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1866 COUNTY DESCRIPTION IN LETTER
Page 15History of Story County, IowaPage 15

John M. Brainard, who is now editor of the Boone Standard. The writer hereof was well posted as to soil, locations, timber and improvements of Story County:

" NEVADA, Iowa, 1866.

" Mr. Brainard: While it seems to be the rage among certain of your correspondents to deal in giddy slang and personal hits, I beg leave not to imitate, but will try and say something in regard to the enterprise of our county. We have a large quantity of prairie lands unimproved—good, rich and beautiful. We can invite the agriculturist and grazier to a critical examination of the soil of our county. To such at least as are practical grain, grass and stock growers, we fear not to submit to a candid decision. Our prairies in certain localities are wavy and undulating—at others they are flat rosinweed lands—as desirable perhaps as any in Iowa for tame pastures and meadows. The timber is pretty well distributed over the county, excepting the north part of it, and in this part, thus destitute of timber, is some of the most beautiful prairie, and which may yet be had (1866) at from $2.50 to $7 per acre, depending on location and quality. Stock water generally well supplied. The climate is exceedingly pleasant during the summer; but like other prairie countries we are subject to some very ugly storms in winter; the good health during the entire year cannot, however, be well surpassed any where.

" The Chicago & Northwestern Railroad passes almost directly through the center of the county from east to west, and is a road doing an immense quantity of business. Another railroad is proposed to pass from Des Moines, the capital of Iowa, in a north or northeasterly course through Story County, intersecting the Chicago & Northwestern Railway, (the Cedar Rapids & Nebraska) at Ames or some other point in the county.

" But few, if any, of our towns are improving as fast as the country. Nice frame houses and new farms are dotting our prairies; and, indeed, many parts of the county are farms and houses placed so closely together as to form heavy neighborhoods. These neighborhoods surround a nice, convenient and comfortable schoolhouse or church, or both. We can with pride boast of our numerous and pretty school-houses all over, or nearly all over, the county which afford an excellent advantage to pupils of each district for educating the mind and the morals. We will soon have in practical operation in this county, the Iowa State Agricultural College, a building sufficiently large and commodious to compare with many of the fine buildings of the United States.

"Nevada, the county seat, is within a very short distance of the geographical center of the county, on the Cedar Rapids & Northwestern Railroad, (now the C. & N. W.), and is thirteen years old, containing about 1,000 inhabitants. It is situated mostly on a dry, rolling prairie on West Indian Creek, and is a remarkably healthy location. It has two church buildings, (Cumberland Presbyterian and New School Presbyterian) already built. The Cumberland church was the first built in Nevada, and probably the first in the


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