About The Haley Memorial Library

The Haley Memorial Library is a privately-funded, independent, charitable institution that cherishes its independence from local, state and federal governments.

Come to the Haley Library to enjoy spirited, inspiring history and the
heritage of  Texas and the Southwest frontier.

Nita Stewart Haley

The Proud History and Spirit – Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library & J. Evetts Haley Research Center

The Haley Memorial Library and Research Center is committed to safeguarding the legacy of Texas and the American Southwest. It houses an extensive collection of books, original records, art, and artifacts that serve as a perpetual reminder of our heritage.

Established by J. Evetts Haley in 1961, the Library aims to disseminate knowledge about the customs, traditions, and values of early Texas and the Southwest. It encourages and facilitates ongoing research into this unique era of American history. The facility, which was inaugurated in 1976, is a tribute to Nita Haley, J. Evetts Haley’s late wife.

J. Evetts Haley donated his comprehensive archive of books, records, interviews, photographs, and notes spanning fifty years to the Library. The Haley Collection has attracted other historically significant books, documents, photographs, art, and private collections to the Library. Reflecting the excitement of the Western frontier and the entrepreneurial spirit of its founder, the Haley Library is a dynamic institution that offers a broad range of programs for all, including cowboys, art enthusiasts, and children, while maintaining its primary mission as a professional research facility.

The Library Founder: J. Evetts Haley (1901 – 1995)

J. Evetts Haley, the renowned historian of the Southwestern range, established the Haley Library and History Center to safeguard the history, customs, and ideals of frontier Texas and the Southwest. His aim was to encourage ongoing research on this remarkable era in American history, firmly believing that comprehending history would equip current and future generations with greater wisdom and fortitude.

J. Evetts Haley spent his entire life as a working rancher on his family’s ranch near Midland, Texas, and his hands-on knowledge of Southwestern ranch life provided him with exceptional insight into his historical subjects.

As one of the most accomplished writers on the American West, J. Evetts Haley was a historian, biographer, essayist, folklorist, polemicist, and a master of prose style. He authored over twenty books and numerous articles and editorials. His work was meticulously researched and accurately documented, while also capturing the essence of the western range experience. As a historian and poetic writer in the classical tradition, Haley artfully depicted the soul, spirit, and beauty of the transient western frontier, and its most iconic figure, the authentic cowboy, beloved by people worldwide and still emblematic of the American character.

J. Evetts Haley’s range and ranch histories, as well as his biographies of pioneers such as Charles Goodnight and Jeff Milton, are his most well-known works. His book, Charles Goodnight Cowman and Plainsman, has been widely praised as a literary and historical masterpiece and has remained in print for over sixty years. John Wayne once remarked that if the Southwestern range could speak, it would demand that J. Evetts Haley tell its authentic story, which is more vibrant and thrilling than fiction.

In a country where more cows are kept than books. he became a scholar…He made himself master of the English language in all its manifestations. Steeped in the pragmatism of the frontier, he reads the philosophers of the ages.

Historian T. R. Fehrenbach describes the uniqueness of J. Evetts Haley

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