Last updated on October 30th, 2014
JACKSBORO, TEXAS (Jack County Seat) — Settlers attracted by the land offerings of the Texas Emigration and Land Office started arriving in the mid-1850s. A small settlement along the banks of Lost Creek began to take root and spread out toward the West Fork of Keechi Creek. As the distance from the original site grew, a new town, called Mesquiteville, began to take shape. In 1858 Mesquiteville was chosen as the Jack County seat and the name was changed to Jacksboro in honor of William H. & Patrick Jack, veterans of the Texas Revolution. In that same year, the town became a stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail, connecting it with St. Louis and San Francisco. The town also served as a way-stop for both the Goodnight and Loving Trails. Postal service began in 1859. Jacksboro was one of the few Texas towns to vote against secession and remained the westernmost settlement still standing at the end of the Civil War, although during the war, and for a few years after the war, it had been devastated by Indian Raids. In 1870 the Federal Government built Fort Richardson just south of Jacksboro. With the safety provided by the fort, the town grew and became a trading center serving a large area. In the 70s, Jacksboro had three flour mills, a brickyard, a cotton gin, two churches and a newspaper. The Chicago and Rock Island RR arrived in 1898, which was followed by the arrival of the Gulf, Texas & Western in 1910. The town’s location at the intersection of U.S. 281 and U.S. 380, along with improved state and county roads has continued to contribute to the towns growth. In the 1920s oil was discovered in the nearby communities of Antelope and Bryson with Jacksboro becoming an oil-well servicing center. Jacksboro is the birthplace of the Texas 4-H movement. It was began as the “Corn Club” by County Agricultural Agent Tom Marks who gave students gallon jugs of corn seed to grow. The current population is c. 4500.