The Kansas of to-Day

I.

THE pendulum of comment on the Sunflower State’s character and accomplishments ever has swung to far extremes — from extravagant eulogy to bitter abuse. Thereby, the accurate presentation of possibilities and resources that a commonwealth always desires the public to possess often has been obscured, and Kansas, of necessity, has contended with much misunderstanding of the truth that lay between the rival heights of praise and blame.

The responsibility rests largely with the Kansas people themselves, though not alone upon those of this age and generation. The foundation was laid in early-day history. The time was when, in a sense, the state offered a spectacle to the nations. John Brown, the enthusiast, marched, sturdy-souled, at the head of his pioneer troops ; Quantrell was a bogie for the settlers’ children ; the legislators followed the changing capital from place to place in canvas-hooded wagons; the emigrant train and the cattle trail, the prairie fire and the Indian raid, gave a glamour of romance, — and those who from afar watched it all wondered what the future held for this ambitious and earnest, but somewhat turbulent people. Whittier sang in verse, Bayard Taylor and Horace Greeley wrote in prose, and Beecher preached from the pulpit concerning its needs and its triumphs. Kansas, perhaps a little elated at the prominence it had attained so early in its career, learned to expect an echo of applause, or at least some evidence of attention, following each varying scene in its development.

Seldom was it disappointed. Indeed, so rapidly has the gentle art of manufacturing marvels developed of late years, that Kansas more than once has been surprised and amused at the importance and sensationalism attained by trivial home events when they had traveled a few hundred miles eastward. This influence, together with the lingering memory of its stormy territorial history, has prevented many from seeing the state as it is — from understanding it as do those who have shared its ups and downs and have helped to carry forward its social and business life. The softening touch of time and the establishment of confidence in the state’s real worth have done much in modification, and the Kansas of to-day is being discussed by both advocate and accuser with fewer superlatives and greater candor.

It is agreed, for instance, that there has been a positive and substantial improvement in the state’s fortunes. This is manifest in so many ways that even the Eastern investor, with the memory of a defaulted mortgage haunting him, as he looks from the car window is forced to concede it New roofs and fresh paint, new porches and better sidewalks, tell some of the story. On the village lawns are cannas and caladiums instead of castor-beans and sunflowers, clematis instead of wild ivy; striped awnings at wide windows, stained glass, and rubber-tired vehicles, — they are evidence of the improvement come to the prairies. If the stranger may note these signs, one who knows the people in their homes can add to the list. He can mention furnaces and electric lights, china closets and cut glass, davenports and Venetian blinds, in hundreds of dwellings, — all visible signs of prosperity and in striking contrast with the former possessions, often those brought from the early home 舠back East.”

It is usual to ascribe all this to the good crops of the past few years, yet that is not entirely fair. During all the dark days, from the bursting of the boom in 1887 until the clouds lifted a decade later, there was in most homes a pinching and saving of which the outside world knew nothing. Those who went through it kept up stout hearts; each summer they hoped for rain and each autumn they cheerfully 舠guessed ” that “times would be better in the spring.” They acquired a hatred of debt in every form, and made many a vow of restraint to be fulfilled in that longed-for blessed era when their creditors should be satisfied.

Had it not been so, the prosperity that came at last would have been absorbed and shown little sign. Retrenchment and economy had prepared the way, had cut down the mortgages, and cleared up some of the judgments. Even without unusual crops there would have risen above the surface of the sea of financial discouragement, which had existed since 1890, a stronger and more self-reliant people, and Kansas would have established itself in the end as a safe business state within the limits of its climatic conditions. As it was, the process suddenly was hastened, and a happy result has come like a benediction in reward for the patient struggle.

The best of it is that the recipients of nature’s bounty have learned how to take care of their gift, — they have put it into the comforts of life and the substantial evidences of congenial living, and not into speculation and extravagance.

Time and money — a great deal of both — have been expended by the Kansas people in mastering the intricate problems of Western development. They have learned caution by bitter trial, and have profited by the lesson. This fact often is overlooked by the Easterner who, when he has crossed the Missouri River, expects to find only unbusinesslike settlers, gifted chiefly in hope and suitable prey for the “ smooth man from the city. He forgets that before the mortgage was foreclosed the Kansas debtor walked the floor of his little cabin a good deal more than did the Eastern creditor that of his office, and that there is no pleasure in packing the wife and children into a prairie schooner and starting out from the farm to seek another home.

