138
GEOLOGY OF VERMILLION COUNTY.


BY FRANK H. BRADLEY


Vermillion county is bounded on the north by Warren county, on the east by Fountain and Parke counties, with the channel of the Wabash river as a boundry line, on the south by Vigo county, and on the west by Edgar and Vermillion counties, of Illinois. It is thirty-six miles long, and varies in breadth from five to ten miles, with an average of a little less than seven miles, thus including an area of 249 square miles.
Of this area, from one-fourth to one-third consists of the rich bottoms and terraces of the valleys of the Wabash and its affluents, the Big and Little Vermillion rivers and Norton's creek. A study of the details of the terrace-topography would be very interesting, but the time allotted to the survey of this county allowed of only a passing notice of its general features. The main terrace, or "second bottom," is especially developed in the region between Perrysville and Newport, a fact probably resulting from the combined action of the two main affluents which join the Wabash within these limits. The terrace is here from one to four miles wide, furnishing a broad stretch of rich farming lands, and has an average elevation of about forty feet above the present bottoms. Below Newport the bluffs approach the river so closely that the terrace is nearly obliterated, and the bottoms themselves become very narrow. At the mouth of Little Raccoon creek the bottoms are considerably widened, but the terrace has no considerable extent, until we reach the head of Helt prairie, about six miles north of Clinton, whence it stretches southward, with an average width of from two to three miles. It narrows


139
again, about three miles below Clinton, as we approach the mouth of Brouillet's creek, and the county line.
At the first settlement of the country, the bottoms were heavily timbered, but a large part of the terrace was so-called prairie, being entirely clear of trees. It is probable, however, that this was the result of ancient clearing by the Aztecs, or Mound-builders, whose "mounds" are quite numerous in this region; and that, during the period when the Indians occupied the country, their annual fires prevented the growing up of the clearings.
Rising from the terrace we find more or less abrupt bluffs, which attain a general level of from 120 to 130 feet above the river, and form the slightly-elevated border of Grand Prairie. The most gradual ascent is to the westward of Perrysville, and this has been selected as the best route for the Chicago, Terre Haute & Evansville railroad, although the coal and iron interest would rather favor a location south of the Big Vermillion. South of this stream the bluffs are much steeper, and a moderate grade could be obtained only by following up the valley of one of the smaller streams. The slopes of these bluffs are generally too steep for convenient cultivation, and are, through nearly their whole extent, still heavily covered with timber, principally consisting of oaks, hickories and walnuts, though beech begins to take a prominent place as we approach the southern end of the county. In many of the ravines, and along the foot of the bluffs, there are large groves of the sugar maple, from which considerable quantitites of sugar and molasses are annually drawn. Near the principal streams this timbered region extends westward to the State line; but in both the northern and middle portions of the length of the county, considerable portions of its territory form parts of the Grand Prairie, which stretches, with few breaks, northward to the Illinois river, and westward nearly to the Mississippi.
The county is well watered by its numerous streams, and by the strong springs which, especially in its northern half, burst forth at short intervals from below the "boulder-clay" of the drift period.


140
GEOLOGICAL FORMATIONS.
The alluvium of the river bottoms shows the common characters of river deposits, having animal and especially vegetable remains thoroughly intermingled with the fine sand and mud washed from the drift beds higher up the streams, and occasionally deposits of small stones, derived either from the drift or from the rock formations into which the rivers have cut in various parts of their courses. The only definite knowledge obtained as to the depth of these beds refers to the prairie between Eugene and Perryville, where wells have been sunk sixty feet through alluvial sand, and then encountered six to ten feet of a soft, sticky, bluish mud filled with leaves, twigs, and trunks of trees, locally known as "Noah's barn-yard." The lake-bottom deposits, of corresponding age, which commonly underlie the soil of the Grand prairie, were found in place a short distance west of the State line, consisting of marly clays and brick-clay subsoil, and probably exist equally under such portions of the prairie as extend into this county.
The gravel beds, which commonly form the upper member of the drift formation, have not been noticed within the county, though they may exist in its western portion, where the heavy prairie soil and subsoil prevent a knowledge of the underlying beds.
The "boulder-clay," which forms the mass of the drift formation, is a tough, bluish-drab, unlaminated clay, more or less thoroughly filled with fine and coarse gravel, and including many small boulders. On the bluff west of Perrysville this bed was penetrated to a depth of about one hundred feet before reaching the water-bearing quicksand commonly found beneath it. Outcrops of 110 feet have been measured, and the bed very probably attains a thickness of 125 feet or more, where it has not been subjected to denuding forces. It is much thinner in the southern part of the county. From the difference in character of the included boulders at different levels, we are led to the conclusion that the currents, which brought the materials composing these beds, flowed in different directions at different


141
times. To illustrate this I will give the following section, observed upon a branch of Johnson's creek, for which I am indebted to John Collett, Esq., of Eugene. (Johnson's creek debouches at the "toe" of the Horseshoe bend of the Little Vermillion, flowing from the east.)
      Soil,      -      -      -      -     -    0 feet  0 inches
      Boulder-clay, with pebbles of Silurian
        limestone and trap,      -      -       30  "    0   "
      Yellow clay, with fragments of coal,
        shale, sandstone, etc.,      -      -    0  "    4   "
      Boulder-clay, with pebbles of Silurian
        limestone,     -      -      -     -    25  "    0   "
      Ferruginous sand,      -      -      -     Streak.
      Boulder-clay from the northwest, with
        pebbles of various metamorphic rocks
        and trap, and nuggets of native cop- 
        per,     -        -       -      -      50  "    0   "
A considerable portion of the boulders and pebbles of these beds, especially those consisting of limestone and the metamorphic rocks, are finely polished and striated on one or more of their sides, showing the power of the forces which were engaged in their transportation from their original beds. Nuggets of galena (sulphide of lead) and of native copper are occasionally met with, and have had the usual effect of exciting the imaginations of persons who are ignorant that the rocks which contain these metals do not occur nearer than the galena region of Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, and the copper mines of Lake Superior. Well-diggers, in the adjoining part of Illinois, have informed me that they are accustomed to find, near the bottom of boulder-clay, a thin layer of gravel, which contains a small quantity of gold. I have never taken pains to ascertain its outcrop, as the amount is too small to be of any value.
The coal measures furnish the only rock formations to be found in the county. Of these the outcrop at the Horseshoe bend of the Little Vermillion furnishes the highest, and this consideration, with others, leads me to commence the review


142
of their outcrops at this point, although it is so near the middle of the county.
The section of the rocks exposed at the Horse-shoe is as follows, measuring from the top downward. The numbering of the beds is made continuous as far as the mouth of the Little Vermillion, while the numbering of the coals correspond with the system which Prof. Cox* has adopted, as expressing most correctly the distribution of the different seams throughout the Indiana, Illinois, and western Kentucky coal-field.**
      1. Black slaty shale, with Discina nitida, ?
      2. Coal, "No. 8,"     -      -      -        -    2 ft. 6 in. to  4 ft.
      3. Fire-clay,                                   }                15 ft.
      4. Soft clay shales, with ironstones,           }
      5. Argillaceous limestone, with  Pro-
           ductus longispinus,     -      -     -   1 ft. 0 in. to  2 ft.
      6. Dark drab clay shale,      -      -      -     1 ft.
      7. Soft, nearly black shale,       -      -       0 ft. 6 in.
      8. Coal "No. 7,"      -      -       -      -     4 ft. 0 in. to  5 ft.
      9. Light colored fire-clay,      -      -      -                  2 ft.
     10. Dark colored fire-clay,      -      -      -                   1 ft.
     11. Soft drab shale, with ironstones,
           Productus, etc.,      -        -      -   10 ft. 0 in. to 15 ft.
     12. Fossiliferous, black slaty shale, of-
           ten pyritous, with many large 
           iron-stone nodules,      -      -     -       2 ft. 0 in. to 3 ft.
________________________________________________________________________
* The system of numbering here referred to by Prof. Bradley, is given in a general section of the coal strata arranged by me for the Geological Report of Illinois, and was compiled principally from information obtained in making a survey of Gallatin and Saline counties, Illinois, and Union county, Ky.
Though the arrangement and numbering of the coal-beds in this section is believed to be accurate, for that region of the coal-field, I have not, as yet, been able to make the coal seams in this part of Indiana agree with it, and have, consequently, in my own report, used letters, provisionally, for the co-ordination of coal-beds, until a thorough study of the coal-measures in this State has been made.
** A letter written by me to John Collett, Esq., of Eugene, on Nov. 26th, 1868, and published in the newpapers of the Wabash valley, used a different set of numbers for the coal-seams, as the result of an attempt to co-ordinate them with the series of numbers adopted by Prof. Worthen, of the Illinois survey, for the coals of the Illinois valley; but finding that certain coals occurring on the Wabash had no place allotted to them in that system, I have been obliged to give it up, and now substitute therefor numbers, which will serve for the present identification of the different seams, but will probably require some change when the completion of the survey of the State shall have enabled us to arrange an accurate system of all its beds.


