Miami County was one of the first counties in Kansas to have gas and oil production. Some production was reported from wells drilled near Paula as early as 1860. In 1963, oil production from 1,092 wells in five fields amounted to 240,531 barrels.
All the fields had production from the "Squirrel sand" in the upper part of the Middle Pennsylvanian Cherokee Group at a depth of about 500 to 600 feet. Oil was produced also from the "Knobtown sand" and the Hepler Sandstone Member at depths of 300 to 400 feet, and from the "Peru sand" and "Bartlesville sand" at depths of about 400 and 700 feet.
Miami County produced more than 65,250,000 cubic feet of gas in 1963 from 15 wells. All summarized data here are from Hilpman, et al. (1964).
Several limestones have been quarried and used for concrete and other aggregates, and crushed rock for road metal, riprap, subgrade, and embankment material. Limestones currently (1963) being quarried and crushed for aggregate and road metal are: the Bethany Falls Limestone Member of the Swope Limestone, Winterset Limestone Member of the Dennis Limestone, Iola Limestone, Wyandotte Limestone, and Plattsburg Limestone. These limestones are quarried where they are relatively thick, have desirable physical properties such as fairly high calcium content, medium hardness, and durability, and are near principal areas of use. The Stoner Limestone Member of the Stanton Limestone has been quarried in the extreme northwestern part of the county, where it is about 18 feet thick.
No quarries are operated in Miami County for the production of dimension stone, but several limestone beds have been quarried and the stone has been used locally for building purposes. The five limestones mentioned previously are probably the ones most used for building purposes.
Sand and gravel is not currently being produced in Miami County. The last reported production was in 1955, when 8,683 short tons were produced (R.G. Hardy, 1964, personal communication).
The sand and gravel deposits are restricted to the valleys of the major streams and to the upland surfaces adjacent to these streams. The deposits are composed predominantly of quartz and chert but include 20 to 40 percent clay and silt.
Deposits of shale and silt suitable for the manufacture of brick, tile, and lightweight constructional aggregate are abundant in Miami County (Norman Plummer and W.B. Hladik, 1964, personal communication). The deposits are Pennsylvanian in age and produce ceramics that are red or reddish brown. In the 1920s, material from the lower part of the Lane Shale from a pit just north of Paola, in SE NW sec. 9, T. 17 S., R. 23 E., was used to make brick. At several localities the shales of the Wea, Quivira, Lane, Bonner Springs, Vilas, and Weston are suitable for ceramic purposes.
Kansas Geological Survey, Miami County Geohydrology
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Web version June 2002. Original publication date June 1966.