The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969

Book Reviews

from those of cowboy, he was most successful at well-drilling. He
was never a big operator at ranching. It is regrettable to find a bit
of ugly racism in the story of such a fine man (pp. 114-115). Those
who enjoy reading tall tales will find considerable pleasure in this
biography. A certain degree of literary license, to be sure, is permis-
sible in such accounts.
The book would have been more readable had it been supplied
with two maps showing the main topographical features, forts, and
towns: one for southwest Texas, and the other for southwestern New
Mexico and southeastern Arizona. Even so, it is a real contribution
to the history of the open range. It was Henry E. McCulloch, brother
of Ben, who occupied Fort Chadbourne. The general format is at-
tractive, just as expected of the University of Oklahoma Press.
Austin, Texas JOHN L. WALLER
The Cattle Towns. By Robert R. Dykstra. New York (Alfred A.
Knopf), 1968. Pp. v+386+x. Illustrations, maps, appendixes,
index. $8.95.
Kansas towns that provided markets for Longhorns taken up the
Chisholm Trail and other routes, along with entertainment for the
Texas cowboys who managed the herds, are given here a penetrating
social history. Earlier books on the cow towns were devoted mainly
to their saloons, gambling parlors, and dance halls and to the shoot-
ings they witnessed. This one digs deeper to bring out the economic
and political aspects of the trading centers and to analyze their rise
and decline as markets for trail cattle, 1867-1885.
The towns studied are the five to which most of the Longhorns
were trailed-Abilene, Ellsworth, Wichita, Dodge City, and Cald-
well. The book, by a history teacher at the University of Ne-
braska, is a revision of his doctoral dissertation at the State University
of Iowa. The author shows the enterprise of the Kansans in competing
for the Texas cattle trade, in lobbying against bills that would have
hindered trailing, in placating farmers whose crops were trampled
by the herds, and in stifling reform proposals that would have closed
places of entertainment.
Dykstra has made thorough use of city, county, and state records,
census figures, contemporary newspaper files, and many other sources.
He discusses the conflict between the drovers and the farmers and
later, as a third faction, the local ranchmen. He also traces the rise


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed November 24, 2015.