Mention of the “Alphadelphia Tocsin”

History of Washtenaw County, Michigan









Vol. I




There have been several newspaper publications in the lower town. The “Signal of Liberty, an anti-slavery organ, was published by the Rev. Guy Beckley and a Mr. Foster, on the east side of Broadway. At an office or offices on the other side we had ” The Gem of Science,” published by San ford & Sanford, also a weekly ; “The Primitive Expounder,” a semi-monthly, by Thornton & Billings, two Universalist ministers; “The Alphadelphie Tocsin,” published in the interest of the Alphadelphian Association, located in Kalamazoo. Besides these there was the ” Native American,” a political paper; the “Young -Yankee,” devoted to light reading and amusement; “The Corrector,” instituted to make crooked people walk straight, an organ much needed even at the present day. The last named, however, were short-lived, and expired after an ephemeral existence of a few months.

“Missouri Town Might Assure Stockton as Atheist Target”, 1963

An article on Liberal from the September 4, 1963 Lawrence Daily Journal World. Front page news items were “80 Persons Die in Swiss Crash”, “2 Negroes in School in Spite of Wallace”, “Khrushchev Tour Indicates Moscow Changing Strategy”, “Topeka Youth Crackdown Set”, “Johnsons Meet Swedish King”, “KU Soph Admits Breaking Windows Windows in Rival Frat Home”, “Baldwin Backs Swimming Pool”, “Report Due Over Health Studies in Classrooms Here”, “City Commission Delays Action on Nursery School”, “Cooler Readings Still Forecast”, “Glowing Talk Made Here on Perry Project”.

Marvin Vangilder, who wrote the article, became a historian of Carthage, Missouri and was still publishing articles in 2009.

Photo of Marvin Vangilder from his website

Lawrence, Kansas, Wednesday, September 4, 1963


By Marvin Vangilder
The Carthage Press
Written for the Associated Press

Liberal, Mo., may have a message of assurance for some residents of Stockton, Kan., who have become disturbed by plans for an atheist center there.

Speaking from experience, the western Missouri town can say to the Stockton people: “Never fear. Christianity will prevail.”

Stockton was selected last month by Mrs. Madalyn Murray of Baltimore for an atheist information and education center. The woman, who won her suit to have declared unconstitutional required prayers and Bible reading in public schools, has accepted a tract of land near the north central Kansas town “to teach the concept of man living with man, rather than man living with God.”

Liberal was founded in 1881 as an atheist center by George H. Walser, an Illinois lawyer who was a disciple of Robert G. Ingersoll, agnostic leader. Walser, who was an officer in the Union Army, came to Lamar, Mo. after the war, became Barton County’s first superintendent of schools, later prosecuting attorney, and then a member of the Legislature.

He branched out into other lines. One was land speculation. Out of this dream the realization of his dream — a town free of churches, and among other things saloons, but one where a man might pursue any line of thought or belief without interference or complaint.

He was joined at the townsite by G. W. Baldwin, an atheist financier, and a host of other agnostics, free thinkers and later spiritualists. Soon there was a bustling community on the prairie just fine miles east of the Kansas line.

Its Catalpa Park became the site of a large pavilion and ampitheater, with an open stage and a well-kept race track. There conventions of various groups of atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, spiritualists and others attracted delegates from throughout the world. Horse racing was sometimes part of the entertainment. Walser established the Instruction School, then the Liberal Normal School and Business College which later merged with the new Freethought University. Classes were held at the Universal Mental Liberty Hall. Famed mediums came for seances in Spiritualist Ha..

Christians were not encouraged to settle here. But they took up the challenge by establishing the town of Denison, across the tracks of the Memphis and Fort Scott Railroad. Some Liberal merchants even moved into the new town.

A major political battle started the downfall of the great experiment. On the eve of 1888 presidential election, the community was assembled in Universal Mental Liberty Hall. Walser, a Republican, spoke in favor of Benjamin Harrison and Baldwin, a Democrat, lauded Grover Cleveland. After the meeting the hall was “closed for repairs” and never again opened under non-Christian auspices.

Later that year a renowned medium, Dr. J. B. Bouton, came to Spiritualist Hall. Questions addressed to deceased loved ones were written on a slate and passed upward to the “spirit world.” In each case the slate quickly returned bearing an answer. But in the midst of the session, the building caught fire.

Bent on escape and still wearing the robes and trappings of their profession, two associates of Dr. Bouton descended from the attic through a trap door. The two confessed they had been supplying the answers when the slates arrived in the attic “spirit world.”

The Christians of Denison soon began moving en masse across the tracks. The Methodist Church bought Universal Mental Liberty Hall and converted it into a house of worship. The Denison Christian Church was moved to Liberal.

By 1900, less than 20 years after the launching of the project, the power of the founders had been broken. Conversions of former atheists and agnostics, churchmen said, numbered in the hundreds. And most of those not converted eventually departed. Walser retired to his country home to write poetry.

Liberal today has five large and active churches with membership encompassing the majority of the town’s 612 residents.

* * * * *

A neighboring article is “K.C. Mayor Happy over Racial Tone” about the lowering of racial barriers in Kansas City. Below is an ad for “Wanted, Corrugated Boxes and Newspapers” for Lawrence Paper Co.

McCrory-Otasco has an ad for shotguns with “FREE!” Remington “SHUR SHOT” shells with the purchase of any one of the guns. A bicycle basket was 99 cents and flashlight batteries were 11 cents each.

The Alphadelphia Association in The People’s Journal

“The People’s Journal” appears to have been a weekly published by John Saunders and William Howitt from Jan 1846 to Jul 1849, and then as “People’s and Howitt’s Journal” from July 1849 to June 1851.

* * * * *

Edited by
John Saunders
Vol. III

People’s Journal Office

The Wisconsin Phalanx is an association approximating to Fourier’s plan, in that State. By a printed report of their first year’s operation, it appears that this association owns in fee simple an estate of 1553 acres, with four distinct mill sites and sufficient water power. Their soil is excellent, and their property wholly unincumbered. Their moral and social condition is also spoken of as prosperous. Lastly, we have to notice the Alphadelphia Association, in the State of Michigan. It also approximates to Fourier’s plan. There is an excellent water power on the domain, which it was proposed to sell out to the capitalist portion of the society. The first wing of their mansion is completed, and is intended to be used principally as a school, and they already print and publish in the establishment the Alphadelphia Tocsin, a fairly edited paper, advocating association, and illustrated with small woodcuts by their own members.

Memoirs of Nona Strake, Part Three

A memoir by Nellie (Nona) Lenora Reynolds, daughter of Charity Alice McKenney.

Continued from part two.

Both the ocean and bay beaches were full of clams of different kinds. While we were living at the Big Stump place, Bart and I used to take our small homemade wagon to the beach and dig razor clams with our hands. It didn’t take long to fill that wagon bed and we took them home, dumped them out on the ground and chopped them up for the chickens. Hens had to eat and wheat was hard to get. The tide didn’t have to be very low, either, and such clams!! If anyone found a clam now as big as those were they would think they had the grand-daddie of all clams. We caught sole, and flounder with our bare feet in any tide pool or on the mud flat. The indians taught us how to do that. Great big crabs were just anywhere around the water of the lower bay or ocean beach, just for the taking. But we were not used to a purely fish and meat diet. Until we understood the cultivation of this kind of soil and knew just when and what to plant, our gardens were not so much, either.

It took a little cash with which to get by. My father and his Brothers, as did others, got theirs out of the beach sand. When heavy tides had washed out the gray sand down to the black sand that lay just underneath where you could get at it, they rigged up their sluce boxes, made of rough lumber, got their shovels and went to work and ended with their day’s work in their gold pans. Quick silver was poured in and stirred around until it had gathered up all that fine flour gold. It was then put into a bullet ladel and put over an open fire until all the quick silver was burned up, leaving the pure gold which looked something like a piece of cream colored sponge. Later they learned to squeeze their mercury through a piece of chamois and thereby save the mercury to be used again. Every man had a bullet ladel. He had to make his own ammunition. To mine for gold on the beach they had to have plenty of water. When I was a child this beach country was cut with mining ditches. Many newer schemes were tried out for saving the beach gold, but none were much more successful than by way of the old sluce boxes.

Most everyone along the beach and some in Waldport has some cattle. They made their own fences – if they had any – of split posts and rails. There were no heard laws in those days.

My grandmother cooked on a fireplace for several years as did many others. We had the cook stove we brought from Minnesota. Our organ was the first one on the Alsea Bay. I used to watch my grandmother make tallow candles. She thought, and rightly, that they made a better light than the old bowl of seal oil with a rag stuck into it. That was still used by many of the early settlers. They had no luxuries, only the bare necessities and not always that, but we got along and were well and healthy. Most kids went barefoot all summer, even to school. I did until I was about 12 years old. When we went anywhere we walked or went in a row boat. I can’t even remember when I learned to row a boat. The Starr’s at Yachats and Dave Williams at the mouth of Big Creek each had a team of horses. My grandfather had a yoke of oxen. It took them all day to go from where they lived in a log house by Vingie Creek, to Waldport and back. One 4th of July the Reynolds clan all gathered at “The Rocks” for a picnic. My mother’s contribution to that feast was an iron kettle full of yellow rutabagas cooked with bacon. It was good, we thought, and everyone enjoyed it. In those days we could not buy canning jars. Every bottle that was found on the beach was carefully saved and my mother canned huckleberries and blueberries in them and sealed them up with pitch. They tasted pretty good in the winter along with salt salmon and potatoes. Root crops usually stayed fresh in the ground unless it was an extra cold winter.

I always liked the indians. Their children were among my first playmates. One little girl named “Idee” was about my age and we played together almost all the time. It doesn’t take a child long to pick up a new Tonge. My folks didn’t” realize that I was speaking Chinook until one day my mother remarked that it was about time ‘dee was coming since the noon meal was ready. I looked out and there she came. I said to my mother, “Halo muck a muck, hiyd Idee.” She didn’t Know what I was talking about. I had just told her that altho food was scarce there was lots of Idee.

There isn’t much left of the “Big Stump”. It stands well out from the fluff near three miles south of Waldport. Then we lived there it was a really big stump. It is redwood and was standing in its own original soil – a thick black muck that used to be covered sometimes by the heavy surf when the gray sand was washed out. There are many places along our beach that are underlaid by this same muck and there are old logs and stumps and roots partly petrified imbedded in it. My brother and I used to climb the big stump and look down inside – for it was hollow and partly filled with shells. My folks asked the indians why the shells. They said that it had always been a rule that when an Alsea Indian went to Yachats or one of the Yachats tribe went to the bay they always threw in a shell when they passed – sort of a tollgate. They also said that their ancestors remembered seeing the old stump emerge from the bluff- by erosion, of course. So all this sandstone and top soil was laid down on top of an ancient redwood forest. It shows also, how out coast line is receding.

There is an old, old Indian legend I heard when I was a child about an Indian maiden named “Calling Quail” and her lover, “Gray Wolf”, who used to meet at the old Keady Spring. He was one of the upper Alsea tribe and they were at war with the lower tribe. These young folks had to meet in secret. He would come down river in his canoe and meet her at the spring, which was at that time surrounded by old growth spruce. One night, Standing Bear, a member of the enemy tribe, waylayed them and shot one arrow thru Gray Wolf’s back. She put the body of her lover into her canoe and paddled out over the bar on an outgoing tide and that ended the story. (The above “Memoirs” were copied from the files in the Lincoln County Historical Society by Art Kelly.)

Nellie (Nona) Reynolds is buried at Yachats Mem. Park Cent, Yachats, OR

1953 image of “Big Stump at Oregon Coast Today. When Nellie had written of it in 1959 she noted it was much diminished in size from what it had been originally. The article notes too that the 14 foot stump has been “burned and chopped”.

Ads for Stanton Photo Company Reprints

What years did the Stanton Photo Company in Springfield, Ohio hawk their novelty prints? Thus far, a Google Book search returns the earliest ad they’ve scanned as 1900, and the latest as 1912, but so few of the ads thus far are returned that I imagine that’s not the full range of years.

Perusing them is fun, wondering what periodical the Stanton Photo Company ad was seen in which prompted the ordering of reprints by one’s family, and considering what they thought as they looked over the other ads for the time, what might have been attractive to them. Poultry incubators? Luxurious glycerin soap? A free gold ring?

