The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970 Page: 423

Book Reviews

with roughly the same percentage of planters and slaveowners, to
follow such different paths?
The book contains an excellent bibliographic essay and a number of
useful tables that give detailed information about the ages, places
of birth, occupations, and property holdings of officials in the lower
Georgia State University DALE A. SOMERS
The City Moves West: Economic and Industrial Growth in Central
West Texas. By Robert L. Martin. (Austin: University of Texas
Press, 1969. Pp. x+1go. Map, appendices, bibliography, index.
Analytical volumes on urban history are a relatively recent phe-
nomenon, which has resulted in books on various periods or aspects
of Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Galveston, Houston, Lubbock,
and San Antonio. To those works Robert L. Martin, a native Texan
and president of Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts, has added this
study of the economic factors which produced and stimulated the
growth of Big Spring, Lamesa, Midland, Odessa, Snyder, and Sweet-
water in central West Texas.
Martin points out that railroads and the availability of water deter-
mined the location of the towns which, except for Lamesa, developed
before 90oo as small commercial centers and county seats to serve the
ranchers who settled the area in the late nineteenth century. The in-
flux of farmers before the turn of the century and their rise to eco-
nomic dominance of the section between 1900 and 1930 produced
increased population and an expanded economy which created urban
growth through commercial expansion and the establishment of agri-
culture-related manufactures. The discovery and development of oil
fields in the area along with oil-related industries, beginning in 1920,
provided an even greater stimulus to population and economic growth,
especially in Midland and Odessa.
The author suggests that the extractive nature of the oil industry
represents a long-range problem for central West Texas urban areas
since they must eventually begin to diversify economically for the day
when no petroleum is left. He indicates too that a more immediate
problem may be the increasing demand for water to meet both domes-
tic and industrial needs in an area of limited rainfall and a falling
underground water table.


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970, periodical, 1970; Austin, Texas. ( accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.