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Sfill^.  N.  GOULD,  Director 

BULLETIN  No.  38 





E.  W.  BERRY 




F,    C.    TRACY 



CHAS.  A.  GOULU,  Director 

BULLETIN  No.  38 


CHAS.  >.   GUILD   A>D   JOH>    T.  LONSDALE 


E.    W.     BERRY 




F.    C.    TRACY 

AUGUST,  1926. 

Digitized  by  the  Internet  Archive 

in  2010  with  funding  from 

University  of  British  Columbia  Library 



FOREWORD    ■ 5 

The  occasion  - 5 

Acknowledgements - 5 

Previous  geological  work  in  Beaver  County  6 


Location   7 

Ijand    surveys    -- 7 

Towns    - 7 

Transportation    8 

Public    roads    8 


Relief    ,- - 9 

Types   of  topography 9 

High    plains    9 

Character   of  surface  10 

Undulations    11 

Basins    12 

Sand    dunes 13 

Breaks    14 

Valleys  and   drainage  15 

Cimarron    River    ;; : 15 

Beaver   Creek   16 

GEOLOGY    17 

General    statement     - 17 

Permian    rocks   17 

J,               General  statements   regarding  the   Permian   17 

Table  of  Oklahoma  red  beds  formations  18 

Cloud  Chief  formation      18 

Generalized  section  of  the   Permian  red  beds   southeast  of 

Beaver  City,  Beaver  County,   Oklahoma   21 

Cretaceous    rocks     22 

Late   Tertiary  rocks   - - 24 

Literature     24 

STRATIGRAPHY    :. - 25 

General    statement    25 

Loop  Fork  formation : 26 

Goodnight    formation    26 

Blanco    formation    .' - - — ~ 27 

Tule  formation   -.  27 

Age  of  beds  — ....—_:._ 27 

Origin    of    Tertiary    deposits .......;.....: :....  28 

General  character  of  Tertiary  deposits 29 

Quaternary    rocks    33 


Sand    hills    - 40 

Alluvium    - -  41 


Springs    ■ 42 

Wells   - 42 

Streams  — « - 45 



Gypsum    45 

Sand  and  gravel    46 

Clay  and  shale  - 46 

Building   stone    47 

Volcanic   ash 47 

Oil  and  gas  47 

General   conclusions    57 


General    description    58 

Climate    - 58 

Transportation    58 

Water   supply    59 

Soils    - 59 

Crops    59 

Livestock 60 

Methods  of  farming   60 


Foreword 61 

Early    history    61 

First   settlement     63 

No  Man's  Land  _ - 65 

Territory   of   Cimarron    66 

Beaver  County  divided    68 

Beaver  City  builds  a  railroad  68 

Present  conditions  70 


Plate  Page 

I.     Sand  dunes  on  the  road  between  Forgan  and  Beaver  13 

II.     Head  of  a  "break"  on  Kiowa  Creek,  southeastern  Beaver,  County  14 

III.  Bottom  land  along  Kiowa  Creek,  southeastern  Beaver  County  ....  16 

IV.  Permian  red   beds   with   gypsum  ledges.     Sec.   8,  T.  3   N.,  R.   24 

E.,  C.  M 19 

V.     Tertiary    sandstone     and     mortar     beds.     Note    massive    beds    in 

cross-bedded    formations     29 

VI.     Massive    sandstone     in     cross-bedded      material.     Fifteen    miles 

south  of  Beaver  30 

VII.     Tertiary  limestone.     Sec.  3,  T.  3  N.,  R.  25  E.,  C.  M 32 

VIIL     Tertiary  limestone.     Sec.  3,  T.  3  N.,  R.  25  E..  C.  M 32 

IX.     Fossil   leaves  from  Beaver  County  37 

X.     Fossil  leaves  from  Beaver  County  39 

XI.     Volcanic  ash  exposure  northwest  of  Gate,  Oklahoma  48 

XII.     Drilling  for  oil  southwest  of  Beaver.     To  the  extreme  right  red 
beds  are  dipping  away  from  the  derrick  location.     (This  is 

the    structure)    56 

XIII.  First  Normal  school  class,  Beaver  City,  1890  64 

XIV.  Beaver  City  in  1896  64 

XV.     R.  K.  Perry  outfit  in  1895  67 

XVI.     G.  A.  R.  reunion  in  1895  71 

Figure  Page 

1.     Index  map  of  Oklahoma  showing  the  location  of  Beaver  County  6 

Geologic  map  of  Beaver  County,  Oklahoma  In  pocket. 




During-  the  second  special  session  of  the  Ninth  Legislature 
of  the  Staie  of  Oklahoma,  held  in  1924,  an  appropriation  was 
passed  for  the  maintenance  of  the  Oklahoma  Geological  Survey, 
providing  among  other  things  for  an  agricultural  and  soil  sur- 
vey of  Texas  and  Beaver  counties.  This  appropriation  of  only 
$500.00  for  the  two  counties,  included  both'  salaries  and  field 
expenses.     No  provision  was  made  for  printing. 

It  is  obvious  that  the  amount  of  money  thus  appropriated 
was  totally  inadequate  to  secure  data  for  a  complete  agricultural 
soil  survey  report  on  one  of  the  counties,  much  less  two.  After 
canvassing  the  situation  thoroughly  it  was  decided  that  taking 
everything  into  consideration  the  best  use  that  could  be  made 
of  the  funds  which  had  been  appropriated  for  a  specific  purpose 
would  be  to  prepare  and  print  a  geological  report  on  the  geology 
of  both  counties,  with  particular  reference  to  agriculture,  and 
publish  these  reports  as  regular  bulletins  of  the  Survey.  On 
account  of  the  small  appropriation  available  it  was  found  im- 
possible to  do  little  more  than  conduct  a  reconnaissance  survey 
to  determine  certain  salient  factors  and  to  supplement  the  in- 
formation thus  gained  with  other  available  data  in  the  prepara- 
tion of  the  report. 

The  senior  author  who  had  been  appointed  Director  of  the 
Oklahoma  Geological  Survey  assumed  his  duties  July  1,  1924. 
He  secured  the  cooperation  of  the  junior  author,  then  assistant 
professor  of  geology  in  the  University  of  Oklahoma,  in  prepar- 
ing the  report. 

Trips  were  made  to  the  two  counties,  Texas  and  Beaver, 
the  general  outlines  of  the  geology  were  determined,  and  the 
first  draft  of  the  reports  made.  Later  the  junior  author  again 
visited  the  two  counties  checking  and  verifying  the  observa- 
tions. The  report  on  Texas  County,  written  largely  by  the  jun- 
ior author,  has  already  been  published  as  Bulletin  No.  37  of  this 
Survey.  This  paper  was  written  largely  by  the  senior  author, 
but  both  reports  have  been  revised  and  corrected  by  both  auth- 


In  the  preparation  of  the  present  report  the  authors  have 
called  to  their  assistance  for  the  preparation  of  special  chapters, 
two  citizens  of  Beaver  County,  namely  Mr.  F.  C.  Tracy  of  Beav- 
er, a  member  of  the  constitutional  convention  and  for  forty 
years  a  citizen  of  the  county,  who  has  written  the  chapter  on 
History,  and  Mr.  Ernest  Slocum  of  Beaver  has  written  the  chap- 
ter on  Agriculture.  The  sincere  thanks  both  of  the  Oklahoma 
Geological  Survey  and  of  the  people  of  Oklahoma  are  due  these 


authors,  both  busy  men,  for  their  assistance  in  the  preparation 
of  the  report. 

Other  citizens  of  Beaver  County  have  also  assisted,  notably 
Mes§jrs.  Robt.  H.  Loofbourrow,  R.  B.  Loofbourrow,  F.  D.  Wood, 
ah6j  !W.  B.  Hanly,  of  Beaver,  and  Hon.  Roy  Coppock  of  Qate, 
member  of  the  legislature,  representing  Beaver  and  Harper 
coutoies,  and  many  others.  Only  the  most  courteous  treatment 
and  the  most  friendly  cooperation  was  afforded  the  authors 
wHrle  engaged  in  the  work  of  collecting  and  preparing  data  for 
this  report. 


The  first  geological  work  in  Beaver  County,  so  far  as  known, 
was  accomplished  in  June  1903  by  the  senior  author  of  this  re- 
port. At  that  time  he  was  in  the  employ  of  the  United  States 
Reclamation  Service  studying  the  water  conditions  of  the  Great 
Plains.  A  party  including  four  young  men  then  students  in 
geology  at  the  University  of  Oklahoma  outfitted  at  Woodward 
and  worked  northwest  following  the  Cimarron  and  North  Can- 
adian rivers  to  their  sources.  The  men  were  Chas.  T.  Kirk, 
Pierce  Larkin,  Chester- A.  Reeds,  and  Charles  A.  Long.  Camps 
were  made  near  Gate,  Beaver,  and  Boyd  in  what  is  now  Beaver 

As  the  result  of  this  reconnaissance  and  of  other  subsequent 
work  in  the  region  a  brief  statement  of  the  geology  of  Beaver 
County  was  included  in  a  government  report  published  in  1905. ^ 

The  description  of  old  Beaver  County,  now  including  Beav- 
er, Texas  and  Cimarron  counties,  may  be  found  on  pages  131 
to  133  of  that  report.  The  map  of  the  territory  including  Beaver 
County  is  Figure  1  of  this  report. 

_  COlQW^Op 

Fig.   1.     Index  map   of   Oklahoina   showing   the   location   of  Beaver   County. 
l3ould,  Chas.  N.,  Geology  and  Water  Resources  of  Oklahoma.     U.  S.  Geol.   Sur- 
vey. Water -.Supply  Paper,  No.  148,  1905. 




Beaver  County  is  the  easternmost  of  the  three  counties 
which  make  up  the  Panhandle  of  Oklahoma,  which  lies  immedi- 
ately north  of  the  Panhandle  of  Texas.  The  south  border  of 
the  county  is  the  Oklahoma-Texas  line,  being  35  degrees  30  min- 
utes north  latitude,  and  the  north  boundary  is  the  line  between 
Kansas  and  Oklahoma,  37  degrees  north  latitude.  The  east  line 
is  the  100th  meridian,  while  the  west  line  is  about  3  miles  east 
of  the  101st  meridian. 

Beaver  County  is  rectangular  in  shape.  The  length  from 
east  to  west  is  about  52  miles,  and  the  width  from  north  to  south 
IS  34  miles.  The  approximate  area  of  the  county  is  1,768  square 


The  land  in  all  the  Panhandle  country  of  Oklahoma  is  sur- 
veyed from  a  different  principal  meridian  and  base  line  than 
that  of  the  remainder  of  the  state.  For  the  greater  part  of 
Oklahoma  the  Indian  Meridian  is  used,  and  the  Initial  point, 
where  the  Indian  Meridian  crosses  the  Base  line,  is  located  near 
old  Fort  Arbuckle,  6  miles  west  of  Davis,  Murray  County. 

In  the  Panhandle  counties  the  land  was  surveyed  from  the 
Cimarron  Meridian  which  is  the  west  line  of  Cimarron  County, 
this  being  the  line  between  Oklahoma  and  New  Mexico.  The 
Base  line  for  the  region  is  the  south  line  of  the  Panhandle  coun- 
ties, so  that  all  the  land  in  Beaver,  Texas,  and  Cimarron  coun- 
ties is  numbered  north  from  the  Base  line,  and  east  from  Cim- 
arron Meridian. 

This  fact  often  leads  to  confusion,  for  it  will  be  readily 
understood  that  unless  the  particular  meridian  is  indicated,  a 
tract  of  land  described  as  being  located  in  T.  5  N.,  R.  23  E., 
might  be  either  on  the  flat  plains  of  Beaver  County,  or  in  the 
rugged  Winding  Stair  Mountains  of  LeFlore  County. 


Beaver  County,  being  very  largely  an  agricultural  region 
with  a  scattered  population,  has  no  large  towns.  The  oldest 
town  in  the  county,  also  the  largest,  is  Beaver  City,  the  county 
seat.  This  town  was  the  county  seat  of  old  Beaver  County  in 
territorial  days.     The  population  in  1920  was  920. 

Forgan,  for  many  years  the  terminus  of  the  Wichita  Falls 
Northwestern  Railroad  has  a  population  of  582.     Other  towns 


are  Gate,  near  the  eastern  margin  of  the  county  with  309  peo- 
ple. Knowles  and  Turpin  were  recently  established  at  a  tempo- 
rary terminus  on  the  Beaver,  Meade,  and  Englewood  Railroad 
now  being  built  to  Hooker,  Texas  County, 


The  most  important  railroad  of  Beaver  County  is  the  Wich- 
ita Falls  Northwestern,  a  branch  of  the  Missouri,  Kansas  and 
Texas  system,  which  runs  from  Wichita  Falls,  Texas,  north- 
westward across  the  western  counties  of  Oklahoma.  This  road 
has  connections  with  the  Santa  Fe  at  Woodward  and  with  the 
Rock  Island  at  Elk  City.  From  Forgan,  the  terminus  of  this 
railroad,  a  short  line,  the  Beaver,  Meade  &  Englewood  runs  to 
Beaver  City  and  has  recently  been  constructed  20  miles  west 
from  Forgan  to  Turpin  near  the  west  line  of  the  county.  The 
northwest  corner  of  the  county  is  served  by  the  Rock  Island  rail- 
road, at  Liberal,  Kansas,  and  Tyrone,  Oklahoma,  the  northeast 
corner  by  the  Santa  Fe  railroad  at  Englewood,  Kansas,  and  the 
southern  tier  of  townships  by  towns  on  a  branch  of  the  Santa  Fe 
which  crosses  the  northern  part  of  the  Panhandle  of  Texas. 


There  are  no  better  natural  roads  anywhere  in  the  United 
States,  than  the  roads  of  the  High  Plains.  The  mixture  of 
sand  and  clay  in  the  soil  makes  these  roads  hard  and  firm  prac- 
tically all  year.  The  only  exceptions  to  this  rule  are  the  roads 
in  the  breaks  and  in  the  Sand  Hills.  Roads  have  been  opened 
on  practically  all  section  lines. 

Several  of  the  main  thoroughfares  have  been  put  to  grade, 
drained,  otherwise  improved,  and  marked  by  the  State  Highway 
Department.  Oklahoma  State  Highway  No.  11,  the  main  route 
to  Colorado,  runs  east  and  west  through  Beaver  County  passing 
through  Gate,  Knowles,  and  Forgan,  to  Hooker,  Texas  County. 




The  word  relief  as  used  by  geologists  and  physiographers 
means  unevenness  of  land  surfaces.  A  country  of  little  relief 
is  one  in  which  the  surface  is  smooth  such  as  a  plain  or  broad 
valley.  A  country  of  great  relief  is  one  with  mountains,  hills, 
and  valleys.  Beaver  County  is  a  good  example  of  an  area  of 
little  relief. 

Beaver  County  may  be  thought  of  as  a  rectangular  block 
with  its  greatest  distance  east  and  west,  cut  Out  of  the  High 
Plains.  The  surface  which  slopes  gently  to  the  east  is  not  quite 
even,  but  is  interrupted  by  two  major  stream  valleys  of  the 
Cimarron  and  of  the  Beaver,  which  will  be  discussed  later. 

The  total  amount  of  relief,  that  is  the  difference  in  eleva- 
tion between  the  bottom  of  the  valleys  and  the  flat  upland  is 
approximately  200  feet. 

Points  of  elevation  in  the  county  as  supplied  by  C.  J. 
Turpin,  vice-president  and  general  manager  of  the  Beaver, 
Meade  &  Englewood  Railroad  Company,  and  F.  Ringer,  chief 
engineer  of  the  Missouri,  Kansas  and  Texas  Railroad  Company, 
are  as  follows:  Gate,  2,172  feet;  Knowles,  2,477  feet;  P'organ, 
2,675  feet;  Beaver,  2,500  feet;  Turpin,  2,770  feet.  The  eleva- 
tion of  Liberal,  Kansas,  which  is  located  immediately  north  of 
the  northwest  corner  of  Beaver  County  is  2,851  feet. 

From  these  figures  it  will  be  noted  that  the  slope  of  the 
surface  is  approximately  12i-  feet  per  mile  to  the  east. 


The  topography  of  the  county  may  be  divided  into  four 
general  types,  namely.  High  Plains,  Sand  Dunes,  Breaks,  and 
Valleys.  Geologists  believe  that  at  one  time  during  a  former 
geological  age  all  the  territory  now  included  in  Beaver  County 
consisted  of  a  vast  sloping  plain,  with  a  comparatively  smooth 
and  even  surface,  untouched  by  drainage  channels.  Practically 
all  the  unevenness  of  surface  now  found  in  the  county  has  been 
caused  by  the  erosive  action  of  water,  and  the  cutting  of 
streams,  this  action  having  given  rise  to  the  many  valleys,  large 
and  small  which  now  interrupt  the  structural  flat  surface  of  the 


The  High  Plains  of  the  western  part  of  the  United  States, 
of  which  Beaver  County  is  a  part,  present  a  peculiar  form  of 


topography.  It  is  believed  that  the  material,  chiefly  sand  and 
gravel,  which  now  composes  these  plains  was  originally  derived 
from  the  Rocky  Mountains  during  Tertiary  time.  This  material 
was  then  carried  out  on  the  plains  by  streams  of  desert  habit 
and  deposited  as  a  vast  debris  apron  sloping  gradually  away 
from  the  mountains.  Present  streams  are  cutting  into  this 
vast  sheet  of  sedimentary  material.  A  number  of  the  larger 
rivers  such  as  Platte,  Arkansas,  and  South  Canadian  which 
rise  in  the  Rocky  Mountains  have  cut  valleys  entirely  across 
the  Plains  and  in  many  cases  have  also  cut  down  through 
the  Tertiary  blanket  to  the  red  rock  beneath.  Other  streams 
like  the  Red,  Beaver,  North  Canadian,  Cimarron,  Smoky  Hill, 
and  Republican  do  not  rise  in  the  mountains,  but  on  the  Plains 
and  have  also  cut  valleys  across  the  area  occupied  by  Tertiary 
deposits.  Two  of  these  latter  streams,  Beaver  and  Cimarron 
cross  Beaver  County. 

It  is  the  work  of  these  rivers,  and  in  a  still  larger  degree 
of  their  numerous  smaller  tributaries,  that  has  destroyed  the 
former  flat  and  apparently  level  surface  of  the  Tertiary  plain. 
In  certain  regions  like  the  Llano  Estacado  of  Texas  and  con- 
siderable parts  of  western  Kansas  and  Nebraska,  there  are  areas 
sometimes  occupying  entire  central  counties  ''unscoured  by 
drainage,  yet  standing  in  relief."  The  considerable  number  of 
small  streams,  tributary  to  the  larger  rivers,  cutting  headward 
throughout  the  region,  are  slowly  yet  constantly  at  work  dis- 
secting this  flat  plain,  and  given  time,  will  eventually  whittle  it 
away.  The  flat  areas  remaining  throughout  the  plains  region 
simply  represent  those  areas  where  stream  erosion  has  not  yet 
been  effective. 

In  Beaver  County  there  remains  but  one  considerable  area 
of  undissected  upland.  Some  eight  townships  in  the  north- 
western part  of  the  county  extending  from  the  vicinity  of  For- 
gan  west  to  Texas  County,  and  from  the  sand  hills  north  o^ 
Beaver  Creek,  to  the  Kansas  line,  may  be  included  in  the  orig- 
inal flat  upland  topography. 

Rothrock^  has  written  very  concise  descriptions  of  the  gen- 
eral topography  of  the  uplands  of  this  part  of  the  State.  The 
authors  feel  that  they  cannot  improve  on  the  descriptions  and 
for  that  reason  they  are  quoted  here. 

"Character  of  Surface:  This  plain  is  often  spoken  of  as  being 
"flat  as  a  floor,"  which  in  a  way  expresses  its  character,  but  the 
general  flatness  is  broken  by  minor  features  which  may  be  divid- 
ed into  three  groups,  (1)  the  broad  undulations,  (2)  the  basins, 
and   (3)   the  sand  dunes. 

Rothrock.  E.  P..  Geology  of  Cimarron  County,   Oklahoma:   Oklalioma  Geol.   Sur- 
vey  Bull.    34,    pp.    16-19,    1925. 


*'Uiiduhitioiisi:  Viewed  carefully,  the  surface  of  the  plain  is 
seen  to  be  composed  for  the  most  part  of  broad,  low  hills  sep- 
arated by  very  broad,  shallow,  depressions,  giving  an  impression 
somewhat  similar  to  the  wates  and  troughs  of  a  gently  heaving 
sea.  The  relief  in  this  topography  is  15  to  20  feet,  but  as  the 
crests  of  the  hills  are  1  to  3  miles  apart,  the  slopes  are  extrem?ly 
genlle.  Here  and  there  rises  a  ridge-like  hill  a  few  miles  long, 
which  fi^om  a  distance  and  from  certain  positions  appears  as  a 
distinct  topographic  feature  but  so  gentle  are  its  slopes  that  it 
is  almost  imperceptible  to  one  crossing  it.  One  of  these  hills 
about  2  miles  south  of  Boise  City  is  composed  for  the  most  part 
of  sandy.  loam,  and  another  in  the  north  half  of  sees.  32  and  33. 
T..3  N..  Rv  8  E..  is  capped  by  Tertiary  limestone.  In  a  few  in- 
staness,  as  in  sec.  22,  T.  3  N.,  R.  9  E.,  small  gullies  have  developed 
in'ths  hills  whic!i^  though  quite  definite  toward  the  head,  spread 
out  and  ■finally  merge  into  the  general  surface  of  the  hollow  into 
which'  they  How.  These  streams  are  very  few,  however,  and  the 
surface  presents  simply  a  series  of  indefinite,  undrained  sags  and 
swells  with  no  apparent  definite  relation  to  each  other. 

"Unequal  stream  deposition,  settling  of  sediments,  and  wind 
erosion  are  the  thre?  processes  which  have  developed  this  surface. 
It  is  probable  that  each  of  them  played  an  important  part  in  its 
formation,  though  the  exact  relative  importance  of  each  is  as 
yet  a  matter  of  conjecture. 

"The  surface  of  the  Great  Plains  was  developed  on  the  Late 
Tertiary  formation  which  formed  a  sheet  of  rock  waste  spread 
on  an  arid  land  surface  by  streams  coming  from  the  Rocky  Moun- 
taijis,  in  late  Tertiary  time.  As  the  process  is  described  by 
.JoJinson,2  a  fairly  even  sheet  of  debris  was  deposited,  thinning 
from  its  source  to  its  outer  limit.  In  such  a  sheet  it  is  hardly 
to  be  expected  that  the  surface  would  be  a  geometrical  plane, 
for  from  the  nature  of  stream  deposition  more  material  would  be 
deposited  in  some  places  than  in  others.  Such  differences  would 
malfgrslight  elevations  and  depressions  in  the  surface  which  might 
be  accentuated  by  later  processes. 

"Amrther  factor,  settling  of  the  sediments,  may  take  place  either 
during  deposition  or  after  it  has  ceased.  There  are  some  and 
these  will  be  discussed  under  the  origin  of  basins.  Settling  may 
be  caused  by  a  compacting  of  sediments,  due  to  the  settling  of 
the  particles,  crowding  them  together  so  that  the  mass  occupies 
less  s-pace.  or  it  may  be  due  to  the  dissolving  of  soluble  materials 
in  the  rocks  which  allows  the  insoluble  portions  to  settle  into  the 
cavities  so  formed.  If  more  of  the  limestone  of  the  Later  Terti- 
arv  formation  was  dissolved  from  some  places  than  from  others, 
the  overlying  sands  and  clays  would  settle,  leaving  the  uneven- 
negg  shown  on  the  surface. 

'^The'  last  factor,  the  wind,  is  operative  a  considerable  part  of 
the  time,  and  its  action  is  effective  in  dry  times,  as  may  be  seen 
on  any  of  the  sand  flats  of  the  main  streams,  or  on  patches  of 
earth  from  which  vegetation  has  been  removed.  Even  in  pastures 
the  soil  is  often  blown  away  from  the  roots  of  the  grass  tufts  so 
that  they  stand  up  on  little  mounds  one  to  three  inches  high. 
It  is  possible  that  the  action  of  the  wind  on  bare  spots,  or  on  light 

1.  Johnson.    W.    D..    The    High   ^^5'"^  %"^ao'Vonn   "*'''^^*'°"-    "•    ^-    ^^°^-    ^"'''■^^'' 
21st  Ann.    Kept.   pt.    IV,    pp.    6lD-b21.    1899-1900. 

2.  Johnson,   W.    D.,   Op.   cit. 


sandy  spots  when  the  vegetation  would  not  form  sod  might  cause 
depressions  of  the  sort  described.  It  is  not  probable,  however, 
that  the  wind  alone  was  responsible  for  depressions  formed  by 
other  causes.  Loose  material  from  the  depressions  was  removed 
and  deposited  on  the  top  and  lee  sides  of  hills  which  were  able 
to  hold  it  because   of  their  covering  of  vegetation. 

"Basins.  Scattered  over  the  plains  are  saucer-like  depressions 
of  various  sizes.  The  smallest  are  circular  in  ground  plan,  one 
or  two  hundred  feet  across  and  but  two  or  three  feet  deep.  From 
this  size  they  range  to  great  depressions  2  miles  across  and  50 
to  150  feet  deep.  The  circular  outline  and  saucer-like  shape 
usually  persist  until  the  depressions  reach  a  size  of  a  quarter 
to  a  half  mile  across  and  20  to  30  feet  in  depth.  Larger  basins, 
though  roughly  circular  in  outline  are  in  most  cases  more  irreg- 
ular in  shape.  One  basin,  about  2  miles  west  of  Boise  City  in 
T.  3  N.,  R.  5  E.,  has  the  form  of  a  trough  2  miles  long  and  but 
a  little  more  than  a  quarter  of  a  mile  wide,  and  a  high  ridge 
along  its  east  side.  The  bottoms  of  the  basins  are  flat  and  are 
covered  with  a  deposit  of  black  clay  which  has  been  washed 
from  the  soil  on  the  slopes  and  has  settled  in  the  temporary  ponds 
which  form  after  heavy  rains.  In  a  few  of  the  basins  there  is 
water  for  a  large  part  of  the  year.  In  the  bottom  of  some  of 
the  larger  basins  there  are  two  or  more  depressions  in  which 
water  accumulates. 

"There  is  little  regularity  in  the  distribution  of  these  basins 
except  that  they  do  not  occur  outside  the  area  in  which  the  Terti- 
ary rocks  are  at  the  surface,  nor  are  they  found  in  the  sand  dune 
areas.  With  these  exceptions  they  are  scattered  over  all  parts 
of  the  county.  The  largest  nudiber  are  on  that  portion  of  the 
plains  between  Cimarron  and  Beaver  rivers  in  the  central  and 
western  parts  of  the  county,  and  there  is  a  group  on  the  south 
of  Beaver  River  in  the  neighborhood  of  Wilkins  Postoffice  in 
T.  1  N.,  R.  4  E.  There  are  only  a  few  scattered  basins  outside 
of  this  area  south  of  Beaver  River  and  only  a  few  in  the  eastern 
part  of  the  county  in  Ranges  8  and  9  East.  It  is  not  certain 
that  this  distribution  has  any  significance,  but  it  may  throw  some 
light  on  the  character  of  the  underlying  rocks  if  the  accepted 
theories  for  their  origin  are  correct. 

"The  popular  notion  is  that  the  basins  were  formed  by  the 
tramping  and  wallowing  of  the  great  herds  of  buffalo  which  once 
roamsd  these  plains,  and  they  are  still  called  "buffalo  wallows." 
It  is  possible  that  some  of  the  shallower  ones  were  formed  in 
this  way,  but  it  would  hardly  be  possible  to  account  for  basins 
a  mile  or  two  across  and  80  to  150  feet  deep  in  such  a  manner, 
nor  for  the  elongate  shape  of  such  a  depression  as  that  2  miles 
west  of  Boise   City. 

"Johnsoni  ascribes  the  origin  of  the  basins  to  settling  of  the 
sediments  due  to  compacting,  to  solution  of  the  lime  from  the 
underlying  "mortar  beds"  of  the  Tertiary  rocks,  and  to  solution 
of  the  beds  of  gypsum  in  the  underlying  red  beds.  The  shallow 
depressions  he  ascribed  to  the  first  and  second  causes,  and  the 
large  basins  to  the  last.  He  found  in  many  instances  cracks 
in  the  soil  around  the  rim,  roughly  concentric  with  the  center 
of  the  basin,  some  of  which  were  formed  within  the  memory  of 
the  inhabitants  of  the  country.  This  shows  that  there  was 
movement   of   soil   and  rock   material   toward   the   center  of   the 

1.     Johnson,   \V.    D.,    Op.    cit.   pp.   703-704. 




basin.  He  also  found  that  in  the  bottom  of  the  large  basins  the 
red  beds  are  very  near  the  surface,  and  in  one  case,  that  of  the 
salt  well  near  Meade.  Kansas,  the  settling  had  been  due  direct- 
ly to  solution  of  the  underlying  salt  and  gypsum.  Generalizing 
from  such  evidence  he  concludes  that  all  the  basins  of  the  Great 
Plains  were  formed  in  this  manner.  This  explains  their  peculi- 
arities better  than  other  theories  which  have  been  advanced. 
The  buffalo  would  be  attracted  to  such  depressions  because  of 
the  water  they  contained  and  there  is  no  doubt  that  trampling 
and  wallowing  tended  to  deepen  them.  It  is  also  probable  that 
the  wind  has  played  a  part  in  their  formation,  for  in  some  in- 
stances there  is  an  area  of  sand  to  the  east  of  the  basin  which 
does  not  appear  to  the  west  and  south.  As  the  prevailing 
winds  in  this  region  are  southwesterly  the  sand  appears  to  have 
been  blown  out  of  the  basins  and  deposited  along  the  eastern 
side  near  the  rim. 

"In  summary  it  may  be  said  in  the  light  of  present  evidence  it 
is  believed  that  the  basins  are  the  result  of  settling  of  the  sedi- 
ments due  to  compacting,  and  the  solution  of  the  underlying 
rocks  with  the  work  of  the  wind  and  the  trampling  of  the  buffalo 
as  contributing  causes." 


The  sand  dune  type  of  topography  in  Beaver  County  is 
confined  chiefly  to  the  north  slope  of  Beaver  Creek.  The  dune 
area  occupies  a  strip,  or  zone,  paralleling  Beaver  Creek  extend- 
ing the  entire  length  of  the  county,  east  and  west,  a  distance  of 
over  50  miles.  The  width  of  the  area  varies  from  2  to  8  miles 
averaging  perhaps  4  miles. 

In  most  places  these  sand  hills  are  grass-covered  with  tall 
blue   stem   predominating.     Sage  brush   and  yucca   also   occur 



plentifull}\  There  is  considerable  timber  chiefly  hackberry.  In 
certain  localities  the  sand  hills  are  barren  of  vegetation,  being 
composed  of  white  or  yellowish  sand,  which  is- blown  by- the 
wind.  Several  of  these  dunes  are  shifting  northward.  In  size 
the  dunes  vary  up  to  20  or  30  feet  in  height.  To  the  north  they 
decrease  in  size,  and  finally  merge  with  the  flat  upland  prairie. 


The  authors  of  this  report  have  described  the  breaks  in 
Texas  County  west  of  Beaver. i  Inasmuch  as  the  same  condi- 
tions occur  in  both  counties  the  descriptions  used  in  Texas  Coun- 
ty are  used  here. 





"Under  this  term  is  included  the  rough,  broken  land  lying  be- 
tween the  essentially  level  lowland,  or  valley  flats,  and  the  es- 
sentially level  uplands,  or  undissected  stream  divides.  The 
term  means,  to  employ  the  local  usage,  the  place  where  the 
plain  breaks  into  the  valley. 

"The  breaks  exist  in  the  region  because  of  the  lack  of  gradual 
transition  from  plain  to  valley.  As  has  already  been  shown,  the 
edge  of  the  valley  is  marked  by  steep  slopes  and  often  by  an 
escarpment.  If  instead  of  this  escarpment  and  steep  slope  a 
gradual  slope  existed,  the  breaks  would  represent  a  much  smaller 
area  than  is  now  the  case.  In  the  wider  valleys  which  are  'too 
young  to  have  developed  noticeable  flats,  the  entire  width  of  'the 
valley  will  be  rough  and  broken  and  will  correspond  to  the 
definition  given  for  breaks.  In  some  cases  where  a  narrow  val- 
ley has  several  tributary  gullies  and  ravines  the  whole  area 
involved  by  them  will  be  simply  a  succession  of  steep  slopes  and 
escarpments.  It  is  such  topography  which  throughout  the  HigTi' 
Plains   region  has   come  to  be  known  as   the  breaks. 

Gould,  Chas.  N.,   and  Lonsdale,  John  T.,   The  Geolo^'  of  Texas  County, 
homa:   Oklahoma  Geol.    Survey   Bull.    37,    pp.    18-2'0,    1926.  3>. 




"As  stated  above,  the  steep  slopes  and  escarpments  of  the 
valley  walls  are  responsible  for  the  formation  of  the  type  of 
topography  under  discussion.  These  features,  slope  and  escarp- 
ment, are  due  to  the  presence  near  the  surface  of  a  layer  of 
hard,  calcareous  material,  sometimes  called  caliche,  and  known 
locally  as  rim  rock  or  cap  rock.  This  material  in  almost  all 
cases  forms  the  steep  escarpment  of  the  region  and  because  of 
Its  light  color  in  outcrops  can  often  be  seen  for  miles." 


It  has  already  been  stated  that  all  the  drainage  of  Beaver 
County  is  into  two  major  streams,  Cimarron  and  Beaver.  Both 
of  these  streams  belong  to  the  drainage  system  of  the  Arkansas 

CimaiTon  River.  Cimarron  River  rises  in  Johnson  Mesa,  a 
flat-topped  mountain  held  up  by  a  sheet  of  volcanic  lava,  in 
northeastern  New  Mexico,  and  flows  east  through  a  broad  can- 
yon which  it  has  carved  among  the  rocks  for  a  distance  of  75 
miles,  entering  Oklahoma  in  the  northwest  corner  of  Cimarron 
County.  After  flowing  for  nearly  fifty  miles  in  this  co"mty.  the 
river  crosses  into  the  southeast  corner  of  Colorado,  thence  into 
southwest  Kansas,  and  again  flows  into  Oklahoma  at  a  point 
a  short  distance  east  of  the  center  of  the  north  line  of  Beaver 
County.  In  this  county  the  Cimarron  flov>'s  east  for  about  20 
miles,  being  at  no  place  at  a  greater  distance  than  four  miles 
south  of  the  Kansas  line,  then  flows  into  northwestern  Harper 
County  across  the  corner  of  that  county,  again  for  a  short  dis- 
tance in  Kansas  before  finally,  for  a  third  time,  entering  Okla- 

In  Beaver  County  the  Cimarron  flows  in  a  broad  shallow 
valley  averaging  about  8  miles  wide  and  150  feet  deep.  The 
channel  of  the  Cimarron  is  typical  of  that  of  the  streams  of 
the  Plains,  being  sand-choked  with  low  sandy  banks.  For  a 
considerable  part  of  the  year  the  stream  carries  relatively  little 
water  but  during  flood  time  the  river  overflows  its  banks  and 
covers  the  bottomlands.  For  months  at  a  time,  however,  the 
channel  may  be  almost  dry  with,  at  most,  a  small  trickle  of 
water  running  in  numerous  braided  channels. 

Several  short  tributaries  of  the  Cimarron  rise  in  the  flat 
upland  of  central  Beaver  County  and  flow  north  to  join  the 
river.  Horse  Creek  north  of  Gate  and  Taintor  Creek  north  of 
Knowles  are  the  largest  of  these  tributaries.  The  divide  be- 
tween the  headwaters  of  these  creeks  flowing  north  into  Cim- 
arron, and  the  headwaters  of  the  creeks  flowing  south  into  Beav- 
er Creek  is  traversed  by  the  Wichita  Falls,  Northwestern  Rail- 


Beaver  Creek.  Beaver  Creek  (sometimes  called  Beaver 
River)  is  formed  in  southwestern  Cimarron  County  by  the  junc- 
tion of  two  creeks,  Ceineguilla  de  Burro  (Spanish  for  Burro 
Lake),  usually  spelled  Seneca,  and  Currumpa.  The  latter  stream, 
which  is  the  larger,  rises  on  the  east  slope  of  Sierra  Grande, 
a  volcanic  peak  near  Des  Moines,  Union  County,  New  Mexico. 
From  the  point  of  junction  the  Beaver  flows  east  practically 
the  entire  length  of  the  Panhandle  of  Oklahoma.  In  Beaver 
County,  Beaver  Creek  flows  first  northeast,  thence  east  across 
the  county,  a  distance  not  including  minor  bends  and  curves 
of  about  55  miles.  On  leaving  Beaver  County,  Beaver  Creek 
flews  southeast  across  the  southwest  corner  of  Harper  County 
and  into  Woodward  County  where  at  Supply  it  joins  Wolf  Creek 
to  form  North  Canadian  River. 

The  general  character  of  Beaver  Creek  is  quite  similar  to 
that  of  the  Cimarron.  Both  are  typical  Plains  streams  with 
broad,  sand-filled  channels  and  low  sand  banks.  Beaver  Creek 
is  not  so  large  a  stream  as  Cimarron  River.  The  width  of  the 
channel  of  Beaver  from  bank  to  bank  averages  perhaps  200 

A  number  of  tributary  creeks  empty  into  Beaver  from  the 
south.  All  these  streams  originate  on  the  flat  upland  of  the 
southern  part  of  the  county  or  across  the  State  line  in  northern 
Lipscomb  and  Ochiltree  counties,  Texas.  The  largest  of  these 
streams  is  Kiowa  Creek  which  crosses  the  southeastern  corner 
of  Beaver  County  and  enters  Harper  County  before  uniting  with 
Beaver  Creek.  Other  of  the  more  prominent  streams  flowing 
rorth  into  the  Beaver  are  Mexico,  Duck  Pond,  Clear,  Home,  Six 





Mile,  Dugout,  Willow,  Jackson,  and  Fulton.  From  the  north 
Beaver  Creek  receives  several  tributary  creeks  which  rise  in  the 
sand  hills.  The  most  important  are  Kidds,  Negleys,  Timber, 
and  Sharps. 

The  greater  number  of  the  creeks  tributary  to  Beaver  are 
spring-fed  and  carry  water  for  a  considerable  part  of  the  year. 
The  channels  are  usually  sand-filled  and  during  dry  times  the 
water  sinks  into  the  sand.  These  various  valleys  of  the  smaller 
streams  average  50  to  100  feet  deep  below  the  level  of  the 
divides.  The  main  valley  of  Beaver  lies  about  175  feet  below 
the  original  plains  level. 



The  geology  of  Beaver  County  is  not  complex.  The  forma- 
tions represented  in  the  county  are  few  in  number,  and  simple 
in  arrangement.  The  records  of  the  rocks  do  not  show  any 
great  or  violent  upheavals,  or  any  intense  folding  or  faulting, 
such  as  have  occurred  in  many  parts  of  Oklahoma.  Neither  has 
erosion  or  weathering  worn  down  the  surface  to  the  extent 
shown  in  many  regions.  The  surface  rocks  of  the  county  belong 
to  three  (possibly  four)  geological  ages,  namely  Permian,  pos- 
sibly Cretaceous,  Tertiary  and  Quaternary.  These,  formations 
will  be  described  in  the  order  named. 


General  Statements  Regarding  the  Permian.  The  greater  part 
of  western  Oklahoma,  along  with  the  Panhandle  of  Texas  and 
western  Kansas,  is  occupied  by  a  great  series  of  red  clay  shales 
of  Permian  age,  usually  spoken  of  as  the  red  beds.  Sometimes 
these  red  beds  are  exposed  on  the  surface  and  sometimes  they 
are  covered  by  a  blanket  of  younger  rocks.  In  Beaver  County, 
as  will  be  shown  later,  the  red  bed^,  are  exposed  chiefly  along 
Beaver  Creek  and  certain  of  its  southern  tributaries  where  ero- 
sion has  removed  the  blanket  of  higher  (Tertiary)   formations. 

Taken  as  a  whole  the  Permian  red  beds  of  the  Great  Plains 
region  consist  of  a  thick  mass  of  red  clay  shale,  interstratified 
with  which  are  certain  beds  of  sandstone,  dolomite,  gypsum  ani 
rock  salt.  The  thickness  of  the  formation  varies  up  to  3,500  feet. 
In  Beaver  County  as  shown  by  logs  of  deep  wells  the  red  beds 
are  approximately  1,500  feet  thick. 

Farther  east  in  Oklahoma  where  the  red  beds  have  been 
studied  quite  carefully  for  many  years  and  where  a  number  of 
separate  and  distinct  formations  are  exposed  on  the  surface,  the 


following  formations  beginning  at  the  top  have  been  named  and 

Table  of  Oklahoma  Red  Beds  Formations^ 

NAME  Thickness 

Quartermaster  formation.     Red  sandy  clay   300  feet 

Cloud   Chief   gypsum.     Massive    white   gypsum   interbed- 

ded  with  red  clay  shale  125  feet 

Day  Creek  dolomite.     Hard,  brittle,  white  dolomite,  some- 
times in  two  ledges,  separated  by  red  clay  shale  6  feet 

Whitehorse  sandstone.     Massive  to  cross-bedded,  fine  red 

sandstone  200  feet 

Dog   Creek   shales.     Red    clay    shales    and    thin    beds    of 

dolomite    200  feet 

Blaine  gypsum.     Massive   white   gypsum  in   ledges,  sep- 
arated by  red  clay  shales  100  feet 

Chickasha  formation.     Red  clay  shales  with  gypsum  200  feet 

Duncan  sandstone.     Massive  red  or  gray  sandstone  sep- 
arated by   shale  beds 200  feet 

Hennessey  shales,   red   shales   400  feet 

Garber  sandstone,  red  sandstone  and  shales  500  feet 

Wellington  formation,  red  clays  and  sandstone  500  feet 

Stillwater  formation,  red  clays  and  sandstone  800  feet 

In  Beaver  County  only  one  of  these  Permian  red  beds 
formations,  the  Cloud  Chief,  is  definitely  known  to  be  exposed 
on  the  surface.  The  geologic  map  shows  the  outcrops  of  these 
beds  and  it  will  be  seen  that  the  principal  exposures  of  the  r'ed 
beds  are  along  Beaver  Creek  and  its  southern  tributaries.  Red 
beds  also  appear  along  the  Cimarron  in  the  northeast  corner 
of  the  county. 

When  the  senior  author  in  1903  and  the  years  following 
first  attempted  to  work  out  the  geology  of  this  part  of  Oklahoma 
there  were  several  points  of  stratigraphy  and  correlation  which 
were  obscure.  Not  everywhere  are  the  red  beds  exposed.  Large 
areas  of  western  Oklahoma  are  covered  by  Tertiary  deposits 
and  sand  hills,  so  that  it  is  often  impossible  to  connect  scattered 
exposures  with  other  outcrops  of  known  age. 

For  these  and  other  reasons  the  Permian  rocks  along  the 
south  side  of  Beaver  Creek  in  Beaver  County  were  designated 
as  "red  beds  of  uncertain  relations,"  and  until  the  present  time 
this  designation  has  not  been  changed. 

Cloud  Chief  Formation.  For  reasons  which  need  not  be  dis- 
cussed at  this  time  it  has  been  found  advisable  to  revise  the 
classification  employed  in  Water  Supply  Paper  148.  A  new 
formation,  the  Cloud  Chief  gypsum^  has  been  recently  intro- 

1.  Gould.  Chas.  N.,  A  new  classification  of  the  Permian  red  beds  of  .southwestern 
Oklahoma:  Am.  Asso.  Pet.  Geol.  Bull.,  vol.  8,  No.  3,  p.  325,  1924;  also  Aurin, 
P.  L.,  Officer,  H.  G.,  and  Gould,  Chas.  N.,  Subdivision  of  the  Enid  formation; 
read  before  the  meeting  of  the  Am.  A^so.  Pet.  Geol.,  March,  1926, 


duced,  this  being  the  same  as  the  "eastern  area"  of  the  "Greer" 
as  these  terms  were  formerly  employed. 


PERMIAN  RED  BEDS  WITH  GYPSUM  LEDGES.     SEC.  8,  T.  3  N.,  R.  24  E.,  C.  M. 

The  Cloud  Chief  is  the  higher  of  the  two  gypsum-bearing 
horizons  of  the  Permian  red  beds.  At  its  type  locality  at  Cloud 
Chief,  Washita  County,  Oklahoma,  it  consists  of  massive,  white 
rock  gypsum  100  feet  or  more  thick.  At  most  places  outside 
the  type  locality,  however,  the  Cloud  Chief  is  made  up  of  two 
or  more  ledges  of  gypsum  separated  by  red  clay  shales. 

From  the  type  locality  in  Washita  County,  the  Cloud  Chief 
may  be  followed  north  across  Washita,  Custer,  and  Dewey  coun- 
ties, crossing  the  South  Canadian  River  near  Taloga.  Gypsums 
of  this  formation  are  known  to  be  exposed  south  of  the  North 
Canadian  River  near  Richmond  and  Mutual  in  southern  Wood- 
ward County.  Between  Woodward  and  Supply  the  Permian  is 
covered  by  deposits  of  later  age,  chiefly  Tertiary,  but  the  gypsum 
is  again  exposed  in  the  bluffs  south  of  Beaver  Creek  between 
May  and  Laverne  in  southwestern  Harper  County,  and  from  this 
point  the  formation  may  be  traced  almost  continuously  to  con- 
nect with  exposures  along  the  south  side  of  Beaver  Creek,  prac- 
tically all  the  way  across  Beaver  County. 

In  Beaver  County  it  is  to  be  noted  that  the  Permian  red 
beds  are  conspicuously  exposed  along  the  creeks  emptying  into 
Beaver  from  the  south,  while  the  north  slope  of  Beaver  Creek 
is  covered  with  sand  hills.  This  fact  is  in  strict  conformity 
with  conditions  farther  east  in  Oklahoma.  It  has  long  been  a 
matter  of  comment  among  geologists  that  the  south  slopes  of 

1.     Gould,  Chas.  N.,  A  new  cla.ssification  of  the  Permian  red  beds  of  southwestern 
Oklahoma,     Bull.   Am.   Assn.   Pet.   Geol.   Vol.   7,   Xp.   3,   pp.   337-339,   1924, 


the  greater  number  of  larger  streams  in  western  Oklahoma  were 
canyon-cut  into  the  red  beds,  while  the  north  slopes  were  cov- 
ered with  sand  hills.  Conditions  in  Beaver  County  differ  from 
conditions  farther  east  only  in  degree  and  not  in  kind.  To  say 
it  differently ;  wherever  in  Beaver  County  the  Tertiary  deposit 
are  thick,  and  where  erosion  has  not  been  able  to  remove  them, 
the  exposures  of  Permian  are  consequently  less  conspicuous. 
Practically  every  creek  emptying  into  Beaver  from  the  soutl 
in  Beaver  County  has  exposures  of  red  beds.  Along  some  creeks 
there  are  bluffs  20  to  40  feet  high  with  red  shale  and  gypsum, 
while  along  other  creeks  only  scattered  exposures  of  red  may 
be  seen.  Some  of  the  streams  containing  the  more  conspicuous 
exposures  of  Permian  are  Camp,  Kiowa,  Duck  Pond,  Clear, 
Home,  Six  Mile,  Dugout,  Willow,  Jackson,  and  Fulton.  A  typical 
exposure  on  sec.  8,  T.  3  N.,  R.  24  E.,  9  miles  southeast  of  Beaver 
City  and  one  which  slightly  modified  might  be  served  for  almost 
any  part  of  the  area  is  given  herewith.  Plate  IV  is  a  photo- 
graph of  this  section. 

