Nellie Witt left Weatherford on her fourth birthday, May 4, 1892, in an ox-pulled wagon packed with her family and all their belongings. They were headed west from their home in North-Central Texas to the edge of the Llano Estacado to settle on a small farm. Nellie didn't know it, but she was part of an historical movement, the conversion of large Texas ranches to smaller family farms. . . . Her writing, often lyrical and even poetic, expresses her love for home, family, community, and land from a woman's perspective, so often overlooked in history. --Texas Co-op Power
In twenty-fi ve years of syndicated columns in small-town Texas newspapers between 1930 and 1960, Nellie Witt Spikes described her life on the High Plains, harking back to earlier times and reminiscing about pioneer settlement, farm and small-town culture, women's work, and the natural history of the fl atlands and canyons. Spikes's life spanned the arrival of Euro-American settlers, the transition from ranching to farming, the drought and dust storms of the 1930s, and the irrigation revolution of the 1940s. Engaging and eloquent, her As a Farm Woman Thinks columns today conjure up a vivid portrait of a bygone era. Spikes's best pieces, organized topically and then chronologically by Geoff Cunfer, are illuminated by black-and-white historical photographs featuring the people,landscapes, small towns, farms, and ranches that populated the caprock-and-canyon country of West Texas. Cunfer's introduction and editorial commentary provide context. As a Farm Woman Thinks enlarges our understanding of a wide land and its culture and captures the spirit of the Plains.
Geoff Cunfer is the author of On the Great Plains: Agriculture and Environment, winner of the Social Science History Association's 2003 President's Book Award and the Agricultural History Society's 2006 Theodore Saloutos Book Award.