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Chronicles of the Big Bend: A Photographic Memoir of Life on the Border

Book Cover Image
W. D. Smithers (Author)
Foreword by Kenneth B. Ragsdale


Wilfred Dudley Smithers saw the Rio Grande's Big Bend for the first time in 1916, and it captured his imagination forever. For decades thereafter he chronicled the region and its people in words and photographs.

After half a century of photography, Smither's collection of nine thousand images ended up at the University of Texas at Austin, and in 1976 more than one hundred of these were reproduced in Chronicles of the Big Bend, a critically acclaimed work that has long been out of print.

Wilfred Dudley Smithers (1895-1981) was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, in 1895. He began taking photographs at age fifteen while living in San Antonio, and later worked as a teamster, joined the U.S. Army, operated a photo studio, served as a news correspondent, and helped pioneer aerial photography.