Department of Kansas, G.A.R. to the 36th National Encampment, Washington DC, Oct. 1902. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, 1997.
Grand Army of the Republic page 21



As early as 1867, the pioneers found Kansas peculiarly adapted to fruit culture, and in 1869, Kansas began to take premiums and astonish the East with her beautiful fruit.

Kansas now has of bearing size, 20,000,000 apple trees. Our orchards contains over 11,000,000 of bearing size, being one-twentieth of all the Union - ranking fifth. "Uncle Sam's Apple bin" is annually depending more upon the Central West for its filling, and Kansas apples are becoming more common in Europe. Five and a half millions of peach trees bear fine fruit, good enough for the markets of the world. Two million plum trees, improved varieties are sure croppers. Berries grow wild all over the State, and all cultivated varieties pay well, giving good returns. Strawberries often yield 300 bushels per acre.

Our sugar beets are as saccharine as the best, and beet sugar factories are springing up in our western counties.

Nothing in our state is more remarkable that the wonderful growth of shade and forest trees. Our prairies in 1860, were barren of trees - there was some timber along a few of the larger streams but they had an annual struggle for life against the wild prairie fires - now all is changed; immense acreage of noble forest trees cover large tracts of land, and thousands of groves, some of many acres, dot the prairie landscape. Black walnut trees twenty inches in diameter and cottonwoods three to four feet in diameter are standing, where in 1860, not a tree was to be seen in any direction.

While fruits, vegetables, flowers, lawns, shade trees, the best wheat bread, the choicest meats and grain; with school houses, high school and colleges; with prohibition and pure water; with ozone filled atmosphere, our State is the abode of the most energetic, active, vigorous, charitable and happy people of any community of its own size on this globe. The State of Kansas encourages horticulture, first by giving the Horticulture Society the larges (30x53) office room in the state Capitol for office, library and museum. The appropriations are made for salary of secretary, clerk and running expenses. Reports are issued annually, touching upon all important horticultural subjects. William H. Barnes, the secretary, has issued five special works, viz.: "The Kansas Apple." "The Kansas Peach," "The Plum," "The Cherry," and "The Grape," all of which are sent out free over the State. There are forty-two county horticultural societies, meeting monthly. The largest apple grower, Fred. Wellhouse, known the world over as "The Apple King," lives in Kansas, and was a Kansas Captain during the rebellion. He has 1636 acres of apple trees, and his sales reached one year over $80,000.

There is a large opening in Kansas for canneries and evaporators. Tomatoes and sweet corn grow here as fine, as luxuriant and prolific as anywhere in the Union. many times more so than around Baltimore where the great canneries are located.

Wm. H. Barnes, the Secretary was a member of the 34th New York Independent Battery.