United States Railroad Administration.

Texas farm opportunities online

. (page 1 of 5)
Online LibraryUnited States Railroad AdministrationTexas farm opportunities → online text (page 1 of 5)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

5».' ^.i*^i^"




Qass O 4 S f

Book, T4A1

I? /I



booklet, Texas Farm
Opportunities, the Ag-
ricultural section of the
United States Railroad
Administration does so
with the idea that it will he a source of
reliable information for the home-

It is compiled by practical and
scientific agriculturists and has the en-
dorsement of prominent and progressive
citizens of the state.

The vastness of Texas and rapid de-
velopment of its agricultural resources;
the differences of soil, climate, rainfall,
topography, and the need for up-to-date
literature make this publication timely.


Governor's Office,

Austin, Texas, January 22d, 1919.
Texas Railway Agricultural Committee,
Dallas, Texas.


The publicaition by the Railroad Agricultural Committee of a booklet for Texas, advertising
the advantages and opportunities of this State, has my hearty endorsement and approval.

I feel that this is a worth-while undertaking and should result in the enlightenment of outside
persons interested in the various industries of the respective States.

Not only that, but coming with the reconstruction of our nation from a war to a peace
basis, i't could be made a medium to aid our returning heroes in determining upon a future home
and occupation.

Cordially yours,

(Signed) W. P. HOBBY,

Governor of Texas.

Deparcment of Agriculture,
State of Texas,

Austin. 1/22/19.
The Texas Railway Agricultural Committee,
Dallas, T^xas.


We have been advised by your chairman that your committee anticipated t*he compilation,
printing and distribution of a folder in which would be set forth the agricultural advantages and
opportunities afforded by the various sections of Texas.

As Commissioner of Agriculture, I wish to give my endorsement to such a worthy under-
taking by your association.

Texas has in it, vast areas of undeveloped agricultural land; it also has larger areas in which
increased production could be had if the number engaged in agriculture could be increased by
inducing successful farmers from other portions of the United States to settle in Texas. Es-
pecially would I consider such publication timely just now, in view of the fact that so many
of our noble boys who have been wearing the khaki will soon return to their native countrv.
and will no doubt enter into productive lines with as much determination ?.s they have so well
demonstrated in fheir successful drive against German autocracy. Their victories in war
will make the world better for all its people. Their victory to be gained on behalf of hu-
manity in productive lines will be equally as far reaching in its field of service.

Yours respectfully,
j4 (Signed) FRED W. DAV'IS,

FWD-c Commissioner of Agriculture.

Co-operative Extension Work


Agriculture and Home Economics,

State of Texas.

College Station, January 31, 1919.
Texas Railway Agricultural Committee,
Dallas, Texas.


I heartily endorse your plans to place 'before the people of other States the agricultural possi-
bilities of Texas, as our undeveloped agricultural lands are sufficient to accommodate a large
additional number of successful farmers. Texas lands are cheap as compared with lands m
other sections when their producing capacities are considered, so a booklet setting forth facts
with reference to these possibilities should be of service to the prospective home-seeker m giv-
ing him information as to our undeveloped resources.

2» '"

Yours very truly,
(Signed) T. O. WALTON,

Actine Director.

Page Two


:: 3utro6uctorY ♦♦


Texas is so large that it may properly be called the Empire State ; not only as
to domain, with its two hundred and sixty-five thousand seven hundred squares miles,
but because it involves a wide variation in elevation, temperature, rainfall and soil, and
therefore has a wide adaptability to crops. It is the Empire State in its ability to sup-
ply its inhabitants with the common necessities of life, both as to riament and food.

Texas contains 252 counties. It has a coast line of approximately 400 miles. The
area of Texas is 8.7 per cent of the total area of the United States.

Texas is 765 miles from east to west and 805 miles from north to south.

Texas has made unbounded progress in the building of good roads in the past
decade. The State Highway Department of Texas is perhaps the equal of any highway
and registration department in the United States.

