November 20 , 1925
I have lately been at a meeting of the association of presidents of
State Universities of this country, and a little before that I ViaS out in
the West traveling around among the different state uni versi ties of some of
~he states on the Pacific Coast and in the Rocky Kountain region. 'l'he
trip helped to crystallize some thoughts in ~ mind on the subject of pioneers .
And I Vlant to say a few words today about that subject .
This country is a country of pioneers, and although the pioneering has
di sappeared almost, at least in the sense it was thought of fifty years ago,
the pioneer spirit is sti 11 a very conunon one. Peop l e fran the Far I'lest talk
about themselves still as the pioneers and believe themselves to be pioneers.
There is a certain alllount of pioneering still to be done . There is one state
in the union still in which three-fourths of the land belongs not to the state
but to the United States Gove rrunent and that is the state of Nevada. You have
there, at any rat e , opportunity for the pioneer and YOll have him there more
nearly than in any other state in the union, Only unfortunately the land that
belongs to the Government is not very much in demand, there is not much grain
on it, it's almost impossi.ble to do anything Vlith it in any small quantities
at any rate, because of the government regulations which allow distribution of
the land in only small holdings, of two to three hundred acro es. You can use
the land profitably only in large ho l dings , and it will not be filled up very
For the most part the pioneer of fifty years ago does not exist any more.
There is not the kind of thing that lJark Twain describes in ~ "lJ-That
k ind of life is impossible, unless you have it in connection with some