The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940 Page: 82
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
In the autumn of 1907, Post decided to withdraw his farms
from the market. For the next six years no farms were sold. Pro-
longed consideration had determined this course. In the first place,
Post had decided to experiment with the object of finding out
what crops would grow best on this soil. He also wished to try
irrigation from wells on the plains above the Cap Rock. Finally,
he wished to ascertain whether rain could be produced by artificial
In the spring of 1908, Post established an experimental farm
in the "breaks" near the foot of the Cap Rock and placed it in
charge of an agricultural expert. He also started an experi-
mental orchard and garden. In all, about three hundred acres
were devoted to experimental purposes. On the experimental farm
he tried practically every variety of farm plant, from Egyptian
wheat to alfalfa. He found cotton producing well, especially on
the plains section of the estate. Kafir corn, milo maize, Sudan
grass, and cane proved to be the best feed crops. Sweet potatoes
were yielding better than Irish potatoes. Alfalfa did well when
irrigated. Nearly all kinds of vegetables thrived with irrigation.30
The next group of experiments were concerned with the irriga-
tion of his plains lands from deep wells. In 1910, he ordered
several large irrigation wells drilled on the plains. Large pumps
driven by gasoline engines threw water out in large volume. Irri-
gation ditches conducted the water to the regular field crops. One
of these wells pumped one thousand gallons per minute. Managers
in charge were not enthusiastic about the experiment, since the
wells were soon "sandied up," and the expense was exceedingly
great. But Post was so optimistic as to declare that "the whole
history of farming on the Plains depends upon these irrigation
Before placing his lands on the market, Post wished to determine
whether he could produce rainfall by artificial means. If so, his
rich plains lands might be made to yield enormous crops and land
prices to increase as a consequence. Post spent fifty thousand
dollars in an effort to accomplish this purpose. He had read stories
about rains accompanying Napoleon's battles as well as many bat-
tles of the American Civil War. If such rains were due to vertical
3OPost Records, Minutes II, 30 b, February 20, 1911.
31Post to Double U Company, July 8, 1911, Post Records, Minutes II,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940, periodical, 1940; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/m1/90/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.