A Good Beginning
Emigration to Lafayette parish we think has surely set in. For several weeks past teams could be seen traveling over the streets loaded with furniture, farm implements and other appurtenances, belonging to newcomers moving to the various farms around town on which they had arranged to locate. Mr. Nickerson informs us that he has thus far located in the last few months, counting old and young, forty-four persons (twenty three adults and twenty one minors) representing five different states, vis.: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin, besides a number from the Dominion of Canada. This, we think, is making quite a good beginning, and is sowing seed that will produce good results. Several of the persons included in the above number were induced, through the influence of Mr. S. L. Carey, to go to Jennings to settle, where they were met by Mr. Nickerson, and persuaded to visit Lafayette parish before deciding to permanently locate at Jennings. Of the seven persons accepting Mr. Nickerson's invitation and who were shown around the country, six concluded to remain here and already are settled down, and the seventh one is expected to do likewise very soon.
Mr. Nickerson is continually receiving inquiries about this country from parties in the North and West desirous of coming South. We have been permitted to make the following extracts from one of the latest of these, that should particularly concern us:
Mr. John Nickerson,
Dear Sir: I arrived home alright and am now working up an excursion to Louisiana for January. Please send me prices of improved and unimproved lands, with distance from town. * * * * I hope you are getting along well and trust you will succeed in bringing down a large number of good Northern farmers to join hands with your own people in developing the glorious country that you have.
* * * * *
We may, with good reason, look for an extensive emigration movement southward at an early day. A succession of droughts and blizzards in the northern and western states have driven the people to desperation and all feel eager to seek a more temperate climate in a country adapted to the pursuit of agriculture. The South and southwest Louisiana, in particular, offer those very conditions, and a friendly welcome awaits the intelligent farmer of the north and west who will come to locate among us to labor for the common advancement of the country. Lafayette parish can accommodate a fair number of such farmers and their families with benefit to both the newcomer and the home people, and we do not doubt that the favorable impressions made on those who already located here will find expression in reports they will convey to others of their countrymen, with the result that all the available land in our parish will soon be occupied by an intelligent and thrifty class of people. We can see nothing but good to come from this condition of things, for at the same time that the newcomer will receive from them with positive profit to himself, the latter will be the means, also, of impressing on the home people many advantageous lessons, and so, from the general interchange of ideas and knowledge that must prevail, a great national benefit will result.
We trust that Mr. Nickerson will continue to interest himself in the subject of emigration to Lafayette parish, that through his efforts the time will be hastened when every available foot of ground now idle will be brought under the marvelous influence of the husbandman and forced to give up to the world the harvests to which it is capable. Lafayette Advertiser 1/5/1895
Southern Pacific & Emigration.
Some days ago the Crowley Signal remonstrated with the Southern Pacific Company for the apparent desire of the latter to induce Acadia rice growers to settle in Texas. Such was not the intention of the of the Southern Pacific, however. Press Agent Henry Mayo explains that the purpose of the company was merely to get the Acadia rice planters to "look at the Texas rice lands" and then go back home. Lafayette Gazette 1/12/1901.
TO THE FARMER, HOME-SEEKER, AND TRAVELER.
Contemplating a trip West or East, the Southern Pacific Co.'s advantages are worthy of consideration. We can save you time and you can save money by asking any of her representatives for the information you desire relative to Ticket Rates, Routes, Time, etc. We especially call your attention to the train service, which comprises the latest modern improvements in equipment. Her road-bed is the best in the South, and her facilities for Speed Safety and Comfort assure you of a pleasant journey and safe arrival at your destination. Her trains run through all the largest cities in Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. At New Orleans her trains connect with all Railroad and Steamship Lines for the North and Northeast. Through Pullman Sleepers of the latest design and Pullman Tourist Sleepers between New Orleans, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Her courteous employees will aid the traveler and solicit your patronage. Apply to nearest Southern Agent.
Lafayette Gazette 1/19/1895.
Joseph Charbuno and wife, of Canada, but who have been living in Texarkana a short while, have moved to Lafayette. They are located in the Mills Addition where Mr. Charbuno purchased a home through the J. C.
Nickerson real estate agency. Laf. Adv. 2/1/1905.
Moved Here From Missouri.
H. L. Coulter, of St. Joseph, Mo.; has leased Dr. F. E. Girard's home, "Brookside," adjoining the town. "Brookside" is one of the finest homes in this section. The lease was effected through the real estate agency of J. C. Nickerson, Mr. Coulter and family will move to Lafayette in the near future, and if pleased they will remain here permanently. The Gazette hopes that they will be satisfied with their new home and will induce many friends to come to this parish to share in the blessings of a delightful climate and most fertile soil. Lafayette Gazette 2/1/1902.
Mr. and Mrs. Strode, of McCallunville, Ohio, spent several days in Lafayette last week prospecting with a view to locating in this section. They left several days ago to look at other parts of Louisiana, and expect to return here before leaving home, when they may decide to settle in Lafayette. Laf. Adv. 2/3/1904.
INDUSTRIAL EXPOSITION OF NEW ORLEANS.
The outlook for the success of the Louisiana Industrial Fair, to be held at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans from May 6th to May 31st 1899, is very promising. Large quantities of space have already been applied for and allotted to the principal local merchants and there still remains a considerable number more to be acted upon by the committee having the matter in charge. It is now an assured fact that there will be a nightly representation of an elaborate pyrotechnic display of the celebrated sinking of the collier Merrimac, in the narrow entrance of Santiago Harbor and the running flight made by Cervera's fleet in its attempt to escape from the blockading squadron at Santiago.
The plans for the buildings are receiving the finishing touches and work upon the construction thereof will be commenced immediately after the close of the winter racing now in progress at the Fair Grounds where the Industrial Exposition is to be held. Another of the features of the Fair will be a unique representation of the Midway Plaisance shown for the first time at the World's Fair. The railroad interests of the city are formulating plans for the bringing to New Orleans of large excursion parties from various sections of the Southern States and they are confident of attracting large crowds.
On the night preceding the opening of the Fair there will be rendered at the Tulane Theatre a drama written by a New Orleans playwright and presented by New Orleans artists of whom the city is justly proud. The annual resources of Louisiana will be fittingly exhibited during the Fair, large spaces having been allotted for the special exposition of her products. Lafayette Advertiser 2/4/1899.
A FARMER'S PARADISE.
If the farmers of the North and West were conversant with the many advantages afforded by our rich soil and magnificent climate, there would be a constant stream of immigrants pouring into South-western Louisiana. But the difference between the two sections is so great ; the fertility of our soil so wonderful that it is hard to convince one who has not visited this section that the half that is said of the country is true. There is no section of country within the broad domain of our land where nature repays with so bountiful and generous a hand, the efforts put forth by the husbandman ; no soil can be found that will produce more to the acre than that found in Lafayette and surrounding parishes. The land stretches out in gentle slopes, with here and there small ravines, forming one of the most beautiful and picturesque scenes that ever enchanted the eye of mortal. The hills and dales seem like the swelling bosom of the ocean ; ever and anon we see the home of the planter, on the summit of a crest, only to disappear from view as descend a gentle slope, like the buoyant ships that proudly ride the waves of the sea on a calm and tranquil day. Surely, the people of this section have much to be thankful for, and when one views the glories of the scenery, becoming familiar with the delightful climate, and productiveness of the soil, he no longer wonders at the great love for the South which has always filled the hearts of her sons and daughters. It is not remarkable that the people of the South are noted for their hospitality, for it would be impossible to dwell in this sun-kissed land of plenty without imbibing and absorbing a part of the generosity which Nature herself has distributed with such a lavish hand. A man's nature must need of necessity, expand and become greater and nobler, and his heart warm toward his fellow man under the influences of such glorious surroundings.
The many and great advantages offered by Dame Nature to the farmer will ere long become universally known and appreciated, and even now the beauty of our country is attracting the attention of the outside world, and capitalist and farmer alike are casting a longing eye in a southerly direction, and ere many months have gone a tide of emigration will set in that will bring both prosperity and wealth to this country, and inside of a few years the glories of our beloved South will be sung together by a happy and contented band of native sons and adopted sons who will work together for the common good, until the South, the glorious South, shall become the most prosperous part of the Union. Lafayette Advertiser 2/4/1893.
The Governor to Issue a Call for a State Emigration Convention in the Near Future.
Why Should Not Lafayette be Chosen as the Place For the Proposed Meeting.
Gov. Foster's Views on the Question.
The question of inducing emigration has for the past few months been discussed by both press and private citizen. All over the state, in private as well as official circles, there seems to be an awakening to the advantages to be derived from an influx of thrifty, desirable, revenue-producing agricultural emigrants from other states and countries. The question of holding an emigration convention as a means of furthering some concerted action by the different parishes of the state, tending to make known to the world at large the great advantage our state has to offer to the industrious emigrant, has been discussed by prominent men of the state, and is considered to be the best course to take to accomplish the desired end.
Saturday's States published an interview with Governor Foster on this question which we make a few excerpts:
"That we stand in need of immigration - the best kind of immigration - and that therein lies." Lafayette Advertiser 2/4/1893
Nobody, probably, has ever visited a country without forming an critical opinion of its people. Now you just stay here for a while, and watch the natural development of the will of the people, and if kind hearts (maybe not calculated to the highest standard) do not attract your best thoughts, then you are an unappreciative man. Laf. Adv. 2/8/1890.
Reasons Why You Should Locate In Southwest Louisiana.
1st. It's healthy; not subject to epidemics; has the lowest death rate in the state (8 to 1,000); more old people to population than elsewhere; nine tenth population white; northern people almost invariably gain increased vigor, recover from catarrh, are relieved of kidney diseases. They are out of doors more. It helps rheumatism and strengthens the lungs. A radical change like this will add ten years to the average life.
2d. Good rainfall, evenly distributed, 55 to 60 inches annually.
3d. The evenest, the best climate in the United States.
4th. Prairie and timber in best proportion. Good clay soil with hard pan sub soil. Good water 10 to 20 feet through clay. No stones, stumps, roots or other obstructions. Well covered with an excellent sod of wild grasses of (facdium?) quality which can be replaced with Bermuda or Lespedeza (Japan clover), best grasses known.
