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Obituary.—Wo deeply regret the occasion to notice in this number, the mournful fate of our esteemed friend and faithful co-worker In the field of agriculture, the Hon. H. H. Billings, of Highland, Iowa Co., the painful circumstances of whose death are thus given in the Dodge County Citiztn of the 8th ult.:
On the morning of the 6th inst., the Colonel left his residence with a two horse sleigh, intending to go to Avoca; upon hit arrival at the village of Highland he found the road so obstructed that it would not be prudent toattempt the trip. He started to return home, and in crossing a "dish" or sharp pitch in the road at the foot of the hill cast of Highland, in what is known as Simonsville, the inside trace of the off horse unloosed, when he got out of his sleigh, and in reaching over to recover the trace, the horse, a fractious animal, kicked, throwing him upon the double-trees; the team started at full run, carrying him upon the double-trees and kicking for nearly a mile and a half, when they were met by a gentleman and stopped. When the Colonel was picked up, life was extinct: he received a very deep cut in theforehead.and another directly behind the right ear; and the right side of his face and right hand were badly cut and bruised. That he was kicked while attempting to hitch the loosed trace is evident, for though alone, he was seen by a gentleman at some little distance to get out of his sleigh and go to the heels of the horse and reach over, and while attempting to hitch the trace he must have been kicked and foil upon the double-trees. His body was placed in the sleigh and conveyed home to his family, whom he had left but a few short hours before, happy and contented, now bowed down in sorrow and grief at theirbereavementof aloving and affectionate husband, and a kind and indulgent father.
His funeral took place upon his farm In the afternoon of Sunday, tho 9th inst. He was buried by the Masonic Fraternity, of which he wag a highly honored, eminent and loved member. He leaves a widow and seven intelligent and interesting children to mourn hie death.
Col. Billings was the first President of the State Agricultural Society, as at present organised, and has ever since been one its most faithful, active and efficient officers/ Always ready to second any reasonable measure for the progress of industry, we had come to regard him as essential to the prosperity of the organization for the promotion of whose'intere^ts it is our business to labor, and therefore deeply feel his loss on this account, as well as becauso of his high social worth and great value as a citizen of the State. As a political leader of the Democratic School, he was zealous and resolute, yet ever juvt and fair, caring more for the success of the principles be endorsed than for personal advantage or temporary party auoccp*. At the luM State election lie was the candidate of his party for the office of Lieut. Governor, and sustained himself well in the contest.
It is not alone hi» large and amiable family who will mourn his Iosa; all who have ever known him will lament his sad fate.
Binding the Farmer.—In n few days we shall receive from New York a fine lot of muslin covers for the Farmer of 1861, after which we shall be prepared to furnish binding of superior quality for 40 cents a copy. The Farmer is worth almost as much for reference as for current use, and when handsomely bound from year to year, in the course of time will make an elegant agricultural Library of great value. Send in your loose numbers. If any should be wanting, we will furnish them, so far as we have the deficient numbers, without charge.
The Sugar-Bfit K u In ment.—Several years ago, when France re-organized her efforts in the direction of producing sugar from tho beet, the experiment was tried in this country, on a small scale, but did not entirely succeed. The present high prices have again awakened interest on that subject, however, and vigorous efforts arc being put forth In some of the States, to insure the making of experiments on a more extended scale. In Ohio a number of prominont gentlemen—among them Mr. Klippart, Sec. of the Stato Board of Agriculture—are actively interesting themselves in the matter, and considerable quantities of seed have been ordered from France, for planting, this season.
The Sorghum Crop of 1868 bids fair to exceed anything ever yet done in thia direction. In Ohio, Illinois and perhaps some other States, Sorghum Conventions have been held, wherein the subjects of cultivation and manufacture have been discussed with the most encouraging results; the general conclusion being that it may be made one of the most profitable crops of the season.
The Horticultural Department is rapidly growing in interest. Numerous careful and skillful fruitgrowers are doing themselves credit and the public great good by their valuable monthly contributions. Two or three valuable communications arrived too late for publication and are left over until next month. Will not the special friends, of othor departments do ae well?
Leached Ashes* ifcc.—I have been trying to get up a Club for tho Farmer, but our neighbors seem to think, if I should judge by their actions, that ouf Stato papers can be published without subscribers; or they wish to live like heathen, in a State where there is no paper printed, for some of them arc sending their money for less valuable papers East.
Please to inform me through your columns if leached' ashes are good on a gravel and clay soil, with a subsoil of Clay, and if they are good, what crop would be best to follow. Would they not bo good on a meadow. There is an oshcry about half a mile from my farm, and fora small remuneration I can get all I can draw.
Respectfully Yours, Kuene/tr Raymond.
Auburn, Feb. loth, 1862.
[ Have not spaco now; will answer in next number.]
Aid and Comfort — The Wall Flower
Wis. Farmer:—Enclosed you will find cash for the next year's subscription for your excellent Journal, with hearty wishes for your feucccw. You will oblige mo by giving directions for cultivating the Wall Flower. I haven plant that has grown well the past season, but does not show signs of blossoming. It resembles the Stock Gilla in form. K. Holt. [Have not had much experience with this plant. It sometimes declines in health and vigor from want of fresh earth and re-potting. Will some of tho Florists answer ?1
DaifH and Mnlton— -Please find enclosed two dollars to pay for one copy of the Farmer for the current year, and one copy Xew York Tribune, weekly, commencing with the next No.
Many of the wheat-growers iu this region, aro fond of dogs, and dislike mutton. They are also in debt, ami n/toays ought to be, for their hatred to the most profitable animal in the State. Had they the chance, they would vote to banish every sheep from the country. They don't see (because they wont,) that a million dollars annually, might be received, above the present receipts, for wool, with but very little trouble, and no expense beyond the value of manure, manufactured from the white grasses, now left to be seared up, and made valueless by the an* tnmnal frosts, or the more prolific tame grass which should speedily take the place of wild; to which may be added, bean vines poorly threshed, corn fodder and straw, enough being wasted or burned to keep thousands of abeep.
Worthless dogs must be kept to prey upon the innocent sheep, and dishearten their owners, s. L. M., Fulton, Wis.
Friend Hott :—I am very anxious to know how to make woodland pastures, where previous cultivation is impracticable or inconvenient. The more level land is a gravel deposit, and covered with burr oak groves; the hill-sides are yellowish sand, more or less mixed with mould, and bearing, generally, black oaks. What grosses will grow best, and how shall they be put in: An article from somo one of experience in this latitude, will be very useful to me and doubtless of general interest. If any such article has been published, its re-publication would not be amiss.
I am getting my place ready for sheep-raising, as that branch of agriculture promises best here. I had hoped to be in Madison some months ago, but was prevented by affairs at home.
I wish you could see the fine lands of Goodhue, and other counties on the river. No lands in the State, arc better,and considering the advantages of market, lumber, Ac, none cheaper. This is due to this vicinity having been an Indian Reservation, to which no title was good until after the crash of '57, and nothing since to bring them up. Yours, Truly, Lewis H. Garrakd.
Frontenac, Goodhue Co., Minn.
[Will discuss this subjVct in next number. If any of our readers havo had experience, would be jrlad to hcor from them.J
Rabbits never so bad.—Iu a nursery I visited 200 miles South, they had either girdled completely or made unsaleable, I should say,one-fourth of several thousand fine saleable, 3 and 4 year apple trees! What can bo done? The.State Societies should doit—but if no other way, I will be ono of not less than 20 to make up $1,000 for a cheap, sure mode of destroying them. F.K. Phoenix, Bloomington, 111. [Who will answer this question, and where are the other 19 men 1]
Amber Wheat, 4b>o.—Sir:—I see in New York market, thero is a kind of wheat called the Amber Iowa, or Wis. Amber. Is it a spring wheat, and caa good seed be had? Please enquire. I see it quoted higher than any other spring wheat. Also, please onquire at your seed store in Madison, If clover seed can be hod, of the medium kind. I got some there last year. If it is not the medium kind, I don't want it, as there is plenty of the small kind hero. Please Inform me at your leisure, and oblige, Wm. Humphrey, IMtch Grove. [The Amber Is a winter wheat, said by some to be Identical with Rio Grande. Very little of it comes into this market. Don't know where it can be had. "Medium" clover seed can be had here after a while. Glad to hear enquiries for clover teed. A great deal of it should be sown this
—P «*. .
Aid and Comfort and Good Senae.—I enclose you two dollars to pay for the Farmer the present year and another year from next January.
I would send apologies for not paying before, as it is contrary to my custom; but you will care nothing for them, 1 suppose, and would express some hesitation that I have in paying for any more publications beforehand, as I have already paid for four different ones, which have come up minus, since war has commenced; but as farming is the back-bone of war as well as everything else, I shall expect the Farmer to be supported by the farmers of Wisconsin. Yours, Truly, Thomas Sears.
Mr. J. W. Hott— Dear Sir :—Enclosed please find $2,00 for the Farmer of 1861 and 1862. I am well pleased with the 2 numbers of 1862- Have you arrangements for binding the Farmer of 1861, and the best way to send the same? 1 could get mine' bound in this neighborhood, but the appearance don't suit me. Yours, Truly, John F. Grane—Fancy Creek, [Seo paragraph on this subject.]
Sugar Cane.—Do you know of any good sugar cano seed, that I can get a quantity of, to sell. Wo think of doing a good business in the lino of raising and manufacturing cane, if we can obtain good seed—my faith is as strong as ever.—O. P. Dow, Palmyra. [We havo written to several parties, and will again notice in next number.]
O U II BOOK TAB I. E .
Manual Of Agriculture, for the School, the Farm ami the Fireside. Ily Geo. H. Kmerson, Author of a''Report ,in the Trees and Shrubs of Miwh.." and Charles h. Flint, Author " Milch C«»ws and Hairy Farming, Grasses, Forage Plant!'," etc.,etc. Published by Swan, Brewer A Tileston, Boston, Mass. Price, 75 cts.
Having spent a considerable time iu the preparation of materials for a work of similar character to this, we havo not felt willing to notico it until after a very careful examination. Thi» we havo at last found time to give, and It affords us great pleasure to accord to it our most hearty approval. The work covers a wlilo field, and while very concise is nevertheless pleasing and attractive in stylo.— Dullness and dryness arc not essential to text-books on I
science, although they are unhappily the chief ch&rac terlatics of so many books of that class.
A book which might be successfully used by an Intelligent instructor in our common schools, as an aid in teaching the familiar applications of science to tho useful arts, has long been a fei t need. This "Manual of Agriculture" is the result of the combined effort of two of the most competent men in the country to supply that desideratum and they have produced a work which should find a grateful welcomo in Otery school and country home in tho land.
OuR Farm Op 4 Acres and the Money we made by it, with an Introduction by Peter P. Mead, Ed. Horticulturist. Saxton, Barker A Co.—Prico 60 cts.
A pleasing and instructive little book, worth twice the
First Biennial Report of tho Progress of the Geological Surrey of Michigan. A. Winchel, State Geologist.
We are indebted to our esteemed friend, I. A. Lapham, Esq., of Milwaukee, for a copy of this Report, which embraces the years 1859—60. It contains matter of much Interest, and gives evidence of zeal and industry on the part of its author.
Agricultural Reports of the Massachusetts Board of Agriculture for 1869.—Edited by C. L. Flint, Sec'y; 20 copies received.
This Is one of the best of Mr. Flint's model Reports.— We have derived pleasure from the hasty glance given it and shall read It through and through—if we ever find time.
Thk Fourth Voixmb Op Tkasactioms Of The Illinois State Agricultural Society is the best one, as it appears to us, hitherto published, and does honor to the Society and to the able Secretary of tho Board, John P. Reynold's, Esq. Wo notice that 10,000 copies were printed, which shows that the Legislators and people of Illinois have an ambition commensurate with the area of their great and noble State. Thanks for tho copies sent
NOTICES OF NEW ADVERTISEMENTS.
Messrs. Ramsay k Campbell have a new advertisement in this number of their extensive and superior stock of hardware, agricultural implements, Ac. They are proving themselves masters of their business, and as a consequence are securing an immense trade.
Purchasing in tho best eastern markets with cash,they are able to sell at the lowest rates; an 1 as they are constantly receiving supplies, their stock always embraces articles of the latest and most approved variety and style.
Wo heartily commend them to the farming public, feeling confident that they will give good satisfaction to their purchasers.
See notice of Evanston Fruit Farm. We are personally ocquaiuted with Mr. Kidder, and believo him to be a skillful, enterprising cultivator and an honorable dealer.
Rev. D. Y. Kilgore advertises Evansvillo Seminary, of which he is Proprietor and Principal. Having visitod
this Institution and having intimately known the Principal for years, as a gentleman of ability and energy and as a faithful and popular teacher, we have no hesitation in commending Evansville Seminary to the attention and patronage of all who would prefer the education of their children in a well-ordered, living school. Hls assistants are among the ablest teachers in the State.
Messrs. Swan, Brewer A Tileston advertise tho Manual of Agriculture of which a notice will be found in our Book Table, Read it and send for the book.
Madison Mutual Insurance Company,
FOR THE TEAR ENDING
JANUARY 1st, 1802.
Made to tho Governor of tho State of Wisconsin, as required by the provisions of chapter 303, of tho General Laws of 1868.
Total amount of accumulations, $216,865 76
policy holders for cosh pre-
Ani't secured by mortgage and
Judgment, 332 47
Office furniture and fixtures,... 1,000 00 $216,865 76
Whole number of policies issued, 14,357
Am't of outstanding risks thereon $10,320,789 00
Reported losses awaiting further proof, 3,700 80
Losses recently reported,. 3,433 80
Whole number of policies issued in 1861... 5,778
Amount of outstanding risks thereon, $5,315,173 00
Amount of premium notes thereon,. 03,944 06
Amount of cash premiums thereon, 48,377 30
Total amount of losses reported during the
year 15,801 13
Total am't of losses paid during the year, 6,881 16
Amount settled by drafts and awaiting the
call of the insured, 1,568 85
Amount of commissions paid to Agents,.... 7,460 84
Am't paid for Advertising,. $1,625 20
Amount paid for printing, 811 00
Amount paid for postago, 360 22
Amount paid for office rent,.... 200 00 3,002 42
Expenses paid, including all com pen sat ion
of officers and directors—stationery, ev
tra clerk hire, fuel, lights, and all other
incidental expenses, 6,069 56
STATE OF WISCONSIN,) „.
Wr. tho undersigned, being tho President and a majority *if the Directors of the "Madison Mutual Insnrance Company," do solemnly swear, and each for himself saith, that the foregoing is a true and correct statement of the affairs of said company in the particulars therein named, as appears by the books of the company, according to the best of our knowledge and belief.
D.J. POWERS, President. JOHN W. BOYD, SAMUEL D. HASTINGS, B. V. HOPKINS, TIMOTHY BROWN, ALBERT WOOD, iJ.P.HASTINGS, H. H.GILES, SAM'L R. McCLELLAN, G. R.MONTAGUE, ORRIN GUERNSEY, LUTHER BASFOKD, DAVID ATWOOD, D. WORTUINGTON. Subscribed and sworn before me this sixth day of January, A. D. 1862. V. W. ROTH, Notary Public,
Work for April.
"Now comes the tug of war!" The farmer who has been dozing in the corner during the long wintry weather of the past several months must wake up, throw away his pipe, and wade in.
Let us see,—there is so much to be done, that we hardly know where to begin.
The Cleaning: Up Process certainly should come first. The work must be thorough.
The cellar will prove a source of discomfort and disease unless cleaned of all decaying substances, scraped, scrubbed and whitewashed. It will require a few hours to do it, but disease and death may be prevented thereby. And while you are about it, clean up the door yard also, making everything look neat and tidy, and saving mother the trouble and vexation of "mopping up" after you every day.
Now is the time, likewise, to give the stable, stock-pens, chicken house, &c, a general "going over." If you pretend to keep animals, take a little pains to insure their health and comfort. Don't be afraid of using the whitewash brush. Lime is cheap and a great purifier.
Repairs.—If during the winter fractious horses or unruly cattle have kicked off some of the barn boards or broken down fences, there will come no time during the season when they can better be put in reyair than now; and besides, who wants to see things looking slopshod and slattering all summer long? Not we; we hope not you.
If a thrifty farmer, and sickness or something of that sort has not prevented, you have wisely spent the days of winter and good sledding in getting the materials for fences, &c,
upon the ground just where wanted. Very well; so far so good. But don't stop there. The ground is not quite ready yet, (at least it looks hardly probable to-day—March 8th,) for plowing and seeding, and if it were, it is scarcely more important to raise crops than to protect them. Therefore we say again, look to your fences, and see that they are in good shape before it's too late.
Seeding should be done as early as the ground can be put in good condition. This is a safe general rule. Seed well. There is nothing gained by slighting this important work. The quality of seed has been already discussed in March No., but it will not be amiss if we again say, Don't commit the folly of putting seed into the ground without knowing that it will grow. This fact may bo determined with regard to some by careful occular inspection, simply; others should be put in a basin of moist earth and left in a warm place to test their ability to sprout, before venturing to plant.
