When science teacher S. E. (Sharon) Spinks inherited a cabinet full of the late
Texas Ranger Arthur Hill’s case files, she began a five-year quest to document the
20th-century ranger experience in the Big Bend region of Texas.
Spinks recognized the rare opportunity to record, in detail, the career and experiences
of a lawman whom she had known in person - as he was her husband’s grandfather. The
result is the book "Law on the Last Frontier: Texas Ranger Arthur Hill," published
by Texas Tech University Press. (www.ttup.ttu.edu/BookPages/0896726193.html)
"When I was a college student, my husband and I frequently visited Ranger Hill, in
his Alpine home," said Spinks. "We drove around the area, ‘making the loop,’ as Arthur
called it, from Alpine to Lajitas, through Big Bend National Park, back to Marathon;
or head out to Fort Davis and down to Presidio along the river. Wherever we traveled,
Arthur had a story of a crime scene, a horseback pursuit, a cattle roundup or of the
wonderful friends and neighbors who lived in the region."
In a career forged in the saddle on scout duty along the Rio Grande, Arthur Hill witnessed
dramatic changes in his working life as a Texas Ranger from 1947 to 1974. Whether
inspecting brands, deterring smugglers of everything from cattle to candle wax, or
giving horseback pursuit across unforgiving terrain - often into Mexico - Hill found
himself immersed day to day in a world that straddled centuries as well as cultures.
"I hope to give the reader the chance to ride through the Big Bend with Hill," said
Spinks, "and hear of the Texas that was and the Texas that emerged on his watch."
Born in San Antonio, Spinks received her bachelor’s degree in animal science from
Texas A&M University and a graduate academic certificate in gifted education from
North Texas State University. She has worked in agricultural journalism and has managed
a 10,000-acre commercial cow-calf ranch in West Texas. She has also been a secondary
science teacher and coordinator of the Gifted and Talented Program in a small West
Texas school district.
Currently, Spinks devotes her time to researching and writing Texas and regional history.
She lives with her husband and two sons in New Braunfels.
For more information or a review copy of the book, contact Barbara Brannon, marketing
manager, Texas Tech University Press, (806) 742-2982 or via e-mail at email@example.com.