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Articles & Local History > As Others See Us - 1907

Submitted by Les Niemi

August 23, 1907

As Others See Us

The following article is form the pen of William H. LAMON of Philadelphia who recently visited his cousin here. It was published recently in The Ledger xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx our thriving little city:

To the Editor of Public Ledger

Tampico is one of many towns scattered here and there over the prairies. It has 900 inhabitants. It is counted as one of the prosperous towns. It has about a full block of large stores on each side of main street. Many are from 30 to 40 feet front and 100 feet deep, with a good line of trade.

It is an interesting sight, this block, on any night, but especially on Saturday night, to see the more than 100 rigs or teams and vehicles tied up to the hitching cable running through the posts. One sees here a sight general only in the great West that is, there will be ten or a dozen foals hitched to their dams or mothers. It does them good, as they become used to the roads and seeing teams and it helps their breaking in. There are some fine rigs, and, then, there are almost any old thing on two or four wheels. It is often after midnight before they get back home.

Tampico, through local option, is dry but as far as the best cold water goes, it is the wettest place under heaven. Stick an iron pipe a few feet into the ground and lo! The water springs right up. I would give $10 a year for a hydrant of it in Philadelphia. Times and prospects are good here. There is but one business, that is agriculture. A few weeks ago the people were nearly despairing. It was so wet, for weeks rain, night and day. The thousands of square miles east and west of Chicago were drowned, not out, but under. Thousands of fish were caught in the fields just outside of this town; some large ones. Potatoes and some oats were rotted off. But, thank Providence, there was a change, and for these fifteen days the weather could not have been better for growing or harvest. The Western farmer can't hesitate to tell the Eastern merchant, I can pay you what I owe you and have money over to pay for what I need.

The Western farmer is no longer the hoosier he used to be. I have seen their homes and found their daughters play the piano, work embroidery, they have and read the same magazines and newspapers and popular reading. Many of the old original houses are vacated and new ones built with porches and parlors. The girls don't have to go to gymnasiums for exercise, but have their saddles and good horses with which they can leap a hedge or a fence; while the father, when he has time and harvests are over, has his 2:40 nag, too. This is an actual case where I have stopped twice. They have 100 acres, mostly in fine corn. Vast herds of cattle, hogs, with some sheep, feed all the time on these prairies. Corn makes hogs.These people know about hogs, for they were raised among them. There are, it is true, some difficulties about these vast plains owing to the great amount of water which often lays on them, but they are improving the ditchs, which are dug out with the same kind of steam dredges as we use in our bay.

William H. LAMON.

Tampico, Ill., August 1, 1907.

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