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True Stories of Amazing People and Places in Texas

Books About Nolan County Texas People and Places
Favorite stories about people and places from Sweetwater, Roscoe, Decker, Wastella and Hylton  in Nolan County Texas.

Stories about Nollan County Texas

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When the Smoke Clears: Gunslingers and Gunfights of the Old West

 Found inside: "The soldier playing cards at the Lady Gay Saloon in Sweetwater, Texas, rose from his chair in disgust, threw his hand down, and stormed out the door, Another player, Bat Masterson, watched him leave, not knowing the two would meet again before the night ended ... Once the game ended on the night of January 24, 1876, Bat Masterson left the table and joined in conversation with black-haired and blue-eyed Mollie Brennan, a well-known soiled dove . . . " Read more Look inside

"Catch 'em Alive Jack": The Life and Adventures of an American Pioneer

Best known for catching wolves alive with his bare hands, John R. Abernathy (1876–1941) was born to Scottish ancestors in Texas. Raised in the burgeoning railroad town of Sweetwater. Found inside: "In 1882, my father was thrilled with the stories of opportunity in Western Texas. Bitter Creek, located ten miles south of Sweetwater, county seat of Nolan county, was the place he selected for a cow camp ... About the only law in Nolan County was the rule of the six-shooter. When persons had disputes they settled their quarrels with guns instead of appealing to the courts; for killing a man the slayer would be offered a drink at the bar . . . " Read more Look inside

Bud & Me: The True Adventures of the Abernathy Boys

In 1905 Temple and Bud Abernathy at ages 5 and 9 set out on a series of daring rides across America. Raised by their widowed father, "Catch-'em-Alive" Jack Abernathy, from Sweetwater Texas. The daring little boys traveled alone on horseback from Frederick, Oklahoma to Sante Fe, New Mexico and back. Then to New York City, alone on horseback to meet their friend "Teddy" and back to Oklahoma driving their own "Brush" automobile. Their longest ride and again alone and on horseback, takes place in 1911 . . . Read more Look inside

Growing Up Ransberger: Growing up in Sweetwater Texas, Home of the World's largest Rattlesnake Roundup

Stories and accounts of growing up in the 50's and 60s as the youngest son of Sweetwater historical icons, Mama Doris and daddy Bill Ransberger. Interesting views of being a part of the growth of the World's largest Rattlesnake Roundup. An author's view of the schools and community life of one of the most interesting towns in west Texas. . . . Read more Look inside

W. F. Matthews: Lost Battalion Survivor

by Travis Munday

The inspiring true story of a God-and-country American. A story of survival in the prisoner of war camps of the Japanese in World War 2. Matthews spent 3 1/2 years as a P.O.W. after being captured during the early days of the war. This book helped get W. F. Matthews inducted into the Southwest Military Museum Hall of Fame in San Angelo, Texas. Travis Monday, known primarily for his newspaper articles in the Sweetwater Reporter about the history of Nolan County, Texas, has pursued his love of U. S. and Texas history since his school days in the Texas Panhandle . . . Read more Look inside

Welcome Home, Son

Ken Brawley was born in Roscoe, Texas, in September of 1943. He grew up mostly in and around Roscoe but did travel across the world a bit more than the normal Cotton farmer's kid from West Texas His world travels took him all across the USA and around the world two and one half times. . . . Read more Look inside

Y'Reckon?

by Stan Johnson

Found inside: "Back in 1932, Mama and Daddy lived at Shady Rest, about four miles down Bitter Creek from Sweetwater Lake Dam" "I remember a short thirty years ago or so, we had three meat-packing houses in Sweetwater. The people doing business with them and working there probably thought business and working conditions would be the same forever. Now there are four packing houses serving the United States. Lets review this: There were almost as many packing houses in Sweetwater as there are now in the whole nation. We used to have car lots, automotive, tractor and boat dealerships all over town. We had more churches and filling stations here than nearly any place I can remember . . . " Read more Look inside

Classic Gunfights, Vol. 3

Here is the wildest of the Wild West gunfights, famous and obscure, brought vividly to life through the fabulous artwork and captivating prose of Bob Boze Bell.

Found inside: "January 24, 1876, fresh off the killing fields, some 400 buffalo hunters are in Sweetwater, Texas, looking for whiskey and companionship. One of them, Bat Masterson, has found both. He has hooked up with a popular lass, Mollie Brennan, at the Lady Gay, a theatre and dance hall saloon. Unfortunately, Sgt. Melvin King has also taken a fancy to Mollie . . . " Read more Look inside

The Johnson-Sims Feud: Romeo and Juliet, West Texas Style

In the tradition of Texas feudists since the 1840s, the Sims family sought revenge. Sims’ son-in-law, Gee McMeans, led an attack in Sweetwater and shot Billy Johnson’s bodyguard, Frank Hamer, twice, while Gladys—by now Mrs. Hamer—fired at another assassin. Hamer shot back, killed McMeans, and was no-billed on the spot by a grand jury watching the shootout through a window. An attempt against Billy Johnson failed, but a three-man team shotgunned the widely respected Cullen Higgins . . . Read more Look inside

Texas Women on the Cattle Trails

Found inside: "By early April, Howell and Mary moved to the Bar S ranch near Sweetwater, in Nolan County. Mary had never been on a ranch, much less the ramshackle, hard scrabble ones of West Texas. Her father's home in Austin was a mansion in the center of town, and she had grown up surrounded the most elegant of luxuries. The homes on the treeless plains of West Texas were anything but elegant, and Mary was amazed to find that most homes consisted of a large, square dirt room cut into the south side of a lolling hill. At the back of the earthen room, a fireplace provided a semblance of a kitchen. Mary learned that a chimney was dug through to the top of the hill, where smoke would sometimes make its escape . . . Read more Look inside

The Littlest Hotel

by Donald Rogers from Sweetwater Texas.

On the eve of her 20th birthday, lovely Julie Wilson is kidnapped as she exits a Fullerton, Texas fitness center and is walking toward her car. She is taken to the Ouachita National Forest in Western Arkansas by her abductors. There in the midst of two million acres of virgin forests, stands a tiny, one-room structure built by her captors, brothers Sam and Richard Baker, for the purpose of hiding and holding Julie until her father pays them a ransom demand of $5 million . . .Read more Look inside

Remembering Nguyen

Found inside: "This great umbrella of camouflaged silk above my head was the prettiest thing I had ever seen, including the head cheerleader back at Roscoe High School on that most fortunate occasion when I accidentally saw her naked. And to my knowledge, she still doesn't know about that to this day . . ." The book is a chronicle of events through out that 13 months tour of duty but it is different than most other books about the Vietnam experience. 'REMEMBERING NGUYEN' looks at the country, the people and the strife through a more humorous eye . . . Read more Look inside

Have More Money Now (WWE)

John Bradshaw Layfield's career began 20 years ago on a dare to wrestle an 800-pound bear at a cowboy bar in Texas. The bear won, but the challenge set off a chain of events that ultimately led Layfield to become the longest-reigning champion in WWE Smack Down history -- as well as an author, radio personality, FOX financial analyst and SVP on Wall Street. Found inside "There wasn't a lot to do while growing up in Sweetwater, Texas, except play football and hunt rattlesnakes, Sweetwater is the home of the world's largest rattlesnake roundup, and catching snakes and selling  them to local Yaycees for their roundup is a good way for kids to make money . . . "  Read more Look inside

Inside My Shadow Box

by Kerrie Bullard

Inside My Shadow Box allows the readers to feel as if they are alongside the author as she writes of her many adventures as a child growing up in Sweetwater, Texas, as a bride and mother at seventeen years of age, as a woman who suffered at the hands of family violence and a cheating husband, as a police officer who was the first of her kind in the county where she worked, as a police officer working on homicide cases, and as a state investigator working on child deaths and in the FLDS raids that caused the arrest and imprisonment of Warren Jeffs . . . Read More Look inside

Flying With One Wing

Cliff Etheredge was born in Roscoe, Texas on September 21, 1942, to Pete and Hilda Etheredge. He had one brother, Jay. Cliff graduated from Roscoe High School and Texas Tech University. He then began farming with his dad in the Wastella community northwest of Roscoe. He was a member of the Texas National Guard for six years. In 1972, Cliff was severely injured in a farming accident resulting in the amputation of his right arm. He understood that attitude would determine success or failure. He has since spent his life overcoming the myriad of obstacles that have presented themselves daily . . . Read more Look inside

Bravo of the Brazos: John Larn of Fort Griffin, Texas

Found inside: "Big Bill Gilson stayed clear of Fort Griffin after Larn was lynched. In 1881 he took the town marshal's job at Sweetwater in Nolan County, Texas, where he was said to have added two more notches to the pistol handle of his sawed - off shotgun. In 1883 he was a hired gun in a a fence-cutting war in Garza County, and the following  year returned to Sweetwater. There he met his death at the hands of a tough gunman named Jim Cooksey . . ." Read more Look inside

Women Pilots Of World War II

Found inside: "Sweetwater Texas, September 1943; One hundred and twelve women pilots arrived in the small, dusty Texas town, eager to start the Women Air Force Service Pilots training program. These women were a diverse lot. Some were entering the program with the minimum number of flying hours  (thirty-five), while some held a commercial license or an instructuor's rating, with several hundred hours of flying time. Some had started flying as early as 1936, and some had started only in 1943 . . . Read more

The Lawman of Sweetwater

United States Marshal Vince Ward has left the Oregon Territory for a warmer climate and a new life. He settles in Sweetwater, Texas, a sleepy little town where nothing much happens. Or, so he thought. Since his arrival prominent officials are murdered, the bank is robbed, a notorious gang of outlaws attempts to take the town hostage, and the Texas Rangers pounce on the local government. In the mist of the turmoil . . . Read more Look inside

Wicked Women: Notorious, Mischievous, and Wayward Ladies from the Old West

Found inside: By the summer of 1876, Libby and her family were settled in Sweetwater Texas. She and Billy purchased a small ranch outside town and a dance hall on Main Street. Libby was the main attraction on stage, but the stable of women who worked for her behind the scenes brought in the lion's share of the business. Billy protected his wife whenever he needed to but spent much of his time away from the saloon, leaving the daily operations of the brothel and tavern . . . Read more Look inside

900 Miles on the Butterfield Trail

by A. C. Greene

Found inside: "No, this road, save for certain sharper corners around fenced property, is still slightly throbbing with the iron-tired wheels of other days. At the former town of Hylton---one buiding still remaining--- turn left south again onto what looks to be an impassable, but isn't . . . Read more Look inside

From Boxing Ring to Battlefield: The Life of War Hero Lew Jenkins

World champion boxer Lew Jenkins fought his whole life. Found inside "..The family moved to Sweetwater, Texas where Lew started Newman High School. In Sweetwater, Lew started fighting in alleys. He was matched against Mexican kids, and the winner would get a pie, which Lew always won. His days of fighting with his hands had started. When Lew was fifteen years old, in 1932, his father died, becoming a statistic of the Great Depression. Minnie Jenkins kept the family together as best she could. Later that year T.J. Tidwell's carnival came through Lew's town . . . Read more Look inside

Brodie

Brodie Dent wakes up in a brothel in 1879 Sweetwater, Texas, to learn that a robbery and murder have occurred downstairs. The young ex-Ranger is quickly drafted to join the crusty town marshal on a vengeance ride, as the Marshal’s girlfriend was the murder victim. The only witness to the crime is the thirteen-year-old . . . Read more Look inside

Best of Museum Musings, Vol. 1

by Travis Monday

True stories about the history of Nolan County, Texas, and the surrounding area.

