December 18, 1936, P.H. & W.M. Jackson of San Angelo, Texas and Louis L. Farr of Mertzon, Texas entered into a contract with the Traveler's Insurance Co., a corporation and existing under the laws of the State of Connecticut, to purchase the Lower White Ranch comprised of 10,512 acres, more or less in Lampasas County for a total of $91.655.00. $1,833.00 of this was the down payment. $73,324.00 represented by twenty vendor's lien notes was to be paid in the amount of $3,666.20 each, due annually from January 1, 1938 to January 1, 1957 inclusive with interest at the rate of 5% per year from the date of the deed, the interest payable as it accrued.
This ranch consisted of 27 different tracts of land, some of which were patented as far back as 1841.
This land was conveyed by H.F. Hill and wife to J.F. White by deed dated June 15, 1918, recorded in Volume 34, page 336 deed records of Lampasas Co., Texas and reference is here made to said deed for description of said land and said twenty-seven tracts which constitute what was known as the J.F. White Lower Ranch.
At the time of the purchase of the lower ranch, Jackson, Jackson and Farr took an option on the Upper White Ranch but sold their option to Tom Richie of Lampasas. In the same year, Louis L. Farr sold his interest in the ranch to P.H. & W.M. Jackson for $25,000.00. Due to the illness of Jack White, his brother-in-law, Bill Moore, supervised the delivery of the ranch and the livestock which the Jacksons had bought.
Ross Ramsey who was foreman on the ranch for the Whites was retained by the Jacksons from 1938 to 1956, when they leased the ranch to Tom Ault and sons of San Angelo, Texas. Other long time employees were Chester and W.R. (Pete) Ramsey, sons of Ross Ramsey, and Frank Baker of Lampasas.
The Jackson's ran cattle and goats and from 1938 to 1956, and farmed 800 acres in oats. This furnished feed not only for the Lampasas ranch but for five others in West Texas and New Mexico which they operated.
In 1946 in an explosion at the ranch, Mrs. Pat Jackson was severely injured. This was caused by a water pipe in a wood cook stove becoming corroded. She spent two months in the Rollin Brook Hospital recovering.
In 1956 a new headquarters was built and in 1969 the old one was torn down and rebuilt on the north side of the ranch. In 1985, December 16, fire destroyed the headquarters that was built in 1956. To date it has not been replaced.
In 1983, the Aults gave up their lease and Minnie Jackson who inherited the Lower White Ranch from her husband, Pat H. Jackson following his death in 1980, leased the ranch to Morris Vann and sons Kirk and Kim.
Control of cedar and mesquite has been carried on year after year, partially on government programs and partially at owner and leasers expense.
There was only one drilled well on the ranch when it was purchased. Cattle watered mainly at the Colorado River which is the western boundary of the ranch and the few dirt tanks that were available. The Jackson's built a number of dirt tanks.
In 1965, a well drilled in the south pasture turned out to be good, producing 71 gallons per minute. In 1982 through help from the Great Plains Program, pastures were divided, holding tanks were built and water was piped to the north and south pastures. This ranch now known as the Jackson Ranch is located twelve miles west of Lampasas on the Nix-Bend Road and is considered by many to be one of the largest and best ranches in the county.
Pat and Wren Jackson were born on a combination ranch and farm near Stephenville, Texas in Erath County. They were sons of Emma Hurt and Sam A. Jackson, pioneers who came to Erath County from O'Bion County, Tennessee in the middle of the 19th Century. Both of the Jackson men attended what is now John Tarleton College.
When yet young blades, an old friend, G. Toliver of Stephenville heard that a large portion of state land in Schleicher County was going on sale. He urged Pat and Wren to go there and file claim on some of the land. The only people in the world they knew were right around them and they saw no reason to move on to a strange country.
Mr. Toliver did not agree and insisted that they make the venture. When they protested that they had no backing, the good man went to the bank and instructed them to let Pat and Wren check on him for the limit of his account. When they complained that they had no transportation, Mr. Toliver said, "That's no excuse. Go out to my farm and tell them I said to give you a wagon and span of mules." So the brothers moved to Schleicher County on July 31, 1901. They were two of the first to file claim on four sections of land each in the land rush of 1901. This was the beginning of the partnership of P.H. & W.M. Jackson which lasted from 1901 until the death of Pat Jackson May 29, 1960. This partnership included every known asset of the two even to the personal bank account. They and their wives checked on the same account and never questioned what the other spent.
