Willie, A Girl from a Town Called Dallas

978-1-58544-090-0 Paperback
6 x 9 x 0 in
150 pp. Illus.
Pub Date: 08/06/2001


Ninety years ago Dallas was a small town filled with horse-drawn carriages, corner grocery shops, tree-lined streets, and rambling frame houses. It was the Victorian era, with different behavioral codes for boys and girls. Mrs. Willie Lewis, who grew up in turn-of-the-century Dallas, recalls with great clarity her life in the city, from early youth to old age, weaving her own experiences into the larger fabric of a community on the verge of the jet age. The result is a remarkable study of human behavior set against the rapidly changing world of Dallas at the beginning of the twentieth century.

This is the story of the marriage of Willie, a twenty-year-old Dallas debutante loved and protected by her family, and Will, a forty-two-year-old cattle rancher financially independent since his late teens, who began as a cowboy and eventually amassed a fortune in cattle and ranchland. In the course of their marriage, which allied two very different personalities, Willie made her own life in Dallas while her husband managed his ranches in the Panhandle. During Will’s long absences, Willie raised four children and ran a household as though without a husband. She vividly recounts day-to-day crises, joys, and disappointments and reflects thoughtfully on over ninety years of life. The result is an absorbing glimpse into the past, offering insights to students of urban history, the Victorian age, social mores, Texas and the Southwest, cattlemen and cowboys, and the intricacies of human relationships.

Published by Texas A&M University Press