I imagine someone looking over a periodical several times over several days, during a quiet period in the afternoon, wondering about the free gold ring, deciding finally it’s just a gimmick, but increasingly attracted to the idea of some reprints, which they finally bring up over breakfast.

“There’s an ad for reprints, 12 for a quarter. That seems an excellent price.”

“What worries me is sending the original photo through the mail. What if it’s damaged or lost?”

Ad from “Poultry Success”.

Ad from “The Metropolitan”.

Ad from “Home and Flowers”.

Ad from a textbook on salesmanship.

Memoirs of Nona Strake

A memoir by Nellie (Nona) Lenora Reynolds, daughter of Charity Alice McKenney.

Nellie was born 1877 April 22 in Minnetonka, Minnesota and died December 6, 1963 in Coos Bay, Oregon. Nellie first married (1) Oscar William Peterson abt. 1900 in Lincoln Co., Oregon. He was born about 1873 in Wisconsin. She married (2nd) Frederick William Strake, son of John Strake and Augusta, on October 4, 1914 in Waldport, Oregon (by C. E. Linton, J.P., wit. C. M. Johnson and Dolores Johnson). He was born October 23, 1885 in Wassau, Wisconsin and died May 9, 1973 in Lincoln County, Oregon.

Thanks to Allan McKenney for passing this along.

* * * * *


The Reynolds’ families came west from Minnesota in the early 1880’s. My father, Albert Reynolds, my mother, Alice (McKinney) Reynolds, his brother, Josiah (Joe) C. Reynolds, my adopted brother, Bart McKinney, age almost 4 and I, Nona, age six years, coming first in 1883. Even though I was so young parts of that trip are still vivid in my memory. We came via the southern route and by emigrant train, which meant that we had to bring our own bedding, food, etc. The seats were just bare wooden slats like old park benches with backs.

There was still snow on the ground when we left our home on Lake Minnetonka, May 21st, 1883. We found the southern deserts aglow with cacti bloom. We also saw a lot of “Greasers” as the Mexican Indians were called at that time. My mother was pretty badly shocked at first sight of their scanty attire. The men wore just a loin cloth. One man running beside the track as the train was slowing for a stop, lost even that. She nearly passed out. People were super-modest in those days.

Los Angeles was not the metropolis then that it later became, mostly old adobe houses then. San Francisco wasn’t a very big city then either. We stayed there for some days at the old Palace Hotel until the boat left for Portland. The Southern Pacific R.R. ended at San Francisco. We reached San Francisco on June 1st. We came north on the old passenger ship, Oregon. My father paid for first class fare, but there was some bobble and it was found there were not enough state rooms to go around and we had to sleep steerage and that was pretty bad, shut up down there with all that mass of sick, vomiting humanity. Luckily none of us were seasick. We ate first class. Once just to see what it was like, we all went down and ate steerage. I can remember the table hung by chains, everyone stood up to eat. Of course, we kids couldn’t see the top. My father lifted each of us up for a look. The fare was boiled salt beef with blood running out of it, boiled potatoes with the jackets on and cooked in seat water, and hard tack. That’s what sailor’s bread was called. One’s teeth had to be extra good to be able to gnaw on a piece of hard tack and get any nourishment out of it. Once was enough, we didn’t try that eating place again.

The Palace Hotel in 1880, which had been built in 1875. Image from The Palace Several engravings there show it as a vision “at the end of the trail” for pioneers in their land schooners.

– 2 –

Bart and I had the time of our lives running and playing on the deck. It was almost deserted because nearly all the passengers were sick. In fact, my mother was the only woman on deck. It took us five days to reach Portland. The old “Oregon” was wrecked on the Columbia bar on her next trip north, so I think we were lucky.

We had old Minnesota friends in Portland and others around the village of Beaverton. We spent most of that summer there. Good beaver dam land could be bought for $5.00 per acre, but the Reynolds family was headed west. By that time there was a railroad from Portland to Eugene. We went to Corvallis and from there to Newport by stage. There were two regular all night stops, but it took us three because of a forest fire and a log across the road where we had to wait until it was cut out. We had shipped our furniture from Minnesota so that took an extra wagon and team from Corvallis. We stayed all night at George Collins’ at Seal Rock. My father had been to the land office in Oregon City and bought school land that took in all of the “Big Stump” country. Our south boundary was at Little Creek and extended north nearly a mile. We lived in what was called the “Keady Shack” a shake shanty, two rooms as I remember it and built on the edge of old growth spruce between Rocky Point, where present hiway reaches the bay beach and about where the Phil Lettenmaier office stands, until my father had a house built for us on the new land. The shack mentioned above was built by Bill Keady’s father, W. P. Keady, who had taken up that land, and it extended south to just below Yaquin John Point, sometime in the 70s.

