Soil survey of Taylor County, Texas Page: 8 of 44
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6 FIELD OPERATIONS OF THE BUREAU OF SOILS, 1915.
stream terraces, are for the most part obscure, and in many instances
the first bottoms grade almost imperceptibly into the second bottoms.
The regional drainage of Taylor County is quite complete, practically
every section being reached by some form of natural drainage
way. In the higher or plateau areas the drainage ways have rather
steep gradients and are confined to deep, crooked channels with rock
floors, the valleys varying in width from a few yards to a mile or
more. The fall of the streams is much less in the lower or plainlike
country, and the channels here, though often crooked, are for the
most part shallower and the bottom lands are much wider. The
drainage of the southern third of Taylor County is southward, and
that of the northern two-thirds mainly northward. Most of the
streams are small and intermittent.
The plateau areas are sparsely settled, the greater part of the
population and nearly all the cities, towns, and trading points in
the county being in the lower division. About one-third of the lower
land is in cultivation, while only a small part of the plateau area is
tilled, most of the land being used for grazing. The population is
mainly of English descent, the settlers having come from other parts
of Texas and from States to the north and east. There are few
negroes and Mexicans in the county. The total population is reported
in the 1910 census as 26,293, or an average of about 29 persons
per square mile. Probably much more than one-half the population
lives in cities and towns, although the census classes only 35
per cent of the population as urban, only the population of towns of
over 2,500 being classed as urban. The population of Abilene, the
county seat, is reported as 9,204, and that of Merkel as 2,008. The
other towns have populations of less than 500. The northern third
of Taylor County is the most thickly settled section.
The lower country is well supplied with railway facilities, and for
the most part with fairly good dirt roads. No railways traverse the
plateau region, and parts of it are remote from shipping points.
Abilene and Merkel are important shipping points for cotton, live
stock, and other products consigned to Fort Worth, Dallas, San Angelo,
Weatherford, Brownwood, Kansas City, St. Louis, and other
markets. The larger towns of the county consume a considerable
part of the local dairy and poultry products, though a large part is
shipped to outside markets. The market-garden crops are sold
The county has good public schools, and Abilene and Merkel have
high schools and colleges as well as graded schools.
The climate of Taylor County is marked by its variability, by a
moderate rainfall, and a comparatively wide annual range in tem-
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Smith, William G.; Kocher, A. E. (Arthur E.), b. 1877; Rodgers, R. F. & Watkins, W. I. Soil survey of Taylor County, Texas, book, 1918; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth19833/m1/8/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.