New Book Chronicles the History of ‘Madera Valley 1870 to 1970’

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Darlene Ellison Chandler shows the origins of her hometown and the role water played in it.

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Author Darlene Ellison Chandler’s love for her home inspired her to chronicle the history of the Madera Valley in the same vein as the written histories of the surrounding areas, like Fort Davis, Fort Stockton and Pecos. Her book, “Madera Valley 1870 to 1970: Irrigation Water to Drinking Water,” is the story of her home, and the home of countless others, and the intrinsic role water played in shaping the community for over a century.

As the water flows, so does the story of the Madera Valley in Reeves County from the year 1870 to 1970. Chandler traces the history of the place from the Native Americans, Hispanics, and settlers who came into the valley. The valley had plenty of water for irrigation, but drinkable water was not obtained for the whole valley until 1970. The book is unique in that the history from 1906 to 1915 comes from a letter written from E. D. Balcom, the founder of Balmorhea, Tx., to the author. In her book, some of the history of the schools, churches, and individuals who lived during these first one hundred years are also described briefly.

“Madera Valley 1870 to 1970” is a regional history book that will appeal to people who live in the titular area, or those with kinfolks who lived there.

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About the Author
Darlene Ellison Chandler’s parents moved to the Balmorhea area in 1934. She was born in 1938 and was an only child. She attended McMurry College in Abilene from 1956 yo 1958, she married in that year, moved back to Balmorhea and finished her B.S. degree at Sul Ross College in 1961. She received her Master’s in Education degree from East Texas State in Commerce, Texas in 1971. She has three grown children, all of whom have Master’s Degrees and one of whom has a PhD. She taught school and coached in Texas for 35 years. After divorcing her first husband and being single for 19 years, she married her childhood sweetheart in 1998 and moved to Colorado in 2000. She taught for seven more years and retired in 2007.

Madera Valley 1870-1970 * by Darlene Ellison Chandler
Irrigation Water to Drinking Water
Publication Date: February 28, 2014
Trade Paperback; $23.99; 470 pages; 978-1-4931-5293-3
Trade Hardback; $34.99; 470 pages; 978-1-4931-5294-0
e-book; $3.99; 978-1-4931-5295-7

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (812) 355-4079 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

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