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feet deep. In the eastern half of the State, it is a black, sandy loam, intermixed with vegetable mold, and the soil of the entire State has in its composition what is lacking in many prairie soils, an abundant supply of mineral constituents. It is for this reason that many practical men who are familiar with the entire west believe that Kansas soil will prove to be permanently rich, when other soils now very productive will be exhausted.

Lime is everywhere abundant in this soil, and gypsum or land plaster is found over a very large extent in the central and western portion of the State, intermingled largely with the soil, as well as existing in ledges, ready to be used as a fertilizer at a trifling cost.

Under date of March 31, 1871, Professor Wm. H. Saunders, M. D. of the State University, furnishes me with the following analysis of average prairie soil, the specimen being taken at the depth of seven inches below the surface:

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"From the above it will be seen that we have a a soil rich in all the chemical elements necessary for the vigorous growth of vegetation, and thor

ough, intelligent cultivation will certainly bring the most gratifying reward."

There are to be found, occasionally, small isolated tracts, where a stiff sub-soil comes near the surface, and which at first only produces light crops, but greatly improves by cultivation. The common grass of the prairies is of tender, rapid growing varieties, covering the earth like a mat, but the grass growing on these "patches" is short, wiry and scattering. It is called "buffalo grass," but is distinct and totally different from the nutritious grass with its long curled leaf, which covers the western half of Kansas, and upon which vast buffalo herds feed and fatten.

Not one acre in a thousand in Kansas is of the objectionable "buffalo land" character described above, and even this land with deep plowing (it is very heavy plowing the first time), or by the application of a little manure to give it "life"-eight or ten loads per acre-produces excellent crops of all kinds. Lime is also beneficial to such soils. It is confessedly capital wheat land. There is rarely more than one to ten acres of it in a body, and sometimes a few square feet only. It is not found on one farm in ten in .the State, but settlers who, in the early history of the State, happened to cultivate a patch of it, at once jumped to the conclusion that Kansas was a barren region. This land is sometimes improperly called "alkali land.". The unerring certainty with which it is detected by the grass, and the insignificant amount of it in the country, almost makes it inexcusable to devote so much space to the subject; but I desire to state the facts about Kansas, whether favorable or unfavorable, so that strangers need not be deceived. when purchasing land.

After the above went to press, I learned that Prof. W. H. Saunders had made an analysis of this soil, and upon application for his opinion of its qualities

I received the following letter, under date of April 6th, 1871:

"I have the following reply to make in answer to your letter of inquiry respecting the nature of 'alkali spots' on 'buffalo wallows.' Any one can easily detect them in cultivated ground by the color, which is much lighter than the surrounding soil, especially after a spell of dry weather, when a white, efflorescent powder forms on the surface of these spots.

"The composition of the soil, which is an exceedingly tough and compact clay, is chiefly silicate of alumina, containing a little organic matter, a little sesquioxide of iron, and occasionally a little lime. This soil has become strongly impregnated with sulphate of magnesia, (epsom-salt,) which is the white powder seen on the surface. This salt in small quantity, is valuable as a fertilizer, but when in excess is very destructive to vegetation, hence the barren nature of these spots.

"Of more practical interest, however, is the question: what can be done to render these spots fertile? This, fortunately, admits of easy solution. After the soil is well loosend, a top-dressing of quick-lime, applied just before a rain, will decompose the sulphate of magnesia, and form sulphate of lime, (gypsum,) a valuable fertilizer, while the magnesia will soon absorb carbonic acid and be converted into carbonate of magnesia, which being insoluble in water, will be much less injurious to vegetation. Lime should not be thus applied when a crop is on the ground, for the caustic action of the lime and magnesia would destroy it. This method is liable to the objection that it simply converts the noxious agent into a less injurious form, but does not assist in removing it from the soil.

"A much more effectual and better way is simply to thoroughly pulverize the soil as deeply as possible

at least once a year. The magnesian salt, being very soluble in water, will be leached out by the rains, and the soil thus permanently freed from its presence; fertilizers then applied will render the soil productive. The experience of those who have tried this method confirms me in the belief that it is the best way to treat this soil. The popular notion, that these spots contain an alkali and that the soil has been rendered hard by the wallowing of the buffalo, is erroneous. The soil contains no alkali, and its hardness is owing to its chemical composition, but the buffalo have discovered the salt taste of the soil impregnated with the sulphate of magnesia, and, by long repeated licking and tramping, have worn considerable depressions in places, which during the wet season are filled with water."

Occasionally sandstone soil is found in tracts of a few square miles. This is confessedly the best fruit land in the State, and is highly regarded by many persons for purposes of cultivation, owing to the fact that it is ready for spring work sooner than limestone soil, and can be more readily cultivated during a wet time. Many of the limestone ledges lie higher than the sandstone formation, and it is probably from this cause that there is a good deal of lime to be found even in sand stone soils, but if this is lacking it may be cheaply supplied, because lime is everywhere present, either in the form of limestone (lime and carbonic acid), or gypsum (lime and sulphuric acid).

There is less waste land in Kansas than in almost any other State in the Union. In fact there is really no waste land at all, because there are neither swamps nor sloughs, and the entire State can be cultivated, excepting those portions covered with timber or where rock prevails.

The latter feature is fully described elsewhere, and it will be seen that the rock of Kansas is of

immense value to the State. It is only necessary to say here that there is probably not one acre in five hundred in the State where rock is so exposed as to make cultivation impossible, and even this is not waste land, for it affords excellent pasturage with a plenty of springs and running water.

Bayard Taylor says: "I consider the country within one hundred and fifty miles of the Missouri River in Kansas, to be the finest unbroken tract of farming land in the world."

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The above is a King's Wrought Iron Bridge of 190 span. It cost about $13,000. The soil of the western half of Kansas is very different in appearance from that of the eastern half of the State. While the latter is black, the former is usually light colored, or reddish toward the southwestern part of the State, excepting upon the larger river bottoms, but the soil of western Kansas is the deepest, running from two to ten feet. Perhaps upon no point is there a greater lack of knowledge concerning Kansas, even by some citi

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