The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965 Page: 537
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the unclaimed areas in the western and northwestern parts of
the state where most of the vacant lands lay, and by the end of
the century they had done their job so well that claims then ex-
ceeded the available lands.
Like the fur hunters who fanned out into the western United
States following the Louisiana Purchase, those early Texas sur-
veyors were often the advance guard of forces that were to bring
law and order to the state. Their experiences and exploits have
not gone unrecorded, for a great deal has been written about
them-and by them-and published in historical, trade, and pri-
vate publications. The Texas Surveyors Association has consid-
ered it proper to bring together under one cover many of the
scattered articles as a tribute to the valor and fortitude of those
pioneers. A three man committee chosen by the association com-
piled this book by searching out from these various publications
selections they considered appropriate for their purpose.
The book is divided into three sections. The first of sixty pages
is made up of four scholarly articles (three of which had prior
publication in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly) on the
general subject of surveying as practiced in Texas, with some
mention of a few of the more prominent early surveyors.
Nineteen articles make up the next two-hundred-page section
under the general heading "Accounts of Pioneer Surveyors," and
it is there that the main interest of the book lies. Most of these
articles were written by surveyors who, in their later years,
turned authors to give vivid accounts of their experiences in
setting up their marks and measurements on the virgin earth for
man's use. There are three articles by W. S. Mabry, who among
his other accomplishments organized a surveying party to con-
struct a four-strand barbed wire fence around the XIT Ranch.
Of particular interest are reprints of three pamphlets published
twenty-five years ago by Judge Oscar W. Williams of Pecos Coun-
ty, one of these being his classic account of a buffalo stampede
across the West Texas plains. Judge Williams arrived in Texas
in the mid-seventies with a law degree from Harvard University
and broken health. He found renewed health after some years
with surveying parties in West Texas and, as County Surveyor
of Pecos County, then put his education to use as county judge
and a practicing attorney of that county, and finished his long
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965, periodical, 1965; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/m1/624/: accessed April 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.