Page:History of Southeast Missouri 1912 Volume 1.djvu/19
of the St. Francois. This ridge varies in width, being about ten miles wide in the central part of Stoddard county and becoming very narrow between Dexter and Maiden. It is broken in two places, in the north by Castor and further south by the St. Francois river which crosses it just west of Campbell in Dunklin county. This ridge is geologically unlike the Ozark upland and most certainly had a different origin. It is composed principally of clay and seems the remains of alluvial soil which had been thrust up from below and sculptured down again by the action of the rivers, leaving this ridge. The ridge itself slopes from east to west having its greatest height on the eastern edge, where it is about one hundred feet in elevation.
The remainder of the land in Southeast Missouri is practically level but falls into a number of divisions. The first of these from east to west is the low country bordering along the Mississippi river. There is extending south from below the Scott county hills a sand ridge called the Sikeston ridge which reaches the river at New Madrid and extends almost to the south line of New Madrid county. This ridge is elevated some 10 or 15 feet above the level of the bottom lands and its soil is principally sandy loam. East of it in the neighborhood of Charleston, there are two other similar ridges of sandy loam.
West of the Sikeston ridge extending to Crowley's ridge in the north part and to the sandy ridge of Stoddard and Dunklin counties in the southern part, is the low bottom of Little River, which lies from 15 to twenty feet below the level of the sand ridges and is a heavily timbered section with a great deal of humus and exceedingly productive.
West of this bottom of Little River is another sand ridge which extends from just south of Dexter to the state line near Hornersville in Dunklin county. On this ridge are situated the towns of Bernie, Maiden, Clarkton, and Kennett. The ridge is from 5 to 10 miles in width, is from 10 to 15 feet higher than the bottoms of Little river, and has a very rich and productive sandy loam soil.
West of this ridge lying between it and Crowley's ridge in the north part is what is known as West swamp, while in the south in Dunklin county the St. Francois river is between the sand ridge and Crowley's ridge. The bottom of St. Francois river is not unlike that of Little river.
West of Crowley's ridge in Stoddard county is the valley of the St. Francois river and Black river. These are heavily timbered regions with a soil considerably heavier than the sand ridges above mentioned.The drainage in this alluvial section of Southeast Missouri is principally from north to south. Of course on its eastern edge it is drained by the Mississippi which forms its eastern boundary. The Scott county hills are the source of two creeks, Ramsey creek which flows north emptying into the Mississippi, and Caney creek which flows to the north and then west and is a tributary of Little river. Mississippi county and the eastern part of New Madrid county are drained in part by St. James and St. John's bayous. The other streams of the alluvial section are principally those which have their origin in the Ozark upland and enter the alluvial district at its northern limit. In the neighborhood of Allenville, Crooked creek and Whitewater river combine and the stream thus formed is called Whitewater until it receives the waters of Caney creek and the East Fork after which it takes the name of Little river. This stream flows to the southeast and then to the south-