History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families

191

HIiSTORr OF TEXAS.

gradually rendering the land more valuable.
The whole body of the wood is also rich in
tannin, tlizs rendering it a good tanning
material. It is said, indeed, to be better
than any of the old popular materials, as it
better preserves the leather.
ARBOR DAY.
In response to a growing public opinion
in favor of forest planting, and to encourage
and promote that object, the Twenty-first
Legislature passed an act designating February
22 of each year as "' Arbor Day." If it
shall result in arousing a greater interest in
preserving from unnecessary destruction the
magnificent forests in the eastern part of the
State and the planting and cultivating of
forest trees on the bare prairies of the West,
it will become a monument to the wisdom
and foresight of the Legislature more enduring
than any ever made of marble or
brass. And this is the main purpose to be
subserved by the setting apart of one day in
the year for planting out trees. The number
of trees planted out on such occasions is inconsiderable
compared to the requirements of
any community needing the influence exerted
by forest areas on the climate. But a beginnino
must be made and the people gradually
educated up to a proper appreciation of
the importance of tree planting on a scale
commensurate with the importance of the
work. The beneficial influence of forest cover
in precipitating rainfall and preserving moisture
is now acknowledged by the best authorities
on the subject. The effect is seen in this
State in the greater average rainfall in the
timbered regions of east Texas as compared
with the prairie regions of the west. The
situations of the two sections with reference

to other conditions of rainfall, such as proximity
to the gulf, topography, etc., are substantially
the same.
COTTON.
As will be seen by the reference to the
sunimary of totals published elsewhere, the
cotton crop of 1890 amounted to 1,692,830
bales--an increase of 119,424 bales over the
crop of 1889. The average production per
acre was .41 of a bale, the largest number of
bales ever reached in the State, and exceeding
that of any State in the Union.
A fact worthy of note in this connection
is that Texas has the largest acreage in cotton
of any State in the Union, and would, under
equal conditions of soil, climate and seasons,
fall below the average production per acre of
other States. On the contrary, however. as
the above figures show, the average yield in
this State exceeds that of any of the cottongrowing
States, and thus the superiority of
our soil and the adaptability of the climate
in the production of the fleecy staple are
clearly established. It may be stated with:
out fear of contradiction, that no fertilizing
materials were used by any Texas farmer, except
in cases where experiments were being
carried on, while in most, if not all, of the
other cotton-producing States commercial fertilizers
enter largely into the expense account
of the cotton producer.
During the past four years the average
yield per acre for each year has been as follows:
1887, .34 of a bale per acre; 1888,
.38; 1889, .41, and 1890, .41. The average
value of an acre of cotton, including cotton
I seed, for 1890 was $16.64. It will also be
seen by reference to the previous reports of
) this department that there has been a con

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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families. Chicago. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/. Accessed July 23, 2014.