1860 AGRICULTURE BY THE NUMBERS

 

To date we have looked at local farming by describing several individuals, their land, animals, crops, etc. In this article we will look at all the farms in Alexander in 1860, and do the same for Cooper and Crawford. See the list on page 13. We will look at numbers based on averages of all the farmers in each town. We also will be able to compare the three towns. The numbers come from the agriculture census at the Probate Office in Machias, done at the same time the regular census was done in 1860. Member Sharon Howland provided the regular census records for A-CHS a number of years ago. My comments will follow. jd

 

  ALEXANDER  COOPER CRAWFORD
NO. FARMS ON CENSUS 60 66 35
FARM POPULATION  386 427 223
NO PEOPLE PER FARM 6.4 6.5 6.4
CASH VALUE ALL FARMS $49175.00 $29680.00 $14605.00
AVERAGE FARM VALUE $819.60 $449.70 $417.30
IMPROVED ACRES 61.3 45.3 47.8
UNIMPROVED ACRES 89.1 59.2 58.8
TOTAL ACRES 150.4 104.5 106.6
HORSES 59 72 43
OXEN  49 54 45
MILCH COWS 172 230 90
POUNDS BUTTER 15960 21675 8590
POUNDS PER FARM 266 328 245
POUNDS PER PERSON 41.3 50.8 38.5
TOTAL SHEEP 311 294 145
SHEEP PER FARM 5.2 4.5 4.1
TOTAL POUNDS WOOL 1136 917 541
BUSHELS IRISH POTATOES 5490 6305 2244
POUNDS POTATOES 329400 378300 134640
POUNDS PER PERSON 853.4 885.9 603.8
GRAIN FOR MAN AND BEAST
BUSHELS WHEAT 428 332 300
BUSHELS RYE  0 53 0
BUSHELS INDIAN CORN 88 37 15
BUSHELS OATS 2984 1729 1005
BUSHELS BARLEY 177 123 25
BUSHELS BUCKWHEAT  586 405 437
BUSHELS ALL GRAINS 4263 2679 1782
BUSHELS PER FARM 71.0 40.6 50.1

          

COMMENTS AND EXPLANATIONS: On the regular 1860 census, Alexander had a total of 71 households with 445 people for an average of 6.3 per household. The largest household was that of Ephraim Brown which had 15. Every household with a farmer as its head was listed on the agricultural census. Likely others also farmed, but were not counted in this agricultural census.


In Cooper we had 75 households containing 468 people for an average of 6.2.Henry Hayward’s home was the largest with 13. Cooper had 59 farmers on its census. For the agricultural census, the enumerator counted 7 more homesteads including Ammi Doten, clergyman, and Joseph Averill, stone mason, Luther Cary, house carpenter, plus 3 laborers and one with no occupation.

The 1860 census of Crawford counted 274 people in 44 households for an average of 6.2. Charlotte Graham with no occupation and Stephen Hanscom, laborer, were listed with the 33 declared farmers to make the total 35 on the agricultural census.

Are you surprised at the size of families? I was. The average family size included adults and children, plus anyone else living in the household. Not every family had ten or a dozen children!

The greater value of the Alexander farms led me to look at farm size. As the reader can see, this accounts for only part of this greater value. Improved acres would be land where the trees have been removed, ie. pasture land, hayfields and cropland.

I counted draft animals because they represent a way for their owners to make money. References indicate that a day’s work by an ox or a horse is worth the same as for a man. Oxen were used in pairs, so most farmers had none, two, four or, rarely, six.

Milch cows provided milk that was not generally safe to drink before the days of good refrigeration or pasteurization. Making it into butter or cheese could make milk safe. Most farms churned butter for home use and probably for sale. Jeremiah Shackford of Cooper was definitely the local butter king having churned 1700 pounds in 12 months.

As we learned in the introductory article on farming, by 1860 Maine sheep were producing 33 pounds of wool each year. The number of pounds of wool reported indicates that the local farmers were getting only about 10% of what they should get from merinos. Merinos also were better eating than the old standard sheep. Only a few farmers kept sheep, in flocks that ranged up to twenty.

The census reported potatoes in bushels. A bushel of potatoes weighs 60 pounds. I converted to pounds, then calculated the pounds per person. Marie and I like potatoes, we raise our own and each eats about 100 pounds per year. Which leads me to assume the crop was mostly raised for market.

LIST OF FARMERS FOUND ON THE AGRICULTURAL CENSUS FOR 1860

The February newsletter will describe some Alexander farmers listed here.

ALEXANDER FARMERS

LITTLE, Andrew - $300

COX, Charles - $300

DAVIS, William - $350

HUFF, Claudius - $1000

BAILEY, David - $400

LAMB, Seth - $400

PERKINS, John - $700

SCRIBNER, G. S. S. - $700

BROWN, Ephraim -$500

WHITNEY, Henry - $1000

STROUT, Solomon - $1800

STROUT, Solomon, Jr - $500

CRAFTS, Hiram - $750

PERKINS, Elisha - $800

BAILEY, Isaiah - $600

PERKINS, John J. - $1200

BROWN, Robert - $600

BAILEY, Joseph - $700

STROUT, Benjamin - $600

LYONS, Greenwood - $500

FROST, Simon - $600

THISTLEWOOD, Rbt - $1500

BILLINGS, Stephen - $400

TAYLOR, Jonathan - $600

SIMONS, Samuel - $350

HUNNEWELL, Jnthan - $700

HUTCHINS, Eliza - $400

BOHANON, Jones - $800

BAILEY, Simeon - $500

LOVERING, Gardner - $600

STEPHENSON, Elisha - $600

PERKINS, Joseph - $1400

SPRING, William - $1000

CRAFTS, Isaac - $3000

BERRY, Hiram - $1000

TOWNSEND, Abner - $1000

KNIGHT, Paul - $600

ADDIS, Robert - $600

BROWN, Joel K. - $400

BROWN, Michael - $700

SPEARIN, Jeremiah - $1000

LIBBY, Asa - $1500

BERRY, Samuel - $600

AVERILL, Aaron - $300

LOVERING, Joseph - $1000

ROBB, Thomas J. - $400

BAILEY, Edmund - $425

SPEARIN, Jeremiah Jr. - $1000

ABBOT, Thomas T. - $1900

TYLER, Belcher - $500

STEPHENSON, Jesse - $1700

GOOCH, John - $1000

TRASK, John W. - $800

FLOOD, Wesley - $1000

LITTLE, David - $400

GILLESPIE, William - $600

CROWLEY, John - $1000

FOLEY, James - $600

COOPER FARMERS

CARY, James W. - $400

FOSTER, Leonard L. - $200

FOSTER, Willard W. - $300

CREAMER, Thomas - $350

CARY, George W. - $350

GETCHELL, Stephen - $200

AVERILL, Joseph - $300

GETCHELL, Benjamin - $700

HIGGINS, Thomas W. - $500

DAY, Samuel - $600

DOTEN, Ammi - $300

KEZER, Moses L. - $250

VINING, Nathan - $400

MURPHY, George - $200

BAMFORD, Enoch - $400

CARY, Elisha - $300

CARY, Henry - $300

McPHETERS, Joseph - $300

McPHETERS, William - $400

MUNSON, Paul - $500

MUNSON, Moses - $400

FLENN, James $250

KEIRSTEAD, Robert - $175

COOPER, William - $500

CREAMER, Thomas - $200

SPRAGUE, Samuel - $300

SAWYER, Nathaniel - $300

WATERHOUSE, Enoch - $340

VANCE, David - $200

BLACK, George W. - $300

MUNSON, Henry F. - $600

HARMON, Josiah - $200

SPRAGUE, John - $200

FLOOD, George W. - $200

McMIMUMIN, Michael - $300

McGEE, John - $300

HENRY, Robert - $300

BRISLEY, Benjamin - $175

LANE, Daniel - $200

PHIPPS, William - $1000

HAYWARD, Henry - $800

TYLER, James - $500

LELAND, Moses - $500

HIGGINS, Nathan - $500

ELLIS, Thomas - $400

HOWE, Mrs. Mary - $400

HUFF, Robert - $300

HOWE, David - $600

SHACKFORD, J’miah - $1000

HENDERSON, Elbridge - $500

BURBANK, Thomas - $800

HUFF, Charles - $400

HENDERSON, Isaac - $500

PALMETER, Charles - $800

HITCHINGS, Henry - $700

HITCHINGS, Hiram - $500

RICH, William - $1000

RICH, Daniel - $1500

SADLER, Samuel - $450

YEATON, Nathan - $500

IRELAND, James - $375

SMITH, John - $800

SMITH, Haskell - $500

IRELAND, Abram - $400

HENDERSON, Elmore - $600

PALMETER, James - $575

CRAWFORD FARMRS

LOVE, John - $300

FENLASON, Sawyer - $450

LOVE, Jonathan - $400

FORD, Robert - $375

FORD, Daniel, Jr. - $200

BARSTOW, Benjamin - $200

GRAHAM, Charlotte - $300

DWELLEY, Jedediah - $600

HANSCOM, Stephen - $150

SEAVEY, Luther - $250

DWELLEY, Andrew - $250

SEAVEY, Leonard - $500

RUSSELL, George - $ 300

FENLASON, Elisha - $400

HANSCOM, John - $300

AVERILL, Aaron - $800

SPRAGUE, Herman - $400

DIGHTMAN, James - $800

COLLINS, Herman - $600

FENLASON, Gilbert - $300

FENLASON, Henry - $400

WHEATON, William - $500

SEAVEY, Joseph - $350

PERKINS, James - $300

SEAVEY, Jacob - $300

BAILEY, Abraham - $350

CLARK, William - $350

STEVENS, Jacob - $600

FENLASON, John - $700

SEAVEY, Daniel - $500

FROST, Lewis - $700

WORMWOOD, Daniel - $500

NODDIN, Robert - $300

LYDIC, Godfrey - $450