The Lampasas Daily Leader (Lampasas, Tex.), Vol. 32, No. 52, Ed. 1 Monday, May 6, 1935 Page: 2 of 4
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THE LAMPASAS LEADER
8. YVhat are your outstanding, up-to-
date farm practices? “I just do a good
thorough job of mixed farming and try
to do things at the right time.”
4. What outstanding farm and com-
munity improvements? "I would rather
that my improvements, both indoors
and out, speak for themselves.”
He is a powerful, rugged man. He
has done in his lifetime an immense
amount of hard work. His hands are
thick, heavy; the fingers, blunt. Yet
when he parts the leaves to show you
his best fruit, those hands move deftly,
and there is something about them, too,
which suggests a devout person han-
dling the Bible.
“If you don’t like farming,” he says
cheerfully, “there’s nothing to it. I al-
ways did like to take care of things
around a farm. My boy and I ship a
load of cattle a year, as a rule, and
two carlots of hogs. We sell some
wheat, too, most years. But my main
pleasure always has been in my lawn
and house and garden, and in raising
a hundred ’n one different little things,
just to see what a fellow can do.”
He led me to a loft room in one of
the barns, where he was assembling his
exhibit for the coming county fair. One
year he showed eighty-three distinct
varieties of plants, all raised on the
place. He carries the key to that pri-
vate shop and exhibit room in his own
pocket, and leads you there with the
delight of a boy.
“What’s this?” he asked me, smiling.
It was a bunch.of thrifty cotton plants.
"And these?” A serviceable maul and
a pair of stout double-trees, made by
his own hand from osage-orange trees
grown on the place.
“It’s just a sort of hobby,” he said.
“I always like to have something new.
“And I’ve always taken pride in hav-
ing a nice home. We had our eye on
this place a long time before we were
anything like fixed to buy it. What
caught our eye was the lawn and the
white house with maple trees around
it, and the green shutters. It looked to
us just about the best place to live in
the county, and we think so still. That
fountain wasn’t in when we got it, and
the rose garden—we did that, too.
“Curious, isn’t it, how many farmers
never get around to making themselves
a home? Just scraping to buy the piece
of land next to them. Driving them-
selves and denying themselves, and
telling themselves that some time, way
off in the future, they’re going way
off somewhere—maybe to the coast—
and have an awful good time!
“That doesn’t seem right to me.
Doesn’t seem sensible. Our whole idea
in farming is to take care of what tve
have, and enjoy it as we go along.
“My father was a miller in Vermont.
He fought in the Civil war; five years.
When it was over, he came out here,
homesteading—I often think about it.
Then came '74 and the grasshoppers
drove us out It drove out a quarter of
the settlers, that year. Not many came
back. But we did.
"There were eight of us children, all
born in a log house. We rode bareback
to school—a frame building, about
fourteen by twenty, set up on the
rocks; all open under. There would be
as many as sixty-one scholars some-
times in winter. All the way from five
to twenty-five years old. Three long
benches; a low one in front for the
little tackers; then a high one, for the
older ones to write on, then another
one for them to sit on. And a stove.
And one teacher—but a good one.
Sarah McNaughton was the first teach-
er 1 went to school to; she was fine.
But the one I remember best was Jacob
J. Jackson. He boarded with us, and
got me to go on, more or less, with my
books. There wasn’t any high school
in the county when I got through
school. . . .
“We used to go barefoot all winter.
Never had head colds either. The only
thing that seemed to get us was con-
tagious diseases, like diphtheria. When
I was thirteen it went through the
family and the three youngest died.
“I herded cattle from the time I was
eight. Then I worked out quite a lit-
tle. I worked for Henry Elias, the best
farmer that ever farmed outdoors.
When I was twenty-four, I bought my
first farm; 160 acres, $14 an acre, $90C
down. It was good river bottom, but I
got hit by the panic.
“I batched it two and a half years.
