The following approximate section will serve to show the relative
position of these three beds of excellent bituminous caking-coal:
Soil and drift, - - - - - 18 ft.
Argillaceous shale, - - - - 2 ft.
Coal N, - - - - - - - 4 ft.
Potters' clay, white, - - - - 2 ft.
Siliceous shale, with flags, - - - 40 ft.
Coal L, equivalent of Staunton coal, - - 5-6 ft.
Dark fire-clay, - - - - - ?
Blue argillaceous shale, - - - - 4 ft.
Bluish-gray sandstone, - - - - 24 ft.
Fossiliferous limestone, - - - 2 ft.
Black bituminous slate, with fish remains, - 2 ft.
Coal K, - - - - - - 4-5 ft.
Here, in the space of about 109 feet, we find three beds of fossil
fuel that have an aggregate thickness of from thirteen to fourteen feet.
The sulphur-bands which are of common occurrence in coal L, are, at Mr.
Bledsoe's, readily separated from the main part of the bed, which is one
of the very best bituminous caking-coals in this part of the county.
This coal is, as a fuel, above the average, and is sought after by
blacksmiths, far and near, for forging iron and welding steel.
Gamble's coal, on section 29, town 8, range 7, is the same as the
lower coal K, at Bledsoe's.
In the northern part of Wright township, coal K outcrops at the
following places, where it is from four and a half to five feet thick, with
one or two clay partings, and overlaid by a black shale and fossiliferous
McBride's, on section 17, town 8, range 7.
White's, " 8, " 8, " 7.
Letsinger's, " 8, " 8, " 7.
Jasonville, " 4 or 5, " 8, " 7.
Lahr's, " 22, " 8, " 7.
Going east it has been struck in wells at a number of places, and
underlies all the high land in that direction as far as the line dividing
ranges 6 and 7.
The outcrop of coal I -- the main "block-coal" bed of Clay county --
should be found in the townships in range 6.
GLACIAL, OR DRIFT EPOCH.
The superstrata of clay, gravel, sand, and small boulders of
metamorphic rocks which cover the entire county, except where removed by
denudation, belongs to this geological formation.
Various metals and ores, foreign to the stratafied rocks of this county,
are frequently found in this formation, but usually in such small
quantities as to be of no practical value; indeed this "float" mineral
of the drift serves too frequently to mislead the uninitiated, who lose
both their time and money in the vain search after the parent bed or vein,
which lies far to the north of the State.
The stratum of clay commonly known as "hardpan," is generally reached
at the depth of fifteen or twenty feet, and forms the horizon from which
the supply of well-water is obtained throughout the county.
The total depth of all the coal strata in Greene county is fully equal
to that of Clay county, which is twenty-eight feet and nine inches, and the
area which is underlaid by coal may safely be estimated at three hundred
and sixty square miles, or two hundred and thirty thousand four hundred
acres. Over this district, after making full allowance for outcrops,
horsebacks, loss from mining, etc., etc., there exists fully six feet of
coal available for market.
As the mines in this county are only worked to a very limited extent
to supply blacksmiths' forges and a few families who find it more
convenient and economical than wood as a fuel, there is no data, at present,
by which to fix its commercial value. If, therefore, we estimate the
product of one acre which, at six feet in depth, will yield -- calculating
one ton per cubic yard -- two hundred and ninety-four thousand bushels,
which, at the usual price paid as royalty, one-half cent. per bushel, gives
one thousand four hundred and seventy dollars as the value of one
calculated at the same rate for the entire area of two hundred and thirty
thousand four hundred acres, give three hundred and thirty-eight millions
six hundred and eighty-eight thousand dollars as the approximate royalty
value of the coal in Greene county.
"Block" Coal. -- The area of the "block" coal in Greene county,
which is included in the above estimate, is about one hundred and fifty
square miles, and its average depth may be taken at two and a half feet.
In quality it is fully equal to the average run of "block" coal in Clay
county, and can be used in the raw state for the manufacture of pig-iron.
Iron Ore. -- Greene county is rich in deposits of siliceous
hydrated brown oxide of iron and clay iron-stone. Many of these deposits
of ore are from ten to twenty feet, or more, in depth, and will furnish a
full supply of ore for a large number of blast-furnaces for many years to
come. The only thing required to insure the immediate erection of
blast-furnaces at these ore-banks, is a railway that will furnish means of
transporting its manufactured products to market. Good "block-coal"
suitable for fuel, and limestone for flux, are to be found in close
proximity to the ore; and there is no quality of metal so much needed at
this time, in Indiana, as the cold-short iron which the ores of this
county will furnish in great perfection.
