Recent News and Opinion
2014/4/22 - Candidate Profile and Questionnaire: Tracy Scott Miller for LISD ...
2014/4/21 - Candidate Profile and Questionnaire: Kristi Hassett for LISD Boar...
2014/4/19 - Videos: Lewisville City Council Retreat - April 17th, 18th, 19th
2014/4/18 - Council Offering Donna Barron the City Manager Post
2014/4/17 - Video: Trustee Candidates at LTJ/Parents4LISD Student Voter Forum
2014/4/17 - Board Tours LISD Westside Aquatic Center
2014/4/13 - LTJ, Parents4LISD to Host Student Voter Forum April 15th
2014/4/13 - Sunday Morning Update - Almost Tax Day Edition
2014/4/11 - City-wide Spring Cleanup Set for Saturday, April 26th
2014/4/11 - Sheriff's Office Warns About Bogus Warrant Calls
2014/4/9 - Updated: FBI Announces Arrests in Child Sex Trafficking Cases
2014/4/7 - Lewisville Woman Wins Big on Price is Right 8,000th Episode
2014/4/7 - Lewisville Implements Year-Round Water Restrictions
2014/4/5 - Flower Mound to Use Social Media to Warn About Traffic Enforcement
2014/4/5 - Friends of the Library Host Book Sale Saturday and Sunday
2014/4/1 - Lewisville Buys Land Previously Proposed as Gas Drilling Site
2014/4/1 - Lewisville Resident Makes Splash in Neighborhood with Free Beer
2014/3/31 - Annual Charity Art Gala Scheduled for April 18th
2014/3/29 - Saturday Morning Update
2014/3/26 - Video: 35Express Project Holds Community Meeting in Lewisville
2014/3/24 - Old Town Resident Opens Little Free Library
2014/3/23 - LISD School Board Meeting Notes - March 17th, 2014
2014/3/18 - Economic Development Agreement Reached for Three Restaurants to Se...
2014/3/13 - Thursday Night Update
2014/3/8 - Dutch Oven Cookers Share Food, Fellowship, and Fun
Recent Reader Comments
2014/4/22 13:07 - Re: Council Offering Donna Barron the City Manager Post (kjudk1955)
2014/4/21 21:00 - Council offers Barron position effective May 1st (WhosPlayin)
2014/4/20 19:29 - Re: Videos: Lewisville City Council Retreat - April 17th,... (WhosPlayin)
2014/4/20 11:40 - Re: Videos: Lewisville City Council Retreat - April 17th,... (jbcglc)
2014/4/13 15:00 - Re: Sunday Morning Update - Almost Tax Day Edition (fvaughan)
2014/4/1 23:20 - Re: Lewisville Resident Makes Splash in Neighborhood with... (Anonymous)
2014/4/1 23:06 - Re: Time to Come Clean - April Fools! (Anonymous)
2014/4/1 22:42 - Re: Lewisville Resident Makes Splash in Neighborhood with... (WhosPlayin)
2014/4/1 22:19 - Re: Lewisville Resident Makes Splash in Neighborhood with... (WhosPlayin)
2014/4/1 21:43 - Re: Time to Come Clean - April Fools! (WhosPlayin)
2014/4/1 21:40 - Re: Time to Come Clean - April Fools! (WhosPlayin)
2014/4/1 21:32 - Time to Come Clean - April Fools! (WhosPlayin)
2014/4/1 21:10 - Re: Lewisville Resident Makes Splash in Neighborhood with... (WhosPlayin)
2014/4/1 18:35 - Re: Lewisville Resident Makes Splash in Neighborhood with... (Anonymous)
2014/3/30 20:36 - Re: Mary Smith files for Place 6 on LISD Board (Anonymous)
2014/3/30 20:35 - Re: Mary Smith files for Place 6 on LISD Board (Anonymous)
2014/3/29 23:20 - Re: Mary Smith files for Place 6 on LISD Board (Anonymous)
2014/3/26 6:18 - Cane Russo: $1,000 for a side of ranch dressing (WhosPlayin)
2014/3/26 4:07 - Re: Was Texas House Candidate Pat Fallon a Resident of De... (Anonymous)
2014/3/24 22:48 - Krista Stone for Place 6 (WhosPlayin)
2014/3/23 12:43 - Moving school board elections would be a terrible idea. (WhosPlayin)
2014/3/23 9:35 - Re: Economic Development Agreement Reached for Three Rest... (Anonymous)

"Images of America: Flower Mound" Misses the Mark of History

Parallel Development
Posted by Runfellow on 2012/11/28 21:16:40 (1047 reads)

Open in new windowBy Brandon CooperOpen in new window

Images of America: Flower Mound by Jimmy Ruth (J.R.) Hilliard Martin is, much like Robin Cole-Jett’s book about Lewisville published last year, about the history of smaller communities in North Texas that boomed in recent years to become their own metropoleis of sorts. The books share essentially the same basic structure: a few brief introductory paragraphs, followed mostly by archival photographs and captions. That’s about where the similarities end.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that local historians sometimes whitewash their community’s history. To some extent, I expect that in something like the Images of America series. That said, Cole-Jett’s portrayal of Lewisville is perhaps the most trustworthy in-print source of information about the history of the city. It isn’t perfect, but it makes for a great coffee table book. Better yet, it’s a great “glove compartment book”, something you can take with you around the city to compare photos with today’s buildings.

Admittedly, Martin’s book, released late last month by Arcadia Publishers, had less history to cover; Flower Mound’s history as an incorporated community only goes back to 1961. What little history the town has, however, is barely covered in the book’s 127 pages. Instead, the book is rife with random portraits of families, many of whom aren’t even identified. The pictures’ captions are of little help to the reader, often listing countless names instead of providing context for the photographs. Additionally, the author ends many of the captions with what could only be pure speculation on her part; assumptions about the photographs’ subjects–their feelings, preferences, and opinions–permeate almost every page.

Other selections for the book’s photographs seem even more dubious. On page 98, for example, are two photographs meant to relate information about a spot where parachutists used to land in the area: one of a blank field and another of the Kohl’s location in Flower Mound. The caption below the first photograph explains:
Quote:

An open field similar to this one was used every Sunday by the Dallas Parachute Club to stage its practice jumping.

So not only are we looking at a photo of a blank field, we’re looking at a blank field that wasn’t even where these parachutists (who are not pictured) landed. The Kohl’s is apparently where the field is currently.

Contributions by minorities to the town’s history are completely ignored. Although the Craft, Rawlings, and Nowlins families are mentioned repeatedly, along with overflowing praise for their “tough life” and “love of God, country, and their families”, no mention is made of the fact that all three families owned slaves. The only black person pictured in the entire book is an unnamed suspect being arrested by one of the town’s well known lawmen.

Perhaps most importantly, either the author or editor chose to almost completely ignore the town’s history from incorporation onwards, including its massive (and, to me, fascinating) growth during the last few decades. Flower Mound’s explosive growth was fueled by many of the same events that Lewisville experienced, but these and other factors that figured prominently are almost entirely omitted from this narrative. Instead, the last 50 years are essentially covered in the last few pages by a few awkward photographs snapped by the author.

On the last page of Cole-Jett's book, there is a good photograph of Lewisville City Hall. This book's final image, however, is perhaps the greatest insult from the author. As our final image of Flower Mound, there is an unlevel photograph of a natural gas well, along with the following caption:
Quote:
Gas wells dot the horizon, bringing financial support to the city, the country, and the schools. The gas drilling companies, as well as the leaseholders, pay city, county, and school taxes on every foot of cubic gas sold, thus contributing to a tax base that benefits every citizen of Flower Mound.

