Other County Histories | Civil War | 1886 | 1913 Vol. 2 | 1916 | Depression |
Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 1. History

by Major A. J. Roof. 1913

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Page 5

Kansas City Limestone-

Feet. Inches.



1. Limestone thin-bedded and cherty in lower part, heavy-bedded in upper, maximum thickness about



2. Shale, blue at top, black and is "slaty" below



3. Limestone, nodular at top, oolitic in places, with shale partings near base (Bethany Falls)



4. Shale, blue in greater part, black and "slaty" at base



5. Limestone



6. Shale and sandstone, 10 to 30 feet, average



7. Limestone, ferruginous (Hertha, base of Missouri group)



Pleasanton Shale-

8. Shale



9. Coal (Ovid), maximum 20 inches



10. Sandy shale and sandstone, about



11. Limestone, blue or gray, hard or nodular

2 to 6


12. Shale, drab



13. Coal



14. Shale, red and clayey, or sandy and with sandstone, about



15. Coal (Mulberry), absent in southern part of county

0 to 2


16. Clay and shale

0 to 20


Henrietta Information-

17. Limestone, gray, massive

4 to 5


18. Shale, blue, red and green, with thin beds of limestone, limestone nodules near base

15 to 20


19. Limestone, buff, with shale partings, about



Cherokee shale-

20. Shale, blue, with black layer (horizon of Lexington coal)



21. Limestone, blue, weathering buff or brown

3 to 4


22. Shale, clayey at top, sandy



23. Limestone, hard, blue, even-bedded, generally in 2 layers



24. Shale, black, soft at top, "slaty" and calcareous below

3 to 4


25. Coal (Summit)


0 to 6

26, Clay and shale



27. Limestone, buff, nodular



28. Shale, dark to black, with concretions of limestone and thin shreads of coal (horizon of Mulky coal)



29. Shale, sandy, with thin coal seams and sandstone



30. Coal (Bedford) cut out by sand stone in places


0 to 28

31. Shale, sandy, with clay at top and black "slaty" shale below



32. Limestone, black, pyritiferous, fossiliferous


0 to 10

33. Coal (Bevier)


0 to 4

34. Clay

2 to 4


35. Limestone, gray, nodular at top

2 to 5


36. Shale, argillaceous



37. Limestone, drab, weathering brown



38. Shale, blue above, darker below



39. Limestone, dark blue, weathering buff


6 to 10

40. Shale, black, "slaty," some clay at base



41.Coal (Tebo)


16 to 20

42. Clay and shale



43. Limestone, bluish, nodular



44. Coal



45. Clay and shale



46. Interval to base of Coal Measures, not exposed, about

175 to 225


Many small mines are found in Livingston county, but all of them produce coal for local use only. Over most of the county the outcropping rocks belong to the Henrietta formation and Pleasanton shale. There is an area of Cherokee shale along Grand river, and high table-lands capped by the Bethany Falls and associated limestones in the southern and western parts of the county. A thickness of about four hundred and seventy-five feet is exposed, with probably two hundred feet lower Pennsylvanian found only in drillings.

The distribution of the Kansas City, Pleasanton, Henrietta, and Cherokee formations is shown on the state geologic map. In general, the beds lie horizontal, but the geology of certain areas is complicated by low dips. A syncline, or trough-shaped area in which beds lie at relatively low levels, probably accompanied by a little faulting, appears to traverse the county in a northwest-southeast direction from near Wheeling to the northwest corner. At Graham's Mill, Springhill, Utica and other places, irregular dips occur.

The Ovid coal probably occurs under all the high land in the "Blue Mound" region, in the vicinity of Mooresville, and in the northwestern part of the county. It has been reported up to twenty inches thick, but its average thickness is probably not over six inches. It is of little importance.

The Mulberry coal occurs in parts of the county covered by the Pleasanton formation, except the south row of townships. Its thickness ranges from six inches to two feet. Its distribution is irregular and the character of the roof is changeable. It has been mined at Utica, north of Chillicothe, and northwest of Wheeling, and has been the source of most of the coal produced in the county.

The Bedford coal outcrops in many places in the southeastern part of the county and has been mined near Bedford. Its thickness is variable because of the nature of the roof, being twenty-eight inches in one place and little or nothing where the outlying sandstone cuts down into it. In many places the sandstone rests directly on the coal, but in a few shale intervenes. This seam is thought to have been found near Chillicothe, where it varied from nothing to thirty-three inches, and at Utica, where it was twenty-six to thirty inches. The Bedford is probably the same as the upper Bevier bed of Chariton and Linn counties.

The Bevier coal, where it outcrops, is not over four inches thick, but may possibly increase to the west, as it is a persistent horizon and commonly productive.

The Tebo coal is exposed in a few places in the extreme eastern part of the county, where it has been mined. Its thickness ranges from sixteen to twenty inches and it is generally overlain by clay that in places pinches out so as to permit the black slaty shale above to rest directly on the coal. The lower part of the bed contains considerable pyrite in places. Its extent north and west of the area of outcrop is unknown.

The absence of extensive mining developments in Livingston county makes an estimate of its resources very difficult. It appears probable, however, that there is at least an average of thirty inches of coal in beds fourteen inches or more in thickness. An estimate would make the total coal reserve of county 1,532,160,000 tons.

The south bluffs of Grand river show many fine exposures of the various coal seams and the accompanying strata. Beginning on the road down the branch to the northeast corner of Sec. 11 T. 56 N., R. 23 W. a measurement made included all of the beds from Nos. 16 to 34, of the general section. All the coal beds are less than six inches thick except the Bedford, which is fourteen to eighteen inches, is overlain with massive sandstone, and is underlain by a considerable thickness of clay and shale. The nature of the roof indicates that the thickness of the coal in this vicinity is variable. The coal is absent in places, but where it is overlain with shale, as it is locally, its thickness is more constant. Much coal has been mined for local use in the N. E. Sec. 11, T. 56 N., R. 23 W. At the slope of J. W. Kimber in the S. W. N. E. of this section the coal is reported to be fourteen to twenty-four inches thick, averaging eighteen inches. It was overlain with shale and underlain with clay.

West of Bedford, near Grand river (N. E. S. W. Sec. 31, T. 57 N., R. 22 W.) is the shaft of Wm. Kelly, abandoned at the time it was visited. The shaft is reported to be thirty-three feet deep and the coal (Bedford) to be eighteen inches thick.

Up the hill southeast of the shaft, Nos. 21 to 28 of the general section are exposed, the horizon of the Lexington coal lying eighty feet above the coal mined. About one-half mile west of this is Monroe Ford, near which is the stripping of John Plaster in a seam thought to be the Bedford (N. E. S. E. Sec. 36, T. 57 N., R. 23 W.). This coal is reported to be three or four feet thick, but the present stripping shows only twenty-six inches, the upper part of the bed having been removed by recent erosion and replaced by alluvium. The coal appears to be clean and free from "sulphur." The reported thickness is unusual for the Bedford seam. Fifteen feet south only sandstone and shale and two very thin coal beds are exposed fifty feet above the creek, the thicker coal beds probably being a few feet below the water.

Coal has been mined in the N. W. Sec. 18, T. 56 N., R. 21 W., but nothing is done now. Across the road, in section 13 near Grand river, the Bedford horizon appears to be barren.

In the N. Sec. 29, T. 56 N., R. 21 W., Broadhead cites the occurrence of twenty inches of coal at the Tebo horizon. Above it are thirty inches of clay overlaid by the same amount of black, "slaty" shale capped with a thin limestone layer. At the mouth of Toe String creek he noted eighteen inches of coal in the same bed, ten feet above Grand river level. Here there are six feet of shale between the coal and its six inch limestone cap-rock, and four and one-half feet between the coal and a thin limestone below it.

Of several thin coal beds in the southeastern corner of the county, only the Bedford and the Tebo are of workable thickness. Neither appears to be suitable for mining on a large scale, though the Tebo lies too low to outcrop nearly everywhere and may prove more attractive in undiscovered fields where it can be found only with the drill.

Coal was formerly mined by drifts at several places in the vicinity of Wheeling and reported to be of good quality. There is some question as to its correlation with the Mulberry, as the limestone at the top of the Henrietta formation and part of the shale below it were eroded away before the deposition of the coal. Farther northeast (W. S. W. Sec. 29), the dip brings up the Summit coal, which, however, is only a few inches thick.

Folding, apparently accompanied by faulting, has taken place in the vicinity of Slagle's mill. Just south of the bridge in the western part of Sec. 24, T. 58 N., R. 23 W., a section similar to that at Collier's mill is exposed on the west side of the creek. To the north, in the N. W. of Sec. 24, the Lexington horizon is exposed a few feet above water level, and about six feet north of this the Mulberry coal outcrops at the same level. Up the branch through the middle of Sec. 23, the limestones at the base of the Missouri group dip strongly to the northeast and are not more than twenty-five or thirty feet above the flood plain of Medicine creek, indicating a vertical displacement of one hundred feet or more. From the northwest corner of Sec. 24 along the west side of Medicine creek to the S. E. of Sec. 14, there are a number of drifts and shafts working the Mulberry seam.

The most important of these is the shaft of E. S. Inman on the land of Inman Bros. This is forty-eight feet in depth and the coal is reported to be eighteen inches thick. Where Medicine creek crosses the north county line, the Summit horizon is exposed near water level and is barren of coal.

No coal has been mined very near Chillicothe. Just northwest of town in the southeast corner of Sec. 23, T. 58 N., R. 24 W., feeble attempts have been made to mine what is probably the Mulberry seam. Drillings for wells in the vicinity of Chillicothe report as much as four and one-half feet of coal, including, probably, much black shale. The most reliable data are the records of a drilling and shaft reported by Broadhead and Winslow. The record given by Broadhead shows six inches of coal (Summit?) at one hundred and fifty-five feet, twenty inches of "black smut" at one hundred and seventy-five feet and twenty-four inches of "black smut" at one hundred and ninety-seven feet, the latter probably at the Bedford horizon.

Coal is reported to have been formerly stripped five miles east of Chillicothe (Sec. 34, T. 58 N., R. 23 W.), and as found in a shaft was about twenty inches thick. This is thought to be the Mulberry seam.

The Mulberry coal has been mined at several localities in the north-central part of the county and is exposed in a number of places but in most of them is too thin to be of importance. Near Graham's mill, on the east side of Grand river, the coal was shafted and is reported twelve to fourteen inches thick. It was not being worked when visited. About five miles north of Chillicothe (Sec. 2, T. 58 N., R. 24 W.) are the Cox mines. A number of drifts and shafts have been operated in the vicinity for over forty years.

The Mulberry coal at these mines, as at other places in the county, seems to be rather irregular both in distribution and thickness, varying between fourteen and twenty-four inches. The roof is a shale containing remains of plants. Mining is done on a modified longwall method. The floor is in places a limestone, but in others as much as four feet of shaly clay lies between the bottom-rock and the coal. At the J. B. Cox mine (N. E. S. E. Sec. 11) like conditions prevail. The coal is hoisted by horse-power and consumed locally and at Chillicothe. A short distance north of the Cox mines the only rock exposed is sandstone.

Coal has been mined at a number of places on the south bluffs of Grand river near Utica. Near the old mill site, the limestone at the top of the Henrietta formation outcrops about fifteen feet above water. About one hundred and fifty feet west it dips and disappears below water.

This coal is stratigraphically higher than the Mulberry, and has been used at the brick yard, being stripped with the shale. Up the river the rocks again rise, and the Mulberry coal was formerly mined on the land of John Stone for a quarter of a mile or more along it. According to Broadhead the coal was only nine inches thick.

About 1870 a shaft was sunk at Utica to a depth of one hundred and ninety feet and the following is reported: at twenty-five feet from surface twelve inches of coal, at eighty feet fifteen to sixteen inches, and at one hundred and ninety feet twenty-six to thirty inches. The latter seam was worked. Two miles north of Utica (S. E. N. E. Sec. 8, T. 57 N.) R. 25 W.) is the shaft of Wm. Fullwood, on the land of G. T. Walters. The coal lies at a depth of fifty-one feet, and is reported to vary from eight to twenty inches, with an average of fifteen inches. The shaft starts about the level of the top of Bethany Falls limestone and probably operates the Ovid seam. It is overlain by shale, underlain by clay, and worked longwall. Many small drift slopes and shafts have been operated in this vicinity for many years and the product consumed mainly at Mooresville.

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