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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

music, and the impact of mass advertising. The Mineral Wells story served as a
model for the remaining chapters. After the first three chapters, the casual
reader might decide to thumb through the additional stories in the succeeding
chapters. In addition, the book's appendix lists other mineral wells by county.
Longtime Texans will undoubtedly find an interesting story about a familiar
county, and critical scholars will find an authoritative document.
University of Texas at Austin SCOTT HARRIS
The LH7 Ranch zn Houston's Shadow: The E. H. Marks' Legacy, from Longhorns to
the Salt Grass Trail. By Deborah Lightfoot Sizemore. (Denton: University
of North Texas Press, 1991. Pp. xi + 224. Preface, illustration, black-and-
white photographs, notes, bibliography, index. $22.50.)
Cryin' for Daylight: A Ranching Culture zn the Texas Coastal Bend. By Louise S.
O'Connor. (Austin: Wexford Publishing, 1989. Pp. xiii + 298. Foreword,
preface, black-and-white photographs, color photographs, epilogue, glos-
sary. $49.95.)
These two recent ranching histories capture the spirit of the Texans that
developed and sustained the cattle industry, culture, and heritage of the Gulf
Coastal Plain. Both accounts stem from the reminiscences of men and women
who have watched the distinctiveness and tradition of their way of life become
transformed by technological, social, and economic upheaval in the last half-
In The LH7 Ranch Deborah Lightfoot Sizemore weaves the story of a fam-
ily ranch around the personality of its founder, Emil Henry Marks (1881-
1969), cowboy, cattleman, showman, poet, husband, and father, whose life
spanned the years between the open range and suburban sprawl in western
Harris County. A German-American orphan, who with self-taught cowboy
skills worked his way up from itinerant cowhand to innovative rancher, Marks
prospered through the vicissitudes of climate, war, and economic crises in the
first half of the twentieth century. Dedicated to tradition, Marks bred long-
horns at a time when other Texans were importing exotic breeds. Nostalgic for
the days of cow camps and cattle drives, he composed and collected cowboy
songs and poetry and co-founded the annual Salt Grass Trail ride. Marks's own
words, taken from press interviews and from a sound recording of his poetry
and songs, lend colorful accents to the story of his life. To these sources, Size-
more added photographs and material from the Marks family archives and
interviews with Marks's four children. The reader is handicapped, however, by
the lack of a map showing the gradual overshadowing of the ranch by nearby
Houston. Otherwise, The LH7 Ranch effectively documents the results of ur-
banization on rural life. The original LH7 headquarters, protected as a State
Archaeological Landmark, are now surrounded by office buildings and park-
ing garages, a lone and potent reminder of the early heritage of Harris County.
In Cryin'for Daylzght, Louise S. O'Connor celebrates the cattle heritage of the
coastal bend in a fresh way through expressive photos and interview excerpts,
interspersed with clear, comprehensive analysis and accompanied by a well-


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 4, 2016.

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