The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974

Book Reviews

A one-page bibliography lists books, pamphlets, a newspaper article, and
interviews. Although Historic Homes of San Augustine is short, it still would
have benefited from the inclusion of an index.
This book is recommended to all who are interested in historic Texas
homes, as well as in settler Greek Revival architecture in the South.
Texas Tech University WILLARD B. ROBINSON
The Flamboyant Judge. By James D. Hamlin, as told to J. Evetts Haley
and William Curry Holden. (Canyon, Texas: Palo Duro Press, 1972.
Pp. xxiii+ 312. Illustrations, notes, appendix, index. $10.)
Fascinating bits of history of the Texas Panhandle and eastern New Mex-
ico-items that don't appear in schoolbooks-enliven the reminiscences of
one of that area's colorful characters, Judge James D. Hamlin. At the
urging of two of his friends, J. Evetts Haley and William Curry Holden,
both eminent historians, Hamlin dictated his memoirs in 1945-1946, but
insisted that they not be published before 1970.
Born in Kentucky in 1871, Hamlin was seventeen when the family moved
to St. Louis. In 1897 he and a comrade left for the Klondike gold rush; but
when he stopped to visit a friend in the frontier village of Amarillo, he be-
came sidetracked and spent the rest of his life on the high plains. He be-
came the first president of short-lived Amarillo College, where he also
taught Greek and Latin. Later he was admitted to the bar and was elected
county judge.
For forty years Hamlin represented the great XIT Ranch, helping in
lobbying, in the disposal of land, and in founding the towns of Texico and
Farwell. He also became president of the West Texas Chamber of Com-
merce and the Panhandle-Plains Historical Society. In his later years he
was a discerning collector of art works. He died in Clovis in 1950, at the
age of seventy-eight.
The main value of Hamlin's recollections is that they are spiced with
anecdotes and frank comments on events and on many of the people he
knew. His acquaintances included ranchmen and lawyers, mustangers and
moonshiners, dowagers and ladies of easy virtue. He knew Temple Houston
and includes as an appendix the latter's famous plea for a fallen woman.
He also recounts his experiences in gathering evidence for the trial of libel
suits against the XIT owners and Haley over Haley's history of the ranch.
The Hamlin story makes a sprightly narrative; and the editors have given
it the careful attention it deserves in introductory comments and footnotes,
many of the latter adding biographical information on persons mentioned

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117148/. Accessed December 28, 2014.