Wren M. Jackson married Mildred Jones of San Angelo, Texas, November 23, 1927. They maintained their residence on forty sections of university land in Reagan County that the brothers held under lease from 1927 until Wren's demise. Mrs. Jackson died April 27, 1962. Pat H. Jackson married Minnie Kennedy, a teacher in the San Angelo public schools, and a native of Freeport, Texas on February 3, 1942. They maintained their residence at the Cactus Hotel, San Angelo, Texas. They were members of the First Presbyterian Church in San Angelo, Texas.
The Jackson brothers did not ranch from the front porch. When they came to Schleicher Co. in 1901 one stayed at home and started improving the place while the other hired out as a hand on other ranches at $25.00 per month.
Money came slowly in those days but conversely money went a far piece. The first land owned by the Jacksons in Schleicher Co. cost $1.00 per acre with seventeen cents down, the balance to be paid over a period of thirty years at 3% interest. They built a shack on their holdings. "Of course it wasn't much more than a hut, but lumber was cheap. (something like $10.00 a thousand feet) It cost $25.00 to build. Wire was cheap and we cut our own posts. The well cost us the most."
In the beginning, the cattle run by the Jacksons were all white face but they get credit for some kind of a first for introducing black cattle to the Concho Country. In 1926 they bought some Aberdeen Angus. They were of commercial grade but they did well and the Jacksons explored their possibilities. While they ran all different breeds on their grass, they preferred the Angus. At first the brothers branded the pitchfork but later changed to the open A bar which they used on the Lampasas Ranch.
In 1952, Pat and Wren owned and operated ranches in Schleicher Co., Fisher Co., Sterling Co., Tom Green Co., Edwards Co. and Lampasas Co. In 1927 the brothers leased forty sections of land from the University of Texas and still held it until after Wren's death in 1976. For 27 years from 1917 until 1944 they leased 33 sections from the J. Willis Johnson Estate on the Sweetwater highway. At one time they were operating over 214 sections (136,960 acres) of ranch country. They bought and shipped steers to grassy areas of the flint hills in Eastern Kansas and sheep to the wheat fields of Western Kansas. This operation proved very profitable.
In 1952 the Jacksons made gifts of ranches to the families of Pat and Wren: The Sterling Co. ranch went to their sister, Mable Ferguson; the Fisher Co. ranch went to the children of a deceased sister, Maude Kiker and three sections of the Schleicher Co. ranch and three sections in Tom Green Co. went to a brother, Dick Jackson.
The Jacksons were active in civic affairs supporting charitable, educational and religious organizations. Wren and his wife were members of the First Methodist Church in Big Lake. Pat served as president of the West Texas Packing Co., and was a long time director of the Central National Bank of San Angelo.
After Pat Jackson's death May 29, 1960 his wife, Minnie Jackson, stayed on in the partnership until 1967 when she sold her half interest in the University lease and the livestock to her brother-in-law, Wren Jackson. Minnie Jackson and Wren divided the remaining ranch country equally which consisted of four sections in Schleicher Co., twenty five sections in Edwards Co. and seventeen sections in Lampasas Co. each retaining their half of the minerals on all three places.
In the division, Minnie received the Lampasas Co. ranch, Wren received the Schleicher Co. ranch and she sold her interest in Edwards Co. ranch to Wren. Wren and Pat Jackson were typical of the men who settled in Texas. They had help at the start but their success was a result of their own hard work. The values they held and the principles they lived by earned them the high regard of many friends and fellow ranchers. While men of their caliber cannot be replaced, they have passed on to their descendants the tenets they lived by and left the world a better place than when they found it.
Some of the Jackson truisms were: "A cattleman's worst offense is over grazing.", "A good cowboy is not always a good cowman.", "Take care of your grass, translated that means - Bread and Butter.", "A country is only as good as the man."