Sketches from the Farm: George Leffingwell

George Leffingwell, Esq., resides 1/2 mile west of Wheatland, in the western part of this county.  He is a native of Warren, Trumbull county, O., and came from there to Muscatine, Iowa, in the year 1839.  This western country was, of course, but sparsely settled then, and the few whites that were here had little else to make their fortunes with than their hands; but, owing to the great resources of the country, where the proper energy to use them existed, little else was needed.  Mr. L. commenced his career here as a cattle dealer -- buying up cattle and driving them to Ohio.  he sold them there, usually, at nearly double the prices paid here, and the entire expense of driving them to Cleveland was, on an average, $2.50 per head.  The scarcity of cattle in the country at that time was the only disadvantage connected with the business.  He informs us that he usually road almost all over the eastern part of the State in gathering up a drove. His narrations of incidents and adventures, with which he was connected in the pursuit of his business, must be heard to be appreciated.  He went on foot from Muscatine to Iowa City, at a time when there was only three buildings in the latter place.  On the bank of the Cedar river he stopped to take dinner with a rather illiterate family, probably from one of the southern States.  They had some potatoes on the table which Mr. L. remarked were very fine. "Oh, yes," said the young man at his right, "they are.  You haint no idea what awful nice taters we raised here this here year."

Mr. L. spent about nine years in this State, and returned to his native place in Ohio, where he lived till about four years ago, when he wisely concluded that the west was much the best place for him, removed to this county, and commenced farming and raising stock.  He has a fine large house, good outbuildings and an excellent farm of about 500 acres.  He has the finest lot of cattle we have seen in the county.  They are principally of imported breeds and the contrast between those and the ordinary stock which the most of our farmers are content to raise should be made a matter of investigation by every one interested in such matters.  He weighted three, three year old steers last week that weighed 1,740 pounds each, and three others of the same age that had had the same chances that weighed 1,200 pounds each.  The difference is that the former were fine imported stock, while the latter were common stock.  Mr. L. is really a scientific man and farms, raises stock, etc., on scientific principles.  Many of the farmers of this county might derive great benefit from an hour spent in conversation with Mr. L. and in examination of his stock.