THE CENSUS: From the Country & the City

Many a small U.S. farm town—big enough for a post office or a bank branch but too small for a movie house or a department store—is dying. All over the U.S., judging by new census figures last week, little towns with names like What Cheer, St. Elmo, and Honey Grove are slowly withering.

Shannon City, Iowa, for example, has lost 119 of its 288 inhabitants. Ernest L. Edwards, who runs the general store, can remember when three blocks in town had 23 children; now the same houses have only about a dozen widows. Said an oldster: "None of the kids...

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