Deborah J. Lightfoot                Author and Editor

(aka Deborah Lightfoot Sizemore)

Selected Works

"A teenage girl runs away from her life of servitude only to be captured by a sorcerer who will help her discover her true past. … Carin and Verek’s well-crafted relationship balances in a tense power struggle … intriguing premise and original characters … Fine fantasy." —KIRKUS
NEW: E-Books and Paperbacks
History & Biography
FOUR STAR FUNERALS packs the emotional wallop of Titanic, darkened with a dash of Tales From the Crypt. This 10-author anthology about death and its aftershocks will sear your soul, make you laugh … and ultimately help you heal, if you’re haunted by a death that has upended your emotions in ways you never expected.
"A fascinating look at one man's life during an important era of American history."
"A most compelling and highly recommended slice of Texan-American regional history."
Midwest Book Review
"This history of the firm of Freese and Nichols and its substantial impact in Texas constitutes a survey of 100 years of civil and environmental engineering."
—Book News, Inc.
Magazine Articles
A biography of Yakima Canutt (1895–1986), a master of movie stuntwork from Stagecoach to Ivanhoe.
Reviews I've Written
Frances Mayes's Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy—a review recounting the parallels with my own move to Mexico.
Stephen Hawking's Black Holes and Baby Universes—space and time aren't what they seem.

Quick Links

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The LH7 Ranch
In Houston's Shadow

The E.H. Marks' Legacy
From Longhorns to the
Salt Grass Trail

Deborah Lightfoot Sizemore

ISBN 1-57441-111-X

Praise for The LH7 Ranch

“[A] captivating history of both a fascinating family and a way of life . . . well written and enriched by photographs, snippets of cowboy poetry, personal reminiscences and quotations . . . The book is recommended.”
—Andrea Twiss-Brooks, Review of Texas Books

“Rich with details of ranch women's lives, and spiced with humor, this is the warmest, liveliest ranch history I've ever read.”
—Jeanne Williams, Books of the Southwest

“Warm, personal and often humorous . . . a well-written, entertaining look at one of Texas' most important figures.”
—Charles B. Searle, Texas Longhorn Journal

"The late E. H. Marks may be best remembered today for his pivotal role in saving the Texas Longhorn from extinction at a time when conventional wisdom said Texas' native cattle breed had outlived its usefulness. But he did much more. . . . His LH7 Ranch represented a Texas heritage spanning from settlement in the Republic to today's mostly urban society."
—The Dallas Morning News

"Sizemore's history is filled with details of everyday ranch life, from cowboy poetry to battles with weather. She describes Marks' wife Maud, a teacher whose love of books so marked the LH7 that horses were named for characters in popular novels and dinnertime conversation was 'sprinkled with quotes from great literature and classical philosophy.' . . . Generously illustrated, the book is an excellent history of one family's contribution to Texas and its lasting legacy."
—Judyth Rigler, San Antonio Express-News

About the LH7 Ranch

The story of Emil Henry Marks and the LH7 Ranch records not only the history of a unique family but also the cattle business on the coastal prairies of Texas when ranching was the principal industry of the Houston area. It also chronicles the beginning of the Salt Grass Trail.

The family story begins with the birth of August Texas Marks, on a sailing ship off the coast of Galveston on August 15, 1843. His son Emil Henry learned "the cow business" from the back of a horse, memorizing Western ballads at night and learning to recite cowboy poems by the dozens.

Marks registered the LH7 brand in Harris County in 1898 and started the ranch with 63 acres west of Houston and a few Texas Longhorns. The LH7 became one of the first Gulf Coast ranches to breed Brahman cattle from India, crossing them with Longhorns. By the early 1930s the LH7 was running 6,670 head on 36,000 acres. Branding day on the LH7, drawing cowboys from neighboring spreads and spectators from Houston, quickly grew from a neighborhood event into a nationally known annual rodeo held for thirty years.

Marks, unlike most twentieth-century ranchers who dismissed the Longhorn as a remnant of a past age, spent decades gathering good examples of old-time Texas cattle to keep the breed alive. Over the years, one hand-picked specimen at a time, he built one of the nation's finest and largest herds of authentic Texas Longhorns.

Houston's shadow loomed over the LH7 in the 1940s and 1950s, and eventually a big bite of the ranch was condemned to protect the booming city from flooding along Buffalo Bayou.

At age 70, Marks made the first Salt Grass Trail Ride in January 1952. That ride started one of Houston's most enduring traditions, reenacted each February to kick off the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Featured in the
Library of Congress Bicentennial
Local Legacies Project


 1. August Texas
 2. Prairie Poetry
 3. The Addicks Years
 4. Barker Rancher
 5. Brauhauser and Henry Ford
 6. Maud
 7. Real Cowboys and Rodeos
 8. Danger on the Range
 9. Delirium and Depression
10. LH7 Longhorns
11. In the City's Shadow: A Clash of Two Cultures
12. The Last Trail


Finalist, C. L. Sonnichsen Book Award competition

Prize winner, Texas-Wide Writers' Competition

Publication Award Citation, San Antonio Conservation Society