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 August 18, 2006
“Texas—You can see farther and see less than any place on earth”

It’s been said that in Texas one can “see farther and see less than anywhere else in the world.” The phrase has also been applied to Montana and Alaska. It appears to date from 1904, in a comment about Arizona and the west in general.


Google Books
I Give You Texas: 500 Jokes of the Lone Star State
by Boyce House
San Antonio, TX: The Naylor Co.
1943
Kessinger Publishing
2004 (reprint)
Pg. 3:
The late Senator Ben (Pitchfork) Tillman of South Carolina is credited with having said:
“Texas has more trees and less timber; more rivers and less water; more resources and less cash; more itinerant preachers and less religion; more cows and less milk, and you can see farther and see less than any d----- country in the world.”

September-December 1904, Outlook, pg. 85:
“Son,” said he, “in this country that is more cows and less butter, more rivers and less water, and you kin see farther and see less than in any other country in the world.”
(Arizona—ed.)

3 June 1909, Iowa Recorder, pg. 7(?):
“No country is so good but that people are continually leaving in search of new Eldorados,” observes the Knoxville Express. “Thompson’s celebrated colt jumped out of a pasture into a plowed field. Adam and Eve were not content in the garden of Eden, and every year people leave Iowa for the regions out west, south and north, where they can see farther and see less than anywhere on earth.”

11 May 1923, Van Nuys (CA) News, pg. 18:
When the punitive expedition was in Mexico in 1916 and 1917, one of the newspaper correspondents asked a negro trooper of the Tenth cavalry what he thought of Mexico. The trooper studied a minute and then answered: “Well, boss, there is more cows and less milk, more rivers and less water, and you can see farther and see less than any country in the world.”—Judge.

2 July 1942, Chicago Daily Tribune, “In the Wake of the News” by Arch Ward, pg. 21:
Did you know that Texas has more cows and less milk, more rivers and less water, and one can see farther and see less than in any other state?
—Brazil Hoosier.

20 August 1945, Helena (MT) Independent-Record, pg. 4:
That lone cat has done more to publicize Kansas than the Kansas professor who recently said that it was possible to see farther and see less in Kansas than in any other state except Texas.

12 May 1949, Chillicothe )MO) Constitution-Tribune, pg. 4:
In Montana, one can see farther and see less than anywhere in the world.

26 January 1969, Chicago Tribune, Alaska story by Kermit Holt, pg. H8:
Comments an Oklahoman in the next seat: “You can see farther and see less than any place in the world except west Texas!”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Friday, August 18, 2006 • Permalink