Texas legislature approved the establishment of our county on August 27, 1856 and named it for William H. and Patrick C. Jack, participants in the Texas Revolution. Settlers began arriving in the county by 1855, and the first settlement, Keechi, was established in 1856. Early settlers in Jack County came primarily from the southern states. The first county courthouse was completed in 1858 in the county seat which was originally known as Mesquiteville. The name was later changed to Jacksboro. The Butterfield Overland Mail route and the Chicago, Rock Island, and Texas Railway passed through Jacksboro. The Butterfield Stage made its first run through the county in 1858.
In 1867, a frontier post named Fort Richardson was established by the U.S. Army to protect settlers, but it was abandoned as a military post by 1878. The original hospital and field officer quarters have been restored and the Fort has been preserved as a State Park. Jack County was uninvolved in the Civil War; however, Indian raids were prevalent and often severe. After the Warren Wagon Train Massacre in 1871 in neighboring Young County, Chiefs Satanta and Big Tree were brought to Jack County for trial and were sentenced to life imprisonment. By the mid-1870’s, Indian attacks calmed, and the county began to grow in population rapidly. With that growth came ranching, farming, and other avenues of income for the settlers. Oil was discovered in Bryson in 1923 and became a great source of revenue both for the individuals and the county. Other businesses and modes of income also came into being.
Through the years, Jack County grew and changed in various ways, as did all towns and cities. It has not only an interesting history, but has also produced numerous people who have excelled in diverse fields and have become very well known. It has also produced many good ‘ol’ “salt of the earth” common folks. Jack County remains dear to the hearts of everyone who has ever lived here.