Gettin Started: Howard County’s First 25 Years by Joe Pickle
Published by Howard County Heritage Museum, Big Spring, TX, 1980.
1st Edition. Hardbound, Paper DJ. Size 8vo (up to 9-1/2” tall). 435 pages
Like most of Texas west of Ft Worth, Big Spring and Howard County had their beginning with penetration of the Texas and Pacific Railroad in 1880-81. Unlike others, however, Big Spring, traces its identity as a locale not only to the ”discovery” of the spring in 1849, but to centuries before when the Indians made it a forking point of their deeply worn trails as they followed the buffalo. This book touches on these as it does upon such characters as Cabeza de Vaca, who may have crossed the spot in 1535; Capt. RB Marcy, foremost Southwest explorer who pinpointed the spring; and Heneage Finch 7th Earl of Aylesford, who lived out his last day in the frontier village. It traces the T&P in its westward thrust, tells of fabled cattlemen like Col. C.C. Slaughter and his Long S Ranch; chronicles the introduction of ”bob wire” and breaking of the sod; and the establishment of government, commerce, and institutions. While the story may be provincial in some respects, it is, in general, a pattern which might fit most of western Texas.