“But by the late 1880’s Carthage discovered her greatest wealth lay underneath her in deposits of limestone, lead and zinc. The stone quarries were on the edges of town while many of the mines were developed within a few miles from her borders. Through these gifts from the earth, Carthage soon became one of the most prosperous towns in the state and became known as the Queen City of the South West in the 1890s.”
Localized uplifts of crystalline rocks exposed in southeastern Missouri are producing or have produced granite for use as dimension stone.
“The granites of Missouri are coarse and strong. They would make an excellent building material for stores and public edifices, but thus far the quarries have been left almost untouched. Marble has been brought to St. Louis from Vermont, and yet there are in this State numerous beds of compact, fine-grained, and durable marble. The colors are various: white, blue, and yellow marbles are common. Other varieties are clouded, mottled with pink and purple, veined with spar, and capable of high polish. A fine lithographic stone is found in Macon County. A native specimen which is an excellent substitute for the foreign article has recently been exhibited in this city. Bavaria may find a rival in Missouri. If the rest of the quarry proves to be as good as the sample, it will be a valuable element in the resources of the State. Lithographic stone is now selling in this market at from 10 to 30 cents: pound. Large blocks are very expensive.”
“Rolly Johnson, of Independence, Mo., the president of the Memorial Craftsmen of Missouri, says: Conditions around here are more than bad, and I don’t seem to be able to solve the problem to affect the cure. We have three local or district clubs in the state, but nothing of that kind doing hereabouts. One of these is in northeast Missouri, another in the south-central portion of the Ozarks region, and the other is in the City of St. Louis. Our state association had as its chief objective last year the forming of these district clubs. We hope to add one or two more to the list by the time of our convention in February. Why men in the monument business won’t respond to a plan that will help their business is a wonder to me. I think ‘fear’ is the greatest cause for this lack of co-operation. They are afraid of everything - themselves and their competitors. They are afraid to lose an order. They are afraid to help themselves because they feel the help they get will also help their competitors, or something like that.”
President - Paul Stevenson, Moberly.
Vice President - Gerald Fox, Macon.
Secretary-Treasurer - Joseph P. Bastel, St. Louis.
Executive Committee - Ray Bedwell, Shelbina; Frank Guidice, Kansas City; Ray England, Neosho.
State Representative - Paul Stevenson, Moberly.
Missouri’s leading quarry product is limestone, which is found in most of the state, although most of the limestone quarries are located near the Mississippi River. In addition to the limestone, dolomite, granite, marble, and sandstone are also quarried.
“The first cement plant in Missouri was either the...Ilasco Cement Plant (construction begun in 1901), or the...Prospect Hill Cement Plant (begun in 1902) - depending on semantics. The latter began operation first. The Continental Cement Company (later Alpha Portland Cement Company) Plant in St. Louis County was built in 1909...Marquette Cement Plant in Cape Girardeau County, and the...Sugar Creek Cement Plant began operation sometime prior to 1913.
“Production rose from 1903 until about 1930, dropped to a low level during the Great Depression, and then began a rapid steady increase beginning about 1946. The latter coincided with modernization of the existing plants. The...River Cement Plant began operation in 1965, and the...Dundee Cement Plant followed in 1967. About that time, both of the cement plants in St. Louis (at Prospect Hill and Lemay) closed.
“Eastern Missouri has become a major cement producing area. An average of about 35% of the cement produced in Missouri is exported to other States along the Mississippi. As of 2002, Missouri was the 5th largest Portland cement producing State in the nation.”
Missouri Sand, Gravel, & Stone
“As of 1999, 40% of the stone quarried in Missouri was used as aggregate. 14.5% was used in cement...and lime...A substantial amount of stone is used in rip-rap along Missouri waterways and on the Mississippi River.
“Mississippian-Ordovician-age limestones, suitable for cement production, crop out in a zone probably averaging about 30-miles wide along the entire eastern border of Missouri. The location along the Mississippi River allows for inexpensive transportation of raw materials and products. Pennsylvanian-age limestone is used in cement manufacture in the Kansas City area. Although little used, limestone crops out along most of the Missouri River.
“Construction sand and gravel are produced from glacial sand...and are dredged...from the Mississippi, Missouri, Meramec, and other rivers.
“The St. Peter Sandstone has been extensively quarried for silica sand....”
“Former limestone quarries have been used for underground storage in 16 major sites, including Kansas City (Park University Underground), Interstate Underground Storage, Hunt Midwest Underground Storage and Carefree Quarries; Springfield (Springfield Underground); Carthage (Carthage Marble Quarry); Neosho (Southwest Lime Company); and Crystal City (Crystal Self-Storage.).
