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Born in 1824, an orphan at eight, a printer's apprentice at seventeen years of age, and editor of a Miami County, Ohio. paper in his twenty-third year, the subject of this sketch began life courageously and in earnest. During forty-five years exGovernor R. W. Furnas has been a very active and intelligent worker for the interests of Nemaha county and the State of Nebraska. The town of Brownville knew him as a Fourth of July orator in 1856, and subsequently as member of the town. council and the board of education, as a trustee of church property, leading member of the Masonic order, and a practical florist and landscape gardner from the beauty of his home surroundings. The county had the benefit of him as editor of its first paper, president of her agricultural society, a cultivator of nursery stock for orchard and grove, and dealer in choice livestock of all descriptions, and member of the legislature and constitutional convention. The State had his services as president of her agricultural association, and of her horticultural, pomological, and historical societies, and as regent of her university and governor. Early in her history he was active in placing her fruit on exhibition in Boston, Philadelphia, and Richmond, Virginia, and in securing premiums. In 1885 Governor Dawes said, in a message relating to a state display at the New Orleans exposition:

With his characteristic energy and enthusiasm Mr. Furnas entered upon the work placed in his hands; and the result of his work, so untiringly and industriously performed, is witnessed in the magnificent display of the various resources of Nebraska now upon exhibition in New Orleans; a display that has called forth encomiums from the press of the country, attracting general attention and eliciting from those who have not visited Nebraska expressions of wonder and astonishment at the great extent and variety of her resources.

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In recognition of distinguished services the legislature presented the governor with a vote of thanks and a gold medal. On the publication of an address upon the origin, history, and uses of corn, entitled "Corn is King," he made mention of the circumstances attendant upon his New Orleans supervision:

As most of you are aware, I enjoyed the distinguished honor of representing the young agricultural giant, Nebraska, at the World's Industrial and Centennial Exposition, New Orleans, La., 1884-5. When I accepted the position tendered me by the United States, as commissioner, I determined to make a point on the great staple product of Nebraska, corn. The first banner I flung to the breeze in government building had inscribed upon its folds "Corn is King." To go south and claim king for any other soil product than cotton, especially at the Cotton Centennial, was deemed an intolerable bit of impudence in nowise orthodox-a broad-gauge departure. Cotton, sugar, and tobacco all elevated their nasal protuberances, saying by actions, which are said to speak louder than words, "How dare you?" Minnesota, "with boundless wheat fields glinted," our next door neighbor at the exposition, was "to arms” “in the twinkling of an eye," pressing the superiority of wheat and invoking the muses to aid her in obliterating our banner inscription. Colorado, Kansas, Illinois and Dakota set themselves to work manufacturing huge artificial ears to eclipse our natural growth of Chester County Mammoth. For a time outsiders entertained doubts as to our ability to maintain the advanced position taken.

But we "fought it out on that line," and came home "with our banners still flying." And now in calmer moments, as it were, I am bold to assert the belief that among all the factors of culture in the United States corn takes precedence in the sale of crops, as best adapted to more soils, climates, and conditions, is used for more purposes, furnishes more nutritive food for man and beast, has more commercial, cultural and economic value, gives more grain to the acre than any other cereal, more fodder than any of the grasses, puts our beef in prime order, fattens our pork, is the basis of our butter and cheese supply, furnishes immense manufacturing material, has twice the value of cotton, worth fifty per cent more than wheat, its influence on the prosperity and wealth is greater than that of any other cultivated plant, and to the transportation companies "has millions in it." Appealing to the previous census report it appeared that in a particular year corn ex

ceeded wheat, oats, barley and rye, in bushels, 609 millions,
and surpassed them all 103 million dollars.

The president of the United States made him one of a commission to examine into the agricultural capabilities of California, Oregon, Arizona, and New Mexico, and a forester of the national agricultural department. He was agent of the Omaha Indians in Nebraska, and colonel of an Indian brigade and of the Second Nebraska cavalry in 1863, which did duty under General Sully against the Sioux Indians. When the agricultural department at Washington was allowed a cabinet officer, many of the friends of Governor Furnas hoped the president would select him as that secretary. The first official proclamation of the observance of Arbor Day was issued by him, two years after Mr. Morton's resolution establishing it, and eleven years before the State made it a legal holiday; and his enthusiasm in that direction has only increased as the years have added to the wisdom of the enterprise.

In the campaign under General Sully of the regular army, the battle of White Stone Hills was fought September 3, 1863, two hundred miles above Fort Pierre, Dakota. Reporting re

sults, having described the amount of scouting necessary to locate the enemy, Colonel Furnas said of the battle and the conduct of the Nebraska troops:

The battle now raged with great fury for some time on both sides, the enemy successively by a desperate charge attempting my right and left flanks, but they were repelled with slaughter. They fell in every direction in front of my line by the unerring aim of my brave soldiers, who, both officers and men, fought with the coolness and courage of veterans, exposed as they were to a galling fire from the enemy the whole time. Their loss in killed and wounded will not fall short of one hundred and fifty, as scouts sent out next day after the battle report their dead as scattered over the country for miles on the line of their retreat, and their wounded as twice that number. The casualties in the Second Nebraska Cavalry are seven killed, fourteen wounded and ten missing. The officers and men under my command are not only entitled to my thanks, but the confidence of their country for their bravery, efficiency and promptness on this occasion. Not a man in any capacity flinched a particle.

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