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that as soon as able to fly migration might ensue, or the drenching rains of spring cause their destruction. Eight years thereafter in the fall of 1874, again they came in clouds that almost eclipsed the sun and covered the ground as storms of snow, and stripping fields of all their fodder and eating into the husks of unripe ears, left them to must and rot upon the stalk. Early in May the fields of wheat and rye, of barley and oats and early planted corn promised luxurious crops, while orchards and gardens, with nurseries of fruit and forest trees were promising a most satisfactory growth. But hatching season being past the ground in parts of the State was literally covered, so that the foot and carriage wheel wherever moved crushed and ground their thousands. Trenches were dug around grain fields in order to entrap moving armies before prepared to fly, and when partly filled, straw distributed and burned. Low pans of sheet iron filled with coal oil were placed at points where they had to move along the sides of houses or board fences, into which they jumped and were destroyed. Large pans, with coal oil, drawn by horses, were passed over the fields of young grain, and as the insects rose and fell upon the fluid they were gathered by the bushel. But it was only necessary to make the experiment in order to realize how utterly futile must be the effort to control descending showers or falling snow. Powerless as children before a tornado, as the promised crop vanished, and every hope of paying debts and taxes disappeared, and visions of wife and little ones pleading for food and clothing haunted him and of farm-stock starving, and of sheriffs and red flags abounding, many a toilsome farmer, despairing, shed tears of anguish. Not till the work of desolation was complete came the time of migra tion, when about the fifteenth of June, 1875, the clouds lifted and floated westward. "Hoping against hope," at so late a day, wheat fields were plowed up for corn, corn fields re-planted, summer crops attempted as never before, of buck-wheat, turnips and potatoes, and under the smiles of a beneficent providence, Thanksgiving Day in November found a great majority of the people around frugal boards, and in places of public worship.
One third of the corn crop hardened for market, two thirds made pork and beef, showing conclusively, that with a favorable fall, frost coming late, the crop can be matured between the first of July and October.
Of numerous and valuable recommendations we have the following: that in voting for bonds for county and other purposes a mere majority should not obligate the property of a large minority, but a two-thirds vote should be required; that nothing should be exempt from taxation, but every species of property should bear its due proportion, on its actual cash value; that the popular demand for a constitutional convention be granted; and that in order to check fraud, all bonds issued in the State should be registered by the state auditor; and that inducements be of fered to capital to invest in manufactures and developing im provements; and especially, that measures be adopted for a state exhibit, of natural and artificial resources, at the anticipated national centennial exposition of 1876. In concluding a most comprehensive and critical message he said:
I have now performed the last and most important official obligation devolving upon me, and am prepared to vacate the chair of state, and turn over the archives to a successor selected by the popular expression, and who, I know, will cheerfully and readily co-operate with you in every laudable effort to promote the prosperity and welfare of a people, for whom you and he are joint representatives.
GOVERNOR SILAS GARBER.
When Governor Garber became a citizen of Nebraska he possessed all the training and experience necessary to adapt him to his surroundings. At that time he was thirty-seven years of age, having been born in Logan county, Ohio, in 1833. His education was principally acquired before reaching his seventeenth year; subsequent to which time he removed to Clayton county, Iowa. Entering the army in the war of 1861-64 as a private in the Third Missouri Regiment, he afterwards recruited Company D, Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry, of which he became first lieutenant and afterward captain. His next experience was four years in California among the stirring scenes of that slaughter-house of hopes, and of thrilling adventures. Without fear of Indian depredations, he took up, and maintained, an abode in Red Willow, Webster County, when he had only been preceded by two families. In the community that grew up around him, he became probate judge and representative in the legislature. From a year's administration of the register's duties in the United States land office in 1874, he was promoted to the governorship, and was reelected in 1876.
On assuming the duties of governor, January 12, 1875, Mr. Garber presented a clear, concise and sufficiently comprehensive inaugural. In this document he called the special attention of the legislature to the subject of economy.
This commonwealth is in its infancy; but resources as yet undeveloped, and her wealth largely prospective. Her future depends greatly upon the discreet and prudent management of affairs.
Deprecating hasty legislation, he said:
The tendency of the age is toward over-legislation, overtaxation and extravagance. The lessons of history teach us that the greatest reforms consist, not in doing something
new, but in undoing something old; and the most valuable
He would administer the affairs of the State as a prudent man his individual affairs, and congratulated the people upon the fact of no bonded debt and but a slight floating indebtedness. He advocated a new constitution, that should be equal to the increasing demands of a new people and adapted to the experience of an elastic and progressive community.
In conclusion, gentlemen of the joint convention, it will be my greatest pleasure to co-operate with you in any and all things pertaining to the welfare of the State. It is just that we cannot escape the record which we ourselves will make. It is a favorable omen that the public mind is more active, and the public conscience more sensitive than ever before in the history of the State. We have now within our borders the population and natural resources, sufficient to establish a state in fact as well as in name. This result will be best achieved by guarding the public credit as a sacred trust.
Finally, impressed with a sense of dependence upon the Supreme Ruler and creator of all things, and mindful of our responsibilities, let us dedicate ourselves to the work of executing faithfully the important public trust committed to us by the partiality of a confiding constituency.
The legislature of 1875, to which he delivered his inaugural, had just received the retiring message of Governor Furnas, and hence Mr. Garber's first annual message bears date January 5, 1877, since the legislature only convened every other year.
Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives: I cordially welcome you to the capitol of the State. Since the meeting of the legislature, at its last regular session, there has been framed and adopted by the people, a new constitution, which went into effect on the first day of November, 1875. This being the first regular session since it became the supreme law, it is safe to say that it will be the most important one since our admission into the Union. Laws are to be made and repealed; interests fostered and maintained, and in your deliberations you may justly reflect that you are legislating for a people characterized by intelligence, energy, and a spirit of justice.
Taking up the subject of state finances he showed:
As appears from the report of the state treasurer, herewith transmitted, the balance in the treasury, November 30th, 1874, was $234,543; and there has been received up to November 30th, 1876, $1,459,306, making a total of $1,693,849, for two years.
He also gave as delinquent taxes the amount of $765,815 of which not more than one-third was likely to be collected.
The report of the superintendent of public instruction shows that our common schools are keeping pace with the growth of the State in wealth and population. I doubt if any state in the Union can exhibit more gratifying results in this respect. There are sixty organized counties in the State, divided into two thousand five hundred and ten school districts. The total number of children of school age, is eighty-six thousand one hundred and ninety-one, being an increase of thirteen thousand two hundred over 1874. Of this number fifty-nine thousand nine hundred and sixtysix attend the public schools. There are 3,361 teachers employed receiving an average salary of $34.24 per month. We have 1984 school houses, valued at $1,585,736. The total receipts of the last fiscal year from all sources for common school purposes were $1,093,275. The total expenditures for the same period were $1,098,974.
He highly commended the "wise administration" of the university, and anticipated the time when it would "become the pride of the whole State."
It appears from the regents' report, the cost of educating a single student in the state university of Nebraska, as compared with that in state universities and colleges of this character in other states, is almost unparalleled in economy." The attendance has increased from one hundred and thirty-two in 1874, to two hundred and eighty-two in 1876; so that the legitimate expense of the institution must have increased.
Of the institution for the blind the governor reported that there had been received by the trustees during the past two years $19,457, and all expended but two hundred and twenty dollars. A building of sufficient capacity to accommodate fifty pupils, had cost $9,795. He reported a new building for the Deaf and