1876 History - Flora

The soil on the prairie is a deep black loam, and in the timber a light, grayish clay, the latter is very productive and much better adapted to wheat growing than the prairie lands.
Bowlders of Granite or other rock are rarely found of any great size, and in many parts of the county, whether in prairie or timber, they are unknown, whilst in other sections there are enough of small dimensions, weighing from one to five hundred pounds, to obstruct, to some extent, the tilling of the soil, but these are few in number. The largest rock in the county that is visible above the soil, stands in the southeast corner of section 28, township 16, range 7, on the farm of Judge Mullen, in Garrett Township. It protrudes considerably above the ground, showing probably 1,000 cubic feet. All of these surface rocks have been rounded by the action of water, and evidently have been transported by natural agencies from their native beds.
Upon the farm of R. Patterson, section 33, 16, 9, in Camargo Township, and on the Embarras river, is a fine fountain of living water, widely known as "Patterson's Spring," and a similar one on the Okaw, upon the farm of Thos. Brian, section 14, 16, 7, called "Sulphur Spring," and another in Hackett's Grove, section 31, 16, 9, the overflow of which finally reaches the Embarras, through Scattering Fork. These locations, offering the double inducements of shade and water, are favorite places of resort for celebrations which, from numbers, have necessarily an alfresco requirement.
On the farm of Wessel Blaase, in Bourbon Township, some mounds have been found, from one of which human remains were taken, in excavating for a building. Other buildings in the county have been set upon slight elevations, all of which, from the surroundings, were doubtless the work of human hands, at least such is the popular belief, assisted, in some instances, by ancient marks upon large trees, all of which face to one point. If an antiquarian society were formed it is possible that Douglas county might furnish some facts of value to the scientist or the antiquarian.

Extracted 11 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Douglas County, Illinois, Compiled by Order of the Board of Supervisors for the Centennial Anniversary of American Independence, July 4, 1876, pages 34-35.

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