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Bismarck daily tribune. [volume] (Bismarck, Dakota [N.D.]) 1881-1916, February 22, 1902, Image 14

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Among Burleigh county's farmers
and stock growers, who have been
successful and thus assisting in blaz­
ing the way for the Missouri slope's
future greatness, is F. Carstens, whose
ranch is located in Cromwell town
ship, about is miles northeast of this
Mr. Carstens came to Bismarck in
1X85 as a farm laborer and tngaged
as such for two years until he had
accumulated sufficient means to buy
teams, and necessary equipment to
commence farming on a small scale,
and he engaged in exclusive grain
raising during the seasons of '97-109
inclusive. While fairly good crops
were raised during those years, the
methods that were in vogue at that
time would not admit of the same
profits that accrue under present
methods, and Mr. Carstens found his
accumulations represented in the
value of his farm equipment and im­
In the summer of 1800 Mr. Carstens
bought 300 ewes wholly on credit.
Now it will be remembered that it
was at this time that sheep values
were at their zenith, and soon after
commenced to decline. Yet notwith­
standing this handicap the profits and
increase on this sheep venture were
such that at the end of three years
they had paid for themselves with
the high rates of interest that pre­
vailed in those times, and increased to
(5U. It was at this time that Mr.
Carstens moved from his farm in Sib­
ley township to his present ranch in
Cromwell, and has from the profits
from this band of sheep made
extensive anu valuable improvements.
Two years ago he sold out his sheep,
and bought cattle, bringing in from
South St. Paul 123 head of cattle,
100 of which were steers.
Mr. Carstens has. 320 acres of land
and a five years' lease of 320 acres of
school land, with Apple creek run­
ning through the entire tract. A
large portion of this is first class
meadow land. Here he has a small
but comfortable house, and a barn
with conveniences for sheltering 300
head of cattle, with loft room for 100
tons of hay.
To a Tribune representative Mr.
Carstens said: "During the time I was
engaged in sheep growing values
ranged from 47c to $4 per head, so it
will be seen I have had to take some
of 'the bitter with the sweet,' notwith­
standing which I have found the sheep
business fairly profitable, as you can
figure from the statements already
made—very closely approximating 100
per cent. How I shall come out with
my cattle venture is of course wholly
problematical, as I have not sold any
yet but if present values are main­
tained until another fall I feel quite
sure of ait least a fair profit, as with
the equipment I have my hay costs
me not to exceed 60 cents per ton,
and with an average winter but about
one ton per head is required for win­
tering, and an expenditure of an. equal
amount will pay for herding them dur­
ing the grazing season.
"Of course I am fortunately situat­
ed at the present time, as I can use
all the land that adjoins me for graz­
ing purposes, but at present land val­
ues it would not require a very large
sum to secure by purchase sufficient
land for summer grazing."
While Mr. Carstens' accumulations
during his 1G years experience do not
assume fabulous proportions—prob­
ably close around $10,000—the in­
stances where such results have been
accomplished are exceedingly rare in
any country oiitside of the Missouri
slope, and while such a sum cannot
be said to place one in a position of
affluence, the accumulation of it
the farmer or ranchman must be in
a large measure the result of those
habits of frugality that places him
in a position to enjoy it in a far
greater ratio than would be the case
of the possession of an equal amount
by the tradesman or professional
man, to whom the ordinary luxuries
of life have come to be regarded as
Jamestown Alert: J. W. Edenger,
a fanner near Cathay, Wells county, is
spending a day or two in the city with
friends. He now farms 320 acres of
land and does most of the work him­
self, his outlay for extra labor besides
his own last year being under $100, he
says: He raised last year 1200 bush­
els of flax, 500 bushels of wheat, and
his oats went 35 bushels to the acre.
He keeps no stock except what is
needed to do the farm work. These
returns axe practically for six months
work with six months in which there
is little to do except the chores. For
the labor involved the results are cer­
tainly whajt can be secured in a few
farming localities in any country. Mr.
Edinger is a young man, has his farm
all paid for, earned out of the land.
It is another instance of what a young
man willing to work, can do in North
Mr. C. E. Crum is a resident of Mc
Kenzie township, his post office being
McKenzie. His experience in this
country is of interest to all desiring
information regarding this section.
Mr. Crum is one of the early pioneers
of Burleigh county, having come here
from Illinois and settled in McKenzie
township in the spring of 1S82, locat­
ing on government land about two
miles north of where McKenzie station
now is.
For many years Mr. Crum confined
his farming operations almost entirely habits of frugality and the determin
to the raising of small grain but dur- ation to make an earnest effort,
ing the past decade he has been grad-j
ually working into stock growing, un
til last year his only grain crop was
100 acres of corn. From this he har
vested 2,500 bushels of good sound
corn. When asked concerning the
profits of corn culture on Missouri Dakota Sheep Breeders Association,
slope land as compared with Illinois, at the tenth annual session of the
Mr. Crum said: "No more labor is South Dakota Sheep Breeders Associa
required to plant and care for 100 acres tion at Brookings. Mr. Campbell,
of corn here than would be required after nineteen years experience in
average yield there is somewhat
greater than here, the cost of the land
to grow it on is not one-tenth as
great. My experience convinces me
that corn can be produced here at
much less cost per bushel than in any
of the so-called corn states further
east. As Mr. Crum's early training
in the school of agriculture was had on
an Illinois farm, and as his experience
in each state has covered a long term
of years, he is certainly competent to
pass upon this question of relative
From a modest beginning Mr. Crum
has gradually expanded until he now
has one of the model farms and
ranches of Burleigh county. As here­
tofore stated his home farm is situated
about two miles north of McKenzie
station and about twenty miles east of
Bismarck. Here he has 160 acres of first
class agricultural land on which are
situated his farm buildings, including
a comfortable and conveniently ap­
pointed farm house, three large barns,
giving an aggregate of some 7,000 feet
of floor space, with large mows and
lofts for the storing of winter forage
machine sheds, granaries and cribs for
the housing of machinery and the stor­
age of grain—all well painted and in
thorough repair. Here he also has a
200 foot 2-inch tubular well, in which
there is a constant supply of 176 feet
of pure soft water. The well is
equipped with a large windmill and
tank for convenience in watering the
large amount of stock that is here kept
during the winter season.
Four miles further north Mr. Crum
has 800 acres more land under fence,
through which courses Apple creek,
constituting a well watered pasture
with a luxuriant growth of grass,
which is used for grazing cattle in
summer and horses in winter. At to outside camps that the annoyances
present he is keeping 200 head of cat­
tle, 1.000 sheep and fifty horses. These
are kept on the "home" farm where
lias been quartered during the proper
season sufficient forage to meet any
contingency in the way of long win­
ters or severe storms.
Here is a farm of 000 acres that is
annually producing as much net profit
per acre as the average stock and
grain farm in the central west, and is
therefore intrinsically worth as much
as though it were located elsewhere,
and it and its equipment and stock
represent the accumulation of but
practically a decade—-for we have the
owner's word for it that the first half
of his residence here was consumed
in learning the adaptability of the
soil and climate. Does the reader
realize the almost utter impossibility
of the acquisition of such a magnifi­
cent principality in—for instance—Mr.
Crum's native state, by other than
those in circumstances of affluence?
At the time he came here the same
amount of land in Illinois would have
been worth at least $40 per acre, re­
quiring a fixed earning of about $2,000
per year for taxes and interest—a bur­
den that would bring dismay to the
stoutest heart and cause the furrows
of care to be drawn over an otherwis?
cheerful countenance. Here it has
been acquired by easy stages and with­
out a moment's feeling of unrest that
is the constant lot of one laboring
under a heavy burden of debt.
What has been accomplished by Mr.
Crum can be accomplished by any
man whose experience has taught him
The following extracts are from an
address delivered by Dugald Camp­
bell, former president of the North
for 40 acres in Illinois and while the sheep raising on the Missouri slope, from his sheep of from $1,200 to $1,500.
is conservative and riot at all optim­
istic. The subject of his address was
"Sheep Growing Under Range Condi­
tions." Mr. Campbell draws the dis­
tinction between sheep farming and
sheep ranging. The rush of settlers
to the Missouri slope will soon destroy
in a large degree the opportunity for
sheep ranging. Mr. Campbell in the
outset-of his address says: "If I had
chosen my own subject I would have
spoken of sheep farming—not sheep
ranging,'' and then continues: "The
days of sheep ranging, as of cattle,
east of the Missouri river, are num­
bered. There should be no regrets
that such is the case. The Dakotas
have been better sheep ranging states
from the owners' point of view, than
from the sheep's or herder's stand­
"I have been engaged in what we
call Dakota sheep ranching for over
seventeen years, and say now, that ex­
cept when sheep were being fed full
rations of hay in the winter I have
never felt that it was possible to make
them happy and comfortable as they
deserved or myself as contented as I
wished. The winters in which we
have not attempted to range on ac­
count of snow have been the most sat­
isfactory to me and the best for the
sheep. When we have fed twenty or
twenty-five tons of hay to the hundred
sheep, in four months winter, we have
been sheep farming more than rang­
ing and the owner during these
months has been able to take genuine
pleasure in seeing well-filled sheep
going out and in a comfortable shed
where the blizzard has no terror, and
where the prairie fire, the wolf, the
wild oat, the shortened range are not
even thought of.