Texas has approximately 20,000 miles of good roads over which agricultural prod-
ucts may be hauled at any time of the year. Texas has many thousand miles of
proposed highways which will be constructed as rapidly as possible.

Texas is crossed and recrossed by a network of railroads reaching all the larger

Texas is the newest oil center of the United States. Geologists say that a large
oil pool underlies a great part of Texas, which has in part been proven.


Texas has broad, level prairies; high, elevated plateaus. 3,000 to 5,000 feet above
sea level, and fertile valleys. The average elevation of Texas is 850 feet. The soil
varies in richness and fertility from black waxy, black sandy, gray sandy, red sandy,
sandy loam to alluvial soils.

Texas has a variety of climates. A great portion is swept by the Gulf breezes,
making the long summers endurable and enjoyable. The winters usually are mild and
delightful. The crop season of Northern Texas averages eight months and of South
Texas ten months a year.

Rainfall differs in sections to the same extent as climates. Extreme West Texas
averages from 10 to 15 inches rainfall, and East Texas 35 to 50 inches a year.


Texas wants farmers, energetic and intelligent farmers, to come and farm her
fertile acres.

Texas is the only State in the Union with room enough for a population great
enough to consume its total production of food, fabrics and building materials ; the only
area in the world in which the native resources of fuel, iron, water, stone and lumber
are sufficient to enable its maximum population to exist and flourish without drawing
upon the products of any outside State or Nation.

Texas is at the threshold of its greatest prosperity. The development made in
the past decade is but a token of that to come.


Wheat, corn, oats, barley, milo, kafir, feterita, known as grain sorghums ; and the
saccharine sorghums for silage, are the chief grain and forage crops of Texas. Sugar,

Page Three


from sugar cane, is now produced in the State, and the producliiMi of this crop is capable
of still further expansion. The various vegetables and fruits capable of growing in
a north temperate climate or in a subtropical zone are produced extensively in the

Cotton, wool and mohair are important industries and to a less extent fibers
capable of being manufactured into clothing. Silk is also produced. The average
annual value of Texas farm crops for the last nine years, ending 1918, was $500,800,000.

From the sea level there is a gradual elevation for 100 miles inland, known as the
Coastal Plain. Then there occurs a succession of hills, plateaus and prairies, until an
elevation of more than four thousand feet is attained in the Panhandle, while in the
Western part of the State several mountain ranges occur, with individual peaks, reach-
ing from 3,000 to 9,600 feet in height.

The country west of the 98th meridian is given largely to grazing and live stock
industry; sheep, goats, cattle and horses. Land in this region is also cultivated by
irrigation. Productive lands are located in the Panhandle and South Plains country.
The country east of the 98th meridian in general terms is a safe agricultural country.


Texas will be continually in need of more and better hogs. At the present time
there is a shortage in the State amounting to nearly twenty-five per cent. The eastern
one-half of the State is as well suited for the production of pork as any section in the
United States. Feed crops can be easily grown, and no more profitable method of
marketing the surplus crops can be had than marketing them in the form of hogs.
Increased pork production is not only a patriotic duty, but at the same time one can
secure larger returns on the sale of farm products and increase the productive value
of the farm and soil. Improved hogs and good farming go hand in hand. An ideal
system of farming is not complete without a proper system of pork production.

Hogs are the most prolific of all domestic animals, producing, when properly cared
for, a thousand per cent per annum on the number of breeding sows in the herd.
This means quick financial returns, since hogs make rapid gains, and with the improved .
breeds they can be marketed at from seven to eight months of age. In this respect I
hogs have a decided advantage over all other classes of live stock, because money
invested in hogs soon begins to bring in large returns. They not only increase soil
fertility and convert waste into profit, but wherever farmers have large bank deposits
there also are found modern systems of pork production. There is no type of farming
to which swine production cannot be adapted. Hogs are easiest to produce and handle
of all meat animals, and will make the most rapid progress toward solving the world
meat problem.

