which has already been Investigated was found to be heaviest there. There are other states In the west that will probably pre sent a better showing than Kansas and Ohio, but it la cetaln that these two states cannot be far from represent! the gen eral condition throughout the west "When the investigation comes east, It Is the expectation that a very much worse state of things will be revealed, for there concentrating tendencies have been longer at work. In such a state as Mas sachusetts, for instance, it Is certain that land ownership has become highly con centrated, since the population has been packing into the cities at an accelerated speed. When examination comes to the ereat cities it will not be surprising if the condition discovered resembles that known to have existed In Home when the landed nobles bought the suffrages of the landless impoverished and embruitid masses with bread and circuses. Tne work of tabulation will be rapidly pushed, and the results will be made public In bulletins as fast as they appear, just as the counts of population were made known. "All those who wish details of Inform ation should write to Superintendent Porter, or to Expert O. K. Holmes, Cen sus Bureau, Washington D. C, and ask for them." The attention of the reader Is invited to the special offer of the Alliance Seed House In another column. They offer you an opportunity to get enough seed for an ordinary garden for the small sum of CO cents. Any one Interested In this offer should attend to It at once as it will not appear again. Rightmire & Kadclifle, of 70-1 Kansas Ave., Topeka, Kansas, have seenred money to loan of an eastern Life Insur ance Company, which they can place on farms east of the Cth P. M., at 8 per cent. annual interest without commission on ten years' time, with option of payment of part or all at any time, with rebate of interest on amount paid.