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: 189
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HISTORf OF TEXAS.
of this report a brief description of these only
will be given.
Thle black weaxy soil, so called from its
color and adhesive qualities, is the richest
and most durable of the soils of the State.
It constitutes a large percentage of the prairie
region, and is better adapted to the
growth of grain crops than other soils of the
State. It varies in depth from twelve inches
to many feet, the average depth being about
eighteen inches, and is not appreciably affected
by the washing rains so injurious to looser
One of the largest bodies of upland black
prairie in the United States extends from
Lamar county, on the Red river, southwest
in an irregular manner to a point south of
San Antonio, in Bexar county, with a width
of 140 miles on the north end, 100 in the
middle, and about sixty on the south end,
and embracing twenty-three and parts of
The black sandy soil covers a very large
area of the State, and is very productive and
easily cultivated. It is highly esteemed for
gardening purposes and fruit-growing. It
is very loose and requires care and attention
to prevent deterioration from washing away
the surface. Portions of the timber region,
counties bordering on the timber belt of east
Texas, and also the Cross Timbers, contain
more or less sandy land.
Tlie alluvial soils of the river bottoms
vary in quality according to the territory
drained by the streams on which they are
located. River soils east of the Brazos river
partake more of the waxy character and are
stiffer than those on the Brazos and streams
westward that drain the sandy lands of the
northwest. The Brazos river bottom is regarded
as the most valuable in the State, on
account of its fertility and comparative iun
munity from overflows. The lower Brazos
is in the heart of the sugar-growing belt, and
its bottom lands in that section are considered
equal to the best in the sugar-producing
region of Louisiana.
The variety of crops that Texas soils are
capable of profitably growing is as yet unknown.
For information in regard to the
products that are grown, and the yield per
acre of the soils here described, the reader is
referred to the reports of the various counties
under the head of "Agricultural and General
The area of timber in Texas is much
greater than it is generally supposed to be
by persons not familiar with the country.
By many people outside of the State it is regarded
as a vast "treeless" plain; but this,
like many other opinions of the State formed
at a distance, is wide of the mark. In the
prairie region the bottoms along the streams
and ravines are skirted with timber, and in
most places there is that happy admixture of
prairie and timber land that so delights the
heart of the farmer. Besides this, eastern
and southeastern Texas is covered with a
dense forest of fine timber, embracing nearly
every variety grown in the South. The reports
to the State Agricultural Department
show that there are 35,537,967 acres of timber
land in the State.
The "Cross Timbers" is the name given
to two irregular belts of timber varying in
width and entering the State on the Red
river on the north and running in a southerly
direction across the prairie region.
The "Lower Cross Timbers" run from a
point on Red river north of Gainesville, in
Cooke county, south to the Brazos river, in
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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/m1/194/?rotate=270: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .