1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Texas
TEXAS (see 26.688).—In 1920 the pop. was 4,663,228, as against 3,896,542 in 1910, an increase of 766,686, or 19.7%, as against 27.8% in the preceding decade. The urban pop. (in places of 2,500 or more) was 1,512,689, or 32.4% of the total as compared with 24.1% in 1910. The average number of inhabitants per sq. m. increased from 14.8 in 1910 to 17.8 in 1920. The following table shows the growth of the 10 cities in the state having in 1920 a pop. of more than 30,000:—
|1920||1910|| Increase |
Agriculture.—The 1910 census gave Texas 417,770 farms, with a total area of 112,435,067 ac., of which 27,360,666 ac. were improved. Owing to the fact that in 1900 the large ranches in the western part of the state were included under farm acreage, there was a decrease in the farm acreage between 1900 and 1910 of 13,361,950 ac., but an increase of 7,784,590 ac. in improved land. By 1910 much of this land had been bought by speculators for sale in small farms and the land was in their hands or in those of purchasers who had not yet begun cultivation, and so was not included under farm acreage.
The value of all farm property in 1910 was $2,218,645,164. Advance figures for the 1920 census, subject to correction, gave Texas 435,666 farms. The principal crops for 1920, in the order of acreage (according to estimates of the U.S. Department of Agriculture), were cotton, corn, oats, grain sorghums, wheat, hay, rice, peanuts, sweet potatoes, cowpeas, potatoes, broom corn, barley, sorghum syrup, rye. These crops covered 25,435,000 acres. Their farm value, partly estimated, was $610,787,000. In 1919, at the peak of post-war prices, their value was $1,051,817,000. Texas is a large producer of fruits and vegetables. Ranked according to value of the 22 principal crops produced in the United States, Texas held first place in 1919 and 1920; and first in the value of all crops 1914-20. The average annual yield of corn 1911-9 was 126,600,000 bus.; of wheat 15,300,000 bus.; of cotton 3,600,000 bales. Figures (partly estimates) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave Texas Jan. 1 1921 4,500,000 range cattle and 1,184,000 milch cows of the combined value of $213,184,000; horses 1,187,000, valued at $89,000,000; mules just under 800,000, valued at $84,744,000; sheep 3,000,000, $19,335,000; and swine 2,427,000, $28,639,000. In the total value of live stock in 1920 Texas ranked second, between Iowa and Illinois.
Minerals.—The most important mineral products are oil, sulphur, coal and lignite. The first oil in paying quantities was discovered at Corsicana in the central part of the state, in 1894; but keen interest was not aroused until the “Spindle Top” discovery near Beaumont in 1901. Since that time the surface of the state has been covered with leases, and remarkable strikes have been made in a number of places. At the beginning of 1921 production was confined to two general sections—the coast, including mainly Harris and Brazoria counties (Jefferson, Hardin, and Matagorda counties have in the past been good producers); and a region in the northern and north-central part of the state, including chiefly Wichita, Eastland, Comanche, and Stephens counties. The Humble field in Harris county was opened in 1905, Goose Creek in 1911, and Blue Ridge in 1919. The west Columbia field in Brazoria county was also opened in 1919. The Burkburnett field in Wichita county first became important in 1917, Ranger in Eastland county in 1917, and Desdemona and Breckenridge in Comanche and Stephens counties respectively in 1918. Production dropped from 28,000,000 bar. in 1904 to less than 9,000,000 in 1910; rose to 27,644,000 in 1916; 32,413,000 in 1917; 38,750,000 in 1918; 85,312,000 in 1919; and 54,668,000 for the first three-quarters of 1920. Natural gas and natural-gas gasoline were developed as by-products of the oil industry. The value of natural gas marketed in the state rose from $127,000 in 1909 to $5,027,449 in 1918; and natural-gas gasoline in 1918 amounted to 7,326,122 gal., giving Texas fifth rank in that respect. Two sulphur plants in Texas and one in Louisiana were said in 1920 to yield 98% of all that produced by the United States. One of the Texas plants is at Freeport, near the mouth of the Brazos river, the other is near Matagorda, close to the mouth of the Colorado. The Freeport plant began producing in substantial quantities in 1916, and the next year, under war pressure, delivered 500,000 tons. The Matagorda plant began operation in 1919, producing about 500,000 tons a year. The sulphur lies about 1,000 ft. below the surface and is extracted from wells by “forcing superheated water (and steam) through pipes, dissolving and suspending the sulphur and pumping it back.” Bituminous coal production from 1908 to 1918 remained practically stationary, varying from 1,010,000 tons in 1910 to 1,259,000 tons (value $3,140,253) in 1917. The yield in 1919 dropped to 793,000 tons. Lignite is mined principally for state consumption, and the relative backwardness of manufacturing and the competition of other fields keep down the demand. More than 1,000,000 tons were delivered in each of the years 1913-5 and 1917-8. The 1919 yield was 860,000 tons. The value at the mine was slightly under $1 per ton. The original supply was estimated in 1913 at 30,000,000,000 tons, of which about 9,000,000 tons had then been mined. Other minerals of fairly steady yield are silver, worth about $500,000 a year for many years, quicksilver, cement, and clay products. In quicksilver production the Terlingua mine in Brewster county has for more than a decade made Texas second to California only. The highest yield recorded was 10,791 75-lb. flasks in 1917, valued at $1,136,502. Cement production in 1919 was 2,288,000 bar., value $4,176,000; clay products (brick, tile, and pottery) in 1917 were valued at $3,451,806. Salt is produced in fairly steady quantities, and in 1917 yielded 85,181 short tons, with a value of $564,000.
Manufactures.—In 1914 there were 5,084 manufacturing establishments, capitalized at $283,544,000, employing 91,114 persons, and producing an annual value of $361,279,000, of which $108,135,000 was value added by manufacture. The principal industries were those concerned with lumber and timber, cotton-seed products, printing and publishing, oil-refining and allied products, flour and grist milling, and food preparations. The lumber production was 1,350,000,000 ft. for 1918, when Texas ranked sixth in this industry, as it had done in 1910 and 1915.
Commerce.—The noteworthy ports are Sabine, Port Arthur, Orange, and Beaumont in the Sabine district, importing chiefly crude oil, and exporting refined oil and oil products; and Houston, Texas City, Freeport, and Galveston in the Galveston district, which export cotton, grain and sulphur. Houston is a new port, opened in
1915. Its access to the Gulf of Mexico is through the Houston Ship Channel, formed, for the most part, by the widening and deepening of Buffalo bayou. At the beginning of 1921 the controlling depth of the channel was 25 ft. and the width at bottom varied from 110 to 260 feet. The distance from the municipal docks to the Gulf is 54 miles. Unofficial but reasonably dependable figures for 1920 fixed the value of imports through Galveston, including the subsidiary ports of the district, at $30,964,285, and the exports at 627,498,478, making Galveston second to New York as an exporting port, a position which it had held for some years. These figures did not include coastwise traffic. During the year 1,233 vessels cleared for foreign ports, of which 849 were American, 222 British, 29 Norwegian, 26 Italian and 18 Mexican. The bulk of their cargoes was made up of 2,126,717 bales of cotton and 44,726,000 bus. of wheat. Through the coöperation of Galveston county and the Federal Government the Galveston sea-wall was extended and completed in 1920 to a length of 6.3 miles. The total cost of the wall (see 11.430) was $4,725,000. The concrete causeway connecting the island with the mainland, 10,642 ft. long, was nearing completion in 1921. The cost was to be $3,750,000, and was to be borne by the county and the railways entering the city. The county and city of Galveston were permitted by state Acts of 1901 and 1903 to apply their state taxes for 17 years to storm defence improvements. In 1917 the privilege was extended for 10 years; and subsequently the same authority was granted to several other maritime counties.
Finance.—The value of all property assessed for state taxation on Aug. 31 1919 was $3,012,819,287. The ratio of assessed value to real value varied from 66⅔% in some cities to 25% in some rural districts. Total receipts of the state treasury for the year were $28,410,724, and total expenditures $27,200,978. On Dec. 29 1920 there were 1,031 state banks, with capital, surplus and undivided profits of $71,768,997. They had individual deposits subject to check of $226,282,045, and time and savings deposits of $35,380,482. On Nov. 15 1920 there were 561 national banks with capital, surplus and undivided profits of $124,633,000; deposits subject to check of $447,898,000; and time and savings deposits of $69,374,000. Of the state banks 176 were members of the Federal Reserve system at the beginning of 1921.
Education.—For 1920 the school pop. (7 to 18 years of age) was 1,271,157; and the number of teachers employed in the public schools was 30,158, of whom 3,515 were negroes. The public schools are maintained by the income from the permanent school fund, by state and local taxes, and by legislative appropriations. The permanent fund consists of lands and interest-bearing notes derived originally from the sale of public lands. In Aug. 1920 it was slightly less than $74,000,000. State taxes for school maintenance are a poll-tax, one-fourth the proceeds of the occupation taxes, and an ad valorem tax of 35 cents per $100. The practice of making legislative appropriations to supplement the available school fund began in 1915 with $1,000,000 to aid rural schools. The practice continued, and for the biennium 1919-21 $6,000,000 came from this source for general maintenance. A constitutional amendment adopted in Nov. 1920 removed the limit of 50 cents per $100 which rural districts and unincorporated towns might appropriate for schools. The total available state fund for the year ending Aug. 1921 was $18,564,507, to which should be added nearly $13,000,000 from local taxes. A compulsory attendance law became effective in 1918, requiring, with specified exceptions, the attendance of children between 8 and 14 for at least 100 days each year. The following year a free textbook law went into effect. A law of April 3 1918 requires all public-school work to be conducted in the English language, but does not preclude the teaching of foreign languages.
Administration.—The attorney-general, comptroller, treasurer, and secretary of state head constitutional departments, and all are elective except the last, who is appointed by the governor. The more important statutory departments, in the order of their establishment, are those of the adjutant-general, superintendent of public instruction, state health officer, life insurance and banking commissioner, commissioner of agriculture, Railroad Commission, Live-stock Sanitary Commission, Fire Insurance Commission, the Industrial Accidents Board, the Board of Water Engineers, the Highway Commission, and the Board of Control. All are appointive directly or indirectly by the governor (with approval of the Senate), except the superintendent of public instruction, the commissioner of agriculture, and the Railroad Commission. Their terms vary from two to six years. The Industrial Accidents Board was created in 1913, primarily to administer the Employers' Liability Act. It consists of three members, one of whom must be a wage-earner, one an employer in some industry covered by the Act, and the third a practising attorney. The Board of Water Engineers was created in 1913 to regulate the use of public water for irrigation and all other purposes. The Highway Commission, established in 1917, consists of three members, and is charged with the administration of all highway laws, including that for the registration of motor vehicles. At the close of 1920 there had been completed under its supervision 976 m. of approved highways, costing $5,326,000, of which $1,308,000 was from Federal and 904,000 from state aid. The remainder was paid by the local counties. At the same time contracts were in progress for the construction of 2,039 m. of road at an estimated cost
of $23,277,000, of which $8,650,000 was to come from Federal and $1,437,000 from state aid. Federal and state quotas are apportioned in a certain ratio to local expenditure. The Commission reported the registration during 1920 of 427,693 automobiles and trucks and 4,290 other motor vehicles. The state Board of Control, created in 1920, represents an effort to consolidate administration and to coordinate the state budget. It is composed of three members, holding office for six years, one retiring every two years. Its budgets are subject to review and amendment by the Legislature. Departments created during the decade 1910-20, but showing signs of instability, are those of markets and warehouses (including weights and measures) and an Industrial Welfare Commission, created in 1917 and 1919 respectively. The dwindling jurisdiction of the Railroad Commission, suffering from the encroachments of the Interstate Commerce Commission, was somewhat compensated by an Act of March 1919 placing pipe-lines and drilling regulations under its supervision, and another of June 1920 giving it authority over natural-gas production. The Commission reported in Dec. 1918 15,866 m. of railroad in operation, an increase of 1,922 m. since 1910.
History.—After about 1880 prohibition was perhaps the most bitterly contested issue in state politics. A constitutional amendment providing for state-wide prohibition was voted down in 1887 and again in 1911; but was carried in 1919. In the meantime prohibition by local option had made great progress, so that by 1918 more than three-fourths of the area of the state, including the cities of Dallas, Waco and Austin, was dry. The Legislature in March 1918 ratified the Federal amendment, and in April put into effect the “zone” law, prohibiting the sale of liquors within 10 m. of a military, naval, or shipbuilding establishment. In June 1918 statutory state-wide prohibition was established, and doubts of the constitutionality of the Act were ended by the amendment of the next year. The Dean law (July 1919) is one of the most drastic of enforcement Acts. A law of March 26 1918 permitted women to vote in party primaries and nominating conventions; but a constitutional amendment, submitted the next year, to enfranchise women in regular elections, failed. The Legislature nevertheless ratified the Federal Woman Suffrage amendment in July 1919. The effect of the World War is seen in a law of April 2 1918, confining the franchise in primary elections to citizens of the United States; and in another of March 23 1918, amended a year later, providing that assistance should be given at the polls only in the English language and to persons physically unable to write or to those past 60 years of age and unable to read. Aliens could not be debarred from voting in final elections without amendment of the constitution, but preponderance of the Democratic party makes the primary election, in effect, definitive.
The total registration in Texas under the Selective Service Act was 990,522. From the best figures available in July 1921, there were 13,191 voluntary enlistments in the regular army, and 18,573 in the National Guard (transferred to Federal Service in the summer of 1917), and 127,531 inductions (not including officers) under the draft law; while 13,599 men and 6 women served in the regular navy and 4,505 men and 107 women in the naval reserve. The total number in both services, not including all officers, was 177,512. The total losses (officers and men) were 2,722, of whom 1,164 were killed in action, 456 died of wounds, 942 of disease, and 160 from other causes. The wounded numbered 7,331. Figures for the Texan subscription to the First Liberty Loan were not separately available. The eleventh Federal Reserve district, in which the state is included, subscribed $48,948,350. The Texan subscription to the four following loans was $363,273,350. When the Armistice was signed the Emergency Fleet Corp. had wooden ships under construction at Beaumont, Orange and Rockport, and in the Houston Ship Channel. Contracts had been let for 97 hulls and for 18 barges, of which were completed 52 hulls with tonnage of 196,400; and 4 barges aggregating 9,000 tons.
The governors of Texas after 1910 were Oscar Branch Colquitt (Dem.) 1911-5; James E. Ferguson (Dem.) 1915-Sept. 1917; William P. Hobby (Dem.) 1917-21, and Pat M. Neff (Dem.) 1921-. Mr. Ferguson was removed from office by impeachment and was succeeded, ex officio, by Lt.-Gov. Hobby, who was subsequently elected for one term, 1919-21.