The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989

Book Reviews

editing that would save him from some small errors, a bit of tortured
syntax, and even a few spelling and interpretation problems.
Stockton, California JOHN PORTER BLOOM
Railroads and Revolutions: The Story of Roy Hoard. by J. F. Hulse. (El Paso:
Mangan Books, 1986. Pp. 128. Preface, acknowledgments, photo-
graphs, map, index. $19.95.)
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to copies of Razlroads and Revolutions having been sent in-
advertently to two reviewers, a review of the book appeared previously in
the October 1988 issue of the Quarterly.]
L. Roy Hoard (1886-1973), a native of East Texas and later a promi-
nent business executive in El Paso, spent part of his long and varied
career as an official of a rather woebegone railroad, the Ferrocaril Nor-
Oeste de Mexico (Mexico North Western Railway). This carrier oper-
ated for 472 miles in an arc that ran from Ciudad Juarez to Chihuahua
in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. The company, however, planned
to build from its main stem northwestward toward Douglas, Arizona,
and also from La Junta, Chihuahua, westward to Tonichi, Sonora, and
southwestward to Agiabampo, Sonora. But the chaos that came from
the Mexican Revolution of 191o ended dreams of expansion. From
then on the Nor-Oeste fought hard just to survive. An affiliated firm,
the Madera Company, Ltd. (like the railroad also a Canadian corpora-
tion), operated extensive lumbering activities and supplied the railroad
with much of its traffic.
Since political instability plagued Mexico, especially Chihuahua, for
much of the 19gos and part of the 192os, Hoard, who became vice
president and general manager and later president, faced countless
problems. The pesky "Pancho" Villa, for one, inflicted thousands of
dollars worth of damages to the Nor-Oeste. Fortunately, Hoard, who
showed deep sympathy toward Mexicans, managed to walk a political
tightrope-and even the fickle Villa respected him. Hoard was a man
of his word in addition to being bright and hardworking. Eventually, in
1945, the Canadian owners sold the railroad and its subsidiaries and
thus ended Hoard's association with this struggling pike.
Railroads and Revolutions is an "as told by"-type book. The coverage is
often colorful and episodic and the style breezy. Nevertheless, J. F.
Hulse, a retired El Paso attorney and close friend of Hoard, conveys
successfully the excitement of Hoard's tenure with the Nor-Oeste. One

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101212/. Accessed August 29, 2014.