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Image 75 of Union County, past and present

Part of Kentucky Works Progress Administration Publications

· ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT .399 . The growth of the county during these years was steady ami rapid. Henderson County, which at the beginning of the century embraced what later became Henderson, Hopkins (1806), Union; (1811) , and Webster (1860), had, in 1800, a population of L468. In 1810, with Hopkins set apart, the remaining Henderson; County recorded a population of 4,703. Ten years later Union; alone had 3,470; in 1830 the population of Union stood at 4,764,, , in 1840 at 6,673, in 1850 at 9,012, and at the outbreak of the War between the States it reached 12,791. This was a population; growth based almost wholly upon agriculture and its attendant business and industrial life--the general stores, smithies, wagon-- ‘ works, mills, and like accessories to the farming business, That; the land was still held in large estates as late as 1850 is revealed by the census of that year, which listed 681 farms in the entire county, embracing 52,453 acres of improved and 141,403 acres. of unimproved land-a total of 193,856 acres-a figure not agahr reached until 1890, and topped but twice since, in 1900 and agairr ‘ in 1910. This early maturity of total farm acreage, and the in- creasing number of farms revealed by later census reports, tells a story of the breaking up of the earlier estates into smaller and still smaller farms until, in recent years, since 1900, the trend C has reversed and is now toward consolidation of ownership or . . operating control. With substantially the same acreage as im 1850, the number of farms grew from 681 in that year to 848,- in 1870; to 1,881, in 1890; reaching the highest division into independent units ever recorded, that of 2,279, in 1900. Thev . census of 1910 reported 1,840 farms, revealing a downward or consolidation trend which was apparent in 1920, with 1,8093 ’ farms; again continued, in 1925, with 1,469; yet again, in 1930,. with 1,342; finally, in 1935, showing a slight upward turn to a k total of 1,347 farms. Growth Prior to the Vifcxr 5 This discussion of farm acreage, which, on the whole, has been ' ( static for approximately a century, leads up to the major changes within that acreage since the first farm census, that of 1840, revealed that Union County was at that time among the leaders in livestock, corn, tobacco, dairy, and orchard production. . More than 7,000 cattle, 6,300 sheep, 3,700 horses and mules were 3 reported. Chief livestock interest centered in hog raising, the: § report showing more than 26,000 swine within the county. Corn

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