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EL PASO HERALD
Saturday, April 16, 1910.
Steel. Concrete! B
rick and Golden Dollars Are Building
Greater El Paso
Almost beyond comprehension are the building operations in the business section of El Paso during the last year. As if by magic, sky-piercing structures have sprung up and today continue to do
so with still greater rapid progress, if anything, while plans for divers other modern buildings give impetus to the situation and the promise of placing El Paso at the head of the procession to
ward civic improvements, with a long and encouraging lead. A brief history of El Paso county and the Rio Grande Valley, taken from the El Paso Chamber of Commerce Book, "The Story
of a City.5'
EL PASO COUNTY.
The estimated population of El Paso count' is 60,000,
but notwithstanding the fact that it is so sparsely settled,
it has the distinction of being the largest county in the
state of Texas and contains 5,414,400 acres, of which some
25,000 acres are under cultivation and 150,000 acres will
eventually be reclaimed through irrigation, as the land is
admirably adapted to this Work. The other land is val
uuable for grazing and stock raising.
The tax assessment total has more than doubled in
the past three years, the amounts being $16,763,341 in
1905, and $33,766,171 dn 1908. During this period four
thousand people have purchased land in the county with
a view to improving same and becoming permanent resi
dents. There are 378 miles of completed railroad and twenty
five miles of sidings, so that El Paso County is amply fur
nished with transportation facilities, and the enormous
crops of alfalfa and other products are quickly and easily
THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY.
The Rio Grande Valley is in many respects the most
remarkable valley on the American continent. It is com
j)letely walled in by mountain ranges on both the Ameri
can and Mexican sides, and enjoys a climate that from a
planter's point of view is absolutely perfect. The soil is
so rich in natural fertilizer or silt supplied through the
waters of the Rio Grande that the experts of the Govern
ment service have pronounced its growing qualities to be
probably equaled, but assuredly not surpassed by the val
ley of the MLe. There are 200,000 acres of wonderfully
rich soil, whose growing qualities have alread' been test
ed and proven to be adapted to an even greater variety of
grains, vegetables and fruit than the much advertised
valleys of the extreme "West.
The greatest area of land under cultivation at present
lies between El Paso and Las Cruces, ISTew Mexico, a dis
tance of forty-three miles to the north, and running south
to Eabens, Texas, some twenty-nine miles to the south and
east. In this -enormous tract we find successful ranches of
every type. The crop tonnage per acre in the Rio Grande
Valley is unsurpassed in the world.
WHAT THE SOIL WILL BO.
With the semi-tropic climate and the rich soil of the
Rio Grande Valley, large profits can be made growing all
kinds of garden truck. El Paso and the surrounding min
ing towns consume all that is produced at the present time.
The Northern, Eastern and Southern cities furnish a mar
ket for early vegetables and for fruits and alfalfa.
Plant Food In Sediment.
Rio Grande Phosphoric acid, 0.14 percent; potash,
1.21 percent; nitrogen, 0.13 percent.
ile Phosphoric acid, 0.21 percent; potash, 0.68 per
cent; nitrogen, 0.12 percent.
The Valley is especially adapted to the growing of
perfect fruit. The pears and grapes being famous and
much sought after in jtSTorthem and Eastern markets.
A tabulated list of the average value of crops in this
district is necessarily vague, as the modern methods em
ployed hy the American rancher of the Southwest result
in the actual harvesting of- twoand in some cases three
crops of a variety of products grown consecutively on the
same acreage. As an example, from forty to seventy
bushels of winter wheat,to an acre has been harvested on
a well irrigated tract, and a second crop of beans yielding
2,000 pounds to an acre, taken from the same ground dur
ing the same season. With wheat selling at $1.00 a bushel
and beans at 3 1-2 cents a pound, the net results seem quite
impossible to the Eastern farmer. Eroni four to five cut
tings of alfalfa are made annually. A perfect stand pro
duces one and one-half tons to an acre per cutting. Such
results show us that one hundred acres of well cultivated
and properly irrigated Rio Grande Valley land will pro
duce as great results as one thousand acres of ordinary
Following is a table compiled from actual results,
showing the annual value of the variety of crops raised
within twenty miles of the city of El Paso, the widerange
of the amounts produced per acre being due to the ranch
er's knowledge of modem irrigation methods more largely
than from any actual difference in the soil tilled:
Yield per Acre. - Value per Acre. .
