The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967 Page: 460
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
kept them from accepting restrictions. It was the same trait that
caused men to continue westward as each frontier society grew
and imposed limitations on its inhabitants. The actions were
recognized as illegal, but not as wrong. Free use of the land and
resources was considered a right rather than a privilege.
The social and recreational life of the period closely parallels
the husking bees, quilting parties, and camp meetings of
western life in earlier periods. The box house, considered as a
substitute for a log cabin, was typical of the housing facilities of
These features, however, do not prove that the county was
truly a frontier. It has been said that the essence of any frontier
is competition." Apparently there was little competitive spirit
among Red River County farmers. In fact, their religious and
political stability seems to confirm that the people as a whole were
content and living in harmony.
The lack of land speculation is also indicative of stability and
contrary to frontier attitudes. If competition is the essence of
a frontier, speculation is its basis. Much of the motivation for
the western movement lay in the knowledge that land could be
obtained, partially developed, and sold to a more stable popula-
tion, thereby providing the means for a movement farther west.
Although a few families moved west during the decade, the
population of Red River County was basically a stable one.
There was no migration into the area, and few were in a position
to buy land.
During the 192o's Red River County had reached the end of
its frontier period and its frontier characteristics were disap-
pearing. The farmers were in much the same position as the
non-slaveholders before the Civil War, occupying less desirable
land without the means to improve economically or socially.s
Locked in from without and locked to their land, their "make
do" philosophy enabled them to live a life of rude simplicity,
conforming to the Jeffersonian concept of an ideal agrarian
6"Cash, Mind of the South, 26.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967, periodical, 1967; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101199/m1/486/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.