OFFICE OF STATE GEOLOGIST,
January 1, 1870.
To the Honorable the President and Members
of the Indiana State Board of Agriculture:
SIRS: In accordance with my duties as State Geologist,
I take pleasure in submitting to you herewith my report of
progress for the year 1869.
Very respectfully yours,
E. T. Cox,
The law passed at the Forty-sixth Regular General Assembly of the State of
Indiana creating the office of State Geologist places him at the head of a
Geological and Scientific Department, to act in connection with and under the
control and management of the Indiana State Board of Agriculture, for the purpose of
collecting information designed to promote the interests of agriculture, arts,
manufactures, and mining.
The law not only requires of the State Geologist that he shall institute a
geological survey to make known the mineral resources of the State, but that he
shall likewise establish an analytical laboratory at Indianapolis, fitted up with
all the necessary chemical apparatus for analyzing such ores and substances as
may be deemed useful to the State, and to build up a Geological and Natural
History Cabinet, and to publish the results of his labors in the annual reports of
the Indiana State Board of Agriculture.
Soon after receiving the appointment of State Geologist from his Excellency,
Conrad Baker, Governor of Indiana, I proceeded to pack my large and valuable
collection of minerals, fossils, shells, and other objects of natural history,
also my chemicals and chemical apparatus, etc., etc., preparatory to making my
residence in Indianapolis, and with a view to arranging them in the rooms of the
Geological Department at the State House.
On arriving at the Capitol with this collection, it was soon made manifest
that the room set apart for the use of the State Geologist was totally inadequate
to hold the na-
tural history specimens and chemical apparatus, and to be used, at the same time,
as office and laboratory.
From a high appreciation of the importance of the labor to be performed, the
State officers, with one accord, decided to have a small addition, suitable for a
chemical laboratory, built on the east side of the State House, adjoining the
rooms of the Indiana State Board of Agriculture.
The erection of this addition, together with the time necessarily spent in
arranging the office, testing and purifying the chemical reagents, greatly delayed
the chemical work, and will account for the limited number of analyses given in
this report, But, through the hearty cooperation of our appreciative and
energetic State officers, Indianapolis can now boast of one of the best arranged
and most completely equipped analytical laboratories in the West. I trust soon to
be able to commence a series of elaborate investigations of the iron smelting
coals, iron ores and fluxes used in the blast-furnaces of Indiana, that will, it
is confidently believed, prove of great utility to the iron-masters, and
materially advance the manufacturing interests of the State.
In addition to the delay caused by arranging the office and laboratory, a
considerable portion of my time has been taken up in receiving visitors and
imparting geological information to capitalists, from various parts of the
country, who are desirous of investing their money in the coal lands and in
blast-furnaces, and other branches of manufactures in this State. To collect and
fnrnish such information has always given me pleasure, and appears to be
strictly in accordance with my duties.
As some of the fruits of the Geological Bureau, already made manifest, it may
be stated that it has been the means of drawing the attention of wealthy
manufacturers from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other States, to Indiana, inducing
large investments in coal lands, and the taking of decided steps for the
erection, at different points, of several new blast-furnaces for smelting iron;
also for the building of glass works at Indianapolis.
The gentlemen engaged in the latter enterprise were desirous to learn
of the Geological Department if they could find, convenient to
Indianapolis, suitable material for the manufacture of glass. Their
attention was at once called to specimens of sand suitable for the
purpose, from various localities in the State. One of the best samples,
a soft, white sandstone, from Pendleton, in Madison county, on the
Bellefontaine railroad, about twenty-five miles northeast of this city,
was tested in the laboratory and a glass made from it that proved to be as
clear as crystalized quartz. The result was entirely satisfactory, and I
have been informed that several barrels of the Pendleton sandstone were
subsequently shipped to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where similar results
were obtained in a practical way in the glass works of that city. Thus,
being fully satisfied of the excellence of the sand, fire clay for glass
pots, lime, coal, and other material essential to the manufacture of
glass, that are to be found here in close proximity, ground has been
broken and the glass works are now being rapidly pushed forward to
completion. It is but fair to presume from the railroad facilities that
give assurance of low freights, and the proximity of Indianapolis to a
coal field which furnishes an abundant supply of the best bituminous
splint coal for manufacturing purposes to be found in the country, that
this pioneer establishment will soon be followed by others.
From the information which has been furnished and the encouragement
given to manufacturers, it is believed that the State has already been
benefitted more than tenfold the cost of sustaining the geological
survey. The above explanation of the duties which have devolved on the
State Geologist, outside of field explorations, will serve as an apology
for any apparent dereliction of duty or want of finish in the published
results of the department for the year 1869.
The limited amount of funds at my disposal would only admit of the
employment of a small corps of assistants, who were kept at work but a
small portion of the season.
Dr. G. M. Levette, of Indianapolis, has been engaged to collect
information on the natural history of the State, and otherwise assist in
the laboratory, office, and field work, and I take pleasure in
acknowledging the valuable aid which the geological department has
received from his labors.
Dr. Rufus Haymond, of Brookville, Franklin county, Indiana, was
employed to make a survey and report on Franklin county. Although
neither valuable metaliferous ores nor coal are to be found in this
county, the law contemplates a complete survey of the entire State, and
it was therefore deemed necessary to pay some attention to the resources
of such counties as well as those more favored with mineral wealth.
