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many years. I operated a large store in Alpine for a long time, and all I knew about the business was the price of horse shoes and Battle Axe tobacco. My clerks frequently accused me of selling goods too high or too cheap, and said about the best place for me was out among the cattle.
J. D. Jackson was born January 6, 1861, on Donahoe Creek in Bell County, Texas. His parents came to Texas from Louisiana in 1852, and he and his brother, J. W. Jackson, still own the old Jackson home in Bell County.
Joe Jackson, as he is commonly called, was in charge of a herd of cattle on the trail with eight or ten men working under him, at the age of eighteen. At one time he drove a herd of stock cattle more than eighty miles across the Staked Plains of West Texas without water, driving the cattle at night and resting in the daytime.
Several older men in the outfit thought the men and cattle would all die, so they appealed to the second boss, L. B. Wells, to "Tell that d —d boy to drive day and night." But Wells told them that "that boy" knew just how to handle that herd and would get them all to water if they would stay with him. When they were about six miles from the Pecos River the cattle smelled water and made a mad rush for it. Jackson managed to stay in front of them, as he was riding a good quarter horse. As the river was up, Jackson rode in to about the center and found a sandbar and stayed there to turn the cattle out, for they drank almost half of the night ; otherwise the cattle would have drifted down the stream with the steep banks on both sides holding them in and would have perished.