Reading Resources

For further information on the history of the cattle industry in Texas and the Southwest, please see the suggested resources below. Find additional books by these authors for a better understanding of how vital the cattle industry is to the American way of life. Most books may be found at your local public library or can be purchased online.

General Reading

Clayton, Lawrence, Historic Ranches of Texas
Austin: University of Texas Press, 1997.

Provides overview of 12 ranches, including the King, Green, Four Sixes, Iron Mountain, Lambshead, Matador, Pitchfork, Swenson, Waggoner, XIT, Y.O. and Yturria.

Haley, J. Evetts, Charles Goodnight: Cowman and Plainsman

Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1949.

A colorful biography of the frontier cattleman Charles Goodnight who helped establish the Goodnight-Loving Trail and the JA Ranch, the first in the Texas Panhandle.

Hunter, J. Marvin, ed., The Trail Drivers of Texas (Introduction by B. Byron Price)

Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985.

Recounts the memoirs of hundreds of drovers who went “up the trail” during the heyday of cattle drives in the 1860s through the 1890s.

Massey, Sarah, Black Cowboys of Texas

College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2000.

Documents the work of African-American cowboys on Texas ranches and trail drive who played an important role in the cattle industry that has been too long omitted from most history books.

Murrah, David J., C.C. Slaughter: Rancher, Banker, Baptist
Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2012

Tells the story of Dallas cattle king Christopher Columbus Slaughter, one of the founders of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, who established a million-acre ranch empire in West Texas after the Civil War.

Tijerina, Andrés, Tejano Empire: Life on the South Texas Ranchos
College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2008.

Chronicles Tejanos – Texans of Mexican descent—who owned or worked on ranches in South Texas and documents work ways and tools, housing and ranch layouts, family networks and authority patterns, education, religion and the art in daily ranch life.

Massey, Sarah, Texas Women on the Cattle Trails
College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2006.

A collection of stories by numerous authors that tells the accounts of sixteen women who drove the Texas cattle trails during the last half of the nineteenth century.

For Kids

Erickson, John R., Hank the Cowdog Series
Maverick Books (original) and Puffin Books (reprints), 1982-current.

A series of more than 70 children’s books that follow Hank, a dog that views himself as the “Head of Ranch Security.”  In each book, Hank and other characters must deal with several events, issues and mysteries that occur at their Texas Panhandle home, the M-Cross Ranch. For Ages 8-11.

Recht-Penner, Lucille, Cowboys
Grosset and Dunlap, 1995.

Learn all about the day-to-day life of a cowboy in the Old West, from round-ups and trail drives to meals around the campfire and nights under the stars. For Ages 4-8.