143
      13. Coal, "No. 6,"     -      -      -      5 ft. 0 in. to  7 ft.
      14. Soft, black, shaly clay,     -     -    1 ft. 0 in. to  3 ft.
      18. Fossiliferous, slightly sandy shales,
            with small ironstones,     -     -    6 ft. 0 in. to 10 ft.
      19. Drab shale, bottom concretionary,   -  20 ft. 0 in. to 43 ft.
Though I have looked carefully for it, I have never succeeded in finding any outcrop of the beds which overlie this section; and of the black shales which appear as its top layer, I have seen only specimens, as its outcrop was covered during the period of my survey of the county. The coal No. 8, as seen by me, had a covering merely of a few feet of soil. The samples of the roof-shales which I have seen are readily distinguished from those of coal No. 6, by their comparative freedom from pyrites, and the great number of Discina which accompany them, while this shell is only scantily present in the shales of No. 5.
The argilaceous limestone (5 of the section,) is here quite thinly laminated, being mingled with much clay; but the shales between it and coal No. 7 are here rather more solid than at some other points, and make a very fair working roof. About a mile farther up stream, at the upper end of the Horseshoe, the limestone is very solid, but the underlying shales are very soft, and appear likely to fall in the workings. The bed is not now worked at this point.
The section at this point is as follows:
      5. Compact argillaceous limestone,     2 ft. 0 in.
      6. Greenish shaly clay,     -     -    1 ft. 0 in.
      7. Soft black shale,    -     -    -   0 ft. 4 in.
      8. Coal, No. 7,     -     -     -      4 ft. 0 in.
      9. and 10.  Fire-clay,     -     -       ?
           Covered,     -     -     -    -  15 ?
     18. Sandy shales,     -      -     -   10 ft. 0 in.
     19. Dark drab to gray concretionary
           clay shales,     -      -  25 to 30 ft. 0 in.
The space marked "covered," evidently includes the


144
equivalents of Nos. 11 to 14, but no signs of coal No. 6 could be detected upon the outcrop. It is possible that it has locally thinned out and disappeared; but from the constancy of this bed wherever I have looked for it, along a line of outcrop of more than forty miles, I believe that it and the other missing beds, will be found here also when the debris shall have been removed from the slope, with the possible addition of Nos. 15 to 17, which are absent from the locally thinned section at the "toe" of the Horseshoe. It is a little curious, however, that so near to the only known appearance of No. 8 in the county, we should meet with the only apparent failure of this constant seam. A mistake in identification of seams at once suggests itself; but I believe that no such mistake has been made in this instance.
The sandy ironstones accompanying No. 18 of the section, are interesting to the fossil-hunter, as containing numerous fragmentary remains of fishes, mingled with fragments of Neuropteris, Pecopteris, Cordaites, etc. The last mentioned genus is also frequently present with Discina and the long fin-spines of Petrodus occidentalis,* in the pyritous ironstones in the roof of coal No. 6.
Upon ascending Johnson's branch, which enters the Little Vermillion at the "toe" of the Horseshoe, we find, upon the first left-hand ravine, an outcrop of coal No. 5, its presence being due to a local disturbance of the strata. As its normal relation to the section already given is better shown elsewhere, I give no section at this point. The disturbance mentioned is plainly indicated along the Little Vermillion by a great thinning of the beds below coal No. 6. This is partially shown by the variation in thickness ascribed to No. 19 of the given section; but a much greater difference is indicated by the dip of the beds at a point where the line of demarcation has passed below the level of the stream.
__________________________________________________________________
* I am aware that these long spines, feathered out upon the concave side like a slab of whalebone, and somewhat thickened along the convex edge, have not been described as Petrodus; but their universal occurrence, in company with the conical bony scales which are referred to this genus, has compelled me to conclude that they belonged to the same animal.


145
About a mile below the toe of the Horseshoe, near the so-called "silver mine" of the "slip-bank," the following section was taken:
      13. Coal, "No. 6,"     -     -     -    -  4 to  5 ft. 0 in.
      14. Fire-clay, top dark, bottom
           light drab, including a band
           of calcareous iron stone
           ("silver-ore"),     -     -     -     0 to  3 ft. 5 in.
      15. Light bluish-drab gray shale,    -     8 to 10 ft. 0 in.
      16. Olive colored gray shale,
           slightly sandy, with bands
           of siliceous iron stone,     -    -   8 to I0 ft. 0 in.
      17. Nearly black clay shale,     -     -         1 ft. 8 in.
      18. Light gray, slightly sandy
           shale, with fossiliferous
           bands of calcareous iron
           stone and argillaceous lime
           stone,     -      -     -      -     -     11 ft. 0 in.
      19. Dark drab concretionary shale
           top fossiliferous,      -      -      -    16 ft. 0 in.
Numbers 18 and 19 are especially interesting for their great abundance of fossils, of which the following are the more abundant: Deltodus, Bellerophon percarinatus, Nautilus, Spirifer cameratus, Spiriferina Kentuckensis, Productus scabriculus (very fine interiors often found), P. punctatus, P. longispinus, Chonetes, Athyris subtilita, A. Royissii, Terebratula bovidens, Hemiphronites crassa, Aviculopecten 2 sp. Along Fall branch, just above the "silver mine," on the opposite side of the river, the calcareous material of the beds equivalent to these bands is concentrated into a heavy compact limestone nearly two feet thick, with comparatively few fossils. In the branch above are numerous small, loose blocks of an impure limestone, perfectly filled with Productus longispinus: their proper place in the section was not ascertained. About a mile further down stream, near White's Mill, we find the following section, beginning with the bluff at the head of the mill-pond, as seen from the mill,

S. G. R. -- 10.


146
and running to the bluff below the mouth of Jonathan's creek:
      18. Compact and pisolitic iron ore with
        shales,      -       -      -            2 ft.  0 in.
      19. Clay shales, light and dark, hard and
        soft,       -       -       -      -    35 ft.  0 in.
      20. Black calcareous ironstone,    -       0 ft.  8 in.
      21. Black slaty shale,     -     -    -    2 to 3 ft.
      22. Soft black shale,     -     -    -     0 ft.  6 in.
      23. Coal, "No. 5,"     -     -     -       4 to 6 in.
      24. Dark-drab soft clay shale, with ferns, 2 ft.  0 in.
      25. Harder shales with sandy layers,    -  1 to 10 ft.
      26. Quarry sandstone, coarse, ferruginous,
        with plant remains,      -      -        4 to 9 ft.
      27. Shaly sandstone and sandy shales,
        some layers carbonaceous, with ferns,
        some ripple-marked flags,     -      -  15 to 20 ft
      28. Dark-drab clay shales,     -     -    15 to 20 ft.
      29. Clay shales, with thin bands of clay
        ironstone, full of fossil,     -    -    3 to 5 ft.
The black roof-shales of coal No. 5 commonly contain large numbers of the conical teeth (or scales) and long fin-spines of Petrodus occidentalis. The overlying black iron-stones also contain this species, together with a few Mollusks, of which the most common are Orthoceras Rushensis and Cardiomorpha Missouriensis.
From the shales, No. 24 of the section, John Collett, Esq., of Eugene, reports the following plants: Neuropteris hirsuta, Pecopteris, Hymenophyllites, Asterophyllites, Cordaites, Sphenophyllum, Lepidodendron and Sigillaria.
The ironstone bands of No. 29 of the section are crowded with fossils, mostly small, but generally well preserved. The following are the more common: Orthoceras Rushensis, Pleurotomaria, Loxonema, Bellerophon Montfortianus, Macrocheilus, Spirifer cameratus, Astartella, Leda, Phillipsia.
Going on toward Newport, we find the beds of the fore-


147
going section, as high as No. 20, exposed at intervals on the hill-sides, but gradually rising to make room for the lower beds, of which the following is an average section:
      30. Clay shales,     -      -     -      -    6 to 8 ft.
      21. Black slaty shales, rich in fossils,      2 to 3 ft.
      32. Coal, "No. 4,"     -      -      -       18 to 20 in.
      33. Fire clay, dark, shaly, with Stigmaria,  4 to 6½ft.
      34. Shales,      -      -      -     -      30 to 50 ft.
      35. Ironstone bands and nodules in shales,    2 to 5 ft.
At Morehead's bank, one mile above Newport, on the south-west quarter of section 28, township 17 north, range 9 west, a local change of dip brings coal No. 4, which at one point had reached an elevation of nearly sixty feet above the river, down again very nearly to water level. Its roof-shales, everywhere quite fossiliferous, are here especially rich in scales, teeth, and spines of fish, including the minute comb-like teeth so frequently mentioned by Lesquereux in Owen's Geology of Indiana (1859-'60), and in nearly perfect specimens of a crustacean closely allied to Ceratiocaris.
Below this point no outcrop is visible until we reach the mouth of the river, where a bed of highly fossiliferous, calcareous ironstone, a few inches thick -- probably the equivalent of No. 35 of the foregoing section -- is exposed at low water. This is especially noticeable for the great numbers of Serpulæ which fill the entire mass, sometimes attached to other fossils, sometimes running free, as though the layer had been a calcareous mud, affording support to the thin tubes.
As we go down the bottoms south of Newport, we find, in the numerous ravines and gullies excavated in the bluffs by the small streams, fine sections of the equivalents of the beds noted in the foregoing sections, as high as the roof of coal No. 6, of which an average section is nearly as follows:
Sandy clay shales, with pisolitic iron- 
  stone nodules,       -           -           -          5 ft. 0 in.
Soft clay shales,       -         -          -            2 ft. 0 in.


148
Coal "No. 6,"     -     -     -     -      4 ft. 0 in to  7 ft. 0 in.
Indurated fire-clay,           -            -             3 ft. 0 in.
Clay shale, partly sandy and mica-
  ceous,       -        -          -         -           25 ft. 0 in.
Black calcareous ironstone,        -             2 in. to 2 ft. 0 in.
Black slaty shale,      -        -         3 ft. 0 in. to 4 ft. 0 in.
Coal, "No. 5,"        -       -        -         8 in. to 3 ft. 0 in.
White fire-clay, mostly silicious,
  sometimes changing to sandstone,         2 ft. 0 in. to 6 ft. 0 in.
Argillaceous sandstone, some por-
  tions very shaly, others solid ferru-
  ginous, lower portion more or 
  less concretionary, with thin ir-
  regular ironstone bands,       -       70 ft. 0 in. to 80 ft. 0 in. 
Light drab clay shales,     -      -        -            10 ft. 0 in.
Black shale, mostly slaty,          -                     2 ft. 0 in.
Coal "No. 4,"       -        -        -        -          1 ft. 8 in.
Fire-clay, sometimes very dark and 
  shaly, with a thin band of com-
  pact sandstone, containing Stig-
  maria,      -      -      -    -    3 ft. 0 in. to 10 ft. 0 in.
Fossiliferous calcareous ironstone,                       1 ft. 0 in.
Black slaty shale,       -        -          -            1 ft. 6 in.
Shaly cannel, fossiliferous,         -       -            2 ft. 0 in.
Coal, "No. 3,"          -           -             -           streak
Fire-clay,     -      -        -        -        -        3 ft. 0 in.
The beds below coal No. 4, lie just at the base of the hills, and are generally more or less covered by debris, so that the exact section is often difficult to obtain; but the thin band of very hard stigmarial sandstone serves as a very reliable landmark. I observed it, either in place or slightly removed, every few rods, for some miles below Jackson's mill. The calcareous ironstone of the subjacent bed is also pretty constantly developed, being the equivalent of the before-mentioned outcrop, at the mouth of the Little Vermillion; but along the lower part of this range it is below the level of the bottoms. It is also interesting for its abundant fossils, beautifully preserved, including Nau-


149
tilus, Serpula, Pleurotomaria, Productus, Chonetes mesoloba, C. punctulifera, Hemipronites crassa, Spirifer cameratus, Crania, Aviculopecten rectilateraria, Entoliam aviculatus, Cyathaxonia, etc. The Craniæ were found attached within the outer chamber of a Nautilus. The underlying black shales and shaly cannel contain many Aviculopectens, with Petrodus occidentalis, Orthoceras Rushensis, and occasionally Cardinia fragilis.
On Whit. Jackson's farm, about four miles below Newport, wells sunk in the edge of the bottom many years since, but now filled up, are said to have penetrated coal No. 2, at a depth of about twelve feet. An attempt was made, during the past summer, to ascertain the truth of this by digging; but repeated floodings of their pit discouraged the workmen, and the problem is still unsolved.
About three miles below Newport, near the head of Wimsett Hollow, on section 10, township 16 north, range 9 west, one of the small branches, on the right as you ascend, has an exposure of about two and a half inches of "black band" iron ore accompanying the roof shales of coal No. 5, and containing an abundance of Pleurotomaria, Bellerophon, Loxonema, Productus, Chonetes, Mytilus, Nucula, Astartella, etc.
In the top of the bluff, east of Highland, the heavy bedded sandstone occurring just below coal No. 5, has been considerably quarried, as it here furnishes a very permanent building stone, and attains an extreme local thickness of twenty feet.
On the various branches of Little Raccoon creek, we find essentially the same section exposed piecemeal, here and there.
South of Little Raccoon, following the road under the bluffs, there appears a local rise of the strata, which, within a short distance, brings up coals No. 3 and No. 2. No. 3 is a thin seam, and has not been worked at any point, so far as known; Its level is known to be from twelve to fifteen feet above No. 2, at Wilson's coal bank, one mile above the head of Helt prairie, and in a ravine, a hundred


150
yards west of that point, it shows twenty inches of coal, with a roof of black slaty shale and calcareous ironstone. No. 2 is here from four to five feet thick, with only a thin covering of soil so far as yet worked. It has been opened, some time since, in the ravine aforesaid, where it is reported to be divided into two seams by a clay parting two feet thick. It appears to be the equivalent of the four foot seam worked just above Thomas's Ferry, on the Wabash, below the mouth of the Big Vermillion.
From this point the rocks dip again immediately, and about a mile farther south coal No. 4 has been opened in the edge of the bluff by the side of the road.
Thus far the heavy band of quarry rock, which holds a tolerably constant position in the shaly sandstones below coal No. 5, has served to keep the hills pretty high by reason of its slow yielding to denuding forces; but below here this band rapidly dips below water level, and there is only a small elevation between the main valley and that of Norton's creek.
[In passing from the valley of the Wabash to that of Little Raccoon, just below Highland, we find, on the contrary that this quarry sandstone is high up in the hill, and that the termination of the dividing ridge is comparatively abrupt.]
In following up the Eastern branch of Norton's creek from the head of Helt prairie, I was unable to find or hear of any outcrop -- the boulder-clay covers everything. Small quantitites of black shale were noticed in the drift of the western branch of the creek, but it was not traced to its source. Judging from the outcrops lower down the stream, I inferred that No. 6 outcropped on the upper part of this western branch.
Near the head of Helt's prairie, at Hawley & Helt's coal bank, No.5 shows a local thickness of from twenty inches to two feet, with the usual roof of two or three feet of black slaty shale containing fish remains. In some portions of the mine there occurs a bed of from four to six inches of dark, drab, compact clay shale, with Pecopteris and Avicu-


151
lopecten rectilateraria, intercalated between the coal and the black shale. This was not met with elsewhere.
A short distance farther down the creek, near the mouths of the ravines upon which are situated Nebeker's and White's coal-banks, this seam, which has kept near the level of the stream all the way, has returned to its usual thickness of from eight to ten inches. Near the heads of these ravines No. 6 is largely developed, and has been extensively worked. Its roof here consists almost entirely of massive concretions of pyritous carbonate of iron, only the chinks being filled with the black shale which commonly forms the roof of this seam. A layer of shale, however, overlies the ironstones. Many of these ironstones are rich in fossils, which are most readily obtained after the nodules have been exposed to the weather for some time. Among them we especially note, Aviculopecten rectilateraria, Petrodus occidentalis, Productus longispinus, Discina nitida, Lingula, Cardinia ? fragilis, Edmondia ? and Solenomya. The Cardinia also occurs in the overlying black shales, sometimes accompanied by Stigmaria, all the fossils being rendered noticeable by a brilliant thin layer of iron pyrites. The section of this locality is as follows:
    Black shale, some slaty,       -      -      3 ft. to  4 ft.
    Nodular band of pyritous and sili-
      cious ironstone,      -        -           1 ft. to  2 ft.
   Coal, "No. 6,"      -        -       -        5 ft. to  6 ft.
   Fire-clay and soft clay shale,           -              4 ft.
   Ferruginous sandstone -- bottom,
     hard firestone,         -         -         6 ft. to  7 ft.
   Sandy shales, changing below to
     dark drab clay shales with iron-
     stones,         -          -        -      40 ft. to 50 ft.
   Black slaty shale (and locally calcar-
     eous ironstone),          -          -     2 ft.  to  3 ft.
   Coal, "No. 5,"          -          -          8 ft. to 10 ft.
   Shaly clay, with Stigmaria,            ?
Two and a half mines farther south, near Clinton, at


152
Van Ness's bank, No. 6 has descended to near high water mark, and soon passes below it as we go southward, making no farther appearance within the county, and showing again on this side the Wabash only at the point opposite Terre Haute, where Prof. Lesquereux reports it as worked near low water mark.*
The mass of the hill between the Wabash and Brouillet's creek, below Clinton, is composed of the shaly sandstones, sandy shales, and clay shales with ironstones, which form the large part of the sixty or seventy feet of rock between coals No. 6 and No. 7. No section was found exposed in this part of the county which would give the exact distance between these two seams. At Mr. Skidmores place, about 3 miles west-south-west of Clinton, the "dirt" of No. 7 has been seen near the top of the hill, and some traces of No. 6 in the meadows at the foot of the hill. The distance between them was here estimated at seventy-five feet. I was informed by the miller at Hedge's mill, that in diving in the pool under the dam at that point, he had seen the outcrop of No. 6, five or six feet thick, with a black slate roof. A measurement from this point to the outcrop of No. 7 in the hill above, gave the distance at about fifty-five feet.
From near this mill to the Wabash the shales of this division contain numerous ironstone nodules of various sizes, in some of which fine specimens of fossil ferns have been found, though in not nearly so great abundance as at Durkee's Ferry, a few miles farther south in Vigo county.
In ascending Brouillet's creek, above Hedge's mill, we gradually approach the level of coal No. 7. Near the Indiana Furnace we find, upon Coal creek, the following section:
     Greenish sandy shales, with iron-
       stones,         -          -        -          20 ft.
     Drab clay shales,      -          -    15 ft. to 20 ft.
     Slaty coal,      -      -     -         1 ft. to  3 ft.
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* Owen's Geology of Indiana, 1859-60, p. 330.


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     Coal, "No. 7,"        -        -      4½ ft. to  6 ft.
     Fire-clay,        -        -        -             6 ft.
     Sandy Shales,        -      -          10 ft. to 12 ft.
     Argillaceous limestone,        -        1 ft. to  2 ft.
     Sandy shales,         -         -       8 ft. to 12 ft.
     Compact sandstone,   -        -         3 ft. to  6 ft.
     Greenish shales,   -    -    -    -     3 ft. to  4 ft.
The limestone here noted is a pretty constant accompaniment of No. 7 in this part of the county, at a slightly variable distance below it. It is here rather farther from the coal than I have seen it elsewhere. It is probably the equivalent of the limestone band found about fifteen feet below the same seam in the neighborhood of Danville, Illinois, though no such bed is present in the section taken on the Little Vermillion.
Going up Brouillet's creek, from the Indiana Furnace, we find No. 7 opened at various places, until within a very short distance of the State line, where it finally dips below water level. Not far above the section taken upon Coal creek, the overlying sandy shales yield, upon disintegration, large numbers of heavy ironstone nodules, which will be more particularly noticed under the head of "economical geology," although the principal source of supply lies beyond the Illinois line. A short distance beyond the line there is a streak of coal, from two to five inches thick, which may be the equivalent of No. 8, though circumstances would indicate that it more probably represents a higher seam, which is not exposed within the limits of Vermillion county. South to the county line No. 7 and its accompanying beds probably underlie the western half of the county, as the lower beds do the portion along the lower course of Brouillet's creek. Starting from the Horseshoe of the Little Vermillion I have followed the natural succession of outcrops, and am now obliged to turn about in order to deal with the northern end of the county.
In going northward from the mouth of the Little Vermillion we find, at various points along the Wabash, nearly


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to the mouth of the Big Vermillion, small outcrops of the ironstones and shales below No. 3, with this seam itself sometimes in place. About a mile below the residence of Mr. John Collett, and equidistant from Eugene and Newport, No. 2 has been seen at extreme low water, with a reported thickness of five feet, and the overlying band of ironstone is visible at ordinary stages of water. But, through the whole distance, it was found impossible to get a satisfactory section containing these two seams.
In ascending the Big Vermillion we find on its south bank, a mile below Eugene, a bluff of banks of from twenty-five to thirty feet of irregularly bedded, highly ferruginous, coarse-grained sandstone, often containing comminuted plant remains, with some large fragments of trees, etc. Some of the beds are sufficiently solid to make good building stone. In quarrying them many fine trunks and branches of Lepidodendron and Sigillaria have been found, with a few fruits of Trigonocarpum. This bed is supposed, from its position, to be the equivalent of the sandstone belonging above coal No. 4, though it is rather more irregularly bedded, and of a coarser structure. Its position, however, is rather peculiar, for it lies in a hollow gullied into the lower strata to such a depth as to have removed both No. 4 and No. 3, and an unknown thickness of rock below them. The edge of this gully passes just below Eugene, where, at the ford, we see this sandstone lying over the edge of coal No. 3 and of from eight to ten feet of the underlying clays and shales. The position of the southern edge of the gully is not known, but the width is probably not very great, since the roof shales of No. 4 have been seen in place about one mile to the southward, in the bed of Tipton branch. (Just above that point a quarry in the overlying sandstone has yielded some fine large stems of the new species Syringodendron Porteri, Lsqx.) It would appear probable then that we have here a fossil river of carboniferous times, which may have flowed from the hills of conglomerate sandstone which still stand upon the east side of the Wabash, and show, by the position of the later beds about


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their bases on all sides, that they were really hills during the deposition of these later beds. Doubtless they were finally buried in the later deposits of the carboniferous age, and have more recently been repeatedly swept over by marine and fresh-water currents, but their relations to these later beds are evidently unchanged, and they stand to-day as they stood then -- hills above the surrounding low lands.
On the river bank, back of the tavern at Eugene, the following section occurs:
 
     Dark fire-clay,    -      -     -    -     -    2 ft. 0 in.
     Soft black shale,    -    -    -     -   -      2 ft. 0 in.
     Fossiliferous ironstone,   -    -    -    -     2 to  4 in.
     Soft black shale,     -      -      -     -     0 ft. 6 in.
     Black slaty shale and impure cannel,     -      1 ft. 0 in.
     Coal, No. 3,     -     -     -      -     -     1 ft. 0 in.
     Compact sandstone, with Stigmaria,    -        1 ft. 0 in.
     Blue fire-clay,      -     -    -      -    -   2 ft. 6 in.
     Buff and gray fire-clay, changing to sandy
       shale,   -    -     -     -     -     -   -   5 ft. 0 in.
At the sawmill above town four feet of shaly sandstone cap the foregoing section. At S. Groenendyke's mine, above town, the following section occurs, which is an average representation of the condition of No. 4 in this neighborhood:
     Dark-drab shale, with bands of ironstone
       nodules,     -    -     -     -    -     -     12 ft.  0 in.
     Black shale,     -      -     -     -      -     2 ½ to 3 ft.
     Shaly cannel,      -      -      -    -    -      1 ft.  0 in.
     Black slaty shale,      -      -     -      -     0 ft. 10 in.
     Coal,    -    -    -    -     -     -      -      0 ft. 14 in.
     Black shale, with pyritous nodules,       -       0 ft. 15 in.
     Coal,   -     -     -     -     -     -      -    14 to 20 in.
     Fire-clay,      -      -      -     -      -      ?
This section is peculiar as regards the shaly cannel in its roof shales, which character does not commonly appear in


