Dr. Dawn Youngblood is Director of Historic Preservation and Archives for Tarrant County in Fort Worth, Texas. The Award-winning Archives holds many treasures and secrets preserved from the old West past of the region. Dr. Youngblood is devoted to bringing these to light and does so in a clear and engaging manner sharing her joy of discovery and understanding of the western mindset. Dawn Youngblood grew up in San Antonio, where she attended the Alamo Heights Schools and developed a passion for history. She obtained a degree in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, where she met and married her husband, Fort Worth Attorney Edwin Johnston Youngblood. They have lived in Fort Worth since 1982 and have two grown children, Christian and Eden. Following a career in publishing – including serving as a Senior Editor for Harcourt Brace – Dawn returned to graduate school. She obtained a PhD in Anthropology with specialization in Archaeology from Southern Methodist University in 2003 and worked full time at SMU as a curator and professor for ten years. She holds additional graduate degrees and certifications from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and the University of Southern California. Her first book, The SMS Ranch, has been lauded as a significant contribution to ranching literature.
About The SMS Ranch:
Few images captivate the Western imagination more than the Texas cowboy at home on the range, herding, corralling, throwing and branding cattle, bronc busting, dining from chuck wagons, and sleeping under the stars. The SMS Ranch in the early 1900s was exactly such a place. Spanning hundreds of thousands of acres and holding land in 12 Northwest Texas counties, the SMS was formed by early Swedish immigrant to the Republic of Texas Swante Magnus Swenson. Swenson, a good friend of Sam Houston, had a penchant for wise financial decisions and, by the late 1800s, lived in New York with offices on Wall Street. Swenson sent his two sons to manage his vast Texas landholdings. In 1902, they hired legendary cattleman Frank Hastings to manage the SMS Ranch, headquartered in Stamford, Texas, north of Abilene and west of Fort Worth. Hastings's wife, Laura, and daughter Ruth photographed life on the ranch, and many professional photographers visited the SMS as well, leaving a rich visual legacy.