The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 182
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
would not have been added to the world of knowledge if a non-
professional historian had not been willing to put forth the
effort to write about his home community and if he and others
had not dared to risk some money in its publication.
Book making is expensive. Book publication in a field of
limited sales is risky, and certainly regional and local history is
a field of limited sales. The Naylor Publishing Company has
produced many good books in this field of limited sales, and thus
performs in the cause of Texas history a function, frequently
misunderstood and occasionally criticized, that is of more down-
right, honest value than is often recognized. The essential hurdle
over which every Naylor book must climb in the academic race
is the fact that it is a commercial product in which a part of the
cost of publication is usually borne by the author. The very na-
ture of the process tends to limit the Naylor stable to manuscripts
that could not be handled by the benevolent presses for one rea-
son or another and to open the stable to nearly any author who
is willing to risk a little money to see his name on the spine of a
The really surprising thing, actually, is the consistent good
quality of the Naylor productions. Without question, this pub-
lishing house has raised considerably the standards for marginal
publication. Texas historians should be grateful, rather than
critical, since Naylor has made possible the appearance of much
worthwhile material and presented it in increasingly attractive
form and format. If comparisons of Naylor books are made, not
with the products of the richly endowed university presses, but
with the products of other vanity presses, this reviewer believes
the Naylor books will come out consistent winners.
The First Hundred Years in Cooke County is a winner by any
standard. It covers the history of Cooke County from the time of
its creation in 1848 through its centennial celebration in 1948.
The author, A. Morton Smith, a Gainesville newspaperman,
served as chairman of the Cooke County Centennial Commis-
There are fourteen chapters in rough chronological sequence,
each built on topics typical of the period it represents. For
instance, Chapter Two, roughly covering the period 1850-186o,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957, periodical, 1957; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/m1/203/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.