Welcome to My Website!
Myra Hargrave McIlvain
My website is for sharing the Texas tales I love to tell. Please note that the cover of Stein House is sporting a First Place sticker for 2014 General Fiction from the Texas Association of Authors. I hope you will explore my musings--fact and fiction. And please contact me.
Click on Lectures at the top of this page for a list of my lectures. My weekly historic Texas blogs are going again! Watch for a post every Friday afternoon.
THE DOCTOR'S WIFE
A Kirkus STAR review!
Stein House paints a compelling family saga of German immigrants thrust into the bustling nineteenth century Texas seaport of Indianola. Helga Heinrich and her children arrive in Indianola haunted by the memory of Max's death and determined to start a new life.
A woman of strong passions, Helga operates Stein House for boarders of all stripes whose involvement in the rigors of a town on the edge of frontier influences and molds all their lives: the cruelties of yellow fever and slavery, the wrenching choices of Civil War and Reconstruction, murder, alcoholism and the devastation wrought by the hurricane of 1886.
These tales trace the Texas story from Cabeza de Vaca who trekked barefoot across the country to empresarios like Stephen F. Austin and Don Martín DeLeón who brought settlers into Mexican Texas. Visionaries—like Padre José Nicolás Ballí, the Singer family, and Sam Robertson—who tried and failed to develop Padre Island into the wonderland that it is today. Sally Skull had five husbands and may have killed some of them. Josiah Wilbarger was scalped and lived to tell his tale. Shanghai Pierce, cattleman extraordinaire, who had no qualms about rounding up other folks calves and Tol Barret who drilled Texas’ first oil well over thirty years before Spindletop. Power brokers saved Galveston by building a seawall and raising the level of the island, and Miriam Ferguson, better know as “Ma,” became the first female Texas governor. The Sanctified Sisters got rich running the only commune for women and millionaire oilman Edgar B. Davis gave away his money as fast as he made it. All these characters—early-day adventurers, Civil War heroes, and latter day artists and musicians—create the patchwork called Texas.