David Rubel had in 1876 homesteaded land upon which Old Town (Waldport) stands. His land took in Indian Slough too and beyond. When we landed in Waldport there were four houses, not much more than shacks. One of them, Mr. Ruble’s was a log house. The Rubles, had, in 1871, moved from Eola, near Salem to the Alsea Valley. There he built a sawmill and lumber from that mill built the first house in the Alsea Valley. He also built a grist mill. At about this time all the lower Alsea Bay Country and the Yachats country was included in the Yachts Indian Agency, George P. Litchfield, Agent. From 1871 until 1874 the Indians carried Mr. Ruble’s four down the river in canoes to the present town of Waldport for 50 cents per 100 lbs. By 1874 his business had grown and he conceived of building scows to send his flour down in. Those scows were built of two inch plank and were too heavy to get back up river again, so the lumber was later used for other things. In fact Waldport’s first school house was built of some of that lumber. It stood somewhere near where the old skating ring stands. They needed a post office too, and the settlement also needed a name. Since he had laid the foundation for a town he thought he should have the post office and he wanted to name it “Fairhaven”.

When we first came and had moved into the “Keady Shack” my mother did the first washing since we left Beaverton. She had no clothes lines yet so she had to hang her clothes on the Salal bushes nearby. While she was spreading the first piece out these looked down on the ground and there was a human skull grinning up at her. It was a real shock to her then. We had not been here long until we were used to sights like that.

The Indians did not bury their dead clear underneath the ground. A grave was dug, the top of which came level with the top of the homemade casket which was left open and a sort of chicken coop roof of hand split shakes covered it. It had to be left open so the spirit could get out when the time came. They had a way of sort of mummifying their dead. In some the flesh dried on the bones, in others the flesh remained soft and sort of spongy. Some were put in open caskets and placed in tiers in some small buildings.

Near the school house was the tomb of old Chief Yaquina John’s only son. The chief lived up on the point that bears his name. After his son’s death he had a path, or rather a wide swath, cut through the old growth spruce and all the underbrush cut out, too, so he could look from his cabin on the point to see the small whitewashed building in which his son’s body lay.

By the time we came to Alsea Bay the undergrowth had grown up high again, but we could still see the gap in the old growth trees. As a child I used to play in what was left of his cabin. There was nothing much left of it but his old stone fireplace and some rotting shakes. But what of that time itself? I remember most distinctly what the grave looked like inside. Someone, a common churl, the lowest of all low creatures, had torn off several pickets from the fence that surrounded it and also two or three boards from the wall. Inside where should have rested in peace a chief’s son, was a snarl of rotting blankets, spruce root basketry and long black hair. Out of the midst of this was a dried arm, upthrust, stark and accusing! Upon one crooked finger still hung a silver ring. Mr. Ghoul had not had the nerve to dismember that finger from that dried and shrunken hand to get it for himself, but rumor said, at that time, that he had taken $25.00 out from under those dead shoulders. He even boasted of it. I could mention that man’s name, but why do it? He passed to his doubtful reward many hears ago. He did not live on our side of the bay.

Continue to part two

Memoirs of Nona Strake, Part Two

A memoir by Nellie (Nona) Lenora Reynolds, daughter of Charity Alice McKenney.

Continued from part one.

