The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 565
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functional value of a good place name study. The book is essen-
tially a literary geologic column in which remains of each of the
four groups of contenders for the Big Bend Country are pre-
served. Moreover, the identification of obscure sources often re-
veals much of the social baggage of the persons who first entered
and created names for the land.
In every respect, from initial planning and research to final
publication, this book has appeared under the most favorable
auspices. First, the writers could hardly have been better chosen.
Mrs. Hallie Stillwell is a member of a family that has been inti-
mately connected with the region on both sides of the Rio Grande
for more than eighty years. She, herself, has been described as
having taught school in Presidio, Texas, during the Villa raids,
"armed with a six-shooter and a teacher's certificate." Later with
her husband, Roy Stillwell, a prominent rancher in the region,
Mrs. Stillwell traveled through the remote ranges of the Big Bend,
becoming thoroughly familiar with the terrain, its inhabitants,
and the local lore. Mrs. Virginia Madison, the second member of
the writing team, is equally qualified to tell the story of the
surviving labels that have been attached to geographical features
and sites of settlement in the Big Bend. In a real sense, this book
is an admirable companion volume to Mrs. Madison's The Big
Bend Country of Texas, which was published by the University
of New Mexico Press in 1955. Finally, the New Mexico Press
has done an excellent job of transforming the original manu-
script into a neat, attractive, and serviceable book.
The organization of the narrative focuses primarily on the Big
Bend National Park, with side excursions into the adjacent ter-
rain. While the park treatment is quite adequate and contains
much fresh information on the area, many persons will be more
especially interested in the data that are presented on the less
frequently visited sections that lie to the west of Terlingua Creek
and to the east of the Sierra del Carmen or Dead Horse Range.
Laurels for How Come It's Called That? are in order, but
honest and deserved praise must be tempered to a certain extent
by a few minor criticisms. Even though the text indicates the
presence of a well-documented base, the historian would wish
that more attention had been given to source citations. At the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/666/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.