Jefferson County Online
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The following is a chapter from "The History of Jefferson County, Iowa", Pages 263-264, published by the Western Historical Company of Chicago in 1879.



United area, 56,253 square miles, or 35,995,520 acres. Extent of the Upper and smaller Peninsula -- length, 316 miles; breadth, fluctuating between 36 and 120 miles. The south division is 416 miles long, by from 50 to 300 miles wide. Aggregate lake-shore line, 1,400 miles. The Upper, or North, Peninsula consists chiefly of an elevated plateau, expanding into the Porcupine mountain-system, attaining a maximum height of some 2,000 feet. Its shores along Lake Superior are eminently bold and picturesque, and its area is rich in minerals, its product of copper constituting an important source of industry. Both divisions are heavily wooded, and the South one, in addition, boasts of a deep, rich, loamy soil, throwing up excellent crops of cereals and other agricultural produce. The climate is generally mild and humid, though the Winter colds are severe. The chief staples of farm husbandry include the cereals, grasses, maple sugar, sorghum, tobacco, fruits, and dairy-stuffs. In 1870, the acres of land in farms were: improved, 5,096,939; unimproved woodland, 4,080,146; other unimproved land, 842,057. The cash value of land was $398,240,578; of farming implements and machinery, $13,711,979. In 1869, there were shipped from the Lake Superior ports, 874,582 tons of iron ore, and 45,762 of smelted pig, along with 14,188 tons of copper (ore and ingot). Coal is another article largely mined. Inland communication is provided for by an admirably organized railroad system, and by the St. Mary's Ship Canal, connecting Lakes Huron and Superior. Michigan is politically divided into 78 counties; its chief urban centers are Detroit, Lansing (capital), Ann Arbor, Marquette, Bay City, Niles, Ypsilanti, Grand Haven, etc. The Governor of the State is elected biennially. On November 30, 1870, the aggregate bonded debt of Michigan amounted to $2,385,028, and the assessed valuation of land to $266,929,278, representing an estimated cash value of $800,000,000. Education is largely diffused and most excellently conducted and provided for. The State University at Ann Arbor, the colleges of Detroit and Kalamazoo, the Albion Female College, the State Normal School at Ypsilanti, and the State Agricultural College at Lansing, are chief among the academic institutions. Michigan (a term of Chippeway origin, and signifying "Great Lake) (sic), was discovered and first settled by French Canadians, who, in 1670, founded Detroit, the pioneer of a series of trading-posts on the Indian frontier. During the "Conspiracy of Pontiac," following the French loss of Canada, Michigan became the scene of a sanguinary struggle between the whites and aborigines. In 1796, it became annexed to the United States, which incorporated this region with the Northwest Territory, and then with Indiana Territory, till 1803, when it became territorially independent. Michigan was the theater of warlike operations during the war of 1812 with Great Britain, and in 1819 was authorized to be represented by one delegate in Congress; and in 1869 ratified the 15th Amendment to the Federal Constitution. Population, 1,184,059.

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