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Morton, J. Sterling

Kate Winslow Davis (1852-1935), whose father was hired by the J. Sterling Morton family at Arbor Lodge in 1863, included in her later reminiscences many details pertaining to Morton, his tree planting, and his other agricultural projects on the estate. Excerpts were published in the Spring 1972 issue of Nebraska History. She recalled the work of Morton and her father, Charles Henry Davis, with the trees and livestock near Arbor Lodge:

"Mr. Morton had begun to plant trees, both fruit and forest. This incident I am going to tell shows his care for trees. He had set out some pear trees and one of the men had carelessly driven over one and had almost broken it off. There was a little strip of bark on one side not broken and Father said he would try to save it. He raised it up and banked it well with dirt and drove some stakes around it. Some years later, Mr. Morton gave him some pears, saying they were from the tree my father saved.

"Mr. Morton has been much interested in bringing thorough-bred cattle and hogs to his farm. He had Devonshire cattle, and his herd was a fine sight­the red sleek cattle with their long delicate horns, many of which had been tipped with brass knobs. He had white Suffolk hogs, and I remember one was immense and weighed, I'm afraid to say how much, but I think it was more than five hundred pounds. He had about a hundred and twenty-five that were fat and ready to be sent to market."

Kate Winslow Davis also recalled the dairy products derived from Morton's cattle at Arbor Lodge: "My father loved to care for cattle and he was a good milker, so we had plenty of milk and butter. . . . We made some very good cheese and it cured and kept quite well."

(April 1998)

 

 

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