The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952

Nook Reviews
RUDOLPH L. BIESELE, Editor
Gail Borden: Dairyman to a Nation. By Joe B. Frantz. Norman
(University of Oklahoma Press), 1951. Pp. viii+310. $5.00.
This is the biography of Gail Borden who helped to found
the milk industry of the nation. It is the story of the Yankee
turned Texan, but the Texan is not cast in the usual role of the
Texas tradition. This Texan was neither statesman, outlaw, In-
dian warrior, nor cattle baron. Of all things, he was a Texan with
a milk pail.
Gail Borden was characterized by Stephen F. Austin, in his
hour of travail, as one "who can be trusted as he is conscien-
tiously an honest man." He stepped on and off the stage of Texas
history from 1829, the year he came to seek fame and fortune,
until his death at the village of Borden in 1874. His was no
minor role in the events leading up to the revolution; his press
was the "Voice of Texas." As collector of customs at Galveston
he showed he had a mind of his own in his handling of "ex-
chequer bills."
Joe Frantz, the author of this biography, was temperamentally
suited to do this job. He was reared in the home of a successful
inventor, and he had the background and training to follow the
Borden pathway meticulously. He spent the better part of several
years in research and in visiting those places "where Gail Borden
drove at a swift pace through life." He searched out the local Bor-
den lore. He breathed the air that Borden breathed-the air of the
western frontier, the muggy atmosphere of the Mississippi school-
room, the hot blasts and the "blue northers" of San Felipe on
the Brazos, Galveston's salt air intermingled with boiling beef
and simmering milk, the sharp tang of the atmosphere of upstate
New York and the hills and dales of Connecticut, the oppressive
odor of the gutters and shops of New York City, and the balmy
air of Harvey's Creek. He recreated the life of Gail Borden in
this atmosphere in which Borden had lived. This life story of
the schoolteacher, the farmer, the surveyor, the editor, the cus-

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/. Accessed December 22, 2014.