Tascosa: Its Life and Gaudy Times

by Frederick Nolan, Texas Tech University Press, Lubbock, 2007, $39.95.

 A history of one of the West’s wildest but often overlooked frontier towns is long overdue, and English author Frederick Nolan does a stellar job in giving Tascosa, Texas, its due—the first book-length study of the Panhandle settlement since John L. McCarty’s Maverick Town: The Story of Old Tascosa (1946).

It’s little surprise that Nolan would choose Tascosa. After all, Nolan wrote The West of Billy the Kid and is probably best known on the Western scene for his studies of the Lincoln County War. The Kid was a frequent Tascosa visitor between that war’s end and his death in Fort Sumner, New Mexico Territory, in 1881. Yet the “cowboy capital of the Texas Panhandle,” located northwest of present-day Amarillo, attracted more than Billy the Kid during its brief glory days of the 1870s till the 1890s. Tascosa is a delightful 361-page read, with humor and insight.


Originally published in the December 2007 issue of Wild West. To subscribe, click here