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

Book Reviews

appendix, she lists about two hundred by state, along with the titles and major
depositories of their publications.
Bennion estimates that these editors comprised from i to 2 percent of the
total for the period and place, but she finds no stereotypes. In many respects
the women resembled their male counterparts. They cut across social and eco-
nomic lines, with most of them falling into the middle class. They boasted a
somewhat better than average education for their time, and they were moti-
vated by a desire to express their views, advocate causes, or make money. Usu-
ally their editorial careers were of short duration.
Nor does Bennion find a stereotype in their publications. Most of the women
edited small-town papers, but they also edited a wide range of special publica-
tions. Some aimed at women readers. Others adopted special causes such as
temperance, suffrage, or the labor movement. Still others edited religious, lit-
erary, or health publications.
A look at the women explains why they and their publications defy stereotyp-
ing. There was Marietta L. Beers Stow who used her paper to campaign for
vice president of the United States, and Rowena Granice Steele, sometime
actress, novelist, and editor, whose husband killed a fellow editor in defense of
her honor. There was Mary Hayes-Chynoweth who used her spiritual gifts not
only to edit a paper and found a church, but also to make a fortune in minerals.
And there were the Mormon sister wives, Ellis and Maggie Shipp, who alter-
nately left their children-they had nineteen between them-with sister wives
while they earned medical degrees in the East. Their common husband also
earned a medical degree, and the three of them edited a medical journal in Salt
Lake City.
Bennion takes a pedestrian, scholarly approach to her material, avoiding any
semblance of sensationalism and possibly trying too hard to find stereotypes.
Overall, her book makes a notable contribution to the history of women and
journalism in the Far West. Unfortunately, Texas is not included.
Huntsville, Texas MARILYN MCADAMS SIBLEY
My Dear Mollze: Love Letters of a Texas Sheep Rancher. By Agnesa Reeve. (Dallas:
Hendrick-Long Publishing Co., 1990. Pp. xv+ 171. Preface, introduction,
black-and-white photographs, map, epilogue. $17.95.)
In December 1888, John Barclay McGill, age thirty-two, fell in love with his
distant cousin Mollie McCormick, twenty-two, when they met, although not for
the first time, at a family wedding in Austin, Texas. McGill's letters that fol-
lowed the meeting make up this attractive and engaging book. The sixty-eight
letters detail John's life as well as his love and courtship of Molhe from the De-
cember encounter to March 189o, shortly after which the couple married.
McGill, the letters show, worked for a newspaper in Lampasas when the
long-range courtship began, but he had financial investments in West Texas
sheep raising. Restless and determined to make money in wool growing, he left
Lampasas for Marienfield (present Stanton) in the sheep country west of Big
Spring. There he worked on his own flocks, hired herders, leased land from

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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 July 13, 2014.