The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992

Southwestern Hizstorical Quarterly

The Magnificent Marathon Basn " A History of Marathon, Texas, Its People and Events.
By AnneJo P. Wedin. (Austin: Nortex Press, 1989. Pp. vi+598. Preface, in-
troduction, illustrations, appendices, bibliography, index. $39-95.)
Local history often is preserved through a labor of love for an area and its
people by a longtime resident. Thus is the case with AnneJo P. Wedin and her
book, The Magnificent Marathon Ban. The author collected the material for her
book during the more than sixty years she lived in Marathon, a small town in
eastern Brewster County, Texas. The book is less a comprehensive narrative
history than a compilation of the materials Wedin collected over the years,
slightly edited, and organized chronologically within topics. The result is un-
even, with some people, places, and events receiving thorough coverage and
others receiving little or none.
The first part of the book is a narrative starting with the establishment of
Camp Pefia Colorado in 1879 and the location and naming of the town. Mara-
thon owed its existence first to the military post and later to the railroad that
shipped the cattle from area ranches. The town also flirted over the years with
several unique economic activities, among them guayule rubber, candelilla
wax, and fluorspar. Wedin details all of these activities and more, but she does
not attempt to take the chronological narrative beyond the early years.
Over half the book is made up of family histories, usually written by family
members or friends. The length of these histories does not necessarily reflect
the family's importance to the history of the region as much as it does the indi-
vidual author's knowledge and writing style. They are uneven in style and con-
tent, some containing a wealth of information, others little more than a few
facts. The family histories, and the book as a whole, contain information in
print, or at least easily accessible, for the first time here. That perhaps is the
importance of this book-it contains material on the history of the Marathon
Basin that is readily available nowhere else, and that, without Wedin's efforts,
might have been lost.
For a work of local history, published without the backing of a large press,
The Magnificent Maathon Basin is outstanding. It is attractive and relatively easy
to use, with extensive illustrations and a good index. This is not a book to read
so much as a work of reference on a neglected area of West Texas, and as a
reference work it is invaluable.
Sul Ross State Univetstyv JUDITH A. PARSONS
Crockett at Two Hundted: New Pei.spetwes on the Man and the Myth. Edited by
Michael A. Lofaro and Joe Cummings. (Knoxville: University of Ten-
nessee Press, 1989. Pp. xvii+252. Preface, illustrations, acknowledgments,
introduction, bibliography, index. $24.95.)
On August 15, 1986, a group of scholars held a conference at East Tennessee
State University, Johnson City, to celebrate the two-hundredth anniversary of
the birth of the famous frontiersman David Crockett, a native of the state. The
participants focused their attention on Crockett's role as an American folk hero
and discussed the process that turned the man into a mythical figure. They

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117153/. Accessed September 17, 2014.