156
connection with No. 4; but I am unable to refer this coal to any other seam.
The section upon Browntown branch is interesting, on account of the disappearance of coal No. 5, (which has been seen nowhere north of White's Mill, on the Little Vermillion,) and for the presence of a valuable band of iron ore. It is as follows:
     Black calcareous ironstone,      -      -     -   1 to 2 ft.
     Black slaty shale,      -      -      -      -    4 to 5 ft.
     Level of No. 5.
     Fire-clay,    -     -     -     -      -     -   ½ to 1 ft.
     Shaly sandstone,      -      -      -       -     6 to 8 ft.
     Heavy-bedded quarry sandstone,     -       -      9 to 10 ft.
     Shaly sandstone,      -      -      -     -       1 to  2 ft.
     Compact ironstone band, changing to nod-
       ules,    -      -     -       -      -      -   0 ft. 2 in.
     Sandy shale,     -      -      -      -     -    10 ft. 0 in.
     Compact brown ironstone, with fish re-
       mains,    -     -     -     -      -     -     18 to 20 in.
     Sandy shale and shaly sandstone, with
       some ironstones,     -      -      -      -    40 to 60 ft.
     Shales of "No. 4,"      -      -      -     -    ?
Near this point No. 4 dips below the present level of the Big Vermillion, and comes up again only at the Hanging Rock, and on Coal branch just back of it. Throughout the intervening distance, the roof- shales are seen at low water, proving its presence; and I am informed that it was worked at several points before the building of the dam at Eugene. The upper beds of the foregoing section, however, are very irregular in this neighborhood. Valuable bands of ironstone, and more or less sandstone and sandy shales are everywhere present, but the relative positions and thicknesses of the beds are exceedingly variable, as illustrated in the following section, taken at J. Jones', about two miles from Eugene, and representing the condition of things on an outcrop of about a hundred feet in length:


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     Blue clay shale-top with sandy streaks,     -   10 to 15 ft.
     Covered,      -      -      -      -     -       3 to  5 ft.
     Light brown ironstone, more or less calca-
       reous,     -     -     -      -      -     -  1½ to 3 ft.
     Drab shales -- some places, pure clay; oth-
       ers, becoming sandy and micaceous
       and even heavy sandstones; with pisolitic
       compact ironstones, especially at top,     -    20 ft.
At Hanging Rock, and on Coal branch just east of it, we find No. 4 well developed and considerably worked; but here, even more than is common elsewhere in the county, it is split up into comparatively thin partings, separated by shale and fire clay. I am informed that it has shown here as many as five partings. The following is the section as exposed in 1868, beginning with the capping sandstone, locally known as the "Hanging Rock sandstone," and supposed to be equivalent to the "Mahoning" sandstone of the Ohio coal-field:
     Heavy-bedded soft ferruginous sandstone,      20 ft. 0 in.
     Black slaty shale, with ironstone nodules,    18 ft. 0 in.
     Soft black shale with Productus and fish-
       teeth,     -    -     -    -     -     -     1 ft. 6 in.
     Coal,    -     -     -      -      -     -     1 ft. 9 in.
     Fire-clay and blue shale, with pyrites,  -     1 ft. 0 in.
     Coal,      -     -     -      -     -     -    1 ft. 0 in.
     Fire-clay,  -   -     -     -     -    -       1 ft. 0 in.
     Coal,     -    -    -     -      -     -       2 ft. 8 in.
     Fire-clay,    -    -    -    -     -     -     4 to 6 ft.
     Black shale,    -    -    -    -     -     -   0 ft. 6 in.
     Coal,   -     -     -     -     -    -    -    1 ft. 6 in.
     Indurated fire-clay,   -    -     -     -      2 ft. 0 in.
One of these partings, said to be the third from the top, has been worked on Coal branch, with a thickness of from three to four feet.
The Hanging Rock itself projects considerably, in consequence of the disintegration of the softer, somewhat


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pyritous shales beneath it, forming a small shelter for cattle who frequent the place both for shelter and to lick up the copperas and alum which form in small quantities upon the surface of the decomposing shales.
Above the Hanging Rock no outcrop of No. 4 occurs, and the banks are composed of the overlying sandstones and sandy shales, with the black roof-shales of No. 5 forming a prominent feature, until we pass beyond the State line, where they are about thirty feet above the river. No. 5 itself is represented by from six to ten inches of soft drab clay shale. The roof-shales show an abundance of their usual fossils, Petrodus and Aviculopecten.
In going north from Eugene, I have, thus far, been unable to connect the sections of the south part of the county with the outcrops found at and above Perrysville. Below Perrysville the only outcrops known belong to the conglomerate or millstone grit, which is so largely developed on the east side of the Wabash; and the relations of this, even to the higher beds on that side of the river, are still undecided.
The Perrysville section is as follows:
     Coal (reported, as found in wells),
       No. 1, ?       -         -         -        8 in to 1 ft. 6 in.
     Fire-clay,      -        -        -        -          2 ft. 0 in.
     Soft blue clay shale,      -      -        12 ft. to 15 ft. 0 in.
     Bluish drab shaly limestone,     -          2 ft. to  3 ft. 0 in.
     Blue limestone, bottom rich in fossils,               3 ft. 0 in.
     Light blue and drab shaly clay,                       1 to  2 in.
     Soft, black, shaly, calcareous clay,        4 ft. to  6 ft. 0 in.
     Black slaty shale,      -         -         3 ft. to  4 ft. 0 in.
     Soft, black, shaly, calcareous clay,        3 ft. to  4 ft. 0 in.
     Light drab calcareous argillite,
       rich in fossils,       -          -       1 ft. to  4 ft. 0 in.
     Soft, black, shaly, calcareous clay,                  1 ft. 0 in.
     Black slaty shale,      -        -          5 ft. to  0 ft. 6 in.
     Soft black shale,          -               12 ft. to 15 ft. 0 in.
     Dark drab shale, with ironstones at top,             27 ft. 0 in.


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Exactly the same section occurs on Rock creek, in Warren county, where the beds lie directly, and apparently conformably, upon a set of shaly sandstones, which are continuous with the conglomerate sandstone of Williamsport, only becoming more purely quartzose and more solid as we descend the section. These shaly sandstones include a thin bed of very impure brash coal, about sixty feet below the limestone, which may represent "No. 1 A," but more probably belongs to an unnumbered seam commonly known as the "conglomerate" coal. Three or four miles below Rock creek, near Evans's coal mines, we find another band of limestone of very similar character, from thirty to forty feet above the equivalent of the Perrysville bed, and marks of one or more coal seams between them. Above this upper limestone are the two beds now worked, which considerably resemble Nos. 3 and 4. I believe that, by a little careful work in that neighborhood, one could find a section which would settle the doubtful points.
Wells sunk below the limestone at Perrysville, to a reported depth of ninety feet, are said to have encountered no coal, and it appears doubtful, at present, whether any valuable seam, at least, exists there.
The old limekiln just above Perrysville, on the bank of river, was dug in the soft clay shale of the base of the foregoing section, and shows no disturbance of the layers; yet within fifteen feet of this kiln we find a small quarry of sandstone, which extends from the base to the top of the bluff, cutting off even the limestone. Judging from observations on the east side of the Wabash, I conclude that this is an extension of the conglomerate sandstone, which either stood as an island or projected as a promentory in the old sea whose mud composed these shales and limestones. Just north of this point, the limestone is thicker than at any point south of it, and a slight difference has been noticed in the fossil contents upon the two sides, although, for half a mile to the southward, this feature is constant. On the north side the limestone runs only a few rods, giving no opportunity to ascertain whether the more


