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: 188
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There are fifteen principal chemical elements
composing all soils, aside from many
other elements that occur only in small quantities.
These elements are: 1, hydrogen; 2,
carbon; 3, oxygen; 4, nitrogen; 5, silicon;
6, chlorine; 7, phosphorus; 8, sulphur; 9,
aluminum; 10, manganese; 11, potassium;
12, calcium; 13, sodium; 14, magnesium;
15, iron. Besides these elements soils often
contain other ingredients which are, when in
excess, quite deleterious to plant life.
These elements are contained in the primitive
or granitic and metamorphic rocks,
with little or no admixture of the elements
or combinations caused by the admixture of
the acids with the basic elements. As there
are no primitive or metamorphic rocks in that
part of the State to which this report relates
it will be unnecessary to discuss the question
of the mode of occurrence and the combination
of these elements in the primitive
rocks. The soils of this part of the State are
derived from the sandstones, limestones, and
clay and shale beds found in the district.
These stones and beds were originally
formed by the disintegration of the material
of the primitive rocks. The materials of the
limestone were brought down by the rivers
into the sea, and were finally deposited with
the comminuted shells of the ocean in the
deep, quiet ocean in beds as they are now
formed. These limestones are composed
principally of calcium, carbon and magnesium,
with iron, silica, clay, bitumen, and
other substances as impurities.
The sandstones were deposited along the
sea beach, and are composed principally of
silica, being nothing more than fragments of
quartz. This material is bound together by
clay or lime, and sometimes by iron.
The clay beds were formed in th/shallow
seas and along the estuaries and mouths of
rivers, and are principally aluminum silicate
and carbonate of lime.
Soils are largely indebted to vegetable life
for their fertility and for their ability to
receive heat and moisture and to transmit it
to the growing crops. This vegetable material
after it has reached a certain state of decay is
called humus. This material has no fixed
chemical constituents, owing to the effect
produced and the combination formed with
other substances in the process of decay.
Many soils owe their dark color to this
material. It renders a soil more susceptible
to heat and moisture. It also causes the
undissolved particles of rock material remaining
in the soil to disintegrate and give
up their unused material to form a part of
Texas justly lays claim to greater variety
and richness of soil than any State in the
Union. The black waxy, black sandy, black
pebbly, hog wallow, gray sandy, red eandy,
sandy loam and alluvial soils are each to be
found in the State, the majority of them in
greater or less quantities in each section.
About the best evidence of the richness and
fertility of these various soils that can be
offered is the fact that commercial fertilizers,
now so common in the older States and constituting
as much a fixed charge on the agricultural
interests of those sections as the
seed necessary to plant the ground, are not
used at all in Texas. Another fact worthy of
mention in this connection is that there are
thousands of acres in cultivation in this
State that have been cultivated continuously
for more than thirty years, which now yield
as much per acre as they did when first
planted. The principal soils of Texas Ire
the black waxy, black sandy and alluvial
lands of the river bottoms. The other varieties
are minor divisions, and for the purpose
HISTOR r OP' TEXAS..
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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/m1/193/?rotate=270: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .