Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
733
IOWA

still larger per cent of its rain in spring and summer than has the eastern. The unequal distribution throughout the state is in much larger measure due to local showers. Injury to crops from drought and hot winds has occurred about two or three times in a decade, but liability to injury of the crops from excessive rainfall and hailstorms is greater than that from a deficiency of moisture. Three notable tornadoes have swept portions of the state: the Comanche in June 1860, the Grinnell in June 1882 and the Pomeroy in July 1893; but the greatest area traversed by any of these was less than one-twentieth of 1% of the total area of the state, and this kind of storm has been less destructive to human life, animals and buildings than the lightning which accompanies summer showers.

Soil, Agriculture.—Its depth, together with its porous nature, makes the fertile soil of Iowa capable of withstanding the extremes of wet and dry remarkably well, and it is perhaps true that, taken as a whole, no other state in the Union has a superior soil for agriculture. Certainly no other has so many acres of improved land, or so large a proportion—from 85 to 90%—of its land subject to cultivation. The soil is of four kinds: till or drift, alluvial, loess or bluff and geest. The dark drift, composed chiefly of clay, sand, gravel, boulders and lime, is both the soil and subsoil of the greater part (about 66%) of the state, being especially predominant in the N. and N.W. The alluvial soil, composed of what has been washed from other soils, together with decayed vegetable matter, covers about 6% of the surface of the state and is found in the river bottoms, of greatest extent in that of the Missouri; it varies much in fertility. The loess soil, chiefly a mixture of porous clay and carbonate of lime, forms the bluffs bordering the bottom lands of the Missouri and is common in the N.E. Its fertility is not inferior to that of the better drift. Geest is found particularly in the north-eastern part of the state; it covers less than 1% of the area of the state.

The superior qualities of the soil, together with the usually warm and moist months of spring and summer, make Iowa one of the foremost states of the Union in agriculture and stock-raising, especially in the production of Indian corn, oats, hay and eggs, and in the raising of hogs, horses, dairy cows and poultry. In comparison with its other industries it stands also pre-eminently as an agricultural state; for of its 789,404 labourers in 1900, 371,604, or 47%, were engaged in agriculture, 129,006 being engaged in trade and transportation, and 124,803 in manufactures and mechanical pursuits. In 1899 the total value of the agricultural products, $365,411,528, was greater than that of any other state. Of the farms 65.1% were cultivated by owners in 1900, a decrease from 76.2% in 1880; and 19.5% were cultivated by cash tenants, an increase from 4.5% in 1880. After 1880 the percentage of farms operated by share tenants slowly but steadily decreased, falling from 19.4% in 1880 to 15.4% in 1900. Between 1880 and 1900 the average number of acres to a farm slightly increased—from 133.5 acres in 1880 to 151.2 acres in 1900—instead of decreasing as in the older states of the Union; though the increase was not nearly so marked as in such states as Nevada, Montana, Wyoming and Texas. Iowa about equals Illinois in the production of both Indian corn and oats, nearly 10,000,000 acres or about one-third of its improved area usually being planted with Indian corn, with a yield varying from 227,908,850 bushels in 1901 (according to state reports) to 373,275,000 (the largest in the United States, with a crop value second only to that of Illinois) in 1906. According to the Department of Agriculture in 1907 the acreage was 9,160,000 and the yield 270,220,000 bushels (considerably less than the Illinois crop); the yield of oats was 168,364,170 bushels (Twelfth U.S. Census) in 1899, 124,738,337 bushels (U.S. Department of Agriculture) in 1902, and in 1907 the acreage and crop (greater than those of any other state) were 4,500,000 acres and 108,900,000 bushels, valued at $41,382,000—a valuation second only to that of Illinois. In total acreage of cereals (16,920,095 in 1899) it ranked first (Twelfth Census of the United States), and in product of cereals was exceeded by Illinois only; in acreage of hay and forage (4,649,378 in 1899) as well as in the annual supply of milk (535,872,240 gallons in 1899) it was exceeded by New York only. In 1905, according to railway reports, 91,051,551 ℔ of butter were carried to points outside the state. It ranked far ahead of any other state in 1908 in the number of its hogs (8,413,000, being 15% of the whole number in the United States), Illinois, the second in rank, having only about half as many. It ranked first in 1900 in the number of horses (1,392,573); in the number of poultry (about 20,000,000); in the annual egg product (99,621,290 dozen in 1899); in the total acreage of all crops (22,170,000); in the total value of agricultural products; and in the total value of live stock ($271,844,034). In 1899 it ranked fourth in the production of barley (18,059,050 bushels) and in 1907 sixth (14,178,000 bushels). The wheat crop has varied from 12,531,304 bushels in 1903, 13,683,003 bushels in 1905, 7,653,000 bushels in 1907 (according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture), to 22,769,440 bushels (Twelfth Census) in 1899. Potatoes, apples and small fruits are grown successfully. For the most part the several crops are quite evenly distributed throughout the state; but nearly all the winter wheat is grown in the S. and N.W., spring wheat most largely in the N.W., barley mostly in the N., flax-seed and prairie hay in the N.E.

