Famed cowboy writer donates works to the Touchet Library

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TOUCHET -- A collection of works by an author who entranced a generation of young readers with cowboy stories will be presented Friday to the Touchet Library.

A selection of books by writer Will James will be presented to the library at 3 p.m. by Walla Walla resident Don Britain and Fred Fleischman of Enumclaw, Wash. The library is at 161 Hanson Road.

Britain is a Will James Society member and Fleischman is the society's parliamentarian. Established in 1992, the group is dedicated to preserving James' stories and presenting them to schools and libraries.

Born in Canada around the turn of the century, James sold his first work, "Bucking Horse Riders," in 1922.

He turned out a continuous stream of books and short stories about working cowboys "without all the shoot-em-up," Britain said. One of his most well-known books, "Smoky the Cow Horse," won the 1927 Newbery Medal for children's literature and was later adapted as a movie three times. He also illustrated his novels and was a well-known western artist.

James was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame in 1991 and a collection of his writings, artwork and personal effects is housed at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Mont.

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