Jefferson County

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Mt. Vernon Register - June 5, 1889
Submitted By: Mary Zinzilieta 

As I was born and raised in Jefferson County, I will add my mite to your list 
of wanders.  I am a farmer by occupation, and have a beautiful home here in the 
mountains of southwestern Oregon, a square quarter section of good land, all in 
the valley and free from encumbrance, 90 acres under fence and a good portion of 
it in cultivation.  I cleared 15 acres of my best land last winter and am now 
braking  ground and sowing grain.  I left my last year's wheat land to volunteer, 
as we often raise two and three crops from one sowing.  We have had the dryest 
winter ever known in this country--only had three rainy days during the past fall 
and winter, with an occasional shower, until about a week ago, when it set in for 
a wet spell.  Williams Creek is now alive with fish, and my two little boys have 
just come in with a fine trout they caught just above my field, measuring over 
two feet long.  I have a general variety of fruit, have plenty of fine, large 
mellow apples (they are keeping fine) of my own raising.  I raised apples last 
year measuring 16 inches in circumference and pears nearly as large.  I set out 
100 peach trees this year, 50 of them my wife budded last fall from trees breaking 
down with their overload of peaches measuring from 10 to 14 inches in circumference.  
We have large solid heads of cabbage still growing in the garden uninjured by the 
frosts of winter.  We have eight months school this year, and have just completed 
a fine Methodist Church, 30 x 40, near me.  While writing I can hear the ocean's 
waves dashing on the surf which sounds like heavy cannonading.  Stock is doing 
fine on the out range.  Wheat crops looking extra fine.


Mt. Vernon IL Register (Weekly) - June 5, 1889 In answer to your circular letter I will say I was born July 14, 1843, in Horse Prairie, Jefferson County, Ill. My father, William E. FITZGERRELL, died August 14, 1859, on the old homestead. As the oldest in the family I remained at home until August 25, 1861, when I left the plow standing in the furrow on that day at 12 o'clock. The next day at 1 o'clock I was sworn into the service of the Union, as Private in Company H., 81st Ill. Vol. Infantry, at Anna, Ill., Col. J. J. DOLLINS, of Benton, (my uncle by marriage), commanding. During the siege of Vicksburg I was promoted from the ranks to be adjutant of the regiment vice Zebedee HAMMACK, of Tamaroa, killed. I left Mt. Vernon on March 26, 1881, broken down in health and in straightened financial circumstances for Las Vegas, New Mexico, direct. I advertised myself as "The Live Real Estate Man" the next day after my arrival and went to work. I have done nothing but handle this line of business since making a specialty of city property, although, I have done considerable in cattle and ranch property, and at present own quite a nice lot of cattle, with ranch improvement lands and all the necessary accessories of horses, wagons, saddles, etc. I have succeeded here far beyond my most sanguine expectation and have accumulated a good lot of city improved and unimproved property, as well as several thousand acres of outside real estate which with constantly increasing value will no doubt in a few years make a good competence for myself and family, consisting of a wife and daughter; the latter was married some eighteen months ago, but still living with us, the change being the addition of a son-in-law and a grandson two months old, in the family. During the busy years of active active business here I have found time to organize the Department of Mexico Grand Army of the Republic, and commanded it during the year 1885. During my administration the monument erected to the memorial of Kit Carson, the pioneer pathfinder and soldier, was dedicated at Santa Fe, and the same time the graves of nearly 1,000 soldiers in the Military Cemetery were decorated. The custom of decorating the graves of our nation's dead was then inaugurated in the Department and has followed each year since with increased zeal. As a member of the National Encampment of the G.A.R., I have missed but few of the annual meetings since 1884. While I have at all times voted the straight Republican ticket, I have devoted but little attention to politics, except attending a number of Territorial conventions as one of the delegates from this (San Migual) county. During the past four years I have served the Territory as a member of the Territorial Bureau of Immigration, as a Republican, by appointment of Gov. ROSS, President CLEVELAND's appointee, it being a non-political appointment. The board in this territory is divided evenly as possible , politically. Since coming to this country my family and I have enjoyed the best of health as this climate, according to the official records is the healthiest climate in the United States. It is needless to say that I am pleased with New Mexico. I think it is the coming country, abounding in greater natural resources than any other portion of the United States. We have a splendid agriculture, horticultural and timber country, as well as millions of acres of rich rolling prairies. We have vast fields of coal, both anthracite and bituminous, salt, iron, lead, copper, gold, silver and many less valuable minerals. When the "boys" get through booming the Oklahoma country they will then turn their attention to New Mexico, where they will have something, sure enough, to boom. Let our friends and neighbors come to New Mexico for a home, for health and wealth. J. J. FITZGERRELL


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