Sketches from the Farm: Dan'l Conrod

SOURCE:  The Weekly Herald, Jan. 8, 1870 (Name might actually be Conrad but it says 'Conrod'.

Dan'l Conrod came from Pennsylvania to Iowa in 1844.  He first settled in Scott county, near Davenport.  He informs us that there were not over 500 persons in Davenport at that time, if so many -- that he could have entered a quarter section of land where a part of that city now stands if he had wished, but it was not good farming land and it was not supposed that it would ever be needed for any other purpose.  It was then inhabited only by wolves, prairie chickens, &c.

He came from Scott county to this county and entered a quarter section of land, where he now lives on the Lyons and Makoqueta road in Deep Creek township, about one mile Northwest of what is known as the "Ten Mile House," where he has lived ever since.  There was then no settlement of white people there.  Were a few families living about three and four miles east of him, and two or three German families had settled in the valley a few miles south.

What is now the Lyons and Makoqueta road, was then only a trial traveled mostly on foot and horse back.  It was called the Lyons and Bloomfield settlement "trail."

Mr. C. is a clear headed theoretical farmer, and the beauty of his theories are, that they are all practical.  He does not farm on so large a scale as many of our Western farmers, but we think that a talk of an hour with him on farm topics, would benefit many a man who carries on a farm of a thousand acres.  He raises but little small grain, but raises a good deal of corn and feeds hogs and cattle.

He has experiments some in sub-soiling, and says he thinks it will pay well for clay ground, but is not needed in loam.

He weight the corn produced on one acre of subsoiled ground last year, and it yielded 67 bushels, while corn raised on the same quality of ground, with ordinary ploughing, only yielded from 45 to 50 bushels per acre.

His best acre of potatoes, raised on sub-soiled ground, yielded 420 bushels.  They were of the "early Goodrich" variety.  He thinks it only necessary to sub-soil once in four or five years, as it is only necessary to break up a crust that forms a few inches under the surface in ordinary ploughing.

He is another of the sensible men who beliee in tile drainage as a very valuable means of improving the wet lands, and says that if he had means, could double the value of his farm in a single year by this means, although, there is camparatively little wet land on it.  He has put out 600 rods of Osage Orange fence with-in the last three years, and it is all growing nicely.   He says that it only needs straw over the roots the first two winters to insure its life, that it is the freezing and thawing while young that so often kills it.

He is taking great pains and going to considerable expense to improve his stock.  Has some fine Berkshire hogs -- some imported breeds of cattle, &c.

He attributes a great many of those useful ideas to the "farmers club," of which he is a member, and says that many of his neighbors have been benefited by the same means.

My success attend him and all who "till the soil."