Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide 1936 Page: 170
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170 THE TEXAS ALMANAC--1936.
Brownwood, Big Spring, Cisco, Brecken-
ridge, Vernon, Ranger, Eastland and a
number of smaller cities, some of which
doubled their population between 1920 and
HII. THE GREAT PLAINS.
The Great Plains of Texas physiograph-
ically extend from the northern and west-
ern boundary of the Panhandle all of the
way to the Balcones Escarpment at Aus-
tin, San Antonio and Del Rio. However,
in popular language, the term *"Great
Plains" is confined to the area north of
the Texas & Pacific Railroad. The east-
ern boundary is the abrupt escarpment
known to Texans as the "Cap Rock." The
reference is to the heavy limestone
stratum on which the Great Plains rest
and which is exposed at the eastern es-
carpment. The Great Plains physiograph-
ic region of Northwest Texas corresponds
to the Cenozoic on the geological map.
The eastern breaks at the foot of the es-
carpment correspond to the Jurassic and
Triassic. The lower southeastward ex-
tension of the Great Plains onto the Ed-
wards Plateau is in the geologic region
of the Comanchean Cretaceous.
The surface of the Great Plains slopes
from the eastern escarpment upward in a
westerly and northwesterly direction. At
the east the average elevation is approxi-
mately 3,000 feet, but an elevation of more
than 4,000 feet is attained in the vicinity
of Farwell on the New Mexico boundary
line, and again in Dallam County north
of the Canadian. Nowhere else in Amer-
ica probably is the surface of the earth as
free from undulation as in the vast ex-
panse of this high plains territory Ex-
cept for the breaks of the Canadian, Palo
Duro, Tule and Yellow House Canyons
and shallow valleys for their headwater
basins, the country is without physical
characteristic except for its level surface.
Much Crop Land Available.
The soils "are a deep rich loam with
sandy loans interspersed. At the south-
ern edge of the plains the sands become
deeper and lack the crop-growing qual-
ities of the soils of the middle and north-
ern portion. However, from the vicinity
of Martin and Andrews Counties north is
one of the greatest crop-growing regions
of the State, and one in which there is
a higher percentage of cultivable land
than in any other equal sized area in the
United States. The lower portion of the
plains-approximately that area below
Plainview-is devoted primarily to cotton
growing. The region about Lubbock has
become one of the great cotton growing
areas of the country. The northern por-
tion of the Great Plains-approximately
that area from Plainview north-is de-
voted primarily to wheat growing and
livestock. Introduction of a high protein,
hard winter wheakinto this territory some
years ago has met ith ready demand in
the market and greatly stimulated pro-
duction. Elsewhere in this volume are
found statistics of production by counties
from the census of 1935. These census
figures give crop production figures for
the year 1934, which was the year of the
most serious drought in the history of the
Panhandle and, for this reason, should be
compared with a more representative fig-
ure of 1929, which was the next preceding
Much publicity was given the dust
storms of the northern portion of the Pan-
handle area during the great drought that
spread over the western part of America.
in 1933-34. The coming of rains, however,
quickly changed the "dust bowl" into a
"green bowl." No area in the country
has greater capacity for recovery from
drought or other economic adversity than
$as this region. The new methods of con-
trolling wind erosion were being carried
out during 1935-36.
According to the census of 1935, this
region has as much raw land available
for immediate cultivation approximately
as has the remainder of Texas and a great
expansion of both wheat and cotton crops
can be expected as market conditions
permit. Due to the large size of the
average farm in this region, and the great
adaptability of terrain to use of farm ma-
chinery, both cotton and small grains are
grown at relatively low cost.
In addition to wheat and cotton, there
is still a large beef cattle industry in
the western and southern portion of the
Great Plains area. The adaptability of
the country to the production of grain
sorghums and other forage crops has
greatly encouraged the finishing of cattle
for market in recent years. A relatively
recent development has been the adaption
of corn to this territory, which was at
one time thought to have an unfavorable
climate for corn production.
Oil and Gas Reseourees.
Not many years ago the high plains
area was thought to be without mineral
resources. The discovery of the Pan-
handle oil and gas field, however, was
one of the greatest in the history of the
oil and gas industry in the United States.
There is now a production of approxi-
mately 21,000,000 barrels of oil annually
in the Panhandle field (figure of 1935).
The greatest gas field in the world is lo-
cated in Moore, Hutchinson, Carson, Gray,
Wheeler and contiguous counties. Pipe
lines from this area, besides feeding the
populous centers of Texas, serve consum-
ers in Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma,
Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Minne-
sota, Indiana and Illinois.
There are extensive gravel beds valu-
able for construction purposes, and pot-
ash minerals exist under wide areas. The
mineral resources of the Panhandle, other
than its oil and gas, are largely unknown,
Youngest Economic Area.
The high plains area of Northwest
Texas is the youngest, economically, of
the Texas areas, and its soil resources
and potentiality are relatively less de-
veloped than in any other region. The ag-
ricultural census of 1935 shows a vast
area of raw land, in this section, available
for crop production. While the rainfall,
ranging from 18 to 25 inches, is below the
average for the State, its distribution
through the year is advantageous to crop
production, and vaporation is less than
in the lower latitudes and altitudes.
While this area received much adverse
publicity because of its great drought of
1934, the record will show that it is less
given to severe drought than some of
those sections of the State having a much
higher annual average rainfall.
Amarillo, Lubbock and Plainview are
the principal commercial centers of the
area, all of which have had phenomenal
growth during the last two decades. The
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Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide 1936, book, 1936; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117161/m1/172/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.