The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

which aided the area farmers in identifying the most profitable com-
mercial crops. By 1919 the firm's efforts to improve the property be-
fore selling it had been stymied, and the operation turned into a stand-
ard real estate company. In over its head, the company faced the task
of extrication.
During the 1920o's competent management (for a change) guided
the enterprise, but while tenant operations generated some income,
the firm failed to sell much land. In addition, repossessions began to
offset sales. The company weathered the depression years by again
stopping land development prior to sale and by living off capital re-
serves. The drought during the years simply piled burden upon bur-
den. Finally, however, a land boom around Plainview accompanying
World War II and sales to tenants allowed the firm to dispose of its
last acre in 1946. Ten years later the company dissolved.
Professor Brunson has done an excellent job of research in combing
minute books, annual reports, correspondence, and newspapers. He
provides the reader with a sound financial and management history,
while not losing sight of the agricultural impact of the firm. I only
wish he had chosen some other way to end his book than with the
shopworn cliche that the enterprise "can be considered a good exam-
ple of the American system of free enterprise capitalism at work." As
Brunson admits, the firm failed in its goal of selling developed land
and many investors lost money. But enough nit-picking. Professor
Brunson has written a good economic history, one that is an outstand-
ing contribution to the growing literature on promotional activities
in the United States.
University of Toledo THOMAS B. BREWER
Thank God, We Made It! By Joseph Lynn Clark. (Austin: The Uni-
versity of Texas, 1969. Pp. xxiii + 564. Illustrations, appendix,
bibliography, index. $7.95.)
Joseph L. Clark's interpolated paraphrasing of the autobiography
of his grandfather-Joseph Addison Clark-and his family's oral re-
ports of history is interesting as an addendum to the standard his-
tories of the southeastern states and of Texas in the period from 1815
to 1901. The autobiography's impressionistic accounts of frontier edu-
cation, religion, newspaper publishing, and business ventures provide
welcome cultural insights. Because Joseph Addison Clark moved often

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101200/. Accessed January 30, 2015.