History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families

174

HISTORY OP TEXA8 .

the Henderson county clay have proved to be
of excellent quality. The have stood the
severe test of the iron furnace at Rusk and
of some of the lime kilns, and are highly
recommended for their good qualities. The
brick from the beds of Limestone county are
also of good quality, and proper care in their
manufacture will make them fully equal to
any. The Fayette clays which have come
under my notice, which are classed as fire
clays, seem to be somewhat high in fluxing
constituents, but more careful selection of the
clays may entirely obviate this difficulty.
The fire clays are found usually in connection
with the lignite beds, and in the central
coal field directly underlying the coal seams.
They are therefore found scattered over a
wide area of the State, but only a few of
them have been examined by the geological
survey. These are nearly all from eastern
Texas, and were collected during one
field season. While they have not yet been
fully studied, numerous analyses have been
made, and it is found that many of them are
too "fat," or contain too much alumina for
use in the state in which they are dug, but
require a large mixture of sand to correct
the excessive shrinkage that would otherwise
take place in drying them, amounting in
some specimens to one-fourth of their original
bulk. Others, however, are of excellent
quality, and careful selection of localities for
mining will yield very favorable results, and
clays be secured suitable for brick for furnaces,
kilns, ovens, fire-boxes, retorts, saggers,
and the many other similar articles.
Graphite, or Plumbago.-In the central
mineral region are deposits of limited extent
of an impure graphite in shales and schists.
In view of the larger deposits of pure material
in other localities it is not $obable
that this will be of much value.

Soapstone.--This highly infusible stone,
which is used as firestone in stoves, hearths
and furnaces, is found in large quantities.
One of the best exposures is about two miles
south of west from Smoothing-Iron mountain,
and the most favorable districts for its
further occurrence are that between House
and Smoothing-Iron mountains and the King
mountains, and to the west of that area in
Llano and Mason counties; also southeast in
Llano, Gillespie and Blanco counties. As a
lining for furnaces and other purposes which
do not require a very firm texture this material
is fully adequate, and it can be cut or
sawed into blocks or masses of any desired
shape, with a perfectly smooth surface if
desired.
Mica.-While mica is a very abundant
mineral in both the central and trans-Pecos
regions, it is not commonly of such transparency
and size as to be commercially valuable.
Specimens are in the museum, however,
from both localities which combine
these requisites, and it is entirely probable
that workable deposits may be found. It is
used in stove fronts, lanterns, etc, also in the
manufacture of wall paper and as a lubricant.
Asbestos.-Asbestos has often been reported
from the central region, and many
specimens have been received bearing that
name. Upon examination this is found to
be fibrolite,.and may answer for many pur.
poses for which asbestos is used as refractory'
material, but not for the finer uses in the
manufacture of cloth, etc.
ROAD MATERIALS.
Among the various materials suited for
road-making are the large gravel deposits
which are found in many portions of the
State; some of the quartzitic sandstones

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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families. Chicago. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/. Accessed May 24, 2015.