Information concerning economic rank (wealth) in the various communities was given thus:

Upper (indefinite) 47
Middle (indefinite) 23
Lower (indefinite) 9
Richest (definite) 27
Second Richest 14
Third Richest 9
Fourth Richest 6
Fifth Richest 5
Sixth Richest 3
Seventh Richest 2
Eighth to Tenth Richest 5
Fifteenth to Thirtieth Richest 11

These figures would tend to substantiate the theory that the ups and downs of wealth are more rapid than are the shifts in social standing. More than one third of the first families were below fifth place in economic rank, according to these data.

Concerning the achievements of relatives, it was found that of the 160 families, about whom data were given, 48 could claim a relative of distinction, according to strict standards of evaluation set up by the researcher.

With regard to the drift in economic rank, over the past decades, it was found that 60 per cent of those on which reports were given were rising, 22 per cent were remaining stationary, and 18 per cent were falling. This may, of course, show that the rich get richer. It may also show that the present upper classes are composed in part of families which were formerly less well off.

Priority as a social class factor was shown in that 61 per cent of those on whom data were given could claim descent from a pioneer in the community. There is a slight element of social class rigidity revealed in this figure.

The degree of social class rigidity in this country is indicated in the following percentages. The leaders of these communities belonged to the following classes in the communities from which they or their ancestors came:

Highest per cent: 10
Upper 34
Middle 44
Lower 8
Lowest 2

Since these people, although leaders in their respective communities, would still be classified as "middle class" by most small town editors, it is not surprising that they or their ancestors were considered to a large degree to have been in the middle class in the places from which they came. The striking fact in the foregoing figures is that 90 per cent of the families belonged to classes above the lower class in the communities from which they came. This is another answer to the efficacy of the American Dream; it was not a reality in the lives of those of the lower and lowest classes as they moved westward.

Sixty replies attempted to give the social standing of the family lines in Europe at the time of migration to America. They showed the following percentages:

Highest per cent: 5
Upper 28
Middle 44
Lower 16
Lowest 7

These figures reveal the conviction of the editors that those of high standing today come from families of high standing of long ago. Few of these replies indicate belief in or evidence of social class mobility of large proportions.

The occupations of ancestors were, so far as data were given, preponderantly agricultural: 55 were so listed. The professions were mentioned 17 times. Business accounted for 19. The crafts and other forms of labor were mentioned only 5 times.

The overwhelming degree to which the leaders in towns today are of the older immigration was shown in that 87 per cent of those on which reports were given were declared to have stemmed from ancestors whose immigration to this country took place before 1850.

As was shown in the survey of newspaper clippings, education is highly indicative of upper class affiliation. Even in places where private schooling is in most cases quite exceptional and rare, 27 persons were reported as having attended preparatory schools; whereas 138 had completed a public school course. Only 5 had not completed high school.

By using a scale from one to ten for education beyond high school and by ranking the types of schools according to their social class standing, as is commonly accepted, it was found that the wives of present-day families attained an average of 7.1. The "men of the house" averaged 8.1, which indicates that many obtained higher education in the more fashionable colleges. The widespread custom of attending college has been a part of the mores of the upper classes for a sufficiently long period to include most of the leaders of today.

Conclusion. Alone, these statistics do not prove anything conclusively, as is true of all statistical data about social class phenomena. They do show, however, that there is such a thing as social classes in this country and that the leading families did not, to any great degree if at all, "start from scratch." They have descended from family lines of some length and importance.

Editorial comment on social class. One of the best parts of this study cannot be put into statistical tables. It is to be found in the comments written by the editors about their communities. In the following paragraphs a few of these comments are reproduced. Much wisdom and no small amount of prejudice is to be noted in the ideas of the editors or society editors of newspapers in small places.

One correspondent in a town not far from New York City writes: "These municipalities are, I may say, being taken over by a new type of population.... (See pages 885, 886, 887, 888 of the "white" text.)

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