To make a success of swine production one should consult freely with the experi-
ment stations, agricultural colleges and railroad agricultural agent in the State and
in feeding one must give attention to the proper preparation of rations and grow-
ing of grazing crops, and especially to the feed supply. In problems of manage-
ment one should consider the herd boar, the sows, the pigs and feeding swine.
When it comes to breeding there are many things to consider. There is no one
best breed, but one should use the lard type breed found in the community, and above
all should always use pure-bred boars.

Owing to the climate swine and other live stock are usually freer from disease
in Texas than in other sections. Improved methods of control by the use of serum
and virus have eliminated all dangers of losses from hog cholera. Tuberculosis, a very
destructive disease in many States, is practically' unknown among the swine herds in

The facilities offered for hog raising in Texas are equal to those of any section of
the Corn Belt. The prices are equally as high, and the marketing system is perfected
to a high degree. Good hogs always bring good prices. It is only profitable to market
hogs at an early age. It does not pay to overfeed before loading. The hogs should be
comfortable in transit, and cruelty in handling should be avoided ; cars should not be
overloaded, and hogs should be consigned to a commission firm.

Page Four


\g Jerseys and Hol-


1 1918. worth $18,000,000.

Texas produced 18.000.000 bushels of peanuts on

""^ ■ - - ■ *■ TO.

the Edwards

yields 15.000,000 bushels of kafir, milo and

crop of Texas annually total

Vacational Outings in the National Parks

YOUR National Parks are a vast region of peaks, can>ons, glaciers, geysers, big
trees, volcanoes, pre-historic ruins and other natural scenic wonders.

Visit them this summer— for fishing, mountain climbing and "roughing it."

Ask for descriptive illustrated booklet of the National Park or National Monument
you are specially interested in— here is the list: Crater Lake, Ore.; Glacier, Mont.;
Grand Canyon, Ariz.; Hawaii; Hot Springs, Ark.; Mesa Verde, Colo.; Mt. Rainier,
Wash. ; Petrified Forest, Ariz. ; Rockv Mountains, Colo. ; Sequoia, Cal. ; Yellowstone,
Wyo. ; Yosemite, Cal., and Zion, Utah.


Travel Bureau, U. S. Railroad Administration. 646 Transportation Bldg., Chicago,

111., or 143 Liberty St., New York City, or 602 Healey Bldg., Atlanta, Ga.

This "Booklet Is Issued by

The United States
Railroad Administration

J. L. Edwards, Mgr. Agricultural Section
Division of Traffic


-For Further Information Address-




To erect this building the State gave the contractors a block of counties equal
in area to the grant which King James gave to the Earl of Warwick in 1630 to es-
tablish a colony in America, and which is now the State of Connecticut.

The Capitol Building measures 600 feet from east to west ; from north to
south it measures 287 feet; from the ground to the top of the dome 313 feet. The
Texas Capitol is six feet higher than the National Capitol, the latter being onl_v 307
feet. The outside of the Texas Capitol is built of the finest red granite secured
from the quarries in Burnet County. Texas. Wainscoting is of oak, cherry, walnut,
ash, cedar and mahogany. The total length of the wainscoting is eight miles. The
building alone covers three acres, the floor space covering twenty acres. Construc-
tion was begun in 1882 and completed in 1886. In the grounds of the Capitol
there are twenty-two acres, four acres of walks and four acres of drives.



Texas farmers are heavy purchasers of farm tractors since the beginning of the
war. There are some 15,000 tractors in Texas at present. The generally level territory
of the whole State makes tractor operation successful and not prohibitive in cost.
North Texas is the small grain region of the State. In many instances large farms
cover an area of several square miles allowing the maximum efficiency of tractor
operation at lowest cost.

Motor trucks are also in considerable use on all up-to-date farms in Texas. Loads
of five to seven tons are hauled. A popular practice is to use tractors and in some
instances the smaller farm trucks for harvesting grain by attaching them to wheat
binders or hauling a train of wagons full of wheat or corn. The use of tractors has
made practical the employment of heavier and more labor-saving machinery. It is
common sight to see a large tractor in Texas pulling a set of ten or a dozen gang


Proximity to markets is one of the essentials of an agricultural producing terri-
tory. The main railroad trunk lines of the continent either pass through Texas or
are within easy reach. For the live stock raiser the markets of Chicago, Kansas City
and St. Louis are easily accessible, while Fort Worth, an important market for cattle,
hogs and sheep, is located in the main cattle producing district of Texas, and with
Houston, Dallas and San Antonio forms the important live stock markets of the State.

