Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas. Page: 135 of 1,110
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I~~~~~HSTR OF DALLAS COUTY.13
taken for bituminous coal. It is doubtful
whether either exists in sufficient quantities
for commercial use. The Cross Timbers are
nlso inl tie line of the Central Texas artesian
belt, and it is probable tlat in any portion of
its area an artesian well sunk through the
rock of the underlying Comanche series
would find an abundant Hlow of water. These
sanlds are also valuable for water-bearing
purposes, aind the wells along the margin of
the minor Black Prairie area are supplied
2.-TIIE EIAGLE FORD CLAY SHALES.
These lie to tie eastward and immediately
above tie Lower Cross Tim ler sands,and are the
foundation of the minor Black Prairie streak.
IBerneatll tile scarp of the white rock (Austil-I)Dallas
clalk) at Dallas, and extending
westtward tlroughl tlhe Mountain creek country
to the Lower Cross Timbers, can be seen
typical localities of this division, the thicket;es
of which is estimated at 400 feet.
'I'These cllays inl tllir medial portion are dark
blue anld slialy, hlighly laminated, and occasioutlly
accolnpanied by gigantic nodular
Ieptarite, locally called "tturtles." The uppertlmost
lbeds gradually become more calcareous,
graduating rather sharply into the chlalk.
Th'ler are also occasional bands of thin, impure
limnestones, which are readily distinginhllable
fromn all other Upper Cretaceous
tillastonte by their firm less and lamination.
Fossil remains of marine animals are also
fund in these clays, including many beautifully
pr^ervedl species, tile delicate color and
Ia.cre of sl1ells being as fresh as when the animals
inhabited them. Among these, oysters,
fish teeth, chambered shells and Inocerami
are the most abundant.
The chief economic value of the minor
Black Prairie will ever be its magnificent
black calcareous soil, while some of the chief
geological considerations are the ascertainment
of means to make this soil more easily
handled and less tenacious by devising suitable
mixtures, the discovery of road-making
material, and the increase of water for domestic
and agricultural purposes. Owing to
its clay foundation the soil now retains for
plant use treble the quantity of moisture of
some of its adjacent sandy districts, but surface
and flowing water is scarce. Fortunately,
however, this district is also within the
Central Texas artesian well area, and an
abundant supply of water can always be had
at a depth of less than 1,500 feet, as has been
proved in the course of our investigations.
When this fact is fully appreciated the region
will be one of the most prosperous in Texas.
In the valleys of most of the streams running
eastward across the east half of the minor
Black Prairie, artesian water can be obtained
at from 100 to 300 feet. The source of this
water is in the Lower Cross Timber sand.
Many of the concretions and calcareous layers
are probably suitable for making cement;
but tests must be made. The clays may also
prove of commercial value.
3. TIE WHITE ROOK, OR AUSTIN-DALLAS
Immediately above and to the east of the
Eagle Ford clays comes the white rock, or
Austin-Dallas chalk, which is the most con
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Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas., book, 1892; Chicago, Illinois. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20932/m1/135/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Public Library.