1870 Agricultural Schedule - Introduction

The St. Clair County Courthouse
completed in 1861

St. Clair County Genealogical Society (SCCGS)

Helping genealogists discover their Illinois roots since 1977.

1870 Agricultural Schedule, St. Clair County, Illinois

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To obtain photocopies of the full schedule which answers 52 questions asked of farm owners, managers, or tenants, see below.

To farms in Mascoutah, Summerfield and Lebanon
Marissa, Fayetteville, Darmstadt, New Athens, and Lenzburg
O'Fallon, Shiloh, and Belleville
Smithton, Freeburg, Millstadt and Flora
Gartside, French Village, East St. Louis, Centreville Station, and Brooklyn

Agricultural schedules were taken at the time of the 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 federal censuses. All are extant for St. Clair county, Illinois. A clear picture of the acreage, machinery, livestock, and produce on each farm is included on the full schedule. Fifty-two questions were asked (see below) but only five of those columns are shown in this transcription. These column number and descriptions are

  • 1-name
  • 2-acres of improved land
  • 3-acres of woodland
  • 5-value of farm, and
  • 6-value of farm machinery.
Farms, for the purposes of the agricultural schedule, included all considerable nurseries, orchards, and market gardens, which were owned by separate parties, cultivated for pecuniary profit, and employed as much as the labor of one able-bodied workman during the year. Farms of fewer than three acres were not reported unless five hundred dollars worth of produce was sold off from it during the year. A farm was what was owned or leased by one man and cultivated under his care. The 1870 agricultural schedule for St. Clair county was taken between 01 June and 07 August 1870. The question arises as to what is the agricultural year. The census states it should be for the year ending on 01 June 1870, however that cuts the agricultural year in half. So depending upon when the census taker arrived and whether instructions were followed in full, production could be for either 1869 or for 1870.

Each section of the schedule begins with the post office, the township and range location of the farm (for example, T1N R8W) and the agricultural schedule page number. Each entry extends across two pages. Consequently, names only appear on the odd numbered pages. In this online version, townships have been grouped together for easier viewing instead of the order found on the original schedule. However, the original page number used on the schedule has been preserved.

The original author tried to be as accurate as possible, transcribing exactly what the enumerators wrote down. Many surnames were misspelled or spelled as they sounded to the enumerator and consequently are not as we might spell them today. Surnames in [brackets] provide possible spellings of the name today. The three enumerators for this census and special schedule were Gustav Wetzlau, James P. White, and Charles Duering. Parts of Freeburg Township are duplicated in the census. Most of the handwriting was fairly clear, but there were times when personal judgment was aided with use of a magnifying glass, the 1860 U.S. census and the 1903 atlas.

PHOTOCOPIES of the original census showing all 52 columns of information may be obtained from the Belleville Public Library BPL policy or on request from the Illinois State Archives ISA policy. Include in your request the 1) title of the record and county, 2) name of the individual, 3) township and range description, and 4) 1870 agricultural schedule page number.

The 52 questions asked are numbered as the columns are found on the original schedule.

1. Name of agent, owner or manager
2. Acres of improved land
3. Acres of wood-land
4. Acres of other unimproved land
5. Present dollar value of farm
6. Cash value in dollars of farming implements and machinery
7. In dollars total amount of wages paid during the year including value of board
8. Number of horses
9. Number of mules and asses
10. Number of milk cows
11. Number of working cows
12. Number of other cattle
13. Number of sheep
14. Number of swine
15. Dollar value of all livestock
16. Bushels of spring wheat
17. Bushels of winter wheat
18. Bushels of rye
19. Bushels of Indian corn
20. Bushels of oats
21. Bushels of barley
22. Bushels of buckwheat
23. Pounds of rice
24. Pounds of tobacco
25. Bales (450 lbs.) of cotton
26. Pounds of wool
27. Bushels of peas and beans
28. Bushels of Irish potatoes
29. Bushels of sweet potatoes
30. Dollar value of orchard products
31. Gallons of wine
32. Dollar value of produce of market gardens
33. Pounds of butter
34. Pounds of cheese
35. Gallons of milk sold
36. Tons of bay
37. Bushels of clover seed
38. Bushels of grass seed
39. Pounds of hops
40. Tons of hemp
41. Pounds of flax
42. Bushels of flax-seed
43. Pounds of silk cocoons
44. Pounds of maple sugar
45. Hbds. (1000 lbs.) cane sugar
46. Gallons of molasses
47. Pounds of bees wax
48. Pounds of bees honey
49. Dollar value of forest products
50. Dollar value of home manufactures
51. Dollar value of animals slaughtered or sold for slaughter
52. Estimated dollar value of all farm production, including betterments and additions to stock.

The original transcription for this special agricultural schedule no. 3 for 1870, first appeared in the St. Clair County (Illinois) Genealogical Society Quarterly, volume 5 issue 3, 1982, contributed by Jody Moeller. Online version courtesy of Bobbie Verstraete.

Copyright 1982, All rights reserved. Authorized by the St. Clair County Genealogical Society, posted November 2001; reviewed 2004, 2009, January 2015.
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