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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

John Ruckland Amick

My 3rd Great Uncle John Ruckland Amick A farmer in West Virginia, who plowed the land with his own hands. Who sweated and got blisters on his hands and maybe even his feet. 

Farming in the 1870's

Who provided for his wife and seven children. 
He lived in Sewell Mountain which is a summit in Fayette County, West Virginia, in the United States. With an elevation of 3,212 feet (979 m), Sewell Mountain is the 276th highest summit in the state of West Virginia. Sewell Mountain was named after Stephen Sewell, a local pioneer who was killed by Indians.

He lived in West Virginia all his life and on 08 Mar 1877 he married Emelina Aken Anderson.

Here's some history about farming in his lifetime.

1862-75 - Change from hand power to horses characterized the first American agricultural revolution
1865-75 - Gang plows and sulky plows came into use
1868 - Steam tractors were tried out
1869 - Spring-tooth harrow or seedbed preparation appeared
1870s - Silos came into use
1870's - Deep-well drilling first widely used
1874 - Glidden barbed wire patented
1874 - Availability of barbed wire allowed fencing of rangeland, ending era of unrestricted, open-range grazing
1880 - William Deering put 3,000 twine binders on the market
1884-90 - Horse-drawn combine used in Pacific coast wheat areas
1890-95 - Cream separators came into wide use
1890-99 - Average annual consumption of commercial fertilizer: 1,845,900 tons
1890s - Agriculture became increasingly mechanized and commercialized
1890 - 35-40 labor-hours required to produce 100 bushels (2-1/2 acres) of corn with 2-bottom gang plow, disk and peg-tooth harrow, and 2-row planter
1890 - 40-50 labor-hours required to produce 100 bushels (5 acres) of wheat with gang plow, seeder, harrow, binder, thresher, wagons, and horses
1890 - Most basic potentialities of agricultural machinery that was dependent on horsepower had been discovered
1900-1909 - Average annual consumption of commercial fertilizer: 3,738,300
1900-1910 - George Washington Carver, director of agricultural research at Tuskegee Institute, pioneered in finding new uses for peanuts, sweet potatoes, and soybeans, thus helping to diversify southern agriculture.
1910-15 - Big open-geared gas tractors came into use in areas of extensive farming
1910-19 - Average annual consumption of commercial fertilizer: 6,116,700 tons
1915-20 - Enclosed gears developed for tractor
1918 - Small prairie-type combine with auxiliary engine introduced
1920-29 - Average annual consumption of commercial fertilizer: 6,845,800 tons
1920-40 - Gradual increase in farm production resulted from expanded use of mechanized power
1926 - Cotton-stripper developed for High Plains
1926 - Successful light tractor developed
1930-39 - Average annual consumption of commercial fertilizer: 6,599,913 tons
1930s - All-purpose, rubber-tired tractor with complementary machinery came into wide use
1930 - One farmer supplied 9.8 persons in the United States and abroad
1930 - 15-20 labor-hours required to produce 100 bushels (2-1/2 acres) of corn with 2-bottom gang plow, 7-foot tandem disk, 4-section harrow, and 2-row planters, cultivators, and pickers
1930 - 15-20 labor-hours required to produce 100 bushels (5 acres) of wheat with 3-bottom gang plow, tractor, 10-foot tandem disk, harrow, 12-foot combine, and trucks.

Farming occupied the majority of Fayette County heads of households, but farming varied in importance across the four county districts. The Kanawha District, located largely on the west side of Gauley Mountain along the Kanawha River, contained the largest industries and most of the modernizing occupations--agents, superintendents, engineers, coal diggers, etc. The Forest Hill Mining and Manufacturing Company, capitalized and staffed by English professionals, annually produced fifty-two thousand barrels of refined coal oil and employed over forty men. This industrializing district also had the largest percentage of heads of household with no real estate and the least number of farming households, 55.4 percent. In the Fayetteville and Mt. Cove districts, located on the plateau and separated by the New River, farm households, 72.8 percent and 75.8 percent respectively, prospered while the towns of Fayetteville and Mt. Cove grew in importance. Sewell Mountain, the easternmost district, had 82 percent of its households farming the county's least productive land. It also had the largest percentage of landless farm laborers whose livelihood depended upon seasonal farm work or bee hunting, fishing, and hunting/trapping.
John Ruckland Amick was the 7th child of 13 to Samuel H Amick & Mary Ann Copenhaver. He was born on 01 Mar 1856 in Summersville, Nicholas, WV and he died 04 Apr 1939 in Greenbrier Co, WV

Both him and his wife are buried here at Clintonville, Greenbrier County, West Virginia.
Their children were:
Dessie Pearl Amick born abt 1878 died 1878
Marcus D. Amick born abt 1879, died 12 Apr 1971
Charles Newman Amick born 22 May 1881, died 1 Jul 1971
Marshall E Amick born 18 Oct 1883, died 20 Feb 1938
John Rckland Amick Jr. born Jun 1887 died May 1963
Wyatt Verton Amick born Jun 1892 died 5 Feb 1974

Here are a few photos of where they lived.

Lee's Tavern on Big Sewell Mountain, Fayette County WV, photo taken in the 1930's

The Depot in Sewell, West Virginia

View from Little Sewell Mountain

Come again for more Amick post's

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