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True Stories of Amazing People and Places in Texas

Books About Crosby County Texas People, Places and Authors

What's Your Favorite Book about a Crosby County Person, Place or by a Crosby County Author? Here are some of our best reads by Crosby County authors and about people and places in Crosbyton, Ralls, Emma and Estacado Texas. Did we miss some good ones? What's your favorite?

Books about Crosby County Texas People and Places

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UNOPENED PRESENTS: A West Texas Christmas

Through a school assignment, eleven year old Ivy Blackwood discovers the family secret! Her Mom is hiding a grandmother 500 miles away in the small, West Texas town of Crosbyton. This grandmother has promised piles of presents for Ivy. Her mom says her father has invited Ivy's family to come for the Christmas Holidays in Crosbyton . . . Read more Look inside

Getting Away with Murder on the Texas Frontier: Notorious Killings and Celebrated Trials

"Fulcher's First appearance in recorded history occurred sometime in 1886 when he and his wife, Minnie, showed up dead broke in the West Texas Counties of Dickens and Motley.  At some point Fulcher got into a bitter dispute with A. Beemer, a Civil War veteran who worked as a blacksmith on the the sprawling Matador Ranch . . . The Crosby County grand jury promptly indicted Fulcher for the murder of Beemer. However, in the first of a series of blunders . . . " Read more Look inside

Tragedies of Cañon Blanco: A Story of the Texas Panhandle

Robert Goldthwaite Carter was a US Cavalry officer who participated in the American Civil War and Indian Wars thereafter. Carter would participate in a number of expeditions against the Comanche and other tribes in the Texas-area. It was during one of these campaigns in 1869 that he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his "most distinguished gallantry" against the Comanche in Blanco Canyon in present day Floyd and Crosby Counties . . . Read more Look inside

Deadly Dozen: Twelve Forgotten Gunfighters of the Old West

Deadly Dozen tells the story of twelve infamous gunfighters, feared in their own times but almost forgotten today.

Found Inside: " After he reportedly killed a rustler near Estacado in northwest Crosby County, his reputation became so formidable that cattle thieves quit the country as soon as they heard he had been hired to patrol a certain range . . . " Read more Look inside

The McNeills' SR Ranch: 100 Years in Blanco Canyon

“Wife,” one longtime resident of Blanco Canyon was overheard sighing, “we’ve spent most of our forty years here just waiting for a rain!” Blanco Canyon, on the edge of West Texas’ Cap Rock, is a land of charm and brutality, generosity and denial, exquisite beauty after a rain and harsh death when the rains don’t come. It is a land where over a hundred years ago one Captain J. C. McNeill started a cattle ranch in the mistaken hope that range and weather . . . Read more

Plains Farmer: The Diary of William G. Deloach, 1914-1964

 In 1887 DeLoach moved by wagon with his parents from Georgia to Parker County, Texas. Eleven years later, at the age of eighteen, DeLoach made his way to the West Texas Plains and began working as a cowhand on the Two-Buckle Ranch in Crosby County , and in 1913 he moved his family in a covered wagon to Emma, also in Crosby County.  On March 28, 1914, at the age of thirty-four, DeLoach made the first entry in his diary. After three years he moved on to other opportunities before settling on a farm near Sudan in Lamb County in 1925.

High School Football in Texas: Amazing Football Stories From the Greatest Players of Texas

Found Inside: "At Eighty-Three Years old, Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Don Maynard still chuckles at the difference between the tiny Texas towns he lived in compared to his first trip to New York City... Donald Rogers Maynard was born on January 25, 1935, in the small town of Crosbyton, Texas... When it was time to go to high school, the Maynard's lived in a rural area about 50 miles west of Lubbock. Maynard attended the Three Way Independent School District. The Three Way School was a six-man high school team when Maynard began playing varsity football. For his junior season in 1951, Maynard and his family moved to Colorado City which was a little bit bigger than Don was used to . . . " Read more Look inside

Land of Bright Promise:

Advertising the Texas Panhandle and South Plains, 1870-1917

Found Inside: "Two years later the headline for another special edition read, "Crosbyton, Texas in 1920. The Fastest Growing Town in the State--Come and See." Underneath this banner was a "photo" ... Read more Look inside

