Krueger vividly recalls the violence—the murderous “Helena duel,” brutal Indian massacres, and his own narrow escape in a cattleman’s war—and also the splendor and abundance of an unspoiled land, the thrill of a mustang or buffalo hunt, the danger of the stampede, and the simple pleasure of the campfire after the dust and weariness of the trail.
Before achieving his heart’s desire—a large ranch at Twin Sisters—he worked as stevedore, factory hand, cowboy, miller, itinerant photographer, and merchant. When drought ruined him and he lost his fine ranch, he had to begin anew, a man in middle age with a large family to support. Eventually he acquired a machine company in San Antonio and amassed a second fortune manufacturing oil well equipment.
Though he was certainly too successful to be typical, Krueger’s life as recorded here reflects in fascinating detail the era of which he was a part and represents, twice over, the fulfillment of the American dream.
Max Krueger vividly recalls the Texas he knew as a young man, telling of the murderous “Helena duel,” brutal Indian massacres, his narrow escape in a cattlemen’s war, the splendor and abundance of an unspoiled land, and the thrill of a mustang or buffalo hunt. Written 58 years after he came to Texas from Germany at the age of 16, the memoirs of this remarkable man who twice made his fortune in Texas chronicle the state’s transformation from a harsh frontier to an industrialized society.
Published by Texas A&M University Press