Canyon City, Tx. [ca. 1907]. pp. Profusely illustrated with monotone photographs. Slim quarto. Original wrappers, stapled. Minor edge wear, some darkening to edges and rear wrapper, light dust-soiling, tiny chip to lower corner of front wrapper. Very good. Item #2878
A rare land promotional touting the advantages of Canyon City, Texas (known now simply as Canyon). Established in 1887, Canyon City became a major shipping point for cattle and cotton after the arrival of the Pecos and Northern Texas Railway in 1898. A telephone exchange was installed in 1892, the First National Bank of Canyon opened in 1904, and the city was on its way. For a couple of years, between 1916 and 1918, legendary photographer Georgia O'Keeffe lived in Canyon, and is thought to have drawn inspiration for her distinctive southwestern style from nearby Palo Duro Canyon.
The present work was published by Garrison, Harrison & Co., which maintained offices in Canyon City and Bellevue, Illinois, and is aimed at convincing Illinois residents to invest in farmland in Texas. The text boasts that "Canyon City is practically the 'hub' around which the fertile Pan-Handle territory of Texas revolves.... The ordinary comforts of life and all commodities incident to pleasant and healthful habitation can be had in abundance there." The work also provides information on the soil and topography of the land, and rainfall statistics from 1895 to 1906 (hence our proposed publication date). In addition to the promotional text, the work includes twenty-three photographic images, of which eighteen are full-page. Thirteen of these photographs picture vast wheat fields and farmers tending to them, with captions intended to appeal to the financial prowess of investors, such as "Starting a bank account," "Declaring dividends," "Worth twelve dollars per tone," and a picture of a farmer working, "Stacking money." These images imply a direct link between farming in Texas and material wealth. As the text also promised "the ideal climate for health and crops, with the further inestimable advantage of having all the rain-fall in the crop-growing season, while the winters are free from excessive cold," five images feature crops, four of which show children among bountiful harvests of fruits, flowers, and giant vegetables. Another photo shows four large bass caught one mile from Canyon City, totaling 19.5 pounds with the caption reading, "one day's catch." Three images capture cattle and pigs, the latter captioned, "A Pan-Handle bank roll." OCLC shows just three copies of this rare promotional for farmlands in Texas at the turn of the 20th century, at Yale, Duke, and SMU.