xt741n7xm18v https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt741n7xm18v/data/mets.xml Moore, Philip North, b. 1849. 1878  books b96-13-34908827 English Stereotyped for the Survey by Major, Johnston & Barrett, Yeoman Press, : Frankfort, Ky. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Geology Kentucky Hancock County. Coal Kentucky. On the geology of Hancock County  / by P.N. Moore. text On the geology of Hancock County  / by P.N. Moore. 1878 2002 true xt741n7xm18v section xt741n7xm18v 

         N. S. SHALER, DIRECTOR.




           BY P. N. MOORE.

                                    389 & 390

 This page in the original text is blank.



                    SURFACE FEATURES.
  Hancock county is one of the smallest counties of Western
Kentucky. It has an area of 168 square miles. Its northern
boundary is the Ohio river, which, while flowing around this
county, makes two large bends toward the north, so that the
point where the county line comes to the river at the mouth
of Blackford creek, on the western edge of the county, is
further north than the point where the eastern line leaves it
below Cloverport.  Breckinridge county joins Hancock on
the east, Ohio lies on the south, and Daviess on the west.
  The principal stream of Hancock county is Blackford creek,
which drains a larger part of its area than any other, and
forms the county line on the west for a considerable distance.
Yellow, Lead, and Indian creeks are other streams flowing
into the Ohio river, which drain the northern part of the
county, while the head branches of Panther creek drain the
extreme southeastern corner, beyond the branches of Black-
ford creek.
  This county does not present a great variety in its topo-
graphical features. The highest part of the county is in the
extreme southeastern corner, at the head of Panther creek
and Tar Fork, where the hills reach a height of more than
400 feet above the Ohio river. From here there is a gradual
descent towards the west or northwest, until the hills of the
main dividing ridges rarely rise higher than 200 feet above
the river, while the general level of the country is much less.
Accompanying this decrease in height, toward the west, there
is a change in the character of the hills. The slopes are not
so steep, and there is a much larger proportion of level or
gently rolling land. Toward the heads of the streams, in



the southeastern corner of the county, the hills are steep
and the valleys narrow. The type of topography here seems
to be produced by frequently alternating shales and sand-
stones, no one bed of which is of any great thickness or
prominence. It is also partly due to the fact that, lying so
near the heads of the streams, erosion has not been so great,
as the amount of water in the streams is only that which has
fallen upon it, and not the accumulation from above.
  Near the Ohio river, in the upper part of the county, above
Hawesville, the Conglomerate sandstone is present in consid-
erable thickness, and gives rise to a topography, the principal
features of which are comparatively even ridges, with gorge-
like valleys and steep cliffs.
  The Big Clifty or Tar Spring sandstone, at the base of the
Chester Group, is also so heavy and coarse that it produces
nearly the same result in the extreme eastern edge of the
county, where the Conglomerate does not occur.
  The heavy sandstones above the Conglomerate continue
this type of topography, though with much less prominent
features, and steadily growing less and less so, as far to the
west as Hawesville, and for five or six miles back from the
river. From here to the southern edge of the county these
sandstones grow thinner and less prominent, and the hills
lower, with more gentle slopes.
  The topography of the western part of the county presents
even less variety and fewer prominent features than the east-
ern portion. The hills are lower, and, especially toward the
Ohio river, more gently sloping, and the valleys are wider.
The streams, except at their heads, are sluggish, and have
wide flat bottoms. In fact, the bottom lands of the Ohio river
and the principal creeks form, probably, over one half the total
area of the western part of Hancock county.
  The prevailing rocks, as indicated by the topography and
the exposures, which, however, are rare, are shales or shaly
sandstones. On some of the higher ridges a coarse, friable
sandstone occurs; but it is so soft and easily worn away that it
has little more effect on the topography than if it were shale.




  From the larger proportion of bottom land, and the more
gentle slope of the hills, this part of Hancock county is much
the best agricultural region. The wide and fertile bottoms of
the Ohio river afford rich and valuable farms, while the hill
land is all tillable, though not so valuable as the bottoms.

  The geological formations represented in Hancock county
embrace only Carboniferous and Sub-carboniferous rocks, as
      Carboniferous,    -    -      Coal measures.
      Sub-carboniferous,             Chester Group.
                                   J St. Louis Group.

