Texas Almanac, 1939-1940 Page: 37
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PHYSIOGRAPHY OF TEXAS. 37
Prairie, the Burnet-Llano country, the
,West Cross Timbers country and the
lower West Texas rolling prairies, cor-
responding very closely to the four geo-
logic divisions mentioned above, and in
the same order. While this province ex-
tends across the northern border of Tex-
as, it is more distinctly Texan than the
other three provinces.
The Grand Prairie, also called the Fort
Worth Prairie, extends northward from
the bottle neck where the Comanchean
Cretaceous is traversed by the Colorado
River northward to the Red River. It
varies from approximately 500 to 1,000
feet in elevation and is a rolling plain,
largely prairie, and with some small
mountain ranges. The climate is com-
parable to that of the northern part of
the Blacklands and the rainfall averages
about 30 inches. Drainage is into the
numerous short segments of the Red,
Trinity, Brazos, Colorado and tributary
rivers, which traverse it in a general
northwest to southeast direction.
The soil is of limestone origin, as is the
Blackland soil immediately to the east,
but the Grand Prairie soil is thinner and
less adaptable to cultivation, although
there are many fertile alluvial valleys
and some cultivable uplands.
It is largely a prairie region with na-
tive vegetation similar to that of the
Blackland belt. Pecan, walnut and other
hardwoods are found along the streams
and there is much cedar and juniper in
the broken areas, with postoak on the
Cotton, corn, oats, wheat and other
staple crops are grown and in a few
sandy areas there is a diversified crop
industry producing melons, peaches and
other fruits and vegetables for market
on an appreciable scale.
The Grand Prairie is exceptionally
adapted to livestock raising. There is
some ranching in the portions of thin
soil and recently there has been rapid
development of stock farming and poul-
try raising. The population is predomi-
nantly white and while the agricultural
wealth and value of production are small-
er per acre than in the Blacklands, vhich
has a high percentage of tenancy on
farms, the farms of the Grand Prairie
are of larger average acreage and farm
ownership is more general than in
either the Blacklands or the East Texas
timber belt. Limestone, materials for
cement manufacture, clays, oil and gas
are the principal minerals. Fort Worth,
which lies just west of the Blackland
Belt, is the principal city, and Waco,
Temple and Austin lie within a few
miles of the eastern edge of the Grand
This is a most interesting region, re-
vealing the oldest geologic formations
in the state, excepting some limited
areas in the Trans-Pecos. It is known as
the Burnet-Llano Country, or Central
Basin The bald tops of some remark-
able gianitic intrusions are exposed at a
number of places and the terrain is gen-
erally rugged, the numerous mountain
ranges reaching elevations of 500 and
700 feet above surrounding territory.
The elevation above sea level varies
usually from 600 to 1,600 feet and the
rainfall is about 30 inches.
The climate is mild, but, like the Ed-
wards Plateau of similar latitude, it is
exposed to the "northers" that come
down from the northwest at frequent in-
tervals during the winter season. It is
drined primarily by the Colorado and
The soils vary from coarse gray to
moderately heavy chocolate loams, but
are usually thin and little adapted to
agriculture, except in a few valleys.
Many kinds of minerals are found in
this interesting area and it is popularly
known as the "Central Mineral Region,"
but, aside from granite, which is found
in great quantities and in many colors,
and graphite, there has never been any
appreciable production. Lead, copper,
ichthyol, gold, rare earths and certain
other minerals have been produced in
limited amounts. Recent research by
the division of natural resources at the
University of Texas has discovered in
this area and the immediately adjacent
Edwards Plateau a great variety of val-
uable building stone.
The region is largely timbered with
junipers and cedar in the mountainous
parts and postoak, blackjack and mes-
quite on the level lands. Along the
streams ark valuable groves of pecans.
There is some production of firewood,
posts and poles from the cedar.
The gorge of the Colorado, where it
traverses this region, is the site of sev-
eral large power projects.
Cotton, corn, oats, grain sorghums and
miscellaneous feed crops are grown.
There is a large cattle-raising industry
and many sheep and goats are raised
producing a large amount of wool and
mohair. Th e territory is known for its
scenic beauty and wild game and it is a
favorite of sportsmen and vacationists.
There is some trapping and a consider-
able number of pelts are sent to the
There are two cross-timber belts in the
North Central Province. The East Cross
Timbers is a very narrow belt of postoak
extending from the Red River south-
ward into Hill County, lying between the
Blacklands and the Grand Prairie. The
larger cross-timber belt, known as the
West Cross Timbers, lies immediately
west of the Grand Prairie, extending in
varying width from the Red River in
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Texas Almanac, 1939-1940, book, 1939; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117163/m1/39/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.