A. C. Wood was another Skidmore resident who roamed far but wrote back to the home folks. This letter appeared in the July 18, 1907 edition of the Skidmore New Era (Skidmore, Missouri), on page 1:
From Farmer Green.
Through the kindness of M. P. Horn we are permitted to print the following letter from A. C. Wood (better known as “Farmer Green”), who is now a resident of Boulder, Colo.
M. P. Horn, Skidmore, Mo.
Well, Friend Marsh, as this is a rainy day it finds me with time to write to you as per agreement. And to commence with, will tell you some of our trip. We started from Ray’s place on Sand Creek April 9th and got through to Boulder May 14. had a long and quite a disagreeable trip. Crossed the Missouri river at Nebraska City and from there we went west to Crete, Nebr. And I want to tell you from Friend or Crete west to Holdridge, Neb. (about 250 miles) is the largest body of the best farm land I ever saw and I might say the best improvements, too.
From Holdridge we went south to Oxford, here we struck the Republican river and kept on it as far as Wray, Colo., but from Holdridge, Nebr. the land got gradually poorer as far as Brush, Colo., there we struck the Platte river. All business seemed to be lively, lots of work and plenty of money, and at Fort Morgan, ten miles west of Brush, everything was on the boom and the town looked like a new shoe. Brush and Ft. Morgan are irrigated towns. But from Uma, Colo., to Akron is the largest tract of fine lying land I ever saw and is almost worthless, although the land company holds it at $10 per acre. This land has all been homesteaded and deserted. Not a tree or shrub of any description or a weed more than four or six inches high, covered with buffalo grass, water from 200 to 300 feet deep.
After we got fifty miles west of Ft. Morgan the land was some better and grew better all the way till we got to the mountains. But I’ll tell you Marsh, while Nebr. got a black eye several years ago, it is the second best farming and stock raising state I was ever in. Iowa is the best all round state I ever saw. I really believe that the average home grown, green Missourian would almost get lost in the road in Iowa or Nebr. they are so wide.
It was cloudy the day before we got here and storming some so we did not see the mountains all day long but the next morning (the day we got here) was clear and pleasant, and when the sun rose and commenced shining on the range and a few minutes later on the foot hills, you will have to make a liberal draw on your stock of imagination to form anything of an idea of how it looked to me. The range as well as the foot hills was covered with snow. They are well named Rocky Mountains for they are covered with rock, not a solid rock, but huge piles of small rock. The whole mountain side from a distance looks like a solid rock but when you get nearer to it you find it split into thousands of pieces and the pieces all stand on edge or on an angle of about forty five degrees. Boulder is a good town, quite a large town. Lights and street cars, water running on either side of every street and five dollars fine for spitting on the sidewalk. Everything in the way of work is very high here.
You would laugh to see these blacksmiths shoe horses. I took a horse to the shop this morning. They charge $3 per team for new shoes and they work while fitting them on like they were killing bumble bees. The smith told me that he fitted and corked form 7 o’clock till 11:30 Saturday 42 new shoes and the nailer put them on. That’s going some ain’t it.
Tell Theo Gwin that it is just perfectly awful that I haven’t had a good checker game since I came here. Just one game is all I have played and that was with a niece and she was not much of a player. Oh, about such a player as “Fatty” Mitchell.
Well March I guess I had better stop or you’ll get tired before you get to the end and throw this in the waste basket. Tell Hy Montgomery (for me) that if he comes to the mountains this year, to stop and see us — and say Marsh, why can’t you come out? Take a lay-off of a couple of weeks and come out.
How is Uncle Dave Strickler, Ben Wood, and George Manchester? Gosh! I would like to see all of you. Tell Clarence Harris I have been offered $160 for the Patterson horse. Tell old “Hank” Bramble that if he was here we could make a barrel of money.
Now Marsh I want you to write and tell me all the news. Send me a paper or two — The New Era. I was up in the mountains today. Went 500 feet into a gold mine.
Take plenty of time when you answer this and tell me everything.
A. C. Wood
R. F. D. 2 Box 135, Boulder, Colo.