Jackson County once supported many fruit orchards. At least two records, one at the courthouse in Brownstown and both on microfilm at the Seymour Library, may give some insight if your ancestor participated in such an operation.
The miscellaneous record at the courthouse, also on microfilm at the library, preserves agreements such as one made in December 1867 between Howard Cordell and Henry C. Dannettell. The record said Cordell agreed to clear and clean a “passel of land,” about 20 acres, for Dannettell before March 1, 1868, and to plant the “said piece of sand with good grafted … fruit trees in rows 20 feet apart.”
Cordell was to include 300 apple trees and fill leftover space with peach trees in addition to planting two rows of evergreens on the north side to protect the fruit trees from the wind. The owner would pay taxes, Cordell would help with pruning, and the men would share the fruit equally for 15 years.
Should the trees have been producing by 1870 and still producing as anticipated by 1880, it’s possible the agriculture censuses, also on microfilm at the library, would record the results of the harvest.
The information isn’t earth-shaking … but if it’s someone you are researching, these little tidbits would certainly add flesh to the barebones vital statistics.