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abundant is limestore suitable for the manufacture of quicklime, that it is needless to mention any particular locality as possessing superior advantages in furnishing this useful building material. At the following points parties have been engaged somewhat extensively in the manufacture of lime, to wit: Fort Dodge, Webster county ; Springvale, Humboldt county ; Orford and Indiantown, Tama county; Iowa Falls, Hardin county; Mitchell, Mitchell county, and at nearly all the towns along the streams northeast of Cedar river.
There is no scarcity of good building stone to be found along nearly all the streams east of the Des Moines river, and along that stream from its mouth up to the north line of Humboldt county. Some of the counties west of the Des Moines, as Cass and Madison, as well as most of the southern counties of the state, are supplied with good building stone. In some places as in Marshall and Tama counties, several species of marble are found, which are susceptible of the finest finish, and are very beautiful.
One of the finest and purest deposits of gypsuin known in the world exists at Fort Dodge in this state. It is confined to an area of about six to three miles on both sides of the Des Moines river, and is found to be from twenty-five to thirty feet in thickness. The main deposit is of uniform gray color, but large masses of almost pure white (resembling alabaster) have been found imbedced in the main deposits. The quantity of the article is practically inexhaustible, and the time will certainly come when it will be a source of wealth to that part of the state.
In nearly all parts of the state the material suitable for the manufacture of brick is found in abundance. Sand is obtained in the bluffs along the streams and in their beds. Potter's clay, and fire clay suitable for fire brick, are found in many places. An excellent article of fire brick is made at Eldora, Hardin county, where there are also several extensive potteries in operation. Fire clay is usually found underlying the coal seams. There are extensive potteries in operation in the counties of Lee, Van Buren, Des Moines. Wapello, Boone, Hamilton, Hardin, and others.
It is supposed that there is no where upon the globe an equal area of surface with so small a proportion of untillable land as we find in Iowa. The soil is generally a drift deposit, with a deep
covering of vegetable mold, and on the highest prairies is almost equal in fertility to the alluvial valleys of the rivers in other states. The soil in the valleys of the streams is largely alluvial, producing a rapid and luxuriant growth of all kinds of vegetation. The valleys usually vary in extent according to the size of the stream. On the Iowa side of the Missouri river, from the southwest corner of the state to Sioux City, a distance of over one hundred and fifty miles, there is a continuous belt of alluvial "bottom,” or valley land, varying in width from five to twenty miles, and of surpassing fertility. This valley is bordered by a continuous line of bluffs, rising from one to two hundred feet, and presenting many picturesque outlines when seen at a distance. The bluffs are composed of a peculiar formation, to which has been given the name of "bluff deposit.” It is of a yellow color, and is composed of a fine silicious matter, with some clay and limy concretions. This deposit in many places extends eastward entirely across the counties bordering the Missouri river, and is of great fertility, promoting a luxuriant growth of grain and veg. etables.
In Montgomery county a fine vein of clay, containing a large proportion of ochre, was several years ago discovered and has been extensively used in that part.of the state for painting barns and outhouses. It is of a dark red color, and is believed to be equal in quality, if properly manufactured, to the mineral paints imported from other states.
As before stated, the surface of Iowa is generally drained by the rolling or undulating character of the country, and the numerous streams, large and small. This fact might lead some to suppose that it might be difficult to procure good spring or well water for domestic uses. Such, however, is not the case, for good pure well water is easily obtained all over the state, even on the highest prairies. It is rarely necessary to dig more than thirty feet deep to find an abundance of that most indespensable element, good water. Along the streams are found many springs breaking out from the banks, affording a constant supply of pure water. As a rule, it is necessary to dig deeper for well water in the timber portion of the state, than on the prairies. Nearly all the spring and well waters of the state contain a small proporof lime, as they do in the eastern and middle states.
SOIL AND SURFACE.
Topography - Climate — Minerals — Soil and Productions.
THE STATE of Kansas has an area of 81,318 square miles, and is situated between 37° and 42° N. latitude, and between 94o and 102° W. longitude. It is bounded on the north by Nebraska ; on the east by Missouri; on the south by the Indian Territory, and on the west by Colorado. It is about 400 miles long, from east to west, and 200 miles wide, from north to south. The general surface of Kansas is a gently undulating prairie, having no marked features like those of other prairie states, except, perhaps, the diversity presented by a more rolling surface. The division of land is of two classes. First to mention is the timber and rich alluvial bottom lands, bordering rivers and creeks, the estimated area of which is ten million acres, being fully five times the amount of all improved lands in the state at the present.time. To the sccond belongs the upland or rolling prairie, the soil of which averages from two to three feet in depth, with a subsoil of fertilizing qualities which will, by careful cultivation, prove inexhaustible. This class of land is considered, by far, preferable for the raising of grains and fruits, while the bottom land is selected for corn, hemp, vegetables and grasses. But such is the uniform character of the general surface of Kansas, that nearly every quarter section within its limits is capable of cultivation. Timber is confined mainly to the borders of rivers and creeks, and is not superabundant; yet its scarcity is compensated for in a great measure by the very general distribution of rock throughout the state, which is easy of access, and furnishes the best of building and fencing material.
No mountain ranges, swamps, sloughs, or lakes exist in the