The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 101, July 1997 - April, 1998 Page: 388
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
policies and procedures, illustrations, introduction, epilogue, appendices,
bibliography, index. ISBN o-89096-738-5. $24.95, cloth.)
Watkins Reynolds "Watt" Matthews (1899-1997) never married and after
graduation from Princeton in 1921 spent nearly all of his adult life on the
Lambshead Ranch-one of the most celebrated cattle operations in Texas-
located along the Clear Fork of the Brazos River in Throckmorton and
Shackelford counties. He started his diary in January 1951 and the edited ver-
sion presented here ends in December 1980, when Matthews at long last began
to turn decision-making on the ranch over to others.
Janet M. Neugebauer, who has edited other diaries, has once again superbly
turned the private writings of another into an enjoyable and highly readable
book. She has carefully selected notations from each year and most months over
the thirty-year period the diary covers. Frances Mayhugh Holden provides a
lengthy introduction that details the colorful and indeed amazing history of the
ranch, a place named for an English farmer who began raising cattle there
before the Civil War.
The diary entries reflect Matthews' life. They note weather conditions, espe-
cially temperatures and rainfall amounts, on the ranch as well as the daily
affairs of the large cattle operation: branding, selling, showing, shipping, mov-
ing, and breeding cows, for example. They also record the ranch's social life;
Matthews entertained well and often, hosting people on socio-economic levels
extending from working cowboys and ranch hands to national celebrities and
The dominant themes and Neugebauer's selections reflect the life of a work-
ing cattleman. She chose well and thoughtfully. Matthews comes across as a per-
son devoted to his land and ranch and to the preservation of both. There is a
simple country dignity to the man, one that suggests that Matthews enjoyed both
the hard work and sweat connected with cattle raising and the refined life associ-
ated with living well and comfortably. It is a fine work that reveals the daily
events that dominated the thinking of a man who has often been called a legend
in his own time.
Texas Tech University PAUL H. CARLSON
The Cowboy: An Unconventional History of Civilization on the Old-Time Cattle Range.
By Philip Ashton Rollins, foreword by Richard W. Slatta, rev. and enl. ed.
(Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997. Pp. xxix+402.
Illustrations, foreword, preface, preface to 1st ed., appendix, index. ISBN
9-8061-2936-0. $19.95, paper.)
Philip Ashton Rollins' classic work, The Cowboy, originally published in 1922,
has not only withstood the test of time, but continues to stand as a bulwark
against the constant wave of romanticism in cowboy and ranching literature.
Thus, its republication in paper by the University of Oklahoma Press is quite
welcome because it allows students and scholars to own a copy to keep for
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 101, July 1997 - April, 1998, periodical, 1998; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117155/m1/457/?rotate=270: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.