The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

The introduction is by Pete A. Y. Gunter, past president of the Big
Thicket Association with which the author has been associated since its
beginning. Gunter's chapter is a concise history of the area from the
1700s. "Efforts to save the Thicket from the axe and the saw date as far
back as the 920os, when the original Big Thicket Association was
formed.... [it] died with the Second World War and was not revived
until the 196os. There are many conservationists," continues Mr. Gun-
ter, "who love the Thicket for its legends ... wilderness ... the pattern
of the sun on mossed logs . . . the cry of the hawk above pinetops, or
the smell of damp forests on a fall morning. There are the ecologists
who recognise the region's ecological significance." Besides the folk-
lorists, economists now study the practical values of the region. The
latter will better understand the quality of preservation after a study of
Lois Parker's bibliography.
The book is divided according to subject and is beautifully illustrated
by black and white photos, which best reveal the solitude of this, one
of the last evidences of the forest primeval.
A lice Public Library, Alice, Texas HENRIETTE H. CLIFFORD
Indianola: The Mother of Western Texas. By Brownson Malsch. (Aus-
tin: Shoal Creek Publishers, Inc., 1977. Pp. xii+300. Preface, in-
troduction, illustrations, index. $15.)
Indianola served Texas well during its brief life of slightly over forty
years and is unique, as the author points out, in that it "not only died
engulfed in agony [caused by two devastating hurricanes], but . . . was
born of human suffering [of German immigrants in the 184os]" (p. 1).
After its birth as a port of entry for Germans-who were plagued by
woefully inadequate leadership, disease, and general hard luck-Indi-
anola became a surprisingly cosmopolitan town. It supported the de-
velopment of western Texas as the major supply port for that area of the
state; Galveston worried that its supremacy as Texas's leading port
might be lost to an upstart; it survived typhus and yellow fever epi-
demics, the looting of invading Yankees, and the scorched earth tactics
of defending Rebels; and it lived to participate in the economic develop-
ment of the 187os and 188os. But Indianola could not survive the
violence of nature visited upon the community by the hurricanes of
1875 and 1886.
Reconstruction of Indianola's history is especially difficult because
the tropical storms which destroyed the town obviously destroyed the

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101206/. Accessed April 19, 2014.