While mining is the chief and
best paying industry of Madison County, there is enough
fertile land to embrace in its confines for 1,168 farms containing 138,484
acres of land, to be titled profitably or used for grazing purposes.
The population of the county,
Federal census of 1910, was 11,273 men, women and children, and there has been
a good gain since.
The prevailing size of farms run from 100 to
174 acres, there being 354 such. Then
there are 352 which have from 50 to 99 acres.
The sizes of the remainder vary.
The approximate land area of the
county is 319,360 acres. There are
76,468 acres in actual cultivation, leaving 70,168 acres in timber, or used for
grazing purposes. The average worth of
farm land per acre is $17.14. The land
and buildings on an ordinary farm, one of the average of 118.6 acres, are worth
The above statistical information
is given to show that Madison
County is admirably
suitable for agriculture, dairying and poultry raising. Minerals are not the only resources, although
a great advantage. Fruits of all kinds
are profitably grown.
The county is situated 76 miles
south of St. Louis,
and has ample railroad facilities to haul all farm and other products to that
city. Agricultural products valued at
$75,000 are produced every year. Corn,
wheat, oats, hay and forage are the staples.
Some land is so fertile that
alfalfa can be grown and three and four cuttings made a year.
The orchards in the county
contain 74,532 trees with a normal annual production of 79,207 bushels of
fruit. The chief varieties are apples,
peaches, pears, plums, cherries, and strawberries and blackberries.
In a normal year shipments are
made to the larger Missouri
cities, and the north. The quantity and
value of poultry products increase from year to year, keeping pace with the
ever growing demand of the market.
contains Mine Lamotte which has been operated continuously by white men for 122
years, and 68 years periodically before its continuous operation. Lead was taken from these deposits by Indians
before the Spanish and French took possession. While lead is the chief mineral
of the county there is some nickel, cobalt, copper, iron and zinc to be found,
and from time to time are marketed.
Small quantities of silver are extracted by eastern refineries from the
lead ore of this district.
It is stated that ninety per cent
of the nickel and cobalt of the United States
comes from Madison
Granite and marble are quarried
12 miles south of Fredericktown. Kaolin
and pottery clay are shipped to northern manufactories. A superior quality of building stone is found
in the vicinity of Fredericktown.
Ore Smelters are Needed
A large modern, high grade
refinery, fully equipped to extract silver, copper and nickel from the Madison
County ore, would be a paying
needed. Along the St.
Francis River there still exists considerable white oak. Yellow pine stands in patches. There are other varieties which still exist,
such as elm, sycamore, maple and black and post oak. Often white oak logs three feet in diameter
are shipped out. This visible supply of
timber suggests that handle, stave, hoop and furniture factories would find
plenty of raw material here. The sawdust
and the waste would supply the needed fuel.
Granite and stone dressing and
crushing mills could not find a more suitable location in the State. One or two ice and electric light plants are
White Springs, located 8 miles
south of Fredericktown has a medicinal value and is know throughout that
section as a health resort.
Swift flowing streams would
furnish power for factories, along the St. Francis River
Near Silvermine is some of the
most picturesques scenery of the State.
The soil is gravelly clay, loam
with porous subsoil, well adapted for fruit growing. This industry is still in its infancy in this
county. More strawberries could be
cultivated profitably for the St.
More dairies and poultry farms
are needed. The Big and Little St.
Francis Rivers, the Castor
River and numerous clear
springs furnish ample water for all purposes.
Other information concerning this count follows:
Railroad traversing county – St. Louis, Iron Mountain
County Seat – Fredericktown.
Cities, towns and villages:
Water – St. Francis and Little
St. Francis Rivers
furnish an abundant water supply.
Roads – About fifteen miles of
gravel and macadam; the balance dirt, and in fair condition. The county has constructed several miles of
new roads the past year, and everyone is renewing his interest in the good
Considerable Timber Still
Timber -- All
varieties of oak, hickory, and along the streams good sycamore is found. The supply is abundant, and its principal
uses are rough lumber, furniture, cooperage and wagon material.
Fuel -- Coal sells for an avarice of $3 per ton
Wood $3 per cord
Land -- Rolling, and sometimes rough. Soil is gravelly clay loam, with porous
subsoil. Along the streams the soil is
right and productive.
There are over 2,000 acres of
unimproved land, of which the greater part is suitable for grazing, and at
least 50 per cent suitable for cultivation when cleared.
On-tenth of the county is proven
mineral land. The cost of clearing will
average $7 per acre.
Unimproved land can be purchased
from $5 per acre up.
Ten percent of the improved farms
are for sale, ranging in price from $10 to $25 per acre.
Labor – Farm labor plentiful at
$15 per month with board and lodging, and $30 per month without board and
Social advantages – The greater
per cent of the population is of American birth, with quite a sprinkling of
The public schools are of high
standard, and many beautiful houses of worship are scattered throughout the
county, representing the leqding religious denominations.
Much interest is devoted to
fraternal societies, and about all of the leading organizations are
Industries Wanted -- A Canning Factory and a Creamery would
receive encouragement at Fredericktown.
Missouri, 1912-13-14: Resources, advantages and opportunities of a
Bureau of Labor Statistics