Most of the Indians had been taken to the new reservation on the Siletz River long before we came. A good part of the old, old sand spit upon which Waldport was built was used by them for a burial ground and had been for years. If a man owned a canoe it was out in a certain place and he was buried or placed (in it) along with some of his possessions and a small roof built over it. But if he owned two canoes the second one was turned upside down over the first. I know where several of such burial places were among the bull pines. All that remained of many graves was a few rotten pieces of moss grown boards and the sand was full of bright colored beads. I remember one up in the edge of old town where the roof had long since been gone and we could see the remains of an Indian woman dried and shrunken face with a broad band of bright red bead-work around her forehead. Not very far away lay the mummified body of a tiny baby, maybe dragged there by some wild animal. We, as kids, on our way to school used to, sometimes go out of our way, out among the buckberry bushes and look at it, a moss covered skull lay not far from our path. It had been there • no one knew for how long and no one paid the least attention to it. But one day one of the school boys ran out and gave it a boost with his bare foot. Something jingled! He took out several silver coins. The Indians used to place a man’s coins in his mouth at the time of burial.

I remember another moss grown skull. It sat upon a quite high limb of a big spruce near the Keady Spring. Some years later, when the population of Waldport had grown some, all those relics of the past were burned. Just why they were not given decent burial and the place properly marked is clear beyond my comprehension. The white man did that to the indians, after he had stolen their homes. But later, what did he do to our own white pioneer cemetery? Bill Keady’s father, a man for whom everyone who knew him had the deepest respect, gave a plot of ground for a cemetery just south of Yaquina John’s Point, upon what he thought was his own land. Later when surveys were completed it was found to be just beyond his line so he could not give the deed for as he had planned to do. Many of the early settlers were buried there, among them were my grandparents, Allen and Mary Reynolds, who had passed on before the land had belonged to my Uncle Samuel Reynolds, who had passed on before the land had changed hands many times. When the beach country started building up, those who remember, tried to have that plot set aside. Many protests went in, my own among them, but in spite of all, homes now stand where lie many of our early day settlers. Surely after weathering the hardships of this early day beach country they had earned a place to rest in peace. But there you have it again, that ground was worth a few dollars. “Dollars and some greedy white man!!”

Few people living at the present time can have any idea of the hardships the early coast pioneers had to endure. It took real grit and stick-to-it-ism to stay with it and try to eke out any kind of existence. There were so few paying jobs for a man that he literally had to make his living. Of course, the indians had done it very nicely for no one knows how many hundreds of years. Witness their old shell mounds, and would have kept on doing so for hundreds upon hundreds more. But the indians did not destroy. It took the greedy white man to do that and it didn’t take him long, either. The woods were full of elk, deer and bear. Every tiny stream was full of trout and streams the size of Big Creek and Reynolds Creek, south of Waldport, were full of salmon in the fall. Now look at them! I do not suppose there has been a salmon in either of these creeks for 40 years or more.

I remember too, what a time a few forward looking people had in getting the first hatchery on the river started. Old timers laughed at the idea. One said “0, there always has been lots of salmon and there always will be.” The early waste was awful. The first canneries could take only a few at a time because they had to be all used up that day – no cold storage. The boats would come in as full as could be without swamping. First come sold their fish, 6 cents each for silvers and 20 cents each for Chinook, even though one might weigh 75 lbs. The cannery was soon filled and all the rest of the boats simply dumped their loads into the bay. That was the way with the game. Several men might go out for elk – shoot all they could – just to be killing, then maybe, dress out a hind quarter or two and leave the rest. No Indian ever did a trick like that, They saved everything. They did not catch or kill more than they could use. As a child I used to watch them smoke and dry their meat. Every fall they came back to Yachts to get their winter’s food. They camped along near the rocks north of Yachats. They made racks out of thin split spruce and hung their fish and meat, cut in slim strips, on these sticks and dried and smoked it over small fires built below – built mostly of alder or vine maple. Salmon was cut in strips, but smelt, tom cod, pilchard and trout were smoked whole. Flat fish like perch, flounder or sole were dried flat on the ground on the dry grass, or on the slopes of the big shell mound that used to be near the present Adobe Motel. Elk, deer and bear were cut into strips and smoked. They even cured any stray seal or sea lion that might wash ashore.

Legend says that once a sizable whale came in on the north spit and after eating of it many of the tribe died of food poisoning. Another time when the Alsea tribe nearly all died off was when they got the measles. Their old remedy for everything – the hot steaming sweat house – followed by a dip in the cold salt water did not work with the measles.