5th. Crops are more valuable here. Louisiana grows on an average, by census, $20 per acre to the northern States $8. Sugar cane yields 20 tons per acre, each ton as valuable as wild bay North yielding only 1 1/2 tons average. Rice is grown on new sod before rotting and yields 10 barrels per acre, valued at $2 a barrel, gives an income of $30 an acre and costs $10 to grow it. Such land can be bought at $5 to $10 an acre; improved, $10 to $20 per acre.
6th. The nearer the gulf the healthier the climate and earlier the season.
7th. All hardy vegetables, such as radishes, turnips, lettuce and cabbage, grow all winter.
8th. Figs and oranges are at their best here. Japan kid glove oranges commence bearing at one of two years from budding; will do well anywhere in Southwest Louisiana bring the highest price in market and are better flavored.
9th. Pears of few varieties do well. Blackberries and dewberries (wild or tame) and strawberries do well.
10th. Nut Bearing trees are at home here and are very profitable.
11th. Poultry does exceedingly well.
12th. Stock of all kinds do well; horses, mules, hogs, sheep and goats.
13th. Altitude, 60 feet. Too flat to wash, too high to overflow.
14th. We grow sugar cane and rice in perfection; the only field crops we import. On both crops we have a good profit, without tariff or bounty.
15th. The climate, the conditions, the fruit (fig, orange, pomegranate, grape and persimmon; all indicate plainly that this is the long lost Eden.
Write to nearest Southern Pacific Representative for Routes and Rates. S. F. B. Morse, G. P. & T. A., New Orleans, La.
Lafayette Gazette 2/9/1895.
Her Soil, Climate and Natural Advantages.
From an exchange we copy the following description of Southwestern Louisiana.
The section of country lying south of the 31st parallel west of the Atchafalaya and east of the Sabine rivers may be said to constitute the territory which is called South-western Louisiana. it has a population of about 200,000 souls, and includes within its confines the whole of the parishes of Acadia, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin and St. Mary and the southern portion of the parishes of Avoyelles, Rapides and Vernon.
TOPOGRAPHICAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL CHARACTERISTICS.
The general conformation of the country is level, except in the north-western portion, where it is somewhat hilly and contains one of the finest forests of pine and the hardwoods to be found in the United States. Here abound all the varieties of oak, cypress, beech, maple, poplar, gum, ash, sycamore, magnolia, etc. South of this and on the Gulf the land is prairie, except along its eastern limits, where it is swamp, and though of unsurpassed fertility and abounding with a vast expanse of magnificent timber, it is subject to overflow from the freshets of the Mississippi and Red rivers. This immense tract of prairie land is above overflow and stands generally on what is knopw geologically as the bluff formation. It is about 40 feet above the overflow waters of the Mississippi river, and offers the advantages of good and healthful homes to such as desire to cast their lots in this favored section of the State. This prairie region is not like some of the great prairies of Texas and the West, almost devoid of water and fuel. It is interspersed with streams of running water along whose banks timber enough is generally found to supply the wants of the inhabitant in improving his lands and affording him a constant supply of fuel for present and future consumption. The blending of prairie and woodland through this section furnishes the eye with a scarfe of serene and marvelous beauty, and, while the natural arrangements of the scenes presented here are not such as to inspire the mental conditions of sublimity, which one would experience on being thrown into contact with lofty mountains, deep canyons, rushing cataracts, frightful precipices or the vast expanse of ocean as it unfolds itself before our eyes and leads us to the recognition of that infinitude of power which awes the mind with its terrific grandeur, and reminds us that despite our great knowledge in the arts and sciences, we can with our finite faculties, take in but a moiety of the mysteries of creation, and render subject to our domination so small a share of the rude forces of nature as to impress us with the impotency of our strength. Yet there is another class of mental conditions which arise from the contemplation of natural objects. It is one that imparts serenity to the soul, and contentment to mind. It is the offspring of a sense of repose, or rest in nature, and produces a feeling correspondent to the absence of domestic troubles and prosperous family. It tends to smooth down the rugged spots in our nature and gives to our feelings that placidity and calmness which are inspired by our surroundings when nature is in state of repose, and the earth presents none of her rugged and scarred places, the cicatrices of ancient catastrophes to obtrude upon our vision or ruffle the smooth current of our sensibilities. Such are the impressions produced on the mind by the natural phenomena of our country as contrasted with the effects of the scenery of some other places. Ours is serene, beautiful and pleasing. Theirs is awful, sublime, grand and off-times terror-inspiring.
But there is another consideration which weighs heavily in favor of South-western Louisiana as a dwelling place, and that is the superior advantages of its soil and climate. Here one is not troubled by heat and cold, as in more northern and pent-in districts. The gentle breezes from our Mexican Gulf are not obstructed by the interposition of mountain ranges and immense and impenetrable forests, nor are the sun's rays reflected by the rocks on mountain sides and made convergent on the valley beneath, but healthful and invigorating breezes proceed directly up the plains, unopposed in their march inland, dispensing comfort and vigor to those who are so fortunate as to have cast their lot in this this favored clime. The thermometer here in winter has an average fluctuation of from 40 to 70 degrees, of course it is sometimes below 40; it even gets below the freezing point, but his is the case for only a few days during the winter, and the rest of this term may be said to be free of frost, and life is pleasant outdoors, in fair weather, all the winter through. In summer the mercury ranges from 80 to 96 degrees registering the latter temperature but seldom. Such chronicles of sunstroke and death as are being detailed by the papers published in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Louisville, St. Louis and other populous northern centers are things which never occur, even in New Orleans - that city which in the popular belief of the Northern people, is the abode of pestilence and disease. On account of the rapid evaporation of the Gulf of Mexico, the temperature of the atmosphere is lowered and driven inland by atmospheric currents, thereby relieving the heated term of the sultriness and oppressiveness peculiar to climates where the air is more rarefied than here, endurable and restful, and making it possible or persons to engage in outdoor labor without detriment to health, during the whole of the heated term.
