Morning Oregonian. (Portland, Or.) 1861-1937, July 12, 1912, Page 17, Image 17

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    .-cr : . . . THE MORWi.'oREGOyiAy, FRIDAY, JULY 12, 1912. - 17-,
Up the Willamette River about SO
miles from Portland, where the val
ley spreads out to the vest from the
river to the Coast Range, taking in
what might be called the Luckiamute
Valley and reaching vo the head
waters of the Siletz there on the
banks of the "beautiful Willam
ette" is situated the town of Inde
To speak of the place as a town is
true only in a sense, for while its
population is not large enough per
haps to entitle it to be called a city,
the census giving it last year an enu
meration of 1160, still it is in ways
and manners and appearance, in all
and everything that goes to make a
city, quite a metropolis. During the
hop-picking season each year there
is an adjacent floating population of
about 5000.
Rich Soil Unsurpassed!
Independence was a small hamlet
as lone ago as 1847, thus being one
of the older settled places in the Val
ley. But for many years it was
nothing more than a rather thickly
settled farm section, for in the ear
liest days of the settlement of Ore
gon it was discovered that the site
of the present town was the heart
and center of one of the finest bod
ies of agricultural land in the world.
In all the country there is no finer
land than can be found in the Wil-.
lamette Valley; and the very cream
of the Valley lies contiguous to In
dependence. In those early days the people
were all busilv engaged in making
their farms, for most of the best land
was covered with brush or timber.
So "dot much attention was given to
the building of trade centers, and
the growth of Independence was so
slow that still in 1890 there were not
enough people there to give it a place
in the census returns. .-
Hence, whatever Independence js
in the way of a thriving young me
tropolis has taken place during the
last 20 years or so. Being therefore
in one sense an old town it is in real
ity one of the newer towns of the
Three riaia Present.
There is no use in building or try
ing to build a town without there is
something back of it to maintain it,
and there is nothing to enduringly
back up-any town, any community or'
any country, save agriculture. In
the finality we all live and thrive
from the products of the soiL There
is no other source of sustenance, no
other fountain of wealth. - We must
all Jive or die, go up or down witb.
the products of the soil indeed; man
himself may be called a product or
the soil, so intimately is his life en
twined with the other products.
For a thriving agriculture there
must first be good soil ; second, a suf
ficient amount of water, natural or
artificial to produce crops; third, a
climate suitable for sowing, cultivat
ing and "harvesting. And in these
essentials there is in all the world
round no- more favorable location
than, the Willamette Valley, the very
cream of which is right at the street
ends of Independence.
Jim Bui, that long-headed old em
pire-builder, one of the brainiest men
who ever lived in this country, whose
advice in as sure to be right as the
sun is to shine in speaking of the
Willamette Vallev, and having no
doubt in his mind the beauty spot of
that vaUey around Independence,
said a few months ago: "The day
of the large farm is past. What you
want here is the man who will take
ten acres and cultivate it thorough
ly. The man who takes ten acres of
your rich land and works it as it
should be worsea, can easuy mane
$5000 a year. Ten acres in the Wil
lamette Valley should be as valuable
from the standpoint of production
and earning power as lbU acres in
Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin and
some other states in that section. L
do not know of land anywhere that
will compare with your land here."
Advice Safe to Follow.
A note indorsed by Jim Hill, to
i :n:
any amount up to several mimou
dollars, would be grabbed up exult
ing! y D7 ey nwney lender in the
world who could handle it ; any rail
road enterprise indorsed by Jim Hill
would command instanter all the
money needed for its construction
any man wanting a home on the
land can safely, take Jim mil s in
dorsement of the Willamette Val
ley, and the best of it is adjacent to
Independence. ,
The first question the intending
homeseeker 'usually ' asks about is
as to the products which do best
and pay the best returns in a given
locality. To answer that question
about the Independence section
ould be difficult, for anything that
grows in a similar latitude nour
ishes lereabout. Wheat, barley,
oats, voteh, kale, vegetables of all
sorts arrays bring sure returns with
Fertile Soil,
1 : , X .-. : I - iLKSffl.,.:. si ..!SI 0
bountiful harvests, but this section
is principally known for its hop
yards, and within sight of the town
are the largest hop fields . in the'
'- Tbe-vallev-mav be said to consist
of two benches, the one being known
as bottom land. This is adjacent to-'
the Willamette River and overflows
every season, each overflow depos
iting upon the land a sediment that
is far better than any commercial
fertilizer known. Upon these over
flow lands the greatest hop yields
ever known are taken, sometimes
running as high as fifteen and even
twenty bales to the acre, seldom
falling below six bales, twelve bales
being considered a fair yield, ten
bales being the average of yards that
are well cared for.