Continue reading the third and final part

The Quarrying Industry of Missouri, 1904 (at Liberal)

Now, it may seem kind of absurd, my putting up a posting on the quarrying industry at Liberal, but this was part of what Liberal was about, People such as George Walser made a living off mining stone. So, here you go.

The quarrying industry of Missouri

Ernest Robertson Buckley, Henry Andrew Buehler


Right click to view larger. Image is from the website Stone Quarries and Beyond

Plate XLII. Asphaltic Sandstone. Quarry and yard of the Liberal Stone and Coal Co., Liberal, Mo. Plate XLII. Asphaltic Sandstone.


The Lower Coal Measure sandstone, which outcrops in the vicinity of Liberal, is quarried both north and south of the city. The beds are thick and massive and break into very regular blocks. Stone can be obtained of any desired dimensions.

Three quarries are operated at this place, two of which are owned by “The Liberal Stone and Coal Co.” and the third by W. H. Curless. The stone is essentially the same at the three quarries, excepting at the north quarry of the Liberal Stone and Coal Co., where it has been impregnated with bitumen or asphalt. The stone has been used mainly for buildings (local), bridge abutments, sidewalks and curbing.


The asphaltic sandstone quarry, which is located two miles north of Liberal, in the N. W. % of the S. W. yA of sec. 23, T. 33, R. 33 W., is owned by Mr. Geo. H. Walser and operated by Geo. H. Walser and C. H. Carter, Jr., under the firm name of “The Liberal Stone and Coal Co.” This quarry is situated on the west side of a hill, west of the Missouri Pacific railroad, and has a west face about 300 feet long. It has been worked into the hill about 150 feet.

The stripping, which is thickest in the middle of the quarry, consists of from one to ten feet of shale and clay. In the stripping, about four feet from the bottom, occurs a six-inch bed of very hard, black, fossilifer ous, fine grained limsetone. Underneath this bed, the stripping is a yellowish clay, while above it is a carbonaceous shale and red clay.

The sandstone is very fine grained and micaceous, and has a blackcolor, due to the asphalt content. It is somewhat harder than the stone in the other quarries of this place. It has faint stratification planes parallel to the bedding. These are short and discontinuous, never persisting throughout the length of the bed. They are very common in all parts of the stone.

The face of the quarry consists of one channel cut from three to four feet in depth. The beds dip slightly to the north and the channel cut increases in depth in that direction. The exact thickness of the workable stone is not known. That in the floor of the quarry is similar to that in the face.

The joints, which strike N. 20° K, are very prominent, and are from ten to fifteen feet apart. They are stained with iron oxide. Apparently there are no joints at right angles to this set.

The stone is sawed parallel to the bedding and cut into pieces suitable for crosswalks, sidewalks and curbing. The large amount of asphalt in this stone makes the absorption very low in comparison with that from the other quarries. On the sawed surface weathering sometimes loosens small pieces, which fall away leaving shallow depressions in the stone.

The company is obliged to haul the stone by team from the quarry to a nearby spur of the Missouri Pacific railroad. Derricks are used to load the cars.

Steam derricks, steam drills, channelers and gang-saws are used in getting out the stone. When in operation the quarry employs an average of ten men for nine months during the year. Owing to litigation, it is now idle.

This company owns another quarry one-half mile south of the city, in the W. y2 of the N. E. %. of sec. 11, T. 32, R. 33 W. The opening which is being worked consists of a cut 40 feet wide, 10 feet deep and extending into the hill about 200 feet.

The stone is a fine grained, slightly micaceous, grayish buff sandstone. Small spots of sulphide and flecks of oxide of iron are disseminated through it. The floor of the quarry is an arenaceous, micaceous shale, overlying a seam of coal which is mined in this region. Above the shale is a twelve-foot bed of sandstone, which, at the east end of the quarry, splits along a shaly seam, two feet from the floor. This parting plane does not continue through the quarry. The upper foot of the stone is badly decomposed. The beds have a dip to the east, and having a dip of 4° from the horizontal, are two very ferruginous streaks six to LIBERAL. 265

eight inches wide. Owing to their position these streaks injure the otherwise uniform color of the stone.

The joints are from twenty to thirty feet apart, except in the western portion of the quarry, where they are considerably closer. They have a dip of from 9° to 11° W., from the vertical, and strike N. 36-42° W.