A young man with a scheme that was good principally for himself visited the business men of several towns of central Kansas last summer with poor results. “ Why is it, ” he asked, “ that the Kansans are so critical ? Our plan worked all right in the South last winter, and in Ohio and Iowa.”

“ Well,” remarked an old-timer who overheard him, “one reason is that the folks of Kansas have been struggling with schemes of one kind and another for twenty years, and they ’ve learned to be careful. You will find it harder yet in Oklahoma, for the people there have gone all through what we have and a good deal more. The West is filled full of experience.”

The Kansan’s experience is fourfold.

The experience of settlement came first. On an exaggerated parallelogram, tipped three thousand feet higher at the west end than at the east, a million and a half people settled in two decades. Many of them did not comprehend that the farming which might succeed in the East, or even along the Missouri border, would be a failure on the high-tilted prairie because of a lack of rainfall. Then there was the experience of the boom, that surging time when town lots spread out until they seemed likely to absorb the farms. The day of reckoning came next. Two hundred thousand people moved out of the state. Some went in Pullman cars, some in wagons, and some walked. Mortgaged claims were deserted, houses and stores were left empty, land in the “additions ” once more sold by the acre instead of by the lot.

Out of all this — the misinformation as to the state’s climatic conditions, the debts, the declining population, and the discouragement — came political vagaries. Starting with the Farmers’ Alliance, the ideas that finally crystallized in Populism swept the state. The new doctrine taught an easy way out of debtpaying, and many, apparently more than willing to be convinced, accepted it as a revelation. Its noisy leaders frightened the East, denounced the “money power ” on all occasions, wrote some foolish laws on the statute books, furnished a good deal of material for the sensational newspapers — and did little else.

All this time the people had been working out their financial salvation along other lines. They had learned that kaffir corn and alfalfa would stand the drought, that cattle and sheep would thrive in western Kansas, that diversity of crops would give regular returns, that creameries paid good dividends, that hogs were more profitable than parades, — in short, that farming conducted with due regard for the country’s conditions would succeed. From that time the orator of the sub-treasury and fiat money felt his power wane, and today his former hold on the Kansan is gone. It is unlikely that he will ever regain it.

II.

In 1897, the Kansan stopped talking about wanting to sell out that he might go back East; in 1898, he was better contented; in 1899, he raised the price on his real estate and built a porch and bay window; in 1900, other improvements followed, and he congratulated himself on his foresight in having remained while so many left the state.

In the five years ending with the crop of 1901, Kansas raised 323,176,464 bushels of wheat and 681,452,906 bushels of corn. These were indeed fat years. The corn crop of 1889, 273,888,321 bushels, and the wheat of 1901, 90,333,095 bushels, were the largest in the history of the state, — but the average annual yield of wheat for ten years has been 49,450,354 bushels, and of corn, 142,856,553 bushels, the average total value of both crops being over $60,000,000. The records of the state agricultural board show that for thirty-four years the average yield of corn, including corn territory and that where none at all grew, was twentyseven bushels per acre, and for twentyfive years the average farm value of Kansas corn per acre has been $7.31. While sixteen counties raise more than half the wheat of the state, fifty-five counties out of the 105 produce good returns of that cereal. Now that there seems to be a fairly clear understanding of the agricultural limitations, a much better record should be possible. The fact that in two years piast the increase in the value of agricultural productions and live stock has been $51,278,936 over the preceding two years gives good reason for the encouraging outlook. Each year the live stock interests assume larger proportions and greater value, — and the products of the range are affected little by dry weather. The average total product of farm and ranch for twenty years has been $142,861,380 annually.

The state banks had on deposit in December, 1896,$14,553,000; in September, 1901, they had $42,000,000, while the national banks had $45,000,000 more. In the past five years, besides reducing mortgages and laying up $50,000,000 in increased bank deposits, the state has made progress in its public finances. The counties, cities, and school districts refunded $6, 200,000 of bonds at a saving of one to two and a half per cent in interest rate. The actual reduction in the principal of bonds for the year ending July 1, 1900, was $2,978,321. This was in spite of the fact that many counties issued new bonds for public buildings and other improvements. A Chicago financial paper in July, 1896, said: “There was a man here the other day with six per cent, gold, county bonds. Unfortunately the county happens to be in Kansas. The man learned that he might as well try to sell stock in an irrigating scheme on the planet Mars as to dispose of securities bearing on their face the name of Kansas.” In less than three years seven bond houses had salaried representatives traveling from county to county in Kansas, endeavoring to secure refunding bonds at four and five per cent. The fact that a county’s issue of bonds becomes optional is to-day a signal for a score of bids, and most of the counties have propositions a year ahead of the time when they can make a new issue at a lower rate.

The smoke of the manufactory is appearing in many towns where it had been unknown. It is not a sign of the coming of immense establishments to rival those of New England, but of smaller concerns supplying the needs of the community, growing as the state grows. This sort will be permanent, but it will not make this a manufacturing state, for such is not Kansas’ destiny. It is a state for mixed farming and grazing, for cattle, horses and sheep, wheat and millet, alfalfa and corn, cows and soy beans, windmills and hay.

Statistics are not dry to the Westerner. Only by tabulated figures can he read the history of his commonwealth’s development in material things. It has been somewhat discouraging to the Kansan that the population has not increased more rapidly. The nation at large has done better than Kansas by over one half per cent per annum. In 1890, there were 1,427,096 people here; in 1900, there were 1,469,496. While this is a gain of only 42,400 in ten years, it is a gain of 134,762 over the population in 1895. The rate of increase is now about 25,000 a year, and it is steadily increasing.

Not until there is an end of opening new lands where a man can get a farm for an hour’s ride on a swift pony will the gain be as large as it should. The temptation of cheap lands, added to the disappointment growing out of misdirected settlement, has been a steady drain on Kansas. All over the West is an uneasy, dissatisfied race, born with the wandering foot; the prairie schooner is its home, and the fascination of pioneering its delight. Just so long as there are new lands it will be on the move, and keep unstable the population of the prairie states. It is typical of the Westerner that he always sees a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow — yet, if it had not been so in the beginning, there might have been no Sunflower State.

A popular impression exists that many Eastern investors yet own mortgages on western Kansas lands on which they are endeavoring vainly to get interest or principal. Very little of such security remains. It was written in the middle eighties, and long ago one of two things happened, — the mortgagee foreclosed the mortgage, or the mortgagor deeded him the land in order to be released from the debt. The problem of to-day is not the mortgage, but the land, — how to sell it or secure a return from it. Some discouraged investors, failing to pay taxes, have practically forfeited their rights to the counties in which their lands are ; others are holding on, and with the coming of the cattle ranch there is hope for them. The mortgage of central and eastern Kansas draws five or six per cent, and is not easy to find. Neither necessity nor inclination leads the farmer into debt, and his borrowings are confined to the narrowest possible limits. The banks, frequently having more than half their deposits in cash on hand, loan at eight and ten per cent on short time, and complain that the call is not brisker. Many banks in the state do not pay interest on deposits.

Such are some of the conditions that encourage the Sunflower State in its material progress. They do not mean that every citizen is well to do, or that every enterprise is a bonanza. Kansas is yet making experiments, and has yet to meet with some failures. But they do mean that the state as a whole is building on a more substantial foundation than in the past; that it is doing business on cash instead of on credit; that it is mastering the conditions of soil and sky, and is seeking to adapt its agriculture — for Kansas is essentially an agricultural state — to them rather than attempting to force into operation systems and theories for which nature made no preparation. A healthy, unaffected, businesslike sentiment is abroad, and it bids fair to attain permanence. Once before, Kansas was tempted by prosperity to indulge in extravagance — and fell. It should know better now, for it is older in years and richer in experience.

Twenty years ago the autumn and early winter nights were reddened by burning straw-stacks sending up lurid flames on every horizon. Now, the farmer saves the straw, either for sale, or for use in his stockyards, so that it gives back something to the soil from which a crop has been taken. The prairie fire, too, that each year blackened the ranges and pastures, frequently leaping over bounds and destroying homes and even lives, is being driven farther and farther West. In this conservation of the natural strength of the fertile soil, and in the growing unwillingness to waste in smoke a part of nature’s largess, is seen a sign of the economy of these latter days. Joined with the earnest efforts toward making the most of the rainfall by means of small reservoirs, and toward assisting it by windmill or ditch irrigation where practicable, this economy of itself adds materially to the resources of the farmer, and indirectly to the advancement of the entire commonwealth.

III.

Country life in Kansas is not entirely monotonous. There are those who tell of the early days when young folks rode horseback twenty miles to a dance, and declare that the more staid diversions and the necessity of keeping on section-line roads because of the fences have made the pleasure of to-day inferior to that of pioneer times. Country life in the West is in a sense in a transition period. It has left behind the days of settlement when none needed an introduction and every man’s history began with the day before yesterday, and has not yet reached the era of long-established families and generations of acquaintanceship. The public gatherings are not so much affected by this as are social affairs. With the advancing years a change is going on, and many a farmer is giving his sons quarter sections that they may, as they marry, settle near him. Then, too, the first comers have so far advanced in life and worldly goods that they are one by one handing over the reins to the next generation, frequently moving to the county seat themselves and resting from their labors. This “retired ” class is yet small, but it increases with the years, and the Western communities more elosely resemble their Eastern prototypes as the movement becomes more noticeable.

In the country neighborhoods the most prominent public interests are the church and Sunday-school (perhaps only in the summer months) at the district schoolhouse, which is the centre of interest for all neighborhood gatherings. The “literary” yet holds forth in the winter, and the political meeting has a brief season in important campaigns.

For the rest a drive over smooth prairie roads to the nearest town, even if it be a dozen miles, is no great hardship. Dances are common, and the fact that the host’s dwelling is small does not make the enjoyment the less hearty. Many of the country hamlets have lodge halls, and the membership of the orders meeting therein is made up from the dwellers on the farms. It has introduced a new interest into lives too much left in solitude. The organization of counties in the church and Sunday-school work of recent years has broadened thoughts, and brought the town and country in closer touch.

The Kansas editor frequently prints items representing the farmer as living like a prince and reveling in luxury. Some basis exists for the hyperbole. Few farmers come to town now in lumber wagons; an astonishingly large number come in as handsome double carriages and surreys as are owned in the villages. New furniture in the homes and better clothes for the whole family have been a part of the earnings of better crops. Thousands of fathers and mothers have recently taken the first trip to the old home in the East since they followed the setting sun to a new dwelling place. They have returned better satisfied with the prairies than ever, for the old scenes and friends had changed, — and then the West keeps its hold firmly upon those who have once become a part of its life.

In the towns of to-day — and there are in the state 111 towns of one thousand and more population — the Kansan has given the best evidence of himself. When the settlement of the state began, the conditions seemed singularly favorable for the founding of cities and villages that should approach the best models of municipal art. For hundreds of miles the undulating plain lay waiting, people were eager, land was cheap, and the widest possible range was offered for the selection of welldrained, healthful, and convenient locations ; but the realization fell far short of the opportunity. The nucleus of the Kansas town was usually the country store and post-office. The blacksmith shop and the schoolhouse followed. Of late years the creamery station preceded all of these. If the railroad did not come, the whole was put on wheels and moved across country a section or two. If a promoter laid out a town site with elaborate detail, the chances were that perverse human nature would not fill out the plan by settlement. Opportune water courses, the construction of a railroad, the outline of a county, — these were here, as in the East, determining factors. Later came the “ additions, ” expansion, and the keenest rivalry in all the nervous, pushing West,— that for municipal supremacy. Men’s fortunes, principles, and even their lives have been sacrificed to it, and in a measure it has been the keynote of the Kansas town’s development.

The dominant type of early-day architecture on the plains is the long, single-gabled, porchless, ungarnished structure, affording the maximum of space with a minimum of expenditure. If used as a store, there is apt to be an absurd square front built to the height of the roof peak. In the smaller towns this is yet seen, a monument to the first settlers’ idea of harmony. The buildings vary greatly in size, but all share in the uniform color of weather-beaten, unpainted pine. Brick and stone blocks are succeeding that type, and the new public buildings are artistic in design and a credit to the state.

The tendency of the modern builder is toward better architecture, though in the struggle upward some incongruous combinations are made, and there is a frequent recurrence of types obsolete a score of years ago. Education is needed in nearly every town, not alone in the construction of the store buildings, but in that of the residences. The fitness of things, the suitability of mixed designs, and the best results for the expenditure are subjects for much future enlightenment.

Few towns have taken the proper amount of ground space for their building. When ambitious landowners have not in their greed huddled the dwellers into crowded, shortened lots, a repellent force seems to have been at work, and the infrequent stores and residences are scattered over a whole section of land. The former mistake cannot be corrected, but the latter is being changed. The suburbs are being moved in, the vacant lots on the desirable streets are being filled, and a better-balanced, more sensible town is the result. In eastern and central Kansas the trees — elms, maples, box-elders, and some cottonwoods — line the streets, and have become so large that they overtop the houses. At a distance the town seems a forest. This is especially so where are good waterworks systems, and there, too, blue-grass lawns, as solid and as restful as a bit of Kentucky meadow, greet the eye. The touch of prosperity of the past few years has done much for the artistic side of things, and more attention is given to lawns and terraces, to flower gardens and to parks, than ever before.

The overbuilding of the boom era is almost repaired. One by one the houses that stood empty during the early nineties have been bought, moved into town or out on a farm, and have become homes. Within the past two years speculators searching for these bargains have found them scarce; it is no longer possible to purchase a handsome cottage for half what the lumber bill was at the beginning; hence after nearly a decade of practical suspension the building of dwellings has been resumed. Pride is taken in ownership. Hundreds of Western towns there are (for similar conditions exist in other prairie states) in which five years ago half the real estate was owned by Eastern investors or mortgage companies, but where now ninety per cent of it is owned by people of the municipality, — principally by the occupants. This it is that furnishes hope for the coming years, and fills them with promise of greater advancement. The people have suddenly given up the thought that they are mere sojourners; they are at home, and wish to make that home beautiful.

The social life of the towns is varied. The Kansan is by nature a “ joiner; ” he delights in grips and passwords. Lodges, camps, posts, consistories, temples, tribes, and commanderies in bewildering array attract him. The state always wins in a contest with other jurisdictions for membership, for each citizen is willing to join many orders. Husbands and wives are alike eligible to membership in many of the long list of assessment orders that flourish, and around the lodge rooms clusters a large part of the social enjoyment of many towns. In addition to furnishing a vast amount of insurance and benefits at what is yet an absurdly low rate, the regular sessions of the lodges, the surprise parties, dances, and other features add to their good work.

Then there are card clubs, literary clubs, women’s federations, balls, and receptions. Dress suits are more common than they were, even at the height of the boom, and gowns that would be satisfactory to the wearer a thousand miles farther East are the rule.

In one thing the Kansan clings to a surplusage — the church. Towns of two thousand souls with a dozen churches of as many creeds to look after their needs are not rare. Nearly every village has too many churches; that is, so many that the preachers are almost all poorly paid, and the congregations’ finances are in a constant state of depression. Intensity in affairs of the soul pervades the dweller on the plains, and when he is led to take up mission work it is curious to note that he usually seeks not the dark places of his own land, but the farthest possible portion of the globe, scores being thus engaged.

The representations of the drama are of meagre sort. The nearest approach to grand opera is the occasional view of the star’s special train as it whirls past the squat-roofed prairie depot bearing a famous company from coast to coast. It is something of a shock to the uninitiated to find that the opera house is the second story of a frame building, twenty-four feet wide and eighty feet long, with a harness shop downstairs, but such is a common experience. The favorite form of dramatic presentation, the outgrowth of hard times, has been through the repertoire troupe, staying a week in a place and raffling a rocking chair among its patrons at the end of the stay. To-day higher-class attractions are booking Kansas again, and within the past two years several artistic amusement places have been given the name theatre instead of opera house; in time there may come to be a town hall occasionally.

Town quarrels are less frequent, town pride is on a higher level, and when, as is becoming the fashion, the village holds open house on the occasion of a carnival or street fair, forgotten are the differences of creed or politics or station, and all unite as one family, intent on making the best showing possible for hospitality.

The eastern Kansas towns are assuming the settled ways of the communities of the Atlantic states. “Old settlers ” are there, and they look upon twenty or thirty years of residence as giving them a patent of aristocracy. It does. The men and women who have stayed by the varying fortunes of the average Kansas town for a quarter of a century deserve honor. These are usually the people who run the banks and leading law firms, who sit in the best pews, and have weight with the city council and school board. They form the stable basis of Kansas society, and for the most part are proof against the ebullitions of boom spirit that animate younger and newer generations.

As one climbs the inclined plane toward the state’s western edge, perched high in the semi-arid region of wide horizons, the nervous tension increases. If the inhabitants of the towns there do not feel as do those of more conservative sections, they feel, to use the expression of a Kansas editor, that that is the way they ought to feel. They look forward to making their community substantial and successful. They are trying to build wisely — this time.

IV.

The Kansan has changed the capital of his state seven times before deciding where it should stay. He has laid railroad tracks and then torn up the rails, built towns and deserted them, dug irrigation ditches where there was no water, erected manufactories where there was no market, tried the one-crop style of agriculture and abandoned it, tested devices, schemes, and plans galore for getting money and paying debts without work; he has experimented, theorized, and dreamed, — and then has walked the floor nights, pondering why the way was so difficult. He has ascribed his failures to the “money power,” to the “per capita, ” to Providence, and to nearly everything else that was mysterious. One day he awoke, and discovered that the fault was within himself — and suddenly the path cleared. From that time he sought to adapt himself to his environment, and then began the debt-paying, the improvement of the homes, and the realization of the years of hope; then came the sense of happiness and the accession of those good things of life that are summed up in the pleasant word Prosperity.

