The Growth of the Farm

“Old Clark Millikan had a farm…ee—i—ee—i—o!…”

Clark Millikan settled on the farm southeast of Sheridan, Hamilton County, Indiana in the late 1860s. He “traded” his land in North Carolina with a relative for his first 80 acres in Indiana. (There’s more to that story & I’ll get into it sometime in the future.) He had 1 son and 5 daughters living on the farm until the early 1880s.

The Agriculture Schedule of the US Census shows how he improved that farm in the 10 years from 1870 to 1880. We went to the Indiana State Archives a few years ago to check the microfilm of the Agricultural Schedules for several Indiana ancestors. (The schedules for some of the states are available on Ancestry.com, but not for Indiana)

Here is the information from the 1870 Census schedule:

Clark is listed on line #6 on page 3 of the schedule for Adams Township of Hamilton County, IN.

  • He had 25 acres of improved land, 55 acres of wood-land.
  • The value of the farm was $2400, farm implements/machinery $40
  • He had 2 horses, 2 milch cows, 4 other cattle, 7 sheep, 17 swine. Value of livestock: $298
  • Produced 112 bushels Winter Wheat, 200 bushels Indian Corn, 30 bushels Oats
  • Produced 12 lbs Wool, 2 bushels Peas & Beans, 25 bushels Irish Potatoes
  • Had $7 worth of produce from Market Garden
  • Produced 100 lbs Butter, 1 ton Hay, 25 lbs Maple Sugar, 70 gal Molasses
  • Had $128 from Forest products, $300 value of animals slaughtered or sold for slaughter
  • Total estimated value of all farm production: $480

The 1880 Census schedule gives the following information:

Clark is on line #10 on page 29 of the schedule for Adams Township of Hamilton County, IN. (*The enumerator’s handwriting makes it difficult to discern “3” from “9” so I’m making my best guess at times.)

  • He owns the farm with 68 acres of tilled land, 2 acres permanent meadows, orchards, pastures
  • 62 acres of wood-land, 28 acres of other “unimproved” land
  • Value of the farm was $4000, farm implements/machinery $100, livestock $490
  • Cost of building & repairing fences in 1879: $6
  • Amount paid for wages and board of farm labor in 1879: $50, with 19 weeks of hired labor
  • Grasslands: mown 3* acres, not mown 7 acres, 5 tons Hay, 9 bushels Grass seed
  • He had 5 horses, 3* milch cows, 6 other cattle, 1 calf dropped
  • Produced 250 lbs butter
  • He had 44 swine and 96 barn-yard poultry, producing 150 dozen eggs
  • Had 3 acres Buckwheat, producing 35 bushels
  • Had 35* acres Indian corn, producing 1300* bushels
  • Had 3* acres of Oats, producing 125 bushels
  • Had 14 acres of Wheat, producing 400 bushels
  • Had 1/2 acre of Sorgum, producing 40 gallons Molasses
  • Had 2 1/2 acres of Irish Potatoes, producing 150 bushels
  • Had 2 acres of Apple orchard, with 90* bearing trees, producing 50 bushels, sold $10 worth
  • Total estimated value of all farm production in 1879: $982

So he had 80 acres in 1870, by 1880, he had doubled that to 160 acres. The original 80 acres was in Twp 19N, Range 3E, the NW corner of the NW Quarter of Section 9. He added 17 acres just north of this property, in the southern part of Section 4, bordered on the North by the rail road line. I assume the remainder of the 180 acres is in Section 9, but I don’t have the land records to prove it. I guess I’ll have to take another road trip to Indiana sometime to find the records.

As for Livestock: He got rid of the sheep and increased the amount of swine significantly. The 1880 census included poultry # and that seemed like quite a few. However, the egg production was low in that other farms listed near him had the same amount of poultry or less and had significantly more eggs produced.

He increased his crop production in 1880, with so much more land. I guess that’s why he had to hire farm labor. Not to mention the fact that he was almost 60 years old!

So all in all, it seems like Clark was making a pretty good living on the farm, but obviously he had to work hard to manage all of that.

© MJM 2016

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