March 7, 2017
This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
Today’s story comes from a March 1874 “Junction City Tribune” newspaper article in which the reporter gave this account of a visit to the Davis (now Geary) County Poor Farm. He wrote: “On last Monday, Bob Wilson dragged me out to the poor farm behind a spanking team of bays and in company with N.L. Prentis of this city and Hugh Cook of Lawrence. Both were respectable paupers. We found the farm in quite admirable condition. We have already forgotten how many trees have been set out this season, but the number runs way up into the thousands. All of them are doing well and but a very few have died. A large orchard is growing and it will be sheltered by a large number of forest trees. Mr. Wilson, the manager, is getting things into tip-top shape. By the time his lease expires the county will have a farm that will support all the paupers and leave a surplus. What Bob DON’T know about the growing of trees and their proper arrangement isn’t worth knowing and he is putting his knowledge and skill to use that will prove a public benefit. He is doing more work for less money than has ever been done in Davis County. He becomes completely disgusted whenever anyone mentions that Davis County has no tillable land, for he knows better, having proved the falsity of the statement.”
Perhaps this was a slow news day in Junction City.