SALT RIVER TOWNSHIP.
Salt river is the north eastern township of Randolph county. About one fifth of the surface is prairie, the
balance is timber land. The prairie is generally level or gently undulating. The timber land is more uneven, and
in the vicinity of the streams is somewhat broken and hilly. The prairie is all under fence and in cultivation.
But little good land is unenclosed, all the best farming territory having been fenced either for tillage or pasturage.
The territory is well provided with streams and stock water is abundant throughout the year. Mover, Mud, Flat,
McKinney, Lick, and Painter creeks, with other less important streams, take their courses through the township
and every farm is convenient to some stream that contains water the year round. Nevertheless, for greater convenience,
ponds, wells, and cisterns are dug on the farms for the use of stock. Living water is found at short distances
below the surface, giving a permanent and inexhaustible supply.
Among the early settlers of the township are H. G. Robuck, M. McKinney, and Strother Ridgeway. They still reside
there and are among the most worthy citizens of the county. The farms in this township are generally small, averaging
in size from 100 to 200 acres, and very few exceed the latter amount. It is essentially a farming and grazing country.
Remote from railroad depots (the average distance being about nine miles), little is shipped in the way of agricultural
products. The grains and grasses raised are generally consumed at home, the only articles of export being cattle,
horses, mules, hogs and sheep. The farmers are, however, in a prosperous and thrifty condition. They are doing
much more work with machinery now than formerly. Cultivators, reapers, and mowing machines, and other labor saving
implements, are coming into more general use, and the process of farming is conducted on better and more intelligent
principles than heretofore.
The quality of the soil is about the same as that in Monroe county, which the township joins on the eastern side.
It is rich and productive, easily cultivated, warm and generous. The crops now growing promise a heavy harvest,
except the meadows, which have been somewhat injured by a protracted and unusual drouth. The recent rains have
greatly improved the looks of the grass, and excellent fall and summer pastures are assured.
The reliable staple crops are corn, wheat, oats, timothy, tobacco, and blue grass. The latter is used almost entirely
for grazing, and is rarely mowed for hay. 'Clover, also, yields well, but is not generally sown. The main reliance
of the farmers is upon the corn, timothy, and the grass growths. Of corn, a common yield is 50 to 60 bushels to
the acre; wheat, 15 to 25 bushels; oats, 25 to 40 bushels; timothy, a ton to a ton and a half; tobacco, 600 to
1,000 pounds. About three fourths of the township is in cultivation.
The timber in this portion of the county is about the same as is generally found in other parts of Randolph. The
highlands are covered with the various oaks, hickory, walnut, maple, etc., while the bottoms and valleys have sycamore,
hackberry, pawpaw, red bud, elm, etc.
Coal lies a short distance below the surface in many parts of the township, but wood is so abundant and convenient,
the markets are so remote, and the manufactories so few, that the coal beds have not been developed.
There is but one post office in the township - Levick's Mill. This is located in the geographical center of the
township, convenient to every part of it. This is a small village, having a store where general merchandise is
sold, a grist and saw mill, and a tin shop. It is a great convenience to the surrounding country. There are no
manufactories of any importance in the vicinity, except mills, of which there are several on or near the streams.
The improvements on the farms are generally good. Many farmers are erecting neat and comfortable farm houses, to
take the place of less sightly edifices built in the earlier history of the township. Fences and out buildings,
barns, etc., recently built, are of a better class than those formerly erected.
There are four school houses in Salt River township, and so situated as to be convenient to all the citizens. These
are used from four to six months in the year, and good teachers are employed to conduct the schools. There are
also two churches in the territory - a Cumberland Presbyterian church, and a union building used alternately by
the Baptist and Christian denominations. The Methodists hold regular services, and employ the school houses as
places of worship.
The society of Salt River is composed of sober, industrious, and intelligent farmers, with their wives and children.
The people are temperate, social, and hospitable, and heartily welcome immigrants to their midst. It is a peaceable
and quiet community, having all the substantial comforts of a rich, productive, healthy farming country.