Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Texas and western Oklahoma, contributed to the birth and expansion of the
line and was essential for its continued existence. As highways supplanted track-
ways and truck transport edged out rail delivery, the Katy began to decline. The
managers of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad responded to shrinking capital
gains by reducing expenditures, including maintenance for the Katy Northwest.
The financial retrenchment sealed the line's fate. Starved for funding and in
need of the most basic repairs to its track system, the Katy Northwest literally fell
apart in the early 1970s.
In his main story line, Hofsommer focuses on the combined roles of econom-
ics, technology, and politics in the demise of the Katy Northwest, but he also
works numerous subtopics-and sideshows-into his text. Making appearances
are characters such as the actor Clark Gable, oilman Burke Burnett, and Wichita
Falls boosters Joseph Kemp and Frank Kell. Drawing attention are social and cul-
tural issues as well as economic policy. Indeed, it is the breadth of the treatment
that Hofsommer gives to such a narrow subject that makes his work so strong
In-depth analysis is lacking in Cotton Belt Locomotives, first published by Shade
Tree Books in 1977. The author, Joseph Strapac, initially gives the impression
that he is going to detail the history of the St. Louis Southwestern Railway, more
commonly known as the Cotton Belt. A narrow-gauge line that ran from south-
ern Illinois to Fort Worth, Texas, the Cotton Belt was conceived as a challenger
to Jay Gould's rail empire. It failed in its purpose, falling prey to its monolithic
competitor, and ownership eventually passed to the Southern Pacific. The story
of the Cotton Belt railroad held great promise; it still does. Strapac presents only
a shallow evaluation of the St. Louis Southwestern Railway's history. Most of his
book is devoted to descriptions of the various cars and engines employed by the
Cotton Belt. Leave Cotton Belt Locomotives on the coffee table, so guests can
browse through the photographs of the trains.
Read Katy Northwest: The Story of a Branch Line Railroad; you will find it engag-
ing and thoughtful.
Wayland Baptist University, Lubbock Campus Kregg M. Fehr
The Bagbys of Brazil: The Life and Work of William Buck Bagby and Anne Luther Bagby,
Southern Baptist Missionaries. By Daniel B. Lancaster. (Austin: Sunbelt Media,
1999. ISBN 1-571-6825-1. $21.95, cloth.)
This book may seem archaic to some modern readers. Our culture often views
the missionary enterprise as narrow minded at best and evil at worst. The nine-
teenth century held no such bias and witnessed an explosion of missionary activi-
ty unprecedented in church history. Men like Adoniram Judson and Jonathan
Goforth "obeyed the call" to foreign missions, along with women like Lottie
Moon, and Anne Luther Bagby. Anne, with her husband William Buck Bagby,
laid the groundwork for the modern evangelical movement in Brazil.
Lancaster's biography of the Bagbys (third in a series on Texas Baptist Leaders)
is refreshingly honest while carefully documenting the work of these and other
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101221/. Accessed May 28, 2015.