Old Jules

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U of Nebraska Press, 2005 - History - 424 pages
2 Reviews
First published in 1935, Old Jules is unquestionably Mari Sandoz?s masterpiece. This portrait of her pioneer father grew out of ?the silent hours of listening behind the stove or the wood box, when it was assumed, of course, that I was asleep in bed. So it was that I heard the accounts of the hunts,? Sandoz recalls. "Of the fights with the cattlemen and the sheepmen, of the tragic scarcity of women, when a man had to ?marry anything that got off the train,? of the droughts, the storms, the wind and isolation. But the most impressive stories were those told me by Old Jules himself.? This Bison Books edition includes a new introduction by Linda M. Hasselstrom.
 

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User Review  - Schmerguls - LibraryThing

1046 Old Jules, by Mari Sandoz (read 18 Mar 1970) This purports to be a biography of Jules Sandoz, a Swiss who settled in the Nebraska Panhandle. It is an amazing story of pioneer hardship and of a ... Read full review

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I spotted this book in a bookstore in St Louis forty years ago, and despite having no connection to the subject or geographical area, was drawn to it like a magnet. Maybe it was the burning eyes of Old Jules in the cover photograph. I was spellbound, and soon devoured it. Some years later I had the opportunity to seek out the Sandoz homestead near the Niobrara River, and was lucky enough to meet her sister Flora, who with her pure white hair against a face browned and wizened by the elements, was tossing haybales with one of her hands. I'll bet she was eighty. When I commented on how she had obviously embraced the remoteness of her rural life, she said actually she'd rather have lived in NYC but for her asthma! Anyway, she picked up on my interest and had her hired man take me to Mari's grave, past Old Jules' orchard, solitary on a small rise and marked in black granite.
Mari Sandoz made history come alive for me. She pulled no punches in telling the story, not only of a complicated and powerful figure, but of a unique era in Western history that bridged the past and present, and a special place in the Sandhills of Nebraska.
 

Contents

SPRING
3
MIRAGE
20
JEST AND DEPARTURE
35
THE RETURN
54
A CHECKERED SUIT
74
HENRIETTE
97
THE NIOBRARA FEUD
120
RAIN MAKERS AND A HUNT TO THE BIG HORNS
148
A POLISH WEDDING
252
THE KINKAIDER COMES
268
LAND FRAUDS
290
THE KILLER
307
SNAKEBITE
327
THE HILLS
348
THE KINKAIDER GOES
367
A NEW BOOM
390

EMELIA CATTLEMEN AND MURDER
164
MARY AND A LANDSTEAL PLOT
183
RAIN
208
HAIL ON THE PANHANDLE
232
WINTER
404
AFTERWORD
425
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About the author (2005)

Mari Sandoz (1896?1966) is the noted author of Crazy Horse, Cheyenne Autumn, and The Battle of the Little Bighorn, all available in Bison Books editions. Linda M. Hasselstrom, teacher and editor, is the author of eleven books of nonfiction and poetry about the northern plains, including Between Grass and Sky and Feels Like Far: A Rancher?s Life on the Great Plains.