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W. P. A. History of Pontotoc County, Mississippi


Clays, Bauxite

The principal clays of Pontotoc County are white and red.  The red clay, which is used for brick making, is considered one of the best brick clays in the state, as it makes a hard brick of permanent quality.  Marl is used for fertilizer, but not as extensively as in adjoining counties.

The bauxite deposits of Mississippi are in the northern and northeastern parts of the state:  in Pontotoc, Tippah, Benton, Union, Calhoun, Webster, Oktibbeha, Winston, Noxubee, and Kemper counties.  They are very irregularly scattered through the belt of high hills and ridges which extends from near the Tennessee line on the north, to the northwest part of Kemper  County on the south, just west of the Flatwoods area.  However, the main deposits are in Pontotoc, Tippah, and Benton counties.  Those in Pontotoc County constitute the largest deposits and the best grade of ore in Mississippi.  (1)

The bauxite is in the Ackerman formation (basal Wilcox) near its contact with the Porter's Creek clay, of the Midway series.  The ore is in beds which extend over considerable areas, and which vary in thickness from one foot to sixteen feet.  Like the deposits in central Georgia, the bauxite is inter-stratified with bauxitic clay, kaolin, and impure clay.  In fact, the close association of all the ore, both hard and soft, with beds of clay, is the most striking feature of the deposits.

(1)  Clarence W. Bolton, mineralogist, Pontotoc, Miss.

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