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Elmer Kelton was an American author that wrote Westerns. Elmer was born in 1926 in Andrews County, Texas. His father worked at the Horse Camp on Five Wells Ranch. Robert William Kelton was a cowboy before making the leap to foreman and then general manager (McElroy Ranch).
Order of Tales of Texas Series
|1||Captain's Rangers||1968||Description / Buy|
|2||Joe Pepper||1975||Description / Buy|
|3||Long Way to Texas||1976||Description / Buy|
Order of Texas Tradition Series
|1||The Day the Cowboys Quit||1971||Description / Buy|
|2||Wagontongue||1972||Description / Buy|
|3||Manhunters||1974||Description / Buy|
|4||The Wolf and the Buffalo||1980||Description / Buy|
|5||Stand Proud||1984||Description / Buy|
|6||Dark Thicket||1985||Description / Buy|
|7||The Man Who Rode Midnight||1987||Description / Buy|
|8||Honor at Daybreak||1991||Description / Buy|
Order of Sons of Texas Series
|1||Sons of Texas||1989||Description / Buy|
|2||The Raiders||1989||Description / Buy|
|3||The Rebels||1989||Description / Buy|
Order of Hewey Calloway Series
|1||The Good Old Boys||1982||Description / Buy|
|2||The Smiling Country||1998||Description / Buy|
|3||Six Bits a Day||2005||Description / Buy|
|4||The Unlikely Lawman||2022||Description / Buy|
Order of Texas Rangers Series
|1||The Buckskin Line||1999||Description / Buy|
|2||Badger Boy||2001||Description / Buy|
|3||The Way of the Coyote||2001||Description / Buy|
|4||Ranger's Trail||2002||Description / Buy|
|5||Other Men's Horses||2002||Description / Buy|
|6||Lone Star Rising||2003||Description / Buy|
|7||Texas Vendetta||2004||Description / Buy|
|8||Jericho's Road||2004||Description / Buy|
|9||Hard Trail To Follow||2008||Description / Buy|
|10||Texas Standoff||2010||Description / Buy|
Order of Buckalew Family Series
|1||Massacre at Goliad||1965||Description / Buy|
|2||After the Bugles||1967||Description / Buy|
Order of Elmer Kelton Standalone Novels
|1||Hot Iron||1956||Description / Buy|
|2||Buffalo Wagons||1957||Description / Buy|
|3||Bitter Trail||1959||Description / Buy|
|4||Texas Rifles||1960||Description / Buy|
|5||Donovan||1961||Description / Buy|
|6||Pecos Crossing||1963||Description / Buy|
|7||Horsehead Crossing||1963||Description / Buy|
|8||Shotgun Settlement||1969||Description / Buy|
|9||Bowie's Mine||1971||Description / Buy|
|10||The Time It Never Rained||1973||Description / Buy|
|11||Barbed Wire||1980||Description / Buy|
|12||Eyes of the Hawk||1981||Description / Buy|
|13||Llano River||1982||Description / Buy|
|14||Shadow of a Star||1984||Description / Buy|
|15||Hanging Judge||1988||Description / Buy|
|16||Slaughter||1992||Description / Buy|
|17||The Best Christmas (Short Story)||1993||Description / Buy|
|18||The Indian in Frontier News||1993||Description / Buy|
|19||The Far Canyon||1994||Description / Buy|
|20||The Pumpkin Rollers||1996||Description / Buy|
|21||Cloudy in the West||1997||Description / Buy|
|22||Christmas at the Ranch (Short Story)||2003||Description / Buy|
|23||Shotgun||2007||Description / Buy|
|24||Many a River||2008||Description / Buy|
Order of Elmer Kelton Short Story Collections
|1||There's Always Another Chance, and Other Stories||1986||Description / Buy|
|2||The Big Brand||1986||Description / Buy|
|3||Legend||1999||Description / Buy|
|4||ReadWest||2011||Description / Buy|
|5||Wild West||2017||Description / Buy|
|6||Hard Ride||2018||Description / Buy|
|7||The Cowboy Way||2020||Description / Buy|
|8||Law of the Land||2021||Description / Buy|
Order of Elmer Kelton Non-Fiction Books
|1||Looking Back West: Selections form the Pioneer News-Observer||1972||Description / Buy|
|2||Permian: A Continuing Saga (Short Story)||1985||Description / Buy|
|3||Elmer Kelton: 30 Years of Western Fiction||1985||Description / Buy|
|4||Living and Writing in West Texas: Two Speeches||1990||Description / Buy|
|5||The Art of Howard Terpning||1992||Description / Buy|
|6||The Art of Frank C. McCarthy||1992||Description / Buy|
