Books | Texas
Deborah M. Liles
and Cecilia Gutierrez Venable, eds.
On the Range, at the Rodeo,
and in Their Communities
Women in Texas History Series.
(College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2019)
Pp. 173. Illustrated.
Review by Dr.
May 26, 2019
| In the summer
of 2016, Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls hosted a popular
symposium, "Women Ranchers in Texas." Dr. Leland Turner, organizer
of the conference, asserted, "These were women who could ride and
work cattle. They were all living in a time and place when it was
out of the ordinary to do what they did." This engaging book, ably
edited by Tarleton State University Professor Deborah M. Liles and
archivist Cecilia Gutierrez Venable, traces its genesis to the Midwestern
Comprised of an introduction and nine chapters, this volume covers
a wide range of subjects. Topics include "Tejanas and Ranching: Maria
Calvillo and Her Ranching Enterprises," "In Search of Lucinda: Women
in the Cattle Industry in Early Texas," "Cornelia Adair: Transatlantic
Panhandle Rancher," "Mabel Doss, Mary Ketchum Meredith, and the Texas
Fence-Cutting Wars," and "Alice Gertrudis King Kleberg East: Loving
the Land." The women discussed in this study "came from varied backgrounds,
personal circumstances, and economic and educational levels, and enjoyed
different levels of success, but each of them nonetheless made her
mark on history and, in so doing, greatly enriched the ranching heritage
of Texas." Readers may recognize many of the anthology's distinguished
contributors, including Dr. Light Townsend Cummins (retired Guy M.
Bryan Professor of History at Austin College and former State Historian,
2009-2012); Dr. Alex Hunt (Haley Professor of Western Studies at West
Texas A&M University and founding director of the Center for the Study
of the American West); and Dr. Jean A. Stuntz (Regents Professor of
History at West Texas A&M University).
Texas Women and Ranching will appeal to a wide audience, including
academics and lay historians interested in women's history, western
history, and Lone Star history. In short, with this commendable publication,
the editors and their impressive team of scholars have made a significant
contribution in several fields.
Book Review Editor,
Central Texas Studies
More Reviews by Dr. Kirk Bane