the gunfight at the OK Corral, and by mid-July, 1882, was found
slumped against a tree stump with a bullet in his head.
If Burrows had given these facts, and his evaluations, in a straight-
forward biography, the story would have ended in 50 or 6o pages,
rather than 242. Instead he provides an entire chapter explaining why
Ringo was not a college graduate (pp. 120-128). Ringo's life does not
even start until page 107, and prior to that the author wanders around
dissecting other biographical or historical accounts, as well as discuss-
ing Tombstone and the Earps, adding little that is new. In fact, previ-
ous Ringo biographers are the real thrust of the Burrows book. For
page after tedious page, Burrows demolishes those who did not have
twenty years, as he claims he did (p. 3), to research and write about one
The circumstances involving Ringo's death form the longest chapter
(pp. 148-197), and every statement or report is carefully appraised. Fi-
nally, after much anguish and sneering, Burrows agrees with what was
generally suspected all along: Ringo committed suicide.
As for why we still remember Ringo, Burrows comes up with what
has to be a first in terms of explaining fame. "Ringo's image was created
for him by the inaccuracies of innumerable writers, and I believe that
he remains a western figure largely because of the mellifluous tonal
quality of the name" (p. 202), a "name that rings like a bell" (p. 203).
To give Jack Burrows his due, however, he has turned up the first
new information about John Ringo to come along in years. Finding it,
of course, is something else, but the book does have a good index.
El Paso, Texas LEON METZ
The Forgotten Cattle King. By Benton R. White. (College Station, Tex.:
Texas A&M University Press, 1986. Pp. xviii+138. Acknowledg-
ments, prologue, maps, illustrations, notes, selected bibliography,
Unfortunately, well-researched books are not always well-written
books. With this book, historian Benton R. White has produced a book
steeped in scholarly research that is a pleasure to read. Though few
have ever heard of Fountain Goodlet Oxsheer, White's book demon-
strates that Oxsheer had as much impact on the Texas cattle industry as
men like C. C. Slaughter, Richard King, and Charles Goodnight. Ox-
sheer's life spanned a good part of the Anglo portion of the Texas cattle
story, from the rough days of Reconstruction through the tough times
of the so-called Great Depression.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101211/. Accessed March 17, 2014.