Texas Almanac, 1939-1940 Page: 34
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THE TEXAS ALMANAC-1939.
belts to the borderline of the northeast-
ward extension of the Gulf Cretaceous.
The soils are sandy clays on the up-
lands with narrow alluvial bottoms along
the Sulphur, Sabine, Neches, Trinity and
other streams that traverse the region.
The sandy sections originally were cov-
ered with a growth of longleaf, short-
leaf and loblolly pine, while the alluvial
bottoms were timbered in oak, hickory,
gum, magnolia and other hardwoods and
semihardwoods. The story of the cutting
out of this timber and statistics on lum-
ber production are given in the chapter
on forests. While most of the virgin pine
and hardwood has been cut for commer-
cial production of lumber and timbers,
there remains an appreciable stand of
second growth, and the warm climate
and abundant rainfall produce rapid
growth favorable to reforestation. The
establishment of extensive Federal Gov-
ernment forests in this region during the
last few years probably constitutes the
beginning of a program of reforestation.
For a number of years forestry work has
been carried on through limited expend-
itures of the State Government, by
which a start has been made in farm
forests and fire prevention. With a prop-
er program, the pines and hardwoods of
East Texas will become a permanent
source of materials.
The cutting away of the pine early
opened large areas for the production of
crops, and some of the oldest cotton and
corn producing counties of the state are
found here. Besides the material pro-
duction of these staple crops, the region,
because of its soils and climate, is pe-
culiarly adapted to the production of a
wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
Noteworthy are the commercial produc-
tion of peaches, tomatoes, melons and
sweet potatoes. The rose-growing indus-
try of the Tyler area is probably the
largest of its kind in the world. In the
light of progress of the chemical indus-
tries, East Texas, with its forest re-
sources and its varied agricultural prod-
ucts, with soil and climate resources for
the production of tung and other vege-
table oils, has peculiar advantages for in-
Though this territory did not have the
rapid hlivestock development that the
prairie regions of Texas experienced,
there has recently been increasing pro-
duction of dairy products, poultry and
hogs. The development of permanent
pastures has been noteworthy.
Effect of Oil Discovery.
The economy of this region has been
revolutionized since 1930 by the discov-
ery of the great East Texas oil field,
adding several hundred thousand popu-
lation and contributing hundreds of mil-
lions of dollars to the wealth of the area.
Gas is also found in this territory, and
clays for building purposes, and lignites
are produced in commercial quantities.
Extensive iron ore beds have been
worked in the past, and it is thought by
some authorities that there are poten-
tialities for future production. The un-
availability of a coal adaptable to coking
is the chief drawback to development.
Possessing primarily a rural economy
until recently, the Pine Woods area has
been one of farm and small town and
city population. The principal industry
until recently was lumber milling and
allied lines such as mill work, cooper-
age, and crate and basket making. The
discovery of petroleum, however, has
greatly increased urban population. Al-
though most of the oil produced in the
region is refined at coastal terminal
points, the economic effect of oil discov-
ery has been the rapid increase of indus-
trial expansion in the cities of Tyler,
Longview, Henderson, Marshall, Kilgore,
Texarkana and Gladewater. The in-
creasing diversification of crops, and the
production of dairy products has devel-
oped such varied industries as canning
and pickling, cheese production and
poultry dressing. The manufacture of
paper from the fast growing pine of
East Texas by new processes has great
potentiality. There has been estab-
lished one large kraft mill at Houston,
and late in 1938 it was announced that
the first Southern newsprint paper mill
would be built during 1939 at Lufkin.
Eastern Postoak Belt.
In a long, crescent-shaped sweep from
the Red River at Red River and Lamar
Counties to the upper portions of Mc-
Mullen and LaSalle Counties, the Post-
oak Belt lies west of the Pine Woods in
its northern half and northwest of the
Coastal Prairies in its southern and
southwestern extension. It varies from
forty to seventy miles in width and is
about 500 miles long, centering around
Red River, Hopkins, Van Zandt, Robert-
son, Fayette and Atascosa Counties.
It is a rolling, wooded plain timbered-
on its uplands largely with postoak, from
which the region takes its name, and
with pecan, walnut and other hardwoods
in the valleys of the many creeks and
rivers that traverse it from northwest
to southeast. (Attention is called to the
fact that the several physiographic sub-
divisions have varying generic designa-
tions, one being designated according to
surface character, as "prairie," another
according to the character of timber, and
still another according to predominating
soil. Some of these names will be re-
peated in the division of the state into
forest belts and for other purposes. Geog-
raphers have selected various outstand-
ing characteristics in applying names to
physiographic -divisions.) Elevation of
the Postoak Belt is between 200 and 500
feet with few exceptions, and the annual
rainfall diminishes from 41 inches at the
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Texas Almanac, 1939-1940, book, 1939; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117163/m1/36/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.