History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 176
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tlISTORY Of TEXAS.
Saline, in Van Zant county, a well was sunk,
'And at 225 feet a bed of rock salt was struck,
into which they have now dug 300 feet without
getting through it. Many other similar
salines are known in eastern Texas and western
Louisiana, and the great deposits of rock
salt developed at Petit Anse and Van Zandt
under practically similar circumstances is
certainly warrant enoglh for boring at the
other salines for similar beds. Some of these
localities are in Smith and Anderson counties.
In the Carboniferous area many of the
wells yield salt water, sometimes strong
enough to render them unfitted for any
ordinary purpose, but no attempt has been
made at their utilization. There are also
brine wells in limited areas in central Texas.
Alkt7ie.q.--The source from which the
salts of potash and soda can be obtained in
Texas are: The alkali lakes, where there is a
large percentage of sulphate of soda (Glauber
salts) deposited by the evaporation of the
water. Its impurities consist of some sulphate
of lime, or gypsum, and common salt.
NVit7e, or saltpeter, was made from bat
guano during the late war, but, the necessity
for its manufacture ending, it was abandoned.
Alutr.-The best material for the manufacture
of alum is found in the clay of the
lignitic portion of the timber belt, or Fayette
beds, which contain both pyrites and liguitic
matter. Nearly all tile material used in the
production of alum in this country is imported.
Stirontia. -Two minerals having this earth
as a base (celestite and strontianite) are found
in the lower magnesian rocks of the Cretaceous
of central Texas. 'It is found at Mount
Bonnel near Austin, and in the vicinity of
Lampasas, and can be expected to occur
wherever the proper horizon of Ctie Cretaceous
rocks containing it are found at the sur
face. It is not only used in the form of
nitrate for fireworks, but also in the manufacture
Epsom/te.-Crystalline masses of Epsom
salts are found in the same series of beds
that contain the strontianite and celestite.
It is extremely doubtful, however, whether
it can be made commercially valuable.
THE ARTESIAN WATER CONDITIONS OF TEXAS.
Artesian water is rain water which has
fallen on some porous bed or stratum of
earth and has followed the sloping course of
this bed between other beds, which were
sufficiently impervious to confine it until it
has found an opening to the surface, either
natural or artificial, at a lower level than its
original source, through which it rises and
flows off. When this opening is a natural
one, it is a spring; when artificial, it is an
The artesian-water conditions of a region
are dependent upon its geology, topography
and its rainfall. The geologic conditions are
that there shall be a continuous porous
stratum enclosed between two strata that are
impervious. Topographically it is necessary
that the exposed portion of this porous
stratum-the " catchment" basin-be at
sufficient elevation above that of the mouth
of the wells to force a steady flow of water
by hydrostatic pressure; and finally the rainfall
must be sufficient within the area covered
by the catchment basin to secure the
steady supply of water. Unless all of thee
conditions be favorable there can be no eonstant
supply of flowing water obtained.
For the purpose of this discussion, Texas
is readily separable into three divisions,the
Gulf Slope (Cenozoic), the Central Basin
(Paleozoic) and the Western Mountain system.
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/181/?rotate=270: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .