The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991

Book Reviews

157

ing story. On the other hand, Rick Miller, a former police officer resid-
ing in Killeen, has researched thoroughly his subject, Jack Duncan. But
several problems affect the worth of this book. Most important is the
subject of his biography. Surely Duncan, who helped capture notorious
"bad man" John Wesley Hardin, performed a service to Texas and de-
served praise from his fellow citizens. But that incident was, by far, the
high point in his career. Otherwise, he was often on the very edge of
the law, indicted several times in Dallas and jailed for any number of
questionable activities and notable indiscretions. And from 1878 to
Duncan's death in 1911 few events in his life really deserve mentioning.
Of less concern is the author's writing style, which is cliche-ridden and
informal.
As a result, both Bounty Hunter and Garrett and Roosevelt are question-
able historical works at best. Certain western aficionados might possibly
enjoy these slim tomes. But professional historians should definitely
shy away from them.
Texas Christian University BEN PROCTER
Southern Timberman: The Legacy of William Buchanan. By Archer H.
Mayor. (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1988. Pp. xviii+263.
Acknowledgments, note to readers, prologue, map, illustrations,
epilogue, notes, bibliography, index. $30.)
In spite of the title, this book is not a biography of William Buchanan
but rather a history of a fortune. Buchanan, a late nineteenth and early
twentieth century "cut and run" lumberman, from his headquarters in
Texarkana, Texas, established an empire of eight sawmill towns from
Stamps, Arkansas to Jena, Louisiana. In the process, he built the Loui-
siana and Arkansas Railroad and acquired title to hundreds of thou-
sands of acres of land which were to become the basic asset of a family-
held company that would bring great wealth to his kin and their
descendants.
Buchanan was so private as an individual and entrepreneur that, ap-
parently, none of his personal papers and only a handful of his busi-
ness records survive. As a result, Archer Mayor had to depend on
broader studies of the South and its lumber industry and interviews
with descendants, residents of Buchanan's home town and the towns he
created, and former employees and associates (and their children) as
sources to piece together a description of William Buchanan's career,
which is covered in the first half of the book.
The second half sets out the history of Buchanan's holdings from his
death in 1923. It is classic. "Little Will," who took over after his father,

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101214/. Accessed May 31, 2016.

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