Publications of the Texas Folklore Society


Our newest publication

A Biscuit for Your Shoe; A Memoir of County Line, A Texas Freedom Colony by Beatrice Upshaw

Introduction and Photographs by Richard Orton

A Biscuit for Your Shoe; A Memoir of County Line, a Texas Freedom Colony captures the lore of a community which began as a freedom colony west of Nacogdoches in East Texas, through the eyes of Beatrice Upshaw. The book is a memoir, but it shares more than merely family memories of significant events. It tells of beliefs, home remedies, folk games, and customs, as well as the importance of religion and education to a community of likeminded people. The narrative is a rich source of colloquial language and proverbial sayings that help define a group of people and their strong sense of place.

Richard Orton was first introduced to County Line by F. E. “Ab” Abernethy, the Secretary-Editor of the Texas Folklore society for nearly four decades. Richard’s introduction explains the value of the stories Beatrice Upshaw presents; they are personal, but the overall narrative speaks collectively about the perseverance and innovation of many people who found a way to not only survive, but to thrive in East Texas.

Beatrice Upshaw lives in the Upshaw Community, where she serves as one of the County Line Baptist Church musicians. She also teaches Bible study and works vocationally as an occupational therapist. She is passionate about raising awareness of the impact of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) on society. Longtime photographer Richard Orton was born, and lives, in Nacogdoches. His photographic archive of County Line, The Upshaws of County Line: An American Family, was published by the University of North Texas Press in 2014.

Number Twenty-eight: Texas Folklore Society Extra Book; 6x9 288 pp. 40 b&w illus. Index.


Our past Publications

The Texas Folklore Society has a rich history in publishing the lore that has been presented and preserved by its members over the past century. We have over seventy regular volumes in our Publications of the Texas Folklore Society (PTFS) series, including a three-volume history of the organization from 1909 through 2000. The Society also has supported the publication of over two dozen single-author "Extra Books" on folklore. If you're interested in reading about the things that make us who we are, you can still obtain previous publications. To see a list of all Texas Folklore Society publications, click the following link: Complete List of all TFS Publications. To access the digitized versions of our publications, click the following link: Digitized PTFS

A Boyhood Dream Realized: Half a Century of Texas Culture, One Newspaper Column at a Time

A boyhood dream realized: Half a century of texas culture by burl Pettit

A Boyhood Dream Realized: Half a Century of Texas Culture, One Newspaper Column at a Time was #27 in our series of Extra Books, published in 2019. As the title suggests, this book is a collection of columns from the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal brought to us by journalism legend Burle Pettit, who worked in the newspaper industry for half a century. These columns represent decades of observations of local lore, customs, traditions, legends, beliefs, and folkways of West Texas. Although the newspaper industry has changed a great deal from the time Burle Pettit first began his career, newspapers still reflect what is most important to a group of people. They are, in a way, the heartbeat of a region, and they serve as a record of people’s livelihoods and losses, their triumphs and tragedies, and their musings and memories.

The San Saba Treasure: Legends of Silver Creek

The San Saba Treasure: Legends of Silver Creek by David C. Lewis

The 2018 publication, The San Saba Treasure: Legends of Silver Creek, tells the tale of four treasure hunters from San Marcos, Texas, who searched for a lost mine on the San Saba River filled with thousands of silver bars left by Spanish miners. TFS member and author David C. Lewis, a descendant of one of those adventurers, takes on his own quest to find the history behind the legend once popularized by J. Frank Dobie in his classic book Coronado’s Children. While Lewis warns that this book, though it does contain a map, will not lead you to silver and gold, it will lead you to a treasure trove of mystery, wonder, and dozens strange and interesting characters.

Legends and Life in Texas: Folklore from the Lone Star State

Legends and Life in Texas: Folklore from the Lone Star State, in Stories and Song

The 2017 publication, Legends and Life in Texas: Folklore from the Lone Star State, in Stories and Song (PTFS #72) is a traditional miscellany, the backbone of the PTFS series. This book features three chapters: one legendary Texans and the stories behind their lives, one on music, and one that looks back at simpler times. From female bullfighters, the first man to fly, and prisoners who entertained through music, to well-known heroes like Sam Houston and David Crockett, you don't want to miss this fun and enlightening look at Texas life and legends.

Thirty-Three Years, Thirty-Three Works

Thirty-Three Years, Thirty-Three Works

The 2016 publication is a tribute to F. E. Abernethy, who served as the TFS Secretary-Editor for thirty-three years. PTFS #71 contains one article for each year Ab served in this position. The wide range of topics he covered over the decades are a must-have for anyone who knew him, as a teacher, as a musician, as a world traveler, or as a friend of the Society.