OTIS A. SINGLETARY, Editor
Something About Brown: A History of Brown County, Texas. By
T. R. Havins. Brownwood (Banner Printing Company),
1958. Pp. 2o8. Illustrations.
There are many county histories, but it is a rare experience
indeed to find one written by a seasoned historian, familiar with
the exacting standards of modern scholarship, who has spent the
greater part of a lifetime in the field about which he writes. This
is the story of a Central Texas county told in a delightful way.
Brown County has had more than its share of contests and
action. Created in 1846 and organized in 1858, its settlement was
just getting well under way when the Civil War stopped all de-
velopment, and for four years and more the county's scattered
settlers barely managed to maintain a semblance of government.
Reconstruction was marked by the arrival of more people, but it
did not end the peril of Indian raids nor annihilate the gangs of
organized criminals. Then, after the cattlemen had taken over the
country and farmers were seeking to appropriate a share of the
lands, the fence-cutting orgy almost led to civil war.
Professor Havins begins in a workman-like manner by point-
ing out that no county history can ever be complete, that some
topics must be left out. A good test of a historian is, however, his
relative emphasis; and the subjects treated in this book are ele-
mental, important, and interesting.
There is a good, brief layman's account of the geology of the
region, a glimpse at Spanish explorers, some details about the
more important Indian tribes, and a sketch of the coming of the
first settlers. Such topics as frontier days, the Civil War and Recon-
struction, Indian raids, and crime are given adequate treatment
without undue emphasis. A chapter on the cattle industry is fol-
lowed by another on towns of the county and a most interesting
treatment of early-day social and religious life. The author dwells
more in detail on the transition from ranches to farms and the
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/. Accessed June 30, 2015.