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Lawrence Jackson
Lawrence Jackson
Lawrence Jackson (19xx-19xx)

In his own words, he “had a hankering to roam” when he was 15 years old. Black, broke and young, he left home in Denver to travel and work in Wyoming, Idaho, Nebraska and Colorado.

In March 1921 he was in Elko, Nevada looking for a job. For almost fifty years he worked, off and on, for area ranches. Some of them were the big ones in the heyday of the cattle business in Northern Nevada: Spanish Ranch, Fred Gorham’s Double Square, Abel and Certner and John G. Taylor’s outfits. He did an excellent job and made friends wherever he worked.

His story is not a narrative of a Black, but is an account of the West’s famed Buckaroo. Not the fabled cowboy who drew his six gun with lightning speed, but the honest-to-goodness rawhider who spent long muscle-bruising days in a hard saddle and got his guts mixed up every morning before his horse would settle down for a day's work.

The pay was bad and those leather pounders of the desert and sagebrush battled everything nature could muster - broiling sun, freezing nights, wind, rain, dust, snow and mud. Add to that burden, short rations, cantankerous animals and off times, men who were meaner than the critters they herded. At the first dim light of the day they were up to battle the elements, men and animals for 16 to 18 hours, then crawl into their blankets. Only to do it all over again the next day.

It is no wonder at all that a Buckaroo, when he finally made it to town after months on the range, would often blow his season’s pay in one night with much the same zeal he exhibited chasing cows.

Jay Fowler said Lawrence Jackson was the best Wrango he had been around. While working for the IL, he had over 100 head of horses in the cavvy and knew all of them by heart and could tell you about any one of them. If they lost a shoe, he could tell you which horse and how many shoes he had lost.

Jay spent one winter batching with Jackson near Mountain City, Nevada, for the IL and said he was one of the easiest men to get along with he had ever been around.

One time Jay remembers while driving a thousand head of steers on the Chicken Creek working for the IL, Jackson was driving a sled (it was in the winter and the snow was deep) with a team of horses and one of the horses got tangled up and fell on an embankment. When the Buckaroo came back to look for Jackson cause he was late, they ask what they could do to help and Jackson said, cut the harness off and so they did and the horse tumbled and rolled clear to the bottom of the gully. They had to ride back down the road to the nearest ranch and ride up the gully to get the horse and lead him all the way back around the way they had come, so it held up the day's work for several hours. Jay said Jackson was so mad he turned white. That was the only time he had ever seen him so mad.

Lawrence Jackson was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in September 1995.

Chopping firewood
Phil White, Clyde and Lee Reborse, Lawrence Jackson; 1939