Go east young manApr 12th, 2010 | By Rick@Leonard Family Legends & Legacies | Category: Featured Articles
Fair warning, this is the third of four parts of a letter mailed from Leonard, Iowa, in March of 1901. In this section, Daniel Leonard describes what he saw and learned while visiting three of his eight siblings in Delaware, Marion, and Lorain Counties, Ohio.
We spent three or four days in Marion and Delaware counties looking for Shropshire sheep but to my disappointment I found none, but I saw one of the finest herds of Red Polls perhaps in Ohio, at least the finest I ever saw. Professor Curtis had passed them on and he knows. They were owned by Mr. Hill of Delaware. (Ed. Note – Prof. Curtis was Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, who worked with Daniel to find the finest sheep in the United States and Canada and bring them to Iowa.)
On the way to Mr. Hill’s farm, he showed me farms that had recently changed hands at prices from $30 to $40 (per acre) and I thought the buildings were well nigh worth the money. That section has had its day. They can’t raise grass as forty years ago and now they are moving west. I only wish our Iowa boys could realize the need of caring for our farm and not impoverish them.
Next we found ourselves in Lorraine (sic) adjoining Lake Erie. There we saw the great steel plant that turns out thousands of tons of railroad every year. It would be useless to attempt to describe how those mountains of ore are in a few hours made into railroad rails sixty feet in length and straight as an arrow. For one to see with what ease this transformation takes place is immensely wonderful.
There in Lorraine we saw that which makes one tremble, there we saw men crowding around the office of employment begging for employment, yes begging, and to see them harshly turned away makes me feel that men are justified in stealing. Then again when I saw laborers used in my own school district in Pennsylvania as they were I shall ever despise their millions when gotten by oppression of labor. (Ed. Note – Daniel was referring to the railroad employment office and the way railroad laborers were treated in the mid to late 1800s.)
Next: Pennsylvania and environs at the turn of the century.