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

hISTORY OF TEXAS. 18

of Ilcet will aid materially in attracting attention
from capitalists. Unfounded hopes and
guesses of inexperienced persons, if converted
into cash, may produce a temporary artificial
excitement, which will certainly result in
eventual disaster. The money which has
already been honestly expended in the Central
Mineral Region by well-meaning enthusiasts,
often without competent advice, would
have sufficed to determine the value of the
resources of the tract if it had all been understandingly
applied. The amount actually
expended in unnecessary work in one investigation
would have given a fair knowledge of
the economic value of a vast area had it been
used in a different manner. That this is not
idle talk, but hard business sense, is proved
by theo fact that the writer has already been
able in several instances to predict accurately
the results of explorations in advance of the
work, simply from his familiarity with the
geologic structure, as outlined in the first
part of the second geological report.
AGRICULTURE.
SOILS.
The origin of all soils is from the decomposition
of the rocks, clays, shales, and other
material going to make up the crust of the
earth. When any part of the earth's crust
is exposed to the influence of the rain and
dew, the cold of winter and the heat of summer,
no matter how compact that material
may be, it gradually decomposes and the
particles wash down and make the soils of
the valley below.
Then again the lichens, although in many
instances they are of microscopic size, fasten
themselves upon the rocks and there secrete
an acid which gradually decomposes the rocks,
and the particles go to make up the soils.

The clays and other soft materials are more
easily broken lup and washed down by the
rains, and they too enter into the composition
of the soils. Again, growing upon this newly
made soil will be plants which in turn will
die, and the material of which they are coin.
posed will combine with the rock material
and forin a soil somewhat different from that
of purely mineral origin. The difference in
the soil is often observed in the color of the
two; the last, or that on top, is usually darker
than that below, caused by the large amount
of vegetable matter contained therein.
The material from which most soils are
derived has been subjected to this disintegration
several times since it was first deposited
as rock material. The sandy soils are mostly
made up from the sandstones of the different
formations, which.were in turn derived from
the granites and other igneous rocks and
deposited along the shores of the former
oceans. The calcareous soils have their origin
from the limestones, and the limestones were
deposited in the bed of the old ocean, the
material coining from the worn-out shells of
the bygone times. A perpetual round of
disintegration, mixing, and redeposition has
been going on since the beginning, our soils
being the work of all the ages. In the classification
of the soils some writers have distinguished
them as sedimentary soils, being
those which are in the immediate vicinity of
the rocks from which they were formed, and
the transported soils, being those which have
been brought from a distance. This classification
will be well enough if the fact be kept
in mind that nearly all the stratified rock
material has itself been brought from another
locality by the very same forces that are now
transporting and depositing the other class
of soils. There is no soil that has not at one
time been rock.

187

IIISTRY OFTEXAS.

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 August 29, 2014.