Nichols, Iowa Centennial Book
Stories of Early Nichols

Nichols, Iowa Centennial Book 1884-1984, page 118

The following descriptions of the land, the streams, the timber and the railroad were taken from
Andreas’ Historical Atlas of Iowa, published in 1875.

         The general surface of the county is rolling, and in many parts quite rough and broke. The bluffs on the Mississippi are extensive, and frequently rise to an altitude of one hundred and fifty feet above the river, while it is not more than eight or ten miles across some portions of the county to the Cedar River, which is bordered by valuable bottom lands that end in bluffs more or less abrupt. All of the streams are surrounded by those bottom lands, which are among the richest and most productive in the west, while the remaining portion of the county is composed of high prairie and broken, bluffy lands partially covered with timber.
         The soil in portions of the county is a rich black loam, with a clay sub-soil, while in the bottoms there is mixed with the loam a considerable portion of fine sand. Wheat and corn are the staple productions, while all kinds of grains, grasses and vegetables common to this climate are successfully cultivated. The rolling lands and side hills are well adapted to fruit culture; and grape growing, which is more extensively carried on here than in most portions of Iowa, is really becoming quite an important branch of its agricultural resources. Owing to its varied and excellent soil, its adaptability to the growth of grass, and the abundance of water found in all sections, it is peculiarly adapted to stock raising; and for a number of years it has stood among the best counties in the state for the number of excellence of its short horned and other classes of thoroughbred stock. Some of the largest and best herds to be found, not only in the west, but in the United States, are in this vicinity.
         The Cedar River, running through the western or central portion of the county, has an average width of two hundred yards and is navigable a portion of the year as far as Cedar Rapids, about one hundred and thirty miles from its mouth. The Wapsinonoc, an Indian name meaning white-earth-creek, is the most considerable creek, rising in two principal forks in Cedar County, which unite soon after entering this, and running in a southeast direction some twenty miles, empty into the Cedar.
         The county is well watered with many small lasting streams and springs. Wells are easily obtained in nearly all parts of the county, while pure soft water is found in many places.
         The native timber which is found along the streams is well distributed over the county, and consists principally of white, black, red, yellow and burr oak, hickory, hard and soft maple, black and white ash, black and white walnut, linn, yellow, white and red elm, honey locust, birch, plum, cottonwood, poplar, willow, cherry, with a little cedar and pine.

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