Harder Than Hardscrabble

Harder Than Hardscrabble

by Thad Sitton
     
 

Until the U.S. Army claimed 300-plus square miles of hardscrabble land to build Fort Hood in 1942, small communities like Antelope, Pidcoke, Stampede, and Okay scratched out a living by growing cotton and ranching goats on the less fertile edges of the Texas Hill Country. While a few farmers took jobs with construction crews at Fort Hood to remain in the area,

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Overview

Until the U.S. Army claimed 300-plus square miles of hardscrabble land to build Fort Hood in 1942, small communities like Antelope, Pidcoke, Stampede, and Okay scratched out a living by growing cotton and ranching goats on the less fertile edges of the Texas Hill Country. While a few farmers took jobs with construction crews at Fort Hood to remain in the area, almost the entire population—and with it, an entire segment of rural culture—disappeared into the rest of the state.

In Harder than Hardscrabble, oral historian Thad Sitton collects the colorful and frequently touching stories of the pre-Fort Hood residents to give a firsthand view of Texas farming life before World War II. Accessible to the general reader and historian alike, the stories recount in vivid detail the hardships and satisfactions of daily life in the Texas countryside. They describe agricultural practices and livestock handling as well as life beyond work: traveling peddlers, visits to towns, country schools, medical practices, and fox hunting. The anecdotes capture a fast-disappearing rural society—a world very different from today's urban Texas.

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Editorial Reviews

Agricultural History - Ricky Floyd Dobbs
Harder than Hardscrabble is a contribution to scholarly understanding of the rigors of a past lifestyle that remains remarkably close to us in time. Lay readers, especially those interested in farm life or Texas history, will enjoy the humanity and stories of Sitton's subjects.
Southwestern Historical Quarterly - Gene Preuss
Harder than Hardscrabble brings new life to Central Texas communities otherwise lost to history, and is an important contribution to the history of early-twentieth-century rural life in Texas.
Agricultural History
Harder than Hardscrabble is a contribution to scholarly understanding of the rigors of a past lifestyle that remains remarkably close to us in time. Lay readers, especially those interested in farm life or Texas history, will enjoy the humanity and stories of Sitton's subjects.
— Ricky Floyd Dobbs
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Harder than Hardscrabble brings new life to Central Texas communities otherwise lost to history, and is an important contribution to the history of early-twentieth-century rural life in Texas.
— Gene Preuss

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780292702387
Publisher:
University of Texas Press
Publication date:
03/01/2004
Series:
Clifton and Shirley Caldwell Texas Heritage Series
Pages:
310
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Thad Sitton is an independent scholar and writer in Austin, Texas. Among his ten other books on Texas history are three winners of the Texas Historical Commission’s T.R. Fehrenbach “best book” award.

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