Section  of  Red  Beds,  Sec.  8,  T.  3  N.,  R.  2J^  E.,  Beaver  Co.  Okla. 


Gypsum 1 

Shale,   gypsiferous   1 

Gypsum,  massive  _ 3 

Shale,  gypsiferous,  red   3 

Gypsum,  massive  4 

Shale,  gypsiferous,   red   .  1 

Gypsum,  massive   - _ 2 

Shale,  red,  sandy  12 


During  the  past  few  years  there  has  been  much  detailed 
work  done  in  this  region  by  geologists  of  various  oil  companies. 
These  men  have  come  to  recognize  the  following  generalized 
section  for  the  district  southeast  of  Beaver  City. 

Generalized  Section  of  the   Permian  Red   Beds  Southeast   of 
Beaver  City,  Beaver  County,  Oklahoma 


Tertiary  rocks   0-400 

Cretaceous   rocks   0-  75 

Permian  rocks  

Loose   red  shales   5-  50 

Shaly  gypsum  2- 

Red   shale   4- 

Gypsum  - 3-4 

Red   shale   15-20 

Gypsum - 3-4 

Red   shale   2-4 

Gypsum 3-4 

Red   sandy   shale   ,....., 3-4 


Massive  gypsum  _ 5-6 

Red  shale  2-3 

Gypsum    -- _ — ..     2-4 

Loose  unconsolidated  red  shale  with  tflln  bands  of  gray 

shale  20-30 

From  a  study  of  this  section  it  will  be  noted  that,  accord- 
ing to  the  observations  of  the  petroleum  geologists  who  have 
worked  in  the  region,  the  total  maximum  exposure  of  the  Per- 
mian is  about  140  feet,  of  which  a  maximum  of  22  feet  is  gyp- 
sum, exposed  in  five  ledges.  One  who  is  familiar  with  condi- 
tions of  the  red  beds  of  western  Oklahoma  and  Texas  will  scarce- 
ly fail  to  recognize  that  this  alternation  of  red  shales  and  thin 
gypsums  is  typical  Cloud  Chief  stratigraphy.  It  is  not  like 
the  stratigraphy  of  any  other  part  of  the  red  beds  series  in 
Oklahoma  or  Kansas  and  most  certainly  not  like  the  Triassic 
of  the  Plains. 

The  same  red  beds  which  occur  in  Beaver  County,  contain- 
ing the  same  gypsum  ledges,  may  be  traced  practically  uninter- 
ruptedly into  southeastern  Texas  County,  where  along  Palo 
Duro  Creek  a  mile  or  two  east  of  Range  post  office  there  are 
exposures  of  red  clays  with  interbedded  gypsum  more  than  50 
feet  thick.  It  is  the  present  belief  of  the  senior  author  that  the 
red  beds  exposed  along  Beaver  Creek  near  Redpoint  and  on 
Tepee  Creek  western  Texas  County,  as  well  as  those  along  the 
Cimarron  River  northeast  of  Boise  City,  Cimarron  County,  are 
also  of  Permian  age  and  not  of  Triassic  age.^ 

The  geological  history  of  the  Permian  of  this  part  of  the 
Great  Plains  is  not  yet  thoroughly  understood.  Enough  is 
known,  however,  that  the  following  generalized  statement  may 
safely  be  made. 

Permian  deposition  represents  a  long  period  of  time  dur- 
ing which  sediments  were  laid  down  chieiiy  in  shallow  seas.  The 
climate  was  doubtless  arid.  The  land  oscillated,  sometimes  be- 
ing above  the  water,  sometimes  being  submerged.  Inland  seas 
were  formed,  which  afterward  dried  up,  as  shown  by  the  vast 
deposits  of  gypsum  and  salt.  At  times  the  land  stood  out  of 
the  water,  and  desert  conditions  must  have  obtained,  as  witness 
the  sand  dune  cross-bedding  in  the  Whitehorse  sandstone.  Oc- 
casionally marine,  or  at  least  brackish-water,  conditions  were 
present  as  shown  by  the  ammonite  and  pelecypod  fossils  asso- 
ciated with  the  Blaine  gypsum. 

The  source  of  the  materials  making  up  the  red  beds  has 
not  yet  been  definitely  located.  There  are  those  who  look  to 
the  Arbuckle  and  Wichita  Mountains  for  this  material.  Others 
would  seek  its  source  in  the  now  buried  Amarillo  Mountains, 

1.     Gould,   Chas.    N.   and  Lonsdale,   John   T.,   Geology  of  Texas  County,    Oklahoma, 
Okla.   Geol.   Survey  Bull.  No.  37,  pp.   25-26,   1926. 


or  granite  ridge  of  the  Texas  Panhandle ;  while  still  other  geolo- 
gists look  to  the  Ancestral  Rockies  of  eastern  Colorado  and  New 
Mexico  for  the  source  of  these  formations.  Possibly  when  all 
data  have  been  secured  and  the  final  word  has  been  written,  it 
will  be  found  that  all  three  of  these  sources  have  been  drawn 
on  for  the  material  which  now  constitutes  the  Permian  red  beds 
of  western  Oklahoma. 


After  the  close  of  the  Permian  period  that  part  of  North 
America  now  represented  by  Beaver  County  was  raised  above 
the  level  of  the  sea,  and  so  far  as  we  now  definitely  know  has 
never  again  been  totally  submerged.  During  the  next  two  geo- 
logical periods  the  Triassic  and  the  Jurassic,  this  part  of  the 
country  stood  out  of  the  water  and  the  agents  of  denudation, 
rain,  wind,  frost,  and  heat,  beat  upon  these  Permian  rocks  and 
great  masses  of  them  were  carried  away.  Valleys  were  worn 
down,  hills  were  left  standing,  and  the  topography  of  the  region 
probably  took  on  a  rough  and  broken  appearance. 

During  the  next  geological  period  the  Lower  Cretaceous 
(or  Comanchean)  there  was  a  lowering  of  the  surface  over  a 
considerable  part  of  the  Great  Plains  area,  and  the  sea  swept 
north  over  parts  of  Texas  and  southern  Oklahoma  till  it  lapped 
against  the  south  flanks  of  the  Arbuckle  and  Ouachita  Moun- 
tains. At  this  time  the  western  half  of  what  is  now  the  State 
of  Kansas  was  under  water.  At  one  time  this  sea  transgressed 
over  a  considerable  part  of  what  now  is  western  Oklahoma,  as 
is  shown  by  deposits  of  shell  rock  found  scattered  over  the 
prairies  in  this  region.  These  rocks,  which  are  chiefly  lime- 
stone, made  up  largely  of  fossil  oyster  shells,  may  be  found 
along  a  north  and  south  line  about  one  county  wide  chiefly  in 
Washita,  Custer,  Dewey,  Woodward,  and  Harper  counties,  con- 
necting with  a  large  area  of  Comanche-Cretaceous  rocks  typic- 
ally exposed  at  Belvidere,  Kansas.  Fred  M.  Bullard,  R.  L.  Clif- 
ton, and  others  who  have  studied  the  fossils  in  the  scattered 
"shell  rock"  in  western  Oklahoma  find  that  they  represent  the 
Washita  stage  of  the  Comanche-Cretaceous  of  Texas. 

Rocks  of  the  same  age  containing  similar  fossils  occur  in 
Cimarron  County,  Oklahoma. ^  The  formation  in  which  they  are 
contained  in  this  county  is  known  as  the  Purgatoire  formation 
and  consists  largely  of  sandstone  and  shale.  The  fossils  found 
in  the  Purgatoire  of  Cimarron  County  are  the  same  as  those 
from  the  Washita  stage  of  Texas  and  southern  Oklahoma,  from 
the  scattered  "shell  rock"  of  west-central  Oklahoma,  and  from 

1.     Rothrock,  E.   P.,    Geology  of  Clmarion    County,    Oklahoma.     Okla.    Geol.    Survey 
Bull.   34,   pp.    37-49,    1925. 


the  Comanche-Cretaceous  beds  of  the  Belvidere  region  of  south- 
ern Kansas. 

Oyster  shells  of  Comanche-Cretaceous  age  have  been  found 
in  several  places  in  Beaver  County.  It  has  been  thought  thai 
beds  of  "shell  rock"  like  those  in  counties  farther  east  in  the 
State  occurred  in  the  county,  and  on  the  map  prepared  by  the 
senior  author,  published  in  Water-Supply  Paper  No.  148,  U.  S. 
Geological  Survey,  1905,  two  localities  were  given  in  Beaver 
County  where  these  "shell  beds"  were  supposed  to  occur.  One 
of  these  localities  was  along  Clear  Creek  near  the  center  of  T. 
3  N.,  R.  24  E.,  and  the  other  along  Duck  Pond  Creek  in  the 
southeast  corner  of  T.  3  N.,  R.  25  E.,  and  the  northeast  corner  of 
T.  4  N.,  25  E.  The  present  recollection  of  the  senior  author  is 
that  he  did  not  personally  see  these  exposures  but  that  the  locali- 
ties were  described  to  him  by  others  who  had  found  fossil  shells 
at  these  places. 

So  far  as  we  have  been  able  to  learn  no  one  since  that  time 
has  reported  the  presence  of  "shell  rock"  in  Beaver  County.  The 
following  excerpt  from  the  notes  of  the  junior  author,  under 
date  of  June  4,  1925,  discusses  this  point. 

"Although  diligent  search  was  made,  no  evidence  of  the  Cre- 
taceous oyster  beds  mapped  in  Gould's  Water-Supply  paper  was 
found,  none  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  region  in  which  the  shells 
were  supposed  to  be  found  knew  of  them,  and  no  exposures  were 
found  after  traversing  the  area." 

Throughout  all  this  region  scattered  fragments  of  shells 
and  blocks  of  sandstone  containing  shell  impressions  are  foui. 
near  the  base  of  the  Tertiary  rocks,  to  be  described  later.  In 
Texas  County,  near  Redpoint,  the  authors  found  blocks  of  sand- 
stone weighing  sometimes  as  much  as  100  pounds,  containing 
Cretaceous  fossils.  These  blocks  were  evidently  of  Purgatoire 
age,  having  been  carried  from  the  northwest  during  Tertiary 
time  and  deposited  on  the  eroded  surface  of  the  Permian  red 

For  the  present  it  must  remain  an  open  question  whether 
or  not  beds  of  "shell  rock"  of  Cretaceous  age  are  actually  pres- 
ent in  Beaver  County.  To  state  it  differently,  it  is  not  today 
known  whether  the  transgression  of  the  Cretaceous  sea  extended 
this  far  west.  We  know  that  this  sea  did  occupy  territory  east, 
north  and  west  of  the  county  and  there  need  be  no  surprise  if 
further  investigations  show  the  presence  of  the  typical  "oyster 
shell  bed"  limestone  in  Beaver  County. 


The  most  wide-spread  surface  exposure  in  Beaver  County 
consists  of  a  blanket  of  rocks  chiefly  sands  and  clays,  of  Ter- 


tiary  age,  lying  unconformably  upon  the  underlying  Permian 
red  beds. 

This  formation  or  series  of  formations,  is  perhaps  the 
most  wide  spread  of  any  single  surface  formation  in  the  United 
States.  It  extends  from  the  Dakotas  to  southern  Texas  and 
from  the  base  of  the  Rocky  Mountains  east  to  central  Nebraska, 
Kansas,  and  Oklahoma,  and  occupies  parts  of  North  Dakota, 
South  Dakota,  Montana,  Wyoming,  Colorado,  Nebraska,  Kansas, 
Oklahoma,  Texas,  and  New  Mexico. 

Although  the  formation  is  so  extensive,  being  exposed  in 
ten  states,  and  although  a  number  of  geologists  have  studied 
the  rocks  in  each  of  these  states,  there  re:"'iins  much  to  be 
learned  about  them.  The  character  of  the  beds  renders  them 
difficult  to  work,  and  because  of  their  wide  areal  extent  in  so 
many  states,  it  so  happens  that  no  one  state  cares  to  spend 
money  in  working  out  the  details  of  the  problem.  Since  the 
beds  show  very  little,  or  perhaps  no  surface  structure  there  is 
no  incentive  for  petroleum  geologists  to  spend  time  on  them. 
They  contain  few  products  of  economic  value.  Fossils,  though 
knoMoi  to  be  present,  are  usually  very  rare,  and  for  that  reason 
the  paleontologist  has  passed  them  by.  So  it  need  not  be  con- 
sidered strange  that  the  problems  connected  with  the  Tertiary 
aeposits  of  the  Plains  are  little  nearer  solution  today  than  they 
were  a  quarter  century  ago. 

In  1906,  the  senior  author  of  this  report  published  a  report 
entitled  "The  Geology  and  Water  Resources  of  the  Eastern  Por- 
tion of  the  Panhandle  of  Texas, "^  in  which  was  set  forth  the  gen- 
eral descriptions  of  the  Tertiary.  Inasmuch  as  Lipscomb  and 
Ochiltree  counties,  Texas,  described  in  that  report,  join  Beaver 
County  on  the  south,  a  description  of  the  Tertiary  forma- 
tions in  the  Texas  counties  will  serve  equally  well  for  Beaver 
County,  Oklahoma,  and  further  because  of  the  fact  that  the  gov- 
ernment report  has  long  been  out  of  print  and  can  usually  be 
consulted  only  in  the  larger  libraries,  it  has  been  thought  wise 
to  reprint  here  part  of  the  description  from  that  paper. 


Note:     For  extended  discussions  of  the  Tertiary  rocks  of  various  parts 
of  the  Great  Plains  the  reader  is  referred  to  the  following  publications: 
Cummins,    W.    F.,   Notes    on   the    geology    of   northwest   Texas: 
Fourth  Ann.  Rept.  Texas  Geol.  Survey,  1893,  pp.  190-203. 

Dumble,  E.  T.,  Cenozoic  deposits  of  Texas:    Jour.  Geol.  vol.  2, 
No.   6,  pp.   549-563,   1894. 

Hay,  Robert,  Water  resources  of  a  portion  of  the  Great  Plains: 
Sixteenth  Ann.  Rept.  U.  S.  Geol.  Survey,  pt.  2,  1895,  pp.  569  et  seq. 
Haworth,  E.,   Physical   properties  of  the  Tertiary:    Univ.   Geol. 
1.     Cha.s.   N.   Gould,   U.    S.   Geol.    Survey,    Water-Suppl.v   Paper   No.    154,    1906. 


Survey,  Kansas,  vol.  2,  1897,  pp.  247-284.  Underground  waters  of 
southwestern  Kansas,  Water-Supply  and  Irrigation  Paper  U.  S. 
Geol.  Survey  No.  6,  1897. 

Darton,  N.  H.,  Report  on  the  geology  and  water  resources  of 
Nebraska  west  of  103d  Mer.:  Nineteenth  Ann.  Rept.  U.  S.  Geol. 
Survey,  pt.  4,  1899,  pp.  719-785.  Also  in  Prof.  Paper  No.  17,  U.  S. 
Geol.  Survey,  1903. 

Darton,  N.  H.,  Rept.  on  the  geology  of  the  central  Great  Plains: 
Prof.  Paper,  U.  S.  Geol.  Survey  No.  32,  1905. 

Johnson,  Willard  D.,  The  High  Plains  and  their  utilization: 
Twenty-first  Ann.  Rept.  U.  S.  Geol.  Survey,  pt.  4,  1901,  pp.  601-741. 
Twenty-second  Ann.  Rept.  U.  S.  Geol.  Survey,  pt.  4,  1902,  pp. 


"General  Statement.  After  the  deposition  of  the  Permian 
and  Triassic  red  beds  in  the  Panhandle  region  the  area  was 
elevated  and  for  a  long  period  of  time  the  land  was  extensively- 
eroded.  Farther  south  and  west  extensive  deposits  of  Cretace- 
ous rocks  rest  on  the  red  beds,  but  in  the  part  of  the  Panhandle 
under  discussion  Cretaceous  formations  are  absent. 

"Resting  uncomfortably  upon  the  eroded  surface  of  the  red 
beds  throughout  the  region  described  in  this  paper  are  extensive 
deposits  of  the  Cenozoic  age — Tertiary  or  Quaternary — which 
make  up  the  rocks  of  the  High  Plains.  These  formations,  which 
consist  largely  of  loosely  consolidated  clays,  sands,  and  conglom- 
erates, typically  white,  but  varying  locally  into  gray,  buff,  brown, 
or  other  colors,  constitute  the  'Tertiary  grit'  and  the  'Tertiary 
marl'  or  'mortar  beds'  of  the  Kansas  geologists.  In  Nebraska, 
Mr.  Darton  subdivides  the  beds  of  approximately  this  age  into 
the  Arikaree  and  the  Ogalalla.  In  the  Panhandle  of  Texas  Pro- 
fessor Cummins  has  distinguished  four  horizons,  basing  his 
classification  upon  the  evidence  afforded  by  vertebrate  fossils 
obtained  in  the  different  beds  and  identified  by  Professor  CopeJ 

"The  following  table  sets  forth  the  names  of  the  members 
as  used  by  Professor  Cummins,  the  geologic  age,  and  the  number 
of  species  Professor  Cope  found  in  each: 

Vertebrate  Fossils  Distinguishing  Four  Horizons  in  the 
Panhandle  of  Texas 

No.  of 
Period  Epoch  Formation  Species 

Quaternary    Pleistocene  Tule   (Eqmis  beds)        10 

r  Pliocene  Blanco  16 

Tertiary  -i  Transition  Goodnight  8 

[  Miocene  Loup    Fork 17 

1.     Fourth  Ann.    Rept.   Texas  Geol.    Survey,   pt.   8,   1893.   pp.    18-86. 


"Loup  Fork  Formation.  The  term  'Loup  Fork'  has  long  been 
used  to  include  a  series  of  rocks,  usually  considered  late  Plio- 
cene in  age,  which  are  extensively  exposed  on  the  Great  Plains, 
particularly  in  Colorado,  Nebraska,  Kansas,  Oklahoma,  Texas, 
and  New  Mexico.  The  rocks  consist  largely  of  sands,  clays,  and 
conglomerates,  the  latter  made  chiefly  of  smooth  water-worn 
pebbles  presumably  derived  from  the  Rocky  Mountains.  The 
thickness  of  the  deposits  varies,  but  the  maximum  is  several 
hundred  feet.  The  Loup  P^ork  beds  constitute  the  lowest  Ter- 
tiary formation  known  to  exist  in  the  Panhandle.  According 
to  Professor  Cummins^  these  beds  do  not  extend  farther  south 
along  the  eastern  edge  of  the  Llano  Estacado  than  the  Prairie 
Dog  Fork  of  Red  River.  On  Mulberry  Creek,  12  miles  west  of 
Clarendon,  where  Cummins  and  Cope  obtained  the  fossils  identi- 
fied by  the  latter,  the  Loup  Fork  beds  are  30  feet  thick  and 
'composed  of  alternating  beds  of  bluish  and  almost  pure  white 
sand.'  2 

"Goodnight  Formation.  This  division,  named  by  Professor 
Cummins  from  the  town  in  Armstrong  County,  Texas,  consists 
of  calcareous  and  arenaceous  clays,  sands,  and  heavy  conglom- 
erates. Lithologically,  it  is  practically  impossible  to  differenti- 
ate these  beds  from  those  of  the  Loup  Fork  or  Blanco,  and  it  is 
only  by  means  of  fossils  contained  in  them  that  the  beds  are 
known  to  be  of  different  age.  Professor  Cope-'  identified  eight 
vertebrates  from  these  beds  and  assigned  them  to  an  age  inter- 
mediate between  the  Loup  Fork  and  the  Blanco. 

"Professor  Cummins  states  that  the  Goodnight  beds  have 
extensive  development  south  of  Mulberry  Creek.  The  maximum 
thickness  as  given  by  him  is  approximately  150  feet.- 

"Dall,^  on  the  authority  of  Dumble,  has  called  these  beds 
Palo  Duro.  He  classes  them  as  transitional  between  the  Miocene 
and  Pliocene,  and  says :  'These  beds,  identified  in  western  Texas 
by  Scott  as  transitional,  also  had  the  absurd  name  of  Goodnight 
applied  to  them.' 

"Certainly  no  one  who  has  ever  been  in  that  portion  of  the 
Panhandle  would  consider  the  name  of  Goodnight  as  absurd, 
for  it  is  the  name  of  one  of  the  largest  of  the  old-time  /cattle 
ranches,  as  well  as  of  a  good-sized  town,  the  seat  of  a  flourish- 
ing college. 

1.  Cummins,  W.  F..  Notes  on  the  geology  of  northwest  Texas;   Fourth  Ann.   Rept. 
Texas   Geol.    Survey,   1893,   p.    304. 

2.  Cummins,    Op.   cit.   pp.    201-202. 

3.  Cope,  E.  D.,  Vertebrate  fauna  of  the  Loup  Fox-k  beds:  Fourth  Ann.  Rept.  Texas 
Geol.    Survey,   pt.   8,   1893,   p.   46. 

4.  Dall,  Wm.  H.,  Table  of  North  American  Tertiary  horizon,  etc.:  Eighteenth  Ann. 
Rept.   U.   S.   Geol.    Survey,   pt.    2,    1898,   p.    338. 


"Blanco  Formation.  Professor  Cummins  gave  the  name 
Blanco  to  those  Tertiary  rocks  which  rest  uncomfortably  upon 
the  dockum  conglomerate  at  the  type  locality  of  the  latter,  i.e.,  at 
Dockum,  Dickens  County,  Texas.  Vertebrate  fossils  from  that 
region  have  been  identified  by  Professor  Cope,'  who  states  that 
'the  horizon  is  more  strictly  and  nearly  Pliocene  than  any  of 
the  lacustrine  terranes  hitherto  found  in  the  interior  of  the 
continent.'  The  rocks  consist  of  alternating  layers  of  sand, 
clay,  and  diatomaceous  earth,  approximately  160  feet  in  thick- 

"Tiile  Formation.  These  beds,  described  by  Professor  Cum- 
mins- and  by  Professor  Cope,  were  assigned  by  the  latter  to 
the  Equus  bed  horizon  of  the  early  Pleistocene,  on  account  of 
vertebrates  from  Tule  Canyon  in  Swiser  County.  In  general, 
the  statement  made  by  Professor  Cope  that  'Equus  beds  form 
the  superficial  formation  of  the  country  at  various  points  on  the 
Staked  Plains  and  about  its  eastern  escarpment'  -  may  be  con- 
sidered as  accurate.  However,  the  Equus  beds  are  by  no  means 
confined  to  the  top  of  the  Llano  Estacado,  but  occur  in  other 
localities  as  well,  notably  north  of  Canadian  River.  These  rocks 
consist  of  coarse  sand,  clay,  and  gravel  of  variable  thickness. 

