Indianola: The Mother of Western Texas

12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1880510308
ISBN-10: 1880510308
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The book is destined to be a resource of first proportions for all Texas historians of the future." -- Houston Chronicle

"This book will become a Texas city, county, Confederate and railroad collector's classic." -- Malcolm D. McLean
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: State House Press (January 1, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1880510308
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880510308
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Roth on March 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
Very few local histories interweave all events in a city's history...both the good and the bad. However, this book does it, and very well. The reader gets to see the city through the inhabitant's eyes, and experience the growth of one of Texas' most influential cities of the 19th century. From the very beginning, you see how this coastal city is a slave to the elements. Several storms are endured, before the town disappears from the landscape. You get to see how it interacted with its arch rival, Galveston, along with its coexistence with many of the smaller towns in its vicinity. And you get to see how this city lived and died by the railroad. If you thought Indianola was always a Texas state park, this book will open your eyes. If you're interested in hurricanes, this book shows how ravaging storms were before current, strict housing codes were inacted, and before seawalls protected all coastal cities. For the Texas historian, this book is a must. It is a complete history of the 43 years of Indianola, and its haunting legacy. For residents of San Antonio and Victoria, it gives them a chance to discover what the city of many of their forefathers was really like.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Glenney Sr. on August 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is a must for geneoligist serching for ancestors in Texas. Not only does it give account of the once thriving city of matagorda bay. But the transportation availability to include the Trains and shipping lines. This book gives all references to the texas train lines of the times and can give you an idea of what route early ancestors may have traveled. The book itself is a accurate account of the early days of german imigration, Indianola itself and the people who made it all happen. I found the book to very interesting and attention grabbing.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eric Mayforth on November 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Texas town of Indianola was destroyed by two severe hurricanes in the late nineteenth century, but for decades it was a major port and point of entry for the Lone Star State, as well as the start of a trail that led to San Antonio, the Hill Country, and Chihuahua, Mexico. This volume by Brownson Malsch takes a chronological look at the town's history from 1844 to 1886, when it was hit by the second of the two storms.

The author shows how settlers of diverse backgrounds from both America and Europe cooperated in building the school, lighthouse, newspaper, railroad, and other aspects of the town. The book describes in detail anecdotes of small-town life along the Texas coast in the nineteenth century down to how Christmas was celebrated. A fascinating anecdote recalls the arrival at Indianola of camels for use in Texas.

Life on the Texas coast was not easy then--settlers had to face shipwrecks, yellow fever and other diseases, extreme weather, and other hardships. Northern troops occupied the town during the Civil War, and the Mexican War and Panic of 1873 affected Indianola as well. Malsch interviewed many former Indianola residents, and these interviews were instrumental in the author's outstanding description of the hurricane of 1875.

Had no major hurricanes hit, Indianola might have survived, but it was not to be. This book is a vivid portrait of life in early Texas as well as a reminder of the role that fate and chance play in history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By George Aubrey VINE VOICE on June 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is an extremely well researched, exhaustive study of the ghost town of Indianola, Texas. All the known records and many maps, drawings and photographs are referenced, as well as the author's personal interviews with surviving residents of Indianola. The book was interesting, but covered the information in deeper detail than many readers would care to read. A good book for reference.
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By Ann Barnes on April 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book solely for researching Indianola for a book I am writing. What a great help it was. I commend the author for all the stories, detail, and endless hours of research that went into this book. Indianola's story is not always a happy but it rose above the ashes more than once. If you like Texas history, you will want this book in your collection.
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By Pamela J. Cogburn on November 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is crazy but I was so excited when I got this book in the mail. I am writing a book based in Texas and this book was a wealth of information. It was great for my research. Jorja Lewis (author of Sister of My Heart)
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