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Poor's Railroad Manual, for 1883, reports the whole number of miles of Railroad in the United States at 113,907. In this Manual it is shown that Illinois has more miles of railway than any other State in the Union; the number of miles given her were 8,722. New York ranks next to Illinois; she had 7,037; Iowa, 6,962; Pennsylvania, 6,792; Ohio, 6,931; Texas, 6,006; while the other States and Territories have from 211 miles to 4,646. Rhode Island has a less number of miles of railway than any State or Territory in the Union, having only 211 miles.
MANUFACTURING AND MINING.
Some idea may be obtained as to the progress made in the industries of the State by consulting the following statement, which is based upon the census of the United States and the records of the Auditor of Public Accounts:
In 1860, the census returns showed that Illinois had 4,268 manufacturing establishments, with $27,548,563 capital invested. There were 22,489 employees. There was paid out for labor, $7,637,921. The value of the products was $57,580,886.
In 1880, the number of manufacturing establishments was shown to be 13,347. The capital invested was $117,273,585. There were 126,547 employees. There was paid out for labor $53,693,461. The value of the products was $346,454,393.
In 1860, there were seventy-three coal mines in operation. The capital invested was $3,169,290. The number of employees was 1,483. The number of tons of coal mined was 728,400.
In 1880, there were 590 coal mines in operation. The capital invested was $10,416,552. The number of employees was 16,301. The number of tons of coal mined was 6,115,377.
On the physical resources of a State is dependent everything that contributes to make it great and grand, and Illinois possesses these elements in an eminent degree. In her onward march in greatness and wealth, agriculture and its kindred pursuits have kept pace with the rapid progress in other branches of industry, and a retrospect reference to the primitive days of agriculture will be pleasing and instructive. In contrast with the early mode of doing farm work, we print an extract from an elaborate paper from the pen of W. C. Flagg, now deceased, of Moro, in 1876, which gives a vivid picture of early farming: "Forty or fifty years ago the mould-boards of the plows were made of wood, which was possibly, in some cases, covered with hoop-iron. These plows were about the only implements used in working with the soil, harrows with wooden teeth and rollers being poorly made and but little used. Corn-planters had not yet superseded the barefooted boys and girls, and wheat drills were entirely unknown. The grain cradle, a great improvement on the sickle, though used in Madison county, it is said, as early as 1819, was but just coming into vogue. Grass was still cut with the scythe and raked with hand-rakes. Wheat and other grain was tramped out with horses, who traveled in a circle over a carefully-adjusted ring of bundles, laid with heads lapping over the butts and towards the coming hoofs,-all this has changed. The gang and sulkey plows have increased the capacity of human labor and decreased its severity. Machines drill the wheat, cut and even bind the grain, and thresh and winnow it. Machines cut, rake, load and pitch the hay."
The records of the Auditor of Public Accounts show the aggregate number of acres of cultivated land in 1860 to have been 7,364,626.
The aggregate value of real estate in 1860 was $189,286,287. The aggregate value of personal property was $88,884,115. The aggregate value of railroad property was $12,085,472.
The aggregate number of acres in cultivation in 1880 was 34,511,445.
The aggregate value of real estate in 1880 was $398,338,737. The aggregate value of personal property was $165,091,710. The aggregate value of railroad property was $47,365,259.
These figures show a marvelous progress in the industries which make a State rich and powerful, and the imagination will fail to foretell what is to be the future power or greatness of the State.
In 1869, for the better care and protection of the public charities of the State, the Legislature passed an act creating a Board of Public Charities, with power to supervise and direct the management of all the charitable institutions; to examine the grounds, construction of buildings and methods of instruction, general care of the inmates, the expenditure of moneys, and to see that all parts of the State shared equally in the benefits of the several institutions. The board has now been in existence fifteen years, and the wisdom of its creation has been fully attested, for its labors have been crowned with wonderful success, for none of the States exercise a more wise, economical or humane care over its unfortunate citizens.
The board has had the good fortune to secure the services of an unusually competent and devoted Secretary, in the person of the Reverend Frederick Howard Wines, formerly pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, in Springfield, who has consecrated his life to the improvement of the
condition of all classes of the unfortunate, through better organization and administration of the agencies for their relief throughout the United States. Mr. Wines has held the important trust of Secretary of the State Board of Public Charities since its organization.
It is a notable fact that the judiciary of Illinois has been as able as that of any State in the Union, and wholly unsullied in character. There have been but two attempts to impeach its character, and they were in the cases of Theophilus W. Smith and Thomas C. Browne, both members of the Supreme Court. In 1833, there was an effort made to impeach Judge Smith before the General Assembly on some imaginary ground, but the charges were not sustained, and the second and last attempt to remove a Judge was in the case of Mr. Browne, by address of the General Assembly, on some whimsical charge, but this also failed, and thus the judiciary of Illinois stands with an unblemished character.
The following persons have been honored with seats upon the Supreme bench, either by appointment or election, and the Court is now composed of the seven last named: Joseph Phillips, Thomas C. Browne, William P. Foster, Thomas Reynolds, John Reynolds, William Wilson, Samuel D. Lockwood, Theophilus W. Smith, Thomas Ford, Sidney Breese, Walter B. Scates, Samuel H. Treat, Stephen A. Douglas, John D. Caton, James Semple, Richard M. Young, John M. Robinson, Jesse B. Thomas, James Shields, Gustavus Koerner, William A. Denning, Lyman Trumbull, Onias C. Skinner, Corydon Beckwith, Charles B. Lawrence, Anthony Thornton, William K. McAllister, David J. Baker, Pinkney H. Walker, T. Lyle Dickey, Benjamin R. Sheldon, John M. Scott, John Scholfield, John H. Mulkey, Alfred M. Craig.
Norman L. Freeman has been Reporter of the Supreme Court since April, 1863.
In the recent death of Judge Charles B. Lawrence, the legal profession has lost one of its ablest and most honored members. Mr. Lawrence succeeded Judge Beckwith upon the Supreme bench in January, 1864, and was succeeded by Judge Craig in 1873, when he devoted himself to the practice of his profession.
With an honest and untrammeled ballot, and a pure judiciary to construe the laws, Illinois will ever remain in the front rank of the great States of the National Union.