The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960 Page: 280
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the foundry was never completed,5 although it was in operation
from time to time on a limited scale. Failure to achieve greater
success is not difficult to explain: a chronic shortage of capital,
a dearth of experienced workmen, and inadequate and undevel-
oped transportation facilities, as well as thin and scattered mar-
kets, all combined to hinder Nash's enterprise.
When settlers from the United States first came to Texas, they
recognized that the northeastern section of the state possessed
extensive and rich iron ore deposits. Found over vast areas, the
deposits were uneven, ranging from a few inches on the surface
to a depth of more than fifty feet. The quality likewise ran the
scale from mere traces to almost pure iron oxide.5
The ore was for the most part limonite and hematite. In the
area, too, there was a vast stand of hardwood available to make
charcoal, used in smelting the ore, and fine clays for mixing and
forming molds.' These factors combined to impress the settlers
with the fact that they were in a region almost unbelievably rich
in iron, a most useful metal on the frontier. Nash was encouraged,
along with other enterprising and ambitious planters, to believe
it possible to utilize commercially this wealth in the metal that
was the basis of society at the time.
To test the feasibility of erecting a furnace, Nash placed ore in
a brick kiln and fired it.8 The result was a mass of iron heavily
loaded with carbon and other impurities, which experimentation
proved could be largely removed by hammering the metal as it
cooled and hardened. The brick kiln experiment soon produced
what appeared to be a good grade of iron. It was shown to neigh-
bors and friends with a request for their ideas and judgment
regarding the practicability of commercial production.
Nash was greatly encouraged when the local residents pro-
nounced the samples excellent, but further proof of the metal's
working qualities was needed before investments could safely be
51bid., June So, 1849.
eEdwin B. Eckel, "The Brown Ores of Eastern Texas," United States Geological
Survey, Bulletin No. 90o, p. 7.
7E. T. Dumble, First Annual Report of the Geological Survey of Texas, I889
(Austin, 18go), xlii.
SNorthern Standard (Clarksville), August R, 1848.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960, periodical, 1960; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/m1/354/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.