The average annual rainfall is about 60 inches in this section, and of quite even distribution, bestowing upon us immunity from the excessive droughts of Western Texas and portions of the arid districts of the northwest. It fall in showers during summer, and though we sometimes have protracted spells of showery weather, it hardly ever falls in such volumes as to inflict much injury, and in winter it seldom becomes to wet to prevent the prosecution, in some manner, of the ordinary labor demanded on the farm at that season of the year.
The soil of this section in most instances is extremely fertile, and though varied in its general appearance, and character as to constitute elements, it produces good crops with results generally satisfactory to those engaged in its cultivation. In the alluvial lands are to be found several varieties of soil, the sandy loam, the clay loam, consisting of red, black or gray clay and the mixed soil of sand and clay loam. All of these soils are extremely fertile, but the pure clay is not adapted to the production of all kinds of crops. It is fine for rice, cotton, corn, cow peas, etc., but will not turn out the quantity of sugar yielded by the less tenacious soils.
The soil in our prairies is in some places a black, sandy soil, and ranges in color from a black to a greyish soil, and is generally under-laid by a good clay subsoil which is very tenacious of manure, and for this reason is susceptible of wonderful improvement. Along the eastern belt of this prairie section the land is extremely fertile and produces in profusion all the vegetables and staple crops grown in this latitude. Further west the soil is not so fertile and the principal and most profitable crops grown is rice, but in the hands of the intelligent and systematic agriculturist, who would introduce and employ the improved methods of agriculture and pay some attention to supplying the wants of his land, it could be made extremely productive and would produce any of the crops grown by its naturally more favored and contiguous sections of the country. The land contains a good and tenacious clay subsoil, and a judicious use of the cow pea, the clover of the South, would soon enrich the soil, supplying it with the elements of plant food, and make it produce far beyond the expectations of its most sanguine inhabitants.
Our pine lands, covering the western and northwestern regions of this territory present about such an appearance as the pine forests of other sections of the South. They are generally well timbered and watered and possess a variety of hill-bottom or hammock lands. The upland or hill lands are not profitable for agriculture, but are good for grazing lands and the time will come when apart from the value of the timber they contain, they will be made remunerative to their owners, as furnishing ranges for vast flocks of sheep. The hammock or bottom lands of this section produce well, not only vegetables and the staple crops, but some day, when they become accessible to lines of transportation, which must in the future traverse this country, they must contribute to the world's supply an immense quoto of fruit of such varieties as the fig, peach, pear, quince, several varieties of the apple plums, strawberries and grapes, all which will do well here under intelligent management. The prices of these lands are to-day almost nominal, but we opine that it will not be far in the distant future when they will rival those of California as a grape producing district.
The staple field products are cotton, corn, rice, sugar cane, oats, and potatoes, both Irish and sweet, though other things might be profitably raised. Jute and ramie and barley and tobacco grow very well here, as well as such varieties of the domestic grasses as clover, red-top, millet alfalfa, lapadeza, or Japan clover, and no doubt in the future will be cultivated to a considerate extent, when the people of this country recognize more fully the necessity for diversified agriculture. All of the esculents grow here to perfection, and could be raised with profit, if enough people would engage in truck farming to justify the railroads in making special preparations, as is done on the Illinois Central railroad, for handling that species of traffic, and thereby enable them to offer a freight rate that would stimulate and encourage investment in this line of business.
Cotton, sugar-cane and rice are our most important money producing crops, but they are affected by several drawbacks, viz : The overproduction of cotton and the low prices consequent thereon ; an insufficiency of sugar refineries, and the uncertainty and difficulty of disposing of the crop at remunerative prices after the corn is raised, and the absence of rice mills in the territory where this cereal is produced. The subject though is now undergoing some agitation, and the prospects are that sugar refineries will be multiplied and placed in greater proximity to each other, thereby affording the cane raiser the benefits of a healthful competition for his produce, and presenting to him ample opportunities for its disposal. The spirit of resentment engendered in the rice producer and the local merchant against the action of the proposed recent rice trust will terminate in a healthy state of affairs locally, and eventually result in the erection, by home capital, of rice mills in the country, at several important points, which will relieve the rice grower from the manipulations and extortions of the city mill men.