160
southern characters would obtain at a suitable distance from the obstacle. On the north side, close to the sandstone, some thin streaks and patches of coal have been observed, none of which appear to the southward. The lower shales, also, upon the north side, contain a few ferns and other coal-measure plants, none of which have yet been detected upon the south side. At the appearance and contents of these beds, as seen upon Rock and Redwood creeks, in Warren county, seem to be identical with their appearance and contents on the south side of this sandstone hillock, I am disposed to assume that these are the normal conditions of rocks deposited at that period in the open sea, and that the changed conditions on the other side have resulted from special local influences.
Along all the small streams which fall into the Wabash, between Perrysville and Covington, there are beds of fern-bearing shales, accompanied by thin seams of coal, which appear to belong below the Perrysville beds; but I have been unable to find any certain clue to their exact position. Their fossils indicate that they are low in the series, but cannot help us to any more definite conclusion. Neuropteris hirsuta, Alethopteris Serlii, Cordaites borassifolia, and Gyromices ammonis, are the most abundant fossils of these beds, while Lepidodendron, Lepidophyllum, Trigonocarpum, Asterophyllites, Hymenophyllites, Filicites, and fragments of bivalve crustaceans are occasionally met with.
As the Perrysville beds contain a very interesting group of fossils, I give here a complete list of the forms thus far collected at that point. From the limestone: Phillipsia scitula, P. Sangamonensis ?, Bellerophon, Naticopsis n. sp., N. nodosa, Euomphalus rugosus, Loxonema 2 or 3 sp., Spirifer cameratus, S. lineatus. Spiriferina Kentuckensis, Athyris subtilita, Rhynchonella Osagensis, Productus semireticulatus, Chonetes mesoloba, Hemiphronites crassa, Discina nitida, Lingula, Placunopsis, Aviculopecten, Fusulina cylindrica, Crinoid stems and Bryozoans: from the black shales: Orthoceras Rushensis, Nautilus, Euomphalus?, Productus, Chonetes mesoloba, Dincina nitida, Edmondia?, Aviculopec-


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ten rectilateraria, Spirifer planoconvexus, Petrodus occidentalis: from the calcareous argillite: Nautilus latus?, Goniatites, Macrocheilus (large), Pleurotomaria carbonaria, Spirifer cameratus, Rhynchonella, Athyris subtilita, Productus, Chonetes mesoloba, Ariculopecten Coxanus, Solenomya radiata, Cyathaxonia prolifera.
All of the rock strata here described have a general dip toward the southwest, at a rate of from fifteen to twenty feet to the mile, but this is modified greatly by various causes, so that it were possible to find local dips in almost any direction, and sometimes with quite a rapid pitch. Starting, then, from the eastern side of the county, where we stand upon the lower beds, we pass, on level ground slowly, on rising ground more rapidly, to higher and higher beds; until, when we reach the State line, if upon moderately high ground, we stand upon or above beds higher than any which we have crossed in our trip. The principal irregularities of dip have been pointed out as we went along; but the accurate delineation of these irregularities would require far more careful and expensive examinations than could be afforded.
Having thus sketched, as much in detail as seemed advisable, the distribution of the rock formations of the county, though with the omission of multitudes of interesting details, I will now proceed to that part of my report which should treat of

ECONOMICAL GEOLOGY.
The first subject to which the seeker for mineral wealth, in this county, would turn his attention is the coal supply. The first impression of the superficial observer would be that there is a great abundance for all demands; and the final conclusion of the scientific explorer must be that good coal can now be mined profitably under at least one-half of the area of the county, and ultimately under probablytwo-thirds of the remainder. A thickness of eight feet would probably be a small enough estimate for the coal underlying every square foot of the county. This would give, at

S. G. R. -- 11.


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the usual estimate of one million tons to the square mile for every foot of thickness, the amount of 1,950,000,000 tons, or 48,750,000,000 bushels, as the supply of the county.
The highest workable seam is No. 8. This makes its only appearance in the county, and, indeed, in this whole region, at the Horseshow bend of the Little Vermillion, where it shows a thickness of from two and a half to four feet, with a roof of black clay shale. It is a fat caking coal, rich in gas, and very sooty; good for blacksmithing or for grate fuel. Ash gray. This seam was formerly dug to some extent, but is at present neglected, in consequence of the large development of No. 7 and No. 6 at the same point.
At this locality, also, we find one of the only two localities within the county where No. 7 is worked. In the immediate neighborhood of the Horseshoe there are quite numerous openings into this seam, but only three or four of them are now worked. This is the equivalent of the main coal at Danville. It is a fat caking coal, good for engine or house fuel, and fair for blacksmithing if picked; but it is rather apt to be somewhat sulphurous. Ash reddish-brown. At the upper end of the Horseshoe, on Mr. Patrick's land, it has been considerably worked, with an average thickness of four feet; but the mines are now deserted. The shale between the coal and the heavy limestone roof appears to be rather soft, and the difficulty of supporting it has probably assisted in causing the desertion of the mines. At the "toe" of the Horseshoe the shale seems to be more compact, and stands very well in the two mines now open in this seam.
A barrel of coal, said to have been taken from this seam at Hibberly's bank, was sent by Josephus Collett, Jr., Esq., of Newport, to the rolling mill at Indianapolis, which, upon trial, proved to be fit for smelting iron. This is far better than the common coal of this seam; and I am rather inclined to believe that a mistake was made regarding the source of the coal sent, its character closely resembling that of the coal of No. 6.
As already stated, No 7 has not been seen north of this


163
place within the county; but there is reason to believe that it occurs on the highest part of the ridge east of the Little Vermillion, nearly or quite continuously, to its outcrop near Georgetown, Illinois. Below the Little Vermillion it is undoubtedly in place along all the western boundary of the county, and can be reached by shafts sunk in the prairie whenever any considerable demand may arise of coal.* It does not, however, run far enough east to outcrop along any of the streams in the lower part of the county, until we reach Brouillet's creek, along which it is worked, at short intervals, all the way from the State line to Hedges' Mill, and also on Coal creek, in the adjoining part of Vigo county. In this southern extension we find the seam thickened up to nine feet in some places; but, of this, the upper one to three feet consist generally of a very impure "brash" coal, which is rejected in mining, under the false name of "slate." These openings supply a large demand through the adjoining part of Grand prairie. The outcrops are conveniently located, and the supply seems inexhaustible.
Along the Big Vermillion No. 6 is nowhere seen, east of the Illinois line; but it undoubtedly underlies a considerable portion of the space between that stream and the Little Vermillion, along which latter its outcrop is continuous from a point three miles below Georgetown to the "silver mine" below the Horseshoe. Throughout this distance openings are frequent, and large quantities of coal have been taken from them, but none are now extensively worked. It has been recently reported, also, upon W. Eggleston's land, about one and a half miles southeast of the "silver mine."
This seam also underlies the entire western portion of the county, but runs farther east than No. 7, outcropping in the higher hills along every stream between Newport and Clinton, just below which latter place it passes below the level of the Wabash. Where it first enters the county, along the
____________________________________________________________________
* Serious difficulty can arise, in attempting to mine the coal at points upon the prairie, only from the possible presence here of the thick bed of water-bearing quicksand, which underlies the boulder-clay in the western parts of Edgar and Vermillion coun ies of Illinois.


