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With this we conclude our chapter on the commerce and manufactures of Chicago. When to her present age of twenty years, Chicago shall have added four new lustres, our readers, on reviewing the statistics grow before them, will smile at the insignificance of the numbers, however far beyond belief they may appear to them now. Chi. cago, indeed, has a splendid and magnificent future.
LANDS AND THEIR PRICES.
DURING the last few years there has been a steady advance in the price of lands in Illinois, as well as throughout the United States generally; in the former, they are, however, still offered at very different prices, and, with proper judgment and care, advantageous purchases may readily be made.
Lands may be purchased, - 1. of the Federal Government; 2. of the Illinois Central Railroad; and, 3. of private proprietors.
The quantity of public lands has been considerably diminished. According to the State Auditor's report there are only about 100,000 acres in the market, and the greater part of these is situated in the eastern and southern part of the State. Their price is from 12} cts. to $2.50 per acre, and purchasers must apply to the Land Office at Springfield, the only one still existing – those at Chicago, Dixon, Quincy, Palestine, Edwardsville, Shawneetown, and Kaskaskia, having been closed some time ago.
The lands which were granted to the Illinois Central Railroad amount to about two millions and a half of acres, over 800,000 acres of which were sold in the course of the last two years, thus leaving about 1,700,000 acres unsold ; these are situated in a strip, thirty miles in breadth, lying along the said railroad, and afford a rich choice. In the next chapter, we will give fuller details concerning these lands, by the cultivation of which the population of the State is being greatly promoted.
Private lands and farms are also to be had in almost every part or county of the State, and deserve to be recommended to purchasers who wish to buy farms already under cultivation and well organized. The prices vary, according to the quality of the soil and the greater or less distance from the towns, rivers, and railroads. It being our object to give authentic accounts on this subject, we have classified the information obtained by us, as to the prices of private lands in
different districts of the State, in the order of the respective counties, viz. :
In Cass county, land may be bought at from $1 to $10 per acre. Land bought, some seven years ago, for from $6 to $10 per acre, is now worth from $25 to $30. Wild land costs from $5 to $15, and farms from $15 to $40 per acre. This county contains about 2000 acres of swamp-land, which sells at from 50 cts to $2.25 per acre.
In Du Page county there is but little wild-prairie land to be had. Farm-land is worth from $8 to $30 or $10 per acre; wood-land from $15 to $90 and $100.
In La Salle county the prices are about the same as those mentioned in the preceding county; and well-arranged farms can be bought at proportionate prices.
In Lee county, land, which only four years ago was sold at from $5 to $10, now sells at from $50 to $100 per acre. Mr. J. H. Cropsey of Dixon, three years ago, bought a large tract of land at $8 per acre, and, in December, 1855, sold it again for $25 per acre.
In Livingston county, Mr. J. L. Miller, in February, 1855, bought 212 acres, partly prairie-land and partly wood-land, at $12) per acre, which, ten months afterwards, he sold for $25 per acre. In December, 1855, Judge Babcock sold a farm of 1436 acres, on which there were two groves, containing together 130 acres, with a dwelling-house and barn, for $30,000. He had bought these lands, successively, in smaller tracts, paying $10, $6 per acre, and for some not more than the government price.
In Macoupin county farms are sold at from $10 to $30 per acre.
In Marshall county, an acre of wild prairie-land, two or three miles distant from Henry or Bacon, sells at from $18 to $20, six miles distant at $10, and fifteen miles distant at $5 per acre. Good woodland on the bluff is worth from $15 to $25. The price of cultivated and improved farms, in the vicinity of the towns or at a distance of from three to four miles, is from $30 to $35, and six miles distant, from $20 to $25 per acre. In 1850, prairie-land two or three miles distant from Henry was sold at $6, that situated five or six miles off at $21, and Congress-land nine or ten miles from Henry could be bought at $14 per acre.
In MacLean county, land costs from $5 to $30 per acre. Land