In the early years when the land was new, an impression widely prevailed that fruit raising in Iowa and the prairie country generally in this latitude would never be successful north of the central portion of the State and even below that line would never become profitable. It was almost the universal opinion for many years, after the first prairie farms were brought under cultivation, that Iowa would for all time be obliged to depend largely for its fruit supply upon the eastern States. But as the years passed, pioneer fruit growers and nurserymen, in various portions of the State, began a series of experiments to determine what, if any, fruits could be successfully grown in Iowa. They persevered in their endeavors, undismayed by costly failures, until they demonstrated that many varieties of the different fruits grown in this latitude in the eastern and middle States could be successfully grown in Iowa. To James Weed of Muscatine, D. W. Kauffman and James Smith of Des Moines, D. W. Adams of Waukon, W. W. Beebe and Mark Miller of Dubuque, James Mathews of Knoxville, David Leonard of Burlington, J. L. Budd of Shellsburg and others, the people of Iowa are largely indebted for the practical demonstration, in early days, that a large variety of fruits could be grown with reasonable safety and moderate profit in a majority of the counties of the State.
We find in the census of 1900, that there were 6,869,588 apple trees in the orchards of the State which the year before produced 3,129,862 bushels of apples; 1,302,217 plum trees, 791,327 cherry trees, 516,145 peach trees and 104,046 pear trees. The total value of orchard fruits had reached $1,849,767; while the value of small fruit, raisins and wine amounted to $1,044,807.
Every county is permeated with lines of railroad, telegraph and telephone lines and rural mail routes are distributing daily mails widely throughout the country districts. Nine thousand three hundred and thirty-six miles of completed railroad were reported by the Commissioners