Promoting Kansas in 1873
[Transcribed from the Lincoln County News, March 13, 1873 by Tracee Hamilton]
The great Bugbear of Kansas: We have heard a good many say that the only really bad feat of Kansas is the extremely disagreeable winds that prevail here during the month of March. It is true that this is not the most favorable time for an eastern man to come to Kansas with the expectation of seeing the natural beauties of our state, for we do not deny that the wind does blow once in a while, and owing to the peculiar mellowness of our rich prairie soil, it is sometimes scooped up and mingled with the "balmy Zephyrs," and perhaps to a Yankee, who proverbially goes about with his mouth open, it is rather disagreeable. Of course, not being used to this kind of diet, and vexed to see his fine store clothes begrimed with dirt, he becomes disgusted and goes back east, where he can still spend a month of pleasant winter evenings lounging by a fire and spinning exaggerated tales about the disagreeable climate of Kansas.
Now we propose to state a few facts in relation to the climate of Kansas, and these disagreeable winds. We have lived in two or three other states before coming to Kansas, and we have seen the wind blow just as hard as we ever did here, if not a little harder. It didn t blow dirt in our eyes, ears and mouth though, and the reason are obvious. In the first place, the soil was too compact at this season to be disturbed by anything milder than a steel-pointed thunderbolt. In the second place, during the month of which we speak, we kept indoors and hugged the fire as closely as possible, still enjoying the luxury of snug winter weather. The wind blew pretty hard but it was not very disagreeable to persons, though the cattle, sheep and horses contracted their muscles, curved their spines and brooded over the about equal probabilities of death or approaching spring.
The real truth is that during the month of March the weather in Kansas in its general features is quite similar to that experienced in May in many of the eastern states. We do not escape the most disagreeable characteristics of an eastern climate during the spring months. The Kansas farmer is enabled to commence his spring work during the latter part of February, and not unfrequently a great deal of the plowing and seeding is done during that month. The winds that blow during the next month are warm and healthful, starting all vegetation into life and a man finds it most convenient to dispense with the wearing of a coat. The fact is, we have no weather scarcely that will keep men from pursuing their customary out of door avocations, and we know nothing about muddy roads. Our winters days are nearly all sunny and agreeable, our spring weather balmy and healthful, and our summers answer to the most perfect definition of a temperate climate.
An eastern man can well afford to exchange the luxury of a hard winter with its deep snows, a spring of cold, sleety, rainy, windy days, and a brief summer of sweltering heat for a home in a state like Kansas, possessing all the merits and very few of the demerits of a temperate and tropical climate, if he does have to eat a little dirt.
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