In 1895, the year I got married, I sold
a load of cattle at $3.80 a hundred-
weight on the Kansas City market. I’d
paid $15 a head for them. The price
I got was 15 cents above the market
that day; they were small cattle. That
deal put me out of debt, and I haven’t
had what you could call any real trou-
On the questionnaire sent him by the
Department of Agriculture, a space
was left for “Anything Else You Con-
sider Important.” In this space Eugene
Elkins wrote: #
“My family, my home, my neighbors.
The enjoyment I get from watching my
crops and live stock develop. Our orch-
ard, kitchen garden, vineyard, shade
trees, flowers, rose garden, etc.
“I was married December 25, 1895.
We have four children, three girls and
a boy. The two eldest are married The
two youngest are attending Kansu*
State Agricultural college. (The oth**r
two went to college, too.)
“I have prospered beyond my wildest
dreams. I have accumulated a million.
But only a small part of this can be
counted in dollars and cents. The rest
of it comes from the satisfaction of
seeing an unbroken country, dotted
only here and there with the home-
steaders’ dug-outs, develop into a pros-
perous, settled country with beautiful
modern homes. And the feeling that I
have been a part of it.”
Always a Battle
He—No woman ever takes another
woman’s advice about frocks.
She—Naturally. You don’t ask th?
enemy how to win the wax.
KEEPERS OF GROVES
X XSRE in pre-revolutionary times
I-1 the West began. You may trace
|_ in the names on the map, al-
most, the line of America’s
first frontier. Here no longer are vil-
lage after village, town upon town,
with names that sigh for England. Ep-
som, Dover, Ridge, Canterbury—all
those lie to the east, toward the sea-
Here instead are Mast Yard, Fisher-
ville, Melvin’s Mill, Gould Hill, Mount
Kearsarge—self-sufficient names. The
people who came to settle here faced
west. They had turned their backs on
Says Robert Gould of Gould Hill
wryly; “This soil has always been nat-
ural to two things—apples and rebel-
“I like it up here. I can think as
I’ve a mind to and do as I’ve a mind
to. I don’t have to take my opinions
off that. . .
He jerks a thumb sidewise toward a
radio set in the corner.
Gould Hill is near Contoocook, in the
sharply semi-mountainous country of
central New Hampshire. Farms here
are so steep that to plow is often im-
possible. The only field erops that a
man can count on as a rule are sod
crops—grass and trees.
Robert Gould’s maternal grandfather
fought in the Revolution. He is the
fifth of his surname to have farmed
Gould Hill. Take any full-length pic-
ture of General Pershing in a sack suit,
count out the tightness at the eyes
and mouth, and you’ll have a fair like-
ness of Robert Gould.
The turning point in the fortunes of
his family came in 1901. Then, on the
basis of some old apple trees growing
along his fence rows, he decided to
change over from dairying to fruit
farming and to make the cows support
He was forty years old when he de-
termined to do this and over fifty when
he was able to turn from his cows and
start full-time orcharding.
In the eighteen years since his fifti-
eth birthday he has doubled the size
of the farm and Increased his income
tenfold. His apples have frequently
topped the Liverpool—more recently
the New York—market. His farm
is electrified; even his apple grader Is
motor driven. He spends his winters in
The two books out on his library table
when I visited him were Spenka’s “The
Church and the Russian Revolution”
and the Vanguard edition of “Village
Life Under the Soviet.”
“It looks to me,” he said, “that those
people over there in Russia are trying
to do just what we tried to do in the
years between our American Revolu-
tion and the time that we decided to
go urban and plutocratic.”
His people came to this country
from England in 1650. They settled at
Amesbury, Mass. A Joseph Gould was
living there in 1735: “My great-great-
grandfather. He decided to come out
here with his whole family. He was
one of the original incorporators of
this township. But he never lived to
make the move.
“His son, Moses Gould, my great-
grandfather, came here to the town of
Hopkinton in 1760, and moved to this
farm in 1775. My grandfather and
then my rather succeeded to the prop-
“They all farmed the same way.
Their cash crop was a pair of oxen a
year. That brought In around $150,
enough to keep the family in clothes.
