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“In the 1940s and 1950s, long before historians fully accepted oral tradition as a source, Eve Ball (1890-1984) was taking down verbatim the accounts of Apache elders who had survived the army’s campaigns against them in the last century. These oral histories offer new versions—from Warm Springs, Chiricahua, Mescalero, and Lipan Apache—of events previously known only through descriptions left by non-Indians.”
Women Who Write the West
Eve Ball
1890-1984
County : Lincoln
Category : Arts
Eve Ball
Eve Ball
Eve Ball
1890-1984
County : Lincoln
Category : Arts
Eve Ball grew up on the plains of Kansas and Texas and moved to the Ruidoso highlands after World War II. She attended college, and taught several grades as well as at the junior college level in Dodge City. Her many travels to New Mexico created an ambition to write about the Apache people. Ruidoso was the natural place for her to pursue this desire that began in her childhood. The beautiful mountain setting as well as the nearby Mescalero Apache reservation were major attractions to the aspiring writer.   Before she died, Eve wrote over 150 articles and numerous books chronicling Mescalero and Jicarillo Apaches, as well as Anglo and Hispanic settlers in the area. She spent two decades of research and developing the confidence of many tribal elders. Her manner was quiet and patient. She earned trust and respect. Her sincerity became obvious and, as a result, many people gave her their papers, family photos, treasured mementos or shared their histories orally.   By the 1960s she decided that could start writing. She wrote a history of Ruidoso, a biography of Bob Crosby, a champion cowboy, and, in succession, her classic works Ma’am Jones of the Pecos, In the Days of Victorio, My Girlhood Among Outlaws, and Indeh, An Apache Odyssey. The last book was co-authored by Nora Henn and Lynda A. Sánchez.   Her work was recognized with many prestigious awards. For example, she received “The Golden Spur” for best short story in 1974 and the “Saddleman” award from the Western Writers of America in 1982. In that same year she was nominated for “The Medal of Freedom” and received a special joint U.S. Congressional Resolution. She was inducted in the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, also in 1982.   Historians praised for never refusing any person who sought information from her, and that “her views…were a breath of fresh air.” Another wrote that there is “gladness that she came this way, and in our time.”

Sources

Zia Press Woman’s Award, The Golden Spur Award 1974, for best short story. Saddleman Award from Western Writers of America. Cowgirl Hall of Fame By Eve Ball: Ma’am Jones of the Pecos; Indeh; My Girlhood Among Outlaws; In the Days of Victorio