Jane Gilmore Rushing was born November 15, 1925 and grew up in Pyron
in southeastern Scurry County, Texas, a West Texas farming community
now recognizable only by a cemetery and railroad sign. She graduated
from Texas Tech University and was a staff writer for the Abilene
Reporter-News in Abilene, Texas. She co-authored with Kline A. Nall
a history of Texas Tech University.
From childhood, she wanted to be a writer. In seven novels published
between 1963 and 1984, she built her stories around themes that few
West Texas writers had dared to tackle. Most of her work centers on
cotton farms and early ranches in a land she calls the “too-late
frontier” in Pyron where she grew up. Her plots explore such sensitive topics as an affair
between a mulatto girl and a West Texas cowboy and the painful
recognition in an early-nineteenth-century community that one of
their own is capable of child and wife abuse. Her final book,
Starting from Pyron, explores the history and people of the
community she grew up in and that inspired her writing.
Some of her most popular novels about early 19th century life in
West Texas were Mary Dove, Tamzen, Raincrow, Walnut Grove,
Covenant of Grace and Winds of Blame.
Rushing, who lived in Lubbock for most of her career, died of
cancer July 4, 1997.