"Age  of  Beds.  It  is  the  experience  of  the  writer,  after  ten 
seasons  spent  in  studying  these  deposits  in  Kansas,  Oklahoma, 
Texas,  and  New  Mexico,  that  it  is  practically  impossible  to  sep- 
arate either  the  Tertiary  or  Pleistocene  deposits  of  the  plains 
into  mappable  formations.  From  the  bottom  of  the  Loup  Fork 
to  the  top  of  the  Equus  beds  the  general  character  of  the  rocks 
changes  so  constantly  and  with  such  extreme  irregularity  that 
they  can  not  for  the  most  part  be  differentiated  in  the  field.  Sec- 
tions made  at  about  twelve  points  in  eastern  Colorado,  western 
Kansas,  western  Oklahoma,  and  in  the  Panhandle  of  Texas  show 
such  a  marked  similarity  of  structure  that  without  the  evidence 
of  fossils  it  is  impossible  to  determine  whether  the  rocks  belong 
to  the  Miocene,  the  Pliocene,  or  the  Equus  beds.  Even  Professor 
Hay,  who  studied  these  rocks  in  Kansas  and  applied  to  them  the 
descriptive  terms  'Mortar  beds,'  Tertiary  grit,'  'Tertiary 
marl,'  etc.,  did  not  succeed  in  differentiating  them  into  definite 
horizons.  If  it  were  possible  to  distinguish  formations  strati- 
graphically,  the  matter  of  classification  would  be  greatly  simpli- 
fied, but  in  the  light  of  present  knowledge,  it  seems  not  only  in- 
expedient but  even  impossible  to  differeniate  them  structurally. 
In  view  of  these  facts,  therefore,  the  general  term  Tertiary  will 
be  used  to  include  the  Loup  Fork,  the  Goodnight,  the  Blanco,  and 
in  most  cases  also  the  Tule  or  Equus  beds.     The  Equus  beds  are 

1.  Cope.   E.    1).,    Vertorbrato   fauna   of  the   Blanco   beds:    Fourth   Ann.    Kept.    Texas 
Geol.    Survey,    1893,    p.    47. 

2.  Cummins,   Op.   cit.   pp.    199-200. 


classed  with  Tertiary  chiefly,  as  stated  above,  because  these  beds 
can  not  be  distinguished  in  the  field,  nor  indeed,  by  any  other 
means  than  that  of  vertebrate  fossils,  which  are  present  only 
in  scattered  localities. 


"With  regard  to  the  origin  of  the  Tertiary  deposits  of  the 
Great  Plains  two  general  theories  have  been  advanced.  The 
earlier  geologists  who  studied  these  rocks  considered  them  lacus- 
trine in  origin ;  Professor  Marsh, ^  for  instance,  described  a  great 
Pliocene  lake  covering  practically  the  entire  Great  Plains  area, 
in  which  deposits  1,500  feet  thick  were  laid  down.  Professor 
Cummins,2  in  speaking  of  the  Goodnight  beds,  says :  'They  seem 
to  have  been  deposited  in  a  lake  much  more  extensive  to  the 
south  than  the  Loup  Fork,  which  latter  seems  to  have  had  its 
southern  termination  here  at  Mulberry  Canyon.'  Professor 
Cope  has  already  been  quoted  regarding  'Lacustrine  terranes.' 
Professor  Hay^  accepted  the  lake  theory,  although  he  did  not 
account  for  the  formation  of  these  supposed  bodies  of  water. 
Later  investigations,  however,  have  led  to  the  opinion  that  it 
is  to  fluviatile  rather  than  to  lacustrine  agencies  that  we  must 
look  for  the  origin  of  the  Tertiary  deposits. 

"Professor  Haworth,*  in  discussing  the  Kansas  Tertiary,  ob- 
serves: 'The  relative  positions  of  the  sand,  the  gravel,  and 
the  clay  of  the  Tertiary  over  the  whole  of  Kansas  *  *  *  corres- 
pond much  better  to  river  deposits  than  to  lake  deposits.  The 
irregularity  of  formation  succession,  the  limited  lateral  extent 
of  the  beds  of  gravel,  sand,  and  clay,  and  the  frequent  steep- 
ness of  the  cross-bedding  planes,  all  correspond  to  river  de- 
posits. *  *  *  The  materials  themselves  have  many  indications 
of  river  deposits  and  a  very  few  of  lake  deposits." 

"Mr.  Johnson,^  in  his  report  on  'The  High  Plains  and  Their 
Utilization,'  expresses  the  opinion  that  'The  structure,  an  un- 
even network  of  gravel  courses  and  elongated  beds  of  sand  pene- 
trating a  mass  of  silt  and  sand-streaked  clay,  is  the  normal  prod- 
uct of  desert-stream  work  under  constant  desert  conditions. 
The  coarse  material  is  not  regarded  as  the  product  of  neces- 
sarily strong-running  streams  and  the  fine  material  of  sluggish 
streams,  in  alternating  epochs  of  humid  and  dry  climate  or  of 
high  and  low  inclination  of  slope,  but  as  the  simultaneous  prod- 

1.  Marsh,  O.  C,  Amer.  Jour.  Sci.,  vol.  9,  Jan.  1S75,  p.   52. 

2.  Cummins,  W.  P.,  Notes  on  the  geology  of  northwest  Texas:   Fourth  Ann.   Rept. 
Texas  Geol.   Survey,   1893,  p.   2'01. 

3.  Hay,  Robert,  Water  resources  of  a  portion  of  the  Great  Plains:   Sixteenth  Ann. 
Rept.   U.    S.  Geol.   Survey,  pt.   2,   1895,  p.   571. 

4.  Haworth,  E.,   Physical  properties  of  the   Tertiary:    Univ.   Geol.    Survey   Kansas, 
vol.  2,  1897.  p.  283. 

5.  Johnson,    W.    D.,    The   High    Plains    and    their    utilization:    U.    S.    Geol.    Survey, 
Twenty-first    Ann.    Rept.,    pt.    4,    p.    655,    1901. 


uct  of  branching  streams  of  the  desert  habit,  here  running  in 
a  channel  and  there  spreading  thinly.' 

"The  only  point  at  issue  among  these  writers  seems  to  be 
whether  the  cause  of  the  deposition  of  the  material  by  the 
streams  is  to  be  sought  in  climatic  changes  which  produce  alter- 
nate periods  of  aridity  and  humidity,  or  in  deformation  move- 
ments of  the  earth's  crust  by  which  the  eastern  part  of  the  Great 
Plains  was  elevated  and  the  gradient  of  the  streams  lessened. 
With  regard  to  this  matter  the  writer  does  not  express  an  opin- 
ion. The  subject  has  been  discussed  by  Johnson.^  to  whose  art- 
icle the  reader  is  referred. 


It  has  been  stated  already  that  the  greater  part  of  the  rocks 
consists  of  clays,  sandstones,  and  conglomerates  with  clays  pre- 
dominating. In  color  the  clays  are  normally  white,  so  white  that 
when  exposed  they  are  frequently  spoken  of  as  "gyp"  cliffs  or 
"chalk"  cliffs,  although  they  contain  neither  gypsum  nor  chalk. 
However,  the  color  of  the  clays  is  not  invariably  white,  it  often 
grades  into  the  various  other  light  tints.  In  structure  the  clay 
is  usually  so  soft  that  it  may  be  crushed  with  the  fingers,  but 
on  the  other  hand  the  more  calcareous  members  are  frequently 
indurated  and  make  a  fair  quality  of  limestone.  Occasionally 
beds  are  found  full  of  Avhite  calcareous  lumps  or  concretions, 
which  give  to  the  rock  a  mottled  appearance.  The  lime  often 
cements  the  clay  together  in  the  form  of  elongated  concretions, 





1.     Idem.,    chap.    2,    pp.    612-656. 



which,  on  weathering,  have  a  resemblance  to  stalactites,  and 
form  what  one  author  calls  'pipy'  concretions. ^ 

"Sand  beds  and  ledges  of  conglomerate  also  constitute  a 
considerable  part  of  the  Tertiary  and  Quaternary.  The  sand  is 
usually  in  smooth,  rounded,  white  or  yellowish  grains  and  the 
material  is  of  quartz.  The  conglomerate  is  made  up  typically  of 
smooth  water-worn  pebbles,  usually  composed  of  quartz,  gran- 
ite, prophry,  and  other  igneous  rocks,  varying  in  size  from  sand 
grains  to  boulders  as  large  as  a  peck  measure.  These  pebbles 
most  commonly  occur  in  beds  or  layers  sometimes  as  much  as 
25  feet  thick,  but  often  they  are  intermingled  with  fine  sand 
and  sometimes  sprinkled  through  the  clay  members. 

"In  a  number  of  localities  the  gravel  beds  at  the  immediate 
base  of  the  Tertiary  contain  considerable  numbers  of  water- 
worn  Gryphea  shells  of  lower  Cretaceous  age.  It  has  been 
stated  that  at  the  present  time  there  are  no  Cretaceous  rocks 
exposed  between  the  red  beds  and  the  Tertiary  deposits  in  this 
part  of  the  Panhandle,  but  that  extensive  Cretaceous  deposits 
are  found  along  the  southern  and  western  edges  of  the  Llano 
Estacado.  Whether  these  shells  were  derived  from  the  lower 
Cretaceous  rocks  in  place,  or  were  transported  by  streams  from 
beds  farther  west,  it  is  impossible  to  determine,  but  in  the  light 
of  available  data  the  latter  supposition  seems  probable. 

"The  relative  proportion  of  the  different  rocks  enumerated 
above  varies  with  the    locality,    but  it  is  probable  that  three- 




1.     Daiton,  Nelson  H.,  Report  on  the  geology  and  water  lesources  of  Nebaska  west 
of  103d  Mer.:  Prof.  Paper  No,  17,  U.  S.  Geol.  Survey,  1903,  p.  25, 


fourths  of  the  Tertiary  and  Pleistocene  materials  exposed  along 
the  eastern  edge  of  the  Staked  Plains  is  some  form  of  clay,  silt, 
or  marl,  the  other  one-fourth  being  sand  or  conglomerate.  Far- 
ther north,  in  Kansas  and  Nebraska,  the  proportion  of  coarser 
material  is  relatively  larger,  often  being  more  than  one-half. 

"In  all  places  on  the  plains,  so  far  as  known,  these  materials 
are  arranged  in  a  heterogeneous  manner — the  clays,  sand,  peb- 
bles, silt,  conglomerate,  and  other  forms  of  rock  occurring  in- 
discriminately and  without  similarity  of  position.  In  one  place 
a  section  of  a  hill  shows  nothing  but  clay  and  silt ;  half  a  mile 
away  beds  of  sandstone  and  gravel  occur ;  and  still  farther  away 
the  section  reveals  little  besides  sand  and  conglomerate." 

The  most  recent  work  on  the  Tertiary  of  the  region  is  con- 
tained in  two  reports  of  this  Survey. ^ 

In  the  Cimarron  County  report  Professor  Rothrock-  goes 
into  considerable  detail  in  discussing  the  composition  of  the 
clays,  conglomerates,  sands  and  cements  which  make  up  the  Ter- 
tiary.    To  his  very  excellent  description  the  reader  is  referred. 

In  the  Texas  County  report  Professor  Lonsdale-^  has  de- 
scribed quite  fully  that  phase  of  the  Tertiary  consisting  of  clay, 
usually  more  or  less  hardened,  formerly  spoken  of  as  "chalk," 
"gyp"  or  "indurated  clay,"  but  to  which  the  name  "caliche"  is 
now  generally  applied.  The  reader  is  referred  to  Professor 
Lonsdale's  description. 

In  Beaver  County  the  greater  part  of  the  uplands  except 
those  occupied  by  sand  hills  consist  of  Late  Tertiary  rocks.  On 
the  flat  Plains  in  the  northwestern  part  of  the  county  these  rocks 
are  not  usually  exposed  on  the  surface,  being  buried  beneath  a 
mantle  of  soil. 

The  best  exposures  of  Tertiary  may  be  seen  in  the  breaks 
along  the  heads  of  the  small  creeks  wnich  take  their  rise  in  the 
flat  plains.  This  is  especially  true  of  the  streams  of  northeast- 
ern Beaver  County  that  flow  north  into  the  Cimarron,  as  well 
as  in  the  case  of  the  creeks  and  their  small  tributary  draws  in 
the  southern  half  of  the  county.  Hundreds  of  exposures  of  20 
to  sometimes  as  much  as  50  feet,  may  be  seen  on  the  various 
streams  throughout  the  county. 

As  one  studies  these  exposures  and  attempts  to  compare 
them  he  is  struck  with  the  irregularity  or  heterogeneity  of  the 
Late  Tertiary  as  a  whole,  and  is  willing  to  agree  with  Rothrock^ 

1.  Rothrock.  E.  P.,  Geolosy  of  Cimarron  County,  Oklahoma,  Okla.  Geol.  Survey 
Bull.  34,  pp.  57-73,  1925.  Gould.  Chas.  N..  and  Lonsdale,  John  T.,  Geology  of 
Texas   County,   Oklahoma,    Oklahoma   Geol.    Survey,    Bull.    37,    pp.    26-33,    1926. 

2.  Op.    cit.    pp.    58-67. 

3.  Op.   cit.   pp.    29-33. 

4.  Op.    cit.    p.    58. 




TERTIARY"   LIMESTONE.     SEC.   3,   T.    3  N.,   R.   25  E.,   C.    M. 

who  sums  it  up  by  saying,  "This  formation  consists  of  a  hetero- 
geneous mixture  of  clays,  sands,  and  gravels."  There  is  no 
continuity  of  deposition.  Many  exposures  consist  entirely  of 
clay  and  its  indurated  phase  caliche.  Other  exposures  exhibit 
fine  sand  and  clay  or  fine  sand  and  coarse  sand,  in  some  places 
cemented,  but  often  loose.  In  many  exposures  the  material  is 
a  conglomerate,  the  pebbles  consisting  of  water-worn  igneous 
material  such  as  quartz  and  granite.  Water-worn  oyster  shells 
are  sometimes  found  in  the  conglomerate.  The  beds  of  sand  and 
conglomerate  when  traced  far  enough  are  usually  found  to  be 


TERTIARY    LUMESTONE.     SEC.   3,   T.    3  N..   R.   25   B.,   C.   M. 


lenticular.  Often  they  are  notably  cross-bedded,  but  sometimes 
lie  comparatively  even.  Plate  VI  shows  very  clearly  the  cross 
bedded  lenticular  character  of  this  formation. 

A  ledge  of  soft  white  limestone,  known  locally  as  chalk  rock 
occurs  in  the  Tertiary  in  various  localities  in  eastern  Beaver 
County.  It  has  long  been  used  for  building  purposes,  chiefly 
in  the  construction  of  farm  houses  in  the  region  south  of  Beaver 
Creek.  Reference  to  the  map  in  pocket,  will  show  the  location 
of  several  exposures  of  this  rock  in  the  county  and  Plates  VII 
and  VIII  illustrate  their  occurrence.  This  lodge  has  been  de- 
scribed in  manuscript  under  the  name  Laverne  formation  by 
Mr.  V.  V.  Waite,  but  the  description  has  not  been  published. 
The  following  excerpts  from  Mr,  Waite's  manuscript  on  file  in 
the  office  of  the  Oklahoma  Geological  Survey  are  given : 

"The  limestone  of  this  formation  varies  from  a  pure  white  to 
a  buff-colored  cherty  limestone  that  has  a  concoidal  fracture. 
This  member  is  prolific  with  fossils.  Mollusca  occur  in  abun- 
dance. Bones  and  teeth  are  very  often  found.  A  great  many 
leaves  of  many  varieties  are  found  in  the  l)Uff-colored  limestone. 
Among  those  found  are  poplar,  sycamore,  cottonwood,  elm.  and 
others  not  yet  determined.  The  leaves  and  fruit  resemble  those 
of  the  present  day. 

"The  age  of  the  formation  cannot  at  this  time  be  definitely 
assigned.  The  fossil  evidence  will  in  all  probability  give  the  age 
of  this  formation.  At  present  it  can  be  said  that  the  formation 
is  at  least  Tertiary.  This  is  evidenced  by  the  recent  aspect  of 
the  fauna  and  flora.  The  identification  of  mastadon  bones,  tusks 
and  teeth   will  no  doubt  give  the   exact  age. 

"It  has  been  suggested  by  A.  A.  Sniekoff  and  I.  M.  (iDubkiu, 
Russian  geologists  with  the  Russian  Embassy,  that  the  age  is 
probably  Pliocene.  In  a  conversation  with  Dr.  J.  A.  Udden,  he 
suggests  the  probability  of  Tertiary  (Eocene)  age.  Dr.  J.  W. 
Beede  suggests  the   possibility  of  either  Tertiary  or   Pleistocene. 

"Dr.  J.  A.  Udden  suggests  that  the  limestone  formation  is  prol)- 
ably  a  caliche  formation.  That  is,  a  precipitation  of  lime  from  the 
water  caused  by  the  evaporation  exceeding  the  inllow.  Ii  is  the 
opinion  of  the  writer  that  the  formation  represents  a  series  of  sm  ill 
lakes,  perhaps  similar  to  the  present  lakes  in  northern  Indiana.  This 
suggestion  is  tentatively  made  for  the  reason  that  the  format-ion 
is  scattered  and  has  a  variation  in  lithologic  character  even 
though  the  outcrops  are  only  a  short  distance  apart.  The  fauna 
too  indicates  small  separate  bodies  of  water.  For  instance,  at 
one  locality  clam  shells  are  found  in  abundance  and  not  in  others. 
In  one  locality  the  fossils  were  much  larger  than  in  others.  At 
another  place  a  great  number  of  leaves  were  found.  A  two  inch 
seam  of  peat  was  found  at  still  another. 

"These  facts  would  indicate  small  bodiss  of  water  either  iso- 
lated or  connected  in  which  the  conditions  in  one  place  were 
different  in  another  and  thus  the  cause  for  variety  of  fossils  both 
in   size   and   species." 


The  youngest  geological  formations  in  Beaver  County  con- 
sist of  sand  hills  and  alluvium,  or  valley  wash.  Beth  forma- 
tions are  now  in  process  of  being  laid  down  in  the  region. 



So  far  as  the  authors  are  aware  no  one  has  described  either 
the  molluscs,  or  the  vertebrates  (bones  and  teeth)  from  Laverne 
formations.  This  is  a  fertile  field  for  future  investigation.  A 
collection  of  fossil  leaves  (Plates  IX  and  X)  from  this  region 
has  been  described  by  Prof.  E.  W.  Berry^  of  Johns  Hopkins. 
Professor  Berry's  description,  slightly  modified,  follows: 

"The  following  short  paper  is  based  upon  materials  collected 
by  Prof.  E.  C.  Case,  of  the  University  of  Michigan,  and  presented 
by  him  through  the  writer  to  the  United  States  National  Museum. 
These  collections  were  incidental  in  the  exploration  of  the  red 
beds  of  Oklahoma  in  search  for  Permian  vertebrates,  under  the 
auspices  of  the  Carnegie  Institution.  They  were  made  from  an 
outcrop  of  chalk-like  clay  on  the  south  side  of  Beaver  Creek,  near 
the  since  abandoned  post  office  of  Alpine,  about  10  miies  east  of 
Beaver  City.  The  matrix  is  a  light-colored  fluffy  clay  which 
appears  to  be  largely  a  volcanic  ash.  No  vertebrates  were  found 
associated  with  the  plants  except  a  few  undeterminable  fishbones. 
A  small  undetermined  crustacean  was  also  found  in  the  clay. 

"Darton2  in  1899  divided  the  Loup  Fork  of  the  central  Great 
Plains  into  the  Arikaree  and  the  Ogallala  formations,  regarding 
the  former  as  Miocene  and  the  latter  as  possibly  Pliocene  in  age. 
Various  local  subordinate  divisions  have  been  recognized  by  the 
field  geologists  in  Kansas  and  Nebraska.  Materials  correspond- 
ing in  a  general  way  to  those  of  the  Ogallala  tormation  of  Kansas 
and  Nebraska  are  widespread  in  western  Oklahoma.  These  are 
clays,  sands,  and  gravels  of  exceedingly  variable  character  and 
proportions.  They  probably  once  covered  the  entire  "panhandle" 
but  are  now  preserved  chiefly  on  the  uplands  where  the  argil- 
laceous cliffs  of  these  materials  are  locally  known  as  "mortar 
beds"  or  "chalk."  The  thickness  varies  from  place  to  place  and 
ranges  in  Beaver  County  from  thin  remnants  to  upwards  of  300 
feet.  These  deposits  are,  in  the  latter  region,  usually  underlain 
by  the  red  beds  of  the  Permian,  although  locally  traces  of  the 
Lower  Cretaceous  may  be  intercalated. 

"According  to  our  present  knowledge  of  the  genesis  of  the 
continental  Tertiary  deposits  it  can  not  be  expected  that  sim- 
ilarity of  lithologic  composition  has  any  deflnite  bearing  upon 
correlation,  and  it  must  be  understood  that  the  conclusions  of 
the  present  paper  refer  only  to  the  fossiliferous  outcrop  which 
is  discussed. 

"The  florule  collected  from  this  outcrop  represents  but  six 
determinable  species,  of  which  four  are  new,  and  three  additional 
forms  that  are  generically  but  not  specifically  recognizable.  It 
includes  two  grass  or  sedge-like  plants  which  are  fragmentary 
and  of  no  botanical  value  beyond  indicating  the  presence  of  such 
plants  in  this  region  at  that  time.  Willow  leaves  are  present, 
but  not  specifically  determinable.  The  most  abundant  forms  are 
the  Platanus  (Sycamore)  and  the  Saphulu»  (Soapberry).  The 
Oymnncladus  (Kentucky  coffee  bean),  Rhamnus  (Buckthorn), 
Bwnelia    (Southern  Buckthorn),  and    Diospyros     (Persimmon)   are 

1.  Berry,   E.   W.,   Fossil  Plants  from  the   Late   Tertiary  of  Oklahoma,   Proceedings 
U.    S.   National   Museum,    vol.    54,    pp.    627-636.    1918. 

2.  Darton.    N.    H.,    U.    S.    Geological    Survey   19th    Ann,    Rept.,    pt.    4,    p.    734     1899- 
Professional  Paper  32,  p.  175,  1905.  *-  f         ,  , 


all  repi'esented  by  a  scanty  amount  of  material,  but  as  the  collec- 
tion is  a  small  one  the  individual  abundance  of  the  different  spe- 
cies  is   probably   without  significance. 

"All  of  the  forms  appear  to  have  been  alluvial  species  of  river 
bottoms,  and  most  of  them  have  their  genera  still  represented  in 
the  valleys  of  the  principal  streams  that  enter  eastern  Oklahoma 
from  the  Coastal  Plain  of  the  Culf  States.  This  statement  is  true 
of  Platanua,  Gyinonocladus,  ISapindus,  lihamnun,  Biimelia  and 
Diospyros ,  All  these  genera  are  normal  constituents  of  the  rich 
alluvial  deciduous  forests  of  the  southeastern  United  States,  and 
the  presence  of  fossil  representatives  in  western  United  States, 
and  the  presence  of  fossil  representatives  in  western  Oklahoma 
shows  that  climatic  conditions  in  that  region  were  more  mesoph- 
ytic  toward  the  close  of  the  Miocene  than  they  are  at  the  present 
time,  with  the  stream  valleys  covered  with  a  mixed  deciduous 
forest,  which  may  also  have  covered  more  or  less  of  the  inter- 
stream  areas. 

