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MINISTER, NO. 6,363. THE PROPERTY OF ANDREW WILSON, TOPEKA.

town of Arvonia. This place was founded as a Welch settlement by J. Mather Jones and others, but includes people of various nationalities, and has become a village of considerable size.

Proceeding a few miles further up the valley, we enter the new but promising town of Reading, lately laid off as a town and railroad station. The surrounding lands are largely in the hands of eastern capitalists, who have the ability to build a good town at this point. There are a few things however, which are in general absolutely necessary to success in town building. There must be displayed, among other things, liberality, energy and printers' ink. Eastern capitalists are not infrequently totally oblivious of these necessities. They general expect to "keep the cake and eat it too." I am glad to be informed, however, that Reading is in the hands of parties who are disposed to do the fair thing for immigrants.

Continuing our journey by railroad we pass the station of Horton, cross the Neosho River and arrived at EMPORIA. As the city has been fully described herein, we hasten westward up the broad and beautiful valley of the Cottonwood, and pass the new station of Toledo. As the cars have been running but a few weeks, there is but little to indicate where the stations are to be.

COTTONWOOD FALLS, eighty-two miles from Topeka, is nearly in the centre of Chase county, of which it is the county seat. The rapid stream affords an excellent water power, which is improved by a saw and flouring mill. The stream is crossed by one of the King Wrought Iron Bridges. The town is pleasantly located, chiefly on the south side of the river, vpon an undulating prairie roll which overlooks the valley. It contains about 500 inhabitants, and with the advent of the railroad is growing rapidly, as it is the shipping point for a great extent of fertile country to the southward. Westward from Cottonwood Falls, up the river a few miles, is a good mill at an excellent water power, and also another water power eight miles below the town.

The stations of Elmdale, Hunts and Cedar Point occur in succession as we pass up the valley. The latter village is a short distance from the depot, nestled under a bluff on the south side of the Cottonwood upon which are growing a fringe of Red Cedar trees. The river affords at this point a good water power, which is well improved.

Florence is a new town in Marion county, laid out about six months ago and now numbering in population some hundreds. It is built upon bottom land at the junction of Doyle creek and the Cottonwood, and promises to be a place of considerable business. There is an excellent water power here, waiting to be improved, as are many others on this excellent stream.

The Cottonwood valley is, I think, among the most picturesque in the state. The bottoms are from one to three miles wide, and on either side excellent magnesian limestone crops out, at the top of the steep bluffs which wall in the valley. The stream is moderately well timbered, and abundant creeks and rills break through the bluffs and enter it from the north and south. A marked characteristic of the scene, is the regularity with which the bluffs and projecting

strata of rock lessen in height as we ascend the stream, until at Florence they are but a few feet above the level of the bottom lands. Huge rocks are laid in the abutments and culverts along this road, almost as they came from the quarry, with little use of hammer and chisel. For the most part they project themselves from the bluff, or have fallen part way down its side, and are ready to be transported to their near destination.

Northwest from Florence, and in the Cottonwood valley, at the mouth of Clear Creek, is the village of MARION CENTRE, the county seat of Marion county. It is in the midst of the best farming land in the county. Two fine and constant water powers are here awaiting capital for their improvement.

The railroad leaves the Cottonwood at Florence and follows up Doyle Creek to the new village and colony of Conesburg, now Peabody, which was first opened to settlement in December, 1870. It is located on the north side of Doyle Creek. A splendid tract of country lies around and to the south of this place. There is very little timber in this region, but the soil is good and water abundant.

From this place the road continues its southwest course over the divide, separating the waters of the Cottonwood and the Arkansas rivers. At a distance of fifteen miles from Peabody is Newton, the last station yet located on this road. It is on a tributary of the Little Arkansas river, called Sand Creek, where said creek is crossed by the old Texas cattle trail. At this writing, May 10th, the cars only run to Florence, but they will run into Newton about July 1st, and the will road immediately be continued westward. The first house was built in Newton during the last ten days, but there is already a good deal of excitement in that vicinity as to its prospects.

To the south and a little west of Newton, near the Little Arkansas, is the small village of Sedgwick, while still farther in the same course, on the banks of the Arkansas River is Park City, located where the new Texas cattle trail crosses the river.

