Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The Palo Pinto Story. By Mary Whatley Clarke. Fort Worth (The
Manney Company), 1956. Pp. x+1 x72. Illustrations. $4.00.
Much Texas frontier history focuses in Palo Pinto County. Near
the middle of the nineteenth century some notable Indian tribes
located there in an unsuccessful effort to escape the buffeting of
the white frontiersmen. Following the Fort Worth-Fort Belknap
road, a few settlers came in 1854 and many others during the three
years following, fanning out into the bends of the Brazos and the
valleys of Keechi, Caddo, and other tributaries. A list of early
names reads like a roll call of Texas frontier immortals: Good-
night, Loving, Slaughter, Hittson, Strawn, and many others.
Mrs. Clarke is a native of Palo Pinto and for some years owned
and published the Palo Pinto Star and later was associated with
the Mineral Wells Index. Her history begins with a county album
of some seventy historic pictures, a worthy contribution to the
history of the county and the region. She gives a brief account
of the Indians but does not make use of much of the abundant
source material of Indians and Indian relations of that region.
In giving the names of early settlers and describing early-day
events, the author is on surer ground; she uses the commissioners
court and other public records.
The history of the earliest days is set forth in a series of brief
chapters: the first cemetery, the first school, the first churches,
and the like. There is an interesting sketch on the numerous
bends of the Brazos-some thirty-six-each representing a com-
munity. One of these bends, Possum Kingdom, gave its name to
the great reservoir which is known throughout the Southwest.
Mrs. Clarke blends history and biography skillfully, and she
links much history about certain outstanding pioneers that she
describes. Among the various biographical sketches are those of
George W. Slaughter, the noted cattleman and preacher; James
C. Son, the unique editor of the Palo Pinto Star; Colonel Kit
Carter, first president of the Texas Cattle Raisers' Association;
and the Cunningham brothers who started the first bank in Palo
Pinto. There are interesting chapters on such topics as the old
ferry and bridge on the Brazos; tragedies of the Brazos; the
meeting of the Costello brothers after years of separation; the
old settlers reunion; and legends of the Brazos.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101164/. Accessed February 9, 2016.