Thus it transpires that there is a New Kansas, better and wiser than the old.

Periods there are when the Kansan reverts to the old times; as when the hot winds blow like furnace breaths out of the Southwest, shriveling and scorching vegetation and wearing out the nerves of the people. So, too, when the early spring breezes send dust and snow careering through the streets and drift the surface of the fields as if it were but sand of the seashore. Then it is that the Kansan pulls his hat well down on his head, leans against the wind, and uses remarks not complimentary to the weather of his state. But when in the fragrant June the air, rich as wine, is laden with the breath of yellow wheatfields and far stretches of young corn and green pastures, when autumn and Indian summer thrill with clear-skied days and crisp, delightful nights, — he forgets it all, and declares that there is no place on earth so favored. He talks about it to his neighbor, and writes a piece for his old home paper setting forth his pride.

Only in one thing does he admit his lack — facilities for recreation. Distances are too great for many enjoyments that come so easily to the Easterner. Even with money, the exertion in securing an onting almost offsets its good. Not a lake exists for five hundred miles; the mountains are as far from the central counties of the state. The rivers are not inviting to seekers after pleasure. The Arkansas, eleven months in the year, is a quarter-mile wide waste of glistening sand with a lonesome ribbon of lazy water, over which an energetic boy of thirteen might leap, winding its way along it. The others are mostly muddy-sided, turbid streams. A few beautiful groves are found in the eastern counties, but they are lost to the great mass of the people. The sea or lake shore and the mountain-top expanse are too remote for every-day recreation, and a visit to them is a too infrequent luxury.

A great change of sentiment toward the East has occurred among the people of Kansas in the past three years. No more is New England the enemy’s country that so many considered it during the days when debts were pressing heavily. Independence has brought a hearty comradeship as a substitute for the former antagonism. Modern innovations are doing much to relieve the loneliness of the prairie farms, once the bitter regret of the settler. Telephone lines between the little towns and rural delivery are bringing the people closer together. Thousands of farmers in central Kansas get their Kansas City morning papers by mid-forenoon.

“I was driving across country one morning last fall, ” said a minister the other day, “when I saw a good picture of the new Western civilization. A farmer, ten miles from town, was riding on a sulky plough. He was sheltered by an awning fastened above his implement. As I watched him, the rural delivery wagon came along and the driver handed to the farmer, then at the roadside, a bundle of papers. The worker remounted his plough, unfolded the daily paper printed that morning two hundred miles away, and, as the team took its steady course across the half-mile field, read the happenings in China and the news of the campaign.”

Then, too, a new generation is growing up. The children of the comers in the sixties and seventies are to-day men and women engaged in the business of the state. Some of them have scarcely been outside its boundaries, and all of them, accustomed to its moods, are its loyal and earnest advocates. They have been educated in Kansas’ excellent schools, and have married in their own neighborhoods. Not from these are recruited the ranks of the “movers,” — the product of other states and other times who have made Kansas merely a stopping place on their devious way toward the goal they are doomed never to reach.

Kansas has emerged from the experimental period of her history. That again there will come crop failures and lean years none can doubt; but the manner in which the Kansan meets the reverses will mean much. Schooled in the variations of other seasons he will he prepared in this, — that he will not stake all his fortune on one crop or product ; he will meet drought complacently, as becomes one who knows some crops that thrive nearly as well in dry weather as in wet; he will greet the winds contentedly as he looks at the whirring windmills lifting moisture from the earth for the herds and gardens; he will try no more to make farms of the short-grass country, nor to build a metropolis at every cross-roads. Much though he may dislike to do so, he will admit ingenuously that there are some things his state cannot do.

The watchword of the New Kansas is Stability. The Kansan, after three decades of trial, has pinned his faith to those things that make toward permanence and steady advancement. The hot-headed days of the state’s youth are past, and the thrift and saving of the New England forefathers, once mocked at as unworthy this swift age, are looked upon with admiration and respect, if not with longing.

The Kansan is as proud of his commonwealth as ever; he is as valiant in its defense, and as eager in its eulogy; but he exaggerates less and qualifies more. The Sunflower State of to-day is being pictured to the world as it is, and in dealing thus in candor and frankness its children are establishing their own fortunes on surer foundations.

Charles Moreau Harger.