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Some one then asked, "How much cheese can you make from one gallon of milk?" Mr. Long answered, "In Ohio, one pound from one gallon, or ten pounds of milk; here, one pound from eight and two-thirds'pounds of milk. This is the quantity from the common cow; from the Alderney, we can make more."

Dr. Reynolds asked, "Do cows give as much milk here as there?" Mr. Long thought they did, full as much. "The buffalo grass produced as much, and richer milk, than the tame grass."

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Dr. Sternberg said, "our season being longer we can have two months more for butter and cheese making." Mr. Long was asked about exporting his cheese, but he has no need; he finds a ready market for all his in the State. Also about rennets. He sends to Utica, New York, and gets them at thirty cents, when they will cost fifty cents if bought here.

The next letter is from Mr. Ernst Hohneck, a surveyor who has resided in Western Kansas about fourteen years, and is entirely familiar with the

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country he talks about. This letter throws light upon the "desert" question. There has been great inquiry for that desert for several years, and of late it has come to be believed that the whole account of " "a desert was a stupendous humbug of ancient geographers, but there has long been talk in scientific quarters about the "sand hills of western Kansas," which certainly must have had some foundation in fact. I have occasionally met a man who had seen them, but could get no precise information as to their location until the following letter came to hand. After describing various counties in that region, and showing that all are possessed of good water and good soil, with considerable quantities of timber, and coal opened of fair quality for fuel, he proceeds:

"Rice county, south of Ellsworth, through which runs the Arkansas River and several tributaries, is, with the exception of timber, which is rather scarce, a most beautiful county, and contains, I believe, a greater per centage of tillable land, than any other county in the State I know of. The southeast part is already somewhat settled, and a colony from Ohio is expected to settle on Plum Creek next spring. Cow Creek is also in this county. Around Fort Zarah, in Barton county, near the mouth of that fine stream where the Big Walnut empties into the Arkansas, the nucleus of quite a settlement is now forming, and about two hundred families are to settle along the River and Walnut next spring. The advance of a German colony, about ten families, settled eight miles above Zarah last spring, and raised quite a crop of corn, with pumpkins, melons, etc., without end. I have not a doubt but that the bottoms of the Arkansas River, will turn out to be prodigious corn land.

"Walnut Creek Valley runs in a westerly direction for over a hundred miles, with abundance of timber

and water, and as fine bottoms as a man wants to see. The only drawback to the settlement of that part of our beautiful State, may be Indian difficulties.

"In conclusion, let me give you the result of my observations during a residence of fifteen years in the State, the greater part of which I spent in the western part.

"The story of the American Desert, as far as it relates to that portion of Kansas that lays north of the Arkansas River, is a myth, and never had any foundation. That "belt of land," beyond which, according to early histories of Kansas, the Desert commenced, exists only in imagination, True, there is a range of sandhills, from one to two miles wide, on the west side of the Little Arkansas, as far north as the mouth of Jarvis Creek, emptying into Cow Creek, and also another narrow range of sandhills on the west side of Cow Creek, from the Plum Butes, on the old Santa Fe Road, extending, with intermissions, about ten miles north. But the land west of these hills is just as good as east of it.

"I suppose the idea of this desert originated in this way: During that season when the buffalo roam north in immense numbers, they eat the whole country so closely that it looks to the casual observer entirely bare, and devoid of vegetation, Buffalo and even horses, will find sustenance on this very ground, it being the nature of the buffalo grass to be continually growing, and the part next to the ground, almost in it, being the most nutritous part, and very sweet; horses, which are used to the plains, will graze on this very ground, when loose, in preference to places, where the grass has not been pastured. Another peculiarity of the buffalo grass is, that it only grows in packed ground, and dies out as soon as the buffalo quits the country, and the action of the rains and frosts loosens the soil. After the buffalo have left a portion of the country for

good, in a few years single stools of blue stem grass will appear, which increase in size from year to year, until the whole country, which grew once the short buffalo grass, is covered with blue stem, and then has all the appearance of an agricultural country. I have watched this transformation ever since 1855, and it is a fact and no theory. Thousands of tons of prairie hay can be cut now, where ten years ago nothing but buffalo grass grew. Whoever opens a farm in a buffalo grass region, needs to plow his land deep, from six to eight inches at least, so as to prepare it at once for crops. And all this great region in the western part of the State, will be thus transformed shortly, and will be found to be the granary of the west."

Upon receipt of this valuable letter I wrote to the author requesting him to explain why he confined his remarks to the region north of the Arkansas River, in showing that the country was generally good, and that a few square miles of sand hills had been magnified into a boundless "desert." In reply the following letter came to hand:

"When I spoke rather negatively of the country south of Arkansas river, I had in my mind a pear shaped tract of land, with its stem end near Fort Dodge, and the opposite about south of the mouth of Cow creek, which empties into the Arkansas in Rice county, with a width at its broadest part (south of Pawnee Rock, seventeen miles west of Zarah) of about sixty miles, which consists of a series of sandhills, naked sandy flats, and bunch grass prairie. This part is entirely destitue of timber, but in most parts well watered, and having considerable salt water branches running through it.

"The Arkansas river is also, with the exception of a strip of about fourteen miles running east from Fort Zarah, destitute of timber from below the mouth of Cow creek to the west line of the State,

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