  By far the greater portion of the county is embraced within
the coal measures, which cover all of the western half of the
county, and a large part of the eastern. The Sub-carbonifer-
ous rocks are found only in the eastern portion of the county;
and as they are, both by area and comparative economic value,
of less importance than the coal measures, they will be briefly
  The St. Louis Group is represented in this county in a very
few places, and then only a very small thickness of the upper
limestone is exposed. It is found only in the northeastern
corner of the county, below the Big Clifty or Tar Spring sand-
stone. It is of no economic importance, and is hardly worthy
of mention in this place, except as the lowest formation of the

                    THE CHESTER GROUP.
  The Chester Group has been so often and fully described
in the recent reports of the Geological Survey, that it is not
necessary to repeat the description here. The character,
thickness, etc., of the rocks of this group, and their area in
this county, have been stated in the accompanying report on
the -geology of the region adjacent to the eastern border of
the western coal field," so that a brief statement is all that




is necessary here. The reader is referred to the above-
mentioned report for more detailed information, should he
desire it.
  The whole thickness of the Chester Group, from the Big
Clifty or Tar Spring sandstone, at the base, to the marly
shales and marls at the top, is found in Hancock county, and
both of the above-mentioned members are remarkably well
developed. Chester rocks are found along the whole eastern
border of the county, and extend from three to five miles to
the west, inside the county, before they pass entirely beneath
the drainage. In almost all this area the ridges, at least, are
capped with coal measures; but there are a few isolated cor-
ners where the whole area is covered by Chester rocks.
  One of these is near the Ohio river, at the northeastern
corner of the county; but it is only of very small extent.
Here occur the e2xtensive marly shale deposits of the Buffalo
Wallow, which have been described in the just mentioned
report. These marly shales extend back from the river, along
the eastern border of the county, nearly to its southern line;
but they decrease in thickness in that direction. They are
at their maximum near the river. These shales are also found
further to the west near the river, and on Indian creek; but
here, too, the thickness is comparatively small.
  The Chester limestone is found along the river almost to
Hawesville; but the last stream near the river in which it
is seen is Indian creek.  Back from the river, beyond the
head of Indian creek, the Hawesville and Fordsville road
may be roughly indicated as a boundary line, to the west of
which the Chester rocks will not be found above drainage.
This limit is given in more detail in the same report above
referred to.
  Occasionally, in the eastern portion of the county, a thin coal
is found in the Chester rocks. It shows near the river above
Indian creek, and is reported at low water in the bank of the
Ohio river, above Hawesville.  It is of no economic value,
as it is never workable; but, in spite of this fact, time and
labor are occasionally spent by parties in digging into this




coal, in the vain hope that it will prove thicker when followed
underground some distance-a hope which, it is needless to
say, is never realized.

                      COAL MEASURES.
  The boundary of the coal measures of this county has been
already given in the accompanying report, which has been so
frequently referred to, and it is shown in the accompanying
map by Mr. Page.
  Coal-measure rocks are found over nearly the whole of the
county, although in the eastern portion they cap only the tops
of the hills, the larger part of the area being Chester rocks.
From the just indicated line of the disappearance of the
Chester rocks, westward to the limits of the county, nothing
but coal-measure rocks are found.
  We find in Hancock county a maximum thickness of about
475 feet of coal measures, from the base in the eastern part
of the county to the highest rocks on the Blackford Creek
hills in the western. The greatest thickness measured in any
one section is about 200 feet, so that the following general
section is obtained by the combination of three typical sec-
tions from the eastern, middle, and western portions of the
county. Like all general sections, it serves only as an outline
or key to the stratification of the county, and is subject to
much variation locally. Moreover, in this county the changes
in the rocks, which occupy the same geological horizon, are
very great, expecially the change from coarse sandstone to
shale, and vice versa; hence the necessity of the indefinite
statement "shale and sandstone," which is used occasionally
in the general section. For more detailed illustrations of
the character and changes in the rock strata of this county,
the reader is referred to the accompanying plates of sections
which are drawn from actual measurements at the points
named. These sections, with others not published, are the
material from which the general section is constructed; but
they are more accurate than it is possible to make a general
section, which must be averaged from them all:






24. Sandstone and shale.... ...........
23. Coal () reported in well .
22. Coarse, friable sandstones.t ...........
21. Shale    ....................
2o. Coal, Lewsport coall...............
19. Shale and sandstones.t  e............
z8.Coal . . . . . .. . .. . .. .. . .. . .  .
17. Shale and shaly sandstone .............
i6.Limestone... . . . .. . .. . .. .. . .  .
15. Coal, Adams', Lawson's, Bruner's, & .......
4. Shale and shaly sandstone ...  .........
13. Coal, Jas. Mason's ................
12. Shale and sandstones.t  e............
it. Coal.  .  ..  . . .. .  .. ..  . . . . .
to. Coarse sandstone locally changing to shale .....
9. Coal, Main Hawesville ..............
8. Shale and sandstones.t   e............
7. Coal .
6. Shale.. ... ............
5 Coarse sandstone; upper member of Conglomerate .
4. Shale.       .  . .. ...
3. Coal.. ..... .. ........
2. Shale.. ..   ................
i. Conglomerate sandstone ..............
   Top of Chester limestone.
   The above section holds good for all

20 to 30 feet.

     I".       6
20 to 30
15 to 20
3tO 4
40 to 45
     I ..
i5 to 25
2 to 12
210 4
40 to 50
70 to l8
50 to 80
2to 4
40 to 50
25 to 30
20 to 30
20 to 30
4to 8
35 to 60


of the northern and

western portions of the county, and as far south, at the cen-
tre of the county,as Sulphur Fork of Blackford creek. The
southern and southeastern portions, however, present a very
different section, and one that is not so well known as yet.
Here the section embraces not more than 150 feet of coal
measures, which include two or three thin coals. The rocks
are not well exposed, but seem to be thin-bedded sandstones
and shales. Exposures and developments are so rare that
sufficient time has not been devoted to this region to con-
struct a general section which will be of value. The general
section given in the accompanying report for the region adja-
cent to the eastern border of the coal field is more applicable
to the southeastern part of Hancock county than the one just
  The Conglomerate sandstone is not known in this part of
the county, or, if represented at all, it is by a coarse, friable
sandstone, which is sometimes found below the lowest coal.
Going toward the north, the Conglomerate is first found on
Caney and Lead creeks, and near the Ohio river it forms a
prominent member of the rock series. It will be referred to
further along.




  In the plates of sections accompanying this report is repro-
duced the general section by Dr. D. D. Owen for Hancock
county, published in volume I, first series Kentucky Geologi-
cal Reports. The section as originally published embraced
also the Sub-carboniferous rocks of Hancock and Breckin-
ridge counties; but that portion of it is not republished, as
it is not of especial interest in the present discussion. Dr.
Owen, at the time of the publication of his section, had evi-
dently not examined the western part of Hancock county, as
he does not include the highest rocks of the county by about
150 feet-his section extending no higher than the rocks im-
mediately below Hawesville, in the hill above the old Hawes
  A comparison of Dr. Owen's section with the sections in
the accompanying plates, and the general section just given,
will show considerable differences. The upper part of the
section corresponds very closely with the sections obtained
by the writer, both in thickness and character of rocks, with
the single exception that Dr. Owen records a coal eight inches
thick, the second coal above the main Hawesville seam, of
which the writer has seen no satisfactory evidence.
The lower portion of the section, from the Main Hawesville
coal to the base, is, according to Dr. Owen, about fifty feet
thicker than any measurements by the writer; and it also
shows one more coal than has been seen by him. Dr. Owen,
in his report, states that the evidence upon which he placed
this coal in his section was obtained from borings made near
Cannelton, Indiana, on the opposite side of the river from
Hawesville. There was probably some mistake made in the
records of the borings, or, if this coal be present on the
Indiana side, it is not on this, for the rocks have been seen
at too many exposures to leave any doubt in the matter. It
is but due to DIr. Owen also to state, that, in publishing this
section, he expressly states that it is only preliminary, and
subject tCo correction.
  In volume III, first series Kentucky Geological Reports,
page 458, Mr. S. S. Lyon publishes the following addition to




Dr. Owen's section for Hancock county, beginning with the
upper coal of that section, and including the higher measures
of the western part of the county:
Soft yellow sandstone.        ...... . . . .. ... 2 feet
Sandy shale ........ . . ... 8
Marly shale, with segregations of limestone.... .. . . .. .  3
Black bituminous shale..................    .  4
Lewisport coal   ..4                                    4 inches.
Covered space.                                     36
Sandy shale    .           .                     6
Sandstone      .           .                     2
Coal... .. . .. .. .. .. .. . .. .. .. .. .. . ..  I
Covered space                .................................14 '
Limestone. .. . .. . . . .. .. .. . .. .. .. .. . 14
Thin sandstone and sandy shale  . .6
Calcareous chert beds ..... . . . .. 7
Marly, sandy, indurated mud...........   .. . .           " 7
Very hard, black, pyritiferous limestone ..... .  .   .. .  7
Coal. Top of Dr. Owen's section...     ..... .. .. .. .. .  I  6