Found inside: "After Gray's escape, the other three prisoners were sent to Mitchell County's Sheriff Dick Ware, who was already famous for his part in the shoot-out against the infamous outlaw gang of Sam Bass. Nolan County records indicate that Ware and his staff kept the three prisoners in jail in Colorado City from March 29, 1883 to May 14, 1883. During a trial in Colorado City on October 30, 1883, Dick Gilstrap ws given ten years in the penitentiary for the murder of Guillot . . . " Learn More

The Texas Rangers: Wearing the Cinco Peso, 1821-1900

Found inside: On the night of February 10, 1885, as Warren, Odom and several others sat around the stove in the lobby of Sweetwater's Central Hotel, someone fired a shot through the window. The bullet grazed Odom and hit the Ranger detective in the face. "The victim never spoke, and died in his chair," the Abilene Quill reported. With Warren having been the principal witness in the fence-cutting cases, the state never gained . . . Read more Look inside

Texas Ranger Tales: Stories That Need Telling

Found inside: "Indian, probably Comanches, had attached settlers in Coleman County in West Texas and stolen a baby. Now the raiders were headed for the Red River and sanctuary on their reservation in the Territory. Rangers trailed the Indians westward through Runnels and Coke counties, and into Nolan County before making a grim discovery. About eight miles south of present-day Sweetwater, the rangers reined in their horses when they came up on a blanket hanging from a tree . . .  Read more Look inside

Critical Evidence

by Laurance L. Priddy  (Born January 14, 1941 in Sweetwater, Texas)

When a tanker truck crashes and explodes, down-at-the-heels lawyer Jim McSpadden hopes to represent some of the victims, but big-time attorney Rolly Sullivan gets to them first. The only client Jim can muster is Laura, widow of Danny Marcus, the truck driver whose drunken driving allegedly caused the accident . . . Read more

Welcome Home, Son

by Ken Brawley

Roscoe, Texas" YOU'RE FROM ROSCOE, TEXAS?" "Aw, come on Sir, don't tell me you have actually heard of Roscoe, hell, Rand McNally never heard of it." Capt. Robert Willis of Ruidosa, New Mexico was speechless. But just for a moment. Shaking his head, Roscoe, Texas, i don't believe this, I use to drive through that wide spot with a grain elevator on the way to college station . . . ' Read more Look inside

The Wind

The Wind by Dorothy Scarborough is a tensely written story about Letty Mason’s descent into madness. The novel opens with Letty, an 18-year-old orphan from Virginia, on a westbound train headed to Sweetwater Texas. The wind was the cause of it all. The sand, too, had a share in it, and human beings were involved, but the wind was the primal force, and but for it the whole series of events would not have happened . . . Read more Look Inside

Early Settlers of the Panhandle Plains

The panhandle plains were Texas's last frontier, barren lands populated by hostile Comanche and outlaws attempting to outrun civilization. It was Texas Ranger and frontier scout Jim Jackson who first saw potential in the region. They were the point riders who took the challenge of opening Kent, Garza, Crosby, Lynn, Borden, Dawson, Mitchell, Fisher, Scurry, Stonewall, and Nolan Counties to permanent settlement . . . Read more Look inside

If I Can Do It Horseback: A Cow-Country Sketchbook

John Hendrix, a native Texan, lived in the West Texas of which he wrote for most of his life. His articles appeared in West Texas Today, The Hereford Journal, and other publications, in addition to The Cattleman. Hendrix died in Sweetwater in 1952 at the age of sixty-four.

Here are accurate, detailed, fascinating descriptions of the day-to-day life of the cowboy, the chuck-wagon cook, the range boss: narratives rich in human interest, in pathos, comedy, drama. . . Read more Look inside

A Bride On The Old Chisholm Trail In 1886

by Mary Taylor Bunton

When Mrs. Bunton was a young bride, she took great pleasure in going to her husband's ranch when When news came to the Bunton's Nolan County ranch, near Sweetwater, Texas, that the herds of cattle which Mr. Bunton was sending up to norther and western markets were ready for the trail, but that the general herd boss was stricken with sore eyes, Mr. Bunton could find no one to take the lead--except himself. Mrs. . . . Learn more