"It is in the spring when we move
and troubles of the ranchmen begin.
"What we like, then, and think we
require, is fresh range and free range
good water and plenty of it a faith­
ful herder and a kind Providence.
What the ranger does not like are the
prairie fires, wild oats, muddy waters,
monthly or weekly herders, and per­
haps worse of all—because unaccus­
tomed to it—pointed information as
to the location of section lines and
with these likes and dislikes the
ranger is restless and looks abroal
for a new location or what is better
for him, and the community, becomes
a sheep farmer?
"In our country I would say that
the smallest number for which one
can profitably have a herder and out-
side camps is about 1,800 of a winter
stock and the greatest number one
ran properly care for around his home
without moving camp is about"700.
Five hundred is a good number to have
in one place the year around. With
that number well provided and cared
for, the farmer in average years and
times can count on a gross income
Is it to be wondered at, that dence temporary, and to make his
improvements of the same nature.
He is not likely to spend labor or
money in testing the capabilities of
the land, and there is little incentive
to beautify his home with grove or
garden. These western prairies and
plains of America have been God's
greatest gift to the latter part of the
SITE IN 1874.
Where I come from the door is al­
ready closed to the ranchman looking
for a new location to range even a
couple of thousand sheep. But it is
wide open and the opportunities are
many, at comparatively small cost,
for the man who is satisfied to farm
and pet and make money for a few
hundred head. I do not mean to say
that sheep ranching will not be con-
nineteenth century and it behooves
us, who, by many various paths, have
found ourselves dwellers in a semi-
arid region, to ascertain its needs and
adaptations. Our greatest need is a
forage plant that will withstand our
hot summers and cold winters. Trees
and shrubs, and "all the fairer forms
which cultivation glories in" are also
sorely lacking.
"What we have a superfluity of is
land and wind, politicians and go­
phers. How much has the nomadic
ranchman done to improve these con­
ditions? The stock farmer, owning
perhaps a couple of sections of prairie
.land, will plow good and sufficient
fire-breaks, which will protect his
grass and hay. When this is done
all over our land the annual prairie
fires will have lost their terror, and
we may look for some amelioration of
our climate. The farmer owning his
land and desirous of establishing him­
self permanently, will begin by setting
out trees to shade and protect his
home and children. By and by, hav­
ing learned this most beneficial art,
he will plant to shelter from sun and
wind the cattle or sheep which have
made him his livelihood, and for
whose comfort and well being he feels
himself responsible—at any rate to
his own conscience."
Mr. Campbell then proceeds to re­
late the particulars regarding sheep
ranging, taking a flock of 1,800 as of
December 1st and relating in detail
the experiences of range life—winter­
ing, herding, warding off the wolf, the
prairie fire, shearing, caring for the
young, disposing of the wool, etc.
Getting back to the subject of sheep
farming again Mr. Campbell con­
cludes as follows:
"Let me describe shortly the class
of sheep farm of which you have
many attractive examples here in
South Dakota, the kind which is per­
fectly possible in North Dakota now,
and along the lines of which the ex­
pansion of our sheep industry in these
slates, is mainly to come. A farm
of two sections. One section fenced
with dog proof fence. In one part
of it are found well, wind-mill and
watering troughs. Near this is a
grove of trees which the well and
tinued for some time, but that it is a
declining industry, and where carried
on east of the Missouri river must be
done under conditions different from
what have prevailed, the principal dif­
ference being that we must now buy
our grazing land and husband it as
best we can. Already no one thinks
of trusting to government or vacant
land for hay or water.
"The meadow lands and watering
places have to be owned. But here­
tofore our grazing has been practically
free. Not much longer will that be
the case. As citizens and well-wish­
ers for the prosperity of our states we
should welcome those changes. I'hc
man who is ranging over many \hous
and acres of vacant land with perhaps
only a quarter section of land as Jiul
quarters is apt to consider his rest-
windmill have made possible, and
where the sheep, which deserve so
much of kindness at our hands, ".an
find shade during the hot noon hours
of summer. The grazing capacity of
this section will be greatly helped, if
during April and May the sheep are
herded on any other unoccupied land
for a few hours every morning only.
