Short Grass and Longhorns. By Laura V. Hamner. Norman
(University of Oklahoma Press), 1943. Pp. viii + 269. Il-
In Laura V. Hamner's Short Grass and Longhorns we have
the result of forceful writing on a subject dear to the author's
heart. The halo of passing years, as recorded in the reminis-
cences of the participants or of their descendants, softens the
rawness and harshness of the glorious experiences of the "good
old days" of the fading past. Miss Hamner has evidently delved
deeply into the lives and experiences of those for whom she
has great admiration. It is all too obvious that she admires the
leading characters of this man's world, but I feel that one of
her real contributions is in picturing the efforts of the pioneer
women to establish homes and civilization in the land where
you dug for wood and climbed for water. This book is not a
history of ranching in the Panhandle in the fullest sense of the
word, but is rather a series of sketches of many ranches--a
sort of mosaic, as it were, of region and time. From this re-
viewer's standpoint the main value of the book lies in the in-
dividual chapters of the different ranches and brands, and the
character studies of the leaders.
The first chapter, "The Panhandle of Texas in the Seventies,"
is an excellent product of good writing, and furnishes a vivid
and colorful picture of life in that area and time. Character
sketches of the Cator boys, A. G. (Jim) Springer with his tun-
nel from corral to dugout, Mose Hays and his wife, Thomas
and Molly Bugbee, Hank Cresswell, the bachelor cowman,
"Deacon" Bates, W. C. (Bill) Moore of the LX, "Sir Alfred"
Rowe, "the Honorable Archibald John" Marjoribanks, Bill
Curtis of the Diamond Tails, Cape Willingham of the Turkey
Track, Monchy Russell, and dozens of others enliven the pages
of this book. They are not to be classed with such cattle barons
as Goodnight and Littlefield, but each in his own way made a
valuable contribution to the glamorous history of the Panhandle.
The author is to be thanked for preserving them for the future.
The chapters on actual ranching activities of Englishmen, not
simply putting up the money, are interesting and valuable. In
this connection the author commented on rustling, the unfor-
givable sin in the eyes of native ranchmen, but winked at, if
not actually condoned, when practiced on resident English
ranchmen. Exceptionally good chapters cover the history of
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146055/. Accessed October 2, 2014.