RUDOLPH L. BIESELE, Editor
In Those Days: Memoirs of the Edwards Plateau. By Edith Black
Winslow. San Antonio (The Naylor Company), 1950. Pp.
xiv+ 184. $3.00.
Fort McKavett in the extreme western part of present-day Me-
nard County and Menard, the county seat, are the two place
names to which most of this story is attached. After thirty years
of use Fort McKavett was abandoned by United States troops in
1882 when their services for protection against the Indians were
no longer needed. Within a few miles from the fort the head-
springs of the San Saba River are located, and there William Les-
lie Black, the author's father, bought fifty sections of land for a
ranch at ten cents an acre. He stocked this ranch, Rancho Escon-
dido, the hub around which most of this story revolves, "with
about seven hundred head of native Longhorn cattle, about one
thousand head of native sheep, at the same time importing a
carload of purebred Merino rams."
In Those Days is, in the main, a story of two families-Black
and Winslow-and was written by a member of both of them,
Edith Black Winslow. It is also an account of life with experiences
such as many other ranch-owning families of the Edwards Plateau
of Texas could have experienced, and no doubt did. It is largely an
autobiography, but the writer never deliberately puts herself for-
ward into a prominent position. Nevertheless, the author grows
on the reader as the story proceeds.
Before I began to read this book I had heard others speak of
it as being one of those books in which the author literally has
a heart to heart talk with her readers through the persons and
places she describes. Many are the passages which touch the roots
of life and speak eloquently for the humanness of the author.
These passages were not written for effect; they were not written
with a deliberate attempt to make some point or other; they
flowed from the pen with the naturalness of the author. By way
of example, in writing of the return of young men from the
Second World War, the author said:
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/. Accessed October 24, 2014.