in Belton, Texas July 5, 1901, James Evetts Haley moved to Midland with
his family in 1906. Haley graduated from Midland High School
and competed in rodeo's. He was a historian and best selling
After he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history, from West
Texas Normal College in Canyon, Texas Haley was named field
secretary of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Society in Canyon,
which operates the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest
Western history institution of its kind in Texas.
In 1929, Haley published The XIT Ranch of Texas and the Early
Days of the Llano Estacado. Accused of libel in a dozen
lawsuits, Haley was compelled in 1931 to withdraw the book from
circulation and to pay the plaintiffs $17,500 to settle all pending
claims. He defended his work in which he had exposed "outlaws" and
even made a trip into Mexico to authenticate a particular point in
question. The XIT Ranch, based in Dalhart, covered parts of ten
counties in the Texas Panhandle and West Texas. The book was later
returned to circulation.
In 1937, Haley became manager of the Zeebar Cattle Company in
Arizona. He also purchased a small ranch of his own in Hutchinson
County near Borger in the northern Panhandle. He owned another ranch
near Sequoyah, Oklahoma. He also managed the Atarque and Clochintoh
ranches in New Mexico. On the death of his father, he inherited the
Haley Ranch in Loving and Winkler counties.
In 1936 Haley published Charles Goodnight, Cowman, Plainsman,
In 1943, George W. Littlefield, Texan, a
biography of cattleman George W. Littlefield for whom the city of
Littlefield in Lamb County is named. He followed with Charles
Schreiner about the Hill Country rancher and landowner Charles
Schreiner, Sr. , Jeff Milton, A Good Man with a Gun in
1948, and Fort Concho and the Texas Frontier in 1952, a
reference to an early fortification in San Angelo.
His biggest seller was a political book he self published in 1964
called, A Texan Looks at Lyndon: A Study in Illegitimate Power
which eventually sold 7.5 million copies to become the most
successful political book of all time.
J. Evetts Haley died October 9, 1995 in Midland, Texas.