"Regarding  the  age  indicated  by  this  florule,  it  may  be  said 
that  the  Cyperacttes  (sedges),  Cauliniies  and  Sallix,  (WillowJ  are 
without  significance.  Only  one  of  the  nine  forms — namely,  Bham- 
nus  lesiiueieuxi  — is  limited  to  a  single  outside  horizon,  and  this 
species  occurs  in  the  later  Miocene  of  Florissant,  Colorado. 
Platanus  aceroides  and  Diogpyros  brachysepnia  are  recorded 
throughout  the  Tertiary  in  both  this  country  and  Europe,  and 
while  both  are  probably  composite  species,  it  is  impossible  to  seg- 
regate them  in  the  present  state  of  knowledge.  Both  are,  how- 
ever, typically  Miocene  forms,  the  Platamis  being  found  in  the 
John  Day  Basin  on  the  west  coast  and  in  the  Calvert  Miocene  of 
the  Atlantic  coast,  and  indistinguishable  leaves  of  the  Diospyrox 
occur  at  Florissant,  Colorado.  Moreover,  the  new  species  of 
Sapindus  approaches  closely  to  Sapindu*  lanclioHum  Lesquereux, 
another  Florissant  species.  From  this  it  would  seem  that  the 
Oklahoma  plants  were  of  somewhat  similar  age  to  those  of  Floris- 
sant, the  different  physical  conditions  combined  with  the  much 
less  effective  methods  of  preservation  accounting  for  the  sparse- 
ness  of  the  flora  recognized  from  Oklahoma.  I  believe  that  this 
is  substantially  true,  and  I  am  inclined  to  regard  the  Oklahoma 
outcrop  as  of  upper  Miocene  age,  although  there  is  no  conclusive 
evidence  in  this  region  during  the  early  Pliocene,  there  being 
no  considerable  American  Pliocene  floras,  except  that  of  the  Gulf 
coast  with   which  to  make  comparisons." 

It  will  be  understood  that  soft  rocks  such  as  those  described 
are  subject  to  rapid  erosion.  The  cementing"  material  of  the 
sands  and  conglomerates  is  largely  calcium  carbonate  which  is 
easily  dissolved  by  water.  As  the  rains  continue  to  fall  on 
these  beds  of  sand  and  conglomerate,  the  cement  is  dissolved 
and  the  individual  sand  grains  and  pebbles  are  loosened  and 
washed  into  the  streams. 

This  material  is  the  chief  source  of  the  sand  which  fills  the 
channels  of  the  various  rivers  on  the  plains  and  of  the  sand  hills 
on  the  divides.  All  of  the  larger  streams  in  Beaver  County  such 
as  Cimarron,  Beaver,  Kiowa,  Duck  Pond,  and  Clear,  as  well  as 
the  smaller  creeks  and  draws,  have  channels  filled  with  sand 
derived  from  sand  and  gravel  beds  of  the  Tertiary. 




Fig.  1.     Buiiielia   okbihomeiisis,   new   species. 

2.  Gyiiino<>la(lu8   casei,  new   species. 

3.  Platamis  aceroides  Goeppert. 

Photograph  through  courtesy  of  United  States  National  Museum. 






Figs.  1,  2.     Sapiiius   oklaJioiiieiisis,  new   species. 

3.  Diospyros  brachjsepala  Al.  Braun. 

4.  Rhamnus  lesquereuxi,  new  species. 

5.  Platanus  aceroides  Goeppert. 

Photograph  through  courtesy  of  United  States  National  Museum. 






The  principal  region  of  sand  hills  in  Beaver  County  is  a 
strip  of  country  3  to  6  miles  wide  lying  north  of  Beaver  Creek. 
This  phenomena  of  sand  hills  north  of  the  streams,  however,  is 
not  confined  to  this  county  nor  to  this  stream.  Throughout  Ok- 
lahoma, and  to  a  lesser  degree  throughout  other  states  of  the 
plains  sand  hills  occur  along  the  north  bank  of  the  various  east- 
flowing  rivers.  This  is  true  of  the  Salt  Fork,  the  Cimarron,  the 
North  Canadian  of  which  Beaver  is  one  head  tributary,  and  the 
South  Canadian. 

The  strip  of  sand  hills  of  which  those  of  Beaver  County 
form  almost  the  western  extension,  extends  east  on  the  north 
side  of  Beaver  and  North  Canadian  River,  across  Harper,  Wood- 
ward, Major,  Blaine,  Canadian,  and  Oklahoma  counties,  a  dis- 
tance of  175  miles.  In  Harper  and  Woodward  counties  the 
width  of  this  sand  hill  strip  is  often  6  to  10  miles,  but  on  pass- 
ing farther  east  the  amount  of  sand  gradually  decreases  and  the 
width  of  the  belt  is  less.  The  easternmost  patch  of  sand  of  this 
character  of  any  considerable  size  on  the  North  Canadian  is 
in  western  Oklahoma  County. 

The  origin  of  these  sand  hills  is  not  thoroughly  understood. 
The  popular  explanation  is  that  the  sand  composing  the  sand 
hills  has  been  derived  from  the  streams  to  the  south,  being  car- 
ried out  of  the  stream  bed  by  prevailing  south  winds. 

There  can  be  no  doubt  that  wind  is  a  very  powerful  agent, 
and  that  throughout  a  period  of  years  vast  amounts  of  sand 
might  be  transported  for  considerable  distances.  To  this  all 
will  agree. 

However,  another  factor  must  be  considered.  On  many  of 
the  sand  hills  some  of  them,  several  miles  from  the  streams, 
masses  of  loose  water-worn  pebbles  are  found.  These  do  not 
differ  from  the  pebbles  which  make  up  the  conglomerate  in  the 
Tertiary  deposits.  So  common  are  these  pebbles  throughout 
several  states  that  the  general  name  "Tertiary  pebbles"  is  usual- 
ly applied  to  them  by  geologists.  They  are  found  not  only  in 
regions  where  deposits  of  Tertiary  now  cover  the  ground,  but 
also  in  regions  far  to  the  east.  The  ordinary  interpretation  of 
the  presence  of  these  pebbles  in  the  red  beds  area  of  central 
Oklahoma  is  that  they  represent  the  last  vanishing  remnant  of 
the  now  eroded  Tertiary  beds  which  once  covered  the  area,  but 
which  have  been  removed  by  erosion  leaving  behind  only  the 
more  insoluble  siliceous  pebbles. 

For  these  reasons  many  geologists  believe  that  the  sand 
hills  in  Beaver  County,  and  similar  regions  represent  the  partly- 
eroded  and  worked-over  Tertiary.     They  believe  that  the  lime 


has  been  dissolved  out  and  removed  by  the  action  of  water.  The 
sand  grains  and  pebbles  remain  behind.  The  strong  winds  shift 
the  sand  but  cannot  move  the  pebbles  which  tend  to  accumulate 
first  on  top  of  sand  hills.  As  these  hills  are  worn  down  by  the 
action  of  water  and  wind,  the  pebbles  roll  down  the  sides  of  the 
hills  and  accumulate  on  the  lower  slopes. 

What  has  preceded  refers  only  to  sand  hills  on  the  slopes 
and  the  upland  at  some  distance  from  the  streams.  In  the  re- 
gion there  are  sand  hills  in  which  the  wind  is  not  only  the  modi- 
fying factor  and  the  shaping  factor,  but  the  originating  factor 
as  well.  These  are  the  sand  hills  found  along  the  river  bottom 
both  north  and  south  of  the  stream,  but  chiefly  to  the  north.  One 
who  on  a  windy  summer  day  has  watched  the  sand  carried  f  roni 
the  stream  channel  by  the  wind  and  deposited  as  sand  hills  on 
the  bottom  land  cannot  doubt  the  efficacy  of  wind  as  a  factor 
in  making  sand  hills.  These  channel-originated,  wind-carried 
sand  hills  sometimes  merge  with  those  of  the  other  type  previ- 
ously discussed  so  that  it  is  often  impossible  to  diff"erentiate  be- 
tween them. 


Deposits  of  sand,  gravel,  and  mud,  formed  wherever  the 
flow  is  checked  in  a  stream,  is  known  as  alluvium.  The  terms 
bottom  land,  valley  wash,  or  flood  plain  material  are  also  used 
to  describe  the  same  thing.  The  character  of  the  alluvial  ma- 
terial naturally  depends  on  the  character  of  the  formations 
which  make  up  the  region  drained  by  the  streams.  In  a  lime- 
stone or  shale  region  the  alluvium  along  the  river  bottoms  will 
probably  be  a  heavy  clay,  very  fertile  but  usually  difficult  to 
cultivate.  In  a  region  like  Beaver  County  where  the  rocks  con- 
sist very  largely  of  sand,  the  alluvium  will  be  sandy  also. 

The  greatest  amount  of  alluvium  in  Beaver  County  occurs 
along  the  valleys  of  Cimai'ron  and  Beaver  creeks.  These  val- 
leys average  from  one  mile  to  two  miles  wide  and  the  greater 
part  of  this  is  covered  with  alluvium.  In  many  places  wind- 
blown sand  has  covered  the  water-carried  flood  plain  material  so 
that  practically  the  entire  width  of  the  bottom  is  covered  with 
sand.  Alluvium  is  also  found  along  the  smaller  creeks  tribu- 
tary to  the  major  streams  but  in  such  cases  the  bottom  land 
occupies  a  smaller  area  than  it  does  on  the  larger  streams. 



Beaver  County  is  in  general  well  watered.  That  is,  water 
occurs  naturally  either  in  springs  or  streams,  or  artificially  in 


In  the  chapter  on  Physiography,  the  stream  system  of  the 
county,  the  chief  major  streams,  and  the  system  of  secondary 
streams  tributary  to  them  have  been  discussed.  The  greater 
number  of  those  minor  streams  are  spring  fed,  the  springs  issue 
usually  from  beds  of  sand  and  gravel,  often  at  the  contact  be- 
tween the  sand  and  an  underlying  clay  bed. 

Springs  of  this  character  are  more  common  in  the  southern 
part  of  the  county  in  the  area  occupied  by  red  beds  where  the 
springs  usually  issue  from  under  beds  of  Tertiary  or  Quaternary 
sands  and  gravels,  which  overlie  the  clays  of  Permian  red  beds. 
Such  streams  as  Kiowa,  Camp,  Duck  Pond,  Clear,  Willow,  and 
Jackson  and  their  smaller  tributaries  are  fed  in  part  at  least 
by  these  Tertiary  springs. 

In  the  sand  hills  north  of  Beaver  Creek  the  streams,  all  of 
which  flow  south  into  Beaver  spring,  are  abundant.  The  sur- 
face of  this  region  is  covered  with  sand  dunes  which  lie  on  a 
floor  of  either  Permian  red  beds,  or  of  late  Tertiary  clays  and 
shales.  The  springs  are  largely  contact  springs,  usually  be- 
tween the  sands  above  and  clays,  either  red  beds  or  Tertiary 
below.  In  many  places  among  the  sand  hills  are  so-called  seep 
springs  occupying  shales,  or  low  flat  area  between  the  dunes 
where  water  seeps  up  from  the  flat  surface  and  sometimes  forms 
small  lakes.  The  water  from  these  seep  springs  often  does  not 
find  its  way  into  any  creek  but  remains  in  enclosed  basins  until 
it  evaporates. 


On  the  high  level  upland  particularly  in  the  northwestern 
part  of  the  county  there  are  no  springs,  but  usually  water  may 
be  secured  in  wells.  This  water  is  often  spoken  of  as  "sheet 
water"  from  the  fact  that  it  usually  occurs  at  regular  levels  or 
"sheets"  throughout  the  region.  "Sheet  water"  has  been  so 
often  described  in  other  reports  that  it  is  not  necessary  to  re- 
write its  description.  The  following  quotation  from  a  report 
prepared  by  the  senior  author  20  years  ago  describing  conditions 
in  the  Panhandle  of  Texas  which  joins  Beaver  County  on  the 
south  will  set  forth  our  knowledge  of  the  subject. ^ 

"In  order  to  understand  underground-watei*  conditions,  it  is 
necessary  to  know  the  geologic  structure  of  the  rocks  from  which 
the  water  is  obtained.  In  the  Panhandle  of  Texas,  as  has  been 
stated,  by  far  the  greater  part  of  the  water  comes  from  Tertiary 
rocks,  and  for  that  reason  a  brief  discussion  of  the  origin  and 
structure  of  these  rocks  will  be  given  here. 

"The  Tertiary  rocks  found  in  the  Panhandle  consist  of  deposits 
in  most  places  several  hundred  feet  thick,  made  up  chiefly  of  al- 

Gould,  Chas.  N.,  The  Geology  and  Water  Resources  of  the  Western  Portion 
of  the  Panhandle  of  Texas,  U.  S.  G«ol.  Survey,  Water  Supply  Paper  No.  191, 
pp.    37-40,    1907. 

Wat  fin  RfeSOURCEg  43 

ternating,  more  or  less  lenticular,  or  cross-bedded  layers  of  clay, 
sand  and  gravel,  the  latter  being  composed  mainly  of  smooth, 
rounded,  water-worn  pebbles.  There  seems  little  doubt  that  the 
original  material  of  these  deposits  was  derived  largely  from  the 
Rocky  Mountains.  Streams  which  flowed  away  from  the  moun- 
tains carried  material  out  on  the  plain  and  left  deposits  in  some 
places  of  sand,  in  others  of  clay,  and  still  others  of  gravel  or 
pebbles,  which  in  turn  were  covered  by  other  deposits,  here  and 
there  the  same,  but  more  commonly  of  other  material.  This  pro- 
cess, which  continued  for  a  long  period,  resulted  in  the  accumu- 
lation of  several  hundred  feet  of  alternating  beds  of  irregularly 
stratified  rock.  Being  laid  down  under  such  conditions  the  Ter- 
tiary series  as  a  whole  is  necessarily  composed  largely  of  beds 
irregularly  lens-shaped  in  cross  section  and  in  most  cases  not 
continuous  over  large  areas.  In  some  localities  the  greater  part 
of  the  thickness  may  consist  of  fine  materials,  while  in  others 
sandstone  and  gravels  may  predominate;  but  in  general  the  beds 
of  fine  and  coarse  material  are  mixed  in  a  heterogeneous  manner. 

"The  terms  'sheet  water'  or  'underflow'  are  often  used  in  the 
States  of  the  Great  Plains  to  indicate  any  fairly  constant  supply 
of  water  at  a  more  or  less  uniform  depth.  The  general  impression 
seems  to  be  that  at  some  depth  beneath  the  surface  there  is  a  con- 
tinuous 'sheet'  or  'lake'  of  water  which  if  tapped  by  a  well  will 
yield  a  fairly  constant  supply.  In  some  places  two  or  even  three 
such  'sheets'  are  supposed  to  exist,  and  the  expressions  'first  sheet' 
and  'second  sheet'  or  'first  water'  and  'second  water'  are  common. 
Another  prevalent  notion  is  that  the  water  in  these  'sheets'  is 
constantly  flowing  streamlike  beneath  the  surface,  an  idea  dis- 
closed by  the  common  expression  that  the  'underflow  is  to  the 

"While  it  is  true  that  these  popular  ideas  are  widespread  and 
in  general  are  based  on  common  observations,  there  is,  how- 
ever, in  them  much  that  is  erroneous  and  not  based  on  a  correct 
conception  of  the  conditions  found  in  the  nature  and  relations  of 
the  water-bearing  strata.  Rounded  grains  of  sand  and  gravel 
such  as  make  up  the  lenticular  beds  which  constitute  the  ma- 
jority of  the  Tertiary  rocks  do  not  He  closely  enough  together  to 
fill  all  the  space,  but  have  very  small  interstices  between  them. 
These  pores  or  spaces  are  minute  reservoirs  for  the  water,  which 
in  its  passage  through  such  materials  either  vertically  or  laterally 
seeps  from  one  of  these  minute  reservoirs  to  the  next,  and  thus 
very  slowly  flows  along  imderground.  This  movement  is  popu- 
larly called  'underflow,'  but  it  is  not  nearly  so  rapid  as  is  com- 
monly supposed.  A  number  of  experiments  have  been  made  on 
the  rate  of  the  flow  of  underground  waters,  and  it  has  been 
found  that  even  along  stream  valleys,  where  the  material  is 
coarse,  the  pores  large,  the  gradient  relatively  steep,  and  all  con- 
ditions favorable  for  a  rapid  flow  (as,  for  instance,  along  Arkan- 
sas River  in  western  Kansas),  the  rate  of  underflow  does  not 
average  more  than  10  feet  a  day.i  On  the  High  Plains,  such  as 
constitute  the  region  under  discussion,  where  the  gradient  is  low, 
much  of  the  material  fine,  and  the  pores  relatively  small,  and 
where  the  lenticular  beds  dip  in  many  places  at  different  angles 
in  different  directions,  it  is  doubtful  if  on  an  average  the  water 
moves  more  than  10  feet  a  year." 

According  to   the    theory    just    advanced   dry   ground   is 
ground  in  which  the  pores  between  the  rock  particles  contain 


no  water,  while  wet  or  saturated  ground  is  that  in  which  the 
pores  are  filled.  Since  water  always  tends  to  sink  to  the  low- 
est levels,  there  is  in  most  regions  a  certain  but  variable  thick- 
ness of  beds  filled  with  water  in  what  is  technically  known  as 
the  "zone  of  saturation."  The  upper  surface  of  this  zone  of 
saturation  is  called  the  "water  table"  or  "water  plane,"  and 
this  is  in  many  places  identical  with  what  is  meant  by  the  popu- 
lar phrase  "sheet  water,"  so  common  on  the  Great  Plains.  Since 
water  moves  slowly  underground,  this  water  table  becomes  ap- 
proximately similar  in  contour  to  the  surface  of  the  ground, 
being  high  on  the  divides  and  low  near  the  streams,  where  the 
water  may  escape  in  springs. 

As  originally  deposited  the  lenticular  beds  which  constitute 
the  greater  part  of  the  Tertiary  deposits  must  have  had  an  irreg- 
ular outline  and  surface,  especially  where  they  were  laid  down 
in  swamps  or  lakelets.  Where  the  material  is  clay  or  very  fine 
sand  the  interstices  between  the  particles  are  very  minute  and 
practically  impervious  to  water.  F'ine  deposits  such  as  those 
just  described  are  in  numerous  instances  overlain  by  sand  and 
gravel  which  was  originally  laid  down  in  basins  or  channels, 
and  these  in  turn  by  other  fine-grained  deposits  in  varying  suc- 
cession, so  that  the  alternation  of  water-bearing  and  impervious 
beds  is  in  many  places,  very  irregular.  If  deposits  of  this  na- 
ture are  penetrated  by  a  well,  the  first  sand  encountered  will 
furnish  water,  the  quantity  depending  on  the  size  of  the  water- 
bearing deposit,  the  coarseness  of  its  grain,  the  height  of  its 
edges,  etc.,  in  the  next  coarse  sand  bed  a  second  water  stratum 
will  be  found,  and  soon,  until  finally  the  main  water  table  is  pene- 
trated. This  may  be  considered  a  probable  explanation  of  the 
"first  and  second"  water,  or  "first  and  second  sheet"  so  often 
spoken  of  on  the  Great  Plains,  It  also  possibly  accounts  for  the 
conditions  found  in  many  parts  of  the  region  where  records 
obtained  from  a  relatively  small  area  show  well  depths  varying 
up  to  a  hundred  feet. 

In  general  the  average  depth  of  the  wells  in  any  particular 
locality  may  be  considered  the  approximate  depth  of  the  water 
table  at  that  place.  As  will  be  understood  from  what  has  been 
stated,  the  water  table,  or  the  level  at  which  the  top  of  the 
ground  water  stands,  varies  constantly  from  place  to  place,  from 
year  to  year,  and  even  from  day  to  day.  It  is  supplied  chiefly 
from  rainfalls  and  is  lowered  whenever  the  water  is  removed — 
as,  for  instance,  by  springs,  artesian  wells,  or  heavy  pumping. 
Ordinarily  the  water  table  is  at  a  considerable  distance  below 
the  surface,  but  here  and  there  it  reaches  the  surface  level,  as 
in  springs,  swamps,  or  marshes. 

1.     Slichtei',    C.    S.,    The'  motions    of    vinderground    waters:    Water-Supply    and    Irr 
-Paper  No.   67,   U.   S.   Geol.    Survey,    1902,   pp.    41-43. 


On  the  High  Plains  the  water  table  is  located  at  the  upper 
point  of  saturation  of  the  pervious  beds.  Well  records  from 
widely  separated  localities  show  that  this  water  level  for  the 
High  Plains  as  a  whole  averages  from  20  to  250  feet  beneath 
the  surface.  So  far  as  known,  this  level  in  each  locality  is  fairly 
constant,  the  amount  of  water  taken  away  by  springs  and  wells 
being  approximately  equaled  by  the  amount  added  each  year  by 


This  subject  has  been  treated  under  another  heading.  See 
pages  15  and  16. 



Gypsum,  or  hydrous  calcium  sulphate,  occurs  in  central 
Beaver  County  as  ledges  in  the  Permian  red  beds.  On  page  20 
is  given  the  section  of  a  hill  containing  four  ledges  of  gypsum, 
the  thickest  of  these  being  6  feet.  Sections  made  at  other  places 
would  show  a  different  number  of  ledges. 

Gypsum  is  extensively  used  for  a  number  of  purposes; 
chiefly  in  the  manufacture  of  plaster  of  Paris,  dental  plaster, 
pottery  molds,  plaster  relief  work,  in  Portland  cement,  paint, 
and  alabastine,  for  various  adulterants,  for  fertilizer,  and  for 
several  other  purposes.  Its  chief  uses  however,  are  for  wall 
plaster  and  for  plaster  wall  boards.  Perhaps  90  per  cent  of  the 
gypsum  used  is  for  the  two  latter  products.  Gypsum  plaster 
has  practically  driven  lime  plaster  out  of  the  trade,  and  gypsum 
wall  board  for  interior  work  is  rapidly  taking  the  place  of  other 

The  gypsum  in  Beaver  County  is  suitable  for  all  of  these 
uses.  The  principal  difficulties  which  prevent  the  present  utiliz- 
ation of  this  material  are  the  lack  of  cheap  fuel  and  transporta- 
tion. Gypsum  is  a  bulky  product  requiring  much  fuel  for  its 
manufacture.  Since  its  greatest  use  is  in  the  building  trades 
the  distance  to  large  centers  of  population  which  constitute  the 
market  is  of  great  importance.  Plants  for  its  manufacture 
should  be  established  if  possible  on  railway  lines  leading  directly 
to  markets.  If  a  supply  of  fuel,  such  as  natural  gas,  should  be 
developed  in  Beaver  County  the  gypsum  industry  might  become 
of  considerable  importance. 


Sand  suitable  for  building  purposes  is  abundant  in  all  parts 
of  Beaver  County,  except  on  the  flat  upland  in  a  few  of  the 


northwestern  townships.  It  has  already  been  shown  that  the 
Tertiary  deposits  which  cover  the  greater  part  of  the  county 
are  composed  to  a  considerable  extent  of  loose  sandstone  and 
conglomerate.  As  these  materials  are  uncovered  by  erosion, 
and  the  cementing  materials  are  dissolved  by  the  action  of 
water  the  sand  grains  and  pebbles  are  released  forming  sand 
and  gravel. 

Beds  of  building  sand  occur  in  many  places  on  the  hillsides, 
and  all  the  channels  of  streams  both  large  and  small  are  filled 
almost  completely  with  sand.  There  is  an  abundance  for  all 
local  use,  and  if  occasion  should  demand,  to  ship  to  other  sec- 

As  with  sand,  so  with  gravel.  This  material  is  eroded 
from  Tertiary  conglomerates  which  outcrop  in  many  parts  of 
Beaver  County.  Beds  of  gravel,  suitable  for  building  purposes, 
and  road  construction  are  common,  and  are  more  than  ample 
for  local  use. 


There  are  two  kinds  of  clay  and  shale  in  Beaver  County; 
that  derived  from  the  red  beds  and  that  derived  from  Tertiary 
rocks.     The  former  is  probably  the  more  valuable. 

Red  beds  clays  occur  chiefly  in  the  southern  part  of  the 
county  along  streams  flowing  north  into  Beaver  Creek.  This 
clay  is  deep  brick-red  in  color,  the  color  being  caused  by  the 
presence  of  iron  oxide.  The  clay  is  suitable  for  the  manufac- 
ture of  brick,  building  tile,  sewer  pipe  and  for  most  other  pur- 
poses where  the  red  color  is  not  objectionable.  Similar  clays 
have  been  used  for  many  years  in  other  parts  of  western  Okla- 
homa. The  amount  of  material  is,  for  practical  purposes,  in- 

Clay  of  Tertiary  age  is  found  in  many  parts  of  the  coun- 
try. As  a  usual  thing  this  clay  contains  too  great  a  percentage 
of  lime  to  be  used  for  brick.  However,  it  is  altogether  possible 
that  a  careful  search  would  reveal  the  presence  of  Tertiary  clay 
suitable  for  brick  manufacture. 

The  chief  obstacles  to  the  profitable  manufacture  of  clay 
products  in  Beaver  County  are  lack  of  fuel  and  transportation. 
The  greater  part  of  the  brick  made  in  western  Oklahoma  has 
been  burned  with  coal  which  for  the  most  part  comes  from  the 
McAlester  region  of  eastern  Oklahoma.  It  is  not  profitable  to 
haul  coal  any  great  distance  if  suitable  clay  can  be  found  nearer 
the  coal  fields.  If  natural  gas  is  ever  found  in  commercial 
quantities  in  this  region  it  might  give  a  great  impetus  to  the 
manufacture  of  clay  products. 


However,  the  matter  of  transportation  must  always  be  taken 
into  account.  The  authors  do  not  know  of  any  red  clay  in  this 
county  located  on  a  railroad.  Even  if  railroads  were  present, 
on  account  of  the  sparsely  settled  region  near  at  hand  the  long 
haul  to  market  would  make  it  questionable  whether  or  not  the 
manufacture  of  clay  products  on  a  large  scale  would  be  profit- 


Beaver  County  has  sufficient  .building  stone  for  local  use. 
This  stone  is  of  two  kinds,  namely  sandstone  from  the  red  beds, 
and  limestone  from  the  Tertiary. 

The  red  beds  which  are  exposed  in  many  places  in  the 
southern  part  of  Beaver  County  consist  largely  of  red  clay 
shales.  Here  as  elsewhere,  however,  these  beds  contain  ledges 
of  red  sandstone.  Sometimes  this  sandstone  is  soft  and  un- 
suited  for  building  purposes,  but  in  many  places,  ledges  may 
be  found  which  are  hard  enough  to  be  used. 

In  an  early  day  this  stone  was  extensively  used  for  founda- 
tions and  for  farm  houses  throughout  the  region.  Business 
blocks  in  Beaver  have  been  constructed  of  this  red  sandstone. 

It  has  already  been  shown  on  page  33  that  a  ledge  of  soft 
white  limestone,  known  locally  as  chalk  rock,  of  Tertiary  age, 
has  long  been  used  for  building  purposes,  chiefly  in  the  construc- 
tion of  farm  houses  in  the  southern  part  of  the  county.  Refer- 
ence to  the  map,  in  pocket,  will  show  the  location  of  several 
exposures  of  this  rock  in  Beaver  County  and  Plates  VII  and 
VIII  illustrate  their  occurrence. 


Volcanic  ash  occurs  in  a  number  of  places  throughout  Ok- 
lahoma, and  some  of  the  most  extensive  deposits  known  in  the 
State  are  in  northeastern  Beaver  County  and  in  northwestern 
Harper  County,  just  east  of  the  Beaver  County  line. 

A  report  of  this  survey^  by  Frank  Buttram  describes  quite 
fully  the  subject  of  volcanic  ash.  Regarding  the  physical  and 
chemical  properties  of  volcanic  ash,  Mr.  Buttram  says: 

"The  leading  physical  properties  of  volcanic  dust  are  its  color 
and  the  angular  character  of  the  flakes  of  glass  of  which  it  is 
largely  composed.  In  appearance  it  closely  resembles  chalk 
and  also  gypsite,  a  form  of  weathered  gypsum.  The  deposits  of 
volcanic  dust  are  usually  more  or  less  adulterated  with  other 
substances  and  therefore  no  two  beds  have  exactly  the  same  tint, 
as  the  color  varies  considerably.  The  colors  are  usually  of  light 
gray,  but  some  are  bluish  gray,  others  are  dark  gray,  and  still 

1.     Buttram,    Frank,   Volcanic   ash   in   Oklahoma.     Okla.    Geol.    Survey   Bull.    No. 
13,    1914. 



others  which  contain  some  oxidized  iron  have  a  slightly  reddish 
color.  The  individual  flakes  are  usually  too  small  to  be  seen 
by  the  unaided  eye,  but  when  examined  under  a  microscope  they 
are  found  to  have  a  glimmering,  glistening,  and  more  or  less  vit- 
reous appearance  and  are  seen  to  consist  of  numerous  angular, 
almost  transparent,  and  usually  non-crystalline  flakes  and 
shreads  of  glass,  which  frequently  contain  irregular  cavities  and 
tubes.  Artificial  volcanic  dust  may  be  almost  precisely  duplicated 
by  grinding  ordinary  glass. 

"Volcanic  dust  does  not  vary  greatly  in  physical  and  chemical 
properties,  deposits  in  widely  distributed  areas  showing  a  marked 
similarity.  It  has  a  specific  "gravity  of  about  2.5.  This  specific 
gravity  readily  distinguishes  it  from  diatomaceous  earth,  which 
is  much  lighter.  These  two  substances  closely  resemble  one  an- 
other in  other  respects.  Dry  diatomaceous  earth  will  float  for  a 
while  on  water  until  it  becomes  "water  logged,"  while  on  the 
other   hand    volcanic   dust   will   sink    immediately." 

The  economic  value  of  volcanic  ash   is   also  discussed  by 
Buttram  as  follows  i^ 

"Volcanic  dust,  although  only  recently  considered  as  a  com- 
mercial commodity,  has  varied  and  extensive  uses.  It  is  at  pres- 
ent used  largely  for  abrasive  purposes  in  the  form  of  polishing 
powders,  scouring  soaps,  etc.,  but,  because  of  its  puraaceous  con- 
dition, it  is  used  in  the  manufacture  of  dynamite,  and  as  a  holder 
of  nitroglycerine;  and  also  because  of  lightness  and  porosity  it 
is  a  good  non-conductor  of  heat,  and  for  this  reason  is  being 
used  as  packing  material  for  safes,  steam  pipes,  and  boilers  and 
as  fire-proof  building  material.  According  to  authoritative  re- 
ports it  is  said  that  it  may  be  used  with  satisfactory  results  as  a 
substitute  for  sand  in  paint  where  the  surface  coated  is  exposed 
to  the  weather.     In  Germany  its  field  of  usefulness  is  still  more 



1.  Op.  cit.  pp.  32-33. 


extensive.  It  is  there  used  as  an  absorl)ent  for  liciuid  manures 
in  preparation  of  artificial  fertilizers,  and  in  the  manufacture 
of  water  glass,  of  various  pigments  of  analine  and  alizarine 
colors  of  paper,  sealing  wax,  fireworks,  gutta  percha,  and  many 
other    articles. 

"It  iii  a  well  known  fact  that  volcanic  dust  is  an  excellent  ferti- 
lizer. Wherever  this  dust  has  spread  over  an  area  with  an  aver- 
age rainfall  there  is  a  very  abundant  and  prolific  vegetation. 
Along  certain  parts  of  the  Rocky  Mountain  plains  and  over  scat- 
tered areas  of  the  (Jreat  Basin  the  country  in  places  is  literally 
covered  with  volcanic  dust,  and  wherever  this  volcanic  soil  is 
subject  to  irrigation  no  belter  or  more  fertile  soil  can  be  found. 
The  very  beauty  of  .Java,  the  "garden  spot  of  the  world,"  is  due 
to  the  rich,  fertile  soil  formed  largely  from  volcanic  dust  and 
other  eruptive  matter  that  have  fallen  over  the  island  at  different 
periods  in  former  volcanic  eruptions." 

Buttram's  description  of  deposits  of  volcanic  ash  in  Beaver 
County  north  of  Gate  follows: 

"Another  prominent  dust  deposit  occurs  near  the  center  of  the 
northwest  quarter  of  sec.  10,  T.  .5  N.,  R.  28  W.  and  only  about 
IVz  miles  southwest  of  the  first  deposit  described.  The  deposit 
at  this  place  is  about  10  feet  thick.  It  outcrops  on  the  surface 
but  the  top  3  feet  contain  some  pebbles  of  impure  limestone, 
quartzites,  and  thin  seams  of  sands  and  other  impurities  common 
to  the  Pleistocene  formations.  The  pebbles  vary  considerably 
in  size,  most  of  them  being  the  size  of  small  marbles,  but  one 
pebble  or  boulder  1  foot  in  diameter  was  seen.  The  bottom  7  feet 
of  the  deposit  is  almost  free  from  impurities.  It  rests  on  a  sand- 
stone of  very  irregular  grain,  but,  like  the  other  deposit  to  the 
east,  the   contact   line  is    very   sharp. 

"The  volcanic  dust  in  this  deposit  occurs  in  a  ridge  that  runs 
north  from  the  small  canyon  to  the  south.  The  dust  is  exposed 
only  over  a  territory  about  120  feet  wide  east  and  west,  extend- 
ing back  along  the  ridge  for  a  distance  of  about  450  feet.  Farther 
to  the  north  there  is  no  surface  indication  of  its  presence,  but 
there  is  no  evidence  that  it  does  not  occur  immediately  under  the 

"About  300  feet  southeast  of  the  above  deposit  is  another  small 
bluff  in  which  volcanic  dust  occurs.  At  this  point  the  dust  is 
very  irregular  in  thickness.  On  the  west  end  it  is  about  4  feet 
thick,  but  within  the  first  20  feet  to  the  eastward  it  thins  down 
and  has  a  thickness  of  only  one  foot.  From  this  point  to  the  east- 
ward, in  a  distance  of  60  feet,  it  attains  a  maximum  thickness  of 
7  feet.  Apparently  the  dust  extends  only  a  short  distance  back 
in  the  ridge. 

"Another  deposit  of  dust  outcrops  up  the  canyon  about  1,200 
feet  due  east  of  the  deposit  just  described.  It  is  exposed  for  a 
distance  of  about  150  feet  and  is  apparently  about  10  feet  thick. 
At  the  outcrop  the  deposit  is  covered  with  about  6  to  8  feet  of 
surface  soil,  but  within  225  feet  it  extends  under  an  embank- 

"There  were  a  few  additional  deposits  of  volcanic  dust  noticed 
in  the  general  vicinity  of  Gate,  but  they  were  too  small  to  merit 
further   notice." 


The  chemical  composition  of  the  volcanic  dust  occurring 
in  the  deposits  described  above  is  shown  by  the  following 
analysis  i^ 

Analysis  of  Volcanic  Dttst^at  Gate,  Oklahoma 

SiO 72.18 

Fe^Og,  Al.Oy  13.5 

CaO  " "..." 54 

SO3 597 

Organic   matter   5.05 

Ma.,,  K.,0,  and  MgO  not  determined  


"About  4  miles  west  of  the  area  discussed  above,  in  the  east- 
central  part  of  the  N.  W.  i/4  sec.  1,  T.  5  N.,  R.  27  W.,  occurs  a 
12  foot  deposit  of  material  which  resembles  volcanic  dust.  Its 
principal  constituents  are  CaO,  35.55  per  cent;  Fe.O.^  and  Al.,0.,, 
23.49  per  cent;  and  SiO.„  10.68  per  cent.  This  material  when 
studied  under  the  microscope  shows  numerous  diatoms  and  Dr. 
Van  Vleet,  head  of  the  Department  of  Botany  in  the  University  of 
Oklahoma,  believes  that  practically  all  of  the  silica  in  this  ma- 
terial is  accounted  for  by  the  silica  in  the  diatoms.  The  pres- 
ence of  these  diatoms  indicates  that  this  calcareous  diamtomace- 
eous    earth   was   deposited   under   water. 

"Owing  to  the  angular  nature  of  the  hardness  of  its  component 
particules,  diatomaceous  earth  has  valuable  abrasive  properties 
and  in  most  cases  may  be  used  as  a  substitute  for  volcanic  dust. 
The  deposit  above  is  the  only  deposit  of  diatomaceoUs  earth  that 
is  known  to  exist  in  the  State  of  Oklahoma.  It  does  not  at  pres- 
ent have  any  commercial  value,  however,  because  in  the  first 
place  it  contains  too  many  impurities,  and  in  the  second  place 
it  is  not  accessible  to  railroad  transportation. 

"At  first  the  writer  was  inclined  to  believe  that  this  deposit 
occurs  on  an  old  extinct  volcanic  cone,  because  the  out-cropping 
strata  dip  about  15°  in  every  direction  from  a  central  excavation 
tion  which  has  the  appearance  of  an  old  crater.  The  diameter 
of  the  central  depression  is  about  750  feet  but  there  is  no  evi- 
dence of  any  former  volcanic  activity.  Inasmuch  as  the  strata 
lie  unconformably  on  one  another,  and  have  never  been  affected 
by  volcanic  matter  the  dome  structure  is  due  to  a  slight  local 
uprising  of  the  surface  formations,  while  the  excavation  is  due  to 
surface  erosion." 

In  1920  Mr.  A.  C.  Shead,  then  chemist  of  the  Survey,  vis- 
ited the  general  regions  described  by  Buttram  and  gave  a  fur- 
ther description  of  a  deposit  which  Buttram  probably  did  not 
see.  The  following  quotation  is  from  an  unpublished  manu- 
script report  made  by  Shead  on  file  in  the  office  of  the  Oklahoma 
Geological  Survey: 

"The  Pemberton  mine  was  apparently  not  listed  in  Bulletin 
No.  13  as  it  locates  all  deposits  as  northeast  of  Gate,  Oklahoma, 
whereas  this  Pemberton  prospect  is  northwest  of  Gate,  Oklahoma, 

1.     Analysis   made  by   F.    L.   Aurin,   Chemist  for   the    Oklahoma  Geological   Survey. 


five  and  one  half  (51/2)  miles  as  shown  by  the  speedometer  and 
is  in  the  X.  V2  of  the  N'\Vi4  of  sec.  S,  T.  5  N.,  U.  28  W.  of  the  Meridian  in  Beaver  County  as  accurately  as  could 
be  determined.  It  occurs  in  the  gullies  which  are  30  feet  deep 
and  which  are  very  noticeable,  both  on  the  map  and  the  land- 
scape. On  the  southwest  rim  of  the  gullies  stands  an  old,  but 
well  preserved  sod  house  that  might  serve  as  a  landmark. 

"An  intermittent  stream  runs  through  the  deposit  and  has  cut 
deeply  into  the  volcanic  ash  but  not  through  it  and  has  deposited 
gravel  in  its  bed  on  top  of  the  ash.  Cliffs  of  almost  pure  white 
material  averaging  twenty  feet  in  height  form  the  banks 
of  the  canyon  on  l)oth  sides.  The  straight  line  distance  through 
the  canyon  from  limit  to  limit  of  the  deposit  is  115  steps  or 
345  feet,  thus  giving  a  working  face  of  marketable  material,  ex- 
clusive of  a  slight  overburden  of  about  6,900  square  feet  as  a 
minimum.  The  width  of  the  deposit  is  at  least  50  feet  before  the 
top  goes  under  an  overlying  marl  bed  (about  10  feet  thick)  which 
contains  small  but  well  preserved  shells.  These  show  that  the 
overlying  formation  is  very  recent.  This  marl  could  be  very 
easily  mistaken  for  volcanic  ash  by  a  hasty  examination  but  the 
presence  of  shells  and  a  reaction  for  carbon  dioxide  shows  very 
simply  and  readily  the  difference. 

"The  roads  from  this  location  to  town  have  a  fairly  steep  grado 
in  some  places,  and  in  one  spot  at  least  is  very  sandy  where  a 
wide  shallow  creek  crosses  so  that  while  the  distance  (5V2  miles) 
is  shorter  to  town  than  the  Haynes  place  the  roads  are  much 
worse  and  would  probably  tax  vehicles  much  more  severely. 

"Records  show  that  about  nine  car  loads  have  been  taken  out 
of  this  deposit  and  the  writer  was  told  that  the  ash  cost  about 
$150.00  per  car  f.  o.  b.  Gate,  Oklahoma,  the  shipping  point,  util- 
izing teams.  Farmers  were  hired  in  slack  times  to  haul  the 

"The  dust  in  both  deposits  is  almost  pure  white,  nearly  im- 
palpable  and   very   free   from    foreign   material." 

Shead  gives  the  following  analysis  of  the  material  from 
the  Pemberton  mine : 

Analysis  of  Volcanic  Dust  from  Pemberton  Mine 

Silica,    SiO.,    72.96 

Alumina,   A1..0.J    12.91 

Ferric  oxide,  Fe.,0,,  oxide  of  iron  60 

Ferrous  oxide,  FeO.  oxide  of  iron  90 

Magnesia,  MgO,  oxide  of  magnesium  Trace 

Calcium   oxide,   CaO,   "Quick   lime"   73 

Sodium    oxide,   Na.,0    3.96 

Potassium   oxide,   K.,0    4.40 

Water  below   110"   C.,  H.,0  41 

Water  above  110°  C,  H.,b  plus  4.33 

Maganous   oxide   MnO   04 

Titanium  dioxide,  TiO.,    14 




It  will  be  noted  from  a  study  of  a  township  map  that  the 
three  deposits  listed  are  in  the  same  general  region  and  in  prac- 
tically a  straight  line.  The  Pemberton  deposit  described  by 
Shead  lies  about  midway  between  the  two  deposits  described  by 
Buttram^  and  about  2  miles  distant  from  each. 

OIL    AND    GAS 

During  the  past  few  years  there  has  been  a  considerable 
amount  of  prospecting  for  oil  and  gas  in  Beaver  and  other  coun- 
ties of  the  Oklahoma  Panhandle.  Three  wells  have  been  drilled 
to  a  considerable  depth.  The  first  one,  known  usually  as  the  Gate 
well,  located  near  the  eastern  line  of  the  county  on  sec.  33,  T.  5 
N.,  R.  28  E.  of  the  Cimarron  Meridian,  was  the  first  deep  well 
drilled  in  this  part  of  Oklahoma.  The  log  of  the  Gate  well 
follows : 

Log  of  Gate  Well,  Sec.  33,  T.  5 

Formation  Top  Botton 

K^       Soil    0  5 

Sand    clay   5  25 

Red    rock     25  40 

Water    sand    40  48 

Red    rock     48  83 

Water    sand    83  90 

Red    rock     90  170 

Water    sand    170  178 

Red    rock     178  265 

Sandy    lime    265  268 

Red   rock   268  275 

Sand    275  300 

Red    rock     300  350 

Sandy    lime    350  353 

Red   rock   353  362 

Lime   and   gyp  362  395 

White   lime  395  412 

Blue   shale    412  420 

Brown    shale    420  450 

Sandy    lime    450  467 

Salt     467  567 

Red    rock    567  572 

Salt   572  585 

Red  rock  y. 585  620 

Salt  620  630 

Red    rock     630  670 

Salt   670  720 

Red   rock     720  740 

Sand    740  743 

Red    rock     743  840 

Sand    840  842 

Red   rock  842  860 

Sandy  lime 860  865 

Red    rock    865  890 

Sand    890  892 

Red    rock    892  905 

1.     Idem.   p.    35. 

N.,  R.  28  E.,  Cimarron  Meridian 

I    Formation  Top  Bottom 

Blue   slate   905  910 

Red   rock   910  970 

Lime      970  978 

Red  rock  978  985 

Sandy  lime  985  1000 

Red  rock  1000  1005 

Lime  1005  1015 

Red  rock  1015  1045 

Salt  1045  1048 

Sandy  lime  1048  1065 

Red  rock  1065  1067 

Sandy  lime 1067  1080 

Red  rock  1080  1085 

Sandy  lime  1085  1100 

Red  rock  1100  1123 

Red  lime  1123  1130 

Red  rock  1130  1140 

Sandy  lime  1140  1155 

Red  rock  1155  1160 

Salt   1160  1166 

Gray  lime  1166  1177 

Red  rock 1177  1187 

Blue  lime  1187  1203 

Red  rock 1203  1215 

Lime  1215  1240 

Red  rock  1240  1250 

Salt  1250  1288 

Red  rock  1288  1290 

Salt   1290  1395 

Blue  slate  1395  1405 

Salt  1405  1430 

Red  rock  1430  1510 

Blue  slate  1510  1528 

Red  rock  1528  1548 

Blue  slate  1548  1563 

Red  rock  1563  1575 



Formation  Top  Bottom 

Brown    slate     1575  1600 

Red    rock    1600  1625 

Brown    slate    1625  1650 

Red    rock     1650  1725 

Blue   slate   1725  1765 

Lime     1765  1770 

Blue  slate  1770  1775 

Lime     1775  1780 

Blue  slate  1780  1795 

Lime     1795  1820 

Blue    slate    1820  1823 

Lime     1823  1840 

Blue   slate   1840  1855 

Lime     1855  1895 

Slate     1895  1900 

Lime      1900  1905 

Slate     1905  1915 

Lime     1915  1918 

Slate     1918  1943 

Lime 1943  1958 

Salt     1958  1975 

Lime     1975  1990 

Salt     1990  1997 

Slate     1997  2015 

Salt      2015  2020 

Lime     2020  2035 

Salt      2035  2040 

Sandy    lime    2040  2050 

Salt      2050  2063 

Limey   salt   2063  2087 

Lime     2087  2092 

Lime  and  slate  2092  2102 

Lime      2102  2107 

Salt      2107  2165 

Lime     2165  2170 

Salt      2170  2190 

Formation  Top  Bottom 

Slate  2190  2205 

Lime     2205  2245 

Slate     2245  2248 

Lime      2248  2365 

Sandy    lime    2365  2370 

Salt 2370  2395 

Lime    2395  2505 

Lime   2505  2665 

Gray    slate    2665  2667 

Sandy   lime  2667  2750 

Water    sand    2750  2765 

Slate     2765  2770 

Water    sand    2770  2775 

Red    slate    2775  2780 

Sandy    lime    2780  2832 

Slate     2832  2837 

Lime    2837  2862 

Asphalt    2862  2893 

Brown   sand   2893  2903 

White   lime  2903  2908 

Lime  and  sand  2908  2918 

Gray   lime   2918  2940 

Black   lime   2940  3005 

Gray  lime  3005  3014 

Blue    shale    3014  3020 

Lime,   gray   3020  3030 

Brown   sand    3030  3040 

Lime  and  much  sand  3040  3049 

Pink    lime   3049  3060 

Gray    shale    3060  3065 

Coarse  sand   3065  3068 

Brown    shale    3068  3073 

Gray   lime   3073  3079 

Black    lime    3079  3099 

Gray  lime   3099 

Another  well  located  near  the  center  of  Beaver  County  in 
sec.  17,  T.  3  N.,  R.  23  E.,  about  ten  miles  southwest  of  Beaver 
Citv,  known  as  the  Skear  or  Carson  well  was  drilled  in  1924- 
1925,  and  reached  a  depth  of  3,005  feet.  The  log  of  the  well 
follows : 

Log  of  Skear  Well,  Sec.  17,  T.  3 

Formation  Top   Bottom 

Soil    0  10 

Red  beds  10  250 

Sand  and   water  250  265 

Red    beds     265  300 

Sand   and   water  300  310 

Red    beds    310  400 

Quick    sand    400  425 

Red   beds  425  600 

Salt     600  640 

Red  beds  and  blue  shale  640  692 

Blue    shale 692  712 

N.,  R.  23  E.,  Cimarron  Meridian 

Formation                                           Top  Bottom 

Sand     (dry)     712  720 

Red    beds    720  840 

Red  beds  and  salt,  mixed      840  860 

Brown    shale    860  1140 

Soft   red    beds   1140  1500 

Hard  gray  lime  1500  1540 

Red    beds    1540  1600 

Brown    shale    1600  1810 

Soft   cavy  red  beds  1810  2000_ 

Brown    shale    2000  2018 

Hard  blue  shale   2018  2030 




Hard  white  lime  

Lime  and  blue  shale, 


Sandy  lime,  good  show- 
ing  oil  

Hard   blue  shale  

Hard   gray    lime   

Blue    shale    

Brown    shale    

Blue    shale    

Black   shale,   soft   

Light  blue  shale  

Hard   sandy   lime   

Black   shale,   soft   

Hard  sandy  lime,  gray  .. 

Sand    (dry,  gray)    

Black  shale,  mixed  with 

soft  white  formation  .. 

Blue    shale    



































Formation  Top 

Dark  shale   (fine)   2340 

Blue   shale    mixed    with 

soft  white  formation  ..  2370 
Mixture    of   lime,    salt 

and  sand  2385 

Soft  blue  shale  2410 

Coarse  dark  blue  shale 
and   soft   white   forma- 
tion    2427 

White    lime,   not   very 

hard    2450 

Black    shale    2465 

Hard  lime  and  blue  slate 

mixed   2475 

Hard  white  lime  2522 

Sandy  brown  lime  2810 

Sand    and    water,    about 

600  feet  water  in  hole    2915 
Brown  sandv  lime  2985 








A  third  deep  well  known  as  the  Empire  well  completed 
in  September  1923,  is  located  in  the  southwest  corner  of  Beaver 
County  in  sec.  6,  T.  1  N.,  R.  20  E.  of  Cimarron  Meridian.  The 
log  follows : 

Log  of  Empire  Well,  Sec.  6,  T.  1  N.,  R.  20  E.,  Cimarron  Meridian 


Soft  red  surface  

Soft    red   mud    

Hard   red   shell  

Soft   red   sand   

1   bbl.   water   per   hr. 

Soft    red    mud   

Hard   white    lime    

Soft  red  mud  

Soft  red  sandy  shale  

15  bbls.  water  at  185' 

Soft  red  mud  

Soft  red  sandy  shale  

Soft   red    mud    

Soft  red  quick  sand  

Soft    red    mud    

Soft   red  quick  sand  

Soft  red  mud  

Hard  red   shell  

Soft   red   sand   

Soft  red  mud  

Soft  red  sand.  1/2  HPW  .. 
Soft    red   mud-hole   cave 

Soft   sandy  red  rock  

Soft    red    mud    

Soft    red    mud   

Soft  red  shell  gyp  

Soft  red  mud  

Hard  white  rock  gyp  .... 
Hard   red   shell   

Top    Bottom    Formation  Top 

0         19     Hard   white  gyp   540 

19         79     Soft  red  mud  550 

79         82     Hard   red   shell   580 

82         85     Soft  red  mud  588 

Hard  white   shell  653 

85       125     Soft  red  rock  670 

125       140         Boulders   at   685' 

140       180     Hard   red   shell  685 

180       195 

Soft    red    rock 




Soft    red    mud    785 

Hard   red   shell   820 

Soft    red    mud   825 

Soft  red   salt  885 

Soft    red   mud   895 

Hard   red   sand 1040 

Soft    red    mud   1065 

Soft    red    shale    1165 

Soft    red    mud   1175 

Hard  sandy  shell  1275 

Soft   red    mud    1290 

Soft   red  sandy  mud  1340 

Soft   red   sandy   shale   ....  1360 

Soft    red    mud    1450 

Soft  gray  lime  mud  1480 

Hard  gray  lime  1490 

Soft    red    mud    1535 

Hard   gray  shell   1595 

Soft    red    mud    1610 

Hard  white  salt-caving  ..  1620 

























Formation                                        Top  Bottom     Formation  Top  Bottom 

Soft  red  mud  1695  2040     Soft    blue   slate   3037  3040 

Soft    red    shale    2040  2085     Hard  white  lime  3040  3050 

Hard  white  lime  2085  2090  Soft  white  sandy  lime  ....  3050  3060 

Soft   gray    shale   2090  2115     Hard   white   sand   3060  3083 

Soft   red    mud    2115  2145     Hard  white  lime  3083  3107 

Hard  gray  shell  2145  2148     Soft   blue   slate   3107  3110 

Soft  gray  slate  2148  2175     Hard    white   lime   3110  3119 

Soft    blue   slate   2175  2200     Soft   white   sand   3119  3129 

Hard  white  lime  slate  ....  2200  2320     Soft   blue   slate   3129  3132 

Hard  white  lime  2320  2350     Soft   white   sand   3132  3140 

Hard   white   salt  2350  2355  Hard  white  sandy  lime  ..  3140  3147 

Hard  white  lime  2355  2385     Hard    white    lime   3147  3150 

Soft   blue    slate-lime   2385  2530  Hard  white  sandy  lime  ..  3150  3205 

Hard    white    lime   2530  2850     Hard    l)lack    lime    3205  3245 

Hard  white  sandy  lime  ..  2850  2855     Hard    gray   lime    3245  3290 

Hard    white    lime   2855  2860     Hard    red    mud    3290  3295 

Hard  brown  sand  2860  2905  Hard  white  sandy  lime  ..  3295  3385 

Soft  brown  sandy  lime  ..  2905  2940     Soft   white   sand   3385  3392 

Hard    white    lime    2940  2975     Hard    white    lime    3392  3415 

Soft   white   sand   2975  2980     Hard    black    lime    3415  3423 

Hard  white  sandy  lime  ..  2980  3012  Hard  white  sandy  lime  ..  3423  3475 

Hard    white   lime    3012  3037     Hard   gray   lime  3475  3537 

By  comparison  of  these  wells  it  will  be  found  that,  allow- 
ing for  discrepancies  of  drillers  records,  which  is  always  a  fac- 
tor to  be  considered  in  the  interpretation  of  any  well  log,  the 
red  beds  were  passed  through  at  a  depth  of  about  2,000  feet  and 
that  below  this  point  the  drill  penetrated  limestone  and  shale 
with  beds  of  salt. 

The  general  conditions  connected  with  the  occurrence  of  oil 
and  gas  in  any  particular  region  are  so  well  known  that  they 
need  only  be  mentioned  here.  Suffice  it  to  say  that  at  least  four 
factors  are  necessary;  first,  a  source  of  supply,  second,  a  reser- 
voir rock,  third  a  cap  rock,  and  fourth,  some  form  of  structure 
which  will  tend  to  segregate  or  separate  the  oil  and  gas. 

The  drilling  in  Beaver  County  shows  that  the  same  general 
stratigraphic  conditions  occur  there  as  are  known  to  occur  in 
the  Amarillo  country  in  the  Panhandle  of  Texas  some  sixty  miles 
to  the  southwest,  as  well  as  at  Texhoma,  Oklahoma,  Liberal, 
Kansas,  and  in  Clark  County,  Kansas,  at  all  of  which  places  oil 
or  gas  have  been  found  in  commercial  quantities.  The  Amarillo 
wells  are  located  on  well-defined  structures,  which  were  de- 
termined on  the  surface  before  the  drilling  was  done.  So  far 
as  the  authors  know  the  wells  at  Texhoma  and  Liberal  were  not 
located  on  determinable  surface  structure.  There  is  a  question 
regarding  the  structure  in  Clark  County,  Kansas. 

The  most  common  oil  bearing  structures  are  anticlines, 
domes,  and  faults.  When  there  are  sufficient  surface  exposures 
geologists  are  sometimes  able    to    determine  these  structures. 


Drilling  on  a  surface  structure  sometimes  reveals  the  presence 
of  oil,  sometimes  it  does  not. 

In  Beaver  County  any  oil  that  would  occur  would  probably 
be  found  somewhere  below  the  base  of  the  red  beds  in  the  same 
formation  which  produces  oil  and  gas  in  the  Amarillo  region, 
at  Texhoma,  Liberal,  and  in  Clark  County,  Kansas. 

As  has  been  stated  under  Geology  the  red  beds  are  exposed 
in  the  southern  part  of  Beaver  County  along  the  various  streams 
which  flow  north  into  Beaver  Creek.  In  these  regions  the  auth- 
ors did  not  find  any  surface  anticlines,  domes,  or  other  favorable 
oil  structures.  The  attention  was  called  to  certain  places  where 
other  geologists  had  located  oil  structures,  but  the  authors  were 
forced  to  consider  the  apparent  dips  of  the  rocks  at  these  places 
as  examples  of  either  cross-bedding  or  slumping  rather  than  well 
defined  anticlines  or  domes. 



To  the  extreme  light  red  beds  are  dipping  away  from  the  deniik  location. 

(This   is    the   structure). 

It  has  already  been  stated  that  much  of  the  northern  part 
of  the  county  that  part  lying  north  of  Beaver  Creek,  is  covered 
by  a  blanket  of  Tertiary  deposits  and  sand  hills.  So  far  as  we 
are  aware  no  dependable  surface  structures  have  been  found  in 
the  Tertiary  rocks  of  Oklahoma,  or  any  other  states  of  the 
Plains.  This  will  mean  that  any  structures  in  the  red  beds 
which  underlie  the  Tertiary  will  be  concealed  and  covered,  and 
cannot  be  observed  from  the  surface.  This  does  not  mean  that 
oil  and  gas  may  not  occur  in  commercial  quantities  in  Beaver 
County.     In  point  of  fact  the  results  of  drilling  throughout  this 


general  part  of  the  plains,  including  Kansas,  Oklahoma,  and  the 
Texas  Panhandle  during  the  past  few  years  render  it  rather 
likely  that  these  substances  will  be  found  in  the  county.  It  is, 
however,  our  opinion,  that  the  discovery  of  oil  and  gas  will  be 
made  either  by  accident,  by  the  location  of  subsurface  struc- 
tures by  core  drilling,  or  by  some  other  method,  rather  than  by 
the  results  of  the  determination  on  the  surface  of  dependable 
oil  structures. 


The  present  consensus  of  opinion  among  geologists  now 
working  in  the  Panhandle  of  Oklahoma  and  adjacent  parts  of 
Kansas  and  Texas  is  to  the  effect  that  the  northwestern  part  of 
the  Anadarko  Basin  extends  into  the  northern  part  of  the  Pan- 
handle of  Texas.  The  Anadarko  Basin  is  a  great  structural 
trough  or  syncline  lying  north  of  the  Wichita  Mountains  recently 
recognized  in  the  Permian  of  southwestern  Oklahoma.  It  is 
known  to  extend  from  a  point  in  southwestern  Garvin  County 
a  few  miles  west  of  the  Arbuckle  Mountains  northwest  for  an 
unknown  distance.  Toward  the  axis  of  this  basin  the  rocks  dip 
from  both  directions.  The  axis  of  the  Basin  crosses  Stephens, 
Grady,  Caddo,  Washita  and  Roger  Mills  counties,  Oklahoma. 
The  northwestern  limits  of  the  basin  have  so  far  not  been  de- 
termined but  a  study  of  logs  of  deep  wells  in  the  High  Plains  of 
southwestern  Kansas,  western  Oklahoma,  and  the  Panhandle  of 
Texas  indicates  that  it  may  be  carried  across  southern  Hemphill, 
central  Roberts,  northern  Hutchinson,  and  probably  northern 
Moore  counties  in  the  Panhandle  of  Texas.  It  may  even  be 
found  to  reach  Dallam  County,  Texas,  and  southwestern  Cimar- 
ron County,  Oklahoma. 

Beaver  and  Texas  counties  Oklahoma  lie  along  what  is  now 
believed  to  be  the  northern  rim  of  this  basin.  For  the  reasons 
stated  many  geologists  now  believe  that  a  structural  high  occurs 
in  these  counties.  This  will  account  for  the  fact  that  geologists 
now  consider  these  counties  as  likely  places  in  which  to  pros- 
pect for  oil. 

As  this  report  is  being  written  and  going  through  the  press 
there  is  considerable  activity  in  Beaver  and  adjoining  counties 
looking  toward  the  discovery  of  oil.  It  is  our  judgment  that 
there  need  be  no  surprise  if  fields  of  commercial  importance  are 
found  to  occur  in  this  region. 







Beaver  County  is  located  in  the  Panhandle  of  Oklahoma, 
being  the  eastern  county  of  the  three  counties  that  compose  it. 
It  contains  1,768  square  miles,  being  52  miles  long  and  34  miles 
wiae.  ine  Beaver  River  runs  through  the  entire  county,  length- 
wise, and  the  Cimarron  cuts  across  th-e  northeast  corner,  but 
neither  of  them  have  many  tributaries  in  the  county.  Along 
these  streams  the  land  is  broken  and  is  used  principally  for  graz- 
ing purposes,  however  much  of  the  rolling  land  is  farmed. 

The  total  area  of  the  county  in  acres  is  1,160,320  of  which 
875,311  is  in  farms;  and  of  the  latter  figure,  422,017  is  culti- 
vated, the  remainder  being  in  pasture.  Seventy-seven  per  cent 
of  the  farmers  own  their  farms.  The  average  size  of  the  farms 
in  the  county  is  346  acres. 


The  altitude  is  approximately  2,600  feet  above  sea  level. 
The  temperature  varies  and  has  a  tendency  to  run  to  extremes 
at  times,  due  to  the  semi-arid  condition  and  high  altitude.  These 
extremes  range  from  108"F  in  the  summer  months  to  as  low  as 
16°F  below  zero  in  the  winter.  However,  these  temperatures 
are  unusual  and  are  usually  of  short  duration ;  the  winters  gen- 
erally being  mild,  and  the  summer  nights,  particularly  cool  and 

The  average  rainfall  for  the  past  five  years  is  19.09  inches; 
however  23.00  inches  is  the  average  over  a  greater  period  of 
time.  May  and  June  are  the  wet  months,  the  winters  being  dry 
except  for  an  occasional  fall  of  snow. 


The  county  has  two  railroads,  the  Missouri,  Kansas  &  Tex- 
as, running  through  the  county  east  and  west,  north  of  the 
Beaver  River  to  Forgan,  and  the  Beaver,  Meade  and  Englewood 
connecting  Beaver  City  to  the  M.  K.  &  T.,  at  Forgan. 

Numerous  graded  highways  as  well  as  state  roads  traverse 
the  county  in  all  directions. 



For  domestic  purposes  the  windmill  is  commonly  used  to 
pump  the  sheet  water  which  is  of  excellent  quality.  The  wells 
average  about  125  feet  in  depth  and  furnish  plenty  of  water. 


The  soil  is  of  two  classes ;  the  "north  flat,"  that  is  the  coun- 
try north  of  the  Beaver  River,  is  of  a  more  or  less  sandy  loam, 
which  is  dark  and  rich;  the  "south  flat,"  the  country  south  of 
the  river,  is  a  very  tight  soil,  resembling  gumbo  or  hard  pan, 
but  there  is  a  mixture  of  sand  throughout  which  improves  its 
quality.  Both  of  these  flats  have  many  shallow  lake  beds  on 
their  surface,  which  sometimes  contain  water  the  year  around. 
Some  of  them  contain  as  much  as  a  square  mile  of  land  and 
when  drained  make  excellent  farm  land.  The  rough  and  broken 
land  along  the  streams  is  composed  of  various  kinds  of  soil, 
while  along  both  rivers  are  seen  sand  dunes  composed  of  a 
loose  yellow  and  white  sand  which  is  worthless  for  cultivation. 


Small  grains,  wheat,  rye,  oats,  and  barley  are  extensively 
grown  throughout  the  county  and  upon  both  flats  the  wheat  very 
often  yields  30  bushels  to  the  acre,  while  the  oats  and  barley 
commonly  run  around  50  bushels  to  the  acre.  The  average  yield 
per  acre  covering  a  period  of  five  years  is  seventeen  and  two- 
fifths  bushels  for  wheat,  25  bushels  for  barley  and  12  to  20 
bushels  for  rye  and  oats,  these  latter  two  not  being  grown  so 

Many  of  the  wheat  farmers  own  their  own  combine  with 
which  they  harvest  the  small  grain  grown  at  an  average  cost 
of  six  cents  per  bushel.  The  average  for  each  farmer  is  around 
450  acres.  The  tractor  is  used  quite  extensively  in  the  prepar- 
ation of  the  wheat  ground  immediately  after  the  harvest,  as  well 
as  during  the  harvest  to  pull  the  combines. 

Grain  sorghums  are  grown  abundantly  for  all  feeding  pur- 
poses. Kaffir,  milo  maize,  sudan  grass,  and  the  many  varieties 
of  cane  are  planted,  while  along  the  river  bottoms  alfalfa  and 
sweet  clover  thrive,  as  does  wild  grass  of  an  excellent  quality 
which  is  used  as  a  forage  for  live  stock  throughout  the  winter 
months.  About  75  per  cent  of  the  above  grain  crops  are  shipped 
out  of  the  county  not  being  needed  for  consumption  locally.  Some 
corn  is  grown,  but  the  yield  is  never  large.  Broom  corn  is 
grown  quite  successfully,  and  all  varieties  are  used,  the  dwarf 
being  the  most  prevalent.  The  average  yield  of  this  crop  is 
one  ton  to  four  acres. 

Cotton  is  being  grown  but  the  yield  is  light  on  account  of 


the  short  season,  and  it  probably  never  will  become  a  staple  crop. 
Garden  truck  and  fruit  are  found  in  abundance  in  the  sub-irri- 
gated lands  but  on  the  flats  these  crops  must  be  irrigated  in 
order  to  produce  a  sufficient  yield  for  the  average  family.  Ap- 
ples, cherries,  grapes,  and  some  peaches  compose  the  main  va- 
rieties of  fruit  grown. 


The  dairy  cow  is  playing  an  important  part  in  the  develop- 
ing of  agriculture  in  the  county.  The  overhead  expense  is  met 
on  most  farms  by  the  product  of  the  cow  and  the  hen.  As  yet 
there  are  few  dairy  herds  established,  but  what  few  there  are 
are  preeminently  successful. 

The  beef  breeds  of  cattle  throughout  the  entire  county  are 
mostly  all  pure  bred,  and  due  to  the  ideal  conditions  of  the  coun- 
ty for  producing  healthy  livestock  are  far  above  the  average. 
The  Hereford  is  the  most  prevalent  breed  on  the  larger  ranches 
while  on  the  farms,  the  Shorthorn  and  other  breeds  are  seen. 

Hogs  are  coming  more  and  more  into  prominence  in  this 
county,  the  Poland  China  and  Duroc  being  the  favorites.  Poul- 
try in  almost  all  of  the  leading  breeds  are  to  be  found  on  the 
farms  and  many  carloads  of  eggs  and  chickens  are  shipped  out 
each  year  going  to  the  larger  markets. 

During  the  last  three  years,  due  to  the  low  prices,  livestock 
breeders  have  sold  most  of  their  stock,  keeping  only  enough  on 
hand  for  breeding  purposes.  Present  time  prices  are  on  the 
incline  and  considerable  activity  is  being  noted  among  the 


Due  to  the  practice  of  dry  farming  the  semi-arid  conditions 
of  the  county  is  gradually  giving  way  to  increased  yields  of 
crops.  This  dry  farming  method  consists  of  the  conservation 
of  moisture  by  the  making  of  a  mulch  of  the  top  soil  promptly 
after  each  rain,  thus  storing  the  moisture  in  the  sub-soil.  Care 
is  taken  to  keep  down  the  weeds,  and  the  mulch  is  never  made 
too  fine,  because  of  the  winds  that  might  blow  the  soil  about 
damaging  the  growing  crop.  When  deep  plowing  is  practiced 
which  is  seldom,  the  sub-surface  packer  is  immediately  used. 

When  the  eastern  and  northern  methods  of  farming  are 
abandoned  in  favor  of  the  necessary  methods  of  cultivation  in 
vogue  in  a  semi-arid  country,  splendid  crops  are  produced. 
These  methods  having  for  the  most  part  been  adopted,  today 
Beaver  County  ranks  well  up  in  the  list  of  successful  agricul- 
ture counties  of  Oklahoma. 



F.  C.  TRACY 


Beaver  County  prior  to  statehood,  embraced  that  portion 
of  the  Territory  of  Oklahoma,  lying  between  the  36  degrees  30 
minutes  and  37th  degrees  of  latitude,  and  the  100th  and  103rd 
degrees  of  longitude.  Its  area  was  nearly  six  thousand  square 
miles,  over  three  and  one-half  million  acres. 

In  1907  the  Constitutional  Convention  divided  Beaver 
County  into  three  counties  of  nearly  equal  area.  The  eastern 
one-third  retained  its  original  name  of  Beaver  County.  The 
central  one-third  was  given  the  name  of  "Texas"  County,  in 
honor  of  the  state  of  which  Beaver  County  was  once  a  part. 
The  western  one-third  was  given  the  name  of  "Cimarron"  Coun- 
ty in  honor  of  the  non-existant  "Cimarron  Territory,"  the  name 
of  the  Provisional  Government  under  which  No  Man's  Land, 
later  Beaver  County,  knocked  at  the  doors  of  Congress,  seeking 
"admission  to  the  United  States"  and  extension  of  federal  laws 
over  its  domain.  The  agitation  raised  in  Congress  over  the 
status  of  No  Man's  Land,  and  opening  its  lands  to  settlement, 
was  a  material  factor  in  bringing  about  the  opening  of  the  pub- 
lic lands  in  the  Indian  Territory  and  creation  of  the  Territory 
of  Oklahoma. 

In  assembling  this  history  of  Beaver  County,  necessarily 
recitals  of  events  prior  to  1907,  relate  to  the  original  Beaver 


The  territory  now  embraced  in  Beaver  County  has  been 
owned  and  disowned,  claimed  and  disclaimed,  has  been  an  or- 
phan among  nations — a  No  Man's  Land — and  finally  reached  a 
haven  of  rest  as  an  appurtenance  to  the  state  of  Oklahoma.  The 
handle  to  the  pan.  A  nuisance  to  map  makers,  who  usually  de- 
tach it  from  the  northwest  corner  of  the  map  where  it  properly 
belongs,  and  place  it  on  the  low^r  left  corner  as  an  addendum. 
Yet,  whether  appurtenance,  addendum  or  handle,  it  is  a  handle 
often  needed  by  the  pan  statistically,  in  obtaining  first  place  for 
some  product  of  the  farm  or  ranch. 

Its  lands  have  been  under  the  sovereignty  of  two  monarch- 
ies, three  republics  and  two  states.     Its  boundaries  were  ere- 


ated  as  a  result  of  diplomacy,  of  war,  of  slavery,  and  in  part, 
just  happened. 

In  1803,  its  sovereignty  passed  from  France  to  the  United 
States  in  the  Louisiana  Purchase.  Only  to  be  disclaimed  and 
given  to  Spain  in  1819  through  the  Florida  treaty  in  compro- 
mise over  the  more  valuable  territory  along  the  Gulf  coast. 
By  this  treaty  the  boundary  lines  between  the  United  States  and 
Spanish  territory,  were  in  part,  designated  as  the  100th  degree 
of  longitude,  the  eastern  boundary  of  Beaver  County. 

In  1824,  through  the  successful  revolution  and  independ- 
ence of  the  Republic  of  Mexico,  its  sovereignty  passed  to  Mexico, 
as  a  portion  of  the  Mexican  state  of  Texas.  Twelve  years  later, 
Texas  won  her  independence  from  Mexico,  and  its  sovereignty 
passed  to  the  Republic  of  Texas. 

In  December  1844,  following  several  years  of  controversy 
in  Congress,  Texas  was  admitted  to  the  United  States,  subject 
however,  to  several  restrictions  and  conditions,  of  which  two 
may  be  noted  as  having  had  an  influence  on  the  future  boundar- 
ies of  Beaver  County.  Namely,  "The  adjustment  of  all  ques- 
tons  as  to  its  (Texas)  boundaries,  as  to  other  governments, 
shall  be  reserved  to  the  United  States,"  and,  "That  with  the  con- 
sent of  Texas,  four  states  or  territories  may  be  created  from 
its  territory"  but  that  "in  any  state  or  territory  which  shall  be 
formed  out  of  its  territory  lying  north  of  parallel  36  degrees  30 
minutes  slavery  shall  be  forever  prohibited." 

Texas  agreed  to  these  restrictions  and  was  admitted  to  the 
Union  in  March  1845,  as  a  slave  state,  its  domain  extending  to 
the  Arkansas  River  far  north  of  the  Missouri  Compromise  of 
1820.  Its  eastern  boundary  was  the  100th  Meridian,  its  west- 
ern boundary  a  matter  of  dispute  with  Mexico. 

The  admission  of  Texas  over  the  protest  of  Mexico,  and 
controversy  over  its  western  boundary,  lead  to  the  war  with 
Mexico  and  the  subsequent  acquisition  by  the  United  States  of 
the  Mexican  states  of  California  and  New  Mexico.  The  dispute 
between  Texas  and  Mexico  over  its  western  boundary,  became 
a  dispute  between  the  United  States  and  Texas. 

In  September  1850  an  agreement  over  this  boundary  was 
made  through  the  passage  of  an  act  by  Congress  proposing  to 
the  State  of  Texas,  "the  establishment  of  its  northern  and  west- 
ern boundaries"  relinquishment  to  the  United  States  of  all  ter- 
ritory exterior  thereto,  and  establishing  a  territorial  govern- 
ment for  New  Mexico.  For  a  consideration  of  ten  million  dol- 
lars Texas  agreed,  among  other  things,  that  its  northern  bound- 
ary should  be  parallel  36  degrees  30  minutes  north  latitude,  (the 
Missouri  Compromise  line)   and  its  western  boundary,  in  part, 


the  103rd  meridian  of  longitude,   relinquishing  to  the  United 
States  all  territory  exterior  thereto. 

The  Territory  of  New  Mexico  was  created  in  part  from 
territory  thus  relinquished,  having  for  its  eastern  boundary,  the 
103rd  meridian,  for  its  northern,  the  37th  parallel  of  latitude. 
Two  boundaries  for  Beaver  County  were  created  by  these  meas- 
ures, its  southern  and  western. 

Four  years  later,  in  1854,  Congress  created  the  Territory' 
of  Kansas,  with  its  southern  boundary  the  37th  parallel  of  lati- 
tude, its  western,  the  102nd  meridian.  In  1861  the  Territory 
of  Colorado  was  created,  with  its  eastern  boundary  the  102nd 
meridian,  its  southern  the  37th  parallel.  The  creation  of  these 
two  territories  with  southern  boundaries  completed  isolation 
from  territorial  government  of  the  strip  of  government  domain 
lying  between  the  parallels  of  latitude  36  degrees  30  minutes 
and  37  degrees,  and  of  longitude  100  degrees  to  103  degrees. 
A  narrow  strip  34'  j  miles  wide  by  166  miles  long,  which  in  later 
years  became  known  locally  as  the  "Strip." 

For  many  years  this  strip  was  unoccupied  and  forgotten. 
In  the  early  eighties  the  Kansas  counties  ad.ioining  on  the  north 
had  become  well  settled.  On  the  south,  the  Texas  Panhandle  had 
become  the  home  of  vast  cattle  ranches.  Within  the  borders 
a  few  cattle  men  had  established  ranches  along  the  streams. 
The  "Strip"  was  believed  to  be  Indian  Territory  lands,  a  portion 
of  the  Cherokee  Outlet. 


In  1885,  title  to  the  "Strip"  as  a  portion  of  the  Cherokee 
Outlet  was  decided  adversely  to  the  Cherokee  Nation.  It  was 
government  public  domain.  Its  survey  was  incomplete  and  it 
was  not  open  for  settlement,  but  as  public  domain  it  was  sub- 
ject to  "Squatters  rights"  and  as  such,  homeseekers  could  enter 
and  squat  upon  the  lands.     This,  many  did  in  the  fall  of  1885. 

In  the  early  spring  of  1886,  a  tidal  wave  of  homeseekers 
entered  the  "Strip."  Two  postoffices  were  established.  One  at 
Gate  City  on  its  eastern  border,  the  other  at  Beaver  City,  thirty 
miles  westward.  These  offices  were  designated  by  the  Postoffice 
Department  as  being  in  "Neutral  Strip  of  Indian  Territory." 
(N.  S.  I.  T.)  As  a  matter  of  fact  it  was  never  any  portion  of 
the  Indian  Territory.  Shortly  thereafter  it  was  officially  desig- 
nated merely  as  "Public  Land  Strip." 

The  first  school  building  constructed  in  the  "Strip"  was  one 
at  Beaver  City  in  September  1886,  with  Mary  Hunter  teaching 
a  subscription  school  therein. 

The  first  church  (Presbyterian)  was  erected  in  Beaver  City 
in  June  1887,  with  Rev.  Robt.  M.  Overstreet  as  pastor.     Inci- 




fIRST   NORMAL    SClKjol.    C1>A.SS,    i;i-.A\i:U    CITV,    1890. 

dentally  it  is  claimed  this  church  is  the  oldest  one  in  Oklahoma. 
It  is  well  preserved  and  has  been  continuously  occupied  by  its 

The  first  newspaper  in  the  "Strip"  was  the  "Territorial  Ad- 
vocate," first  published  by  Brown  and  Payne  at  Beaver  City  in 
July  1887,  and  is  the  oldest  newspaper  in  the  State.  Its  name 
was  later  changed  to  "Beaver  Herald"  and  is  now  the  "Herald- 

The  first  and  only  townsite  surveyed  and  platted  in  the 
"Strip"  was  that  of  Beaver  City,  in  March  1886.     An  attempt 


BEAVER  CITY   IN   1896. 


by  townsite  boomers  from  Wichita,  Kansas,  to  perfect  or  obtain 
title  to  this  townsite  brought  about  the  first  information  as  to 
the  actual  status  of  the  "Strip." 

NO     MAN'S     LAND 

To  quote  from  an  early  statement  of  the  status  of  the 
"Strip,"  "It  was  unorganized  public  domain,  beyond  the  pale  of 
any  state  or  territory.  Simply  the  property  of  Uncle  Sam,  a 
waste  bit  of  pasture  that  he  overlooked  when  laying  out  the  rest 
of  his  farm  in  patches  for  cultivation. 

"That  it  should  have  been  overlooked  in  the  course  of  legis- 
lation is  not  very  surprising,  but  that  it  should  be  a  part  of  the 
United  States  and  yet  beyond  the  reach  of  the  United  States 
courts  and  court  officers  is  a  matter  needing  explanation. 

"The  jurisdiction  of  each  United  States  court  sitting  in  the 
States  and  Territories  around  No  Man's  Land  is  definitely  fixed 
by  the  bill  creating  the  judicial  district  in  which  the  court  sits. 
No  court  can  take  cognizance  of  any  crime  committed  beyond 
its  jurisdiction.  Because  No  Man's  Land  was  not  within  the 
limits  of  any  of  the  surrounding  States  or  Territories,  it  was 
naturally  enough  overlooked  in  defining  the  judicial  district. 

"The  sixth  amendment  to  the  Constitution  of  the  United 
States  provides  that  "In  all  criminal  prosecutions  the  accused 
shall  enjoy  the  right  to  a  speedy  and  public  triai  by  an  impartial 
jury  of  the  state  and  district  wherein  the  crime  shall  have  been 
committed,  which  district  shall  have  been  previously  ascertained 
by  law." 

In  what  court,  therefore,  could  a  person  committing  a  crime 
in  No  Man's  Land  be  tried?  He  must  be  tried  within  the  "dis- 
trict wherein  the  crime  was  committed,  which  district  shall  have 
been  previously  determined  by  law."  No  Man's  Land  was  never 
within  any  district.  A  subsequent  inclusion  in  some  district 
would  effect  no  remedy,  for.  at  the  time  the  crime  was  com- 
mitted it  was  not  committed  within  the  district,  and,  another 
provision  of  the  Constitution  is  brief  but  to  the  point,  "No  ex 
post  facto  law  shall  be  passed." 

"God  made  the  west  for  those  ivho  knew 
No  fear,  and  He  found  many  of  them." 

Knowledge  that  No  Man's  Land  was  beyond  the  pale  of  law 
or  courts  did  not  deter  emigration  to  any  perceptible  extent. 
Surely  Congress  would  remedy  this  condition  without  delay. 

A  conservative  estimate  of  the  population  in  1887  would 
be  between  twelve  and  fifteen  thousand.  Settlement  had  ex- 
tended for  nearly  one  hundred  miles  from  its  eastern  boundary. 


Postoffices  and  small  trading  centers  had  been  established  at 
Gate  City,  Meridian,  Blue  Grass,  Logan,  Lockwood,  Benton,  and 
Alpine  all  east  of  Beaver  City,  and  at  Rothwell,  Boyd,  Paluduro, 
Hardesty,  and  Optima  to  the  west  from  Beaver  City.  Another 
settlement  had  been  made  in  the  extreme  v/est  end  around  Min- 
eral City. 

Due  to  the  fact  that  No  Man's  Land  was  beyond  the  law,  it 
gained  an  unearned  and  unenviable  reputation  of  being  a  lawless 
land,  occupied  principally  by  outlaws,  thieves  and  murderers. 
For  the  past  thirty  years  every  news  story  purporting  to  be  a 
history  of  the  early  days  in  No  Man's  Land  has  been  largely  a 
sensational  account  of  the  few  homicides  committed  at  Beaver 
City,  with  a  little  historical  setting  for  proper  background. 

As  a  matter  of  history.  No  Man's  Land  was  occupied  by  a 
sturdy,  law  abiding,  homeloving  class  of  people,  principally  from 
Kansas,  Missouri,  and  Illinois.  The  usual  source  of  disorder 
and  crime,  came  from  a  floating  element  making  some  of  the 
towns  their  temporary  abode,  and  the  few  homicides  to  be  noted 
came  from  this  class  through  quarrels  among  themselves,  or  by 
vigilante  action  when  such  action  became  necessary. 

Aside  from  the  "Hay  Meadow  Massacre"  of  Kansas  by 
Kansans  in  the  county  seat  war  between  Huguton  and  Woods- 
dale,  which  occurred  just  over  the  No  Man's  Line  the  record  of 
twelve  thousand  people  in  a  newly  settled  portion  of  the  west, 
in  a  land  without  law  or  courts,  will  show  less  than  twenty  hom- 
icides during  the  five  year  period  of  settlement.  Five  of  these 
occurred  at  Beaver  City,  four  at  or  near  Gate  City.  The  set- 
tlement of  any  other  equal  area  of  the  west,  under  jurisdiction 
of  law^  and  courts  will  usually  show  an  equal  number. 

As  a  substitute  for  courts,  vigilance  committees  were  or- 
ganized around  most  community  centers.  Any  actual  home- 
steader could  become  a  member.  Though  they  seldom  function- 
ed, their  existence  was  a  deterrent  to  crime.  When  necessary 
they  acted  promptly  and  effectively.  Probably  one-third  of  the 
homicides  noted  were  "executions"  by  vigilance  committees, 
either  by  hanging  or  gunshot. 


During  February  and  March  1887,  organization  of  the 
"Provisional  Territory  of  Cimarron"  was  effected  at  Beaver 
City.  Viewed  from  the  present  day,  it  was  a  crude  affair  in 
itself  but  it  was  the  medium  through  which  a  representative  was 
sent  to  Washington,  presenting  credentials  as  a  "delegate  to 
Congress  from  Cimarron  Territory"  and  a  memorial  to  Con- 
gress asking  "Admission  to  the  United  States,"  protection  of 
federal  laws  and  courts,  and  opening  the  lands  to  homestead 


Congress  refused  formal  recognition  to  this  delegate  from 
"Cimarron  Territory,"  though  as  a  lobbiest  or  personal  repre- 
sentative from  No  Man's  Land  this  delegate  appeared  before 
Congressional  committees  giving  first  hand  information  con- 
cerning needed  legislation. 

The  opening  of  public  lands  in  the  Indian  Territory  (Okla- 
homa) was  prominently  before  Congress  at  this  time,  and  legis- 
lation for  No  Man's  Land  became  merged  and  involved  with  this 
issue — the  age  old  conflict  between  those  pioneers  of  the  west, 
the  cattleman  and  the  homesteader, 


R.   K.   PERRY  OUTFIT  IX   1895. 

As  a  result,  No  Man's  Land  narrowly  escaped  going  into 
the  hands  of  the  cattleman.  An  act,  presumably  as  a  tempo- 
rary remedy  for  conditions  in  No  Man's  Land  was  maneuvered 
tnrough  both  houses  of  Congress  in  the  confusion  of  its  closing 
days,  attaching  No  Man's  Land  to  Kansas  for  judicial  purposes, 
directing  a  completion  of  its  survey  but  carrying  no  appropri- 
ation for  this  purpose.  Under  its  provisions,  instead  of  its 
lands  being  opened  to  homestead  settlement,  they  would  have 
been  subject  to  conversion  into  private  hands  through  the  me- 
dium of  land  script,  with  title  passing  in  extensive  blocks  to 
land  speculators  and  cattle  interests.  President  Cleveland  ve- 
toed this  act. 

In  1889  Oklahoma  was  opened  to  settlement,  with  no  pro- 
vision made  for  opening  No  Man's  Land.  Its  settlers,  grown 
weary  of  squatting  on  lands  awaiting  the  doubtful  outcome  of 
congressional  legislation,  abandoned  their  homes  and  flocked  to 
the  Oklahoma  opening.     From  a  population  of  over  twelve  thou- 


sand  in  1887,  its  population  declined  to  less  than  three  thousand 
in  1889. 

In  creating  the  Territory  of  Oklahoma  in  1890,  No  Man's 
Land  was  included  under  the  name  of  "Seventh  County"  with 
Beaver  as  its  county  seat.  Seventh  County  was  changed  to 
Beaver  County  by  popular  vote  at  the  first  election  under  terri- 
torial government. 

With  its  entry  into  Oklahoma  Territory,  the  lands  of  Beaver 
County  were  opened  to  homestead  entry.  Squatters  were  given 
preference  right  to  entry  on  their  claims  and  a  credit  of  two 
years  residence  thereon.  It  was  made  a  separate  land  district, 
with  a  land  office  to  be  located  in  the  district.  Political  town- 
site  boomers  were  nearly  successful  in  locating  this  land  office 
at  Buffalo,  a  non-existant  town  on  the  sparsely  settled  prairies 
but  the  storm  of  protest  arising  from  this  contemplated  action 
caused  the  location  to  be  changed  to  Beaver  City. 

Though  the  lands  in  Beaver  County  were  open  for  free 
homestead  entry,  the  opening  of  the  Cheyenne,  Kiowa,  and  other 
Indian  reservations  and  the  Cherokee  Outlet,  held  the  tide  of 
emigration  to  central  Oklahoma.  From  1890  to  1903  the  popu- 
lation of  Beaver  County  never  reached  five  thousand. 

The  first  material  emigration  to  Beaver  County  since  1886, 
came  in  1903.  The  Rock  Island  railroad  had  constructed  its 
road  diagonally  across  the  center  of  the  county,  and  settlement 
spread  both  east  and  west  from  its  stations.  Overflow  from  the 
Cherokee  outlet  was  also  entering  from  the  eastern  border.  By 
1906  the  population  had  increased  from  less  than  five  thousand 
to  more  than  forty  thousand. 


In  1907  the  western  two-thirds  of  the  county  was  segre- 
gated by  the  Constitutional  Convention,  and  became  Texas  and 
Cimarron  counties.  By  this  division  Beaver  County  lost  its 
railroad  mileage,  and  nearly  two-thirds  of  its  population. 

In  1912  the  Wichita  Falls  and  Northwestern  Railroad,  a 
subsidiary  of  the  M.  K.  &  T.  and  now  merged  with  the  parent 
road,  constructed  its  railroad  partially  through  the  county,  mak- 
ing its  terminal  at  a  point  six  miles  north  of  Beaver  City. 

Like  most  railroad  construction  in  the  west,  with  one  un- 
avoidable exception,  for  one  hundred  and  fifty  miles  its  survey 
avoided  every  established  town  near  its  route.  Its  promotors 
laid  out  their  own  townsites  near  established  towns  whose  resi- 
dents must  necessarily  purchase  lots,  move  their  buildings  to  the 
railroad  and  start  anew. 



The  Beaver  River  runs  eastward  across  Beaver  County. 
On  its  north  are  a  range  of  sand  hills  two  to  four  miles  wide. 
Numerous  streams  and  the  greater  portion  of  the  acreage  and 
population  is  south  of  the  river.  In  avoiding  the  town  of  Beaver 
the  railroad  overlooked  this  material  fact.  Its  terminal  was 
located  at  Forgan  north  of  the  river  and  sand  hills,  while  its 
principal  tonnage  must  come  from  south  of  the  river,  and  Beaver 
City  with  the  gateway  through  which  this  tonnage  must  pass. 

Unable  to  induce  the  railroad  to  build  to  Beaver,  and  aware 
of  its  advantageous  position,  its  residents  were  determined 
Beaver  would  establish  a  precedent  and  be  one  town  that  the 
railroad  would  not  move.  If  the  road  would  not  build  to  Beaver, 
then  Beaver  would  build  its  own  railroad.  In  this  resolution 
the  town  had  the  moral  and  active  support  of  a  large  farming 
community,  who  donated  both  labor  and  money  toward  its  con- 

Thus  came  into  existence  the  Beaver,  Meade  and  Engle- 
wood  railroad,  whose  mileage  within  the  county  this  year  will 
exceed  that  of  the  M.  K.  &  T.  The  first  construction  began  in 
the  fall  of  1913  when  farm  work  was  slack,  and  a  few  farmers 
offered  to  commence  work  on  a  grade  if  townspeople  would  pro- 
vide board  for  themselves  and  feed  for  their  teams.  As  word 
spread  that  farmers  were  going  to  build  the  grade,  others  joined 
the  W'Ork.  Within  a  week  twenty  were  working,  in  another  week 
fifty,  and  thereafter  never  less  than  a  hundred,  until  the  six 
miles  of  grade  were  completed. 

These  farmers  were  paid  a  unique  and  munificient  wage. 
They  were  donating  work,  asking  only  expense  money.  A  trav- 
eling kitchen  followed  the  grade,  providing  meals  for  25  cents. 
Hay  and  grain  were  supplied  at  wholesale,  and  a  team  ordinarily 
ate  75  cents  worth  per  day.  Thus  expense  was  agreed  to  be  75 
cents  per  team,  75  cents  per  man,  and  "10  cents  for  tobacco." 
Those  who  did  not  smoke  were  jokingly  accused  of  hoarding 
their  wages  to  buy  diamonds. 

With  a  completed  grade,  an  appeal  was  made  to  the  M,  K. 
&  T.  Railroad  to  take  the  grade  and  right  of  way  as  a  gift  and 
complete  the  road,  and  the  offer  was  declined.  Funds  were  then 
raised  to  buy  ten  thousand  ties  and  three  miles  of  rails,  and 
business  at  Beaver  was  suspended  while  its  residents  turned  out 
and  laid  these  ties  and  rails.  Liniment  and  court  plaster  were 
in  demand  for  many  days  thereafter. 

Again  the  grade  and  three  miles  of  track  were  offered  to 
the  M.  K.  &  T.  if  they  would  build  the  remainder,  and  again  the 
offer  was  declined.  Assistance  then  came  from  an  unexpected 
source.  That  which  farmers  had  commenced,  another  farmer 


Jacob  Achenbach,  wealthy  wheat  farmer  of  Hardtner,  Kan- 
sas, had  been  in  a  similar  position  to  Beaver.  Owning  several 
thousand  acres,  he  had  been  compelled  to  haul  his  wheat  twenty 
miles  to  a  railroad.  He  solicited  the  Santa  Fe  to  build  an  ex- 
tension to  his  vicinity,  and  was  told  to  "go  build  a  railroad  him- 
self." With  the  assistance  of  Mr.  I.  B.  Blackstock  of  Spring- 
field, Illinois,  an  old  time  friend  and  equally  extensive  farm 
owner  at  Hardtner,  they  constructed  twenty  miles  of  railroad 
to  Kiowa,  Kansas,  then  leased  it  to  a  rival  of  the  Santa  Fe,  the 
Missouri  Pacific. 

Messrs.  Achenbach  and  Blackstock  were  solicited  to  com- 
plete the  B.  M.  &  E.  and  upon  investigation  of  its  possibilities, 
accepted  the  offer  declined  by  the  M.  K.  &  T.  and  the  railroad  to 
Beaver  became  a  reality. 

,  The  Beaver,  Meade  and  Englewood  railroad  is  owned  by 
these  two  men.  It  is  an  independent  railroad  having  general 
offices  at  Oklahoma  City,  and  has  proved  a  financial  success.  It 
is  the  only  railroad  in  Oklahoma  free  from  indebtedness.  In 
1924  twenty  additional  miles  were  constructed  westward  across 
Beaver  County,  and  it  now  has  material  arriving  for  a  twenty 
mile  farther  extension  to  a  connection  with  the  Rock  Island  at 
Hooker,  Texas  County,  to  be  completed  in  1926. 


Beaver  County  of  today  is  one  of  the  progressive  counties 
of  the  State,  with  an  interstate  reputation  as  the  home  of  regis- 
tered cattle,  hogs  and  poultry.  The  best  maintained  dirt  high- 
ways in  the  State  are  found  in  Beaver,  Texas,  and  Cimarron 
counties.  Beaver  has  a  population  of  fifteen  thousand,  pri- 
marily a  farming  community.  Its  court  house  of  concrete  was 
built  without  a  bond  issue,  and  its  sinking  fund  exceeds  its  bond- 
ed indebtedness.  A  stock  pavillion  and  county  fair  buildings  are 
constructed  at  Beaver,  providing  ample  space  for  exhibit  and 
sale  of  registered  stock,  and  for  holding  the  annual  free  county 

The  sod  dugouts  of  No  Man's  Land  have  been  replaced  with 
commodious  farm  homes  and  modern  conveniences.  Many  have 
individual  water  and  lighting  systems  installed.  The  covered 
wagons  of  former  days  are  now  automobiles,  and  the  weekly 
newspaper  is  now  a  radio.  The  country  school  districts  are  to 
a  large  extent  replaced  with  Union  and  Consolidated  schools 
with  motor  transportation  for  pupils. 

Gate,  Knowles,  and  Forgan  are  substantial  towns  along  the 
M.  K.  &  T.  railroad  each  having  several  churches,  good  grade 
schools  and  accredited  high  schools.  Forgan  has  a  municipal 
water  and  light  plant. 



Since  the  clays  of  No  Man's  Land,  Beaver  has  always  been 
the  metropolis  and  seat  of  government.  Its  first  church  build- 
ing in  Oklahoma  now  has  company  in  the  Christian,  Methodist 
and  Baptist  edifices.  Instead  of  its  sod  school  house  of  '86  there 
IS  now  a  modern  brick  grade  building  and  a  $40,000.00  high 
school  building  erected  in  1926.  Its  former  sod  business  houses 
have  been  replaced  by  several  blocks  of  substantial  brick  build- 
ings. Its  former  open  wells  and  oaken  buckets  have  been  sup- 
planted with  a  model  municipal  light,  water  and  ice  plant,  hav- 
ing duplicate  engines,  dynamos  and  pumps,  which  provide  rev- 
enue for  a  municipal  swimming  pool  as  well  as  all  other  munici- 
pal expenses  without  taxation. 


G.    A.    R.    REUNION    IN    1895. 

This  is  the  transposition  from  No  Man's  Land  to  Beaver 


3  9424  02486  2747 


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