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Famous People from Midland County Texas

J Evetts Haley

From cover J. Evetts Haley: A True Texas Legend by Bill Modisett

Born 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 author.


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.

Books by J Evetts Haley


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