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The progressive farmer and southern farm gazette. (Starkville, Miss.) 1910-1920, May 28, 1910, Image 9

Image and text provided by Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87065610/1910-05-28/ed-1/seq-9/

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Madison. Wisconsin. (Editorial Correspon
dence).—It’s a beautiful country between here
and Chicago. Not only are all the farm homes
painted, but all the barns are painted, too,—and
paint on the house is almost as cheerful as a smile
on the face. With our Increasing prosperity in the
South it's a shame that we haven’t more painted
houses—and barns, too,—in the country. It
pays, and It makes you prouder of your farm
and prouder of your neighborhood. I should
hate for a Western traveler to come down and
seo our backwardness In this respect.
Most of the farm dwellings in this Wlsconsln
Illinols territory are, of course, much prettier
than our average farm homes in the South; well
designed two-story buildings, tastefully painted;
but the dominant feature of the farm landscape
arc the hig red barns, usually about twice or
three times as big ns the dwelling Itself. And it
is unfortunately true that tho barns are in some
cases better equipped thnn the homes. One farm
er out hero has electric lights in his barn, and
burns kerosene in his house!
In other words, the farm woman is the most
neglected factor in the whole rural problem out ,
here, ub she is in too many other sections. The
institutes for farmers’ wives, which Dr. Butler |
started in North Carolina, have proved one of the }
most effective means of popularizing Improved (
methods in tho home as well as on the farm, nnd
I shall not let up in my efforts until every other ,
Southern State does as well, or better, by the
farm women than North Carolina has been doing.
Then there ought to be free bulletins of all kinds
for the farmer's wife ns well as for tho farmer,
and certainly any farmer ought to be ostracized
who does not get improved, labor-saving conven
iences for his wife as fast as he gets them for
his own work. For example, I have been dis
tressed to hear out here in the West that an ad
vertisement of a washing machine to lighten the
house work will not make half so many sales as
an ad. of some labor-savins farm tool for the man
himself. The-e things ought not so to be.
Whore tho farm woman's work Is lightened by
labor-saving conveniences and where she is study
ing her work and is trying to learn about foods
and food values, sanitation, and also about how to
make the most splendid examples of physical and
moral manhood and womanhood out of her child
ren well, she has a chance to find ten times as
much Joy and sweetness in life as the wealthy
society woman in town who fritters her time away
on matters of no more Importance than how to
play bridge or how to deck her body a little dif
ferently to-day from what she did yesterday. It
seems to mo that I should as lief not live at all
at to reproach my Creator with a life wasted In
such aimlessness.
At tho bottom of most of our rural problems
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wo can bring farmers nearer together, we shall do
more than we can do In any other way to stop
the drift to towns where living is twice as hard as
it is in tho country. Only yesterday a professor In
Chicago University, whose special study is im
proving the conditions of poverty-stricken people,
declared that poverty is solely a city problem.
Compared with tho vast number of city destitute
and hulf-starving. ttie number of hopelessly poor
in tho country is insignificant.
Our problem, then, is to see if we cannot pro
vide in tho country bettor advantages for social
contact us well us better financial returns. Out
here in Wisconsin one of the most important fac
k .•>
—~- 'I
tors has been the rural telephone. The women
chat with each other at night, after the day’s
work is done. No matter how bad the roads or
how busy the horses, Mrs. Farmer Jones can talk
with her sister ten or twenty miles away just as
if they were face to face. The farmers, too, own
the lines in most cases—putting up their own
poles and stringing their own wire, a co-operative
company controlling the system. Usually each
farmer has one share of stock for each ’phone he
uses, and the average cost per ’phone on these
party lines is oaly about $5 a year.
But what we of the South need most to consider
Is the big fact pointed out by Dean Russell of the
W isconsin Agricultural College, namely, that iso
lation is admittedly the crux of the rural prob
lem, and that the solution lies in smaller farms,
bringing the people closer together. When we get
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own farm of 40 to 80 acres, Intensively cultivated,
we shall have about the finest democracy that
the world has ever known.
Of course, our problem in the South is harder,
because for social purposes only members of one’s
bwn race count. If there are 40 persons on a
square mile, and one-half of them are negroes, so
cially considered, it is the same as if the section
lad only 20 persons pers quare mile. This is one
eason why our Southern white people must wel
come immigration from the North and West. The
' armers’ Union has acted wisely in discouraging
ndlscrlminate European immigration, but these
uistling, enterprising Western farmers will do us
5ood if they come to us. They will get us to us
ing more two- and three-horse plows, for example,
»nd immigration of this sort must be our main