Hop growers Fare WelL
Perhaps there is no crop taken
from the soil that fluctuates more in
price than hops. It is true that
many hopgrowers have met with
disaster caused by low prices. But
the grower who conserves his re
sources,' does not contract his output
and takes good care of his yard is
as certain or large returns tor a
series of years as is the grower of
any other product far better than
the grain grower in the best section.
Last year hops were worth around
40 cents a pound, this year the price
will be perhaps well above the pres
ent quotation of 25 cents. As it
costs about 8 cents a pound to pro
duce a "crop of, say, six bales to the
acre, or say a hundred dollars an
acre, it can be seen that 25 - cent
hops means fortune to the grower.
In the Spring of 1911 a yard of 40
acres near Independence sold for
$10,200. The yield" last season, the
same year, netted, above all ex
penses, including interest on the in
vestment, $22,700 thus paying for
the land and clearing $12,500. Not
so bad! And yet greater profits
have been made than that on the rich
Willamette bottom lands around In
dependence. The shipment of hops from the
Independence railway stations and
boat landing some years amount to
30,000 bales. The average value per
bale last year, was $80.. Can one
blame the Independence people or
dispute them when they claim to
be the center of the most prosperous
hop fields of the world f
Traffic Facilities Good.
Mentioning the railway station
and boat landing reminds me that
Independence has as good transpor
tation facilities as any town in the
state almost' as good as the great
city of Portland. It is on the line
of the Southern Pacific which runs
from Portland to Corvallis,. which
connects with the main Sunset
Route: This road for many years
was its only rail connection. Now
there are three short roads running
out from the town one to Airlie,
one to Dallas and one to Salem.
The roads are called the Independ
ence & Monmouth Railway Company,
the owners being Independence peo
ple. Twenty-four trains a day arrive
and depart over these various rail
ways. Within a very short time the
Hill electric road will have a branch
from its Portland-Eugene line into
the town and running to the timber
belt to the west. But even now this
Ideal Climate and Ready
road means as much to Independence
as it does to Salem or Albany, for it
is just across the Willamette, and a
station, North Independence, can be
almost reached by a free ferry. And
in . addition there is the great rate'
leveler water transportation, for
there is a boat plying constantly be
tween Independence and Portland.
At present this boat goes up one day
and back the next, making three
round trips a week; but as soon as
the Oregon City locks are made free
there will be a daily service.
Mentioning the free ferry, just to
the east of town, reminds me that a
portion of the Independence hop
yards and successful farms are just
across the river, in what is called the
Missouri Bottom district. Here is
the finest solid body of hop yards in
the world over a thousand acres. I
had the pleasure of looking o.ver
these fields from a hop-drying house
near the river, and it was a sight
worth going miles to view. ,
Angora Goats Famous.
Aside from being the center of the
hop industry of Oregon, Independ
ence is also well known as the place
where the finest ' Angora goats and
Shropshire, Cotswold and South
down sheep are marketed, the grow
ers having their ranches mostly to
the west of the town. Toung buck
lambs are in constant demand at $20
to $25 per head. Forty were shipped
the day before I was there last week
which brought a thousand dollars.
And these little bucks were only 5
months old. The ewe lambs bring
about half as much, and some of the
best bucks 1 and 2 years old bring
as high as $500. No attention what
ever is paid to the' breeding or rais
ing of common sheep. The breeders
all go in for the very best, and their
choice breeding stock is all import
ed. All of these breeders are mak-
- ing money, and the business may be
said to be in its mtancy.