164
Little Vermillion, this seam has a roof of soft dark-drab clay shale, containing fragments of ferns and the shells of the small Crustacean, Leaia tricarinata. But, as we descend the stream, this gradually becomes darker and harder until, at the Horseshoe, it is changed to or replaced by black slaty shales containing Discina, Petrodus, and other marine fossils, and accompanied by many large, black ironstone nodules, more or less sulphurous. This latter character is still more largely developed near Clinton, where the roof consists almost entirely of spherical nodules of sulphurous ironstone, two to three feet in diameter, closely packed together, and only the small interstices filled with black shale. The thickness of the seam is variable, ranging from four to seven feet. Through the northern part of the county, at least, it is generally a very pure coal, with the lower thirty to thirty-six inches -- below the clay parting -- a free-burning "block-coal," every way suited for smelting iron in the raw state. The upper portion of this seam swells some in burning, but makes a choice fuel for engine or house use. Ash white. The coal brought to Clinton from Nebeker's bank (No. 6) was observed to contain much of the "block," but circumstances prevented me from ascertaining how large a portion of the seam shows that character. Coal from this mine has displaced, for steamboat use, the product of mines nearer to Clinton.
No. 5, in the immediate neighborhood of so much larger seams of better coal, is not a very important source of fuel, and has been dug from only for local use except at two points, viz.: at Burns' bank, east of Highland, and at Hawley & Helt's bank, near the head of Helt Prairie. At Burns' bank, the seam is locally thickened to an average of about thirty-three inches, but yields only a rather coarse coal which burns with much flame and smoke, and leaves considerable cinder. Both here and at Hawley & Helt's bank, the coal was well spoken of as house fuel. At the latter place, the local thickness of the coal is about twenty-two inches. At all other points where this seam was encountered, it showed only from six to twelve inches of


165
rather impure coal, and is entirely wanting at all points north of White's mill. At Burns' bank, and at two or three points along Jonathan's creek, the ordinary black roof-shales are wanting, and a rather solid sandstone takes their place; and at Hawley & Helt's bank, as previously stated, a few inches of dark drab compact shale are found between the coal and its roof. It has been observed that where the fire-clay of this seam is not silicious, the coal is apt to be more impure and less in quantity. I have not yet ascertained whether this law holds good where the coal is entirely wanting, as in the northern part of the county.
No. 4 takes a rather more prominent place among the sources of fuel, but is still in the background when compared with the higher seams. This is a very irregular seam, and the amount of fuel which it would yield at any unexplored point, could not be calculated with any certainty. Its different partings vary greatly in thickness, and often in character. As a general rule, the upper portions are composed of a good blacksmithing coal, rich in bitumen, while the lower parts are more splinty. It is liked for house use, but is not extensively mined on account of the thinness of the partings. The principal openings are at and near the Hanging Rock, on the Big Vermillion, about four miles above Eugene, on section 28, township 18 north, range 10 west. Ash reddish-gray, some clinkers. These are among the oldest workings in the county. At S. Groenendyke's mine, near Eugene, this seam has been considerably worked for house fuel. Just below Eugene, as already stated, No. 4 and No. 3 are both cut off by the previously described channel, now filled with sandstone; but its disappearance is only for a short space, since it appears again within a mile of town and continues southward, though it is nowhere worked until we reach Morehead's mine, a mile above Newport. In the ravines below Newport, and upon the branches of Little Raccoon, this seam has been frequently opened in a small way for local supply, but is nowhere of much importance. Its last appearance is about a mile below Wilson's bank, near the head of Helt prairie.


166
No. 3 makes no prominent show in the county. At Eugene it is too thin to be worked. In the ravine back of Wilson's bank, it is about twenty inches thick, but is neglected for the thicker and purer No. 2.
Wilson's bank is the only place where No. 2 shows above the ordinary level of the river. It is said to have been seen on the bank of the Wabash at low water mark, about a mile below Mr. John Collett's, with a thickness of about five feet. There is every reason to believe that it is continuous under nearly the entire prairie from Newport to Eugene, and beyond towards Perryville, and can be mined by shafts of moderate depth at any convenient point. Above Eugene, its outcrop, beneath the alluvium, probably holds a general north-north-westerly course from the mouth of the Big Vermillion, parallel to the outcrops of the higher seams.
I am also of the opinion that the coal, from two to three feet thick, which outcrops near low water mark on the east side of the Wabash at Thomas' ferry, and which is one of the partings of No. 1, probably runs under the same region, and will be found of workable thickness; but there are no certain data for this opinion.
To the northward of Eugene, these lower seams are nowhere visible; in fact, no rock is seen upon the surface between the floor of No. 4, on the upper part of Coal branch, and the fire-clay above the limestone at Perrysville. But, from the general regularity of the outcrops, wherever exposed in this region, it appears probable that after the completion of the Terre Haute and Danville railroad, it will be found profitable to bore for these lower seams, at some point or points upon the prairie west of Perrysville. A boring of two hundred feet would reach the lowest workable seam anywhere in that region, and, over a considerable part of it, one hundred and fifty feet would probably be sufficient.
Although the thin seams to the northward of Perrysville have not been co-ordinated with the beds of the connected section, yet there is reason to account them partings of


167
No. 1. Coal, from twelve to eighteen inches thick, occurs at several points hereabouts, and has occasionally been dug from the outcrop for local use. The seams will never be of any considerable importance.
Iron. -- Accompanying the coal-measure rocks in this county, we find several valuable deposits of iron-ore. The principal ore is an impure carbonate of iron, occurring in nodules and irregular layers or "bands." Such nodules, accompanying the sandy shales above coal No. 7, furnished, for several years to the Indiana Furnace, on Bouillet's creek, an abundant supply of ore, yielding, on an average, thirty-three per cent. of iron. The ore varies much, however, some specimens yielding as high as forty-five per cent. which others would barely give twenty-five per cent. The principal source of this ore lies west of the State line, but much of it also occurs east of the line, along the branches of Brouillet's creek, both above coal No. 7 and between it and coal N. 6. At the latter level, the greatest abundance of ore was seen about a mile below Skidmore's place before-mentioned, in the ravines upon the east side of the creek. A few of these nodules are somewhat pyritous, but these could readily be detached in preparing the ore for the furnace. An attempt was once made here to use the coal of No. 7 in the furnace, and a number of kettles were cast from the iron produced; but the metal proved brittle, probably from the presence of sulphur, and the attempt was not renewed. No iron has been made here since 1859.
Coal No. 6, which, in this part of the county, generally furnishes a good "block" coal from its lower benches, apparently lies about fifty feet below the creek-bottom at this place; it would probably pay to open it and use the coal in the furnace, which is now lying idle, principally, it is said, in consequence of the scarcity of charcoal.
Small quantities of this ore were seen at two or three points, near the Horseshoe of the Little Vermillion, coming from the shales above No. 7; but the supply is limited.


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Just west of the Illinois line, the shales above No. 6 yield large quantities of this ore.
Similar nodules were noticed along the Wabash, near the mouth of Spring creek above Perrysville; but the amount appeared to be too small to be of any practical importance.
The heavy ironstones mentioned as forming the roof of No. 6 in the vicinity of Clinton, generally contain so much pyrites as to render them valueless as ores, considering the present state of our knowledge upon the subject of freeing iron from sulphur.
The "black band" ore above No. 5, mentioned in the section taken upon Wimsett Hollow, three miles below Newport, although a very valuable ore, is probably not sufficiently abundant to be of any economical importance when taken alone; but if the nodules of pisolitc oxide of iron above No. 6, at the head of the main branch of that ravine, should prove to be sufficiently abundant for mining, this band might probably be used to advantage at the same time.
A coarse irregular band of calcareous ironstone, a few inches thick, often containing pisolitic iron "shot" through semi-crystalline calcite, with small quantities of zinc blende, accompanies the fire-clay of coal No. 6 at the "Silver mine" on the Little Vermillion, but the amount seems to be not large enough to make it of any importance.
The black calcareous ironstone which almost constantly accompanies the roof shales of coal No. 5, ought to be a valuable ore for use with the richer ones of Marquette, which are now largely shipped to Indiana for reduction. Its specific gravity, at some points, indicate a considerable percentage of iron, combined with lime suitable for fluxing. It sometimes contains silex, but this impurity is not common. The bed averages about a foot in thickness, but frequently thickens to three feet. The most favorable localities for examining it would be along the Big Virmillion, from the State line to within a mile of Hanging Rock, near the head of More branch, on Browntown


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branch, and at White's Mill on the Little Vermillion. At all these points it could be very easily mined. On the branch next east of Tipton Hollow, two miles below Eugene, large irregular concretions, ten to twelve feet in horizontal diameter, and two or three feet thick, occur in this bed. This structure is not common in the bed, but the sort of roughly conchoidal fracture, which generally characterizes it, may be semi-concretionary in its nature. This structure may well be called "shucky."
Upon Browntown branch, and along the Big Vermillion, as far as More branch, there is a heavy band of quite pure light-brown calcareous carbonate of Iron, which is of considerable value. At some points the lime largely predominates, but the whole bed would probably average twenty-five per cent. of iron. The combination of this considerable amount of iron, with limestone suitable for fluxing, renders this, also, a very valuable ore for mixing with the richer oxides in the smelting-furnace. The seam varies from eighteen inches to three feet in thickness, and deserves more attention than it has yet received. On Browntown branch, it was observed to contain rather numerous rhomboidal fish scales, and it is possible that, upon analysis, it will be found to contain too much phosphorous to be fit for the furnace. Large quantities could be mined with very little trouble.
The shales lying between No. 4 and its heavy sandstone cover, frequently contain small quantities of ironstone nodules, as at Hanging Rock, where many of them contain fossil plants. But at no point do we find any considerable amount of ore at this level.
Near the top of No. 3 we find, pretty constantly, a band of a few inches of compact ironstone, filled with fossil shells of numerous species, as at the mouth of the Little Virmillion, and in the numerous ravines along the edge of the bluffs between Newport and Highland. At Zener's saw-mill it is a foot thick, and easily mined.
Close above No. 2, along the bank of the Wabash, about four miles below Eugene, we find a heavy bed of com-


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pact limonite (hydrated oxide of iron), which promises to be of considerable importance. The outcrop was covered with water at the time of my visit, but masses a foot thick, lying upon the bank, showed its character, and its full thickness was reported at from two to three feet. It would probably yield from forty to forty-five per cent. of iron. Except in times of freshet, it could be easily mined by stripping.
On Thomas Helt's land, along the bottoms of Norton's creek, near the head of Helt prairie, a bed of bog iron ore, said to be three feet thick, covers from six to eight acres. It was dug into some years ago, but none of it is now exposed.
On the whole, the county is abundantly supplied with iron ore of good quality, and the near neighborhood of the beds to the seams of "block" coal, will soon make this one of the most important centers of iron production in the West.
Zinc blende (sulphide of zinc) frequently occurs, in small quantities, in the cracks and cavities of the ironstone nodules which accompany the shales above coal No. 6, and in the ironstone band which is found just above coal No. 4, along the Little Vermillion; but the amount is too small to be of any value. It was the scanty presence of this mineral in the pisolitic calcareous ironstone locally accompanying the under-clay of No. 6, which gave rise to the so-called "Silver-mine" at the "Slip-bank" of the Little Vermillion, on section 32, township 17 north, range 10 west. To geologists, it were needless to say that no silver bearing rocks occur in this region.
It is said that minute fragments of galena (sulphide of lead) have been seen in some of these nodules; and here, as everywhere else, "the Indians" have the credit of having mined lead in large quantities. Possibly they did "mine" it here; but, if so, it was only after they had first brought the ore from the Galena region, and buried it. Chunks of galena and of the native copper of Lake Superior are occasionally found in the drift. One of the small streaks of gravel, which occur in the "boulder-clay," is said to yield


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minute quantities of gold, through all this region, but not in sufficient quantities to pay fair days' wages for washing it.
Clays. -- Next to coal and iron, the under clays of the coal seams take the most important place among the mineral resources of the county. The bed which underlies coal No. 5 seems to be, both from its character and extent, the most valuable one of all, being generally of a lighter color than the underclays of the other seams. At Burns' bank, east of Highland, it was especially noticed as being nearly pure white, and from two to six feet thick. At some parts of its outcrop, as at certain points on Jonathan's creek, the clay, which is everywhere quite silicious, is locally changed to a very compact, semi-crystalline sandstone, full of the rootlets of Stigmaria, similar to that before mentioned as marking the level of No. 4, below Newport. This clay is continuous through the whole outcrop, though of varying thickness. In the southern portions of the county it was noticed that the thinner and more "brash" portions of the seams had the more silicious fire-clay. The material seems especially well fitted for the manufacture of tiling, both useful and ornamental, as well as for fire-brick. For the latter purpose the under clays of No. 6 are also suitable, though likely to make a darker brick. On Trosper branch of the Big Vermillion, perhaps a mile west of the State line, and four miles northeast of Georgetown, Illinois, these clays, including some thin intercalated beds of limestone, are over sixteen feet thick, and show a considerable variety of colors. At no point within the county was so great a thickness observed, from two to six or eight feet being the ordinary thickness; but it is not improbable that, at some of the openings of this seam which will certainly be made upon the ridge between the Big and Little Vermillions, clay of similar thickness and coloring may be met with.
Building Materials. -- In a letter from Mr. John Collett, of Eugene, dated 3d of January, 1870, he says:
"Bricks have been manufactured at about forty-five different localities in this county, embracing every variety of


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material. Those manufactured from the 'boulder-clays' of the table-lands adjoining the Grand prairie, especially when made of materials unexposed to oxidation of the air, are of light color, somewhat approaching the brownish cream color of the 'Milwaukee' brick; in other respects are a fair article. Bricks have often been made from the sandy loam of the creek and river bottoms, sometimes adding a small proportion of 'terrace' or 'boulder-clay.' This material requires more care in burning, as the alkaline potash, etc., held in solution by the water, is set free by access of air, and this, with the great amount of vegetable matter, readily forms, in connection with the sand, a coating of glass. Experiments have been made at Perrysville, and at Newport, resulting in the manufacture of good fire-brick from the 'under clays' and decomposed shales and soapstones so abundant throughout this county."
Of stone suitable for building purposes there is no lack. Some of the more heavily bedded, slightly ferruginous sandstone layers of the sandy shales between coals No. 7 and No. 6 have been quarried, on a small scale, along the hill between Clinton and the mouth of Brouillet's creek. The heavy bedded sandstone, which commonly lies from ten to thirty feet above coal No. 4, has yielded more stone for building purposes than any other bed in the county. Along the Little Vermillion, just below White's Mill, it generally varies from four to nine feet in thickness, and is a fine building stone, but some of the accompanying layers, though looking quite solid in the quarry, will not resist the disintegrating action of the weather, and must be rejected. From this layer considerable rock has been quarried, along the Big Vermillion, below Eugene; on Tipton branch, south of Eugene; along the Little Vermillion, as just stated; and in the bluffs east of Highland. At the latter place the face of the quarry, twenty feet thick, shows well as viewed from the river. Among the shaly sandstones just below the quarry rock we freqently meet with large, thin flagstones, often showing ripple-marks. At all the quarries we find the stone


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containing more or less plant remains, of the genera Lepidodendron, Sigillaria, Syringodendron, Calamites, Cordaites, etc.
From the upper beds of the Millstone grit small quantities of rock have been quarried, between Perryville and Covington. Some of these contain sufficient mica to make it probable that they will prove suitable for furnace hearths. When furnaces shall be established in the county, it will be worth while to test these fairly before going further for hearthstone. Some portions of the Hanging Rock sandstone also appear suitable for this use.
In the section at Nebeker's coal-bank, north of Clinton, a band of sandstone, marked as a "firestone" in the section given, has been used in fireplaces in sugar camps in the neighborhood, and found to stand well.
The limestone at Perrysville is not suited for building purposes, since its argillaceous character renders it peculiarly liable to be broken up by the frost, as is plainly shown along its outcrop. It would make a valuable lime for agricultural purposes. Another thick seam of limestone in the one described as existing on Fall branch, just below the Horseshoe of the Little Vermillion, which appears to be a pretty solid rock; but its position and thinness prevent its being of much practical value. Still another occurs above coal No. 7, above the Horseshoe, and the same remarks will apply equally well to this as to the previous one. At two or three points, as at Perrysville, lime was formerly burnt for masons' use, but the stone used was found loose in the wash of the "boulder-clay." The lime now used in this county is entirely imported.
Of black bituminous calcareous shales, such as have been much used for "patent roofing," there seems to be no limit to the amount, occurring, as they do, constantly above No. 3, generally above "No. 4," abundantly covering "No. 5," forming a considerable part of the roof of No. 6, and the roof of "No. 8," so far as seen.
I cannot conclude the report of the survey of this county without returning my hearty thanks to the many citizens


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thereof who have, in all cases when called upon, rendered most efficient assistance; but these are especially due to William Gibson, Esq., of Perrysville, for guidance and repeated assistance in my attempts to ascertain the truth regarding the distribution of the rocks in that part of the county, and, above all, to John Collett, Esq., of Eugene, to whose frequent hospitality and constant assistance I have been greatly indebted, from the day on which I first entered the county until the present time, his letters having followed me up, and supplied the occasional "missing links" alwasy to be sought for in completing the report of such work.

1869 Table of Contents

Geology Library, Indiana University, Bloomington