Texas has 15,500 miles of main line and branches, and 4,000 miles of yard tracks
and sidings. This is the largest mileage of any State in the Union. More railroads
will be built. In the undeveloped, or sparsely settled, portions of the State, railway
facilities are also adequate to meet present freight traffic.


/he six principal rivers of the State which traverse its territory in a more or less
north and south direction, are from east to west, the Sabine ,the Neches, the Trinity,
the Brazos, the Colorado and the Rio Grande. All of these are navigable for a part
of the distance from the Gulf, except the Colorado — the mouth of which is congested
by a raft — but none of them have been improved sufficiently, or are sufficiently used,
to relieve the railways of any considerable amount of transportation of agricultural


Texas is one of the greatest oil-producing territories in the world. One-fourth
of all the oil in the United States is refined in Texas. Oil has been found in many
parts of the State in widely separated districts. Among the better known fields in
point of production are :

Burkburnett, Ranger, Goose Creek, Humble, Electra, Breckenridge, Sour Lake,
West Columbia, Brownwood, Comanche, De Leon, Batson, Damon's Mound, Spindle-
top, Petrolia, Hull, Saratoga, Moran, x\rcher, Iowa Park, Clay and Navarro Counties and


Texas has a splendid system of education ; starting with the public schools of the
communities, through the consolidated district schools to the high schools of the towns
and cities, and from these to the higher educational institutions of the State : The State
Normal Schools, which are co-educational ; the Girls' Industrial College ; the Agri-
cultural and Mechanical College, with its several branches, including a co-educational
Industrial and Normal College for the colored youths of the State; finally, the Uni-
versity of the State, with its two branches, the State School of Mines and the State
Medical College. In addition to the colleges named, and supported by the State,
there are several denominational colleges and one institution of higher learning,
privately endowed, which are highly creditable to the educational system of the State.

Page Five



Technically and legally, the Agricultural and Mechanical College is a branch of
the University. Practically it is separate and distinct, being separately and distantly
located from the University, with a separate board of control. The University and the
public schools of the State have been well endowed from the public lands, Texas
having reserved her public lands when she entered the Union after the war with
Mexico. The University still owns most of her land, but most of that belonging to
the public schools of the State has been sold.


The people of the State are fully sensible of the advantages afforded by good roads,
of the necessity for their construction and maintenance. Considering the size of the
State, it is fairly well supplied with good roads, but the total mileage of surfaced high-
ways is rapidly increasing within the State. The State Government has a considerable
fund for the construction of public highways, and this will be supplemented by a fund
from the United States Government. These highways will, of course, be independent
of the improved public roads in the several counties. In the southern part of the State
there are many miles of shelled roads, and in the northern part of the State, the black
land belt, the highways are being surfaced with gravel, or, in some cases, bituminous
surface. In the western part of the State, in spite of its being sparsely settled, the
dry climate and the abundance of gravel and rock make it possible to construct the
necessary highways without any great burden upon the people.


The population of Texas is thoroughly cosmopolitan, not only made up of citizens
from every State, but having within its borders people from many foreign countries —
notably from Mexico, Germany, Bohemia, Italy, England, Poland, Denmark and Nor-
way. The various religious denominations of this country and several foreign coun-
tries are represented, and church facilities may be said to be ample throughout the State.


