The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989 Page: 74
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
any interference by the federal government, except during periods of
drought or need for tariff protection against New Zealand wool. At the
same time they were friendly, generous, and warmhearted. In spite of a
droll sense of humor, the average rancher was politically to the right of
Marie Antoinette-of whom most had never heard.
When a Mexican American boy applied for admission to Ozona High
School, the local board denied the request, whereupon the state com-
missioner of education threatened to take away accreditation. The
matter was settled when Ozona agreed to pay the boy's expenses for
four years if he would enroll in high school in the adjoining county.
Later, during World War II, the Crockett County Draft Board de-
pended heavily upon Mexican American boys for its quota and did not
have to draft a single Anglo until near the end of 1943. It is more than
ironic that the first man from the county to die in the war was the one
denied admission to Ozona High School a few years previously. Such
was the world that the fifty-year-old professor entered in his Plymouth
that October day almost a half century ago.
As a school administrator I knew just about everyone in the county
and therefore promoted the forthcoming lecture with considerable en-
thusiasm and success. Practically every member of the Crockett County
Historical Society bought banquet tickets, along with local school teach-
ers and various townspeople. Only one individual turned me down be-
cause "it is a well known fact that most of them professors at Austin are
'goddamn reds' who want to overthrow this government and set up a
socialist state." There was no point in pressing the issue, as much as I
liked a good argument.
It was one of the largest turnouts for a banquet and lecture in many
years at the Ozona Hotel. After I had introduced the speaker with en-
thusiastic comments about how The Great Plains had become a classic
and the fact that The Texas Rangers had been made into a movie, the
audience sat back with great anticipation. As usual, Dr. Webb was slow
in starting, but once he warmed up to the subject that the frontier no
longer existed, the audience became very attentive. As he developed
the thesis that he had refined and presented innumerable times to stu-
dents and groups around the state, some in the audience began to
squirm. The reception that followed was polite but subdued.
When I announced that the speaker would gladly answer questions
from the audience, one irate rancher's wife stood up immediately and
informed him emphatically that the frontier had not disappeared. "We
live on the frontier in Crockett County," she almost shouted, "and we
want you to know that we consider it part of our sacred heritage that is
still very much alive." Many in the audience cheered and clapped. Dr.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989, periodical, 1989; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101212/m1/101/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.