Dorothy Sloan -- Books

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AUCTION 19

207. TURNER, Mary Honeyman Ten Eyck (Mrs. Avery Turner). Into the West. Amarillo , 1938. [3] 61 [1 blank] pp., full page text illustrations (mostly photographic, including frontispiece portrait). 8vo, original blue cloth, paper label with colored illustration (landscape) mounted on upper cover. Very fine in original glassine d.j. (lightly worn). Turner’s other book (see next entry) is scarce, but this title is very rare.
     First edition, limited edition (125 copies). Adams , Guns 2251. Adams , Herd 2345: “Scarce.” Not in CBC. 

     Turner gives an excellent account of her life in the Panhandle, commenting on her arrival by train in 1901:  “The contrast from our Chicago , our late home, was from the sublime to the ridiculous.  I thought I had come to the end of the world.  But after 37 years lived here it is now the only world to me... Amarillo was just a cow town, with no herd law, no sidewalks no trees, ‘no nothing’...  At that time there were no electric lights, no telephones, no gas or other utilities... Beef and canned goods were the principal articles of food, a lack of which was green vegetables and fruit, all of which had to be shipped in.  Empty cans were blown all over the prairie.  Servants were unobtainable.  Everybody had to rustle for themselves.  Our laundry was sent to Wichita , Kansas , several hundred miles away.  Negroes were shot out of town...  Housewives carried dust cloths much of the time as the wind blew the dust north one day and south the next, unless we had one of our rare rains when the streets were mud holes and our one `hack’ was in great demand... No matter where one went, nothing was heard but ‘Cattle, cattle, cattle.’  The amount shipped, their condition, the price and the place.  It was just a cattle country and nothing else.  Men wore big hats, no coats, open shirt fronts, unbuttoned vests and high heeled boots, which went without saying. Women often wore Mother Hubbards’ and sun bonnets on the streets, with diamonds in their ears.”

     Of the advent of the petroleum era, she records: “To live in a town or community when ‘oil comes in’ is a thrill not often experienced... The town went crazy... Oil men, ‘outfits’ and capitalists soon doubled the population of Amarillo and the whole country.” 

     Turner was the first woman to drive an auto in Amarillo .  The chapter “Social Life in the Panhandle of Texas ” is excellent and gives material of a type not found elsewhere. Her description of the first golf course is unusual: “An improvised golf course out on the prairie, with neither bunkers or traps, gave us some pleasure and practice.  The only hazards were rattlesnake and prairie dog holes, which were occupied by both animals at the same time from which one never dared try to retrieve one’s balls. It was a satisfaction to kill a spreading adder in my path, coiled and with its flat head spread and tongue swaying, with one stroke of my club which broke its neck, its head falling back on its coil.”  ($350-700)

Auction 19 Short Title List | Auction 19 Prices Realized

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