This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Our enthusiastic friend, Bross, of the Chicago Press, never loses an opportunity of speaking well of his own State, of which he is one of the most useful citizens. The following information, abridged from his paper, is worthy of record: -
" Chicago or Illinois beef will soon take as undisputed rank among the materials of good living as have the hams of Westphalia, Stilton cheese, Goshen butter, New York oysters, Lake Superior white fish, Connecticut River shad, or the wild celery-fed canvas-back ducks of the Delaware. What the savory mast of the Whestphalian forest does for the flesh of the pig that feeds on it, how the white clover and sweet scented vernal grass of the rich pastures of Orange County influence the products of the dairy, so, and in some such manner, the prairies of Illinois impart fat and flavor to the flesh of the cattle raised on them.
We have been led to these observations by the arrival in Chicago, last week, of thirty noble bullocks, a part of a lot of one hundred, en route for New York city.
These cattle belong to Mr. B. F. Harris, an extensive stock feeder, who resides near the town of Urbana, and the Chicago branch of the Illinois Central Railroad. They are unquestionably the heaviest and fattest drove of one hundred bullocks in the world. They were weighed at Mr. Harris's farm.
The aggregate gross weight of the 100 was 118 l,200-2,000th tons, or 2,373 pounds each. Twenty-five of the best and fattest weighed on an average 2,662 pounds each. "The Baby" of twenty-five, kicked the beam at 5,876 pounds. Three days were required and needed to drive them to the railroad station, fourteen miles. The average age of the 100 is less than five years. Not one has ever been housed a day in his life; a half dozen pairs only have been yoked, and a less number worked. They have been pastured and herded on the prairies in the summer, and, in the winter, fed on corn in the shock, and sound timothy, and yarded along the skirts of the Sangamon timber".
This appears to us more sensible "talk" than that of the late French papers about the "baby" of the Empress. What would the Illinois prairie farmers say to having a boy bom to drive them about as Mr. Harris drives his cattle?
The Hunt Botanical Garden is, for the present, not to be commenced. The chief donor wished to have an observatory, to cost some $70,000, to which the committee objected, and, in consequence, he has withdrawn his support. The energetic determination of W. S. Degraw, Esq., and his other associates will, however, carry it through, only in another position.
The Massachusetts Horticultural Society's Report of Committees, for 1855, with the schedule of prizes for 1856, makes a pamphlet of 50 pages, and appears to be every way worthy of the distinguished reputation of the Society. We have marked many passages for reference, but have so devoted our space as to have little room for extracts the present month. In many respects this society is a model which might well be copied.