The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977

Book Reviews

heroes and that John Wayne's frontier legend is still the favorite. It is
regrettable that Tuska's recounting of these legends does not match the
quality of the films that recorded them.
Texas A&M University LARRY D. HILL
Alton Hutson: Reminiscences of a South Plains Youth. By William Curry
Holden. (San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 1975. Pp. 152.
Photographs, index. $12.)
Historians have long valued the diaries, memoirs, and personal letters of
perceptive observers and especially do regional and local historians find
such materials helpful. Persons interested in the South Plains of Texas will
welcome publication of Alton Hutson's story. Neither a general history of
the region nor an economic or social history, these reminiscences convey
a view of social and economic development as perceived and experienced
by a bright young person whose boyhood and youth corresponded to com-
parable phases of maturation of Lubbock and the surrounding territory.
Born in i903, Hutson spent his earliest years living in a dogout on the
Spur ranch, but in I907 the ranch was sold and the family moved to Lub-
bock where Hutson's personal recollections really begin. Here he enjoyed
a boyhood suggestive of a Fred Gipson novel.
Hutson's reminiscences continue through his student years at the Uni-
versity of Texas and at the new Texas Technological College. He recounts
an astounding succession of youthful business ventures; personal adventures
and some misadventures; and winds up with a description of his more ma-
ture enterprises which took him to Mexico and the Big Bend country in
the I930s. Woven through these accounts, and implicit in them, are the
author's observations and impressions of economic development and social
evolution during the uncommonly short period in which Lubbock rose from
commonplace beginnings as an obscure country town to become a center
of agriculture and education.
At slight expense of chronology, Alton Hutson is systematically organized
around a number of themes such as "Comanche Boys," which introduces
the Comanche chums with whom Hutson shared his boyhood; "Railing,
Hoboes and Bright Lights," which relates Hutson's experiences in "railing"
cattle to market as distinguished from the "trailing" of cattle common to
an earlier generation; and "Moonshining, Bootlegging and Trucking," from
which moral philosophers will be charmed to learn that bootlegging, flour-
ished in Fundamentalist Lubbock and under the domination of a local
syndicate. Although well organized, Alton Hutson appears to lose neither


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed February 14, 2016.