VOL. XXXII OCTOBER, 1928 No. 2
The publication committee and the editors disclaim responsibility for views expressed by
contributors to THE QUARTERLY
WEST TEXAS DR.OUTHS
W. C. HOLDEN
An immigrant's wagon, in October, 1885, moved slowly west-
ward along the road which paralleled the Texas and Pacific Rail-
road. On the coupling pole were three joints of stove pipe, on one
side of the wagon bed was attached a coop of chickens, on the other
side a water keg and on the rear a crate containing two pigs. The
wagon bed itself was filled for a depth of three feet with household
goods, from the top of which a half dozen children, tousled headed,
sun-burned, and dirty, peered from under the wagon sheet. On
the seat rode an unshaved and uncouth man. Beside the man sat
a woman, silent, patient, resigned. Behind the wagon came
a boy, barefooted, riding an old mare bareback, and driving
three or four milk cows. A dog trailed along. The cattle and
horses were not fat, but were moderately well fed and strong. The
members of the family appeared road weary, but in their eyes was
a faint gleam of hope and eagerness. Occasionally the man would
lean forward and view with satisfaction the brown, grass covered
prairies. They were going west to become land owners.
Exactly one year later, the same wagon passed the same spot
going east. There were no chickens, no pigs, no cows. The horses
were rawboned and gaunt and pulled the wagon with difficulty.
The family, bedraggled and undernourished, gave a hint by their
dull, expressionless faces of despondency. What had happened to
bring about a change in the fortunes of these people? The answer
was not far to seek. They had experienced a West Texas drouth.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101089/. Accessed December 26, 2014.