The citizenship of Texas compares with that of any State in the Union. The early
settlement of Texas was by hardy pioneers, who came from Tennessee, Kentucky
and Virginia. They carved out an Empire in the wilderness and fought their way to
success against obstacles which would have daunted less hardy and determined men
and women. The struggles for Texas independence are known to every school boy and
the pages about the Alamo and the triumph over foreign oppression are radiant with

It must not be supposed that all of Texas is the home of great ranches and cat-
tle. That may apply to the western part of the State and parts of the Gulf Coast
country, where ranching on a large scale is still flourishing. East and North Texas are
highly developed agricultural regions, with small and medium-sized farms devoted to
the raising of standard crops suited to their territory. Modern homes abound and im-
provements of all kinds are common. Good roads, large, well-built barns, tight fences,
modern equipment and general progress mark the farming portions of the State. The
little isolated red school house is giving way to the consolidated school, in which chil-
dren from the entire surrounding community are taught by teachers fitted for their
work in the many higher educational institutions and Normal schools of the State.

Page Six



OUT?I CENTRAL TEXAS, from an agricultural standpoint, is a
highly developed region. The northwestern part is generally known
as the mountain section. South of this mountain section, the rainfall
is lighter than in any other portion of the territory, but in this terri-
tory are found some of the best irrigation areas. Among these are
Carrizo Springs and Crystal City, and many other places where
irrigation is possible, but not yet developed. The black land section
runs north and south through the middle portion. Lying southeast of
this black land is a strip, varying in width from a mile to ten or fifteen miles, and
some geologists say it is the old Gulf shore line. Southeast of this is an area of gently
rolling lands. Between this and the coast are the level coastal plains.

The general direction of all streams that drain this territory is southeastward,
and all of them rise in the mountainous territory. These embrace the Colorado, Gua-
dalupe, San Antonio, Medina, Frio and Nueces Rivers and their tributaries. However,
there are several small and somewhat short streams. These are remarkable because
they are dry most of the time, yet apparently are the channels through which surface
waters seep and form considerable artesian areas covering many thousand acres.
This artesian area is part of the one nearest to and running nearly parallel to the Gulf
coast. There is another artesian area that lies between the two sand belts above
described, which begins in the general vicinity of Carrizo Springs and runs east through
the territory. The third artesian area follows a line of springs that are on the edge
of the mountain section. This line of springs is generally west and north along the
mountains. Here may be found some of the largest springs in the world. Some of the
greatest artesian wells are also to be found here, and the purity of their water is not

Plant life of the mountain section differs entirely from that of portions southeast.
The mountain section carries cedar, oak and various kinds of hard woods, while the

A Flock of S. C. White Leghorn Layers.

Page Seven

timber of the portion southeast is almost entirely of the general mesquite variety.
Similar differences exist in the various vegetations. This mountain section also exer-
cises a large influence on the climate and rainfall, and is one of the potent factors in
making South Central Texas a desirable place to live.


Soils of South Central Texas are various. Those of the valleys in the mountain
section are generally black and almost entirely free from sand. Black soil prevails
along the south and east edges of the mountain section, but is more of a nature of
clay. Lying immediately south and east of this black clay is a strip of sandy loam. These
valley lands are of unusual richness, and the sandy loam generally has enough mix-
ture of other soils to make it valuable. Lying south and east of this sandy loam is
an area of land gently rolling or moderately rolling. The lands are ordinarily of the
loam variety, and vary from light sandy to the heavy black loam, and are suited to
general diversified farming. South and east of this rolling area are the black coastal

k^ This description of soils is only general. Many variations are found in each

1^^ particular section because of the number of streams that flow through it, and
flPI^ the minor washes of the soil through ages of rainfall, so that in almost

any place many varieties of soil may be found, and it is rare to find any
iK^ H^ good-sized farm where two or more different kinds of soil cannot
be found.


In the black land district just south and east of the

mountain section there is usally a good supply of

artesian water. This region furnishes perhaps one

of the largest artesian systems in the world. The

water exists in great abundance and purity.

There is another artesian system in the

rolling section south and east of the first

sandy strip. There is a third

artesian system which lies for

the most part in the level

coastal plain, and ordinarily this

1 3 4 5

Online LibraryUnited States Railroad AdministrationTexas farm opportunities → online text (page 1 of 5)