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Books About Loving County Texas People and Places
What's Your Favorite Story from the least populated, most remote county in Texas? Here are some of our favorite books about people and places from Mentone and Porterville.


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King EnergyKing Energy: The Rise and Fall of an Industrial Empire Gone Awry

Found Inside: Punk Jones, the sheriff, sent out a special detail to arrest James Wheat. In Loving County, one of the most sparsely—populated places on earth, everyone knew everyone else. Wheat was one of Jones' friends. Finding a jury of Wheat's peers proved to be a real challenge. Try as they could, the authorities could not ... Read more Look inside

The Last of The Old-Time Cowboys

Found Inside: In December 1918 he signed on with the Sid Kyle spread along the Pecos River in north Loving County and extreme southern New Mexico. Five and a half years later, he went into partnership with his father, only to return to the Kyle Ranch for ... Read more Look inside

Lost, Texas: Photographs of Forgotten Buildings

The only town in Loving County, Mentone has been dubbed the smallest county seat in Texas. Named Mentone by a homesick French surveyor from Mentone, France, in 1893, the town has had several existences and names while withstanding the fluctuations of water, weather, and economy. Partners James Wheat and Bladen Ramsey laid out a town called Ramsey in 1925, following their discovery of oil nearby. When the US Post Office department rejected the name, it was changed back to Mentone, but it was 1931 before a post office opened. The first business in Mentone was the Loving County Lumber Company ... Read more Look inside

Springs of Texas: Volume I

"Loving County is the most sparsely populated county in Texas, with only 112 residents in 1976. There is of course a reason: lack of good water. According to Edna Clayton, county secretary, there are only two wells containing water suitable for drinking in the county. Water must be hauled to Mentone, the only town in the county, from Pecos. But it was not always so. Burial mounds and artifacts such as projectile point, metates, and manos found near Mentone suggest that the area once had many springs of pure, fresh water ..." Learn more

Windmills, Drouths and Cottonseed Cake: A Biased Biography of a West Texas Rancher

John Furman Haley lived from 1897 to 1972, from wagon roads to superhighways, from chugging locomotives to rocket-powered journeys in outer space. He was a West Texas rancher, and his attitude epitomized the creed of western ranchers and cowboys of his time.

Found Inside: "Rain at last : the drouth, which began in 1917 , finally broke in 1922 , and Papa Haley restocked the Loving County ranch . That was in June, and John , apparently with no regrets , tore himself away from the seething activity of the ..." Read more

Wanted: Historic County Jails of Texas

Found Inside: There was no kitchen, so food had to be brought in when prisoners were there. According to Loving County Judge Donald C. Creager, however, both crime and prisoners were rare. He told of one incident many years ago, before air-conditioning, about a man who was inclined to tipple a bit and was a hazard to the citizens when he drove his car. In spite of many warnings and promises on his part, he ... Read more Look inside

The Texas Frontier and the Butterfield Overland Mail, 1858–1861

This is the story of the antebellum frontier in Texas, from the Red River to El Paso, a raw and primitive country punctuated by chaos, lawlessness, and violence ...

Found Inside: Skillman's Station was an adobe structure similar in size to those at Horsehead Crossing Station and Emigrant Crossing Station. The station site at Narboe Bend was a short distance upstream from a river ford known as Norboe's Crossing. Locals named the Loving County landmarks near present-day Mentone, Texas after members of the Narboe family ... Read more Look inside

Texas Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Offbeat Fun

Texas Curiosities brings to the reader with humor and affection—and a healthy dose of attitude—the oddest, quirkiest, and most outlandish places, personalities, events, and phenomena found within the state’s borders and in the chronicles of its history.

Found Inside: Five people is a crowd in Mentone . The population of Mentone is fifteen . It's the county seat of Loving County , the most sparsely populated county in Texas — 664 square miles of mesquite and tumbleweed ... Read more Look inside

Lone Star Politics: Tradition and Transformation in Texas

In 1931, Loving County became the last county to be established. Interestingly, the organization of Loving County marked its second era of existence. The first Loving County had originally been carved in 1893 from Reeves County as part of a a get-rich-quick scheme to defraud landowners and the state of Texas by the organizers of the county. The scandal surrounding Loving County, which involved falsified county records, illegitimate elections, and low population, prompted the Texas Legislature to abolish the county in 1897 ... Read more Look inside

