Chronicles of Oklahoma
|Low water in Red River||620 feet|
|Grade line over Red River||650 "|
|Head of ravine (47)||810 "|
|Top of bluff at Red River||875 "|
Gainesville (Station 48) is on Elm Creek at the western terminus of a branch of the MK&T and in the center of a large cotton trade of Northern Texas. The town is building rapidly and is an important point.
The distance from Gainesville to Denton is thirty (30) miles. This line would lay over rolling prairie, well farmed and fertile. There would be comparatively little heavy and no excessive work. The bridging required would be one span of 150' truss over main Elm Creek and two spans of 125' each, one
over west fork and one over Cher Creek. The smaller bridging would be trestle and unimportant. The range of elevation from stream to divide is in no case over 100' and the distances are sufficient to carry the grades out without distorting the line.
The distances in Texas are as follows:
|Red River to Gainesville||6 miles|
|Gainesville to Denton||30 "|
|Denton to Junction||21 "|
|Junction to Dallas||18 "|
|Junction to Ft. Worth||16 "|
The towns of Dallas and Ft. Worth are both important centers of trades and have desirable railroad connections. Both are building rapidly and well. Denton is not of much importance as a trade center. Gainesville is an important town for the trade of northern Texas.
Timber and prairie lands occur as follows:
From Station 1 to 7, there is but little timber except on the streams. Along the Verdigris river and the bluffs overlooking this stream, there will be obtained a small amount of piling and ties, but there is not enough to depend upon and it must be expected that all construction timber needed ro this point must come from the river. From Station 8 to 13, 50 p. et. of the piling and ties needed for this part of the line can be obtained from the timber along Caney river, Bird Creek and the bluffs along the east border of the Osage reservation.
From Station 13 to 20 the line will be about half in timber and half in prairie. The timbered portions of the country adjacent will afford enough ties and piling for the construction of this part of the line, and for that portion between Stations 20 to 21, which is prairie. The Valley of Deep Fork (21) and the hills to the south have an abundance of Burr and post oak and will supply the needs of the line from 21 to 23. The line between these points, will be nearly all of it, in prairie; from 23 to 30 the line will lay through a heavy growth of timbers. There is a large extent of prairie to the east of the line but upon the location and to the west for a distance varying from three to fifteen miles the country is almost entirely covered with timber. This will furnish an abundance of timber for ties and piling.
From Station 32 to 35 the timber is of poor quality. Enough material can be secured however for this portion of the line.
From Station to 36 there is good timber.
From Station 36 to 37 there is no timber.
From Station 37 to 40 there is timber on the adjacent bluffs and mounds which will supply the needs of this part
of the road. From 40 to 41 there is Red and Spanish oak adjacent to line and Burr oak for piling; from 41 to 44 the country is timbered for the most part but with a very poor quality of timber. With care enough good timber can be obtained for the needs of this part of the line.
From Station 44 to 45 the land is prairie. From 45 to 46 the country is sandy, blackjack ridge with scattering Post oak and Burr oak of poor quality. It will furnish enough for this part of the line.
From Red River to Denton the country is prairie. At Denton the line would enter the "Middle Cross timbers" as it is called; from Denton to Dallas and Ft. Worth the line would be in timber with occasional prairie openings the entire distance. This part of the line would furnish a sufficient amount of timber for ties and piling. For the use of construction in Texas, the long leaf pine from Southeastern Texas could be obtained readily and much cheaper than southern pine.
Rock for masonry occurs as follows:
In the bluffs along Hickory Creek, Station 3—Sandstone, soft
In the bluffs on California Creek, Station 4-5 Sandstone, soft.
In Shoeter Creek, Station 6-7-8 Sandstone, soft.
In bluffs along Caney river, Sandstone, fair quality.
In bluffs south of Bird Creek, Station 10-11 Sandstone, fair quality.
Cropping out on left bank of Arkansas river, Sandstone, good quality.
In bluffs adjacent to Pole Cat Creek, Station 14 to 20 Sandstone, soft.
In bluffs along Deep Fork and from 21 to 22, Sandstone, soft.
In bluffs south of North Fork river, 24 to 26, Sandstone, soft.
In bluffs south of Little river, Limestone, hard.
In bluffs south of Canadian river, Sandstone, fair.
In ledges at Station 37-38-39, magnesian lime stone—good.
No rock from Station 41 to 43.
At Station 44, Limestone, coniferous, fair.
At Station 46, Limestone fair quality.
Between Gainesville and Denton there is limestone in all ravines and bluffs.