Historic Tales of the Llano Estacado

The distinctive high mesa straddling West Texas and Eastern New Mexico creates a vista that is equal parts sprawling lore and big blue sky. From Lubbock, the area's informal capital, to the farthest reaches of the staked plains known as the Llano Estacado, the land and its inhabitants trace a tradition of tenacity through numberless cycles of dust storms and drought. In 1887, a bison hunter . . . Read more Look inside

Estacado Cradle of Culture and Civilization on Staked Plains of Texas

Paris Cox, a young Quaker from Indiana came and surveyed the Plains for a suitable place to establish a Quaker colony. It was first named Marietta and was renamed Estacado when the post office was established Oct. 13, 1881. It became county seat of Crosby County and 10 surrounding counties were attached to the county for judicial purposes when the seat of government was set up in 1886. The town's population grew to about 600. There was a Junior College, residents were Quakers and non-Quakers, merchants, farmers, lawyers, politicians and small ranchers. It was the center of life and civilization and was recognized as the cradle of culture on the Texas Plains.

As A Farm Woman Thinks: Life and Land on the Texas High Plains, 1890–1960

by Nellie Witt Spikes

Nellie settled with her family in Emma (the once-thriving county seat) in Crosby County. At 18, she moved to a farm near the Cone community with her husband, Jeff Spikes, where they raised wheat, cotton and other crops for 43 years. In twenty-five years of syndicated columns in small-town Texas newspapers between 1930 and 1960, Nellie Witt Spikes described her life on the High Plains, harking back to earlier times and reminiscing about pioneer settlement, farm and small-town culture, women’s work, and the natural history of the flatlands and canyons  . . . Read more

Sun Rising on the West: The Saga of Henry Clay and Elizabeth Smith

More material has been written by and about Henry C. (Hank) Smith, pioneer extraordinary, and his gracious Scottish wife, Elizabeth Boyle (Aunt Hank) Smith, than any other two people in the early history of the South Plains. Magazine articles, articles in historical reviews, newspaper features and some references in early histories have all added to the knowledge about this pioneer couple. Then there were the writings of Uncle Hank and Aunt Hank themselves, and the scope of this story would have been much less complete had they not recorded at least part of . . . Read more

Through Time and the Valley

The isolated Canadian River in the Texas Panhandle stretched before John Erickson and Bill Ellzey as they began a journey through time and what the locals call the valley ..."I made our jerky from a recipe given to me by my grandmother, the late Mrs. B.B. Curry of Seminole, Texas. one summer evening, as we were sitting on the her front porch, she told me about her childhood in the old Quaker community of Estacado in Crosby County, where she often saw strips of beef hanging on lines to dry in the sun . . ." Read more Look inside

An Extraordinary Woman

"They had mules to pull the plows, a cow to give milk, pigs for meat and hens for eggs. She made her own blankets for warmth. She did not know how to complain. the did not have time for that. The children and her husband were her priorities. Inez lived to be 92 years old and is buried next to her husband in Ralls Texas . . . Look inside

Ella Elgar Bird Dumont: An Autobiography of a West Texas Pioneer

A crack shot, expert skinner and tanner, seamstress, sculptor, and later writer—a list that only hints at her intelligence and abilities—Ella Elgar Bird Dumont was one of those remarkable women who helped tame the Texas frontier

". . . came to Hank Smith's ranch in Blanco Canyon in northern Crosby County. Collinson was staying there following his leaving the buffalo camp on Tongue River. Upon discovering that Collinson knew  . . . Read more Look inside

Saddling Up Anyway: The Dangerous Lives of Old-Time Cowboys

Every time a cowhand dug his boot into the stirrup, he knew that this ride could carry him to trail's end. In real stories told by genuine cowboys, this book captures the everyday perils of the "flinty hoofs and devil horns of an outlaw steer, the crush of a half-ton of fury in the guise of a saddle horse, the snap of a rope pulled taut enough to sever digits. . . . Found inside: "Cross-B cowhand Fran Smith planting his boot on a roped maverick in Crosby County, Texas about 1909 " Read more Look inside

Some Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys: A Collection of Articles and Essays

by John R Erickson

John Richard Erickson is an American cowboy and author, best known for his Hank the Cowdog series of children's novels. Born in Midland, Texas, he was reared in Perryton in the northern Texas Panhandle. This collection is arranged by Place; From Buffalo to Cattle; The Cowboy; Cowboy Tools; Ranch and Rodeo; Animals; and This and That. "She was every inch a proper lady, but beneath the lace and muslin she was made of steel. In 1880 they left the green and fertile lands in Ohio and followed Reverend Paris Cox to Crosby County, Texas . . . Read more Look inside