  The coal at the base of this section is the coal at the top of
the hill above the old Hawes shaft, near Hawesville, the coal
mined by Mr. Adams on Lead creek, and the coal found to
the southwest, in the vicinity of Utility, and on Caney and
Blackford creeks.
  This section of Mr. Lyon corresponds very closely with
those obtained by the writer in his examinations in this
county, some of which are given in the accompanying plates;
but there is probably a mistake in the number and thickness
of the limestones which are shown at the bottom of the above
section. There should be but one limestone here, the same
which is shown at the top of Dr. Owen's section. This lime-
stone is from two to ten feet thick, and is usually overlaid by
shale or shaly sandstone. There is nowhere in this county,
within the observation of the writer, any such thickness of
cherty rock, or any second limestone overlying this, as rep-
resented by Mr. Lyon.
  The limestone above referred to is one of the most persist-
ent strata in the whole county. It has been traced all through
the western part of the county, from Hawesville, where it dis-
appears, going up the river to Blackford creek. Through all
this region it retains its identity remarkably well, and, in con-
sequence, serves as a valuable geological datum.




  Mr. Lyon has shown the proper number and position of the
coals in the above section.
  The general section of Hancock county shows, therefore, a
total of nine different coal seams; four of which, namely, the
Main Hawesville, the Mason, the Adams or Hawes Hill, and
the Lewisport coals, are well-known persistent seams, and are
or have been worked. The other seams, especially the two
below the Main Hawesville coal, are thin, of no economic
importance, and so little has been seen of them that it is im-
possible to say whether they are persistent or not, and really
deserve a place in the general section.
  The equivalency of these seams with those in other parts
of Western Kentucky is not entirely determined. The sec-
tion seems not to exactly resemble any other,heretofore pub-
lished,for the western coal field. In fact, the changes in this
county toward the southeast corner are such as to render iden-
tification of seams across even that short distance difficult or
impossible. The character of the section in the northern and
western parts of the county is such that the coal seams can
be much more easily traced and identified. There is a large
unexamined area around this county to the south and west,
between it and other parts of Western Kentucky, where the
coal seams have been identified and numbered; but until this
area has been carefully surveyed, and the coals traced across
it and connected with those of Hancock county, no certain
equivalency can be asserted. It is probable that when this is
done some of the coals will be found occupying the positions
of certain of the more persistent and trustworthy seams of
the western coal field, and that others will be found to be
local. In the meantime, the equivalencies which seem the
most probable may be stated, but it will be subject to revision.
  In the report of the Geological Survey of Indiana for 1872,
page 98, Mr. E. T. Cox, the State Geologist of Indiana,
while discussing the geology of Perry county, Indiana, which
lies across the Ohio river from Hancock county, Kentucky,
gives a section at the Hawes mine, including the hill above.
This section extends from the Main Hawesville to the Adams




coal, the upper coal of Dr. Owen's general section for this
county. Mr. Cox's section is as follows:
Sandstone "1Anvil Rock"
Sandy shale.
Limestone .6 feet.
Coal K, with 12 itches of clay parting.2                6 Inches.
Sandstone and shale ................ ...... 60 . '
Coal I.
Sandstone and shale...... .. . .. .. .. .. .. .. . . 80
Coal H.... .. .. .. .. .. . .. .. .. . ... . ..      " 6 "
Sandstone......... . .. .. .. .. .. . .. .. .   . 30
Coal G. .. ..                                      I...... . ..... ...... .. . . .
Hard, bluishshale.......... .. .. .. .. . .    .   25 .
Black bituminous shale .1............. .  .  .... z5
Coal F, " Hawes Coal "........ .... . . .. ... .. . .  4
  The above section is copied exactly as published by Mr.
Cox. He has used his Indiana nomenclature for the different
seams, for the purpose of comparison with his sections for
Perry county, Indiana. The measurements of this section
agree fairly well -with those obtained at the same place by the
writer, except that the total distance from the main Hawes-
ville coal to the coal at the top of the section is some ten
feet greater. Mr. Cox, however, records a coal G, which
the writer of this has no certain evidence of. It is probable
that Mr. Cox has placed it in the section, from the report of
its having been found in the Hawes shaft. It is stated that
there was such a coal passed through in sinking the shaft,
but it is also denied on equally good authority; and as there
is little evidence of it at any other point, it has not been
deemed best by the writer to give it a place in the section.
  In volume III, ist series Kentucky Geological Reports, page
563, Mr. Cox, who was then an Assistant of the Kentucky
Geological Survey, identifies the coal at the top of this sec-
tion as No. i l of the Kentucky general section. This identi-
fication is apparently from pal2ontological evidence only. In
the Report of the Indiana Geological Survey, above referred
to, he repeats his belief in this identification, and refers to
the surprise of himself and Prof. Lesquereux "on finding at
Hawes' mine, near Hawesville, the whole of the coal-measure
strata, from the ' Anvil Rock' sandstone to the Conglomerate




That Prof Lesquereux did not agree with Mr. Cox in this
identification as No. i i, is evident from the fact, that, in his
report, volume III, ist series Kentucky Geological Reports,
page 535, he refers to this coal as No. 3. That Mr. Cox is
mistaken is readily ascertained by a short examination of the
stratigraphy of the western part of Hancock county. The
character of the rocks here is shown by the general section
and the sections of the accompanying plates. It is shown in
these sections that there is a thickness of about 125 feet of
strata, including two, and perhaps three seams of coal, one
of which is of workable thickness, and is one of the most trust-
worthy coals in the county, above the coal which Mr. Cox iden-
tified as No. I i, and the sandstone which he calls the -Anvil
Rock." Of this fact there is the most complete stratigraph-
ical evidence, for the rocks which identify and connect the
sections can be traced without difficulty from the Hawes hill
to the western part of the county, where they pass under the
sections which show the Lewisport coal. This coal is the
second seam above the coal at the top of Mr. Cox's section.
The distance between is from 6o to 70 feet.
  Prof. Lesquereux, in volume III, first series Kentucky
Geological'Reports, page 544, identifies the Lewisport coal
as No. 9. This identification, like that of Mr. Cox, seems to
be based entirely upon palaontological evidence. Prof. Les-
quereux has, therefore, identified one coal as No. 9, while an-
other, which is known, from the best stratigraphical evidence,
to be only 70 feet below, he has called No. 3. Mr. Cox has
called the same coal No. i i.
  According to Dr. Owen's general section for the western
coal field, the normal distance from coal No. 9 to coal No. 3 is
about 500 feet. The distances, according to Dr. Owen's sec-
tion, are undoubtedly somewhat too great, as shown by Mr.
Norwood's more recent sections in the central and southern
part of the field; but no such great decrease in the thickness
is known as would be indicated by the above identification.
  These discrepancies and mistakes afford a striking instance
of the incompetency of paleontological evidence alone, even
    VOL. TV.-26                                          401




when in the ablest hands, for the identification of coal seams
over any great distances. Palaeontological evidence is un-
doubtedly of great value, when used in connection with and
as corroborative of stratigraphical evidence, but alone, it is
insufficient to give a trustworthy basis for conclusions.
  The identification by Prof. Lesquereux of the Lewisport
coal as No. 9 is possibly correct, although it is by no means
certainly determined, as it yet lacks the stratigraphical evi-
dence necessary to settle its equivalency beyond a doubt;
but the position of the coal, its persistence and uniformity of
thickness, as well as the evidence from its paleontology, which
convinced Prof. Lesquereux, all tend to prove that it is the
No. g coal, or coal D, using Mr. Norwood's temporary nom-
enclature for the coal seams of Western Kentucky. If this
be the case, it shows a thinning of the section of the western
coal field,much beyond even that indicated by Mr. Norwood's
sections,in the region adjacent to the Louisville, Paducah and
Southwestern Railroad.
  The coals of the lower part of the section for Hancock
county have not yet, and cannot, in the present state of our
knowledge, be positively identified and numbered with the
seams of the general section for the western coal field. It
has been deemed best, therefore, to give them only the local
names, which will serve to identify them throughout the
county, and to leave the final numbering until the connection
has been traced across the interval which now separates them
from parts of the coal field where the identity and equivalency
of the coals have been well established.
  The number of coals in the general section for the western
coal field, and the final nomenclature to be adopted, have not
as yet been determined, and it is therefore best, before forcing
a classification in any one section, to wait until the field has
been more widely studied, and it can be found which coals are
persistent and thick over the whole field, and which are only




