A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas Page: 13
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LIMESTONE, FREESTONE AND LEON COUNTIES.
country is similar to that of Northern
Texas. To a large extent, it is as yet undeveloped.
It is supposed to be inexhaustible
in mineral wealth and for
agricultural purposes. Southwest Texas
includes all the country south of Crockett
county, between the San Antonio and Rio
Grande rivers. It is an extremely rich
section of the State, and was visited and
partially settled at a very early date. This
applies to a small portion of it, but the entire
region is well adapted to the raising of
cattle. What is known as the mineral region
comprises a large scope of country
composed of the counties of Crockett,
Tom Green, Pecos, Presidio, and El Paso.
Its mineral resources, however, have only
been partially developed, but the region
gives great promise of future wealth. The
character of the.country is very similar to
the Pan Handle or Staked Plains region,
and a description of one would answer for
In regard to the famous name, Staked
Plains, the best explanation of the matter
is in this wise: A number of stakes driven
into the soil were discovered by the early
explorers of the country, some of which
had upon their tops skeleton heads of
buffalo; but it has been conjectured that,
when the Fathers in 1734 traversed the
country from Santa Fe to San Saba to establish
a fort and mission, they set up
these stakes and placed buffalo heads upon
them in order that others who might follow
them could the better find their way across
the trackless wilderness. Thus calue the
banishh Llano Estacado. This region is
described, in connection witli a map, il
Yoakum's History of Texas, published in
1856, as follows: "From the head waters
of the Red, Brazos and Colorado rivers
the Rio Pecos is a desolate and sterile
plain from 100 to 200 miles in width, elevated
about 4,500 feet above the Gulf of
Mexico, without water or timber and with
a scanty vegetation. But the facts, as
since ascertained, are different. All tile
great rivers, from the Canadian on the
north to the Pecos and Rio Grande on the
south, have their sources in springs found
in canons penetrating this plateau, or from
underground streams, from the same source,
issuing out at the surface, as at San Antonio,
San Marcos and other points. Colonel
Shafter, of the United States army,
made a thorough reconnoissance of this
region in 1875, and he reported that large
portions of it were adapted to grazing,
having sufficient timber for all necessary
purposes, with good running water along
nearly the whole route he passed over.
He started from Fort Concho, in Tom
Green county, about 215 miles northwest
of San Antonio. He says there are numerous
springs in the ravines and canions.
The rivers of Texas are numerous, and
many of them are navigable. In the northeastern
section are the Red river, Big Cypress
and Lake Soda, which are navigable
during the rainy seasons, and considerable
trade is caried on with New Orleans by
means of them. The Red river on the
old Spanish maps is called Naugdoches,
after an Indian tribe that formerly lived
along that stream. The Sabine is the
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Lewis Publishing Company. A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas, book, 1893; Chicago, Illinois. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46827/m1/15/: accessed May 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Palestine Public Library.