Care or Stock.—Your stock of all kinds are just entering upon that interesting and trying period, "betwixt hag and gran." Don't trust to Providence too far. He has ordained that good, wholesome food shall be a condition of health and life. A little grain, bran, meal or roots will come in play during this month and prove a good investment. See articles on "Currying Animals," "To Prevent Vermin,'' "Skim-milk Calves," and on "Care of Cows after Calving."
Garden.—Begin in good season. There is no need of waiting until late summer for lettuce, raddishes, cucumbers, peas, beans, &c. See Hints for April in Horticultural and Bee Departments.
Agricultural and Statistical Bureau.
The late report of Hon. Caleb B. Smith, Sec'y Interior, contains what we have long been anxious to see in a document emanating from that Department, to-wit: a recommendation backed by forcible logic, for the organization of an Agricultural and Statistical Bureau. American Agriculture has long enough been tucked away in a basement corner of the Patent Office, and we rejoice that the able Secretary now at the head of the Interior Department, has a just appreciation of the magnitude of this permanent material interest.
In a sense and to an extent which is true of no other wation this is an agricultural country. We may excel in themcchanic arts, but, after all, our great reliance must be upon Agriculture. It is certainly, therefore, the plainest dictate of common sense that the Government should especially foster this great branch of our manifold national industry.
The following extract from the report in question is full of wholesome truths which we hope will be duly considered by Congress and by the American People:
"eichth Census.—The returns of the eighth census are being condensed for publication, with all the expedition practicable in a work of such magnitude and varied comprehensive details.
"The report which the Superintendent of that work will be prepared to make during the present Congress, will confirm the general belief, that no previous period of our history has been distinguished by greater prosperity or evidences of more substantial progress in all the material interests affecting the welfare and happiness of a people.
•. ln this connexion I feel constrained to recommend the establishment of a Bureau of Agriculture and Statistics, the need whereof is not only realized by the heads of department, but is felt by every intelligent legislator.
'•The maintenance of such a bureau, on a respectnole footing, by a different arrangement of offices which at present exist on a basis too contracted for extensive usefulness, would be attended with no expense to the government additional to that incident to the present organization of the departments, while the advantages gained to the public service wonld be incalculable. One of the objects contemplated by Congress in the appropriations for the pomotion of agriculture was the "collection of agricultural statistics." Correct reports from every portion of the country exhibiting
the peculiarities of the soils and their adaptation to the various crops, with the oharacter and extent of their annual productions, would constitute a fund of information of great practical value. The appropriations heretofore made by Congress have not been sufficient to accomplish this object, and at the same time provide for the distribution of seeds and the propagation of new varieties of plants to the extent which the public expectation appeared to demand.
"Annual reports made under the direction of such a bureau, setting forth the condition of our agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, with well digested statements relative to similar facts in foreign countries, which the present rapid intercommunication enables us to obtain often in advance of their publication abroad, would prove the most valuable repertories of interesting and important information, the absence of which often occasions incalculable loss to the material interests of the country. The vigilance of such a bureau would supply timely warning of the failure of crops abroad or at home, and lead to the judicious investment of capital and employment of labor in agriculture and manufactures.
"While we expend vast sums for experiments in gunnery—the promotion of science—in illustrating the physical features of unpeopled territory at home and regions beyond the seas, and publish costly volumes of undigested correspondence relating to foreign trade, it is a source of pain to every statesman and political economist to reflect that it is only once in ten years that the country is supplied with reliable returns respecting the value of our agriculture and manufactures, while we are altogether ignorant of the extent of our internal commerce, and possess no means of ascertaining its importance.
"All enlightened foreign governments and several of the States sustain statistical bureaus, while the United States, with a population second to no other in intelligence, and with productions and resources the most varied, have yet to institute an agency which would prove an invaluable guardian of our most material interests. The want of such a bureau has long been felt, and has been frequently brought to the notice of Congress, but at no period has the necessity been so universally recognized as at the present.
"Upon the agricultural and statistical bureau would naturally devolve the charge of the census, for which timely preparation would bo made, and its administration conducted with improved accuracy and ease. In fact the execution of that work collects a mass of valuable details, and reveals innumerable and reliable souroes of information of deep interest, heretofore lost to the country, which a permanent bureau would be able to develop to advantage.
"The extent to which the documents of that office have reached, and the frequent referenoe