C. F. Eckhardt

His full name is Charles Frederick but uses his initials because his name is too long to get on one line, goes by Charley with an 'ey' because he's not a perfume. He was born a long time ago in Austin, Texas, and grew up in an atmosphere where Texas and Southern history were part of his life almost from the day he was born. His paternal grandmother, a lifelong member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas -- she was a 'real daughter' in the former case, since her father was a Confederate soldier — who lived with his family until he was 12, was born when Sam Bass, Billy the Kid, Jesse James, and George A. Custer were still all alive and kicking, and was a young lady before Butch Cassidy stole his first horse. The man across the street was born when Texas was still a republic, the man next door was the grandson of one of Jim Bowie's companions at the Calf Creek fight in 1831, the man up the street was visited frequently by an elderly uncle who knew way too much more about a couple of Clay County, Missouri boys named Dingus and Frank than any peaceloving feller had any business knowing, and just down the creek lived a feller named J. Frank Dobie.

Eckhardt grew up in Austin and on about 400 acres of hardpan, cedar brake, and honeycomb limestone in western Williamson County, Texas. He attended the University of Texas when there was only one, and managed to stay on good terms with both H. Bailey Carrol and Walter P. Webb, which was considered something of an achievement, as the two Ph. D.s hated each other's guts. He majored in history and holds a BA in the subject. Since jobs in 'the history bidness' were hard to come by unless one was politically 'correct' - which Eckhardt has spent a lifetime refusing to be - he spent many years as a peace officer and soldier. Finally tiring of being a moving target, Eckhardt pursued a trade that would allow him both the time and the intellectual energy to pursue his first love, writing about Texas and the American West. From this trade he retired on 30 March 2002, to pursue writing full time.

Eckhardt's books include THE LOST SAN SABA MINES (Texas Monthly Press, 1980), UNSOLVED TEXAS MYSTERIES (Republic of Texas Press, 1990-co-author), TEXAS TALES YOUR TEACHER NEVER TOLD YOU (Republic of Texas Press, 1990), TALES OF BADMEN, BAD WOMEN, AND BAD PLACES-FOUR CENTURIES OF TEXAS OUTLAWRY (Texas Tech University Press, 2000), and TEXAS SMOKE-MUZZLE- LOADERS ON THE FRONTIER, illustrated by Wesley G. Williams (Texas Tech Press, 2001). Forthcoming is "Tales Told Across Campfires," from Texas Tech Press, probably in 2005, and of course the perennial 'novel in progress' that all writers have. He has been published in magazines as diverse as The Tombstone Epitaph and the short-lived revival of Harper's Weekly, and in magazines in Great Britain, Switzerland, and Australia.

Eckhardt lives in an historic home in Seguin, Texas, with Vicki, his wife of more years than she likes to admit, and numerous critters.

Work published in Frontier Tales:
The Interview
Who Killed Oliver Thornton
How the Irish Saved Texas
The Headless Horseman of the Nueces