A Tale of Two Farmers — and then there’s Texas….

In a previous post, I compared the relative 1860 fortunes of two ancestral farmers in Indiana County, Pennsylvania – Edward Haney Ruffner and Robert Garrett Stephens. Their offspring, James and Hulda, respectively, married in 1870. On Thursday, I …

In a previous post, I compared the relative 1860 fortunes of two ancestral farmers in Indiana County, Pennsylvania – Edward Haney Ruffner and Robert Garrett Stephens.  Their offspring, James and Hulda, respectively, married in 1870.  On Thursday, I took a look at the 1870 agricultural schedules and the values were relatively unchanged. Ruffner still owned more property but Stephens valued his at a higher dollar figure. Stephens had more livestock and grew more wheat but Ruffner grew more oats, produced more butter and more wool. (1)

But a dramatic contrast is revealed when the lens moves south.  On the Texas side of the family, our great grandmother, Cora Walling married into the Baker family in the early 1870s but was widowed within just a few years.  Jack, and his older brother, Jesse, Cora’s future husband, were living in the same household in 1870, both farming land owned by Jack. (2) But the Bakers were more than just farmers.  Isaac Baker, born in Alabama and the father of both Jack and Jesse, was one of the earliest settlers of what was later to be named Plantersville in Grimes County, Texas.  He began building a 2,840 acre plantation named Cedars in 1843 and opened the first general store with his sons in the 1850s. (3)  I decided to return to 1860 and gather data for the Bakers. 

Here’s a portion of the previous 1860 table of agricultural values for our Pennsylvania ancestors, compared to the 1860 Texas agricultural schedule values for Isaac Baker, Isaac Baker, Jr. and Jack Baker combined, all of Grimes County, Texas. (4) 

Look at all that ham and those sweet potatoes!

 

Agricultural Census Category

Robert G. Stephens

Edward H. Ruffner

The Bakers in Texas

Improved Acres

155

200

1,000

Unimproved Acres

125

96

1,400

Cash Value of Farm

$6,300

$1,000

$47,500

Value of Farming Implements and Machinery

$150

$50

$1,200

Horses

5

2

8

Asses and Mules

 

 

33

Milk Cows

5

2

 

Working Oxen

 

 

34

Other Cattle

5

1

96

Sheep

15

6

32

Swine

15

5

145

Value of Livestock

$595

$300

$5,705

Bushels of Indian Corn

150

50

13,200

Bales of Ginned Cotton

 

 

457

Lbs. Of Wool

55

8

215

Bushels of Irish Potatoes

140

30

25

Bushels of Sweet Potatoes

 

 

600

Value of Animals Slaughtered

$165

$42

$1,470

Pigs

Sweet_potatoes

[I got some reader  feedback that the pictures were wonderfull —  this was the best I could do on this post!]

 

(1) 1870 U.S. census, White Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania, agriculture schedule, p. 3, line 16, Robt. G. Stevens [Stephens], NARA microfilm publication T1138, roll 25. 1870 U.S. census, Grant Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania, agriculture schedule, p. 1-6, line 23, Edward Ruffner, NARA microfilm publication T1138, roll 25.

(2) 1870 U.S. census, Grimes County, Texas, population schedule, Precinct 3, Navasota post office, page 80, dwelling 1157, family 1157, Jack Baker; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com: accessed 24 April 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 1588.

(3)  Texas State Historical Association. “The Handbook of Texas Online,” online edition of print publication with corrections and additions, TSHA Online: A Digital Gateway to Texas History (http//www.tshaonline.org: accessed 1 May 2010), entry for Plantersville at http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/PP/hnp43.html.

(4) 1860 U.S. census, White Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania, agriculture schedule, pp. 7-8, line 23, Robt. G. Stephens, NARA microfilm publication T1138, roll 14. 1860 U.S. census, GrantTownship, Indiana County, Pennsylvania, agriculture schedule, pp. 71-72, line 30, Edward H. Ruffner, NARA microfilm publication T1138, roll 14. 1860 U.S. census, Plantersville (post office), Grimes County, Texas, agriculture schedule, pp. 9-10, line 11, Isaac Baker, Jr. and pp. 13-14, lines 11 and 12, Jack Baker and Isaac Baker, NARA microfilm publication T1138, roll 4.

 

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