“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Kountze in Hardin County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Richard E. Jackson

Richard E. Jackson Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Anderson, May 9, 2021
1. Richard E. Jackson Marker
Inscription.  Conservationist Richard E. Jackson was born August 12, 1880, in Leary, Georgia. In 1886, he came with his parents to Jasper, Texas, where they opened a general mercantile store. As a teenager, he worked for the family store and carried mail from Jasper to Woodville. In 1896, he was the first ticket agent for the GB & KC Railroad at Silsbee "Junction." Working as a conductor for the Santa Fe by 1904, he carried freight to sawmills and oilfields. In 1907, he married Velma Ophelia (Byrum), of Gainesville, and settled in Silsbee.

Because of his admiration for the Big Thicket, Jackson began leasing land in the region, which was threatened by development, timber activity and oil explorations. His leases exceeded 18,000 acres, and he formed the Hardin County Co-operative Pasture and Game Preserve Group. Envisioning a park and hunting club, in 1929, he began an effort for the area's preservation and attracted wide support. In 1936, Jackson called a meeting in the offices of the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce and organized the East Texas Big Thicket Association with 52 members. He hosted field studies for scientists, offered tours for public
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leaders, used his leases to show off the Big Thicket and delivered speeches publicizing it throughout the state and the region.

Among other factors, the Great Depression and World War II contributed to the collapse of this early organization, but Jackson continued his conservation efforts until his death in 1957. Many of his followers later joined to establish the Big Thicket Association. Due to Jackson's early initiative and vision in preserving the unique landscape he loved, a national preserve was finally created here in 1974. Because of his unselfish dedication, R.E. Jackson is widely recognized as the "Father of the Big Thicket."
Erected 2003 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 12882.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Environment.
Location. 30° 27.481′ N, 94° 23.222′ W. Marker is near Kountze, Texas, in Hardin County. Marker can be reached from Farm to Market Road 420. Marker is located in the picnic area at the Big Thicket National Preserve Visitors Center. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6102 FM 420, Kountze TX 77625, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 15 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Site of Kountze Baptist College (approx. 6˝ miles away); Hardin County (approx. 7˝ miles away); Courthouses of Hardin County
Richard E. Jackson Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Anderson, May 9, 2021
2. Richard E. Jackson Marker
(approx. 7˝ miles away); General Braxton Bragg, C.S.A. (approx. 7˝ miles away); Hooks Abstract Company (approx. 7.6 miles away); First Baptist Church of Kountze (approx. 7.6 miles away); First United Methodist Church of Kountze (approx. 7.6 miles away); Lance Rosier (approx. 14.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kountze.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 24, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 24, 2021, by Brian Anderson of Humble, Texas. This page has been viewed 196 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 24, 2021, by Brian Anderson of Humble, Texas.

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Apr. 13, 2024