“My father’s name was Charles
Gould. He didn’t farm this place any
more than it was accustomed to be
farmed. He taught school winters to
add to his meager income.
“By the time I was twenty-one I was
th» only son available to carry on the
farm. My father had a breakdown. He
took typhoid and insisted, typhoid or
not, on settling some estates that he’d
promised to attend to. He was ill for
seven years, practically helpless; and
my mother wasn’t able to do much,
either, at her age. So whether I wanted
to or not, I had to stay here and man-
age things, and take care of my par-
“They both died the same year, 1S99.
I was thirty-eight.
“By this time I had some cows,
fifteen head, and was selling butter
direct into Concord.
“I like cows—still keep a dozen head
around just because I like ’em—and I
even won some cups, one of them at
the Chicago World’s fair. Well, be-
tween my cows and a sort of coal busi-
ness I’d started down in Contoocook I
managed to scrape together a few hun-
dred dollars and built a house and got
“The next winter the best farmhand
in the town came to work for me. I
don’t know what gave me the notion,
but we had about two hundred old ap-
ple trees along the fence rows—a cider
mill once stood on this site; anyhow,
I told my new man to trim those trees.
“He hated trees. He just waded in
and trimmed the devil out of them. Ex-
actly what they needed; fine job 1 Then
I told him to take the dump cart and
fertilize them. That made him so mad
he tried to smother them at the roots,
I guess. Anyway, those old neglected
trees went ahead and yielded, the next
year, $750 worth of apples.
“Seven hundred and fifty dollars! It
was like striking gold. I started plant-
ing. McIntosh and Baldwins, mostly.
I have 2,500 trees now.”
Before I left I asked him to write
me a letter, adding anything that he
might wish. “I wish,” he wrote, “that
more young people would accept the
conditions of agriculture as we find
them today. It offers advantages not
to be found in any other industry. The
duties are, on the whole, less exacting
and if you follow modern methods you
make a fair return.
“Such goods and reputation as I
have I have gained in working clothes,
and am proud of it. Sitting here at
my desk in a comfortable house on a
farm near enough to the village to en-
joy the benefit of social life and ac-
tivities, I feel that I could have made
no better choice than to stay here and
“My land is clear of debt. It is re-
turning an income sufficient for all nec-
essary requirements. With a love of
outdoor life, a farmer may lead a good
life, and may read and ponder on all
theories, all doctrines, without the
haste, the trials, the prejudices that
surround and mold the commercial and
industrial life of America today,”
Third, perhaps, of the stereotypes by
which the farmer is represented to his
fellow citizens in this Republic, the
United States Department of Agricul-
ture lately undertook a cure. The ex-
tension division sent out Ackerman, its
best photographer, to bring in pictures
f'f. the most “representative” American
farmers and their homes.
One of the men so photographed was
Eugene Elkins, Route 1, Wakefield,
Kan., and this is his reply to a ques-
tionnaire that the department, seeking
further information, sent out:
1. How long have you lived in Clay
county? How much land do you farm?
“Was born here October 28, 1868. Have
owned this farm since 1903 and lived
on it since 1914. It contains 140 acres.
Have other farm and pasture land.
Never paid more than $115 an acre and
never sold more than a foot of land In
2. When did you start farming for
yourself? Where? “I started in 1S92,
the year of the panic, when I was
twenty-four. On a farm near here,
which I still own.”
Here Comes the Circus! Stupendous! Colossal!
By WILLIAM C. UTLEY
Top, Estralla Nelson, Elephant Trainer, With One of Her Pachyderms. Center, Clyde Beatty Returns to Conquer
Samson, Lion Who Laid Him Up for Sixteen Weeks. Below, the Circus Moves Into Town.
in America today or are fully aware
of the job of producing one, a job that
is far more “stupendous” and “colos-
sal” than the show itself. Yet the
American circus is more than a century
and a half old.
The first circus fan on record in this
country is none other than George
Washington, who is something of a stu-
pendous figure himself as history goes.
