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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

of moral reform that tried to banish vice, even at the cost of losing
the cattle trade. In 1885, though, barbed-wire fences virtually ended
large-scale cattle trailing from Texas to the Kansas towns. Then the
towns had to readjust themselves to become farm markets. Only one
of them, Wichita, thanks to meat packing, flour milling, and petro-
leum discoveries, continued to grow.
Striding across Dykstra's pages are not only cowboys, gunslingers,
and ladies of "joy" but also town promoters, land profiteers, home-
steaders, and moral reformers. Debunking the Hollywood of rapidly
filled Boot Hill graveyards, he points out that the highest number of
killings in any of the cow towns in any year was five. He treats the
Kansas trade in Texas cattle as a vital, even though temporary,
factor in the development of the frontier West.
In tearing away the veil of romanticism and revealing the Kansas
cattle towns in a realistic light, the author applies sound scholar-
ship to a subject long exploited by shoot-'em-up hack writers. At the
same time, he writes engagingly and holds the reader's interest. His
success should lead other serious historians to invade fields left thus
far to more popular, but often careless, chroniclers.
Dallas, Texas WAYNE GARD
"I'm Frank Hamer": The Life of a Texas Peace Officer. By John H.
Jenkins and H. Gordon Frost. Introduction by Homer Garrison.
Austin (Pemberton Press), 1968. Illustrations. $7.50.
John H. Jenkins and H. Gordon Frost have written the story of
perhaps Texas' most colorful peace officer, Frank Hamer. Colonel
Homer Garrison says in his introduction to this interesting book
that Frank Hamer experienced a transition in law enforcement. As
a young Texas Ranger, Hamer experienced frontier conditions and
his transportation was by horseback. Before his death he, as the crim-
inals he sought, traveled by automobile. The transition from the
horseback, trail-following officer to a "highly knowledgeable special-
ist-part detective, part scientist, and thoroughly modern lawman"
was a long and difficult path.
Hamer was a lawman by nature. His very instinct was that of
law enforcement. He detested civil or military officials who winked
at the law. As a Ranger, he refused to obey an order to make a farce
out of an arms embargo against Mexico. Later in prohibition days
as an enforcement officer, he refused to overlook violations of the
liquor laws and helped send his superior to prison.


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 29, 2015.