Minerals.—The first mines to be worked in Iowa were those for lead and zinc at Dubuque and to the northward. These are little mined at present, only 110 tons of lead ore and 516 tons of zinc ore being taken from the mines in 1908. Of more promise is the gypsum deposit extending over an area of about 50 sq. m. in the vicinity of Fort Dodge (Webster county), from which was taken in 1908 a product valued at $565,645, having increased to that figure from $45,819 in 1898. Limestones and sandstone are also profitably quarried, the value of the product in 1908 being $530,945 for limestone and $2337 for sandstone. The principal mineral of Iowa, however, is bituminous coal; it ranked in 1908 eighth among the coal-producing states of the Union, its product being valued at $11,706,402. The beds lie in the southern half of the state, extending under about two-fifths of its surface.

Trade and Commerce.—The manufactures of Iowa are chiefly such as have to do with the products of the farm. Meat packing is the most important, the product of this industry amounting in 1900 to $25,695,044, and in 1905 to $30,074,070, an increase of 17% in this period; in 1900 the state was seventh, in 1905 sixth, among the states in the value of this industry, producing in each year 3.3% of the total. Next in importance is the manufacture of dairy products, the value of which in 1900 was $15,846,077 (an increase of 50.3% in ten years) and in 1905 was $15,028,326; at both censuses the state ranked third in the value of cheese, butter, and condensed milk and of food preparations, which were valued at $6,934,724 in 1905. Flour and grist-mill products ranked third both in 1900 and 1905, the value of the product for the later year being $12,099,493, an increase of 9.9% over the value for the earlier. Among the lesser manufactures are lumber and timber products (value in 1905, $5,610,772), most of the raw material being floated down on rafts from Wisconsin and Minnesota. The largest centres of industry are Sioux City, Davenport, Dubuque, Des Moines, Burlington and Council Bluffs. In 1905 the gross value of the manufactured product (of establishments on the factory system) was $160,572,313, as against $132,870,865 in 1900, an increase of 20.8%; whereas, even including the products of smaller establishments not technically factories, the value of the product in 1850 was only $3,551,783, and in 1880 was only $71,045,926.

The means of transportation is afforded chiefly by the steam railways, of which the state had 9,907.44 m. in January 1909. Scarcely a farm is more than 6 or 8 m. from a railway station; and only three other states have a greater railway mileage. The great period of railway building in Iowa was during the twenty-five years immediately following the close of the Civil War, the railway mileage being only 655 m. in 1860. The several roads are under the management of twenty-seven companies, but about 75% of the business is done by the Chicago Burlington & Quincy, the Chicago & North-Western, the Chicago Milwaukee & St Paul and the Chicago Rock Island & Pacific. Electric interurban railways are increasing in importance for freight and passenger service. In 1908 about 225 m. of such railways were in operation. Transportation facilities by water are afforded by the Mississippi river. The former difficulties with the Des Moines Rapids of the Mississippi (which are passable for rafts and light boats at high water) have been overcome by a canal from Keokuk to Montrose constructed by the National Government. Other federal improvements undertaken are a harbour at Muscatine, a harbour of refuge below Davenport and channel improvements at Clinton.

Population.—The population of Iowa in 1850 was 192,214; in 1860, 674,913; in 1880, 1,624,615; in 1890, 1,911,896; in 1900, 2,231,853. The state census of 1905 showed a total population of 2,210,050, and the Federal census of 1910, of 2,224,771. Of the population in 1905, 1,264,443 (57.2%) were native whites of native parentage, 648,532 (29.3%) were native whites of foreign parentage, 289,296 (12.8%) were foreign-born and 14,832 (0.7%) were coloured, including 346 Indians. The Indians, a remnant of the Sauk and Foxes, are most unprogressive, and are settled on a reservation in Tama county in the east-central section of the state.

In 1906 it was estimated that there were 788,667 communicants of all religious denominations; of these 207,607 were Roman Catholics; 164,329 Methodists; 117,668 Lutherans; 60,081 Presbyterians; 55,948 Disciples of Christ; 44,096 Baptists; 37,061 Congregationalists; 11,681 members of the German Evangelical Synod; and 8990 Protestant Episcopalians.

The rural element of the population is large, though it is not increasing as rapidly as the urban; and no other state in the Union is so uniformly settled. There were in 1905 seven cities with a population of 25,000 or more; twenty with 8000 or more; and thirty-seven with 4000 or more. Between 1890 and 1900 the urban population increased 38.3%, while the rural increased 14.6%. The chief cities are Des Moines (pop. in 1905, 75,626), Dubuque (41,941), Davenport (39,797), Sioux City (40,952), Cedar Rapids (28,759), Council Bluffs (25,231) and Burlington (25,318).

Government.—There is comparatively little in the political institutions of Iowa dissimilar to those of other states of the