I devoured Louis Lamour books when I was kid. Come summertime, if I'm in a used booksore I'll pick up a few for a quick read. He researched well, his male protaganists were generally well-read, thoughtful men of action, and the womenfolk had moxie.
There was one story, I'm pretty certain it was L'amour's, about a woman living out there on the prairie, either alone, or in a bad relationship. She would tie her poems to tumbleweeds and let them drift. What an evocative image.
And hey, Kat re: Ralph Connor - before he became a big author, he was a Presbyterian preacher in Banff and Canmore (Alberta) in the 1890's. Family anecdote had him hitching my greatgrandparents, but recent unearthed documents disproved that theory.
Another thing about Louis L'amour - hasn't he written about as many books after his death as before? Seems there's another new one on the shelf every few months.