There is but little good rock on the whole route, suitable for bridge masonry. A careful research may discover it in some localities, but it cannot be expected, except at the Arkansas and Red Rivers and possibly Deep Fork, North Fork and
the Canadian. It can also be expected for bridge work at Hickory Creek (43) and the bridges between Gainesville and Denton.
Coal is found on Coal and Adams Creeks near Tulsa, of good quality and 28 inches thick of vein. It also occurs at the head of Snake and Cane Creeks, south of Tulsa, of good quality. It also occurs near Okmulgee where it is used for fuel. It occurs on Coal creek, southwest of Okmulgee. The coal deposits are very little developed and the croppings are usually covered.
The value of the country for agricultural purposes in about as follows: The valleys of the Verdigris and Caney rivers and Bird and Homing creeks are broad and fertile. The uplands are of fair quality and compare favorably with the uplands of Eastern Kansas. The valley of the Arkansas river is broad, the soil a sandy loam and quite productive. The valley of Pole Cat Creek is productive like that of Eastern Kansas; the uplands to the west of this Valley are only good for grazing. The valleys of Deep Fork and North Fork rivers are very fertile and the uplands adjacent are good for grazing. North Fork valley is usually from two to four miles broad. The Seminole reservation is for the most part rough and worthless, except for the timber. The valley of the Canadian is too sandy for agriculture. The valley of Sand Creek is fertile but the hills adjacent are worthless except for the timber.
From Station 36 to the Washita River the land is of fair quality and the valleys of Big Sand Creek; Rock Creek and especially Mill Creek are productive. The valley of the Washita is broad and very fertile. This is about the northern limit of successful cotton growing, although it is grown to a limited extent in the valleys of the North Fork and Deep Fork. From Washita to Hickory Creek, a small portion of the land along the streams is good for cultivation but the greater portion is worthless except for the timber.
The valley of Hickory Creek and the prairie south of it are fertile. From Station 45 to the Red River the soil is worthless. South of the Red River the country is uniformly good.
In general terms it would be safe to classify the land adjacent to Route "A" in the Indian Territory as follows: 25 per cent rich land—35 per cent fair quality for grain or grass—20 per cent good only for grazing—20 per cent worthless for any purpose.
Upon completion of the reconnoissance of Route "A," that of Route "C" was next undertaken by moving west from Gainesville to Salt Fork or Red River Station and
seeking the most practicable route from this point to Arkansas City, Kansas.
The valley of Salt Creek will afford a good location from the crossing of Red River southward in the direction of Montague. A location from this point to Fort Worth, via Decatur could be easily made; the only stream of importance to be crossed would be the Trinity River near Ft. Worth.
The crossing of Red River at Station 50 would be more difficult than near Gainesville as the stream is broader and the banks more liable to wash. The water is shallow except in the main channel and the bridging necessary would be 5 spans of 150-ft. truss and pile trestle for the remaining distance. From Station 50 to 51 the elevation to overcome is 100-feet and the distance is four miles. From Station 50 to 54 there is no heavy work. The line will lay on a divide all of the distance and could be cheaply built. At the heads of Wild Horse Creek, Rush Creek, Roaring Creek and Little Washita, there are troublesome sand hills and a line through them would be expensive to construct and maintain. It would therefore be desirable to avoid them by keeping further to the east, although the work would be heavier in places. There would be some heavy work between Station 54 and Wild Horse Creek as the lateral streams have cut deeply.
The crossing of Wild Horse Creek will require a 60' truss and trestle approaches. At Station 55 there would be a heavy cut. This would be in sand or soft sandstone. From 55 to 56 the work would be heavy but no rock is apparent. Rush Creek would require a 60' truss bridge. From 56 to 57. The descent to Roaring Creek is 235' and the distance is 6½ miles. The slope is uniform. Roaring Creek would require a 100' span. From Roaring Creek (52) to the valley of the Washita the line would be easy. The Washita River would require one span of 150' truss and two approach spans of 60' each. The elevation to overcome from 59 to 61 at the summit is 250-feet. The lateral stream affords a good location, distance 15 miles. It will require the rise of maximum grade at the head of the valley and it would be desirable to make a cut, which will be short of about 20'. The cut would exceed 600-feet in extreme length. The descent to the Canadian (Station 62) would not be difficult. The slope level at 1 per cent grade covers the ground well and the elevation to overcome is 150'. The crossing of the Canadian River will require a bridge of four spans of 150' each and trestle approach. The character of the stream is much the same as one on Route "A". The Tange from low to high water is about nine feet and the banks liable to wash and
will require protection. From Station 62 to 63 the elevation to overcome is 125': From Station 63 to the North Fork (Station 64) the descent is 70'. The line should cross near Council Grove in the bend of the river. The bridging required would be one span of 150' and two 60-ft. approaches. The banks are firm timbered and not liable to wash. There is a tongue of land putting down to the river from the north and into the bend. Advantage must be taken of this to carry the grade to the divide at the head of Deep Fork Station 65. This elevation is 110'. From 65 to 67 the line would lay on a divide requiring but little work. The grade would slope gradually to the north. Chisholm Creek would require one span of 100' truss. From 67 to the Cimmaron River at 68 the line would lay down the valley of Cottonwood Creek, the grade should be carried 3 feet above the bottom lands. There would need to be crossings of the Creek that would each require a span of 125 feet truss. The crossing of the Cimarron River would require four spans of 150 truss and trestle approaches. This stream is of the same character as one on Route "B". The range of water not more than eleven feet and the banks liable to wash. Station 70 the line will cross Ephraim Creek, where a bridge of 100' span will be needed. From 70 to 72 the line will need to cross a saddle at 71 between Ephraim and Beaver Creeks. The elevation of Station 71 above the Canadian is 150 feet and the distance is 3 miles. From 71 to 72 the descent is light. From 72 to 73 the descent is light. From 72 to 73 will require careful location. The slope level at maximum grade covers the ground well but at the summit (73) the slope sharpens, requiring a cut of approximately 16' extreme depth. It will not be very easy to support the grade in the valley further down. The descent from 73 to 74 is 190 feet and the valley reasonably uniform. The distance is approximately 8 miles. From 74 to 76 the work will be light and the grades easy. Bridge required at 76 over Red Rock Creek will be a span of 100'. The same length of bridge will be required for the crossing of Blackbear Creek, Station 74. These streams lay deep. The banks are firm and timbered. From 75 to 77 the land is gently rolling prairie. The crossing of Salt Fork (77) will require one span of 150' and two 60' approaches. Salt Fork is much like the Arkansas River, only much smaller. The banks will need protection, although, at this point they are sharp, of firm clay and gravel and the bed of the stream is of gravel. The range of water is about 12-feet. From 77 to 79 a tangent could be located and but little heavy work required. Station 79 is 94' above the Arkansas River. At
Station 80. The Distance up a ravine is two miles, which will afford a uniform grade.
The Arkansas River at 80 will require four spans of 150' truss bridges. From this to end of track will be approximately one mile of work.
The timber on Route "C" is of little importance and cannot be depended upon for construction material. From Red River to Station 54 the country is prairie with timber on the adjacent hills. The timber is of poor quality. From Station 54 to 56 there is timber and a few ties might be obtained. From 56 to 59 the country is prairie. The sand hills to the west of this are timbered with Black oak and worthless. There is a little belt of timber along the Canadian, North Fork and Cimarron Rivers. Besides this there is no timber to Arkansas City. The value of the country adjacent to Route "C" for agricultural purposes is about as follows: From Arkansas City to the slope south of Black Bear Creek (Station 73) the land is good for farming or stock raising. From 70 to 73 the land is broken and good only for stock raising. The valley of Ephraim Creek is good for farming.13 The valley of the Cimarron river is fair for farming but the soil is too sandy to be valuable. The valley of Cottonwood, Deer Creek, Chisholm Creek and Deep Fork and North Fork rivers are good for farming.14 The divides in the northeast part of Oklahoma are worthless.
The Canadian valley has some good farming land. The slopes leading to it are best adapted for a stock raising. The Washita river, Little Washita and Rush Creek have valleys that are very good for farming. The Washita valley is particularly so. The slopes leading to these streams and the uplands between them are best for stock. The Valley of Beaver Creek (called Cow Creek) has good farming lands, but the divides between, as well as the country adjacent to the line, from Red River to Station 55 is good only for stock raising. That portion of Texas west of Montague and Wise Counties is best adapted to stock raising.
From Arkansas City to Gainesville. From Arkansas City to Station 81 the route is the same as on Route "C" and presents no difficulty. From Station 81 to Ponca (Station 84) a good line can be located with very little deviation from a tangent. The work will be comparatively light and the grade and alignment very good. The crossing of Salt
Fork river will require one span 150' truss and two 60' approach spans. The banks do not appear liable to wash and good foundations can be secured. From 85 to 86 the grade will be a maximum with 14' cut at the summit. This can be avoided by locating one and ½ miles farther to the east, from 86, which will pass around a headland and avoid crossing the divide. From 86 to 87 the descent can be easily made.
