Jackson Family Genealogy                              Table of Contents                         Back to Stories Index

Alabama to Texas

'Family History Report'
Jeremiah Clements Jackson
by Jody Dillard

One of the more colorful characters in the family was Jeremiah Clements Jackson (called Jerry), brother to Manerva Jane.  He was born Aug 13,1849 in Tallapoosa County, Alabama and died Nov 22, 1930 in Fresno, California.  He was the son of John Wesley Jackson, and wife Lydia Berry (Clements) Jackson.  After moving from Alabama to Arkansas, and then into Texas, the family settled in Blue Ridge in Falls County.  He married twice but both wives met very early deaths.  He had no children.  His mother died in Arkansas and his father died of the measles in Falls County and was buried next to Thomas Milton Dillard in the Methodist Cemetery in Stranger, TX.  Of the twelve children only Manerva Jane outlived him.

Jerry Jackson was an editor and writer for numerous newspapers in Texas, and also for the Fowler Ensign in Fowler, California --although he did not have one full day of education.  On his first day of school, he "did not like his teacher, so he did not return".   His wit and wisdom can be found in 'The Reminisences of the Old Days' by Jeremiah Clements Jackson.  The following excerpt is from that original writing with no corrections of words, spelling, or punctuation.

(In a letter to his nephew John Luther Harlan, he wrote:)

"There is no one in all this broad land over which our uncle Samuel presides, that has a keener regret for the passing of the "old days" than I do, I don't care what station in life he has occupied or is occupying.
Born in poverty subjected to all the ills, privations and had work which surely comes to those surrounded by such unpleasant invironments, besides reeping more than my share of troubles all along the way.  And, although, my younger days were overcast by the shadows of deepest sorrow, I would not, were it possible, exchange my time in the long time ago for all the inovations and fast life so abundantly afforded the generation of today.  No, I would not.
Times were slow, it is true, but freedom was then unfettered by the foolish and pernicious legislation under which we live to-day.
But, do not for one moment think that I would stay the onward march of progress.  Progress is as inevitable as death itself.  I would not have those who live to-day stay in the same old ruts we walked in that long ago.  That was my time.  It is passed.
So let the procession move on and let the Band play.  The music is for those of the present and not for an old back number, such as I be.
On the 23rd of October, 50 years ago I landed at your father's house, where you live today, and what a happy day it was to me, for it was then that I met so many of my dear kindred I had not seen in a long time, most of whom are now in that quiet sleep land, way out there.
Dear old Blue Ridge; it matters not where I go, when memory reverts back to my earliest years in that favored land.  A flash of light and joy comes through the gloom of my desolation and sorrow that eminates from no other place, I ever lived.  It was there I spent the noontide of my life, and when in my day-dreams of the long ago, I walk the banks of some pearly spring branch that comes singing through the hills of old "Alabami" with brother John, or he and I are crawling through the jungles of malaria invested Arkansas in quest of the festive muscadine and pap or, perhaps, in the early sixties where we first learned to cling to the upper deck of an obstropulous Texas cow-pony in Eastern Texas, when I come to my early days on Blue Ridge in the brightest spot on the map of my recollection of all the dead past.
It was on that memorable day that I first met my, then, newest nephew, John Luther Harlan, though he was past 2 years of age.  A little white haired toddling tot, with blue eyes, who looked on in bewilderment at the joyous demonstrations of us all at our meeting.  He couldn't save why such a matinee was being pulled off over such a looking insect as I was.  That was a happy day to me never to be forgotten.
Those were the good years.  We traveled slow.  Most of us were honest.  Those who were not, we hung.
Yes; I love dear old Blue Ridge; it is there that the sacred dust of more of my kindred sleep their last long sleep than in any other part of this broad land from California to South Carolina.
There lies my honest old father and sisters and nieces dear to me, but there's another who was all this world to me.  Where the shadows of the knarled old oaks creep across at morn and at eve, sleeps one, and though no slab or shaft, imblazoned by line or verse, marks the little mound beneath where she sleeps.  I ever carry a monument in my heart engraved deeper far than was ever cut by sculptors chisel.  Cut down in the very flower of life, and left me in desolation.  I wondered in many parts for 10 long years till I found another good and true, and she too was taken from me.
In the days of which I write, in going down the main Ridge from your place south there was but one place, that of Albert Thomas, till you got to Dick Beals on the extreme end of the Ridge.  Dave Frazier had a place, overlooking Fish Creek Valley.  Curlee, Doc Rogers and the Crouches.
Where Bremond is, was then known as West Prairie, and where Kosse is, was then unnamed, just a prairie, after leaving Alto Springs.  Yes; makes me think of it, speaking of Bremond.  Long before Bremond, the Junction City was thought of, was a little fellow by the name of Wooten, a regular post oaker we used to call 'em, had a little place in the 'sticks,' on the freight road to the 'head' of the railroad.  He eked out an existence by selling eggs and foder to the freighters passing that way.  Well, he worried along for a number of years in this precarious existence, till, I think, if memory serves me right, by the middle seventies, that this Wooten struck his bonanza."

.........Although Jeremiah Clements Jackson left no descendants to carry on his name, he left a rich heritage and a lot of insight into the times of which he wrote.

After reading this article, which also recounts a story of how Jerry and his friends trying to return home on their 'broncos' up Fish Creek and through the cedar breaks after attending to some business and then stopping off for some refreshments and festivities over at Hog Island, I can just see old Jerry Jackson cutting a wild and woolly pathway through this new land of Texas. I am proud that my grandfather carried his name and feel a need to continue the legacy of reporting on just what a special and wonderful time it is to be living while never forgetting 'the Old Days'.

This page contributed by Jody Dillard.

Home Page

Back to Historical Stories

This site owned by Janie Jackson Kimble. This page copyright by Jody Dillard.  You are welcome to use any of this information for your personal use, but it may NOT be copied, uploaded on any web site, or used for commercial use in any form.  This page was last updated February 14, 2005.