Breaking Through the Clouds

by Dannie Gregg and Jeremy A. Walker

With disarming honesty, Dannie Gregg shares the story of how she and her husband, Jordan, began building a life together, raising children, and standing firm in their faith as it was tested by the loss of their son, Cotton. Breaking Through the Clouds shares the hope that the Gregg family found as they grew closer to the Lord following Cotton's death . . . Read more

The Big Ranch Country

"Doctor William Hunt, a government physician from Indian Territory came in 1880, and in the fall of the year, the Underhill family and the son-in-law George Singer joined the little group lttle group of future plainsmen. Estacado grew large enough to becom the first county seat of Crosby County" . . . Read more Look inside

Texas Unexplained: Strange Tales and Mysteries from the Lone Star State

Here are a round dozen tales about the "unexplained" side of Texas. The stories inform, arouse and even move the reader, allowing a view of the state from a different perspective at each turn. As varied as the stories may be, they all share the theme of mystery. Found inside: "An old squatter's ghost used to drive his phantom steers into herds that cowboys were holding for the night on a high bluff at the eastern edge of the Caprock in Crosby County. The place . . . Read more

Greater Tuna

by Jaston Williams

Jaston is the son of a West Texas farmer and a school teacher. His family moved to Olton, Texas, and then to Crosbyton, where he graduated from Crosbyton High School. Greater Tuna is an hilarious send-up of small town morals and mores among the upstanding citizens of Tuna, Texas' Greater Tuna is the first in a series of four comedic plays (followed by A Tuna Christmas, Red, White and Tuna, and Tuna Does Vegas), each set in the town of Tuna, Texas, the "third-smallest" town in the state. . Read more

Just a Krooked Kid

The Autobiography of  Goodwin Hale

Goodwin was born in Spur Texas during the depression. He attended school in Crosbyton. Although he was born with the disabling condition Arthrogryposis, Goodwin Hale, with the encouragement of family and friends, determined to live as normal a life as possible. As a result, he completed college, law school, was a practicing attorney and once was a public official . . . Read more and Look inside

The Graveled Road

by Jo Wilkinson Hale

The 'graveled road' was, in the very beginning, a boundary or limitation of my activities, set by my Mother so that she would always know my whereabouts. It came to symbolize, to me, the huge boulders one encounters in life and the processes involved to overcome them, thereby creating a smooth 'graveled road'. The setting is life during the Great Depression . . . Read more

Green Sands: My Five Years in the Saudi Desert

When Martha Kirk left her small West Texas hometown in 1983 to move to the middle of the desert in Saudi Arabia, she began a dual life that lasted for five years. Her husband, Terry, was hired to manage a seven-thousand-acre wheat farm for a wealthy sheik, and Martha joined him six months later. The farm, located ninety miles from Riyadh, was isolated and lonely. Within the confines of the farm, Martha continued . . . Read more

The Great Plains during World War II

Emphasizing the region’s social and economic history, The Great Plains during World War II is the first book to examine the effects of the war on the region and the responses of its residents.

"In the southern plains the shortage of labor for the cotton harvest reaffirmed the pressing need for a mechanical cotton harvester. A farmer in Crosby County Texas reported that he usually paid workers $27.50 per bale to pick cotton but a  mechanical stripper cost him only $2.10 per bale . . . " Read more Look inside

Through the years;: A history of Crosby County, Texas

by Nellie Witt Spike

Thoroughly researched history of Crosby County and High Plains of Texas including extensive list of cattle brands and biographical sketches of the pioneers. Very scarce.

Daughters of Republic of Texas: Patriot Ancestor Album - Vol II

Mary Catherine Fox was born about 1873 and is listed in the 1920 Dickens County TX Census, her husband was Sam H. Kelsy. John Nathan "Nat" Fox was born Feb. 10, 1879 and is listed in the 1910 Crosby County Census with his family . . . Read more

Prairie Gothic: The Story of a West Texas Family

by John R Erickson

Erickson tells the story of his family history in the context of a specific place. This place, instrumental in shaping their lives, is the flatland prairie of northwestern Texas . . .   One branch of Erickson's family, sturdy Quaker farmers from Ohio, helped establish the first Anglo settlement on the Llano Estacado in 1881, in Crosby County . . . Read more


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