Red Rock Creek will require one span of truss bridge of 100' with trestle approaches. From Station 87 to 88 the ascent will be 125' and the distance is 8 miles. The descent from 88 to 89 will be 100' and the distance will be 3½ miles. Black Bear Creek (Station 89) will require a 100' truss bridge. The streams drain a large area and are subject to sudden floods. From Station 89 to 90 the ascent is 155' and the available distance for grades 4 miles. At Station 90 will be needed a heavy cut of approximately 18' extreme and 600' long. From 90 to 91 the descent will be easy, although the work will be somewhat heavy in crossing lateral ravines. The crossing of Stillwater Creek will require a 60' truss and trestle approaches. From 91 to 92 the work will be heavy. There will be required one 30' fill for a short distance and a cut at the summit of 15'. The ascent to the divide will be 150'. There is ample distance but the lateral ravines will make the work heavy. From Station 92 to 93 the work will be light and the alignment good. The crossing of the creek at 93 will require a 60' truss. The Cimarron River (94) will be troublesome to bridge. The shores are low and sandy and the stream broad. There will be required four spans of 150' truss and trestle approaches. The range of water will not exceed 12'.
From the Cimarron River to the divide at Station 96 the line will bear S. 10 deg. W. and follow a ravine to its head. At Station 96 is a low summit at an elevation of 165' above the valley of the Cimarron. At this point will be needed a cut of 12' extreme, for a short distance. From 96 to 97, 98 and 99 the line will follow a narrow but straight and smooth valley, the slope of which comes within the maximum grade and the construction will be comparatively cheap. There are several shallow ponds in this valley which will need draining. The low hills bordering this and similar valleys are sandy, covered with a growth of oak and show soft sand rock cropping out at intervals. It also shows the presence of considerable iron ore. At Station 99, Deep Fork, there will be needed a 100' truss bridge. There are swamps on each side of this stream that will render a high grade necessary
and several trestle bridges will be needed for waterways. From Station 100 to 101 the line will be in a valley, very similar to the last. The only difficulty will be in the draining of several swamps that occur. The only maximum grades required will be near the summit on each side of 101. At this point a cut of 16' will be necessary, the total length of which will be approximately 1200'. The elevation to overcome is 190'. If deemed desirable the grade can be supported without injury to the alignment. From 101 to 102 at North Fork, the descent can be easily made. The elevation to overcome is 75'. The crossing of North Fork River will require one span of 150' truss bridge and two approach spans of 60' each. The banks are sharp and firm and not liable to wash. Good foundations can be reached without trouble. The valley of North Fork River is broad, high and fertile. The line will lay on this valley for eight miles. From 103 to 104 and 105 the line will lay in a narrow straight valley, giving a uniform grade below the maximum. The maximum grade will only be needed near the summit. The cut at Station 105 will be approximately 12'. The lateral valleys are destitute of timber. The slopes and ridges adjacent are timbered with oak. The ascent to overcome is 130'. From Station 105 to 106 the descent is 140'. The bridge required at Little River would be one span of 100' truss. From Station 106 to 107 the line will lay in a narrow valley, similar to the last. The ascent to overcome will be 145'. The cut at 107 will be short and 20' deep in extreme, partially in rock and will lead directly into the valley of one branch of Pond Creek, down which the line should be located to Station 108 where it will pass through a sandy and rocky ridge, into the valley of the Canadian River. At Station 109 the stream is narrow and favorable for a bridge. The bridge required at this point will be three spans of 150' truss and trestle on south side. The ascent to the divide at Station 110 can be easily made, the elevation being 90'. From the heavy country south of the Canadian Routes "A" and "C ", I expected heavy country and a troublesome location on line "B ". I found it entirely different and instead of the sandy broken blackjack ridges of Route "A" or the high broken prairie of Route "B" I found a gently rolling prairie country. From Station 110 to 112 there would be no trouble in locating either on the route shown by the full black line or what would probably be better the dotted line into and down the valley of the Washita River by Cherokee Town. The valley of the Washita is of good width, high and fertile.
The crossing of the Washita River as on line "A" would require one span of 150' truss and two approach spans of
75' each. The stream lays deep and the banks are firm and timbered. The line down the Washita to Station 114 could be easily built. Caddo Creek would require a span of 100'. From Caddo Creek to the summit at Station 115 the work would be heavy and a heavy sand cut would be required at the summit. From Station 115 to 116 the line would be on a sandy timbered ridge and both grades and work would be light. From Station 116 to Gainesville the line would be the same as already described in Route "A"; when surveys are made I recommend that a line be tried from Station 113 to 43 "A" as shown by the dotted line between these points. This is a heavily timbered country and I have not been over the immediate ground. The streams indicate that a line may be found on this route and a reconnoissance in connection with a survey would decide the question. Timber for construction purposes occurs as follows:
From Arkansas City to Stillwater Creek, Station 91, there is none that can be depended upon. The timbered ridges west of Station 92 and east of 93 will afford ties and piling for 25 miles of road. The ridges east and west of Station 97, 98 and 99 are heavily timbered and will furnish a large amount of post and burr oak. The timbered hill adjacent to 100 and 102 will furnish ties and piling for the line between Deep Fork and North Fork, although the quality is not as good as on the divide, south of the Cimarron. From 104 to 110 there will be an abundance of timber for ties and piling for this part of the road. From 110 to 112 there will be timber only along the Washita River. There is considerable amount of burr and White oak in the valley which is of good quality. From 112 to 114 both valley and uplands are timbered. From 114-B to 43 A, the timber is of poor quality but sufficient post oak may be obtained for construction uses.
