Before I move onto the 1880 Schedules for Hiram West, I'd like to complete my look at the state of three of the West brothers' farms by discussing that of the oldest, Asa Atwood West.

Asa was born in 1830 and married Matilda Barker Marston in 1854. Instead of waiting to inherit a share of his father John Cutter West's farm, Asa started his own in nearby Andover, Oxford, Maine. As we'll see from the 1870 Agricultural Schedule, he was quite succesful, but life was not without sorrow for Asa and his wife. One daughter, Diantha, died soon after birth and two others, Arvilla (age 8) and Anna Pearl(age 2) died in the diptheria epidemic of 1862. He also was absent from his farm during the Civil War, serving in Company F of the Maine Coast Guard.

But by 1870 things seem to have improved for Asa and his family. By then two other children had been born, a daughter Lizzie (age 7) and a son C.Scott(age 5). As the figures on the 1870 Agricultural Schedule show, Asa's farm was more prosperous than either Hiram's or Jonathan's places. My transcription:

Acres of Land:
improved-100
wood-land-65
other un-improved-0
Present Cash Value:
Of farm-3000 (dollars)
Of farming implements and machinery-200 (dollars)
Total amount of wages paid during year, including value of board-300(dollars)

Livestock June 1, 1870:
Horses-2
Mules and asses-0
Milch cows-3
Working Oxen-2
Other cattle-4
Sheep-10
Swine-1
Value of all livestock-530(dollars)

Produce during the year ending on June 1, 1870:
Wheat:
Spring-0
Winter-0
Rye-0
Indian Corn-20 (bushels)
Oats-80(bushels)
Barley-0
Buckwheat-30(bushels)
Rice-0
Tobacco-0
Cotton-0
Wool-80(lbs)
Peas and Beans- 60(bushels)
Potatoes: Irish-330(bushels)
Sweet-0
Orchard Products-20(dollars)
Wine-0
Produce of Market Gardens-
Dairy Products: Butter-200(lbs)
Cheese-0
Milk Sold-0
Hay-40(tons)
Seed: Clover-0
Grass-0
Hops-1300(lbs)
Hemp-0
Flax-0
Flax-Seed-0
Silk-cocoons-0
Sugar: Maple-0
Cane-0
Molasses-0
Bees: Wax-0
Honey-0
Forest Products-0
Value of Home Manufactures-0
Value of Animals Slaughtered or Sold For Slaughter-177(dollars)
Total Value:Estimated Value of All Farm Production Including Betterments and Additions to Livestock- 950(dollars)

Unlike the Upton, Oxford, Maine 1870 Agricultural Schedule image for Jonathan and Hiram's farms, there is a second page for Asa's. What I noticed immediately was that Asa's farm was about the same size as Jonathan' s but worth more than his brothers' farms combined! It probably was the result of his planting a more diverse range of crops, the most intriguing of which for me was the 1300 pounds of hops. This was something his father John Cutter West hadn't done back in 1860 and because of that missing page in Upton I've no idea as to whether Hiram or Jonathan had tried their hands at hops as well. Asa was also able to pay out $300 to hire help which(given the work involved with all the crops and livestock)he would need. The regular 1870 Census page lists a "domestic servant" named Susie Bigelow and a "farm laborer" named John D. Wood as part of the household. And Asa still had the time to help out Hiram at the grist mill!

That entry on "hops" still fascinates me. Was there a brewery nearby somewhere or did Asa sell and ship the crop elsewhere by rail, perhaps to Boston? Or is there another use for hops other than brewing beer that I'm not aware about?

We'll leave Asa and his family for now but there would be changes by the time the 1880 Census rolled around.

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