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La Porte County, Indiana

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This is one of the finest counties in the State, and contains one of the most prosperous towns in Indiana. The name given to the county is the French name of the beautiful lake included in it. The range of country east and west, from eight to twelve miles south-east of Lake Michigan, was originally timbered land, and parts of it are somewhat hilly, and the soil is mostly thin. The timber was mostly oak and hickory. The level part was originally covered with beech, poplar, sugar, etc., and in the vicinity of the lake and Michigan City, are sand hills, originally covered with pine. The county south of the above, for six or eight miles in width, is gently undulating prairie, interspersed with groves of timber and small lakes, which has a very rich soil. Still further south are the buroak openings, a few dry prairies, and the Kankakee marshes, of which large portions are better for grazing than for grain. It is estimated that one hundred and eighty eight sections of land lie in the different prairies in the county, the principal of which are Rolling, Door, La Porte, Stillwell, Domain, and Hog prairies, which, with the exception of a few wet places, are well adapted to wheat, oats, corn, barley, hemp, and vines, and garden vegetables of every description. Fruit succeeds well, and the wet prairies, when drained, are excellent for grass. The oak openings are not inferior to the prairies in respect to soil.
La Porte, a flourishing and prosperous city of over eight thousand inhabitants, is the county seat. It is located in Center township, and has excellent railroad facilities. Surrounded by a rich agricultural district, with an abundance of good timber on every hand, it has all the elements of commercial prosperity. In a literary and educational point, the city has made great progress. Its schools stand high, and are a credit to the great system of education of Indiana. Its public improvements are excellent, and, in every point La Porte is a prosperous and flourishing city. The La Porte reading room and natural history association attests the literary culture of its citizens. This institution was organized and incorporated in 1863; it started with seven hundred volumes, all standard works, and is, at the present time, in a high state of efficiency. Michigan City, in the northern part of the county, on the margin of Lake Michigan, is a very prosperous city of over five thousand inhabitants. All that can be said of the public improvements, educational facilities, and prosperity of La Porte, may, with propriety, be said of Michigan City. It is the gate to Lake Michigan commerce from Indiana, and, as such, must soon become a great commercial city.

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