Cattle, Cotton, Corn

Cattle, Cotton, Corn

A History of Central Texas Middle-Class Ranches, 1880–1930

by W. C. Arnold

Published by: Texas Tech University Press

Imprint: Texas Tech University Press

216 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.00 in

  • Hardcover
  • 9781682831281
  • Published: January 2022


  • eBook
  • 9781682831359
  • Published: January 2022


From about a generation after the end of the Industrial Revolution up until the Great Depression, Texas agriculture went through many changes. Unlike the massive, storied ranches spun into romantic westerns or Hollywood films, small family ranches had to adapt constantly to the economic present.

Cattle, Cotton, Corn draws from the minutiae of family records and oral accounts to piece together the history of several middle-class ranches in Central Texas that were operational from 1880 to 1930. The Caufields, Cavitts, Youngs, and Footes were ordinary Texans surviving changing economic forecasts and the boom-and-bust cycles of living from the land.

Compiled from decades of research by a scion of one of the families, this book adds to the corpus of Texas ranching epics by focusing on the lived experiences of regular ranch families, most of whom were not particularly wealthy or politically prominent. Cattle, Cotton, Corn tells a history important to the fabric of turn-of-the-century Texas, and it will resonate with many who will see their own family’s history reflected in its very pages.