1879 History of Menard & Mason Counties
Published by: O.L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers
186 Dearborn Street

Mason County

Material Wealth of Illinois
Page 407

Perhaps the best evidence of the richness and productiveness of the soil of Illinois, as also the wealth and prosperity of the State, will be found in statistics-some of which are here briefly given.

Of the 35,459,200 acres of land within the borders of the State, about twenty millions are in cultivation, and five millions in woodland, leaving a greater portion of the remaining ten millions of acres of virgin soil yet to be put into cultivation, which is rapidly being done by drainage, levying and other means.

There are now growing within the State 8,965,760 acres of corn, which, at a moderate estimate of thirty-five bushels per acre, will produce 313,801,600 of bushels, and valued at 30 cents per bushel will be $94,140,480. In 1875, the corn produced was 130,000,000 bushels, which was at that time more than double the amount raised in any other State, and one-sixth the entire crop of all the States.

The acreage of wheat for 1879, is 2,365,798, which, at an estimate of twenty bushels per acre, will produce 47,315,960 bushels, worth, at 90 cents per bushel, $42,584,374. There were thirty millions of bushels produced ten years ago, and that was more than any other State produced at that time.

In oats there are 1,448,562 acres.

In meadows there are 2,179,122 acres. In 1875, there were harvested 2,747,000 tons of hay in Illinois, which was more than one-tenth of that produced in all the States, and its value was more than all the cotton raised in Louisiana or any other State.

The pasturage, at present, consists of 4,157,320 acres, and its value is more than twenty millions of dollars.

The number of cattle in the State this year is 1,722,057, and the number estimated for market this year, 376,577.

Of hogs now on hand there are 2,814,532, of which 2,013,718 are doomed to slaughter this year.

The number of sheep is 762,788.

Number of horses on hand is 881,951.

Number of mules, 122,348.

The number of hogs slaughtered in 1875, was 2,113,845, about half the entire crop of the United States, and the value of all the slaughtered animals in the State was $57,000,000, one-seventh of the total for that year.

The value of the farm implements in the State is over two hundred million dollars.

The value of the annual manufactures of the State is about two hundred and ten millions of dollars.

The mineral wealth of the State is beyond computation, as there are 41,000 square miles of coal, over forty feet in thickness. There are but 12,000 square miles of coal in all Great Britain, and that is rapidly being exhausted. At the rate which England is using coal the supply in Illinois will last 120,000 years.

Illinois is now the third State in population, and in railroads far ahead of any other State, having at present 7,579 miles of track within her borders, valued at over $600,000,000, using 3,500 engines, and some 70,000 cars in operating them.

Illinois also excels all other States in miles of postal service: money orders sold: internal revenue paid into the National treasury: in the amount and value of her lumber trade, grain trade, and also in the amount of whisky which she makes, to revive the drooping spirits of the people of other States.

Having devoted thus much to matters of the State, the affairs of the county will come next in order.

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