Alfalfa, 5 to 8 tons $ 60 to $100
Wheat, 30 fco 70 bushels 30 to 70
Oats, 60 to 70 bushels 25 to 28
Barlev, 80 to 100 bushels ,100 to 125
Rye, 25 to 30 bushels .' 30 to 50
Com, 30 to 40 bushels . . 50to 60
Asparagus, 12,000 lbs N. 750 to 1000
, Beans, 4000 lbs "450 to 750
Cabbage ......... 400to 500
Onions, 10 tons 250 to 500
Sweet Potatoes 150 to 200
tPears .- 450to 750
' Apples, 14,000 lbs , . 150tp 300
Peaches, 145 trees, 3 rears old 450 to 600
Plums " 350 to 500
Grapes, 14,000 lbs 300 to 400
Cantaloupes; 19,000 350 to 500
Berries 500to S00
Honey, 20 to 50 hives 100 to 300
Two crops that have been given very little attention
up to the present time are apples and sugar beets. The
beets raised in the valley contain an unusually high per
centage of sugar, and a sugar refinery would no doubt
prove profitable in this locality. As the rainfall is very
slight in the irrigated districts, the farmer is practically
master of the situation, and a crop of beets rich in sugar
contents is the rule rather than the exception. The con
trol of the water supply makes certain what would other
wise be in doubt. It assures the harvest. -
As an actual example of the results to be obtained
within a few hours' ride of El Paso, the following report
was received, dated July. 1909, from the 'Lucerne Earm
Company, Berino, jSTew Mexico:
Last February, Viljoen brothers, after properly
preparing thirty-five acres of land, seeded it to alfalfa,
and surolemented 800 pounds of wheat seed as a nurse
crop. When the wheat was several feet high and about
ready to cut for fodder in the usual way, it appeared such
a splendid stand that it was determined to let the same
ripen. About the first week in July, the crop was har
vested, and the thieshing of the, wheat has just been com
pleted. The result is 62,372 pounds of fine wheat, and the
straw being well mixed with alfalfa was baled and has
been sold at $8.00 per ton f. o. b. Berino, there being up
ward of 35 tons. The wheat was sold to Mr. Chas. Miller,
of Anthony, K M., at $1.56 1-2 per hundred pounds. The
thirty-five acres was, of course, irrigated right away
again, and is now covered with a beautiful stand of alfalfa
seven inches high, and will undoubtedly yield at least two
more good cuttings of alfalfa this season." .
GOVERNMENT IRRIGATION. '
The Southwest is a big country, where they do big
things, and the Elephant Butte dam, located in the Rio
Grande Valley, is no exception to this rule, being the most
enormous undertaking of this nature within the memory
of mankind. To say that the United States Government
is actively engaged at the present time in the preliminary
work on what will be the greatest dam on earth, creating
the largest artificial lake in the world and the most exten
sive irrigation system of modern times, is to state the sim
ple fact. ,
A complete explanation of what this will mean to the
city of El Paso and the surrounding country would re
quire a special volume. jSTo part of jtfortli America pro
duces such an abundance nor so great a variety of crops as
are made possible when the arid lands of the Southwest
are properly irrigated. This is partly due to the great
percentage of nitrogen found in' the soil and the fact that
this region enjoys an average of 330 days of sunshine each
year. Couple these conditions witji the rancher's ability
to absolutely control the water supply and vou make cer
tain what would otherwise be in doubt. You are abso
lutely assured a successful harvest. A crop failure is as
rare as a killing frost in the tropics.
The Elephant Butte dam is located twelve miles
southwest of Engle, N. Mex., or about 100 miles north of
the city of El Paso. Advantage has been taken of the nat
ural formation occurring in the valley at this point, which
creates a natural wall from which the dam extends across
the river bed. The cost of the completed work will be
$8,200,000.00, and some idea of the magnitude of the work
,niay be obtained from the following figures: The engi
neers will go sixty-five feet below the bed of the river in
order to reach solid rock for their foundation. The dam
will be 180 feet thick at bed rock and 450 feet long. If all
the cement required to construct this huge dam were de
livered in one siipment, it would require a freight .train
fifteen miles long with every car packed to its full ca
Iacity. An amount of water equal to that found in the Hud
son river from Albany to Manhattan Island would have
about the same covering power as the quantity which will
be held in reserve in Lake Hall.
The crest or top of the dam will be twenty feet wide
and 1400 feet long; its extreme height being 275 feet. Con
crete, rock and huge iron bars will be used in its construc
tion. One hundred and seventy-five feet above the river,
or twenty feet below the crest of the dam, spillways pll
be built to carry off all excess of water after the reservoir
proper is full. The storage of water will reach 102,306;
000,000 cubic feetor 767,745,000,000 gallons. Lake B. M.
Hall, which is the name given this huge reservoir, is to be
thirty-four miles long and will average 2 1-2 miles wide.
