A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 19, 2009
Brush Country

The term “brush country” was popularized by Texas folklorist J. Frank Dobie (1888-1964), especially in the book title, A Vaquero of the Brush Country (1929). Earlier citations of “sage brush country” and “brush country” had existed in the 19th century for various locations of the American West. Dobie further defined the term in an essay, “The Brush Country,” published in both the February 4, 1940, Dallas (TX) Morning News (see below) and San Antonio (TX) Light.

Dobie’s “Brush Country” was located mostly in deep South Texas along the Rio Grande, although West Texas has used the term “Brush Country” as well.


Texas Heritage Trails - Texas Tropical Trail
The Brush Country Byways
Experience the Brush Country Byway of the Texas Tropical Trail Region!  This Northern part of the region stretches along the Rio Grande River for nearly 80 miles and offers a unique cultural and adventure into a rich history.  The Brush Country Byway is dotted with towns such as Carizzo Springs, George West, Cotulla, Tilden, Freer, and Orange Grove. Wide open spaces make the backdrop for breath taking sunrises and sunsets.

El Sauz Ranch
South Texas Brush Country
Description

Thorny brush species dominate the South Texas Brush Country. Mesquite, acacia, prickly pear, lotebush, granjeno, white-brush, Texas ebony and wild olive form dense, almost impenetrable thickets. The South Texas Brush Country is well known for producing trophy-class white-tailed deer. It is undoubtedly the most biologically diverse habitat in Texas, as tropical, grassland and desert species all inhabit this thorny shrubland in ecological harmony.

Brush Country Museum (Cotulla, Texas)
Welcome to the Brush Country Historical Museum website. Please enter to learn more about our museum and about the area of South Texas known as “Brush Country.”

Wikipedia: J. Frank Dobie
James Frank Dobie (September 26, 1888–September 18, 1964) was an American folklorist, writer, and newspaper columnist best known for many books depicting the richness and traditions of life in rural Texas during the days of the open range. As a public figure, he was known in his lifetime for his outspoken liberal views against Texas state politics, and for his long personal war against what he saw as bragging Texans, religious prejudice, restraints on individual liberty, and the assault of the mechanized world on the human spirit. He was also instrumental in the saving of the Texas Longhorn breed of cattle from extinction.
(...)
After returning to Austin, he published his first book, A Vaquero of the Brush Country in 1929, which helped establish him as a voice about Texas and southwestern culture. In the title, Dobie claimed that the book was based “partly on the reminiscences of John Young.” However, the entire book, except one chapter, “The Bloody Border,” was actually written by John Young. The matter of the authorship of “A Vaquero of the Brush Country” was ultimately resolved in litigation between Young’s descendants and the Estate of J. Frank Dobie and the University of Texas, holders of interests in the copyright. The outcome of the litigation established John Young and J. Frank Dobie as joint authors of “A Vaquero of the Brush Country.” John Young was an open-range vaquero who had fought against the encroachment of barbed wire.

20 July 1894, Kansas City (MO) Times, “Talks About Texas Ticks,” pg. 8:
Ticky cattle come from the brush country of Texas.

28 February 1897, Dallas (TX) Morning News, pg. 17:
THE SAGE-BRUSH COUNTRY.
A Delegation of Dallas Citizens Will
Pull Out for the Silver
State To-Day.

(Nevada—ed.)

10 March 1916, Brownsville (TX) Herald, pg. 1, col. 4:
Mr. Anglin said the terrain of that country makes it even more difficult to trail a man than the brush country of the lower Rio Grande. The Big Bend in addition to its brush, catclaws, etc., is very mountainous and affords unlimited opportunities for hiding.

Google Books
Fifty Years on the Old Frontier
By James Henry Cook
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
1925
Pg. 112:
The California style of lasso (which was twice the length of that used in the brush country of Texas) was adopted there.

OCLC WorldCat record
A vaquero of the brush country. Partly from the reminiscences of John Young.
Author: James Frank Dobie; John Duncan Young
Publisher: Grosset 1929
Edition/Format: Book : English

4 February 1940, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “The Brush Country” by J. Frank Dobie, section 1, pg. 13:
I have been talking about the brush country for a good many years. I probably will go on talking about it on occasion. It is one of the most extraordinary features not only of Texas but of America. The Everglades of Florida, the Great Plains, and the lakes of Wisconsin are not more remarkable; though I’ll grant that in summer nearly anybody would rather be on the lakes than in the brush. I am thinking of the individualistic character of the brush. My roots are in it. I am glad they are. I could not live unrooted. I believe it is good for human beings to have roots somewhere.

Roughly speaking, the brush country of Texas is bounded on the east by the San Antonio River, and from its mouth to Brownsville, on the Gulf Coast; on the north by an irregular lie running west from San Antonio to the Rio Grande, hitting it about the mouth of Devil’s River; and on the west and south by the Rio Grande on down to the Gulf of Mexico. The most concentrated brush, excepting some great thickets in Refugio County, is between the Nueces and the Rio Grande. Into this section several hundred thousand people have of late years been brought by citrus fruits, vegetables and other products of irrigated lands in the lower Rio Grande Valley. yet the brush country is still essentially a ranch country, only a fraction of the land haveing been plowed.

OCLC WorldCat record
When the Huisache blooms down in the brush country; [manuscript].
Author: J Frank Dobie
Publisher: Release March 5, 1950.
Edition/Format: Book : Manuscript : English

OCLC WorldCat record
The brush country of Texas
Author: J Frank Dobie; Harold Osman Kelly
Edition/Format: Article : English
Publication: Lincoln Mercury times. Vol. 2, no. 6 (Nov.-Dec. 1950)

OCLC WorldCat record
Horsebackers of the brush country : a story of the Texas Rangers and Mexican liquor smugglers
Author: Maude Celeste Truitt Gilliland; C. Stanley Banks Collection.
Publisher: [S.l. : s.n.], ©1968.
Edition/Format: Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
La Salle : La Salle County, south Texas brush country, 1856-1975
Author: Annette Martin Ludeman
Publisher: Quanah, Tex. : Nortex Press, ©1975.
Series: Texas county history series
Edition/Format: Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Brush country kitchen : Pleasanton’s American bicentennial cookbook, 1776-1976
Author: Pleasanton Bicentennial Committee.
Publisher: Pleasanton, Tex. : The Committee, 1976.
Edition/Format: Book : English : 3d. ed. rev

OCLC WorldCat record
A collection of recipes
Publisher: Collierville, TN : Fundcraft Pub., ©1977.
Edition/Format: Book : English
Document Type: Book
OCLC Number: 45837067
Notes: Cover title: Brush country cooking. Includes index.
Description: 118, A-F p. ; 22 cm.
Other Titles: Brush country cooking
Responsibility: sponsored by Cotulla-LaSalle Chamber of Commerce, Cotulla, Texas.

OCLC WorldCat record
Rainy days and starry nights : growing up in the South Texas Brush Country
Author: Lois Zook Wauson
Publisher: San Antonio : Maverick, ©2003.
Edition/Format: Book : Biography : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Seldom heard : ranchers, ranchos & rumors of the South Texas brush country
Author: Dian Leatherberry Malouf
Publisher: Hillsboro, Or. : Beyond Words Publishing, ©2005.
Edition/Format: Book : Biography : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Brush country : two Texas novels
Author: Elmer Kelton
Publisher: New York : Forge, [2006].
Edition/Format: Book : Fiction : English : 1st ed

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, July 19, 2009 • Permalink