23 June 2009

Leon S. Dure Tries His Hand at Farming

Leon S. Dure (1874-1948), son of George A. Dure, is buried in his father's family plot in the Cabiness Ridge section of Rose Hill Cemetery. The following article tells how Leon, a banker, decides to give farming a try.

7 June 1910
Macon Weekly Telegraph
Leon S. Dure Has a Fine Little Farm and Shows it to the Mayor.
Then Takes Him Over to Have a Look at a Real Sure Enough Farm.

The veteran and the tyro met yesterday. The experienced farmer was invited by the amateur to view a farm that the latter was cultivating, and which promised extraordinary return.

About six miles from Macon, out on the Zebulon road, Leon S. Dure, the banker, bon vivant, and enterprising city man, has a farm of some one hundred acres. He bought it because his tastes sometimes ran to the bucolic, to the golden fields of grain and whitened patches of cotton, to say nothing of the pastoral delights of the farmer. And then he had an eye to the future.

Time was coming, he thought, when the price of living in the city would soar with aeroplanes and monoplanes, and when commercial [c]apacity would choke the growth of grass in the city, and by having a farm he could hie thither, and there in the cool shade of his spacious veranda he could drink spring water from a gourd and cool his perspiring brow with a collard leaf. Thus he could look back to the hard lines of the city, and snap his fingers if the stocks fell several points.

As he swept his eye over his growing crops and watched the chickens scratch for fishbait, and the pigs amble about the lawn, he felt satisfied that his farm was progressing as finely as any well-fed farmer could desire, so far as he could see, but he wanted some regular farmer to pass judgement on it. He invited Mayor Moore, whom he knew to be an experienced farmer, to go out with him, and hence the meeting of the veteran and the tyro.

They entered the farm by way of the cotton patch. The cotton had grown up since the last visit of Mr. Dure, and he pointed it out to Mr. Moore as his potatoes, remarking that he thought it was a remarkably good stand for sweet potatoes that had been planted on the full of the moon.

After the point had been settled that Mr. Dure was not converting the ground into a park, and was really conducting a farm, the party passed on to the oat patch, and here arose a question in Mr. Dure's mind whether it was oats or wheat. The old negro in charge of the farm was called on by Mr. Dure, and through him it was learned that the patch was one of oats.

City Duties Arduous.

Mr. Dure apologized for his seeming lack of knowledge of grain, by saying that his city duties at present were so arduous that he was not paying the attention to the farm now as he would in the future. But there were many things that came up to puzzle him, just when he had company. For instance, it developed that he could never gather but one squab from the pigeon ranch at a time. He had given a great deal of study to the cultivation of pigeons, but this was one of the things he had not learned. The only way he could account for the single squab was that the hen pigeons invariably laid one large egg and one small egg. The large egg hatched, the smaller egg did nothing. Why this was thus, he could not say, and it was the first time that he appealed to Mayor Moore for light.

The mayor felt a delicacy in volunteering any advice, but when the hogs were called up, and the heads of the flock waddled up looking pale and emaciated, the mayor asked if he ever provided them with water. There was no water visible. Thereupon the man about the farm was asked about the watering of the hogs, and he pointed to the creek. He seemed to think that if the hogs were not amphibious they could go without water.

Mr. Dure was asked what he had gathered from the farm so far. It was some time before he could think of what had been produced, but he finally remembered that one goose and some onions had been laid on his town table, and he had hopes of gathering some Irish potatoes before the summer is gone.

Leaving the cotton and grain, the pair rambled through the cultivated huckleberry patch, the strawberry beds and the pennyroyal layouts, fed English walnuts to the pigs, patted the fatted calf on the head, and fished a squab of so from the pigeon roost, and then drove over to Mayor Moore's farm on the Houston road. There Mr. Dure was given some information about the transplanting of four-leaf clover and spinach. As he looked upon the waving fields of the ripened wheat, the giant cornstalks in their garniture of rich dark green, the cotton way up and drinking the sun's rays, the ambling pigs disporting themselves about the place, the chickens lustily crowing, and everything about a first-class farm looking in fine fettle, Mr. Dure heaved a sigh and said: "Never mind; you wait a year or so, and I'll show you a farm that will make this look like a pewter dollar."

All of which remains to be seen."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin