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||Census Agricultural Schedules|
Castle Grove 1856
The same enumerators who collected the demographic information for the state and federal population census also surveyed farm operators regarding agricultural production, farm size, and farm value. This information was compiled as of June 1 of the census year. The agricultural census contains data on nearly all free persons who owned and/or operated farms. Not every farm was included in these schedules. In 1850, for example, small farms that produced less than $100 worth of products annually were not included. By 1870, farms of less than three acres or which produced less than $500 worth of products were not included. Enumerators, however, sometimes ignored these rules.
Statistics on agricultural production were not collected until the sixth census in 1840. In 1820 census-takers had taken note of the number of people engaged in agriculture, but it was not until twenty years later that more detailed records were kept on farm production. The manuscript schedule became more elaborate with each passing census. In 1840 enumerators collected information on thirty-seven fields on a schedule of "Mines, Agriculture, Commerce, Manufactures, etc.," in 1850 they recorded data from forty-six fields on a separate agricultural schedule. And in the eighth census in 1860, the agricultural schedule consisted of forty-eight different catagories.
For each farm, enumerators noted the name of the individual residing on and having control of the farm. Consequently, the agricultural census contains the names not only of farm owners but of managers, agents, and tenants. Consult the population census to determine if a farm operator is a tenant or an owner; tenants, unlike farm owners, will not have any (or much) real property since they are not landowners.
Agricultural schedules of 1850 through 1800 provide an increasing amount of information for each farm: name of owner or manager, number of improved and unimproved acres, and the cash value of the farm, farming machinery, livestock, animals slaughtered during the past year, and "homemade manufactures." The schedules also indicate the number of farm animals owned and the the amounts of various crops raised during the preceding year. The 1880 schedules provide additional details, such as the amount of acreage used for each kind of crop, the number of poultry, and the number of eggs produced.
The agricultural schedules for 1890 were lost in the same fire that took the census. The 1900 and 1910 agricultural schedules were destroyed by order of congress. The only state schedules I've seen are for 1856, though I imagine others exist.
Cash Value of Farm: This indicates the actual cash value of all farm land. That is, this value reflects the total value of both improved and unimproved acres of land. To calculate 2005 dollars, multiply 1850 dollars by 22.18; 1860 dollars by 20.54; 1870 dollars by 13.86; 1880 dollars by 19.80.
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