                   DESCRIPrIVE GEOLOGY.
  The geology of the southeastern part of this county has
been outlined in the discussion of the topography; and it has
been stated that it differs in the character of its prevailing
rocks from that part nearer the river. The Conglomerate
sandstone is here missing, and there is a greater prevalence
of shales and thin sandstones. With one very valuable ex-
ception, the coals seem to be thin. It is but justice to say,
however, that exposures are rare, and that thorough pros-
pecting does not seem to have been done over much of the
region; but where seen, the coals were mostly thin, and they
are reported thin at other places where not seen.
  The exception above referred to is the celebrated Breckin-
ridge cannel coal, the mines of which lie in the edge of Han-
cock county, on one of the head branches of Tar Fork. This
coal has been made the subject of a special report by Mr.
Norwood, in which its value is discussed at length. To this
report the reader is referred for detailed information. It is
necessary here to repeat only a few facts in regard to its posi-
tion, etc., in its relation to the general section of the county.
  It is a cannel coal of excellent quality, from 24 to 33 inches
thick, occurring from 25 to 30 feet above the Chester lime-
stone, with a coarse, micaceous, soft sandstone between. The
hills in the vicinity of the mines rise about ioo feet above
the coal. There are but few exposures of the rocks above
the coal, and a full section has not been obtained. The
following section, obtained at a shaft recently sunk in this
vicinity, shows a portion of the rocks in the ridge above the
coal in more detail than anything heretofore published. The
records of the shaft were obtained from Mr. M. R. Taylor,
of Cloverport, by whom it was sunk. At the time of visit,
the shaft was full of water. The bottom of this shaft is prob-
ably io or I5 feet above the coal. The exact level was not
determined. The location of the shaft is not more than one
half mile distant from the entries in the valley:




Soil                                           gik

Light shale.10......             t0
Band of iron ore.  
Dark bituminoushae. . . . . .. ... . . . .. ..               8"
coal..                                          3
V-7ik  ih;c.                                   ............................II
Sandy shale.3................. . ....... 3
Total ....... 58 634
  This coal, like all cannel coals, seems to lie in a basin of
limited extent, and at a distance of a few miles on all sides
it is no longer found. The present mines are in the dividing
ridge between a branch of Tar Fork and Panther creek. The
drifts are all on the Tar Fork side. On the Panther creek
side of the ridge it is reported that the coal has been found at
a number of localities; but it was long since the explorations
were made, and the openings have all fallen in, so that noth-
ing can now be seen of the coal at any of them.
  To the west of this the coal has not been seen by the
writer, and very little has been heard in regard to it. At the
time of the development of the property extensive explora-
tions were made by the company operating the mines; but
nothing has been learned as to the results which they at-
tained. It is probable, however, that the results were nega-
tive, or the facts would be known. To the southwest, on
Adams' Fork, in Ohio county, is an exposure of cannel coal
or cannel shale, which probably occupies the position of this
coal. It has been described in the accompanying report on
the "Geology of the Region Adjacent to the Eastern Border
of the Western Coal Field."
  The equivalency of the Breckinridge cannel coal has long
been a matter of discussion.  It is undoubtedly the lowest
workable coal of the section, and, as such, the equivalent of
coal No. iB of the old reports, or coal L, using Mr. Nor-
wood's temporary nomenclature; but, in the opinion of the
writer, it occupies an independent basin, and cannot be traced
to an absolute identity with any other seam, although it may
occupy nearly the same position.




  On Panther creek few coals have been seen; but those
reported are mostly thin, and have never been worked to
any extent, though often opened for exploration.
The Chester limestone disappears below the drainage on
Panther creek, near Mr. S. G. Lane's. From here to the
western border of the county, in the vicinity of Pellville, the
dip of the rocks is slight, not over 20 to 30 feet to the mile.
The total thickness of rock above the base of the coal meas-
ures is not more than from 200 to 250 feet. The principal
features of the topography have been before described. To-
ward the west the hills decrease in height, and slope more
gently, while the prevailing rock is shale. There is a con-
siderable area in the southwestern portion of this county and
the adjoining region, in Ohio county, where these character-
istics prevail, and where there is an unusual thinning of the
coals. The coal best known seems to be the equivalent of
the Fordsville coal, described in the accompanying report.
It is, however, usually thin, rarely measuring as much as 24
inches in thickness, and more commonly i8. The only work-
able coal known in this region is at Mr. R. S. Lanum's, in
Ohio county, about one and a half miles southwest of Rose-
ville. The coal here at the mouth of the entry, and for some