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Stories About and By People from Dickens County Texas
What's Your Favorite Book about a Dickens County Texas Person, Place or Event? Here are some of our favorites about Dickens, Afton, McAdoo and Spur Texas


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Lobos, Longhorns and MulesLobos, Longhorns and Mules: Stories of early Texas

"After what seemed like ages, but was probably six or seven weeks, we got to the Star Ranch in Dickens County, Texas. Daddy said it was just a few miles off the Caprock, but it was years before I understood what they meant by that. Not until"  . . .  Look inside

By Dead ReckoningBy Dead Reckoning: From the Great Depression to Dien Bien Phu

by Bill McIver

Born in the winter of 1933 in a cotton field on the High Plains of West Texas, Bill grew up on a sharecrop cotton farm near Spur, Texas during World War II. He quit school at sixteen, and joined the Navy at the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950... During the first ten years of the author’s life, his parents were itinerant farm workers. He joined them in the cotton fields when he was old enough to pull a cotton sack. Despite the WWII economic upswing, his parents and the Lewises did not ride the post war wave of prosperity . . . Read more Look inside

Real-Life X-FilesReal-Life X-Files: Investigating the Paranormal

FOUND INSIDE: "A combined biography of the two UFO missionaries who founded Heaven's Gate, whose adherents shocked the world with their mass suicide in 1997. Marshall Applewhite was the son of a domineering Presbyterian minister of the same name. Little is known of his childhood, but he was born in Spur, Texas in 1931. He was, his sister said..." Read more Look inside . . . for more like this, see Mysterious Texas

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Buried Treasures of Texas:

Legends of Outlaw Loot, Pirate Hoards, Buried Mines, Ingots in Lakes, and Santa Anna's Pack-Train Gold

"Once, while he was driving along a seldom-used dirt road in the extreme southeastern part of Dickens County, he discovered a low hill of a peculiar reddish color. Stopping at a nearby ranch, he asked the owner about the hill and about roads... The rancher also told his visitor that on a previous trip to the hill, he found some strange mineralization at its base but could not identify it. He said it was a kind of black rock that had a lot of heft to it. The visitor took out his knife and cut a piece from the soft rock., molding it easily into a ball with his fingertips. The rock was pure silver!" . . . Read more Look inside , , , for more like this please see Mysterious Texas 

Building the Death Railway: The Ordeal of American Pows in Burma, 1942-1945

"Unlike the California-bound Okies in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, when Pryor was nine his kinfolk moved to Dickens County, in West Texas, about sixty miles east of Lubbock. He attended school sporadically, quitting in January" . . . Read more

The Last of The Old-Time Cowboys

Working cowboys live on as genuine legends who rode through a golden moment in American history. In the 1980s historian/ author Patrick Dearen went looking for the last of these fading icons.

Found Inside: " Frank Derrick was born December 13, 1913, on the Spur Ranch in the Panhandle, he moved with his family to Clarendon in 1915. He took up full-time cowboying in the summer of 1931 for W. J. Lewis on the 100-section RO Ranch ten miles northeast of Clarendon " . . . Read more

Lela and Joe

Lela Belle's Christian beliefs supported Prohibition. Joe Callaway's ambivalence toward faith shocks his family. But when Lela and Joe meet, their love is instantaneous.

"Mother and Daddy and I lived in Afton where Daddy worked in the office of a building contractor. About Ten days before Christmas, Mother and I went to ". . . Read more

King of the Hill

Ten entertaining biographical stories set in Dickens County, Texas portray rural life during the Great Depression. They reflect the straitened circumstances, strong work ethic and close sense of community of the time, as well as the resilience and ingenuity of that generation. Despite the difficulties, or perhaps because . . . Read more Look inside

Urban Cowboy

by Aaron Latham from Spur Texas. Born October 3, 1943 Latham is a native of Spur Texas in Dickens County in West Texas. "A West Texas farm boy goes to the big city where he rides a mechanical bull, meets his future wife, and encounters the antagonism of an ex-con ...

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. The Fulchers took advantage of the hospitality of three pioneer homesteaders: B. F. Brock, F.M. Wells, and J. A. Askins and their families. 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 . . ." Read more Look inside

The Ballad of Gussie & Clyde: A True Story of True Love

by Aaron Latham

As romantic as The Bridges of Madison County, this moving, revealing, true story recounts the tale of an elderly couple, Clyde Latham and Gussie Lancaster, who find love in their eighties. "It  was about five years ago that Clyde Latham, a retired high school football coach in Spur, Texas, lost his wife of fifty years. He was alone and lonely until Gussie" . . Read more

Chronicle of a Small Town

Jim Corder leads us through the ravines of the Croton Breaks, around to the back side of the Double Mountains, and through the streets of Jayton and Spur, as they are and as they used to be. He takes us right up to gaze at the Big Rock Candy Mountain, which, however, he can't tell us how to find since the day in 1937 when the State Highway Department made it into gravel. Fort Concho and Fort Phantom Hill, outhouses and feed mills, Col. Ranald Mackenzie and a lone Comanche brave, high school athletes and desperately lonely teachers, all come under his scrutiny and are hauntingly considered for their stories, their limitations, and the sense of place they afford . . . Read more

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. First married at sixteen to a Texas Ranger, she followed her husband to Comanche Indian country in King County, where they lived in a tepee while participating in the final slaughter of the buffalo. Living off the land . . . Read more Look inside

Short Grass & Longhorns

by Laura V. Hamner

"The marriage was set for December 23, 1891. The ceremony was to be held at eight o'clock in evening at the little school-house-church at Afton. Will borrowed a buggy for the occasion. As the bride and groom drove toward the church, they met the man who was" . . . 

