Page 3 of 1 Mar 1917 Issue of Des Moines Iowa Homestead in Des-Moines, Iowa

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Des Moines Iowa Homestead (Newspaper) - March 1, 1917, Des Moines, IowaOwa homesteads Moines Iowa tuesday March 1, 1917. The tractor in peace and War. It is a Long Way from the Fertile wheat Fields of the american Grain Belt feeding the world to the devastated battlefields of Europe where millions of lives have been uselessly sacrificed yet there is a connection Between the two in which every Farmer is or should be interested that connection is the tractor. I believe i am conservative when i assert that the american tractor will play a More important part in restoring agricultural and Industrial conditions in Europe once the War is Over hasten the than anything else. The manufacturer who recently declared that the farm tractor doing the work of several men is going to prove the same Benefit to warring Europe that the reaper did to the United states during the civil spoke the truth. With hundreds of thousands of men losing their arms their hands and their legs the problem devolves upon Europe of giving them useful employment and maintaining the Man Supply for Nec Essary production. The tractor solves the prob Lem. I am advised that no less than 150 farm tractors Are now or were a few Days ago being crated in Kansas City for shipment to France while 810 More Are shortly to be sent from Minneapolis. These tractors were originally intended for the wheat Fields of Kansas Minnesota and the Dakotas but they Are being diverted instead to the Fields of France Russia and Austria Hungary in order that the decreased Man Supply May be made More efficient and the wheat Fields of these War Ridden countries be put into the most productive Condi Tion possible with a minimum of labor expenditure. The French government so i am advised has already appropriated Money to help any Farmer who will buy and use a tractor the government paying half the original Cost of the machine. Naturally these foreign countries look to America for this is the land of the tractor s birth of its greatest usefulness and of its most Complete development. I confidently expecri917 to be the greatest year the tractor has Ever known. The series of tractor shows held in the Grain Belt last year quickened interest among the Farmers of this Section As never before. And now comes the immense demand from War stricken Europe. I have seen photographs of european soldiers who have lost their arms and hands and who have been equipped with steel rods and Hooks fastened to the stubs of their arms at the shoulders. By Means of these devices the men can hold and use a Rake or a Hoe and so perform a useful Day s labor. There must be hundreds of thousands of such crippled men in Europe. There Are equally Large numbers of those who have lost their legs. These men must be kept Busy and productive with training they can operate a tractor. Horses Are scarce and dear in Europe again the tractor solves the problem. Is it to be wondered at that machines which were intended to make Kan Sas and Dakota wheat Fields produce More should be diverted to Fields in Europe which will not pro Duce at All unless these tractors Are secured the world is full of extremes and contradictions that which is one Man s meat is another Man s Poison. The tractor which was intended to pro Duce the wheat to feed the world has been distorted and disguised until today it is the tank which the British soldiers Send against the Ger mans with its invincible Caterpillar tread to Clam Ber Over trenches Shell craters and barbed wire entanglements. From production the tractor has been diverted to destruction. Yet there is another scene about to be scene of crippled european soldiers blowing Fields with american tractors and seeding them to wheat Fields which have been terribly harrowed Avith shot and Shell for the past thirty months drenched with human blood and fertilized with dead men s Bones. It is a scene which paraphrases in the midst of life we Are in and makes it read in the midst of death we Are in surely i add the ways of Providence Are inscrutable and we Are but Mere Blind mortals after All. Motor cars in the Grain Belt. We May not All of us own or drive Automo Biles but surely it is a matter of gratification to know that we live in the Section of the country which has the greatest number of cars proportionate to population and where the Automo bile can Best be afforded. We have no extremes of great wealth and dire poverty Here with Only the Rich Riding in their limousines and the poor stand ing by the Roadside enviously watching them dash by. I have before me As i write a table giving the registration of automobiles by states up to de Cember 31, 1916. This table shows that of the forty eight states of the Union in fourteen the 1916 Auto Mobile registration passed the Mark. And of these fourteen with motor cars or More seven Are located right Here in the Grain Belt where the Farmers Are the direct cause of the existing Prosperity. Let me print the list of Honor states in the Grain Belt with their 1916 motor car registration Illinois Iowa Minnesota wisconsin.126.561 Kansas Missouri nor is the supremacy of the Grain Belt limited to this. The states Here in the Fertile where Corn Oats Hay hogs horses and cattle Are a larger number of cars proportionate to population than the big states of the East where the so called Money Kings of the country live in their Fine Marble palaces. For instance. Iowa leads new York Massachusetts Pennsylvania and All the big Eastern states in this Iowa has no millionaires in the sense in which the Pitts Burgh steel Barons and the new York Stock Barons Are known. Yet Iowa has one motor car for every eleven people men women and while new York has one for every thirty two. In other words Chance of being prosperous enough to own a car is three times As great in Iowa As it is in new York. Let us look at the other Grain Belt state in the list for a minute. In Nebraska there is a motor car for every twelve persons in Kansas one for every fifteen in Minnesota one for every sixteen in wis Consin one for every Nineteen in Illinois one for every thirty in Missouri one for every thirty one. In Brief the number of people proportionate to each motor car is less in every one of these seven Grain Belt states than it is in new York which most of us look to As the richest and greatest state of the Union. As i said in the beginning we cannot Ial of us drive to town in our own cars. There Are some among us like the Wisconsin immigrant Farmer whose letter