These few hours herding will not give
the children that far away "would-to
God-it-were-evening" look, which to­
day is so painful to see among too
many of our little prairie herders. As
to what breed is best adapted for this
fenced pasture, each one has to deter­
mine for himself, what is best suited
to his locality and his market. I
would say with that countryman of
mine when asked his opinion regard­
ing a certain whisky. "Some whisk­
ies are better than others, but all
whiskies are good.' All breeds of
sheep are good, but some breeds will
repay you and me better than others,
according to our environments. So
much for one section. The other sec­
tion will be devoted to raising winter
feed. Natural hay is easiest of all,
but if our stock-raising has to in-
crease, something else has to be found!
to supplant or supplement what Dame
Nature merely gave us to start in
On this section will be the home
and the buildings. Here also will be
a windmill and tank, by the judicious
use of which the farmer has sur­
rounded his home with a grove of
trees, an orchard of hardy fruits, a
vegetable garden and why not a gar­
den of flowers? For reward, he will
have the joy of having redeemed from
the wilderness and made habitable one
corner of the earth for which, in
years to come, his children will thank
and bless him, that their youth was
spent in a home—not a desert camp."
To be perfectly honest and candid,
isn't it a relief these days to occasion­
ally sit down and talk with the man
who hasn't made a success of every­
thing he has undertaken the man
who is still looking for "worlds to
conquer" in business enterprise? We
feel it so, and to such we would like
to sit down on a dry goods box and
whittle a stick, figuratively speaking,
and talk sheep, as a sure, quick and
comparatively easy road to success.
Any man who can raise stock of any
kind, with a very little practical ex­
perience, can raise sheep, and espe­
cially is that true here, where climate
and surroundings all tend toward the
success of the enterprise. While the
country adjacent to Bismarck is es­
sentially a stock country, we are just
beginning to feel the on-rush of the
festive homestead seeker, who is en­
croaching upon the domain of the
cattlemen, cutting up the range, but
not so with the man whose wealth is
on the fleecy backs of a well bred band
of sheep. Ten thousand sheep will
"roll in the lap of luxury" where one
thousand head of cattle would starve.
Of the 197 varieties of weeds and
grasses growing in this state, sheep
will eat 150, and cattle not over 23.
In other words where cattle ranging
will soon be practically out of the
question there is yet and will always
be money made in the sheep business
and plenty of range for all. The
quantity of stock handled with the
same outfit is what increases or dimin­
ishes the profits in stock raising of
any kind then why not raise what
you can produce the most of with the
facilities at hand?
We might cite a dozen instances in
this immediate locality where parties
have grown wealthy off of sheep rais­
ing. Take as an example Alfred
Staley, north of Coal Harbor, who with
but a small investment, in the past
three or four years has raised 1,500
or more sheep worth from $6,000 to
$6,500 and not one foot of land his
own. His brother, Charles Staley,
has done equally as well, and is still
at it. One fanner in Emmons county,
south of Bismarck, recently sold out
his band of sheep for $18,000 spot
cash. He walked in twelve years ago.
This sum did not include his other
property accumulated during this
period, and so we might continue to
enumerate instances where practical
experience proves the sheep industry
second to none on the Missouri slope.
We have made money ourselves and
expect to make more in sheep and so
can anyone who gives it a reasanably
fair trial.
A sheep ranch in this state should
not be run on the same plan as those
of the more western states, with their
lack of grown feed, where sheep rais­
ing means nothing but herd, shear and
ship. With the small expense at­
tached to western methods of conduct­
ing this business, an average clip of
four pounds per head gives a sufficient
profit. The sheep turned oft each
year are bought up as "feeders" by
the 'central states buyers as a rule,
and there fitted for market. Aside
from the small clip you will find also
that "territory" wool is low in the
market, on accouunt of dirt and
"dead" fibres, and you must also fig­
ure that they divide their mutton pro­
fits with the man who fits it for the
market, (who by the way gets the
lion's share). All of which points to
good money in them here. You can
and should do away with the methods
that cause this drain in "territory"
flockmasiter's profits. The climate,
bountiful water supply, great variety
of fodder grown and growing tend to
radically change methods in North
Dakota, and makes it among the best
fitted sections in the United States for
the industry, it being all pre-eminent­
ly conducive to producing the weight,
soundness, luster and yolk, so essen­
tial to high grade fleece as well as fit­
ting the lambs for a top price in the
mutton market, to which they are
shipped direct from the range, thus
escaping the "middle man.''
It might be interesting to note what
a given amount of money will earn,
based upon conservative figures
gleaned from experience. Mr. Brown
buys 100 sheep at $3 and places them
upon his Burleigh county ranch. An
increase of from 100 to 120 per cent is
not at all unusual, and with proper
care is almost assured, while under
like circumstances from properly bred
sheep a clip of eight pounds is a fair
average, which at the present price
would give him about $1 per head.
Mr. B. trades his wether lambs for

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