It is a question with some as to which is the most profitable crop, rice or sugar-cane, but to one conversant with the cultivation and average yield of both, all doubt soon becomes dispelled and the general verdict is in favor of cane, where the proper facilities exist for its disposal. It is not an overestimate to assert that at least $60 will result to the cane grower as a net profit on his average production, while with rice neither his gross nor his average profit would be quite so large. The average yield of cane per acre is about 20 tons, while that of rice is about 12 barrels. Cane is worth $4 per ton f. o. b., and rice ranges in price from $2 to $4 per barrel, so we fairly estimate $3 as about the average price. Now basing our estimate on the above figures, which we consider about fair, it will readily be seen that the profit from cane-growing will exceed by one-third that which proceeds from rice growing. In the last six years the production of rice in Southwestern Louisiana has increased from 12,300 to an estimated crop of 700,000 barrels of 161 lbs. each in 1892, and the prospect now is that the crop of 1892 will near double that of 1891.
There are men in this section of the country who have engaged in the cultivation of rice and sugar within the last five years, who when they began had comparatively nothing and commenced their operations on the credit system, but who are now independent, having amassed a handsome competency, and who live here under their own vine and fig tree, a life of prosperous peace and contented ease. They have fought the wolf away from the door and established themselves on a solid basis.
SCHOOL AND CHURCHES.
We are not blessed here with as good a system of schools as is to be found in the Northern, Western and some of the Southern States, but we have good school laws and a spirit towards intellectual and moral awakening, and as new people flow in and the country becomes more thickly settled, and its resources, better developed we may look forward to marked progress in the way of education and the more general dissemination of knowledge.
Nearly all the Christian religious sects are represented among us, and in the town of Lafayette, the county site of Lafayette parish, the Roman Catholics, Methodists and Presbyterians have churches.
Our State and local governments are generally Democratic, owing to the fact that a preponderance of the intelligent people here are of that political faith, but were it not for one's political sentiment among the whites, political contests would be better defined and conducted on party issues, and no doubt, as the result of such a course, a better condition of government would exist. However, every one is free to act as he pleases in most instances and it makes no difference what ticket one votes, if he possesses the proper elements of manhood and character, he is respected and has extended to him the same social attention as if her a member of the dominant party. So to all who desire to cast their lot among us we extend, regardless of creed or political faith, a hearty welcome. Come to Southwest Louisiana and held us build up and develop the country assist us in reclaiming the waste places, and investing your money where it pays to make investments.
CROPS PROSPECTIVE AND WEATHER.
Though an improvement upon the weather of January, the weather of the past ten days was far from being steady. The thermometer varied and the wind has blown from all points of the compass. We hear that, notwithstanding the late copious rains, planters in certain quarters have commenced ploughing. Our almanac says its none too soon, -- and this is the highest disinterested authority we have. As far as our observation goes, we back the almanac, but we have heard planters (?) say, "what's the use of being in such a hurry ? the first of March is soon enough. Lafayette Advertiser 2/11/1882.
Public School Exhibit Sent to the World's Fair at St. Louis.
Supt. Alleman sent the rest of the public school exhibit for this parish to the World's Fair at St. Louis last week, the first part having been forwarded some months ago. The exhibit is a very creditable one, consisting of examination papers, school work, silhouette drawings etc. An interesting feature is the photographs of various country school buildings, showing the old and the new in contrast, which was included as showing the progressive movement along educational lines in Lafayette parish.
Laf. Adv. 2/18/1904.
Don't Know What We Got.
A few days ago we were allowed to peruse a letter written by a resident of this town, in reply to inquiries submitted to him regarding Lafayette parish, by a resident of Rochester, N. Y., whose attention seems to be fixed on this section of country. The closing remarks in this letter were so strongly possessed of the right ring we requested permission to publish them:*** All things considered, this country is a highly favored one and under the beneficent influence of brain and capital would make a marvelous record.
The home people appear to not realize what a boon they possess, but prospectors are at once struck with its grandeur and true worth and praise it in the highest terms. Most of them, however, allow their parsimonious to supersede their better judgment in locating further west of Lafayette, on account of the apparent greater cheapness of lands, lands vastly inferior as they invariably learn to their regret afterward.
In invest every dollar I make right around me and if I had a million more, would find good use for it in my own parish, developing its natural resources and stimulating many industries that could be successfully and profitably carried on in our immediate vicinity. It is THE country, par excellence. Come and see for yourself and bring capital with you.
Lafayette Advertiser 2/17/1894.
Northern Prospectors. - A. E. Hobbs, of Chicago, were in Lafayette this week looking at the country with a view of investing in real estate. Through the efforts of J. C. Nickerson, the local real estate agent, the Messrs. Hobbs were enabled to see Lafayette and surrounding country. Before leaving they expressed themselves greatly pleased with Lafayette, and stated that they would return probably to remain permanently.
Lafayette Gazette 2/23/1901.
STATE IMMIGRATION CONVENTION.
Governor Foster has made known his intention of calling a State immigration convention to meet on March 18th, in New Orleans. While Lafayette would have been well pleased if the Governor had selected it as the meeting place for the convention, and naturally feels somewhat disappointed that he could not see his way to do so, yet on the whole we believe the Governor has made a wise selection, and Lafayette parish will do her share in making the convention a success.
In view of the short time, less than a month, before the convention meets, we believe that each parish should select their delegates at once, that they may devote some time to the study of the question which is a vital one to our State, and prepare themselves to discuss the matter understandingly. The World's Fair, opening in a few months, offers a better opportunity for advertising our state, and making known the great natural advantages to be found here, than will again be in many years, and if we would take advantage of it we would take advantage of it we have no time to lose. Every delegate who attends the Convention should study the question of immigration and the best means of inducing it to Louisiana beforehand, and be prepared to act when the convention meets.
