The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970

Book Reviews

see glimpses of Sam Bass, who briefly joined a trail herd in Texas that
Hutchins (age 8) was with, "Hanging Judge" Isaac C. Parker at
Fort Smith, the lady bandit Belle Starr, Marshal Heck Thomas, the
Dalton gang, Al Jennings, John L. Sullivan at El Paso, Judge Roy
Bean, and Oklahoma millionaire Jake L. Hamon. Hutchins knew them
all. Most of the story focuses on eastern Oklahoma, where Hutchins
worked as a cowboy, deputy United States marshal (appointed in
1889) and chief of police of Ardmore (1916). He then drifted west,
working briefly at various jobs along the Texas border, and ended his
lawman career as a caretaker and guard of the high bridge constructed
by the Southern Pacific Railroad across the Pecos River. During his
last years, Hutchins was a familiar personality in Ardmore, wearing a
gun and holster (by special permission) about town, and telling stories
of his experiences.
Hutchins apparently lived a very eventful life, but the author failed
to obtain sufficient information from him for a good biography. As a
result, an atmosphere of improvisation, exaggeration, and fiction per-
vades the book. Especially disappointing is the lack of discussion of
Hutchins' tenure as police chief of Ardmore and his involvement in
curbing smugglers along the Texas border. On the other hand, Baker
effectively portrays the human being. Hutchins emerges as a testy
little man who never really became an important lawman and who
may well have exaggerated and improvised in describing his own life.
Some insight into white-Indian relations in the Chickasaw Nation
during the late nineteenth century is also provided.
The book includes a bibliography of the books, magazines, news-
papers, and other sources, and fourteen pictures-six concerning Hutch-
ins and six pertinent to Belle Starr. There is no index. Although the
volume should have an appeal to frontier-justice buffs, the paucity of
information and the semifictional presentation readily classify it as of
secondary importance to the history of the Southwest.
University of Arizona HARWOOD P. HINTON
Forgotten Legions: Sheep in the Rio Grande Plain of Texas. By V. W.
Lehmann. (El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1969. Pp. xv+226.
Photographs, drawings, maps, tables, appendices, bibliography,
index. $10.oo. $25.oo boxed, deluxe.)
This is a history of grazing on the Rio Grande Plain, discussing
what kinds of animals have grazed the region, for how long, and with

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117147/. Accessed May 23, 2015.