The Father of His Country attended
the first performance of a circus in
the United States, in Philadelphia in
1792. It was a small show compared
to the modern circus. It had no me-
nagerie ; the principal attraction adver-
tised by its owner, one John Bill Rick-
etts, were “Seven Beautiful Women.”
Ricketts’ circus was born amid
plenty of opposition. The circus in gen-
eral is a hangover from the palmiest
days of the Roman empire. It began
cleanly enough, with chariot races (no
doubt considerably more spirited than
those which still remain as an impor-
tant part of the circus), athletic con-
tests, and gladiatorial combat, but Ro-
man capacity for thrills was not well
enough satisfied and eventually help-
less Christians were thrown into the
arena to do battle against hopeless
odds with lions and warriors.
Mighty Barnum Appears.
This preserved through the ages an
unsavory name indeed for all circuses,
and when John Bill Ricketts captured
the imagination of the young republic
with the first announcements of his
show, righteous Indignation flared
widely forth from pulpit and press.
Human nature then must have been
something like it is now, however, for
this opposition served only to whet the
public interest, and there have always
been circuses in America from that
time. And every President since Wash-
ington has attended the circus.
The Big Top the huge show of sev-
eral trainloads of equipment and par-
ticipants, as we know it today, did not
make its start until the immortal hand
of Phineas T. Barnum took hold in
1880; even . Barnum did not enter the
circus business until he was past sixty.
At that time he was running a freak
museum in New York and a man named
Bailey was operating a menagerie
which seriously competed for the dol-
lar of the “sucker” that was “born ev-
ery minute.” Bailey announced a
“blessed event” in 1SS0 that would have
startled even Walter Winchell—a baby
pachyderm born to his female elephant,
and the first to be born in captivity.
Barnum openly declared the tiny (?)
newcomer a humbug and sent Bailey
a telegram offering him $100,000 for
proof. Bailey had the telegram repro-
duced and used it for an advertising
poster with such financially successful
results that Barnum gave up and
bought into partnership with his rival
for a large sum, and the Barnum and
Bailey combine became the first great
circus. Ringling Brothers opened in
1884 and eventually absorbed the older
circus in 1907.
There were other names which grad-
ually grew to importance: John Rob-
inson, oldest of them all; Sells-Floto,
Hagenbeck-Wallace, A1 G. Barnes,
Sparks and others. Just before the
crash of 1929, John Ringling formed
the American Circus corporation and
bought them all. Within the next three
years he retired all but Ringling broth-
ers-Barnum and Bailey, Hagenbeck-
Wallace and A1 G. Barnes.
Ringling, however, was doomed. He
borrowed heavily in order to gain a
monopoly of the circus industry; when
the depression came he could not meet
the payments. His New York credi-
tors, headed by S. W. Gumpertz, a
Coney island concessionaire, took over
the American Circus corporation and
Ringling was only a name under the
Few spectators realize the magni-
tude of the activity in the winter quar-
ters of a circus. Here are the railroad
shops which must keep all the rolling
equipment in shape. There must be a
great harness shop, painting shops (for
fresh, glittering paint must go on ev-
ery square inch of equipment every
year) and costume factories, as well as
barns and stalls for the animals and
stages and arenas for the rehearsing
of 200 or more acts. The place is
seething with activity.
Only three localities in the United
States are used for winter quarters:
Hagenbeck-Wallace and Cole Brothers
winter in Peru, and Rochester, Ind., re-
spectively, which are only a few miles
apart. Ringling winters in Sarasota,
Fla., and Barnes, on the Pacific coast,
—where the show is best known. The
Indiana location is considered best, be-
cause of proximity to centers of hay
and food supply. Food bills for ani-
mals of any one of these circuses may
run from $30,000 a year up.
Looks Like “Circus War.”
With the coming of an independent
circus for the first time in years, the
American Circus corporation Is appar-
ently trying to get ahead of it in book-
ings. Both Hagenbeck-Wallace and
Cole Brothers opened in Chicago on the
same day for the same run, and con-
current bookings are in evidence else-
where in the schedules. Showmen say
it may be another of the old-time '‘cir-
Circuses open in the manufacturing
centers first, usually about the middle
of ApriL They wait till the farmers
have cashed In on crops before swing-
ing out into the less-populated areas;
when they do, they follow the route of
cash-crop harvest. Drouth and dust
storms will, accordingly, cut down
their schedules in the west central
states. Dayton, Columbus, Detroit,
Baltimore, Norfolk, Houston and Dal-
las are considered great circus towns,
for the Big Top is always ja.cxaea
there, whether the people seem to have
money or not. In an average season
of 30 weeks with 170 stands, the aver-
age circus plays to 800,000 people who
create a gross revenue estimated at
well over $1,000,000.
Large circuses carry from 600 to
1,600 people, about one-third of whom
are performers. The travel job is
enormous. Usually, the first railroad
section leaves a town before the show
is over. Meats for the giant cats are
shipped from the stockyards towns a
week in advance to keep the show sup-
plied. Hay for animals and food for
humans are bought by advance agents
who enter a town about two weeks be-
fore the circus. The shows carry their
own staffs of detectives, dentists, doc-
tors, nurses and teachers for the chil-
Tastes Change Little.
Years have made little difference in
the tastes of the public in its circus
fare. Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild
West show were great drawing cards,
while the old man lived, and there are
still wild west acts in the circuses of
today. Lillian Leitzel, whose beaute-
ous form caused many a palpitation
of the heart, as it dangled from a fly-
ing ring in mid-air, is dead now, but
the Flying Nelsons, Conchita and oth-
ers, have taken her place and still form
a large part of the bill.
Our fathers and some of us can re-
member when little boys innocently
took jobs watering the elephants in re-
turn for passes—and found themselves
with a job more backbreaking and
more endless than that of Sindbad car-
rying the Old Man of the Sea. It is
doubtful If little boys do that so much
any more, for the newer generation is
hard to fool, but certainly some of it
must still go on. At any rate, the me-
nagerie is still one of the supreme
thrills of the show. And most spec-
tacular of all is the pretty lady or
handsome hero who walks into the
lion’s cage and calms the savage beast
by the fearless steel that gleams in the
King of the menagerie today is Clyde
Beatty, Who makes his animal training
doubly dangerous by putting three doz-
en or more lions and tigers, who are
born with a natural hatred for each
other, through their paces at the same
time. A smiling, enthusiastic, vibrant
little man of scarcely more than thirty,
Beatty ran away from his home in Chll-
licothe, Ohio, 13 years ago to join the
circus. He worked as ^ cage boy for
a polar bear act, and one night when
the trainer was called away by a sud-
den death in the family, Clyde worked
the act He was an Instant success
and has been snapping the whip and
brandishing the chair, which is the
trainer’s most useful weapon, ever
fL Western NewtaM^M* Uotah _
✓~>TEP right up, folks, and see the eighth
wonder of the world! Mighty in magni-
tude! Matchless in merit! Majestic in
magnificence! The mammoth marvel of
the century 1 The colossus of all amusements!
You’ve guessed it. Circus days are here
Spring brings not only balmy breezes and re-
freshing showers, but the glamor and glitter of
the Big Top, with its “train after train of won-
ders from many lands, hundreds upon hundreds
of tons of equipment, acre after acre of rain-
proof canvas, herds and more herds of ele-
phants, camels, zebras and zebus, scores upon
scores of funny clowns, company upon company
of the most remarkable exponents of physical
culture, avenue after avenue of cages, corrals
and enclosures—a stupendous spectacle of fairy-
Everybody is familiar with the fanfare of the
big show, and nearly everybody has seen a cir-
cus at some time in his life, but few are really
acquainted with the extent of the circus industry
MEN OF EARTH
By Russell Lord
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The Lampasas Daily Leader (Lampasas, Tex.), Vol. 32, No. 52, Ed. 1 Monday, May 6, 1935, newspaper, May 6, 1935; Lampasas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth897628/m1/2/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Lampasas Public Library.