“Limestone (or dolostone) for use as blast furnace flux was important in the mid-1850s to early-1900s when (iron) blast furnaces operated in Missouri, but some production has continued, particularly in the St. Louis - Ste. Genevieve areas. I presume that some Missouri limestone supplied furnaces in East St. Louis, IL more recently, but I have seen no documentation. Missouri lead and zinc smelters also use (or used) limestone....”
Missouri Dimension Stone
“Dimension stone is rock which has been cut or broken into blocks or slabs. Many of the first homes built by French settlers in Missouri had stone foundations and chimneys, and some were entirely stone. Prior to ca 1900, dimension stone was widely used as weight-bearing building stone in buildings, bridges, etc. Between 1900 and 1920, most dimension stone used in buildings has been used as decorative veneers, and thin sheets or tiles as flooring material. About the same time, concrete replaced stone and brick for sidewalk and street paving (in part because automobiles required smoother streets). At present, most dimension stone is used for monuments (i.e., gravestones).
“Granite was quarried in southeastern Missouri prior to 1869. By 1904, about 15 quarries were active, producing gray, pink, and red granite, although most were abandoned in the early 1900s (e.g...Syenite Granite Quarry and...Asplof Granite Quarry). Granite has been quarried at Graniteville (e.g.,... Missouri Red Quarry, and...Elephant Rocks State Park) since about 1870. Much of the production was used as paving blocks in St. Louis, some of which may be seen at Laclede’s Landing...”
“Production peaked in 1935 and 1950. Missouri red granite has been shipped to many parts of the Nation. Some felsite has been quarried.
“From about 1870 to 1930, Warrensburg ‘blue’ sandstone was very popular, and widely used (...Garden of Eden). Sandstone primarily from the Gunter Member of the Gasconade Dolomite, and from the Roubidoux Sandstone - has been an important dimension stone in parts of Missouri where those formations are found. The...Rosati Stone Quarry exploits thinly bedded layers of the Roubidoux Sandstone. The stone is used as flagstone and irregular ashlar. Formerly, there were extensive sandstone quarries south of Akers and in the Lake of the Ozarks area.
“The marble produced in Missouri is technically limestone which can be highly polished. For example, an early date, the Kimmswick Limestone (aka Ste. Genevieve Limestone) was quarried in the Ste. Genevieve area for building stone (the Ste. Genevieve Museum, and the...Felix Vallé House SHS). By 1922, the same stone (as the Ste. Genevieve Marble) was quarried almost entirely for use in veneers (...the 345 Inkley Marble Quarry and the...Ozaora Marble Quarry).
“Similarly, such ‘marble’ has been quarried in the Carthage area since about 1910 (...Carthage Marble Quarry). Marble was produced from the...Phenix Quarry in the early 1910s-1940s. Limestone was quarried as marble at what is now the...Rockwoods Reservation about 1870. In the Cape Girardearu area, Kimmswick Limestone was quarried as Cape Marble in the early 1900s. (...Cape Lime & Marble Company).
“From 1898-1920, some cave onyx (also a form of limestone) was mined (e.g.,...Onyx Mountain Cavers, and... Hamilton Cave). Big Onyx Cave in Crawford caverns was so badly damaged by blasting by miners that part of it collapsed. The cave is now beneath the Lake of the Ozarks. Fortunately, plans to mine onyx for Onondaga Cave (a major tourist cave for the past century) failed before mining began.
“Hinchey, N.S., 1946; Missouri Marble, Missouri Geological Survey, 3:47 pp.”
“In 2002 (and historically for many years), Missouri was the leading producer of lime in the Nation. The earliest lime production was in communities along the Mississippi River.
“Some of the earliest French buildings in the region, dating from the early 1700s were maison en pierre, (mortared limestone) construction and wooden buildings were often stuccoed, presumably with lime-based mortar and stucco. For some reason, maison en pierre construction was more common on the east side of the Mississippi (e.g., at Kaskaskia).
“By about 1840, lime kilns were in operation in Hannibal (...Mark Twain Boyhood Home), Ste. Genevieve (...Mississippi Lime Company), Cape Girardeau (...Cape Lime & Marble Company), and probably St. Louis. By 1880, lime was produced by 114 kilns at 39 plants in 21 counties, including western St. Louis County (...Rocklands Reservation) and Ash Grove (...Ash Grove Limeworks). A few years later, lime production began in Springfield (...Springfield Underground). Lime production preceded dimension stone quarrying at Carthage (...Carthage Marble Quarry) and at Phenix (...Phenix Quarry) in the 1880s. The first recorded production was 187,000 tons in 1898. Beginning about 1900, cement began to replace lime in many construction applications. In addition, the availability of modern crushers, and power to operate them, resulted in the substitution of crushed or powdered limestone for lime in agricultural applications. Oil-based paints, using lead oxide and/or barite as white pigments, largely replaced whitewash. However, lime production continued, since lime is a powerful industrial chemical with endless uses. Later limeworks included:* the...Southwest Lime Company,*...Western Lime Works,* and...Mississippi Lime Company. The...Valley Dololime Plant produces dololime.