To reduce these figures to a practical basis, the Elephant
Butte dam will, when complete, reserve a body of water
capable of covering 2,350,000 acres of land to the depth
of one foot .enough to satisfactorily irrigate the entire Rio
Grande Valley for a distance of 170 miles during a period
of three years.
Dry farming in the vicinity of El Paso is in its in
i fancy. The few tests made have proven most. satisfactory
The Department of Agriculture has been studying the
soils and crops suitable for these regions, which will re
sult in great value to agriculture and horticulture.
To persons looking for investments in low priced land
there are great opportunities on the mesas or second bot
tom lands adjoining the valley on either side back for a
distance oi; a few miles. When the science of dry farming
is applied to this land it will be as productive as dry f arm
ingland in any section of the country. This mesa land, how
ever, will probably be irrigated as soon as the big Elephant
Butte dam project is completed and the electric power
proposition developed. It is the intention of the reclama
tion service to furnish electricity for pumping water to
these mesa lands, at a small cost. The soil on the mesa
is fine, and will grow almost anything, particularly is it
well adapted for orchard and vineyards. There are
many thousands of acres of this mesa land which will
probably be irrigated within a few years. In the mean
time with the methods of dry farming applied to them
they will net the farmer big profits. IN o other dry farming
section in the entire Southwest today offers the prospects
that the mesa or second bottom lands adjoining the Rio
Grande Valley do.
It is but natural that ranch property should be ex
tremely 'active when sucli a gigantic enterprise has been
guaranteed by the Government.
Land values in the Rio Grande Valley are very low at
the present time and there are worlds of opportunities
for anyone now to get a small or large tract of land. It is
true the land is not as cheap per acre as land in the dry
farming districts or in places where irrigation is uncer
tain. Five years ago and even three years ago, before the
Elephant Butte dam project was a certainty or even a
possibility, valley lands could be bought as low as five dol
lars per acre. During the pa year, since the big project
became a certainty rand when 'the engineers actually be
gan work, land prices have gone up very f ast.-V This five-dollar-an-acre
land is now selling for 30.00, and as high
as $100.00 per acre. Cleared lands, in cultivatoin, in al
falfa, orchards, vineyards, with houses, bams, etc., are as
high as $300.00 per acre, and yet it is low. In the El Paso
Valley land is not quite so high. Good land can be bought
low in proportion to its producing capacity. Orchards in -Washington,
Oregon, Colorado, and in the rich valleys of
California, are selling as high as $2,500.00 to $5,000.00 per
acre, and yet these orchards will not produce as much as
Rio Grande Valley orchards, the fruit is not so certain,
the quailty not so good and the freight rates to the East
ern markets much higher. Besides this, the climate in
the Rio Grande Valley is more delightful than the climate
of these other valleys.
Any of the Following Will Tell You All About El Paso, Texas
AJJSTIN & MARR, Caples Bldg., El Paso, Texas.
WM. MOELLER, Herald Bldg., El Paso, Texas.
A. P. COLES & BROS., American Nat'L Bank Bldg., El
HATTON REALTY CO., 224 Mesa Ave., El Paso, Texas.
NEWMAN INVESTMENT CO., 226 Mesa Ave., El Paso,
FELIX MARTINEZ, 14 Plaza Block, El Paso, Texas.
LONE STAR LAND CO., 213 Texas St., El Paso, Texas.
MATHEWS & DYER, 117 N. Stanton St., El Paso, Texas.
PENCE BROS., 217 Texas St., El Paso, Texas.
ANDERSON-BENNETT REALTY CO., 27-28 Bassett
' Edwards Block, El Paso, Texas.
D. G-. HEINEMAN, 207 St. Louis St., El Paso, Texas.
J. R. BOND, Plaza Block, El Paso, Texas.
H. L. HOWELL, Herald Building, El Paso, Texas.
MAPLE & CO., 209 Mesa Ave., El Paso, Texas.
LATTA & HAPPER, Mills Bldg., El Paso, Texas.
J. R. FISK, Trust Bldg., El Paso, Texas.
CASSIDY & DAVIDSON, Buckler Bldg., El Paso, Texas.
BUCHOZ & SCHUSTER, Caples Bldg., El Paso, Texas.
LEE H. ORNDORFF, 209 St. Louis St., El Paso, Texas.
JOSEPHTJS BOGGS, 15 Morgan Bldg., El Paso, Texas.
R. C. BAILEY, 306 Mesa Ave., El Paso, Texas.
LOOMIS BROS., 202 Texas St., El Paso, Texas.
PETERMAN & LANSDEN REALTY CO., Ysleta, Texas.