The Life of John Wesley Hardin: Written by Himself

Found inside: "I met Jim Newman quite lately and in talking over old times near Pisga in 1869, he asked me if I remembered how some fellow jumped when I shot at him. I told him, "Yes, I remember it." " Well," said Jim Newman, "I bet you at that time that you could not shoot his eye out, and we had a bottle of whisky on it, come in, now; it is my treat." I suppose I won the bet but did not recollect after so many years. This same Jim Newman is now sheriff of Nolan County; his post office is Sweetwater . . . " Read more Look inside

Slingin' Sam: The Life and Times of the Greatest Quarterback Ever to Play the Game

Found inside: "The tall, spindly-legged Texan who ambles onto the frozen turf of Wrigley Field on that dreary Sunday afternoon in 1937 has played in miserable weather before. The pride of Sweetwater, Texas, he has known northers that barrel across the plains with little warning, straight from the Canadian Arctic. As a high school senior four years earlier, he played in a blizzard, with driving snow and sleet pelting players and fans alike . . . " Read more Look inside

Pledge to Kill

The small town of Decker, Texas buzzes with excitement. A new dentist is taking over Dr. Tooley’s practice. Little do they know her interest in Decker has nothing to do with dentistry. She is here to fulfill a promise made to her identical twin, Jane Hayes, several years ago after Jane was gang raped. Found inside: "It was a warm afternoon, this May 13, 1968, in Decker, Texas. A good day for a walk, Debra thought. She stopped when a sharp pain in her head caused her to drop her books . . . " Read more Look inside

Delbert McClinton: One of the Fortunate Few

Found inside: The summer of 1952, Delbert went to visit his mother's sister, Charlie Marie, and her family in Sweetwater, Texas. her son, Walter lee, was Delbert's favorite cousin. But, Uncle Earl was another story. "He had always been the meanest old son of a bitch I'd ever known. He'd get drunk and terrorize the family and anybody else around. All us kids were scared to death of him. But that summer---at least while I was there---he turned into a brand new man" recalls Delbert. "Right after I got there, my cousin, Walter lee, and I were out in the backyard. I was singing 'Hey, Joe,' a Carl smith song. He threw the back door and slammed the screen against the wall and hollered . . . " Read more Look inside

Kathleen of Sweetwater, Texas

Kathleen Parker was the picture of primness and propriety. She was a thirty-year-old beauty with big green eyes that could look straight through a person’s soul. In town, they called her the old spinster lady. Kathleen wasn’t a stranger to their ridicule, because she knew that men only wanted her five hundred–acre cattle ranch . . . Read more Look inside

Vietnam, 1969-1970: A Company Commander’s Journal

Lieutenant Michael Lee Lanning was born in Sweetwater, Texas. came to Vietnam as a man who was confident of surviving the war and eager to perform his duty to his country. After six months in-country, he was promoted to company commander at the very young age of twenty-three, and his sense of duty began to shift from being focused on his nation to preserving the lives of the hundred men in Bravo Company . . . Read more Look inside

From a Southern Porch

Emily Dorothy Scarborough (January 27, 1878 - November 7, 1935) . She wrote about Texas, folk culture, cotton farming, ghost stories and women's life in the Southwest. Scarborough was born in Mount Carmel, Texas. At the age of four she moved to Sweetwater, Texas for her mother's health, as her mother needed the drier climate . . . Read more Look inside

The Wind

The Wind (1925), a supernatural novel by Dorothy Scarborough, depicts the loneliness of life in Sweetwater Texas during the 1880s. She originally published it anonymously, anticipating a rough reception in Texas. It was later made into a film called The Wind (1928) starring Lilian Gish . . . Read more Look inside

Secrets In The Sky: Lone Star Heroines

It's 1943 and the world is at war, but 12-year-old Bethany Parker is stuck at home in Sweetwater, Texas. When the Women Air Force Service Pilots come to town, she is thrilled. They are glamorous and daring and they befriend Bethany! When one of the women dies during a training flight, Bethany is convinced the mysterious crash was the work of a Nazi spy, and she sets out to prove it. The Lone Star Heroines series brings to life real events in Texas history and shows young readers how girls living during those exciting times experienced and even contributed to those dramatic events. Each book in the series includes a chapter of background stories and pictures of the actual people who lived them . . . Read more Look inside

