Texas Almanac, 1943-1944 Page: 90
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90 TEXAS ALMANAC.-1943-1944.
Houston, principal commercial and financial
city. Galveston, Beaumont, Port Arthur,
Texas City and Freeport are other ports
Large commerce in foreign and coastwise
shipping which has been primarily responsi-
ble for the growth of urban population in
this belt. It is one of the busiest tidewater
fronts in the world.
3. Pine Belt. This section of the Coastal
Plain, familiarly known as the Piney Woods,
lies above the Coastal Prairies and extends
for an average distance of 100 miles west-
ward from the Louisiana boundary. Elevation
50 to 700 feet. Mild temperate climate with
only light annual frosts in south part. Rain-
fall 40 to 55 inches. A rolling terrain, sloping
gently upward from Gulf Coast, covered in
virgin state with loblolly, longleaf and short-
leaf pine on uplands and hardwoods in allu-
vial valleys of Trinity, Neches, Sabine, Red
and other streams which traverse this area.
Nearly all virgin timber cut over, but much
second growth of commercial value. Alluvial
soils in valleys and sands and sandy clays on
uplands adaptable to cotton, corn, peaches,
tomatoes, sweet potatoes, with variety of
other crops including fruits and vegetables
for market. Red soil region in west central
part known as East Texas Redlands. Nation's
greatest rose industry near Tyler. Dairying,
poultry raising, hog and beef cattle raising
expanding to take place of restricted cotton
acreage. Texas' largest oil-producing industry
centered in this area. Clay products manu-
factured at several points. Large salt pro-
duction. Iron ores and lignite exist in large
quantities. A large furnace was under con-
struction during 1942 for utilization of this
ore. Several hundred sawmills operate, pro-
ducing more than 1,000,000,000 (billion) board-
feet annually. Tyler, Texarkana, Marshall,
Longview, Henderson, Kilgore, Palestine and
Lufkin principal commercial centers. Much of
commercial, financial and other service to
this area is from Houston, Dallas and Shreve-
port lying just beyond its borders.
4. Post Oak Belt. A crescent-shaped area
extending from the Red River in Eastern
Lamar and Western Red River Counties to a
point southeast of San Antonio, wedged be-
tween Pine Forest Belt on east, Coastal Prai-
ries on south and Blacklands on west. Vary-
ing from 40 to 70 miles wide, it is 500 miles
long. Elevation generally 200 to 500 feet.
Annual frost throughout, but mild winters,
especially in south part. Rainfall 40 inches
in northeast end to 25 in southwest. Rolling
plain timbered principally with post oak on
uplands, pecan, walnut and other hardwoods
on streams. Some prairie regions. Sandy,
sandy loam and gray soils on uplands, allu-
vial in valleys. Farming principal industry
with cotton principal crop. Corn, sweet sor-
ghums, fruits and vegetables also grown. Di-
versified livestock industry-dairying, poul-
try-raising, swine, beef cattle-which has in-
creased recently as cotton acreage has been
restricted. Few oil fields within this area.
Good clays, lignite, fuller's earth and volcanic
ash exist. There is no city of as much as
10,000 population, the area being served by
local markets and by larger centers outside
5. Blackland Prairies. A horn-shaped area,
tapering from the Red River between Paris
and Sherman to a point near San Antonio.
There is a secondary Blackland Belt lying
approximately between Gonzales and Bren-
ham. Elevation generally 450 to 700 feet.
Climate comparable to Post Oak Belt, though
a little more exposed to winter's cold winds
from northwest. Rainfall 30 to 40 inches,
being heaviest in northeast end. A rolling
prairie of black soils of limestone origin, ly-
ing immediately below the Balcones Escarp-
ment in its southern portion. Pecan, walnut
and other timbers along streams. It is the
most intensively cultivated area in Texas,
though the one-crop cotton system of the
past has taken much of the original fertility
from the soil. Other principal crops are corn,
oats, grain and sweet sorghums, and, in the
north end, wheat. In recent years feed crops
and livestock raising have gained at the ex-
pense of cotton acreage. Limestone soils ex-
cellently adapted to dairying. Many sheep
introduced in recent years. Rural population
per square mile is higher in this area than
any other excepting possibly small sections
of the South Plains and the Corpus Christi
area. Oil production from several fields.
Clays and limestones are utilized. Dallas is
the principal city within this belt. Paris,
Sherman, Denison, Greenville, Corsicana,
Waco, Temple and Austin are in this belt,
and Fort Worth is on its western edge.
II. NORTH CENTRAL PLAINS.
This is the physiographic province lying be-
tween the Blackland Prairies on the east and
the Cap Rock Escarpment, which bounds the
Great Plains, on the west. It slopes upward
from about 700 feet elevation on the east to
a maximum of about 2,500 on the west, at the
foot of the Cap Rock. Partly timbered in the
east, it is largely prairie. Its principal sub-
divisions are as follows:
1. Grand Prairie. An area of limestone
soils, largely prairie, running just west of
Waco and Fort Worth from Central Texas al-
most to the Red River. Elevation 500 to
1,000 feet. Temperature comparable to Black-
lands. Rainfall 25 to 35 inches. Of thinner
limestone soils than the Blacklands, this area
is more broken, traversed in some parts by
flat-topped hills. Principal timber pecan and
other hardwoods along streams. Cotton,
wheat, oats, corn, grain sorghums are grown,
but livestock raising and dairying principal
industries. Excellently adapted to dairying,
which has expanded rapidly in recent years.
Limestone quarried for stone, lime and Port-
land cement. Clay products. Fort Worth is
the principal city. Waco lies on its eastern
boundary, Denton and Gainesville at its north
2. East and West Cross Timbers. A narrow
band running from the Red River between
Dallas and Fort Worth, the East Cross Tim.
bers extend as far south as the southern part
of Hill County. A sandy and red clay soil
wedged between Blacklands and Grand Prai-
rie, the belt is too small to have economic
significance, except that it is excellently
adapted to truck growing for Dallas, Fort
Worth and other cities along its course. Post
oak is the principal timber. It is connected
by a narrow band along the Red River with
the West Cross Timbers and the Main Post
Oak Belt to the east. The West Cross Timbers
extend from the Red River in Montague Coun-
ty to Burnet County with varying width as
far west as the eastern part of Coleman
County. Post oak and blackjack are the pre-
vailing timbers, but there are wide stretches
of mesquite lands and prairies, and areas of
hills and low flat-topped mountains covered
with cedar. Elevation 800 to 1,700 feet. Tem-
perature a little lower than Grand Prairie.
Rainfall 27 inches on west to 32 on east.
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Texas Almanac, 1943-1944, book, 1943; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117165/m1/92/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.