I'll Get by: The Best of Harry Marlin, Volume I

Found Inside: Personally, I'm on the side of folks in Loving County. In a way, I envy them their solitude. With our population increasing faster than rabbits in places where coyotes have been eradicated, we all need what they already have--a little breathing room. A man once told me that the small town in which he lived never changed population because every time a new baby was born, a man left town. Could that be the problem in Mentone? ... Read more Look inside

Miles From Nowhere: Tales From America's Contemporary Frontier

In 1990, a century after the census bureau's famous observation of the frontier's imminent end, Dayton Duncan set out in an aging GMC Suburban to visit a large sampling of counties that have fewer than two persons per square mile.

Found Inside: "He was Skeet Jones, the son of Mary Belle and “ Punk ” Jones of Loving County, and by this time in his young life he had already been a roughneck in Alaska's oil fields, a rodeo cowboy, an itinerant ranch hand, and an oil worker in other ... Read more

Land of Bright Promise:

Advertising the Texas Panhandle and South Plains, 1870-1917

Found Inside: "The reference to a telephone line was underscored by the fact that the nearest towns were outside the county lines. Trying to turn this isolation into an advantage, Porterville's promoters stressed the lack of harmful competition from rival villages and the logical ease of their town would have obtaining the county seat ... Read more Look inside

The Land of Rain Shadow: Horned Toad, Texas

Horned Toad, Texas Joyce Gibson Roach. better parts of one another that no one else could see . Maybe ... The first female sheriff in Texas was elected in 1947 in Mentone, Texas. The name of Joe Don Wheelright was inspired by Margaret ... Read more Look inside

Charles Hillinger's America: People & Places in All 50 States

Found Inside: She serves as chairman of the Democratic Party ' s Precinct 1 in Loving County . But her gas station is plastered with pictures of Ronald Reagan and George Bush . “ I was elected , ” she explained when asked why a Democratic official kept ... Read more

Spoils of the Desert

Found Inside: He pulled through the town, catching a red light at the first intersection before he turned left toward tiny Mentone, in Loving County. With only a hundred or so residents, most living in Mentone, the county's six hundred square miles provided ... "

Spoils of the Desert begins with an innocent business trip to Laredo by import shop owner Mike Conner. He wants to buy a new line of ceramic goods for his El Paso shop, but unbeknownst to him, the brand he seeks has a special feature: some of the pieces contain cocaine ... Read more Look inside

Generations of Texas Poets

by Dave Oliphant

Found Inside: A perfect example of the poet's ability to combine pop humor and artistry is “Sex,” with its almost hilarious opening lines: I think about it every time I'm in Mentone, Texas, way out there in lonely Loving County In this poem there is a vital use of ... Read more Look inside

The History of Texas

Found Inside: In the 1990s, seventy of the most isolated Texas counties actually lost population, with West Texas and the Panhandle hardest hit. A USDA classification system aptly described these as “lonely counties.” Loving County headed this list, with ... Read more Look inside

A Song to Die For

A Song to Die For is a rousing tale mixing love, music, and mystery from Spur Award-winning author Mike Blakely.

Found Inside: Hooley frowned and took his tally book out of his shirt pocket. He had learned to carry the notepad from his stepfather, a West Texas rancher from Loving County. Originally intended to keep an accurate count, or “tally,” of cattle on the range, Hooley had found it handy for taking notes and writing reminders ... Read more Look inside

The Texan's Twins

Found Inside: The Loving County rodeo grounds followed the same blueprint as other facilities with similar names across the United States. One side of the square lot hosted the arena. On one side of that arena were the grandstands, the other side the ... Read more Look inside

The Spurs of James J. Wheat, Pioneer Collector

With pockets full of cash and the help of trusted scouts, oilman James J. Wheat of Loving County, Texas, amassed one of the most impressive collections of horse spurs in the state. Drawing from the 920 spur pairs and singles and more than 100 bits Wheat donated to the Ranching Heritage Association in 1985, expert appraiser Bruce Bartlett has compiled a volume as rich in history as it is in full-color images ... Read more


West Texas History & Memories

Loneliest Counties in Texas

Early Life in Texas County by County

Books about Texas People and Places

Amazing People from Texas County by County

Texas History in the 19th Century (Amazon)

Vintage Texas Photos (eBay #Ad)


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