Let every paper in the State discuss this matter as thoroughly as possible before the time of meeting arrives. Very few of our people have had much practical experience in this branch of public service, and the more thoroughly the matter is discussed beforehand, the better will be the work done by the delegates when they assemble.
The future prosperity of our State depends largely on the amount of desirable immigration that can be induced to come here ; our material interests have been too long neglected and it will need good hard work, intelligent work to place our State in the position she is fitted to occupy by her natural advantages. Let everyone take an interest in the matter, and send only such delegates to the convention as will do good work.
Lafayette Advertiser 2/25/1893.
Ambroise Mouton, the only real estate agent in our parish, has had several visits of late from men with large means from other parts of our State, to examine our beautiful country. He drove them around for three days at a great expense to himself, but he is confident that sooner or later these men will invest here as they promised they would. Laf. Adv. 2/26/1898.
Negro Exodus. - A contingent of the negro exodus to Mexico will leave Houston, Texas, next month, comprising two hundred families, under the leadership of W. H. Ellius, a colored emigration agent. They will settle upon lands in the State of Chihahua already laid out and set apart for them. He says that an English Syndicate, that owns large bodies of land in Mexico, is interested in the movement. Colonists will be transported by the syndicate and supported for a year, if necessary. Lafayette Advertiser 3/1/1890.
Good White Labor. - In connection with the article in your first column on immigration, we are happy to inform our readers and the public generally that the commercial firm of C. H. Mouton & Co., No. 181 Common St., New Orleans, have made arrangements with a reliable German resident of our State, for procuring white labor that will fill up our now vacant lands. Able bodied men can be had for fifteen dollars per month, five dollars payable monthly, the balance payable at the end of the year, meat, corn meal, salt and lodging to be furnished them. The men are to be delivered on the plantation at the cost of fifteen dollars per man, to defray transportation and agency expenses. The firm itself will charge nothing for procuring the laborers, but on the contrary cheerfully and promptly attend to all orders sent to them. We consider this as fair an opportunity as has ever been offered to our planting people, to have their lands occupied, tilled and made productive. The proposition we know will be met with the objection that they have been tried in this Parish and others and that they will not remain ; the objection is met by the fact that those who came here, were so few and so scattered and isolated, that despite the avowed richness of our soil, cut off from all society and friends, they grew lonesome and eager for their past associations ; but introduced into our prairies as a nucleus of immigration, forty or fifty families, giving them the comforts and desennui of society, and family associations and we warrant they will never leave our beautiful country.
Lafayette Advertiser 4/3/1869.
Last Monday and Tuesday our town was quite full of strangers. The reputation of Lafayette as a live and growing town is fast spreading, and people are constantly arriving; it is needless to say that they all pronounce this the "Garden Spot of the South."
Laf. Adv. 4/5/1893.
Impressed With S. W. Louisiana. - Mr. I. V. O' Gorman who is looking at Southwest Louisiana with a view of investing quite largely in Real Estate was shown through the parish by our hustler, Amb. Mouton. The Irish gentleman was highly pleased to see our fine soil so easily pulverized at first plowing and gentle rolling country so easily drained and so promising with proper cultivation. He was also agreeably surprised to see our fine pecan and nut trees, which are the aims of his future investment.
Mr. O' Gorman promised to return after visiting adjoining parishes and our Real Estate agent is confident that Lafayette will be his next home. Lafayette Advertiser 4/8/1899.
IMMIGRATION. - We are glad to see that our ideas of immigration, long ago expressed and advocated in print by us are being considered in the Metropolis and that for the grand purposes of settling our vacant lands, a State Board of commissioners of Immigration where in, we are glad to notice the name of his Excellency Gov. H. C. Warmouth, has been established. We wish the board success, for immigration will again make our beloved land rich and independent.
Lafayette Advertiser 4/17/1869.
The Northern Settler's Convention.
The Northern Settler's Convention, which will be held at Galveston, Texas, April 21, 22 and 23, and having its object a heart-to-heart communion between the Northern residents, and the residents from the North at present located in Louisiana, has met with such a hearty approval that the Southern Pacific has promise of the attendance of the governors of the following States, these gentlemen to be accompanied by members of their official staff. Gov. Terrel, of Georgia, Glenn, of North Carolina, Mickey, of Nebraska, Davis, of Arkansas, Cummins, of Iowa, Blanchard, of Louisiana, and Lanham, of Texas.
A very cheap round trip will be announced within the next few days and the bringing together of parties from the North at present located in Louisiana, will result in what is conceded to be the greatest advertisement Louisiana has ever received from an immigration standpoint. Lafayette Advertiser 4/19/1905.
Mr. S. A. Knapp, of Lake Charles, chairman of the Immigration Convention recently held in New Orleans, was in Lafayette for a few hours Monday. Laf. Adv 4/18/1893
A very pleasant gathering of young people occurred at the residence of Dr. and Mrs. A. Gladu on last Saturday night, in honor of the 21st birthday of their son Dr. Gaston Gladu, who had returned from Mermantau, where he is practicing his profession for the occasion. The evening was most thoroughly enjoyed by all, and the time passed rapidly playing cards and listening to sweet music.
