The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962

Popflatio trads i the Western
Cross imbers of rexas, 1890-
1960: growth and Distributiol
B. P. GALLAWAY
S ITUATED BETWEEN the central denuded region of northwest
Texas and the blackland prairies around Fort Worth lies
a varigated plateau known to both early travelers and mod-
ern geographers as the Western Cross Timbers. This unique and
rather mysterious province is characterized by thin and sandy soil,
dwarfed and sometimes gnarled blackjack and post oak timber,
and an irregular and rolling terrain. A small farm economy is
buttressed by petroleum production. The Western Cross Timbers
province is not to be confused with a much narrower timbered
region of similar forestry and soils known as the Eastern Cross
Timbers located farther east and extending from Lake Texoma
southward to the vicinity of Waco. Early prairie travelers evidently
originated the term "cross timbers" when mystified by the forests
which actually "crossed" major streams rather than running
parallel with them as did most similar forest belts.
As indicated in Figure I the major portion of the Western Cross
Timbers province sprawls across some eighteen north-central
Texas counties occupying approximately 8,457,600 acres which
border the Great Plains. For this study the eleven counties which
have been selected from the heart of the province are believed least
to reflect the prairie and plains environment and to the greatest
extent to exemplify the typical culture of the Western Cross
Timbers. It is true that physically and culturally there are in-
bound exceptions to be found even within the heartland area
which do not wholly agree with the traditional characteristics
which distinguish and help identify the province as a whole.
But generally speaking, the "fringe" counties which are excluded
have predominantly either fertile blackland prairie soils which

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101195/. Accessed July 27, 2015.