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86 LoN L. Swift CHAPTER X. Growth From 1850 to 1900. Now that a general idea has been given of Oregon's farms as they were in 1900, let us next study the growth of agricul- ture in this state since 1850, noticing particularly the pecuHar tendencies of Oregon as compared with other geographical divisions. If the number of farms and the area of farm land (especially improved land) have increased rapidly, it will show that the exploitation of Oregon territory is recent and that the state is new, so to speak. If the farms are becoming smaller and at the same time more valuable to the acre, farming is becoming more intensive. If the income derived from any class of produce has made rapid strides, Oregon, as a whole, is particularly adapted to the raising of that commodity. To compare the figures for Oregon to those for the four geograp- ical divisionsĀ : United States, Western Division, California and Washington, would make our tables and discussions so com- plex as to lead only to confusionĀ ; so our governing principle shall be to concentrate attention on Oregon and make compari- sons to other sections only where they are of unique signifi- cance. A comprehensive view of the number, size and value of Ore- gon's farms may be given by the figures for the end of each decade from 1850 to 1900. A second table is given to show

the percentage of increase by decades from 1850 to 1900:----