Lafayette Advertiser 4/19/1893.
For the Attakapas Region to Convene in Lafayette, Wednesday, June 14th.
In another column will be found a call for a road and immigration convention to meet in this city on June 14th, to be composed of delegates from the parishes which constitute the Attakapas region. The state immigration convention, of recent date, adopted many resolutions, and listened to many flowery speeches, besides providing for the appointment of a state executive committee, whose duty it should be to encourage the organization of local or parish immigration societies; but as nothing has been accomplished, and it has been deemed wise by our Business Men's Association to call this convention with the object of doing some practical work. The convention will be conducted on purely business lines, leaving politics severely alone. A series of questions will be formulated and sent to each delegate as soon as they are appointed, and they may give the different subjects some thought and attention and come to the convention prepared to work. In this manner it is earnestly hoped that much good may result.
It was thought best to combine the two questions - better roads and immigration - which are two of the important matters confronting our state to-day. With our present poor roads, it costs our planters as much, if not more, to haul the products of their farms to the railroads as it does for the freight to the market towns or cities. The present system of working roads must be done away with and a new and better method adopted. What this new and better method adopted. What this new and better system shall be is yet to be determined. The plan now in vogue of calling men out to do a certain number of days work on the roads is a farce. It is safe to say that instead of doing ten days work, as provided by law, that not one out of a hundred does one full day's work. About the only practical plan would be to have a direct road tax and then contract for the road work. The planters would be reimbursed a hundred fold for every cent paid out in the manner; their property would increase in value as the roads improved; with good roads they could haul more at a load and thus save much valuable time. We do not need more railroads as bad as we need better wagon roads. Therefore, it is wise to thoroughly discuss the question, that some feasible plan may be adopted and action taken by the next Legislature.
Now the question of immigration.
It is generally admitted that our state needs immigrants and capital. The question is how to attract them. We do not particularly want foreign immigrants; but what we do want is a class of intelligent western and northern farmers. And we can get them, too, if we go the right way about it. We do not believe that the idea suggested at the recent State Convention, of having descriptive pamphlets printed to be given away a the Chicago Exposition would produce much effect, for the simple reason that there will be hundreds, aye, thousands of pamphlets, circulating, etc., advertising every imaginable thing under the sun, given away there, and were a visitor to retain a hundredth part of what will be handed him there each day, he would need several large boxes to take them home in.
In advertising our country we must bear in mind two things.
First. - That our country is practically unknown to the majority of the people of the north, and,
Second. - That as a rule the people of those sections believe that a great amount prejudice and ill-will still exists in the South against Northerners.
This idea has been kept alive by selfish politicians and must be overcome before we can expect any large exodus to our State. There are hundreds and thousands of desirable families who would be only too glad to leave the cold north and come to us if they only knew our great resources and kindly feelings. To illustrate: Monday morning as we were going to the city we sat in the seat with a gentleman who we noticed was intently gazing out of the window. Just after we left New Iberia he turned to us and said: "God and nature have certainly done all that it were possible to do for a country here. I never had an idea that there was such a country on top of earth." We learned that he was from Dakota and on his return from a trip to Mexico. He asked us what land was worth, and when we informed him that it could be had from $20 to $25 and acre, he would hardly believe it. "Why," he said, "I had to pay $25 an acre for prairie land in Dakota four years ago, and if we net $8.00 an acre from it we think we do well." He had intended to go right home, but said he was going to stop over at New Orleans and come back and have a look at the country. He further said: "But if a northern man moves in here, the people don't treat him well do they?" We simply told him to make a visit back and converse with the people, and he would learn that he would be accorded with the most hospitable treatment, and that it would be from the heart, too. We have told this simply to show the general idea held in the North of the Southern people, and to show what we must overcome if we wish to induce people to move here.
We believe one of the best plans that could be adopted would be to have published a series of letters in the country papers of the north and west, describing our people, their feelings and our lands. Such letters written in an interesting manner would be published by many papers for nothing, and would do more good than all the pamphlets that could be printed.
When the convention meets all these matters can be discussed and some practical plan adopted. Let each delegate devote some thought and study to the question before coming to the convention, so that when it does meet it will not be a repetition of the State Convention, but rather a working convention of men with practical ideas.
Lafayette Advertiser 5/17/1893.
Road and Immigration Convention. - Realizing the great benefit that would be derived by the people of our State from the incoming of a desirable class of immigrants and improved public roads the Business Men's Association decided to call a Road and Immigration Convention, composed of delegates from the Attakapas district, to meet in Lafayette on Wednesday June 14th.
The Association earnestly request and invite the Presidents of the different Police Juries, the Mayors of the different towns and cities, or the people in mass meeting to appoint delegates to attend said convention, and sincerely hope that the call will meet with a hearty response from the people of the district.
C. O. Mouton, President.
A. C. Ordway, Secretary.
Lafayette Advertiser 5/20/1893.
Several gentlemen from the North have been here looking over the parish, this week, with a view to buying land and locating here. They all seem more than pleased with our country, and will very probably decide to buy. Laf. Adv. 5/20/1893.
A Most Favored Land.