Rock for masonry appears at the following locations:
North of Arkansas City—suitable for bridge masonry.
Chilockee Creek, Station 78—suitable for culverts.
In the bluffs west of Arkansas River and east of Station 83—for culverts.
On the N. side of Red Rock Creek, Station 87—Limestone, good.
In the bluffs west of Station 88—Sandstone, soft for culvert.
In bluffs west of Station 90—Sandstone, soft for culverts.
In bluffs west of Station 92, Sandstone soft.
Adjacent to valley from 97 to 98—Sandstone for culverts.
Near Station 101, Sandstone for culverts.
In bluffs west of 103 and adjacent to 104-105 and 106 Sandstone.
In bluffs near. Station 108—Sandstone, soft.
Adjacent to 111-112 and 113, Magnesian lime stone—good.
At Red River as reported on Route "A".
The value of the country adjacent to line "B" for agricultural purposes is as follows:
From Arkansas City to and including the valley of Black Bear Creek, the soil is good for agricultural purposes. The divide and slopes east and west of Station 90 are good only for grazing. The valley and lower slopes of Stillwater Creek are good for farming. The ridges west of 92 are good only for timber. The valley of Deep Fork and the lateral valleys leading into it are good. The hills adjacent to these valleys are only good for the timber. This valley however, is unhealthy from the swamps and will not be utilized for a long time after the territory shall have been opened to settlement.
The valley of North Fork river is very productive. The average width is three miles. The valley of Little River and the lateral valleys leading into it are productive but are of limited extent. The hills adjacent are only good for the timber growing upon them. The valley of the Canadian is too sandy for agricultural purposes. From Station 109 to Cherokee Town, fully sixty per cent of the land will make good farms. The valley of the Washita is fertile and well cultivated. From Caddo Creek to Station 116, the land is only good for the timber. The value of the lands tributary to Route "B" would fairly be rated as follows:
30 per cent good farming lands
25 per cent good for grain or stock
25 per cent good only for stock
20 per cent worthless
The local carrying trade of line "A," when the country shall have become developed, would be about equal to that of line "B". Either would be in excess of that of line "C" as the country on line "C" is much less productive than that adjacent to either of the other routes. The business of line would be subject to competition from the MK&T RR, thus giving to line "B" the better value of business. The coal on line "A" gives to that route an additional interest which should be considered.
The cost of construction of line "B" would be considerably less than either of the other routes and the gradients would be much easier. The most expensive route would be "C" on account of-the heavy work through the central portion of the route and from the absence of timber for construction purposes. Route "A" would also be an expensive line,
south of the North Fork River. Route "B" would only be expensive south of Caddo creek, except for short distances at four summits, Route "B" is the shortest between Kansas and Texas.
Suitable locations for water stations can be secured on each route, within twenty miles or less of each other, except on Route "C," between Red River and the Washita, where an artificial pond would be necessary. The water is good. Points particularly adapted for water stations would be:
Route "A"—California Creek, Caney river, Arkansas bottom (well), Deep Fork, North Fork, Little River, Sand Creek (well), Buckhorn Creek, Washita River, Hickory Creek and Red River.
Route "B"—Red Rock Creek, Blackbear Creek, Cimarron River, Deep Fork, North Fork, Little River, Canadian, Washita, Hickory Creek and Red River. Creek 17 miles S. of Arkansas (well), Slt Fork.
Route "C"—Cherokee Creek, Salt Fork, Blackbear Creek, Beaver Creek, Cimarron, North Fork, Canadian, Washita, Wild Horse Creek and Red River.
There are no towns or other improvements in the Indian Territory that would divert a railroad location from its proper course in any degree.
The Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad has extended its line west from Temple to Lampasas, with a view of extending it still farther northwest. From Lampasas a road could be built in connection with the GC&SF from Lampasas to Eagle Pass and thence to Dolores on the Mexican Central.15