Letter from Mr. Lucien Moore, late of Adair County, Kentucky, 1918


The letter which follows, penned by Mr. Lucien Moore, appeared in the November 6, 1918 edition of the Adair County News. Apparently, the (unknown) recipient of the letter handed it to the News for publication. Mr. Moore and the second Mrs. Moore (the former Miss Tennie Williams of Montpelier), had removed to Kansas between the time of their marriage (late summer of 1909) and the time this letter was written.

Hiawatha, Kan.

Dear Friend:--

Will write you a few lines this rainy Sunday. This is the longest wet spell since I have been n Kansas. Lots of rain for the past ten days.

Wheat is fine, but need some cold weather to check the growth. It is high enough now to hide a jack rabbit. I have 71 acres and 4 acres in alfalfa. Sowed in September and it is fine.

Wood Evans was to see me and I took him to see George and Ode. His son is depot agent at Fairview, 8 miles from us, but we didn't know he was there till Wood came to see him and he remembered Ode lived at highland and called him, so Ode told him I lived here closer to him so he called me and I went after him, as his son could not leave his job. I told him I was expecting you to visit us and that I was coming with you to visit him. he said he would expect us between now and Christmas as he is sure you will come.

Have not bought a place yet. Did not think of any of the farms you mentioned. Would like to buy a place worth from $4,000 to $8,000. I noticed the Buchanan place that Curt Yarberry sold last fall was for sale. Has it been sold? If not, find out what they want for it.

I got home from south Texas last Friday. Had been down there with a land company to see their lands, so will give you a little sketch of my trip. Went from Kansas City in special coaches (Pullmans) owned by Stewart Land Co. Our first stop was at Houston, Texas, where they had an interurban take our gang, about 60, to Galveston, a distance of 60 miles. Passed the aviation training camp. Saw the boys flying around like birds.

Had walked about two blocks in Galveston when three soldiers appeared with guns and swords and ordered us to stop and we did nothing but stop. Had been there about five minutes when a man in a palm beach suit told us to get on a boat. Soldiers marched with us to  boat and seemed to be amused at such a crowd of "greenies." Had plenty of old time music on boat and an old lady (78 years) from Minnesota danced a little. You should have heard the cheer for her. When we arrived in Rio Grande Valley she bought land amounting to $20,400. She was a live wire.

We were on  Gulf about three hours. Saw ships from different countries unloading. Also saw war ships and two submarine chasers. Went to a restaurant and eat fish. Not quite so long as we had been on the Gulf. Took a street car for bath house and all went in bathing, as the preferred gulf to going into pool and had a shower bath on coming out of gulf.

Took car back to Houston to our coaches, washed, ate supper and went to bed. Next stop in Rio Grande Valley at a small town. Met us there with 14 seven-passenger automobiles. Took us to pumping stations where they pump water from river to irrigate this whole valley. Rio Grande is not wider at this point than Green River at Jim Wade's place, but much deeper. Looked across river into old Mexico. Went a distance of 10 miles to club house. Club house is house built by company where they entertain perspective land buyers. When we arrived there they had a good dinner ready for us. When dinner was over we went for a ride looking at improved farms, oranges, grape fruits, etc., and were dark getting in. Our drive that day covered 112 miles. Had Mexican music and dance that night, another drive of 50 miles next morning. Then the real estate men put up their "speal," showed plot of lands and each fellow selected place where he would look, had dinner and every body went in different directions to look at the lands we were supposed to buy. Did not take our party long to decide and come back. Others coming later and by suppertime they had sold $300,000 worth of land. It is rich land. They were digging canals 15 feet deep. I could not tell any difference in the soil at the bottom of them. There are shells in soil from top to bottom of canals.

They grow sugar cane, that takes 12 months, and three crops of broom corn and one of cabbage. Sometimes cabbage make $400 to $500 per acre and sometimes they freeze out. Will grow any thing you can grow and three or four times as much of it and so much of it three crops a year. This land looks high at $300 per acre, but it rents for $50 per year cash, but you have to pay $6.00 per acre per year for water put on as you want it. Think I will investigate this land proposition sometime when I go on my own expenses, and would like for you to go with me. The company paid my expenses this time and did not give me time to look around like I would have to do before buying. Ode says he is going to see this land and believe he will buy when he comes. 400 Acres is considered a good size farm there.

Let me hear from you soon giving me all the news about land and everything else.

Your cousin,

Lucien Moore