The Birth of a Texas Ghost Town
Thurber, 1886–1933
Texas History - Multicultural Studies
6 x 9, 248 pp.
16 b&w photos., 2 tables.
Pub Date: 02/21/2008
Tarleton State University Southwestern Studies in the Humanities
Price:        $29.95 s

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The Birth of a Texas Ghost Town

Thurber, 1886–1933

By Mary Jane Gentry
Edited by T. Lindsay Baker
Foreword by Larry Gatlin

In its heyday, Thurber was home to coal miners and brick plant workers from Italy, Poland, and as many as fourteen other European nations, not to mention the many Mexican immigrants who came to the area. In this, her master’s thesis, Mary Jane Gentry, who started the first grade in Thurber and graduated as valedictorian of its high school in 1930, records first-hand memories of the town’s vibrant charm.

Now edited and with an introduction by T. Lindsay Baker, Gentry’s lively history of the rise and decline of a Texas coal town provides a unique window into a bygone era. Her narrative of rancorous labor disputes, corporate machinations, and the eventual shuttering of the plants and virtual disappearance of the once-thriving town will allow Thurber to live again, if only in the minds of her readers.

MARY JANE GENTRY died in 1996, after a long and distinguished teaching career in Texas in Thurber, Springer Gap, San Angelo, Austin, and Odessa, where she retired from a tenured teaching position at Odessa CollegeT. LINDSAY BAKER directs Tarleton State University’s W. K. Gordon Center for the Industrial History of Texas, located at the former town site of Thurber, and holds the W. K. Gordon Endowed Chair in History at the university. He lives in Rio Vista, Texas

What Readers Are Saying:

“The book is a delight to read…The Birth of a Texas Ghost Town- Thurber 1886-1933 is an excellent book for anyone interested in Texas history and folklore.” --Mexia Daily News


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