The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983

Book Reviews

gave were pertinent-and the personal reminiscences charming.
Sophia Wyers was born in the Republic of Texas, married W. C.
Bryan in 1859, managed a ranch while he was in the Confederate
army, and cared for herself and her family on ranches in three West
Texas counties. Her fate was "to be a female version of Horatio
Alger's success stories and to die amidst considerable wealth" (p. 8).
Sophia's daughter Lora was born in 1867, attended Wesleyan Female
Institute and Waco Female College, both institutions founded by her
ancestors, and in 1885 moved to Abilene. She married K. K. Legett,
town founder and successful attorney, who, with Lora as consultant,
accumulated farm and ranch holdings. She trained her children in
home chores, shared community duties, and helped change Abilene
from a frontier saloon town to a progressive city noted for educa-
tional, religious, and social achievements.
Recollections of Lora are by daughter Ruth, who married Percy
Jones, civil engineer and railroad builder, with whom she accumu-
lated a large fortune and became one of the most generous philan-
thropists in Texas. Spence's conversations with Ruth Jones were inter-
rupted by and spiced with her comments about "Teacher," Rupert N.
Richardson, her mentor and friend over the years. The book is a
treasure in its informal and very personal approach.
Wichita Falls, Texas LLERENA FRIEND
Legendary Ladies of Texas. Edited by Francis Edward Abernethy.
(Dallas: E-Heart Press, 1981. Pp. xii+224. Preface, illustrations.
$24.95, hardcover; $12.95, paper.)
Are Texans aware that Sam Houston was able to defeat Santa Anna
on the plains of San Jacinto because the Mexican commander was
dallying in his tent with a beautiful mulatto slave, Emily Morgan?
That Adah Isaacs Menken of Nacogdoches was the toast of Europe in
the 186os for her breathtaking performance as Mazeppa? Or that
Martha White McWhirter and other "sanctified sisters" established a
thriving women's commune in Belton, Texas, in the 188os? These and
other remarkable stories have been retold by twenty-eight authors in
this delightful new book published by the Texas Folklore Society, in
cooperation with the Texas Foundation for Women's Resources.
Texas women as diverse as the outlaw Belle Starr, the sculptress
Elisabet Ney, Governor Miriam A. Ferguson, and the rock singer
Janis L. Joplin have been selected, according to editor Abernethy, be-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101209/. Accessed August 21, 2014.