The Bookshelf, The Parlor, The Young Texas Reader, and the Monthly

The Texas Bookshelf is different from the The Texas Parlor, . The Texas Parlor carries "general" bookish information and non-book information and even different Texana news and notes of use to the bibliographically challenged and other nosey folks intersted in historical, literary, and cultural observations. Will's Texana Monthly may carry material from either blog, but extends itself beyond those, especially for longer compilations or treatments. The Monthly, the Bookshelf and the Parlor are all companions. So, is the Young Texas Reader which specialized on books and such things for the youngest to the teenagers.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lillie Davenport - Midkiff

 Book 1   Lillie Davenport:  Pioneer Mother.  By Mary Lou Midkiff, with a foreword by Elmer Kelton.  Midland:  Oleo Publishing, 2008.  320 pages, endpaper maps, many photos, hardback with jacket, $29.95    ISBN-10: 0976395517  ISBN-13: 978-0976395515


If Elmer Kelton likes it, well, it's pretty good read.  This grassroots family story is about Lillie (1877-1972), a Georgian woman in Indian Territory who in 1896 marries a cowboy Oscar Midkiff.  Yes, they had cowboys there.  They moved to south of Midland, and she raised twelve children out there on the plains, and as needed, she did it all, including shooting antelope from sidesaddle. 

Life for the Davenports was sparse because that's the way it was and still is around Midland.  Family readers will enjoy the many asides and recollections of the Davenport children and grandchildren.   And the story has a fine final plot line – after WWII oil was discovered on the Davenport land.   The volume has what its all family members will enjoy, about 200 photos, almost a hundred pages of genealogy, and a stunning index, mostly personal names.  A good sturdy volume of a good sturdy family.

The author knows some about the Midkiff's because she earlier wrote Midkiff: A Texas Family, Town, and Way of Life which covers much of the Midkiff couple's early life.


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