The rabbit, as it is popularly called here, is a species of hare, and is about the average size of the domestic cat. They are so numerous in Missouri as to be considered a pest; are found in every field and forest in the state. Squirrels are very numerous, especially in the swampy and hilly regions. The two principal varieties are the grey squirrel and the red fox-squirrel. One of these varieties is to be found in every clump of timbered land in the state.

Birds.—Wild turkeys, the finest game birds in the world, abound in the same region. Prairie chickens, or pinnated grouse, are abundant in all the prairie regions of the state, and are shipped from St. Louis to eastern markets by hundreds of barrels during the fall months; but the game laws of the state strictly prohibit their being killed or trapped during the breeding season. Quails, or Virginia partridge, or "Bob-Whites," are found everywhere, so common that partridge pie, or "quail on toast," is no great rarity in thrifty farm houses.

Wild ducks, wild geese, snipe, plover and several species of the rail frequent Missouri during their annual migrations north and south. During March, April and May the migratory birds pass through Missouri, going north to their nesting and brooding places, probably near the Arctic circle. In October, November and December they return, on their journey southward to spend the winter. There is no state in the great Mississippi basin more frequented by these migratory game birds than Missouri.

Fishes.—The early settlers found the rivers and lakes teeming with many fine varieties of game and food fishes, and there is still a bountiful supply. Black bass, perch, catfish, buffalo fish, suckers and pike constitute the leading varieties of native fishes. Black bass of several varieties inhabit every stream of considerable size in the state, and every lake contains them. It is the best game fish in the state. The perch family is represented by several dozen species; and perch of several kinds are found in every body of water in the state, which does not actually dry up in the summer time. The catfish of Missouri are not only numerous, but famous the world over. There are at least a dozen species in the waters of this state. The yellow catfish grows to great size, often reaching a weight of 175 pounds; the black catfish, maximum weight about 45 pounds; blue or forked-tail catfish, reaching 150 pounds and upwards in weight; the channel catfish, weighing from one to fifteen pounds, and the yellow mud catfish, often weighing as high as 100 pounds. The sucker family includes the buffalo fish, chub, sucker and red horse. The first of these is highly prized, abundant, and grows to a maximum weight of 40 pounds. The last named is very abundant during certain seasons of the year, and valuable; they weigh from 6 ounces to 8 pounds. Pike of several species are found throughout Missouri, and rank with black bass as game fish; they are found in the clearer and rapid streams.

The above lists constitute the leading fishes of the state, but by no means all, as there are many minor species.

The state board of fish commissioners receives $3,000 annually from the state, to defray expenses of propagating desirable kinds of food fishes, that are not found native in the state. In 1878 Mr. Reid distributed 100,000 fry of the California salmon, in the state. In May and June, 1879, the commission distributed 250,000 shad fry in the rivers of southeast, south and southwest Missouri, and planted 5,000 young trout in the springs and sources of the same rivers. Later they have planted 100,000 fry of the California salmon in the same sections of the state. In 1880 two or three hundred thousand fry of German carp were planted. All the waters of Missouri are adapted to this fish, more especially the lakes and sluggish streams. The carp can be as easily cultivated as pigs or turkeys, and it is hoped that in a few years all the streams of the state will be stocked with them.


For nearly forty years Dr. George Engelmann, of St. Louis, kept systematic records of the meteorology of St. Louis and vicinity; and by compiling similar records kept during long or short periods, by other persons in different parts of the state, he has been able to report pretty correctly the dates and weather-facts which go to furnish a comprehensive estimate of the general nature of the climate, at each season of the year, in different parts of the state. The following facts of great practical interest and value are gathered from the doctor's work:

Our winters, taken in the usual sense, from the first of December to the last of February, have in the city an average temperature of 33.3 degrees, and may be estimated for the surrounding country at 32 degrees; but they vary in different seasons between 25 degrees (winter of 1855-6 and 1872-3) and 40 degrees (winter 1844-5). Our summers (from June 1st to August 31st) have in the city a mean temperature of 76.8 degrees, and are calculated to reach in the country 75 degrees, ranging between the coolest summer, 71.5 degrees mean temperature (1835, 1839 and 1848), and the warmest of 80 degrees mean temperature, (1838, 1850 and especially 1854).

The last frosts in spring occur between March 13th and May 2d, on an average about April 5th, and the earliest autumnal frosts between October 4th and November 2<jth, on an average about October 27th; the period between these two terms extends in different years from 184 to 252 days, on an average 205 days. In the southeast part of the state these limitSjOi the freezing point will, of course, be much wider apart, and in the northwest they are narrowed down considerably. Our spring opens in March, though in some favored seasons vegetation breaks through its wintry bounds already in the latter part of February, while in a few very late springs it cannot be said to have fairly commenced before the middle of April. * * * We find the first in bloom is the alder and the hazel; next—not rarely retarded by intervening cold spells— the soft or silver leaf maple; our common white elm blooms a few days after this, between February 24th and April 15th, on an average, March 19th. During the next following days, roses, syringas, gooseberries and many other bushes, and the weeping willows, show their young leaves. About two weeks after, the elm—between March 18th and April 25th, on an average about April 3d—the peach trees open their first blossoms, and are, one week later, in full bloom. Plum and pear trees and sweet cherries blossom about the same time, or a few days later, and then sour cherries and the glory of our rich woods, the red buds, get in bloom. Between March 21st and May 1st, (mean, April 14th) the early apple trees begin to bloom, and between March 28th and May 10th, (mean, April 20th) they may be said to be in full bloom.

The maturity and harvest of winter wheat immediately succeeds the catalpa bloom, between June 10th and July 1st, usually about June 20th. The mean summer temperature varies but little throughout the state. In the summer of 1873 the mean temperature in the southeast was found only one-half degree higher than that of the northeast, and the difference between St. Louis and the west was even less. Winter temperatures, however, show a wide range. The mean temperature of the southeastern part of the state is 2^ to 3 degrees higher than at St. Louis, and 5£ degrees higher than in the northeastern angle, and the mean temperature of Leavenworth, and the adjacent parts of Missouri, is fully 2 degrees less than that of the region about St. Louis.

In connection with our winter temperature it must be mentioned that the Mississippi at St. Louis freezes over about once in four or five years, partly, no doubt, in consequence of the heavy ice floating down from the north; and it then remains closed for one or two, or even four or six weeks, sometimes passable for the heaviest teams. Our river has been known to close as early as the first week in December, and in other years, to be open as late as the last week in February ,while the running ice may impede or interrupt navigation between the end of November and the end of February, sometimes as low down as the southeast corner of the state; the river is said, however, never to freeze over below Cape Girardeau. The Missouri river is sometimes closed in the latter .*

part of November, and has been known to remain firmly bridged over into the first week of March.

The climate of Missouri is, on the whole, a dry one, with strong evaporation, and an atmosphere but rarely overloaded with moisture.

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Our summer rains mostly descend with great abundance, and in a comparatively short time, so that the average (13 inches) of summer rain falls in 70 hours, distributed over twenty-four days, while the 7 inches of winter rain (and snow) descend in 160 hours and on 22 days. The days on which it rains vary between 68 and 115 in the year. On the average we have 92 days in the year on which it rains. Our rains last from a fraction of an hour to a few hours, and very rarely extend through the 24 hours.

Snow is rather scarce in our climate, and rarely continually covers the ground for more than a few days or a week. In some years, it amounted, when melted to 5£ inches; in others to only one-half inch; the average is about 2$ inches.

The atmospherical pressure (indicated by the stage of the barometer) is with us, in summer, more uniform and regular than on the Atlantic coast, while in winter it fluctuates considerably, and often very rapidly. The average barometrical pressure is highest in January, falls till May, and gradually rises again until January; it is most variable from November to March, and least so from June to August.


Authentic reports to the Health Board of St. Louis is have shown that the annual sickness rate of the city of St. Louis about seventeen and a half days to each member of the population. Dr. Boardman, of Boston, has ascertained the sickness rate of the city of Boston to be about twentyfour days of annual sickness to each individual. The general correctness of these conclusions are further substantiated by army statistics. Dr. Playfair, of England, after careful inquiry, computed the ratio of one death to twenty-eight cases of sickness in a mixed population.

The state of Massachusetts has for many years had a state board of Health, by whom sanitary improvements have been diligently and scien tifically prosecuted, under state authority; and the annual death-rate has thereby been somewhat reduced. In 1870 Massachusetts had a population of 1,457,351 and there were during the same period 25,859 deaths from all causes. A mortality equal to 1.77 per cent of the population. At the same time Missouri had a population of 1,721,295, and there were during that year 27,982 deaths from all causes. A mortality rate equivalent to 1.6:>per cent, of the population. It thus appears, if the calculation is made and the relative proportion between the populations and the death rates of the two states maintained, that vital security is greater in Missouri, as compared with Massachusetts, to an extent represented by the annual saving of 2,474 lives. But this is not all. The authorities on vital statistics estimate that two persons are constantly sick for every one that dies; and Dr. Jarvis shows, from the experience of health-assurance companies in this country, that on an average each person loses from 19 to 20 days per year by sickness. Then we have this result: Two persons sick to one death, equal 4,948, multiplied by 20, gives 98,960 days per year less of sickness in Missouri than in Massachusetts, in proportion to population. Then reckon the amount of care and anxiety and suffering and the loss of time, and cost for nursing and medicines and doctor's bills— and you will begin to get some idea of what these figures really mean, in favor of our state, with its dry, salubrious climate, in comparison with Massachusetts, the only other state for which the figures were at hand to make the comparison.


The Missouri state board of agriculture was created a body corporate by statute, in 1877, and it was provided that the governor, the state superintendent of schools, the president of the state university and the dean of the state agricultural college, should be ex-officio members of the board. The officers of the secretary and treasurer are required to be at the agricultural college, at Columbia, in Boone county; and the annual meetings are to be held there, on the first Wednesday of November in each year. The presidents or duly authorized delegates of county agricultural societies, are rightful members of the state board, "for deliberation and consultation as to the wants, prospects and condition of the agricultural interests of the state, to receive the reports of district and county societies, and to fill by elections all vacancies in the board."

The law further provides that, "It shall be the duty of all agricultural and horticultural societies, organized and established in accordance with the laws of this state, to make a full report of their transactions to the Missouri state board of agriculture, at each annual meeting thereof."

The state board is required "to make an annual report to the general assembly of the state, embracing the proceedings of the board for the past year, and an abstract of the reports and proceedings of the several agricultural and horticultural societies, as well as a general view of the condition of agriculture and horticulture throughout the state, accompanied by such recommendations, including especially such a system of

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