Building-Stone. -- Excellent quarries of sandstone and limestone
are now being opened and worked on Mr. Watsons's land, on the line of the
Indianapolis & Vincennes railroad, on section 6, town 8, range 4, and on
section 14, town 8, range 5.
At the time of my examination, about six feet of rock was exposed at
the latter quarry, still leaving a considerable depth of good stone
undeveloped. It is a fine-grained, brownish-gray sandstone, with small
specks of protoxide of iron, and lies in strata that range from six to
sixteen inches in thickness, and may be taken up in slabs of any required
length and breadth.
Sandstone quarries have also been opened by Mr. Hamlin, on section 25,
town 7, range 4, and at Mrs. Faucett's, on Plummer's creek, on section 4,
town 6, range 4.
The stone at the latter quarry is moderately fine-grained, has a cream
color, can readily be split to any required thickness, and is mined in
large slabs from six to thirty inches thick. Stone from Hamlin's quarry
is used in Bloomfield for foundations to buildings, door-steps, door and
window lintels and sills, chimneys, copings, etc., etc. In quality and
in color it is similar to the stone at Mrs. Faucett's quarry.
Good sandstone for building purposes is also found on Mr. Lahr's land,
and at various other localities in Wright township, in the north-western
part of the county. In fact there is no scarcity of good building-stone
in Greene county.
Quick Lime. -- The subcarboniferous limestone along the I. & V.
railroad, and in the ridge skirting Richland creek and Ore-branch, will
furnish material for an abundance of good white lime. The limestone which
overlies coal K, in the western part of the county, will at many places
furnish a dark-colored but good strong lime, in every respect suitable for
Fire-Clay. -- This valuable mineral, which forms the substratum
to coal-beds, has received very little attention in this county, and as
yet no effort has been made to test its refractory qualities or adaptation
to the manufacture of fire-brick. The bed of fire-clay which outcrops in
the hill at Owensboro, is of excellent quality for the manufacture of
stone-ware, and a pottery has been established by Mr. Reynolds on section
25, town 6, range 2, in which the Owensboro clay is used. This is a small
factory, and turns out daily about one hundred gallons of ware consisting
of crocks and jugs.
Ochre-Beds. -- Beds of clay, colored with oxide of iron, are
found at Patterson's near the mouth of Fish creek, on the line of the I.
& V. railroad, in the edge of Owen county, also one and a half miles
south-east of Salisbury,
at Mr. Law's, on section 4, town 8, range 3. These ochres are of various
shades of color, and make a good cheap paint.
Agriculture. -- On the west side of White river the country is
mostly level, or gently rolling, and there are quite a number of small
fertile prairies. On the prairies and the broad bottoms along the streams,
the soil is, with a few exceptions, a sandy loam, easy to bring into
cultivation, and yields large crops of corn, wheat, oats, and grasses.
In the marshes or wet prairie lands, on Latta's creek, and at other
places, the soil is a deep black muck, which is, in its present state,
unproductive, but if properly drained and worked by deep plowing, in such
a manner as to leave its particles well exposed to the oxidizing action
of the atmosphere, will, in a few years, become one of the most productive
soils in the county.
On the ridges and table-lands, the soil is, for the most part, a
yellowish clay, that is not ordinarily as well adapted for growing cereals
as the sandy loam soil; yet it is very productive, and with ordinary
culture will yield from twenty to thirty bushels of wheat to the acre.
It also produces fine crops of red clover.
That portion of the county lying on the east side of White river is
quite broken, and the soil is mostly composed of yellow clay; though
there are tracts of sandy loam land in the bottoms along the creeks.
The ridges on this side of the river form highly favorable locations
for the cultivation of fruits, and though but little attention has yet
been paid to this branch of agriculture in Greene county, some very good
orchards are to be seen in the neighborhood of Bloomfield, and both apple
and peach trees present a thrifty appearance.
Timber. -- On the west side of White river the timber is
generally small, comprising a variety of oaks and hickory. The eastern
portion of the county is heavily timbered, and contains the usual variety
of trees found in this latitude -- such as poplar, oaks, black walnut,
ash, sugar-tree, hickory, etc., etc.
1869 Table of Contents
Geology Library, Indiana