Forty Years at El Paso, 1858-1898. By W. W. Mills. Introduction
and notes by Rex Strickland. Drawings by Tom Lea. El Paso
(Carl Hertzog), 1962. Pp. xxii+2 2. Introduction, notes,
appendices, index, illustrations. $7.00.
One of the more stimulating phenomena evident in current
Texas historiography is the continuing production of the dynamic
Far West Texas group of Strickland, Hertzog, Lea, and associates.
The most recent title to join the growing list of publications
being produced by this group in El Paso is this beautiful re-issue
of W. W. Mills's invaluable Forty Years at El Paso, 1858-1898.
W. W. Mills, of course, needs no introduction to students
of Far West Texas or of the post-Civil War political history of
the state. Because the first edition of his reminiscences has be-
come increasingly more difficult to secure, however, the new
edition will be of real service to the professional as well as to
those persons for whom this re-issue will be an entirely new and
quite edifying experience.
In a real sense, W. W. Mills was one of the unique and
dynamic personalities who crossed the nineteenth-century stage
of Texas history. Strangely, however, the major corpus of his per-
sonal writings has eluded researchers of the twentieth century,
and his reminiscences, first published in 1901, have remained
the chief repository of information relating to the man.
Arriving at the Pass of the North in 1858 as a young man of
some twenty-two years of age, Mills proceeded at once to identify
himself with the site that was to be his principal future resi-
dence. He was, with his brother, Anson Mills, a central figure
in the Unionist element of El Paso from the beginning of the
Civil War and continued to occupy a dominant position as a
Republican leader during the post-war years. Far from being
merely a local politician interested only in the affairs of El
Paso and the outer fringe of the state, Mills was also vitally
concerned with the larger stage of state and national politics, a
concern that was expanded, enhanced, and enlarged by his close
relationship to Governor A. J. Hamilton (Mary Hamilton, Gov-
ernor Hamilton's daughter, became Mrs. W. W. Mills in 1869).
Because Forty Years at El Paso is the chief source of informa-
tion on this interesting and significant figure of Texas history,
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/. Accessed November 27, 2015.