WICHITA, the county seat of Sedgwick county, is situated on the east bank of the Little Arkansas, at its junction with the Arkansas River, and is twenty-five miles south of Newton. It contains about 800 inhabitants and is a very active, thriving business place. The settlements in this county have nearly all been made within the last year, and there are yet thousands of beautiful claims to be taken under the pre-emption and homestead laws. Until this country was awakened by the speedy pro pect of a railroad, very few were inclined to locate there. I visited Sedgwick county for the first time during this spring, and I think the Arkansas Valley the finest valley in the State, so far as the lay of the land, and excellent soil and water are concerned. It is not better than the Kansas valley perhaps, excepting in extent. The Arkansas valley is here from ten to twenty miles wide, and instead of being absolutely flat, is varied by very gentle rolls. The soil is a deep, rich loam, and is very quick and warm, and it contains considerable black sand. By digging three or four feet th: ough this soil one enters, in places, a composite layer of clay and gravel of irregular thickness, while in other places near by, the subsoil is entirely a compact bed

of gravel or coarse sand. Beneath the composite strata referred to, one also strikes upon the gravel and sand subsoil. Here is displayed a striking system of sub-irrigation. The Arkansas River rises in the Rocky M untains, and its banks are full during the growing season, owing to the melting snows in the mountains; but, although apparently ready to carry desolation all around by overflowing, it never does overflow, but underflows instead in the porous subsoil of the valley. By capillary attraction, it is evident that a portion of this water is drawn up within reach of the roots of growing vegetation. It is to be noted however that the roads are excellent, mud drying quickly after a rain. Throughout this entire region, water is obtained by digging a few feet on the uplands, as well as on the bottoms, and small flowing streams are common on

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OXFORD WILEY, NO. 8,753.

[Owned by N. L. C) affee, at Manhattan.]

the prairies. The water is pure and soft. There is in this vicinity but little rock, magnesian limestone and gypsum being found in the eastern portion of Sedgwick county, and red sandstone in the western portion. There are indications of coal, and the Lignite variety will undoubtedly be found in this valley; but coal will be transported on the cars from the mines in Osage county, so as to retail for twenty-five to thirty cents per bu hel. Timber is found in limited quantities, but the people have adopted the herd law, by which every man cares for his own stock, and little fencing is needed. The law stards for five years, during which time hedges will be grown. Iron ore has been discovered in the northwest portion of the county.

All things considered, the Arkansas valley is probably among the most attractive portions of the state for settlers at this time. This valley grows particularly fine vegetables. In short it is unsurpassed for the production of all tilled crops, while the region but a few miles southwest, described by Mr. Honeck on page 109, will furnish illimitable stock range summer and winter for many years, as it is not adapted to dense settlement, but almost every square mile in Sedgwick county will furnish excellent tillage land.

Captain Henry Booth, who is favorable know to many Kansas men, having been a resident of Western Kansas for fifteen years, and for some time Post Trader at Fort Larned, thinks more rain falls on the Arkansas bottoms in that vicinity than falls generally in Kansas anywhere west of Junction City. The river is wide and being at a higher stage of water in the summer season, he thinks it causes rain in its immediate vicinity. He has been familar with that region for ten years, and has full confidence that these wide bottom lands will prove to be very productive. The small streams of that region he says are fed by springs (which flow out so near the bed as to be out of sight in high water) and the streams are never dry. The stock range is the best he ever saw. Messrs. Beal and Boyd and others, took 1,500 head of Texas cattle into the vicinity of Ft. Larned in October last, and out of the lot about 20 died, the remainder wintering in good order on the grasses, with no other feed excepting salt. Of the rough land south of the Arkansas River, in the vicinity of the Big Bend, he speaks very highly as a pastoral region. The water is good and abundant, and the grass of excellent quality. The Buffalo killed there in April of this year were, fat after wintering on these grasses. He confirms the account of abundant and delicious wild fruits. All these statements are also confirmed by J. M. Steele, Representative from Sedgwick county, who is familiar with that country

The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad has not been pushing its line very rapidly until this season, but its valuable land franchises are now in the hands of a powerful and enterprising corporation, and the road will speedily be constructed up the broad valley of the Arkansas River and one of its tributaries to New Mexico. Passing through the boundless grazing and tillage lands of that territory, awakening to life the solitary places, and developing the untold mineral wealth of that region, it will pass on by the shortest and best line to the Pacific Ocean. It will also have such branch lines as the varied interests of its tributary regions may demand. The most valuable salt deposits in the United States are on the immediate southern border of Kansas, and will be developed by this road. The general direction and the excellent country for the most part, through which this road passes, must make it a very important route.

-Since writing the foregoing I have had the pleasure of an interview with several of the officers and directors of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, who have recently (May, 1871,) explored the country on the line of their road, through Sedgwick, Rice, Barton, Rush and Pawnee counties, extending their trip via Fort Zarah, to Coon creek, 18 miles beyond Fort Larned. They

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