The Red Zone: Cars, Cows and Coaches :

The Life and Good Times of a Texas Dealmaker

Big man, big voice, big boots, and big deals. Meet Red McCombs from tiny Spur, Texas. Red hasn't heard his given name, Billy Joe, since his mother called him that years ago. His is a story of "only in America," but with a Texas twist. Even down to the name he never uses, Red is a living logo for the Lone Star State a strapping man with a booming bass voice, a wheeler-dealer who shoots from the hip and asks questions later . . . Read more Look inside

Texas Ghost Stories: Fifty Favorites for the Telling

"From Dickens County Texas, comes this tale of two pioneers driven mad by the isolation. Taciturn Ben hacks the head off his partner Burl, but Burl just won't stay buried..." Read more Look inside . . . Also see Mysterious Texas

The Best of Texas Folk and Folklore, 1916-1954

The state of Texas is fortunate in possessing a rich and varied folklore. This volume is composed of materials published originally in the first twenty-five volumes of the Texas Folklore Society.

John R Craddock

"These songs were for the most part obtained at the foot of the Plains, in Dickens County, Texas, where I was reared. They are songs that furnished entertainment to the" . . . Read more

Trouping through Texas: Harley Sadler and His Tent Show

"The plays needed to come to the populace; thus such entertainment-starved West Texas villages as Spur, Dickens, Matador, Slaton, Justiceburg, and the now-vanished Tuxedo provided excellent box office returns. An often-told story, probably true in its essentials, has a recently hired actor from the East standing outside a tent, looking disdainfully across the vacant West Texas plains. All that disturbed his view of the unbroken horizon was a "town" consisting of a general store, blacksmith shop, and three houses clustered at the intersection of two single-land dirt roads..." Read more

Riding with John Wayne

by Aaron Latham from Spur Texas

In his latest triumphant novel, Aaron Latham pits Texas guts against Hollywood glitz when a modern-day cowboy turned screenwriter dusts off his Stetson in order to solve a murder.  . . . Read more Look inside

The Lonesome Plains: Death and Revival on an American Frontier

Loneliness pervaded the lives of pioneers on the American plains, including the empty expanses of West Texas. Most settlers lived in isolation broken only by occasional community gatherings such as funerals and religious.

"Lea Paine left home at age twelve to work for a horse wrangler. Later, after marrying and settling Dickens County, Texas, he drove a freight wagon between Dickens County and Quanah, Texas, a distance of 110 miles. He freighted for three years but then decided to buy a livery stable . . . " Read more, Look inside

The Monster Book: Creatures, Beasts and Fiends of Nature

by Nick Redfern

"in 2006, what sounds very much like a winged version of El Cucuy popped up in the Texas town of Dickens, which is situated east of the city of Lubbock The location Haw highway 70, at a place known as Turkey crossing..."  Read more Look inside . . .  for more like this please see Mysterious Texas

Big Red: Memoirs of a Texas Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Based on a series of oral history interviews with Dr. Don Carleton, the book begins with an account of McCombs's childhood in the West Texas town of Spur, where he first went into business for himself at the age of ten by selling peanuts to farm workers . . . Read more

Life in the Saddle

Englishman Frank Collinson went to Texas in 1872, when he was seventeen, to work on Will Noonan’s ranch near Castroville. At the age of seventy-nine he began writing about the Old West he knew and loved. He had a flair for writing, a phenomenal memory, and a passion for truth that is evident in what he wrote and said. "Back in 1875 we had our buffalo camp on Duck Creek in Dickens County. Some more hunters were camped on Red Mud Creek, Our camps were about fifteen miles apart " . . . Read more Look inside

My Life: from Cotton Patches on the South Plains of Texas to Negotiation Tables in China and North Korea

This book is the account of an ordinary person whose life experiences were atypical. He was the fifth of seven children born into the home of a rural minister and educator.

Found Inside: "Mother spent the next fifteen years in Dickens County, the last seven in the community of Espuela. Espuela was about ten miles north of Spur. I will let Mother tell you about one of her happy memories of life in Dickens County ... " Read more Look inside


Found Inside: Lyndell had always wanted a bicycle, but Mom and Dad thought her too young and were afraid she'd get hurt. But uncle Grady rode a bicycle to work everyday ... I'm sure Dad would have bought her one, though, if we had stayed in Paris, but we moved to the country in Dickens County soon after. They didn't have sidewalks to ride on there.  ... Read more Look inside

A Walk Across Texas

Part travelogue, part natural history, and part documentary, A Walk across Texas is the record of three friends’ journey from the Panhandle to Granbury—a 450-mile walk across West Texas.

"then on to the West Texas towns of Matador, Dickens, and points west. . . "  Read more Look inside

This I Can Leave You: A Woman's Days on the Pitchfork Ranch

"This gave him an opportunity to find and study the best grazing areas in the Southwest. When he decided to locate permanently, he picked a spot which later comprised parts of Dickens  and King counties, on the headwaters of" . . . Read more

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

The Spurs

Save for a very few, the true West Texas cowboy has ridden his last round - up. Gone are the dusty trail drive, the remote line camps, the fence riders, the open pasture brandings, and the chuck wagons. But stories of those bygone days remain, albeit far too few. Fortunately, a handful of those cowboys were also of the literary type. “Scotch Bill” Elliot was one of those. He had the foresight to record those stories . . . Read more

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

A Taste of Texas Ranching: Cooks and Cowboys

A Taste of Texas Ranching takes readers to more than thirty ranches in the Lone Star State . . .

FOUND INSIDE: "The Barron's met while they were both high school students in Spur, Texas" . . .  Read more Look inside

Revealing Character: Texas Tintypes

This project by award-winning photographer Robb Kendrick from Spur Texas does not romanticize the cowboy and transport him back to the 19th century, but documents those who still carry on the traditions, values, and lifestyles that many today would find isolating, lonely, or simply too hard. Eighty-five tintypes are showcased and are accompanied by field notes that provide a look at each individual and his or her dedication to the cowboy way of life. . . . Read more Look inside

Still: Cowboys at the Start of the Twenty-First Century

The cowboy may well be the quintessential American icon. Spur Texas native Robb Kendrick has been photographing cowboys for twenty-five years, creating a magnificent artistic record that recalls the work of earlier photographers such as Edward S. Curtis, whose portraits of Native Americans have become classics. Kendrick even uses an early photographic process—tintype—to create one-of-a-kind photographs whose nineteenth-century appearance underscores . . . Read more

Inspiration and Innovation: Religion in the American West

This textbook places religion at the center of the history of the American West

FOUND INSIDE: Born in Spur, Texas, in 1932, Applewhite found himself hospitalized in Houston in 1972 for a heart condition. In the hospital, Applewhite met nurse Bonnie Lu Nettles by accident. Together they would lead Heaven's Gate, one of the most . . .  Read more Look inside

The Fight Is On In Texas:

A History of African American Churches of Christ in the Lone Star State, 1865-2000

“I was called to Dickens, Texas by the white church there to conduct a meeting for my people at Croton.” The meeting continued for ten nights and nine were baptized." Jim Crow practice, of course, mandated the maintaining of" . . .  Read more Look inside . . . for more like this please see Texas Church History

The Texas Hamburger: History of a Lone Star Icon

 In 2006, Rick Vanderpool undertook a quest to find and photograph the best Texas burgers, traveling over eleven thousand miles and visiting over seven hundred Texas burger joints. "Your mission will not be complete unless you make your way to Spur, Texas. Spur is located 70 miles east of Lubbock, and is home to the Dixie Dog. It is a legend in this area and was was established in the 1950's" . . . Read more Look inside

Footprints in Aggieland: Remembrances of a Veteran Fundraiser

The “dean” of development officers in Texas, if not the entire nation, Bob Walker has been instrumental in raising hundreds of millions of dollars for Texas A&M University.

FROM INSIDE: "From grades seven through twelve I had an after-school job behind the counter of a landmark little eating place my parents bought in Spur, Texas, called the Dixie Dog Drive-In. Even as a teenager, I had already . . . Read more Look inside.

Lost in West Texas

"I want to hear about such folks as my father and how he knows how to make cement, not by recipe, but by something in his bones. I want to hear how my grandfather learned to plow a straight furrow and why even older men always called him Mister..."
Trying to find out such things, Jim Corder leads us through the ravines of the Croton Breaks, around to the back side of the Double Mountains, and through the streets of Jayton and Spur, as they are and as they used to be . . . Read more

Dickens County, Its Land and People

by Dickens County Historical Society


West Texas History & Memories

Texas History in the 19th Century (Amazon)

Vintage Texas Photos (eBay #Ad)

Early Life in Texas County by County

Books about Texas People and Places

True Stories of Amazing People and Places in Texas (Facebook)

Famous People from Dickens County TexasMore Famous People from Dickens County Texas
Books about Dickens County People and Places

Books about Dickens CountyBooks about about Dickens, Afton, Mcadoo and Spur Texas

Books about Motley County People and Places

Books about Motley County People and PlacesBooks about Matador, Roaring Springs, Whiteflat and the Matador Ranch


What's your Favorite Book about a Texas County, Town, Person or Place? Here's our best reads list County by County


Mysterious TexasTrue Stories of Amazing People and Places in Texcas
 Loneliest, Least Populated Counties in Texas
Texas Cowboy HistoryBooks about Texas People County by County