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Books About Val Verde County Texas People and Places
What's Your Favorite Book about a Val Verde County Texas Person, Place or Event? Here are some of our favorites about and by People from Del Rio, Lake View, Langtry, Cienegas Terrace, Comstock and Pumpville Texas.

 

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Echoes Along the Pecos River: Intriguing Ranch Tales from West Texas

by Barbara E. McAleese

"A vivid history of five generations of the Babb family who ranched near Pumpville in Val Verde County in West Texas. They survived it all through good times and bad, drought and loss, murder and danger, but always protective of their family and those dear to them. The story begins with my infamous great great grandfather who claims he killed 23 men but never went to jail for long. It includes my hardworking Christian grandmother who would lose three children, one who served and died in World War II, including his letters he wrote home. Throughout their lives there was love, laughter and always intrigue of some kind..." Read more Look inside

Pathways to Ancient Shelter: A Sojourn in Langtry, Texas

When the myths and stories of a certain place intersect with those of a particular person, a reciprocity of giving and receiving results. After decades of yearning for a return to the beloved west Texas of her youth, Mary Locke Crofts experienced such an encounter when she went to the borderland of Langtry, Texas, to write a dissertation about ancient pictographs. Working from a rented country house near the Rio Grande, Crofts entered in imagination the lives and stories of hunter-gatherers who painted on the canyon walls and in so doing became deeply aware of her own resonances and responses to this mysterious and sacred place. This book bears witness to her journey.... Read more Look inside

Judge Roy Bean Country

Welcome to Judge Roy Bean Country! The landscape is big enough and wild enough to contain any legend―even one the size of Judge Roy Bean. Jack Skiles started with a determination to learn the truth behind the legend of Judge Roy Bean. Armed with a second-hand tape recorder in the 1960s, he interviewed Texas Rangers, ranchers, treasure hunters, and any Langtry old-timer with a good memory and a story to tell about the Judge. Forty years later, with a lifetime pursuing the truth, Skiles weaves that oral history and solid historical research into a compelling panorama of this harsh, forbidding land West of the Pecos... Read more Look inside

Val Verde County (Images of America: Texas)

 "Along the banks of the Rio Grande lies Val Verde County, one of the largest counties in Texas and the only one named for a Civil War battle. Although Del Rio is the county seat, Langtry is more famous as the home of Judge Roy Bean, the famous (as well as infamous) Law West of the Pecos. Among the many evocative images of the county featured in this new book are photos of the judge's unique court/saloon. Val Verde County captures the spirit of a region and its people through historic photographs. Most of the topics included are not strictly local in nature..." Read more Look inside

Raza Schools (New Directions in Tejano History)

In 1929, a Latino community in the borderlands city of Del Rio, Texas, established the first and perhaps only autonomous Mexican American school district in Texas history. How it did so—against a background of institutional racism, poverty, and segregation—is the story Jesús Jesse Esparza tells in Raza Schools, a history of the rise and fall of the San Felipe Independent School District from the end of World War I through the post–civil rights era. . . . Read more Look inside

Judge Roy Bean: Law West of the Pecos

"Roy Bean was one of the most colorful characters to inhabit the state of Texas, and he chose one of the state's most Godforsaken places as his personal dominion—the empty, dusty plains west of the Pecos River's junction with the Rio Grande, out near… well, not really near anyplace to speak of. Sandwiched between the banks of the Rio Grande and the Sunset Route of the Southern Pacific Railroad, Bean's corner of the world began as a rough railroad camp and went downhill from there. Bean named his town Langtry, after the famous and beautiful English entertainer Miss Lily Langtry. Adopting her popular nickname, he dubbed his notorious saloon and pool hall the Jersey Lilly (spelling was not Bean’s greatest strength). The tales of his escapades are countless; Sonnichsen surely had to choose only the best to include in his book. Whether Bean was chaining a drunk to a half-tamed bear or claiming that the Jersey Lilly had a policy against making change..." Read more Look inside

A Texas Ranching Family: The Story of E.K. Fawcett

"This is a history of early day ranching in Southwestern Texas. E.K. Fawcett, a seventeen year old orphan lad left his siblings when hired to assist in herding a flock of 3,000 sheep across early day Texas. They arrived at their destination on the Devil's River at 12:00 midnight July 24th 1883. He met and courted the love of his life by horseback from twenty some odd miles away. It is a story of love and devotion not only for each other and family, but the land as well. It tells of ..." Read more Look inside

