The schedule is firming up for the 2010 Texas Jack Association Roundup. The location is Golden, Colorado and the dates are July 28 – 31. Check out all of the details on the updated Association website here. Registration is open!
The Texas Jack Association has launched its new TexasJack.org website. Check it out and bookmark it!
For long time visitors, the site has almost all of the information on the previous site although more is being added everyday. And there are a number of new sections and features including picture albums and PODCASTs!
WE NEED YOUR PICTURES and STORIES to post on either the blog or TexasJack.org. Please send them to webmaster at texasjack.org.
I’ve added Alex Seifert’s blog, History Rhymes, to the blogroll. He is an undergraduate student at the University of Wyoming and focuses in his studies on postbellum 19th century America.
Alex is currently running a great series titled “Who were the real cowboys?” Check it out.
Over the next several days, most of you will be receiving your new, hot-off-the-press, issue of the Scout. In it is the address to the new blog which hopefully got you here. Welcome!
I’m looking for some folks who would be willing to post stories on the blog about the life and times of Texas Jack. I’m also the editor of the next Scout so am looking for content for that as well. Let me hear from you!
You can reach me at… renetyree at gmail.com.
After the war, Jack heard about the great ranches in Texas, with their wealthy owners, and decided that this was the place for him! Starting out by ship, he reached New Orleans, but from thence the ship encountered a storm and he became shipwrecked on the west coast of Florida. Jack stayed there and hunted and taught school. He struck out again for Texas, but this time on horseback.
Jack stopped at a ranch owned by a man named Taylor, and was hired on as a cowboy. He soon became head of the ranch, which was said to be the largest in Texas. Not long after his employment there, Jack, by chance, learned of a conspiracy, planned by a gang of seven men to kidnap for ransom a local woman named Mrs. Sophie Elgin. Arranging a little “surprise party” for them, it was Jack who awaited the kidnappers at her house, and his rifle took care of them when they tried to break down the door with a ram. A very grateful Mrs. Elgin was, after that, a staunch friend of Jack’s.
Jack soon commenced to make considerable money driving cattle from Texas to Nebraska and Missouri, and it is unknown just how many times he followed the famous Chisholm Trail to Abeline, Kansas and its railroad heading east. One day, he came upon a pioneer home which had recently been ransacked by hostile Indians. Although the father and mother had been slain, Jack found a four or five year old boy hiding under the floorboards. Jack took the boy to Fort Worth, where he was placed in good hands. This boy went on in later life to be a showman in his own right, and used the name “Texas Jack Jr.” in homage to his rescuer. While Texas Jack Jr. was touring with his Wild West show in South Africa, he happened to hire a young man by the name of Will Rogers. Texas Jack Jr. taught him how to do lasso tricks, and Will Rogers later regarded his assocation with Texas Jack, Jr., as one of the most important periods of his life.
It was during that period of time in the late 1860′s, that there occurred a terrible drought in the state of Tennessee. Many people were starving, and because of almost negligible transportation facilities, supplies were virtually impossible to get. Hearing of this situation, Jack decided that he could do something to help alleviate the problems for the people of Tennessee, and at the same time, make some money for himself.
He rounded up a large herd of cattle, enlisted a contingent of cowboys, and investing all his available capital in the venture, set off for Tennessee. The route, which went through rugged wilderness, was a very difficult and dangerous one. During the trip, several bands of hostile Indians were encountered, and in one surprise attack, seven of his cowboys were killed and many head of cattle were lost.
Within weeks however, the inhabitants of a small town in Tennessee were very happily surprised when they learned that a herd of cattle was being driven their way. Their appreciation was expressed by a rousing welcome for the drivers. Asking who was in charge of the cattle, the town officials were surprised to see a pleasant young man approaching.
“Where ya from?” asked one.
“From Texas, sir,” came the reply.
“What’s the name,” called out another.
“Jack, sir,” was the only answer .
“Texas Jack, eh?” came a rejoinder from one of the crowd, only to be caught up by loud cheers from the townspeople: “Hurrah for Texas Jack!”
Thus does a newspaper account at the time of his death, record how J.B. Omohundro came by the nickname of “Texas Jack”—a name that was to follow him the rest of his life.
John Baker Omohundro was born July 27, 1846 at “Pleasure Hill” the family home near Palmyra in Fluvanna County, Virginia. It is said that he was not very fond of the schoolroom, to which he had to ride five miles on horseback each way, and was known to “play hooky” upon occasion, arriving home at night with a long string of fish, which he had somehow “miraculously obtained” during the day. From early youth, he was a natural born fisherman, huntsman, horseman and “crack” shot, who loved adventure, danger and the great outdoors. (Note: Texas Jack’s middle name has sometimes been reported as “Burwell,” but his name and birth are recorded in the family bible as “Baker,” his mother’s maiden name.)
The Texas Jack Association is entering the blogosphere!
The Texas Jack Association is a non-profit organization that commemorates John B. “Texas Jack” Omohundro, cowboy, prairie scout, western hunting guide, Wild West showman, and partner of W. F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody and James B. “Wild Bill” Hickok. In his day, Texas Jack was a nationally known figure, however he is largely unknown today because he died at the young age of 33. The Texas Jack Association exists to rectify this situation, perpetuate the memory of the “forgotten scout,” and see that he gets his deserved place in history. We hope you’ll join us!