“By 1967, four plants operated 40 kilns in four counties, and the annual production was about 1.4 million tons.
“Buehler, H.A., 1907; The Lime and Cement Resources of Missouri, MO Geol. Surv. V-6: 271p.”
“Missouri has vast quantities of limestone. Other resources mined are lead, coal, Portland cement and crushed stone. Missouri produces the most lead of all of the states in the Union with most of these mines in the central eastern portion of the state. Missouri also ranks first or near first among the production of lime.” (“Missouri.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 27 Jun 2007, 22:54 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 29 Jun 2007 ) <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Missouri&oldid=141060426>.)
“The granites are confined to the southeastern part of the State, where they occur in irregular masses and isolated hills extending over an area of 3,000 square miles. Granites and porphyries are the principal types, with several varieties of dark trappean rocks, chiefly diabase, occurring in the form of dikes. They are the most ancient rocks of the State.
“The approximate center of the crystalline district is Pilot Knob, Iron County. For a distance of perhaps 12 miles in all directions from this point the massive crystallines form the greater portion of the surface rock, while in an easterly direction they are practically continuous for more than twice as far. To the north the exposures do not reach much beyond Bismarck, St. François County. Northeastward they are found in St. Genevieve County, 30 miles form Pilot Knob. On the east, hills of similar rock are abundant as far as Castor Creek, in Madison County. To the south they stretch away in large masses for many miles, with occasional outcrops as far as the boundary line of Butler County. To the northwest they extend into Shannon County, and perhaps even beyond. They stretch out to the west almost unbrokenly to the east fork of Black River, while numerous scattered hills continue even beyond the middle fork of the same stream. Toward the north similar rocks occur at short intervals as far as Little Pilot Knob, in Washington County. The stone has been used in Dallas, Kansas City, Omaha, St. Louis, Des Moines, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Baltimore.
“It has been demonstrated that apparent lines of sedimentation in this rock are really pseudo-stratification planes, and that they have been developed in a way that is widespread among rocks that have cooled from molten magmas. The continuity of the massive rocks is interrupted by numerous lines. The porphyry appears to be the surface facies of the coarse grained granite, and seems to graduate downward into the latter. The numerous lines of fracture are most of them merely joint planes; many are slight fault lines, while still others have the walls spread apart, the space being filled with basic material which often forms dikes, sometimes of considerable breadth.
“Dikes of basic rock occur rather abundantly. They range from a few inches to 50 years or more in width, and cut the granites and porphyries alike. Nowhere have they been observed to penetrate the overlying sedimentaries. Their number and wide distribution, the great weight and black color of the rock composing them, and their peculiarities in weathering cause them to attract much attention.
“There are four principal kinds of rock that are suitable and available for quarry stones. They are:
1. Granite (Biotite-granite or granitite).
2. Syenite (granite-syenite).
3. Porphyry (felsite).
4. Black granite (diabase-greenstone).
“Typical granite constitutes about one-fifth part of all the crystallines in the district under consideration. In color the stone is a warm red to pink, in places merging into gray. Though usually a coarse-grained rock, fine-grained varieties are of frequent occurrence. The rocks consist almost entirely of a granular aggregate of quartz and feldspar; white mica is entirely absent. The black mica (biotite) present, which is usually one of three essential constituents and a mineral which is the first of the principal components in most granites to break down under meteoric influences, is reduced to minimum, and in many cases it is almost entirely absent. The feldspar is for the most part orthoclase, the most durable of feldspathic minerals. Accessory components liable to decomposition are wanting.
“The porphyry is close grained, glassy, of various colors - pink, red, purple, green, brown, and black in many shades. It polishes brilliantly, is hard and rather brittle. It is not suited for dimension work on account of difficulty of working. The groundmass is dense and fine grained, though there are scattered large crystals of quartz and feldspar.
“The black granites are greenstones or diabases; they occur in dikes, cutting the granite and porphyry; are heavy, tough, and admit of fine polish; are not desirable for building, but are unsurpassed for paving blocks, decaying fast enough not to become slippery.”
About Limestone (General Information section)
Find a Limestone Producer Near You (Search form)
Fun Facts About Limestone (Students & Teachers section)
“Red granite has been quarried at Graniteville since the late 1800s.
“Marble (limestone) has been quarried in the Carthage area since about 1910, and from several other locations.
“Sandstone has been produced from many localities since the 1800s.”
Lively Missouri Dealers. “The Monumental Dealers of Southwest Missouri held an interesting meeting on September 20 at Eldorado Springs. They enjoyed a splendid dinner at the Wayside Inn beginning at the noon hour, where they discussed the affairs and outlook of the business in fraternal fashion. Rolly Johnson and his wife, of Independence, were present. He is the president of the state association, and he spoke of the object and purposes of the organization. The following dealers were present: Edw. Clark, of Springfield ; Frank Clark, of Springfield; Jay Jones, of Nevada; Clyde Heynen, of Sedalia; E.J. Simpson, of Springfield; Charles Hustler, of Osceola; Spencer Clark, of Clinton; J.C. Nafus, of Eldorado Springs; E.B. Gettys, of Eldorado Springs; Harold Siders, of Eldorado Springs; and Jack Vincent, of Eldorado Springs. They hold a meeting each month with growing attendance.”
“Pre-contact Native Americans mined (common) clay for pottery (including brine evaporating pans) (...Ste. Genevieve Museum) and produced tools and ornaments from flint, lead, and copper. The Crescent Hills Quarries, just west of St. Louis, was one of the largest prehistoric flint quarries in the Nation (...Flint Quarry Trail). Arrow Rock (...Arrow Rock State Historic Site) is believed to be named for the flint quarried there. The Old Indian Lead Mine, now in the Ft. Leonard Wood Military Reservation, may be a Native American galena mine.
“At the...Leslie Mine, Natives mined hematite from extensive, but shallow underground mines. Hematite was probably also mined from the many of the other filled-sink deposits. For example, in the early 1800s, Shawnee Indians mined specular hematite, at what became the...Maramec Mine, as a source of body paint. Red and yellow ocher (hematite), and silvery specular hematite were used as pigments. Hematite was also apparently used as a polishing medium for polishing fluorite and shell beads, etc. Specular hematite - a very hard, very heavy mineral was used for hammers and picks.
“According to a ‘popular’ book on the caves of the Ozarks, Natives mined gypsum, epsomite, mirabilite, and saltpeter from caves in the Ozarks. Although I haven’t found more reliable confirmation, such materials were unquestionably mined from caves by Native Americans elsewhere (...Wyandotte Cave State Park, and... Mammoth Cave National Park)....”
The Phenix Marble Company and other quarriers in the Phenix district are discussed in the article entitled, “Quarrying Marble at Phenix, Missouri,” by B. B. Brewster (St. Louis, Missouri), from Mine and Quarry magazine, Sullivan Machinery Co., Publisher, Chicago, Illinois, Vol. VIII. No. 2 – January, 1914, pages 791 – 796, Whole No. 27. (If you would like to read the entire article and view the photographs, please click here.)
The following information is quoted from Section 4 – Geological Resources:
“b. Limestone. Limestones are capable of producing numerous products including: portland cement, concrete aggregate, lime, rip-rap, building stone, filter beds and crushed stone. With demand for such products increasing steadily, limestone resources within the project area remain a viable industry (Yarbrough, et al., 1974). Most of the limestone in the project area is mined in open-pit quarries. However, underground mining is being used more frequently, where the mineable limestone is overlain by bedrock.
“The counties of the project area use substantial amounts of agricultural limestone and limestone for construction. Near Valmeyer in Monroe County there is a high quality chemical-grade limestone which commands a selling price high enough to make it economically feasible to ship from the area.
“The limestone resources are particularly important in those counties bordering the Mississippi River where a large and well-distributed quarry industry exists. This area is capable of supplying the limestone needs of the region.”
This site states that in 1999 there were six active limestone quarries in Taney County; Roark Creek Quarry in Branson was the largest single quarry at that time. The quarries listed are: (Go to the site for more information on these quarries.) Journagan Construction and Quarries near Hollister; Journagan Construction and Quarries near Brandon and another quarry near Protem; Roark Creek Quarry near Branson; Table Rock Asphalt (Table Rock Quarry near Branson; and 76 Quarry near Kirbyville.)
According to the web site: “The facility is used primarily by the students and faculty of UMR’s School of Materials, Energy and Earth Resources for instruction and research in mining engineering and geological engineering practices. The mine also serves as an introduction to the mineral industry in Missouri for the public through guided tours and various informational programs.”
History of the Mine - Scroll down to this section which begins with: “The initial purchase of land for the Experimental Mine was made in 1914 from Edwin Long, and an underground mine and quarry were subsequently developed on the property for use by UMR’s department of mining engineering....”