By "B." dateline Na-au-say, ILL. July 28, 1874
Edited and compiled by Elmer Dickson
Twenty-four years ago we made a visit to this part of Illinois to look upon the faces of familiar friends and relatives who, a few years previously had settled in NaAuSay. At that time we rode over the prairies for miles without the obstruction of fences. At that time there were few farms fenced and under cultivation. Speculators owned much of the land for miles around.
Now, after an absence of nearly a quarter of a century, we are again permitted to visit friends and relatives. While death has gathered a few of the older inhabitants, we find a larger number of relatives than before. While death has come often, marriage has come far oftener. The increase has outstripped the decrease five to one.
There is no unfenced prairie to ride over now. Beautiful farms, well tilled with substantial dwellings may be found on every hand. They are spread as far as the eye can see. Everything betokens peace, prosperity, and happiness among the people of this section.
Uncle David Smith, now in his 79th year, has just returned from a trip to California. He has been to that state to visit several of his sons who reside there.
Aunt Hannah Van Dyke, the head of a large circle of relatives, is still active and smart. She lives on the old homestead and manages her own affairs in her own way. She took us around to see her place. Among other things, she pointed us to a crib of old corn containing about 600 bushels. She remarked that if the drought took the current crop she would have enough feed to carry her along for a year or more if necessary.
Her son, John Van Dyke, Esq., is a prominent farmer and owns some four or five hundred acres of excellent land. We looked upon his 150 head of horses, cattle and hogs and felt sure he could stand a short famine as well as any man. His sons-in-law, Al. Brown and John Bronk are with a short distance and own fine farms. They are known as thrifty farmers.
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