The Angora goat is an animal of
great value to the landowners about
Independence, not - only for what
they bring in the way of mohair, as
their clip, is called, and for their in
crease, but for their work as brush
banishera. If some way could be
discovered to make, the Angoras
tackle the 6tumps, there would be
nothing to the land-clearing ques
tion. But as it is they clean and
clear the land of all but the stumps,
thus turning it into fine pasturage.
The clip from an average Angora
will bring about SO cents a pound,
and the yield will average better
than three pounds. The kids sell for
about $2.50 each, and will clip some
thing like two pounds. For the high
grade animals there is always a good
demand at a large price, making the
business very profitable.
Fine Hogs Are Bred.
There are also many breeders of
fine hogs in the immediate vicinity
of Independence, the favorite breeds
being Berkshire, Poland-China and
Durocs. The breeders have some of
the finest animals to be found in the
Northwest, and the choice specimens
bring very fancy prices, buyers be
ing plentiful. For just "hogs" there
is no better place than near Inde
pendence. I saw a small "herd" of
these porkers, well bred but not of
fancy pediirree. Grazing on a hun
dred-acre alfalfa field
The owner.1
Market Combine to Attract
S3id he started the bunch . last Fall
with an investment of $350 in brood
sows. They have run on this alfalfa
ever since. Have had but little at
tention and no other feed they are
now worth, of course, meaning the
original stock and increase, $3500.
This is not guess work, for such an
offer was made for the "herd" last
There are in the vicinity also a
number of breeders of fine horses,
the Percherons and Clydesdales pre
dominating. Most of the work ani
mals used by the landowners in their
hop yards, gardens and other fields
are fine animals, most of the teams
being worth better than $500. I saw
five teams at wprk in one hop yard
that the owner told me were worth
over $550 per span.
But I have left what I consider
the most valuable asset any section
can have until the last. (And you
can punctuate that sentence to make
it read any way you like; it is true
in any sense.) And that is'the dairy
cow.' Any man who knows the a, b
c's of agriculture knows that the
dairy sections of any country are
among the most prosperous of all,
and there is no place in this country
where the cow will do better for her
owner than around Independence.
The climate is peculiarly adapted to
dairying and to the condition and
milk-giving qualities of "bossie."
The Winters are scarcely worth men
tioning they are so mild. Just ,f rost
enough to keep the blood in gocsd or
der. There are no great masses of
flies, mosquitoes and other pests in
the Summers, no sleets and blizzards
in the Winters. There is green pas
turage almost the year 'round, al
ways for at least eleven months of
the year.
Dairy Feed Varied, .
Vetch, kale, alfalfa and all sorts
of root crops flourish as in but few
places, while corn and other necessi
ties for silage do as well as in any
dairy section in the West, and grain,
hay, clover and native and wild
grasses give large yields of splendid
forage. ' "' ' .
And the dairymen have fine ani
mals as a rule, with the standard be
ing constantly raised. Only good
sires are being used the scrub cow
is scarcely known around Indepen
dence. And that brings me to the
creamery for what would be the
use in telling about the adaptability
of the section for the cow unless
there was a profitable market for
her products The largest creamery
in Oregon, perhaps in the North
west, is located in Independence. Its
butter output is about $1000 per day,
and its product, called the "Gold
Medal" butter, has a reputation sec
ond to none its market covers the
entire coast section. . The sale of this
butter alone was over $350,000 last
year, and the manufacture is slowly
but surely increasing. Aside from
the butter the Independence Cream
ery, as its owners call it, manufac
tures ice and iee cream, with both of
which they supply all of the adjacent
I had the pleasure of visiting and
inspecting this creamery last week,
Homeseekers to Willamette Valley City.
and for sanitary conditions it is un
excelled,' while its machinery is of
the very latest construction. The
business has been running for twelve
years, starting with a very small
plant, but by fair dealing, good judg
ment in marketing and the excel
lence of its product it today stands
at the very top of such plants on
the Coast. ' .
This creamery now buys from up
wards of 1200 dairymen. They are
not all in the immediate vicinity, it
is true; but they distribute many
thousands of dollars among the
dairymen close to them. The cream
is paid for in three ways daily at
each delivery, twice a month and
monthly, and checks are mailed on
the minute the account is payable,
or handed to the deliveryman. '
Lending System Liberal.
How has this immense'' business
been built upf As said, largely by
fair and liberal dealing. But there is
and for several years has been an
other factor, and that is their sys
tem of loaning money to customers
for the purchase of cows. Any man
of good character and worthy of
credit can get the money from this
creamery 'for the purchase of cows,
provided he will sell the creamery
his output at the market price. On
this money he is given sixteen
nionths' time, payable at $2.50 per
month, and interest, the monthly
sums being deducted from his check.
The company now has about $15,000
outstanding on these contracts.
"Oh, yes," the knocker will
ejaculate, "they make a big profit
on the sale of the cows." They do
not. They have no cows for sale,
never have any. The borrower lo
cates the cows, the creamery man
agers see that he gets good value and
then pays for them. In this way
they have started hundreds of peo
ple on the road to prosperity and
stand ready to start hundreds more.
It might be well to interpolate the
remark that any person wanting to
go into the dairy business but having
insufficient capital will finfi the
managers of the ' Independence
' creamery ready to render any assist
ance in their power. Many tine lor
cations are nearby, the land is cheap,
the roads are good for hauling in the
cream, there is plenty of fuel and
plenty of water, all conditions are
ideal for the dairy business and the
creamery people will practically
start you in business. Perhaps the
latter statement is too broad, for like
all who loan money they expect good
security. But if the man who needs
the cows is of good character the
cows themselves will stand for the
rest. "
Cow's Outpnt Is $100.
It is said that the average output
of a cow for the year is $100. That
would be over $8 per month. One
can thus see that the payment of
$2.50 per month would by no means
be a hardship on the borrower. He
could not expect easier terms from
a bank where he had good credit.
There is another industry around
Independence that is taking on large
proportions, and that is the produc
tion of poultry and eggs. . There is
no better location to be found in the
West for the poultryman. A small
tract suitable for this business can
be had at a very low figure, for one
does not want the bottom land for
such purpose. The climate is prac
tically ideal. There is green food for
the fowls the year 'round, and poul
try and eggs always bring a good
price right at home, or shipments can
be made to Portland, which is one of
tl;e best markets on the Coast.
To the poor man or woman, par
ticularly where there is a dependent
family, the , poultry business points
the way to independence. (I did not
mean that as a pun. It was written
with no such purpose. But it might
be well for some of those wanting a
home to put a capital I on indepen
dence and make of the sentence a
-Independence is in the extreme
eastern edge of Polk County, in
which county the Willamette Valley
reaches its greatest width, running,
a? stated at the beginning, westward
to the Coast Range of mountains. In
the mountains of the county lies one
of the finest belts of timber in the
world, and much of this is tributary
to Independence, much of it is owned
by the capitalists of that town. In
estimating timber it is usual to talk
of it in the thousands or millions;
one has to get away up into the bil-.
lions in discussing the Polk forests.
Another industry that is destined to
make a large portion of the Willam
ette Valley famous is black walnut
growing, and some of the very best
walnut land in the valley is close
around Independence. There are
many bearing trees there now, and
thousands of young trees set within
the last few years. This will be a
profitable business in that section,
for the soil and climate are wonder
fully well adapted to walnut culture.
Fruit Also Important. '
"Don't they raise any fruit in the
Independence section t" will perhaps
be the query. Oh, dear, yes. As
fine as is raised in the world. No
better apples are raised anywhere
than those of Polk, and there are
many splendid bearing orchards, and
many have been recently planted.
And there are no better peaches on
any market than those raised there,
and they have many fine peach orch
ards. For loganberries, raspberries,
blackberries and all the cane fruits
there is no better location. And the
Independence strawberries are as fa
mous as they are luscious, and plenti
ful in season- for both home con
sumption and shipment. Why, bless
your soul,' you can raise anything
that does not require a tropical cli
mateyin that section, and raise it to
perfection. .
Potatoes! Gee 1 You never saw
better potatoes than are raised right
around there, and the yield is very
large, often well up to 750 bushels
per acre. All sorts of vegetables, aa
mentioned before, thrive in the In
dependence set ion.
But here is the point and stick a
pin iu it; the Independence country
is not a one-crop section by a jugfnlL
They do not put all of their eggs-in
M Mil
one basket then break the basket
and go "broke." Even a total loss
of their greatest money-makinsr crop
does not cause widespread disaster
like a failure in a wheat section, a
short fruit crop does not bring ruin.
It is the diversity of interests that
makes of it an ideal section for those
now there and for the homeseeker to
, People on Land Needed.
How about the town of Indepen
dence? It is true that this pagre is
published at the request of the busi
ness men of Independence, through
their commercial club, the Indepen
dence Commercial Club. "But, Ben
nett," said the sponsors for the ar
ticle, "we do not want to invite peo
ple to come to our town to make a
home with us we want you to tell
them the truth about our lands and
see if we cannot get a few hundred
good families to come and make
homes thereon and prosper with us.
We do not need any more preachers,
lawyers, doctors, or merchants, bank
ers, laborers or any other class to
fill up-' the town. We want people
on the land and now is the time for
them to fome, for land is cheaper
now than it will ever be again."
But I must say a few words about
the town nevertheless, for there may
be some who are looking for a town
or city in which to pass the balance
of their days or in which to live and
educate their children. Or there may
he some persons who read this arti
cle who would not care to go to a
section where there were not good
church, school, banking and business
facilities close at hand. I can say to
all such that Independence is a
splendid, moral, decent, cleanly and
beautiful little city.
First, there are four churches, a
fine public school, two strong banks,
one of the very best high schools in
the state, wide paved streets, a good
sewer system, cement curbs and
walks, a beautiful city park, as good
a water supply as any city can have,
one of the best hotels in the West.
I doubt if any town of its size in
the country has a better hotel than
the Hotel Lorena, the fine new hos
telry lately opened there. It is large,
modern in every way, and is splen
didly conducted.
Second Newspaper Comes.
There is one good newspaper, the
Independence Enterprise, and with
in the month there will be a second,
the plant being now installed. This
will be called the Independence Bea
con Light, and it will be in able
hands. There is one of the best and"
most modern bakeries to be found
anywhere, also an up-to-date steam
laundry, and the stores of all sorts
carry very large and well - selected
stocks. You can do about as well
shopping there as in Portland. Of
course there are garages, livery
barns, blacksmith and machine shops
and all such business establishments
as one finds in all prosperous places.
Monmouth, at the west, is almost a
suburb of Independence. It is less
than a mile between the corporate
limits. And here the only normal
school of the 6tate is located, mak
ing educational advantages of the
town still greater.
Independence is a city of delight
ful homes. ' The lawns and hedges
are most beautiful, the roses and
other flowers as fine as Portland
can boast, which is the highest
praise I know how to bestow. The
streets are wide and level aDd just
on the west flows the beautiful Wil
lamette ! Oh, if you are looking for
an ideal homesite, you must see In
dependence before you locate.
From Portland south through the
wonderful Willamette Valley the
trip is an enjoyable one, if you have
a love for the beautiful as Nature
creates her works. At the present
time the best way to get there is via
the Southern Pacific, by which you
can reach Independence by two
trains from the Union Depot each
day, one in the morning and one in
the evening. By the electric road
the connections are not as yet per
fected, but a return by that road is
easily made by taking a boat at the
Independence wharf for the station
a mile or so north. The fare from
Portland is $1.75 each way, or some
thing less by the round trip. And
if you want to see as fine a section
of country, and one of the most
prosperous, that you ever rested
your eyes upon, take a trip up
through the valley to Independence
and stop there or near there for
the balance of your life, if you are
A letter addressed to the Inde
pendence Commercial Club, Indepen
dence, Oregon, will bring you by re
turn mail any further information
you may request, and anything this
club reports can be relied upon.
It has no lands for sale, but can
no doubt point you to various tracts,
large and small, suitable for any
business you wish to engage in.
The capitalist can get good bar
gains; the frugal, industrious, am
bitious homeseeker, with but a few
buadred dollars, can do likewise.
H: 107.2