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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Decatur County


Map of Decatur County - 1878

Population. -- The population in 1878 was estimated at 950, and consists principally of settlers from other portions of Kansas, Iowa and Missouri; there are a few Germans and Swedes.

Topography. -- The general surface of the country is gently undulating of which 98 per cent is prairie, and 2 per cent timber.

Timber. -- There is a fair amount of timber on the streams, the belts being from one-quarter to half a mile in width; the varieties are ash, elm, box elder, cottonwood and willow.

Coal. -- None discovered.

Principal Streams. -- The county is watered by Sappa, Beaver, Plum, Prairie Dog and Big Timber creeks, which run through it from the southwest to the northeast. The county is well supplied with springs. Well water is obtained at a depth of from 20 to 40 feet.

Building Stone. -- The best quality of magnesian limestone is found in abundance - hard and soft, white, yellow or cream. Pure chalk has been discovered in boring for wells.

Agricultural Statistics. -- The county contains 576,000 acres, of which 95 per cent is cultivatable. The settlers thus far have been engaged in grazing cattle, of which there are some large herds in the county. No data concerning crops in 1878. Preparations are being made for planting a large area of broom corn in the spring. The post offices already established, are Oberlin, Cedar Bluffs, Connersville, Decatur, Lyle, Shiboleth, Slab City, Keefer and Spring Vale. H. W. Pollitz, having favored the Board of Agriculture with a sketch of the pioneer settlement of Oberlin, the following engraving was made from the same:

OBERLIN, (Decatur County).
OBLERLIN, (Decatur County).