Outlaw West of the Pecos: An H.H. Lomax Western

"Accused of cheating at cards on a Southern Pacific passenger train in far West Texas, H.H. Lomax is kicked off the train and finds himself at the mercy of the unpredictable justice of Judge Roy Bean, who calls himself “Law West of the Pecos.” After being fined of all his money, married, and divorced by the judge in a matter of minutes, Lomax discovers an unlikely connection to him..." Read more Look inside

Mustang Miracle

"In 1957, when very few Mexican-Americans were familiar with the game of golf, and even less actually played it, a group of young caddies which had been recruited to form the San Felipe High School Golf Team by two men who loved the game, but who had limited access to it, competed against all-white schools for the Texas State High School Golf Championship. Despite having outdated and inferior equipment, no professional lessons or instructions, four young golfers with self-taught swings from the border city of Del Rio, captured the State title..." Read more Look inside

It Happened in Texas: Stories of Events and People that Shaped Lone Star State History

"Beautiful Lillie Langtry could not believe her eyes when she stepped off the Southern Pacific train onto the railway platform at Langry, Texas. She was greeted on the platform by the local justice of the peace, the postmaster, the station master, several cowboys, and "thirty or forty girls, all about fifteen or sixteen... and announced en bloc as 'the young ladies of Langtry'" Read more Look inside

Del Rio: Queen City of the Rio Grande

"Del Rio's roots grew in the sandy soil by San Felipe Creek along with the myths and dreams of the old Wild West, where the mighty Rio Grande dances through the dusty lands of the Lone Star State. Ancient nomads left their mark in the riverside canyons of this border country long before the springs at Del Rio became a lonely waystation providing water and rest to travelers, merchants, and soldiers marching the long, hot, and dry San Antonio-El Paso Road. When the products of ranching began riding the rails to eastern markets, Del Rio's population exploded and the town became known as the Wool and Mohair Capital of the World..." Read more Look inside

Sam Maverick's Trail, The Story of the First American Exploration of the Texas-Mexico Border

"After the Mexican Congress ratified the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the Rio Grande (Rio Bravo) was the legal boundary between Texas and Mexico. Under the treaty, the United States was obligated to prevent raids by ''hostile tribes'' in Mexico whose northern frontier had been ravaged by the raids. This obligation was accepted despite the absence of a wagon road between San Antonio and El Paso or any U.S. Army forts with soldiers stationed along the border. In fact, no Americans, including Texans who claimed the lands, knew where the border or tribal crossings were located..." Read more Look inside

Border Radio: Quacks, Yodelers, Pitchmen, Psychics, and Other Amazing Broadcasters of the American Airwaves

"Before the Internet brought the world together, there was border radio. These mega-watt "border blaster" stations, set up just across the Mexican border to evade U.S. regulations, beamed programming across the United States and as far away as South America, Japan, and Western Europe. This book traces the eventful history of border radio from its founding in the 1930s by "goat-gland doctor" J. R. Brinkley to the glory days of Wolfman Jack in the 1960s..." Read more Look inside

The Gun That Wasn't There

The Gun That Wasn't There by retired Texas police chief Russell Smith, with an introduction by Elmer Kelton, meticulously outlines the true story of rural West Texas communities under attack by an armed criminal in the 1960s. At times graphic, this vivid true crime story is an unusually perceptive assessment of the criminal mind as told with the surprising empathetic voice of both survivors and victims of crime. Read more Look inside

What Lies Beneath: Texas Pioneer Cemeteries and Graveyards

"Texas, the second largest state, both in land mass and population, has more than 50,000 cemeteries, graveyards, and burial grounds. As the final resting places of those whose earthly journey has ended, they are also repositories of valuable cultural history. The pioneer cemeteries—those from the 19th century—provide a wealth of information on the people who settled Texas during its years as a Republic (1836-1845), and after it became the 28th state in 1845. In What Lies Beneath: Texas Pioneer Cemeteries and Graveyards, author Cynthia Leal Massey exhumes the stories of these pioneers, revealing the intriguing truth behind the earliest graveyards in the Lone Star State, including some of its most ancient ..." Read more Look inside

Resources:

West Texas History & Memories

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)

Texas History by Category and Event

 

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
Famous Actors from West TexasBooks about Texas People County by County