Texas Women and Ranching: On the Range, at the Rodeo, and in Their Communities

Texas Women and Ranching: On the Range, at the Rodeo, and in Their Communities

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Winner, 2020 Liz Carpenter Award For Best Book on the History of Women

The realm of ranching history has long been dominated by men, from tales—tall or true—of cowboys and cattlemen, to a century’s worth of male writers and historians who have been the primary chroniclers of Texas history. As women’s history has increasingly gained a foothold not only as a field worthy of study but as a bold and innovative way of understanding the past, new generations of scholars are rethinking the once-familiar settings of the past. In doing so, they reveal that women not only exercised agency in otherwise constrained environments but were also integral to the ranching heritage that so many Texans hold dear.

Texas Women and Ranching: On the Range, at the Rodeo, and in Their Communities explores a variety of roles women played on the western ranch. The essays here cover a range of topics, from early Tejana businesswomen and Anglo philanthropists to rodeos and fence-cutting range wars. The names of some of the women featured may be familiar to those who know Texas ranching history—Alice East and Frances Kallison, for example. Others came from less well-known or wealthy families. In every case, they proved themselves to be resourceful women and unique individuals who survived by their own wits in cattle country.

This book is a major contribution to several fields—Texas history, western history, and women’s history—that are, at last, beginning to converge.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623497408
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Publication date: 01/23/2019
Series: Women in Texas History Series, sponsored by the Ruthe Winegarten Memorial Foundation
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
File size: 9 MB

About the Author

DEBORAH M. LILES is an assistant professor and the W. K. Gordon Endowed Chair in Texas History at Tarleton State University. She is the coeditor of Women in Civil War Texas: Diversity and Dissidence in the Trans-Mississippi, winner of the Liz Carpenter Award for Best Book on the History of Women, and coeditor of African Americans in Central Texas History: From Slavery to Civil Rights. She resides in Weatherford, Texas. CECELIA GUTIERREZ VENABLE is the director of archives for the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate. She is the author of numerous books, scholarly articles, and a chapter in Black Cowboys in the American West: On the Range, On the Stage, Behind the Badge. She resides in Adkins, Texas.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments xi

Map xii

Introduction: Beyond Women, Oxen, and Texas Light Townsend Cummins 1

Chapter 1 Tejanas and Ranching: María Calvillo and Her Ranching Enterprises Amy Porter 9

Chapter 2 In Search of Lucinda: Women in the Cattle Industry in Early Texas Deborah M. Liles 25

Chapter 3 Cornelia Adair: Transatlantic Panhandle Rancher Alex Hunt 42

Chapter 4 Mary Jane Alexander: "The First Woman Rancher in the Panhandle." Jean Stuntz 65

Chapter 5 Mattie B. Morris Miller: Matriarch, Ranch Woman, and Benefactor Jack Becker 75

Chapter 6 Mabel Doss, Mary Ketchum Meredith, and the Texas Fence-Cutting Wars Brooke Wibracht 91

Chapter 7 Kathryn and Nancy Binford and the M-Bar Ranch: More than "Something in the Soil" Renee M. Laegreid 107

Chapter 8 Alice Gertrudis King Kleberg East: Loving the Land Cecilia Gutierrez Venable 126

Chapter 9 Frances Rosenthal Kallison: Historian at Home in the Saddle Hollace Ava Weiner 141

Contributors 161

Index 165

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