Dorothy Sloan -- Books

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230. WILLIAMS, J. E. (Jim). Fifty-Eight Years in the Panhandle of Texas. Austin: Firm Foundation, [1944]. 137 [1 blank] pp., text illustrations (photographic). 8vo, original slate blue cloth lettered in black. Light shelf wear, otherwise fine. Tipped onto front endpaper is author’s signed typed message dated January 27, 1945, at Pampa, Texas, expressing pessimism that conditions will improve after World War II.  Uncommon.

     First edition (this copy bears a notation by Dudley R. Dobie indicating that 348 copies were autographed). Adams, Herd 2523: “Scarce.” Not in CBC. Author’s experiences with the Bar X and Quarter Circle Heart Ranch, with chapters including “The Lands and Land Values,” “Cattle Ranches and Ranching,” “Our Law and Order and the Judicial System,” “Churches, Schools and Social Life,” and “Our Social Lives in the Eighties.”  Williams states that he was born in Missouri and moved with his family as a child to Texas into an area near Denton.  After some hardships the family finally began to prosper and were successful farmers.  At about age sixteen, the author went to work on the Bar X Ranch, which was followed by stints on other ranches, such as the Quarter Circle Heart Ranch, both of which are in the Panhandle. Based on these experiences, he comments extensively on the perils and economics of ranching and on ranchers he knew.  He concludes his book with general remarks on such matters as social life and his political and religious views.  In statements that any modern parent would understand, he wonders if children of his generation had a better, simpler, and kinder childhood than those being born at the time he wrote—around World War II. ($200-400)

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