Dead Stick

Ryan Conley is a marine second lieutenant stationed in Abu Al Khasib, Iraq. Just as he is about to rotate out of the war zone, Ryan is severely wounded and granted a medical discharge, so he can return home to the family ranch in Sweetwater, Texas, to focus his energy on recovery. But life never goes as planned for the young marine, and he is unexpectedly found dead . . . Read more

Unknown Murder

by Q E Terry

Q E Terry was born in Sweetwater, Texas and is based near there. Unknown Murder is the second in the Owens Investigative Series. Starla Owens is on another case. She must travel to a distant city in another state to get more information on her client. She is taken into not only the more lavish side of life, but also into some of the slimy pits. When Star is almost killed, she goes back to her apartment only to find that she has been followed and is in jeopardy once again . . . Read more Look inside

The Royal Air Force in American Skies

Found inside: "Local residents began to realize the town's strategic importance when the record-breaking Army Air Service around-the-world flight stopped in Sweetwater for fuel and minor repairs in September 1924. The next month the U.S. Navy airship USS Shenandoah flew over Sweetwater on the first nonstop cross-country flight. Virtually all activities in town stopped as enthralled citizens watched the giant airship cruise majestically over Sweetwater at sixty miles-per-hour. Early itinerant flyers and barnstormers had used an abandoned polo field . . ." Read more Look inside

The City Moves West: Economic and Industrial Growth in Central West Texas

Found inside: "Nolan County was the first of this group to be organized. In 1880 Tom Robard, a teacher, circulated a petition proposing an election for separate county officials. The Shackford County Court, to which Nolan County was attached, approved, and the election was held December 20, 1880. Despite the objections of cattlemen, who did not favor the proposal for fear of higher taxes and restrictions on movement of their herds if . . . " Read more Look inside

An Honorable Man

Lauren Campbell is scarred by grief and raw from betrayal. Widowed young and fleeing an abusive boyfriend, she crosses the country in hopes of starting over. The small town of Sweetwater, Texas feels like the perfect place to heal a broken heart, even more so after meeting a handsome thirty-something doctor. But Lauren should know by now—looks can be deceiving . . . Read more Look inside

A Wedding Renewal in Sweetwater, Texas

When Sylvia realizes something’s missing in her marriage she starts a Proverbs 31 makeover. But will she find that romance isn’t always about moonlight and candles? . . .  Read more Look inside

The Millionaire Takes a Bride

Wealthy New York businessman Jackson Bradshaw was used to going after what he wanted, but this time it was what he didn’t want that was making him pound on some stranger’s door in the godforsaken hamlet of Sweetwater, Texas. And he didn’t want his younger brother to marry his obviously gold-digging fiancée . . . Read more Look inside

Letters to Goya

In the Letters to Goya section are "reproduced" letters from the 13th Duchess of Alba (living in a Sweetwater, Texas trailer park) to her artist friend Francisco Goya at the Spanish royal court; in the Titles section are Magee's poems to some of his sculptures . . . Read more

 
Life in Nolan County 1850 1950

Life in Nolan County Texas 1850-1950Life in Sweetwater and Roscoe 18-50-1950

Nolan County Unclaimed EstatesNolan County Unclaimed Estates

These Deceased Residents from Sweetwater, Roscoe, Nolan and Maryneal Texas left  a total $32,060 in unclaimed money for their heirs . . .

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

 

Texas Estates with Unclaimed Assets Waiting to be ClaimedTrue Stories of Amazing People and Places in Texcas
 Loneliest, Least Populated Counties in Texas
Famous Actors from West TexasBooks about Texas People County by County
Nolan County Appraisal District
Nolan County TX Experts
Nolan County Products
Nolan County People
Books about Nolan County People and Places
Nolan County Unclaimed Estates
Life in Nolan County