OLD WEST. Old West magazine, a quarterly, began in the fall of 1964 as a sister publication to True West and Frontier Times and was published by Western Publications, Incorporated, of Austin. The magazine, founded and owned by Joe Austell Small, featured true accounts of the frontier West and specialized in the reprinting of rare stories on Western Americana, originally gleaned from True West. It began as a 100-page publication without advertising and sold for fifty cents a copy. Stories by J. Frank Dobie and Walter Prescott Webb were included.
In the beginning the magazine was completely dependent upon newsstand sales and subscriptions, but by the late 1960s it was accepting run-of-book display advertising and classified ads. By 1975 the staff included Pat Wagner (who edited Old West for its duration in Austin), Robert Small as general manager, and Joe Small, Jr., for advertising.
The magazine had few regular departments; "Letter Rip," letters to the editor; "Book Roundup by the Old Bookeroos," reviews of books dealing with Western Americana; and "Trails Grown Dim," a sporadic reader-generated column that provided informal genealogical searches. Editorials were written by publisher Small and sometimes signed "Hosstail." Except for the covers, no color appeared in Old West. Black and white photographs and maps were frequently provided by the authors. Cartoons from Tom K. Ryan ("Tumbleweeds") and Ace Reid appeared irregularly. Submissions appeared without author's notes or bibliographies, but it is presumed that all articles dealt with true aspects of the old West. By the 1970s the magazine decreased in size to sixty-four pages. In 1974 it had an international circulation of almost 130,000.
Old West, along with Western Publications, Incorporated, was sold in September 1979 to Chet Krause and Krause Publications, an Iola, Wisconsin, firm, but remained editorially based in Austin until the fall 1982 issue. It is now published in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.W. W. Bennett, "OLD WEST," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/edo01), accessed November 26, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles