• Thu. Sep 21st, 2023

News Eyeo

All Important News

Medina’s Economy Flourished 125 Years Prior – Jamestown Sun


Jun 10, 2023

Around 125 years ago, the Medina area was thriving. There was a mainly German colony established to the north of the community, which had its own schools and churches. To the south of Medina, a more diverse group settled, including people from North Dakota and other parts of the United States. This group had several churches and schools and received their mail from the rural post office of Blumenfield.

The economy of the region seemed to function without the need for large amounts of cash. Farmers around Medina used to trade their goods, such as butter, in the shops of Medina. Each store would ship around 6,000 pounds of butter to Minneapolis every week according to an article in the Jamestown Alert. A bank in Medina would work with a bank in Minneapolis to transfer the bill to Medina. Farmers heading into town would not carry butter in their pockets like we carry wallets today.

Flax was a crop that supported the boom in Medina. It was said to be more profitable than wheat. Farmers could plow the natural meadow sod in the fall and plant flax the following year. Yields were up to 15 bushels per acre, and cash prices were approximately $1.50 per bushel. Adjusted for inflation, that would be $40 per bushel, or $600 per acre in cash earnings.

Some farmers cultivated land acquired through the Homestead Act. They probably paid around $3 per acre initially, which is equivalent to $80 per acre in today’s dollars. The Alert article states that the farmers had fully paid off their debt with the proceeds from their first crop and had enough money to expand their farm operations.

Another advantage of the Medina area was access to lignite. A tonne of coal cost about $2.20, but in the store, farmers would receive about 10 cents a pound for the butter they brought in. This meant that they could keep their lawn shed warm just by continuing to milk their cows.

The author of this content, Keith Norman, can be accessed at www.KeithNormanBooks.com.

By Editor

Leave a Reply