Michigan Genealogy Trails
Alcona County, MI
The Last Good Land at a Low Price
1915 Pamphlet

Source: "The Last Good Land at a Low Price"
An Old Pamphlet of 1915 -- no Author

Located sixty-three miles north of Bay City on the main line of the Detroit & Mackinac Railroad and bounded on the north by Alpena county, on the east by Lake Huron, on the south by Iosco county, and on the west by Oscoda county, is Alcona county, rich in opportunities for the home seeker. the man who wants to be independent and is searching for the proper location.

Alcona is not an old county when we reckon in the age of the state, yet in her infancy the call of her good lands has attracted many who pioneered, those hardy adventurers who followed close onto the heels of the wild and hewed the way for the man of a more delicate nature, the one who wants things started before he attempts to tread the path. So well has the pioneer left the monument that there now remains a county rich in opportunities for the modern settler, his wife and children. Here that settler finds a clean environment where true domestic happiness Is assured. where true domestic happiness Is assured. Many men have come Into the county’s domain with but real intentions of making good and have wrought fine farms, elegant homes and a splendid competency for their children. The progress of the county has been steady, not a quick jump from the remote to the lime-light with all the pit-falls that such a growth insures.

The Gustin Ranch - Alcona County

The principal objects of interest to the modern home seeker are soil and climate. In Alcona county can be found all kinds of soil from the heaviest clays to the lightest sands, but the greater portion of the soil is clay, clay loam and sand loam. These soils combined with the climate of Alcona has made possible the growing of all the crops common to the temperate zone. Wheat, oats, rye, beans, peas. timothy, clover, corn, speltz, vetch, alfalfa, barley, millet, potatoes, apples, plums, pears, cherries, all the small fruits, and every kind of a vegetable. Apples are coming to be a staple product and of a quality which has commanded the attention of big shippers to the fancy markets throughout the United States. The climate is exceedingly healthful, and many who have suffered the dreaded asthma, hay fever, and similar maladies have found relief from their troubles here.

Lincoln, MI
Birds eye view of Lincoln

One who is interested in the farm and its possibilities is also desirous of learning what has been done and what can be done in the way of crop production in the community he is considering. He is also interested in the market possibilities. Taking the latter first, we will state that the markets here for grasses and grains and the like, will be about the same as anywhere in the country. and there Is a market for practically everything the farm produces. Now, for production figures, we will give from the books of one of the most prominent threshermen. the average covering a period of several years in order that a fair average may be obtained. Wheat will average about twenty-five bushels per acre with the high yield at fifty. Richard Slaght of Harrisville township, threshed four hundred ninety-five bushels of wheat from a ten-acre field, no commercial fertilizer was used. Oats run from forty to fifty with a high yield of 1100 bushels from a ten-acre field owned by Capt. J. H. Henderson, of the Sturgeon Point life saving station, Rye, usually grown on the poorer soils, runs about thirty bushels per acre with a high mark of forty-six bushels per acre. Peas average around the twenty bushel mark with a high yield of sixty bushels per acre. Runs run as high as thirty-two bushels per acre. A. J. Freer reports that yield over a field of eighteen acres. Corn does well and yields very satisfactory returns, especially in the forage crop on the dairy farm. Potatoes yield from 200 to 4 00 bushels per acre, and the latter is not at all uncommon. The grasses are staple crops, yielding a heavy tonnage and an excellent quality of feed. Fruits are especially good yielders. One apple orchard containing about two and one-half acres yielded 1,000 bushels. The orchard was not given any special care.

S, Johnson Farm
S. Johnson Farm

The county is especially adapted to the dairy business, and the stock raising interests. The abundance of good clear, pure water, the excellent pasture and the suitable climate make ideal conditions for the promotion of this profitable branch of husbandry. Three creameries in the county take care of the cream and make a quality of butter which finds a ready market in the large cities.

harrisville, mich.
Looking west in Harrisville -- Looking south in Harrisville

All those activities and necessary adjuncts, such as farmers’ clubs, Grange, Gleaner and community organizations, the telephone, telegraph, schools and churches are well established. The rural free delivery brings the daily mail. Alcona's school system stands second to none in Michigan, and Michigan is noted for her efficient educational system. A corps of forty-eight teachers offer instruction to the children bent on the modern education and its advantages. These schools are but stepping stones to Michigan's great University, and the Michigan Agricultural College. The settler coming from the older sections to grasp the opportunities which Alcona offers, undergoes no privations, there being schools and churches in all parts of the county. Scattered around through the county are several lakes and many streams which furnish plenty of opportunities for the man who likes to shoulder his rod and take a day off that he may catch a few of the wily trout that lurk in t h e cool spring waters.

Harrisville is the county seat located on the main line of the Detroit & Mackinac railroad, on the west shore of Lake Huron. The city sets on a gradual slope from the lake’s edge to a point which gives practically all the residents a view of beautiful Lake Huron. Here we find the county buildings, an agricultural hall, good hotels, roller mills, creamery, contract seed house, electric light plant, bank, and a county newspaper. Plenty of representative business houses furnish opportunities to the purchaser to supply his needs and luxuries. The other principal towns are Lincoln and Mikado, both located on the Detroit & Mackinac Railroad to the southwest of Harrisville. Well established villages are found in every part of the county where it is advantageous for the farmer, here stores are found carrying stocks of practically everything which can be found in the larger cities.

mikado, mich
Two views of Mikado

Mikado lies in the heart of some of the county’s best agricultural lands. It has a bank, modernly equipped elevator, handling all kinds of farm produce and carrying the customary retail supplies; four general stores, meat market, drug store, hotel, three churches, graded school, two blacksmith shops, a pickle salting station, a fully equipped seed house which specializes in handling varieties of garden peas and beans, a branch of husbandry that nets excellent returns to the growers. The stores are all well stocked with all the needs of the farmer and his wife, and offer excellent opportunities for trading.

Lincoln is located on the Detroit & Mackinac Ry., and is the terminal town of the Lincoln branch of that system. Surrounded by a fine farming community, it has a splendid future, and is well fitted for the present. A modern elevator, creamery, bank, stores—general, drug, hardware, specialty. and meat markets. hotel, churches, graded school, blacksmith shops. Hour mill, and other commercial enterprises make up the trading center for the community the town serves. A weekly newspaper is published here giving its subscribers local and national news and offering ready access to job printing which is much called for by the farmer today. The other villages are Justin,Greenbush, Alcona, Black River, Handy, Bryant, Lott. G1ennie, Banfield, Flat Rock, Code, Byres, Killmaster, Barton City, Spruce and Curran. These representative towns are well supplied with stores and shops which administer to the needs of the farmer and his family.

county picnic
County Picnic

A section of the county traversed by the Au Sable & Northwestern Railroad has been previous to the last year held up in an hours catch in on its settlement owing to the fact that the road was a narrow gauge line, but the Detroit & Mackinac Railroad purchased the road and have converted it to a standard gauge branch of their lines. This fact has done wonders toward opening up a territory that waited for the proper railroad facilities, and the good lands are attracting many people to their domain. Alcona county is stepping to the front ranks as an agricultural community — her good lands attract - and any one who is contemplating removal from the high rent land districts, Alcona offers opportunities which can hardly be surpassed—good land yielding good crops is here, and it is well to remember that the day of low priced lands is nearing twilight, and will soon be history.

Alcona County Officers
County Clerk - William Barber - Harrisville
Register of Deeds - George A. Culler - Harrisville
Treasurer - T. Franklin Webb - Harrisville
Sheriff - James Hamilton - Harrisville
Judge of Probate - George W. Burt - Harrisville
Prosecuting Attorney - Herman Dehnke - Harrisville
Circuit Court Commissioner - Fred A. Beede - Harrisville
County Surveyor - Andrew J. Freer - Harrisville
County Drain Commissioner - George W. Girling - Barton City
Coroner - William F. Carle  - Harrisville
George W. Beever - Harrisville

Township - Supervisors - Address
Alcona - A. Derocher, jr. - Black River
Caleconia - R.E. McDonald - Spruce
Curtis - Fred W. Garrett - Glennie
Greenbush - J.M. McDonald - Mikado
Gustin - Jacob Kramer - Harrisville No. 3
Harrisville - Robert Walker  - Harrisville No. 1
Hawes - Edward Burge - Lincoln
Haynes - Henry Webb - Harrisville No. 2
Mikado - S.P. Hertzler - Glennie
Millen - A.D. Smith - Barton City
Mitchell - J.F. Reeves - Curran
Harrisville - E.W. Chapelle - Harrisville; F.A. Beede - Harrisville; G.W. LaChapelle - Harrisville

We came from Ohio to Alcona county in 1909, having purchased a 160-acre farm. We now have a very comfortable farm home and are farming with excellent returns.

Alcona county is full of opportunities for most any man interested in the occupation of farming. We raise everything one could expect in a farming community. It would do you good to see the field of waving grasses and grains: the sleek cattle and sheep which graze on the lush pastures from early spring until late fall: the staple dairy cow that gives the profit making butter fat and the fine country in which we live.

We have raised wheat which yielded 55 bushels to the acre, oats threshing 70 bushels per acre and good yields of all other crops. Raising contract peas is a good business with us. This year we have sixteen acres of mammoth clover for seed which shows prospects for a splendid yield. We think that here we can get a home quicker than where land sells at high prices, having tried it in both places, and we have accomplished no more than any good working people can do.   -- Samuel P. Hertzer

I came here from Detroit, Michigan, in April, 1915, to look over Alcona county land and purchased 160 acres near Kurtz, Glennie district. I like it very much. As far as I can see, everything can be grown here with good results. Clover and timothy grows wild in the woods, and for this reason, this is a particularly good live stock country. Dairying is a good business. The climate is healthful, and we have the best water I have found anywhere. There are many improved farms all through this district, and any one who likes farming and is not afraid of farm labor can get a good farm here and be independent in a short time.  --- A. Samyn

Northern Michigan is especially noted for its fine apples - the king of fruits. They are famous in all American markets for their brilliant colorings and excellent flavors. They seem to store up the sparkle of the winter's frosts and mellowness and rich colors of the summer’s sun. Old and popular varieties become so much richer in color and flavor that they appear like new varieties. These changes are the result of climatic and soil conditions. Protected from late frosts by the large bodies of water which surround the greater portion of the state, tempering the climate, Michigan offers ideal conditions for the orchardist and fruit grower.


J. H. Hays, Glennie, raised 537 bushels of potatoes from one acre.
C. E. Schoolcraft, Glennie, raised 517 bushels of potatoes on a measured acre of land.

Andrew J. Freer, Harrisville, averaged 23 bushels of beans per acre from 18 acres.

C. E. Schoolcraft, Glennie, raised 300 100-pound sacks of onions on three quarters of an acre.

William Rondo, Spruce, threshed 49 bushels of wheat from one and one-half acres.

Samuel Lilley, Glennie, harvested 150 bushels of ear corn from one acre.

Richard Slaght, Harrlsville, harvested 846 bushels of oats from 10 acres.

J. H. Hays, Glennie, threshed 77 bushels of speltz from one-half acre.

Geo. W. Colwell, Harrlsville, harvested fifty bushels of cherries from 64 8-year old Lake Montmorency trees.

Thos. Holmes, Haynes township, twenty trees produced 20 bushels each of first grade apples.

J. J. Kahn. Mikado, harvested potatoes that yielded, on an average, 268 bushels per acre.

C. A. Johnson, Mikado, harvested oats that yielded 60 bushels per acre.

J. H. Hayes, Glennie, on one-half acre raised 123 bushels of mangles, 355 bushels of carrots and 359 bushels of turnips.

The message of Northeastern Michigan is it's for you. It comes to you as a real friend wishing you the sort of success that you would wish for yourself, for your family and friends the success in the profession or business you have chosen that of farming.

You are a farmer of lands which you do not own; you are a farmer of lands whose value has far exceeded the power you possess to get satisfactory net value returns; you are a father of a family of boys who will need a proper start, that competency you would desire to leave them but cannot because you have not the expanse of acres nor the money to invest in the high priced lands in your community; you are a man of middle age, tired of the toils, rebuffs, and rattles of a city’s hurry; you are a lost farmer from the farms of the United States of Europe; you are one of these. You are interested in the farm, Its advantages and possibilities, its pleasures and independence, its home spirit and its offers of a better existence for your children, your wife and yourself. Northeastern Michigan is the district where the last good land at a low price can be secured. The pioneers In the district have built communities; they have lain out the lines of progress. The new settlers have found those improvements to their liking and offer to you their assistance; they are satisfied, and the proof of the pudding is in the eating. You can find here those things which interest you: good soil, markets, schools, churches of all denominations, cities, towns, villages, and social activities  - ready - -waiting. All these can be had at a greater reduction than in any other district in the United States of America. You need not fear their value, that also is certain; you need not take only the descriptions offered, Northeastern Michigan invites you to investigate what is waiting for you: Let us see you one of the neighbors in Northeastern Michigan.

We have told you about the good people, the churches and schools, the delightful climate, and of the unsurpassed health of these counties. And now let us add that Northeastern Michigan is one of the best all-around agricultural communities in the United States - Oscoda and Alcona counties are a part of Northeastern Michigan. They are communities where successful farming can be carried on, where one can produce with greater or less abundance anything grown in the temperate zone.

The soil holds inexhaustible riches, and all you have to do is to dig for them, dig as you would in any other farming community. There are golden opportunities for the farmer in this region. With the low cost of the farm and the great combination of favorable attributes, Mr. Farmer is sure of success. The general farmer has his opportunity because of the diversity of crops produced.

The dairyman has the advantages of the cheaper pasture lands, the railroad facilities, the close proximity of the markets, the ideal stock raising climate, etc. The raising of livestock - cattle, hogs and sheep and poultry as well - has always been remunerative, and the possibilities of these branches of husbandry are greater now than ever before. There are always plenty of openings for the man who is more proficient at any branch of farming, and he will find his chance.

Agriculture is the great industry to which all other industries owe their existence. It is of paramount importance. You, as a farmer, are particularly interested in finding a suitable locality in which to do your best toward becoming the biggest cog In the world's greatest industry. Alcona and Oscoda counties should appeal to you. Why not investigate? Could these counties be taken to you in any other way than 011 paper, it is a safe bet that you would be delighted with the opportunities and advantages offered. Transplanting so many square miles of land is out of the question, but you can easily transplant yourself, you can travel, you can come. If you do not wish to travel alone, bring your wife along, the sons also; let them all have a chance to see their future home - "The Last Good Land at a Low Price."

The man who owns a farm is the particular man who is fixed. Banks may fail and factories close, working men strike and mines suspend, merchants fail and towns burn, times may be panicky and even crops may be short but the farmer who owns his acres will get along. He will live in comfort with plenty to eat, drink and wear. He is the most independent man on earth. Yet there are lots of them who do not appreciate their position. The farmer in Northeastern Michigan finds himself the proud owner of his rightful domain, that part of the earth counted in acres which will yearly lend him support and in the end be a valuable competency for his children.

The September issue of "Northeastern MICHIGAN" goes out a special devoted to Alcona and Oscoda Counties. The Bureau has taken this means to give each county in the district a better representation and without partiality. Other counties will be featured as time allows.

The railroads of Michigan have made possible very inexpensive rates to people who desire to investigate Northeastern Michigan lands. The fares are based from Michigan City, Indiana, Chicago, Illinois, and Toledo, Ohio, to points in Northeastern Michigan. The ticket gives an eight-day limit with the privilege of a stop-over at Saginaw and Bay City on the going trip. The dates for September are the 7th and 21st.  These rates make the trip inexpensive and gives you an opportunity to make a thorough investigation of the territory you are interested in. See your ticket agent for all information, or write the Development bureau.

In speaking of Michigan’s commanding location, "Michigan Business," says: In consideration of the farming question, the importance of Michigan's commanding position with relation to the best markets of the country, cannot be too highly estimated. The Michigan producer has, by virtue of our geographical position, quick, easy and inexpensive command of the great consuming centers of population east of the Mississippi. The country embraced in Northeastern Michigan is acceptably served by railroads and all products, live stock, hay. grain and fruits can be quickly and economically marketed. When contrasted with the time required to transport western products to market, shipping charges and other items of marketing expense. the vast advantage in favor of the Michigan producer is readily apparent. In view of the great development that has already taken place, the urgent needs of a growing population in our country, and the demand for increased farm production. with continuing high prices on all products of the farm, no section of our great country offers more substantial advantages to the intelligent farmer or stock grower than this vast fertile area, which is destined to become one of the greatest sections in Michigan.

Town Development Says "It wasn’t Lee and Grant who won victories of the Civil War: it was the great armies behind them. If you haven't the qualities of a leader, you can at least learn to follow."

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