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

Book Revzews

march to their own drummer. Any youngster who shows promise with-
out the means to fulfill it can count on community support with Watt's
approval and participation. J. Frank Dobie spoke of his struggle to re-
main contemporary with himself as he grew older. Watt has accom-
plished this by remaining involved in a full panoply of community en-
deavors and by being genuinely interested in the lives of all who come
in contact with him. He has grown old without growing antiquated.
All of this comes through clearly enough in this book. Clayton shows
the influences of family (Watt was the youngest of nine children) and
environment on Watt and his responses to those influences. A Prince-
ton engineer by training, a ranch manager by profession, Watt's great
love is history. His devotion to historic preservation efforts has won rec-
ognition from the Texas Historical Commission, the Cowboy Hall of
Fame, and other agencies. No less important to Watt has been his stew-
ardship of the Lambshead Ranch and its natural and wildlife resources.
This story, too, is fully related by Clayton.
The Hardin-Simmons University Press, using the design services of
Barbara Jezek, has created a book that is invitingly pleasant and appro-
priately expansive. The pleasure is further enhanced by the artwork of
Paul Cameron Smith. This is a book to be read, shelved, and cherished
alongside Laura Wilson's newly published Watt Matthews of Lambshead,
an elegant pictorial treatment. Together, these books continue the
story of the ranch and its family, a story that began with the 1936 pub-
lication of that imperishable classic, Interwoven.
Instztute of Texan Cultures, San Antonio AL LOWMAN
The McNeills' SR Ranch: zoo Years in Blanco Canyon. By J. C. ("Cap")
McNeill III. Foreword by David J. Murrah. (College Station: Texas
A&M University Press, 1988. Pp. xiii+205. Preface, photographs,
notes, index. $18.95.)
The McNeills' SR Ranch provides "an inspiring account" (p. x) of a
comparatively small West Texas enterprise, owned and operated by the
same family for more than a hundred years. It chronicles the family's
"struggle to make a home" (p. x) despite competition from neighboring
ranches, capricious cattle markets, personal tragedy, and calamitous
weather. The primary source material is correspondence of the SR's
owner operators and vivid recollections of the author who witnessed
most of its history and knows the rest. He writes with clarity, sensitivity,
and, in so far as his own life is concerned, with restraint, even detach-
ment. The book contributes to an understanding of history from the
perspective of a small ranch and to an appreciation of man's capacity to
triumph over adversity.

163

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 July 11, 2014.