hope in relieving the tenseness of our race prob
lem. So long as the proportion of negroes is as
large as it is now, neither race can do as well as
It ought, and there is great encouragement in the
fact that while our negro population will grow
only by their actual increase, our white DODula
tlon will grow by their natural increase plus a
great immigration.
For this immigration is bound to come South—
just as surely as water seeks its level. Land is
cheaper in the South—one-half to one-third the
price of land of the same fertility in the West—
and the climate is better. A man of distinction,
w ho wsb in western Canada a few months ago and
then visited Texas, says land in Texas is worth
only one-third as much as in the Canadian wheat
country, although the Canadian wheat settler
must be watchful not to get snowbound and starve
to death in winter. Right here in Wisconsin the
snow was seven feet deep this winter and you
couldn't see the ground from December to the 1st
of March. ''Its too cold up there for me,” an
Iowa man who had come to Arkansas, told me the
other day. "I wouldn’t go back if they gave me
a farm.” This cold, moreover, is not a matter
of personal comfort alone, but with forests too
Bcarce to supply firewood and coal at 9 9 a ton to
haul from the nearest railroad station, it cuts a
big hole in farm profits when the farmer and his
family alone are considered. But there is the
stock, too—and everybody knows that stock in
cold weather must consume a certain quantity of
food simply to keep up animal heat.
What money the Western farmer would give for
our long growing season, for the great variety of
crops for hogs and cattle we can grow nearly all
the year round, and for the succession of vege
tables our gardens can furnish—opportunities that
we in our blindness are too often content to throw
^ (Continued next week.)
| “ What’s The News?” |
The Week’s Happenings.
THE METHODIST Conference at Asheville,
N. C., has steadily refused to make any
changes of note in church government or
regulation. The principal matters of interest have
been the control of Vanderbilt University, which
remains with the Church, and the election of
seven bishops. These are: Dr. Collins Denby, of
Tennessee; Dr. John C. Kilgo, of North Car
olina; Dr. W. B. Murrah, of Mississippi; Dr. W.
R. Lambuth, of Tennessee; Dr. R. G. Waterhouse,
of Virginia; Dr. E. D. Mouzon, of Texas; Dr.
James H. McCoy, of Alabama.
The Ballinger investigation has at length been
finished, but the committee has not reported at
the time of our going to press. While it is prob
able that the committee will report in favor of the
Secretary, enough has been shown to make it dear
that his conservation policies are very differ
ent from those of Mr. Roosevelt. His presence
in the Cabinet certainly adds nothing to the
strength of Mr. Taft’s administration, and the
President himself has been drawn into the matter
by the statement of a stenographer that his (the
President’s) review of the case last fall was really
prepared by one Lawler, an assistant in the Attor
ney- General’s office. Secretary Ballinger had vir
tually denied the existence of the paper prepared
by Lawler, but President Taft acknowledged hav
ing read it in making his decision in the matter,
though he used only one or two paragraphs in his
public statement. We hope to review the case
more fully when the committee makes its report.
Both House and Senate have tacked on to the
administration railroad bill amendments designed
to prevent the charging of more for a short haul
than for a longer one over the same line. The
amendments are very different, however, and it
is decidedly uncertain what the shape of the bill
will be when It finally becomes law.
King Edward was buried with great ceremony
last Friday. The English Catholics are making
a great effort to have the old clause reflecting on
the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope omitted
from the coronation oath. The new King Is said
to favor the change.
Five thousand Democrats from all over the
State met at Nashville, Tenn., on the 18th and se
lected a complete State judicial ticket in oppo
sition to the one that will be named In June by
Governor Patterson and the regular organisation.
It is now regarded as certain that some sort of
savings hank bill will be passed by Congress. The
parcels post will come only when the demand for
it becomes too strong for the express companies
to resist.
A new order for the expulsion of the Jews from
all except the frontier provinces of Russia has
been promulgated. June 14 is the date fixed and
100,000 people will have to leave their homes.
The Southern Baptist Convention at Baltimore
refused to enter into any arrangement whatever
for co-operation with Northern Baptists in home
missionary work.
Hard fought campaigns are in progress between
the conservative and the insurgent Republicans
in most of the Northwestern States.
In Norway municipal suffrage has been granted
to women over 25. There will be half a million
female voters.
A Thought For the Week.
I EVER HELD a scanty and penurious Jus
tice to partake of the nature of wrong. I
held it to be. in its consequence, the worst
economy in the world. In saving money, I soon
can count up all the good I do: but when, by a
cold penury, I blast the abilities of a nation, and
stunt the growth of its active energies, the ill I
may do is beyond all calculation.—From Edmund
Burke’s "Letter to a Noble Lord.”

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