i printed As my new year s message who said some of us Are Happy with a wooden but whether we own merely a wheelbarrow or a six Cylinder forty horse Power motor car we can find much Consolation and gratification in the fact that we Are living in a Section where Opportunity abounds where Prosperity is Ever present and justly distributed and where motor cars and Kindred conveniences can be had without unwarranted extravagance by a greater number of people than anywhere else in All the nation. We Are no Mere hangers on at the banquet Board of plenty the feast is spread in our Honor it was won by our own hard work and we Are the ones to enjoy it the most. Borrowing under new Law. The am in receipt of scores of letters from readers who desire to take advantage of the new fed eral farm loan Law but do not know How to proceed to organize the necessary association of ten prospective Farmer borrowers. Many of my Cor respondents ask if i do not know the names of other men in their Community who wish to borrow under the new Law. Now you can readily see it is next to impossible for me to keep track of All the Farmers in every township and county in the ten Grain Belt states which my papers cover who wish to organize such borrowing associations. Nine times out of ten i am unable to Send the names and addresses wanted. But there is one thing which i do advise however and it is this if you want to form a loan association to Bor Row under the new Law Why not Call on your local edit r to help you find the men necessary the Law says the various loan associations must con Sist of ten or More natural persons who Are the owners or about to become the owners of farm if you do not know just which of your neigh Bors wish to join with you or if there Are not enough neighbors and you need to take in strangers Why not so to the newspaper office in the town where you do your trading and explain the Situa Tion to the editor i know he will be Only too glad to print a paragraph in his paper stating that a meeting will be held at Blank s hardware store or Smith s general store or the Post office or some such place on a certain Day and at a certain hour of All Farmers who wish to form a borrowing association or to discuss the new farm loan Law. Ten men meeting at any store can quickly take the necessary Steps to form the necessary association. At the very least it will thus be readily discovered whether enough Farmers in the one locality Are interested to make an association Likely. Ask your local editor to help you out he will do so gladly i am sure. The first of March is when the great majority of farm Loans Are made and when Money is wanted by most Farmer borrowers. The Federal Banks Are not ready yet much to the d appointment of Many prospective borrowers. I do not know at this writ ing Why there has been such a delay it should never have occurred. Last week the first appoint ments of officers and directors of a Federal land Bank the one at Wichita serving Kansas okla homa new Mexico and Colorado were announced. I am glad to see that a majority of the men who Are to run this Bank Are Farmers. The president of the Wichita land Bank has been the Active head of a Farmers state Bank for several years. He has conducted an extensive farm and cattle loan business and is a practical Farmer. The vice presi Dent is the son of a Pioneer cattleman himself a Farmer and Stockman for several years. The Secre tary was formerly connected with the agricultural College of i state. One of the directors has Farmed for thirty years and has been president of the Board of agriculture of his state. And so on. Practically every Man has direct farming associations which makes it highly probable that the Farmers interests and welfare will be Well conserved. We must not expect the new loan Law to bring about the financial and agricultural millennium. It is a step in the right direction. We need to go fur ther and help the worthy tenant but a beginning is being made which promises Good results. Do not get impatient at the slow Workings of the Law but give the system a thorough trial. It has already resulted in interest rates being lowered in Many places by insurance companies and private lenders. If the new Law accomplishes no More than this it will have been Well Worth while. Stay by the farm. Am in receipt of a letter from a subscriber Send ing in her renewal for another year which contains such a splendid tribute to the superiority of country life Over City at this season when we Are just about to Start another year s cropping i cannot refrain from passing it along to you. The letter follows dear or. Pierce i cannot forbear thanking you for your sensible kind admonitions which i read regularly week after your kind and fatherly advice to the Young people and appreciating the opportunities offered for discussing such important and vital subjects in your valuable paper. I was much interested in the discussion of Chang ing from the farm to town or City life As i am a Farmer. From my birth i have loved the farm and for several years i have lived on the farm almost alone having a tenant most of the time living near by. But at present i am alone and i believe i am happier out Here alone than i would be in the City alone for i can see something living and growing about me and life begets life. I m sure the air and Sunshine Are Worth More in the open than in the crowded City. Since Reading the homesick Mother s letter 1 conclude it is my enemy who would urge me to leave the country and pro to the City to live i think my True friends would not give me such advice. I know it is harder each year to live any where or it costs More and i see some causes for hard times away out Here where god pours out bless Ings on All his creatures abundantly. I see Strong healthy robust people so ungrateful and Lazy they loaf and eat and use what industrious honest labor provides and seek out plans for getting something for nothing every time they can. I believe idleness is next to intemperance in this land of ours. Verv gratefully yours Jennie Fletcher. When we read in the newspapers As i did this Wek of thousands of women in the poor districts of new York City joining in a hunger Parade storm ing the City Hall in a wave of indignant protest against the High Price of foodstuff can we think for one minute of giving up the country where the air is pure and the food plentiful and burying ourselves in the filth and want of the City if Ever there were a time when we should thank god for letting us stay by the farm it is now

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