|7||The Art of James Bama||1993||Description / Buy|
|8||Elmer Kelton Country: The Short Nonfiction of a Texas Novelist||1993||Description / Buy|
|9||My Kind of Heroes: Selected Speeches (Short Story)||1995||Description / Buy|
|10||Texas (Short Story)||1995||Description / Buy|
|11||Texas Cattle Barons: Their Families, Land and Legacy||1999||Description / Buy|
|12||Prairie Gothic||2005||Description / Buy|
|13||Sandhills Boy: The Winding Trail of a Texas Writer||2007||Description / Buy|
|14||Tom Lovell: Storyteller with a Brush (Short Story)||2020||Description / Buy|
Order of Ralph Compton Western Series with Robert J. Randisi, Livia J. Washburn, Kevin D. Randle, Jory Sherman, John Edward Ames, Matthew P. Mayo, Jackson Lowry, Ralph Compton, Carlton Stowers, Robert Vaughan, Dusty Richards, Joseph A. West, David Robbins, Marcus Galloway, Paul Ledd, R. Lake, E L Ripley
|1||Blood and Gold||2004||Description / Buy|
|2||For the Brand||2005||Description / Buy|
|3||Rio Largo||2006||Description / Buy|
|4||Guns of the Canyonlands||2006||Description / Buy|
|5||Texas Empire||2006||Description / Buy|
|6||By the Horns||2006||Description / Buy|
|7||Deadwood Gulch||2006||Description / Buy|
|8||The Bloody Trail||2007||Description / Buy|
|9||A Wolf In the Fold||2007||Description / Buy|
|10||Bluff City||2007||Description / Buy|
|11||Blood Duel||2007||Description / Buy|
|12||Death of a Bad Man||2008||Description / Buy|
|13||Ride the Hard Trail||2008||Description / Buy|
|14||Bullet for a Bad Man||2008||Description / Buy|
|15||The Convict Trail||2008||Description / Buy|
|16||Rawhide Flat||2009||Description / Buy|
|17||Outlaw's Reckoning||2009||Description / Buy|
|18||The Man From Nowhere||2009||Description / Buy|
|19||Bounty Hunter||2009||Description / Buy|
|20||Fatal Justice||2009||Description / Buy|
|21||Stryker's Revenge||2010||Description / Buy|
|22||Death of a Hangman||2010||Description / Buy|
|23||North to the Salt Fork||2010||Description / Buy|
|24||Rusted Tin||2010||Description / Buy|
|25||The Burning Range||2010||Description / Buy|
|26||The Last Manhunt||2011||Description / Buy|
|27||The Stranger from Abilene||2011||Description / Buy|
|28||The Ghost of Apache Creek||2011||Description / Buy|
|29||Dead Man's Ranch||2012||Description / Buy|
|30||Slaughter Canyon||2012||Description / Buy|
|31||One Man's Fire||2012||Description / Buy|
|32||Tucker's Reckoning||2012||Description / Buy|
|33||Down on Gila River||2012||Description / Buy|
|34||Brimstone Trail||2013||Description / Buy|
|35||Straight Shooter||2013||Description / Buy|
|36||The Hunted||2013||Description / Buy|
|37||Hard Ride to Wichita||2013||Description / Buy|
|38||The Cheyenne Trail||2014||Description / Buy|
|39||Double-Cross Ranch||2014||Description / Buy|
|40||Comanche Trail||2014||Description / Buy|
|41||The Dangerous Land||2014||Description / Buy|
|42||Vigilante Dawn||2014||Description / Buy|
|43||The Evil Men Do||2015||Description / Buy|
|44||Straight to the Noose||2015||Description / Buy|
|45||Shotgun Charlie||2015||Description / Buy|
|46||The Law and the Lawless||2015||Description / Buy|
|47||Brother's Keeper||2015||Description / Buy|
|48||Texas Hills||2015||Description / Buy|
|49||Outlaw Town||2016||Description / Buy|
|50||Phantom Hill||2016||Description / Buy|
|51||Ralph Compton the Hellbound Posse||2021||Description / Buy|
Elmer Kelton Anthologies
|1||New Trails: Twenty-Three Original Stories||1994||Description / Buy|
|2||A Century of Great Western Stories||2001||Description / Buy|
|3||Noah’s Ride||2006||Description / Buy|
|4||Lost Trails||2007||Description / Buy|
|5||The Way of the West||2008||Description / Buy|
|6||Law of the Gun||2010||Description / Buy|
|7||Ghost Towns||2010||Description / Buy|
Elmer was preceded by three generations of ranchers (on his father’s side). But the author couldn’t follow in their footsteps because of his poor eyesight. Elmer was disappointed because he admired cowboys immensely but couldn’t participate in their way of life.
Laypeople thought of him as a cowboy, but to the cowboys, Elmer was just another layperson. The author became a source of concern for his father because Robert thought his son would never make an honest living.
But Elmer was hopeful. After discovering western pulps at an early age, he set his sights on a career in publishing. The author would scribble short stories in composition books at school before hiding them because Elmer did not want anyone to discover his secret.
He couldn’t help it. Writing was not only unmanly but unrespectable. And after failing to follow in his father’s footsteps, the last thing he wanted was to make things worse by revealing his interest in the written word.
But Elmer couldn’t keep his hobby a secret forever. Eventually, it came to the surface. After attending Crane High School, the author had a short stint at the University of Texas before the war took him to Europe.
Elmer did less fighting than most because an accident with a tank left him on crutches. But you won’t find him complaining. The war brought Elmer his wife. The author met Anni Lipp after migrating to Austria during his military service.
Once the fighting ended, Elmer got his B.A. in journalism and revealed his intention to pursue writing and publishing to his father. Robert was skeptical because writing seemed shady. It did not sound like real work.
But Elmer was persistent. He kept submitting stories until he made a sale in 1948. Once he made that initial $65 sale, it gave the author the push to write more stores. His sales became more regular.
Elmer’s career took another leap forward when Paul Patterson asked him to illustrate ‘McGoo and Texas Too.’ The folklorist was Elmer’s high school teacher. Eventually, the pair became best friends, and after returning from the war, Patterson asked him to illustrate the book, a job Elmer did for $200.
By the mid-1950s, the author had published his first novel (Hot Iron), which readers gravitated to because it was an atypical Western.
Elmer Kelton Awards
Elmer’s collection of accolades includes Spur, Western Heritage, and Owen Wiser Awards.
Best Elmer Kelton Books
The author died of natural causes in 2009. Elmer Kelton’s best books include:
The Time It Never Rained: The Time It Never Rained tells the story of Charlie Flagg. Flagg is part of a dying breed of men that survived by squeezing the life out of a harsh landscape. That fight for survival made them fiercely independent.
That trait is still strong in Flagg. The man is old and overweight. But he has no intention of bending to the bureaucratic regulations that accompany the federal aid everyone wants Flagg to accept.
West Texas is still in the throes of the longest drought it has ever seen. But Flagg is determined to make it alone. He loves his land and has no intention of leaving, even though his son is more interested in pursuing the rodeo circuit.
The Good Old Boys: Hewey Calloway wanted to spend his days pursuing the life of a cowboy, wandering freely across the open range. But things were changing in ways Hewey hadn’t anticipated. West Texas was no longer the land his forefathers had called home.
Everywhere he looked, Hewey saw more barbed-wire fences, cars, and machines. The air had a new smell and sounds he barely recognized. He knew progress was coming, and his options were limited.
Hewey could either remain in the past, watching as modern life consumed him, or he could adapt. Hewey was not stupid. He knew that happiness lay in his future, and he could claim it, but only if he made the necessary sacrifices.
When Does The Next Elmer Kelton book come out?
Elmer Kelton doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Law of the Land and was released on November, 16th 2021. It is the newest book in the Elmer Kelton Short Story Collections.