Sunday, November 19th, 2017

Editorial: Hunt’s book exceptional coverage of local history

Donley County history lovers are in for a real treat if they attend this weekend’s Clarendon Arts Festival.

One of the booths at the festival will feature a former local resident who has written a fascinating new book that details a horrible crime from Clarendon’s past.

Roger Estlack, Editor

Roger Estlack, Editor

Weaving in and out of the timeline, Louva A. Hunt tells a story that puts local history in context with state and national history, and even ties in the works of the great science fiction writer H.G. Wells. In fact, Little Weena’s Flowers gets its title from Well’s The Time Machine.

Hunt was a young girl living in Clarendon on October 30, 1938, when she was awoken by a Donley County deputy calling her father out of the house with instructions to get his gun and join a posse.

A black man had attacked two white women on their way home from church. Similar cases had provoked racial violence in other Texas cities, but this case would be different thanks to the deft handling of the situation by the Donley County sheriff and the newly minted state department of public safety.

Hunt would largely forget the details of that night for 40 years until a most unusual anniversary rekindled the recollections of that night. It was the same night that Orson Welles had sent many people in to hysterics with his radio broadcast of H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds.”

Hunt’s well documented book is a masterpiece in terms of Clarendon history with a depth of research that is impressive to say the least. The story is brought even more to life by photographs taken by her father from the 1930s.

With a style that keeps the reader’s attention, Hunt sets the stage with the story of race relations not only in Donley County but in Texas. She also does an excellent job of describing the lives of the victims and of the man who perpetrated the crimes.

In a case of swift justice, the attacker was found, tried, convicted, and executed in a matter of about six weeks.

This book is a must read for anyone interested in the history of Clarendon and Donley County.

If you can’t make it to the Arts Festival this weekend, you can buy a copy of Little Weena’s Flowers at Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.  It is definitely worth your time.

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