In speaking of Lyon County, Iowa, in January, 1881, the Inter-Ocean, of Chicago, said:  "The Close Brothers, (Englishmen) of Le Mars, Iowa, today purchased from a Bloomington, Illinois, firm a tract of nineteen thousand acres of land in Lyon County, Iowa, surrounding Larchwood.  Price paid was five dollars per acre.  Close Brothers will colonize the same with young English families, next spring.  This tract of land was bought in 1868 at $1.50 per acre."

Scarcely had the ink dried on the deeds of conveyance, before the mandate went forth that 15,000 acres would be broken up.  Circulars were sent broadcast, inviting prairie breakers to make contracts at the highest going prices to turn the sod over.  An immense amount of house building and other improvements followed the same year.

In 1882, B.B. Richards, of Dubuque, Iowa, opened up a great farm in the northwest part of this county.  Five thousand acres were improved, by breaking, fencing and building large barns, sheds, etc.  He had 450 head of two and three year old steers; 120 cows and other stock.  Five hundred acres were broken the first year.


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