In the Kansas City Progress and Western Farm Journal recently appeared a write-up of Louisiana, by its correspondent R. J. P., from which we take the following.
"From Marshall we go east through Louisiana, a country of which we have heard a great deal that is bad and nothing good. We find it a land worthy of praise, and one of the most beautiful and interesting spots on the globe which is just lifting its head above the dark clouds of shadowy obscurity into the bright daylight of favorable notoriety and industrial progress. In many respects it is the most favored, charming and interesting land we have ever visited.
We visited Shreveport, next to New Orleans the largest and most important place commercially in the State.
From thence down to Alexandria, the geographical center of the State, and the north limit of the sugar section; then south and through the rice, yellow pine and Creole country - a place in which the American and French languages, manners and customs are blended - many places being decidedly more French than American, even the negroes speak it as their mother tongue, many of them can speak no other - the darks bark and the chickens crow and cackle in French - its a strange rich, beautiful land and the people are the soul of politeness and gallantry. And the climate and scenery why, they are as perfect and beautiful all the year as a May prairie and woodland in Missouri."
Lafayette Advertiser 5/30/1893.
Road and Immigration Convention.
Realizing the great benefit that would be derived by the people of our State from the incoming of a desirable class of immigrants and improved public roads the Business Men's Association decided to call a Road and Immigration Convention, composed of delegates from the Attakapas district, to meet in Lafayette on Wednesday, June 21st.
The Association earnestly request and invite the Presidents of the different Police Juries, the Mayors of the different towns and cities, or the people in mass meeting to appoint delegates to attend said convention, and sincerely hope that call will meet with a hearty response from the people of the of the district.
C. O. Mouton, President.
A. C. Ordway, Secretary.
Lafayette Advertiser 6/10/1893.
(From the Boston Traveler)
LAFAYETTE La., May 9 - This old city in southwest Louisiana is situated almost in the centre of Lafayette parish, now a strictly agricultural district and one of the most fertile lands of all this section of the state. Although agriculture is the chief support of the people there are numerous factories, and opening for many more.
The parish is about 300 square miles in extent and nearly every acre of it is under cultivation in which sugar cane, cotton and corn predominate.
The city of Lafayette transacts the business, and is the shipping point for the parish and as such it is an important point and contains a population of 3,600 persons.
The people of city and parish are descendants of the old Arcadian stock, and as orderly, charming and lovable was ever met with anywhere. Their only aristocracy is one of gentility, and manners, not money, determine a person's position as a resident in their city or country. Although all of the residents of the city speak English fluently, most of the business men speak French too, as nearly all the business with the farmers of the district is transacted in that language. Over 90 per cent of the population is of French descent. These men and their forefathers have dwelt in Lafayette parish for more than a century. Some of the very old men saw service in Mexico, many others not so old, fought under the Confederate flag in the sixties, and many sent their sons to serve under the Stars and Stripes at the call of the country in the Hispani0-American war.
Industry and enterprise are watch words with these people in factory and field, and they have made both yield them rich returns in city and country.
...a pretty much unreadable portion follows with mentions of the type of soil, the depth sugar-cane is planted; the overall fitness of soil and climate is rated very high by the "Boston Traveler." We pick back up on the readable portion of the article with...
.... the ancient banks of the river protect the district, which is nearly 20 feet higher than the bottom lands.
Sugar cane forms the principal production averages about 189,000 tons. Three large refineries treat this product. They are each about 700 tons capacity every 24 hours, and are run continuously for the ninety days or so of the sugar season. There are 30 syrup mills run on the open kettle system.
In cotton, Lafayette parish is very productive. About 30,000 bales of cotton are made in a normal season. In addition to this 16,000 bales are raised in the district adjacent to Lafayette parish and brought to the city, while large quantities are concentrated for shipment from six other parishes in Southwest Louisiana. The cotton produced in Lafayette parish is of quality that runs from 1 1/8 to 1 1/4/ inch staple, strong, even and or elastic fibre, possessing a spirality that insures strong and durable fabric. The cotton is sought after and is considered equal to the best Mississippi and Texas growths. Twenty-one cotton gins and one of the largest compresses in the state handle the cotton.
Rice is also grown in Lafayette but is mostly taken for home consumption. Truck gardens produce nearly everything known to the markets of the world and all kinds of fruits, including oranges and figs, are grown in the orchards. Pecan trees yield large quantities of nuts.
Game of all kinds abounds in the fields and forests of the parish, and the streams are filled with many varieties of fish.
The health of Lafayette parish is excellent and the death rate consequently very low. A fine water system supplies the city and the country is supplied by driven and other wells. There are 31 school in the parish, seven of which are in the city. Seven city churches of different denominations attest the orderly and religious atmosphere of life in Lafayette.
The Southern Pacific railroad makes Lafayette a division station of its road, and thus $2000 per month is disbursed here in wages. Besides this trunk line, Lafayette has a branch line of railroad to Alexandria, where connections are made with four railroads running north east and west, and with the Red River steam boat lines. The distance by rail to New Orleans is 144 miles and to Alexandria 87 miles, giving Lafayette two outlets for its products, and exceptional advantage.
The representatives of the New England Newspaper League spent a very pleasant time in Lafayette.
From the Boston Traveler and in the Lafayette Advertiser of 6/10/1899.