The awkward insertion of this blatant personal bias has no place in a history book. Martin and her brother Ron Hilliard have been directly involved in the gas drilling controversies in Flower Mound in recent years, and the author obviously wanted her anti-regulation stance front and center (she also mentions the issue on the first page of the introduction.)

Although I had not originally intended to write anything about this book, it was after reading that caption that I decided to write this review, to save other people like me from wasting $21.99 and a half hour of their time. Regardless as to the book's quality, it will most likely end up featured on the shelves in the Flower Mound Library. Sadly, it will remain on the shelves for future historians to mistakenly use it as a reference for their own works.

If you’re smarter than me, though, you’ll keep this from finding its way onto your coffee table.

Image by nfocusdesign on Flickr used under Creative Commons license.

- Rating: 10.00 (1 vote) - {$lang_ratethisnews}
 
The comments are owned by the poster. We aren't responsible for their content.

Poster Thread
jbcglc
Posted: 2012/11/29 18:13  Updated: 2012/11/29 18:13
Contributor (Verified User)
Joined: 2011/12/15
From: Lewisville, TX
Posts: 65
 Re: "Images of America: Flower Mound" Misses th...
I'm certainly no smarter than you Brandon, but I am wise enough to take your advice and save my money. Perhaps, one day, a useful history of Flower Mound's past will be published.

Great review.
Reply

Poster Thread
Runfellow
Posted: 2012/11/30 19:12  Updated: 2012/11/30 19:12
Guest Columnist (Verified User)
Joined: 2011/3/17
From: Lewisville, TX
Posts: 294
 Re: "Images of America: Flower Mound" Misses th...
Although it's a rare find from a vanity press printing in 1995, Sweet Flower Mound Land seems like a fairly good source of information. It's definitely comprehensive, if a bit sporadic, with lengthy bios of every mayor since incorporation, family histories, and fairly detailed info on important historical events. The text on the Flower Mound "New Town" scandal alone is ten pages long. I haven't had a chance to really go through it in detail yet (it's 364 pages) but from what I've read so far, the editors made a fair effort to include the important stuff. It's not widely available, though; the Lewisville Public Library has one reference copy in the Baird Reading Room and one copy available to check out. I've got the latter copy, currently. You definitely won't find it in any store, though.
-BC
Reply

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 2012/12/9 14:20  Updated: 2012/12/9 14:58
 Re: "Images of America: Flower Mound" Misses th...
Try the Flower Mound Public Library. The following is posted on http://www.americantowns.com/tx/flowe ... ion/town-of-flower-mound:

A significant amount of the information regarding the Town's early history has been assembled from documents, reports, and personal accounts of events contained in Sweet Flower Mound Land. The Town would like to thank the members of the Historical Commission and the many residents who contributed to the project. Copies of the book are available for purchase at the Town of Flower Mound Public Library.
Reply


Other articles
2014/4/22 23:20:00 - Candidate Profile and Questionnaire: Tracy Scott Miller for LISD Trustee, Place 7
2014/4/21 22:55:48 - Candidate Profile and Questionnaire: Kristi Hassett for LISD Board of Trustees, Place 6
2014/4/19 8:10:00 - Videos: Lewisville City Council Retreat - April 17th, 18th, 19th
2014/4/18 16:35:09 - Council Offering Donna Barron the City Manager Post
2014/4/17 23:11:19 - Video: Trustee Candidates at LTJ/Parents4LISD Student Voter Forum
2014/4/17 22:30:00 - Board Tours LISD Westside Aquatic Center
2014/4/13 19:00:00 - LTJ, Parents4LISD to Host Student Voter Forum April 15th
2014/4/13 10:50:00 - Sunday Morning Update - Almost Tax Day Edition
2014/4/11 23:10:00 - City-wide Spring Cleanup Set for Saturday, April 26th
2014/4/11 7:00:51 - Sheriff's Office Warns About Bogus Warrant Calls


The Lewisville Texan Journal is a service of SagePost, Inc.
Login to Comment
User:
Pass:
Remember me
Lost your password?
Create New Account