August 1887

I have been thinking how we might be called quite rich now. I think Walter feels very truly pleased over his financial outlook. He counted up his property the other day and, without estimating the windmill stock at all, he has property valued at over 100,000. 00.

Now to me this has a very questionable look. Certainly at present it is very unsatisfactory. From all this valuable California and Kansas City property we receive no cent of income and all calls for more or less outlay. Just at present our windmill property has a heavy load to carry so many acres added to such a good sized family. There are many other Californians just at present who are rich just as we are. Last year their property was worth from one to three hundred per acre. This year it is valued at at 500 to 1500 per acre. What a comfortable sensation to realize such an increase in the estimation at which ones land is held, but I cannot help feeling that this latter value is very unstable. It is in most cases founded upon climate alone, and with that as the sole basis, I certainly think there is too much of it.  The only class of people who want land at this advanced price are the wealthy who may desire to live in a milder climate. But a small percentage of people care to leave comfortable homes and congenial surroundings even for a better climate. And a still smaller number of people who come care to buy uncultivated land, and yet all over the southern part of the state are thousands of acres cut up into lots where there is not a tree or shrub, a neighbor or anything but climate to induce them to buy from 10 to 100 dollars front foot for climate. It is impossible that 1000th part of all this land will be sold. Fortunate then are those who can sell at a fair advance but these men who own real estate do not look at it as I do. “NEXT year the boom will be grander, bigger, and boomier than ever, and therefore NOW is the time to buy more and more.” I am glad that Walter belongs to that class of individuals who buy no more than they can pay for and his property is all well chosen. As Ed Wright said when someone mentioned that Walter owned 20 acres of the Marengo Tract, “Why boys he is rich isn’t he?” He may be rich but I hope the Marengo Tract will fulfill half his expectations.

Transcriber’s Note

Walter had extensive interest in a windmill manufacturing company in Geneva, Illinois.


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