Franklin county was selected on account of being the home of the
assistant, who was thus enabled to accomplish the same amount of work at
a less cost than if sent to some distant county.
Prof. Frank H. Bradley, late of Hanover College, Ind., was engaged to
make a survey of Vermillion county, he having previously acquired an
extensive knowledge of the geology of that county from examinations made
while surveying the adjoining counties in the State of Illinois.
The reports of these gentlemen are herewith respectfully submitted.
My first desire, on commencing the survey of the State, was to
confine my own researches in the field, this season, to Clay and Greene
counties, on account of the large amount of capital invested in mineral
lands and blast-furnaces within their limits. But the great interest
manifested, and intense excitement which continues to prevail in the
country with regard to the developments of the iron-smelting coal known
as "block-coal," subsequently determined me to push my investigations to
the northern limits of the coal field in Warren county.
On my first visit to Brazil, in Clay county, the general impression
seemed to prevail that the peculiar variety of coal familiarly known as
"block coal," or "Brazil coal," was confined to a small
basin, isolated from the great bitu-
minous coal fields of Indiana and Illinois, and limited to an area of a
few square miles.
Indeed I found, at Brazil, those who were presuming enough to stand
in the door of Rigby's Hotel and point out to me the extreme limits of
the "Block coal" field in every direction. Of the fallacy of this
prevailing opinion, regarding the coal fields of Indiana, I felt it to be
my first duty to disabuse the public mind, and to do so it became
necessary to extend the line of observations beyond the bounds first laid
down. By thus increasing the field of labor, the survey of Clay and
Greene counties has not been made as thorough as desirable, but on the
other hand, from the fact that splint, or "block coal," has been traced
from the southern limits of Greene county to Warren county on the north,
a more extended knowledge of the iron-smelting coal has been acquired,
and the mining and manufacturing interests of the State has been more
As the survey progresses, it is my intention to publish maps of each
county, on which will be marked the boundaries of geological formations,
and the location of coal mines, ore banks, stone quarries, etc., the
county maps to be finally collated into a geological map of the entire
State. In the present report will be found maps of Greene, Clay and
It affords me great pleasure, before closing these introductory
remarks, to return my sincere thanks to the citizens of the districts
surveyed, for the uniform kindness and attention that has been everywhere
received at their hands, and for the deep interest which they manifested
in the geological developments of the State.
To the following-named gentlemen I am under special obligations for
Garlick & Collins, Brazil Furnace; William Watson, Superintendent
Western Iron Company's Furnace; E. Jones, Superintendent Planet Furnace;
John Andrews, Superintendent of Coal Mines at Brazil; John H. Masten,
Superintendent Otter Creek Coal Mines; Captain Morris,
Superintendent Clay Coal Company's Mines; Henry Ashley, Brazil; David N.
Barnett, Barnett's Mine; McClelland & Son, of Brazil; Major W. W.
Carter, E. Teter, Esq. Elkins, T. J. Cromwell, of Bowling Green; Hon. J.
Cooprider, Middleberry; James Ferguson, Major Morse, Ashboro; Dr.
Gilfillan, Center Point; Alfred West, Cloverland Station, Clay county.
Dr. J. A. Minnick, Esq. Andrews, Worthington; Captain M. H. Shryer,
Colonel E. H. C. Cavens, A. G. Cavens, Mr. Clark, Judge Burns, Mr. H. S.
Slinkard, Colonel Smith, Dr. Connelly, O. T. Barker, Bloomfield, Greene
Dr. Keith, J. R. Madden, and Mr. Armstrong, Edwardsport.
Mr. A. Raney, Bloomington, Morgan county.
Calvin Fletcher, Judge Franklin, Reuben H. Warder, Spencer, Owen
Colonel Edwards, W. J. Ball, Jacob Hager, Terre Haute.
D. C. Donnohue, E. D. Andrews, Greene Castle.
Dr. D. W. Layman and son, W. B. Williams, Putnamville; Hon. A. D.
Hamrick, Hamrick's Station, Putnam county.
John Collett, Joseph Collett, Jr., Hon. B. E. Rhoads, Samuel
Groenendyke, Vermillion county.
General G. H. Steele, Judge Maxwell, Dr. Rice; Hon. Thomas Rice,
William H. Nye, A. Darroch, Rockville; Hon. W. C. Danaldson, Montezuma,
Joseph Poole, Secretary Indiana State Board of Agriculture, Marshall
M. Milford, Alexander A. Rice, Attica; James McManamy, Mrs. E. M.
McDonald, Covington; Norman B. [should read: Norborne] Thomas, Silver
Mrs. Debrow, Williamsport, Warren county.
John Sutherland, La Porte, La Porte county.
John M. Lord, John Thomas, Charles B. Parkman, officers of the
Indianapolis Rolling Mill and Planet Furnace; V. Butch & Dickson, White
River Valley Rolling Mills; E. J. Peck, John R. Elder, Colonel Harper,
Also to the officers of the following railroads, for material aid in
the way of free passes: Terre Haute & Indian-
apolis Railroad, Evansville & Crawfordsville Railroad, Indianapolis &
Vincennes Railroad, Indianapolis, Cincinnati & Lafayette Railroad;
Indianapolis, Peru & Chicago Railroad; Chicago, Cincinnati & Louisville
1869 Table of Contents
Geology Library, Indiana