The quarry is connected by spur with the Missouri Pacific railroad. It is equipped with machinery, including a derrick, for loading the stone.


Physical Tests.—Samples of both the ordinary and asphaltic sandstones from this quarry were tested to determine their strength and durability. The following are the results of the tests made on samples of the yellow sandstone:

Crushing strength 4,370.6 lbs. per sq. In.

Tensile Strength 202.6 lbs. per sq. In.

Transverse Strength 418.61 lbs. per sq. In.

Specific Gravity 2.70

Porosity 21.58 per cent.

Ratio of absorption 10.19 per cent.

Weight per cubic foot 132.3 lbs.

Crushing strength of samples subjected to the freezing test 3,188.7 pounds.

The following are the results of tests, made on the asphaltic sandstone :

Crushing strength 9,002 lbs.per sq. in.

Tensile strength 344.5 lbs. per sq. In.

Tranverse strength 769.93 lbs. per sq. In.

Specific gravity 2.445

Porosity 7.01

Ratio of Absorption 3.05

Weight per cubic foot 142 lbs.

Crushing strength of samples subjected to freezinz test, 9.230 pounds.

An examination of these results indicates the superior quality of the asphaltic over the ordinary yellow sandstone. The asphaltic sandstone has a higher strength, crushing, tensile and transverse; the porosity is about one-third that of the yellow sandstone; and for the samples tested the asphaltic sandstone lost nothing in strength through freezing and thawing, while the yellow sandstone lost about 33J per cent.


This quarry, which is located about a mile west of Liberal, in the N. W. %, S. E. J4, sec- 2, T. 32, R. 33 W., is owned and operated by W. H. Curless of Liberal, Missouri. It consists of three openings situated near one another on the west side of a hill. The middle opening is the only one which is worked at present, although considerable stone has been quarried from the other two. The opening which is farthest north has been worked into the hill 150 feet and now has a face six feet deep and 200 feet long. The south opening has a twelve-foot vertical face, consisting of several thick beds from which might be obtained stone of large dimensions. The stone contains an occasional cavity filled with iron oxide and near the bottom it is streaked brown with iron oxide.

The middle opening which is being worked contains the best stone in the quarry. The working face is about 250 feet long and consists of a single massive bed of sandstone eight feet in thickness. Above this bed occur a four-inch layer of shale, a six-inch bed of sandstone, eighteen inches of sandy shale, a twenty-inch bed of sandstone and four feet of alternating shale and sandstone in layers about four inches in thickness.

The stone is a fine grained, micaceous sandstone, varying in color from a gray to a buff, the latter color being due to small specks of disseminated iron oxide. Xear the top of the quarry occurs a twelve-inch bed of reddish colored stone containing a higher percentage of iron oxide.

The major joints in this quarry, which are open from one to three inches, contain a heavy red plastic clay. These joints strike N. 55° WN. 30° E. and east and west. The strike of a number of these is not constant in direction, varying from 15° to 30°.

The Knox svstem of blasting is used. The stone breaks with a verv smooth fracture, splitting with plugs and feathers into blocks of almost any desired thickness.

A large part of the stone from this quarry has been used in bridge abutments, for which purpose it is well adapted. The prices obtained in 1901 for all work measured in the wall were as follows:

For dimensional stone $3.00 per yard.

Ashlery, from 12-16 In. sq 2.50 per yard.

Bridge rubble stone 12-14 In. thick 2.00

Wall and culvert stone ., 1.75


Microscopic.—An examination of the thin section of this stone under the microscope shows that it consists chiefly of roundish to sub-angular grains of quartz. The interstices contain calcite, kaolin, iron oxide and chlorite. The quartz individuals arc small but quite uniform in size. The grains are not very firmly bonded together.

Physical Tests.—Two-inch cubes were subjected to strength and weathering tests with the following results:

Crushing strength 4942 lbs. per sq. In.

Tensile strength 306.5 lbs. per sq. In.

Transverse strength 708.9 lbs. per sq. In.

Specific Gravity 2.686

Porosity 22.95 per cent.

Ratio of absorption 10.23.

Weight per cubic foot 129.3 lbs.

Crushing strength of specimens subjected to the freezing test, 5,742.7 lbe. per sq. In.