Culture

‘Texas Women and Ranching’ Spotlights Influential Women in the Texas Ranching Industry

The book Texas Women in Ranching shines light on influential women in the industry.

Readers will be inspired by the stories of ranch women featured in this collection of essays.

Nancy’s friends, second-generation ranch women like herself, had been reared to be competent in what people outside the region might have considered encroaching on the masculine sphere. Within the Panhandle, however, the skills and accomplishments of these ranch daughters were not considered mannish or unfeminine.” —Excerpt from Texas Women and Ranching: On the Range, at the Rodeo and in Their Communities

Texas Women and Ranching: On the Range, at the Rodeo, and in Their Communities book cover
Texas Women and Ranching: On the Range, at the Rodeo, and in Their Communities | Edited by Deborah M. Liles and Cecilia Gutierrez Venable | Hardback | 192 pages | Release Date: March 2019 | Texas A&M University Press | $32 | tamupress.com

When the word “ranching” comes up, most people think of cowboys, cattle and horses. But women have always played a vital role in ranching, and this new book shines a spotlight on them.

In nine essays, several writers—including the book’s editors—focus on women who have had an impact in the ranching world in Texas. The book begins with a chapter on Maria del Carmen Calvillo (1765-1856), who accumulated large land holdings and oversaw ranching operations. Another chapter highlights the life of Cornelia Adair, a New York native who lived primarily in London and became owner of the JA Ranch in the Texas Panhandle in 1921. Chapter 7 begins with the sudden death of Kathryn Cabot Binford’s husband in 1934 and her subsequent handling of the family’s 10,000-acre ranch. Binford also was involved in women’s rodeo, and was known as an excellent horsewoman. She was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1979.

The book focuses on the women’s contributions to the ranching industry, and also the resilience they showed and the challenges they faced. It is an inspiring look at an often-overlooked side of ranching history.

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