Early Settlers of Union
Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Harrison Jackson- from Choestoe to Colorado
episode is how a person born near the end of the nineteenth century
went out from Union County
seeking his fortune. His name was William Harrison Jackson, born September 1, 1889 in
Choestoe, Union County, Georgia. His
parents were William Miles Jackson (1853- 1910) and Nancy Souther
Jackson (1853- 1899).
Harrison Jackson was the eighth of nine children born to Bill and Nancy
Jackson. It is interesting to note that seven of the nine children left
Choestoe to find work elsewhere. His sister Camilla (1873-1925) married
H. L. Henson and they moved to Copperhill, Tenn.,
where H. L. worked at the Tennessee Copper
Company. His sister Lydia
(1875-1956) married Virgil Collins and they moved to Laramie, Colorado. His
brother Oscar Jackson (1879-1901) died before reaching his
twenty-second birthday and was a teacher in Choestoe. Harrison's
brother, Ira Jackson (b. 1881) died as a seven month old baby. Della
Nora Jackson (1883-1911) and her husband, Ulysses Thompson Collins,
moved to Verden, Oklahoma.
After Della's death in 1911, Ulysses returned to Choestoe with their
three children, Goldie, Mayme and Ralph.
Cora Bessie Jackson (1885-1951) married Thomas L. Hood and they moved
to Eaton, Colorado.
Florida Kate Jackson (1891-?) married Jasper Shuler and they lived in Greeley, Colorado.
Oliver Grady Jackson (1893-?) moved to Greeley, Colorado,
where he met and married Anna Jensen who was born in Denmark.
With so many of his siblings migrating west, William Harrison Jackson
at a young age also got the urge to "go west, young man," but his was
not a straight trek there.
From his own memoirs written in January, 1969, we
learn how William Harrison Jackson left Choestoe and eventually settled
in Colorado. He
expressed thoughts about his growing-up years in poetry:
name was Nancy,
name was Bill.
We lived in a
Close by the Blue
Some things to
me were a marvelous wonder;
Thoughts to my
heart were great to ponder:
God, Creator of
all life, the Giver,
meadows, rills, rivers.
school years were at the old Choestoe Church
house, with slat benches for seats. The building was heated with
pot-bellied stoves. In 1896, his first teacher was Joseph Collins who
had been to the Hiawassee Academy. Harrison was
happy to follow the career of his first grade teacher, noting that he
became a prominent lawyer in Gainesville. The
children, including William Harrison, all did their share of work on
the Choestoe farm of his parents.
mother died when he was ten years of age in 1899. In 1905, his father
married again to Jane West. He tells how he left home by "Shank's Mare"
(walking). He carried his clothes and other meager possessions "in a
valise" and made his way to Mineral Bluff, Georgia, where his sister,
Camilla Henson lived. There, and in nearby Copperhill, Tennessee, he
found "odd jobs" to earn money until the spring of 1906.
brother-in-law, Thomas L. Hood, husband of Harrison's
sister, Cora, invited him back to Choestoe to help him work on the farm
he had rented from an aunt, Mary Collins. In the fall, Aunt Mary paid
Thomas $300 in gold for the crops produced that season. Thomas paid
William Harrison $15 for each month he had worked with him on the land.
Tom and Cora then moved to Colorado. It
was back to Copperhill, TN for
William Harrison Jackson. There he worked in the copper mines until March 7, 1907. He
had saved enough money for a train ticket to Eaton, Colorado,
where he went to work in the potato fields and sorting houses at $30.00
per month and board. This work occupied his time from 1907-1913.
Harrison Jackson's next move was to Blackfoot, Idaho.
There he met and wooed Hazel Edith Thompson. They were married August 11, 1913. Her
parents, Tommy Thompson and Hilda Edge Thompson, were born in Norway. At
Blackfoot, Harrison and Hazel settled down to farming. Their five
children were born in the Rose Precinct about five and one-half miles
north of Blackfoot. The children were Barton Grady Jackson ( US Marine
and professional dance instructor), June Hilda Jackson (US Navy, and
educator), Thelma Edith Jackson (twin to June Hilda, died at age six
months), Zelma Nancy Jackson (communications and radio operator during
World War II, and administrative assistant) and Dwain Thompson Jackson
(music educator and employee of Horace Mann Insurance Agency for
teachers). The Jacksons
bought a ranch at Cedar
There Hazel died with cancer in 1935.
children were grown and left home, Harrison Jackson married his second
wife, Nora Miller, in 1937. She was a daughter of Andrew Miller and
Carrie Young Miller, early pioneers in Arkansas. In
1957, Harrison and Nora sold out their ranch in Cedar Ridge and moved
to Delta, Colorado,
where he continued to work, even to age 80 and above. He described
himself and his wife, Nora, as "happy, busy, and continuing in the
faith of the Disciples of Christ." He always liked to tell stories--of
his growing-up years in Choestoe, of moving away to find work, of life
on the farm or ranch in the west, and of semiretirement and still
active. His poem about his life ends: "Those childhood days are gone
memories we cannot sever."
note to my readers: At 7:00 a. m. on Thanksgiving morning,
November 22, 2007, I
received a call
from the nurse at Memory Support Unit, Georgia War Veteran's Home, Milledgeville,
that my husband, the Rev.
Jones, had fallen and was in great pain from the fall. He was
taken by ambulance to the
of the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon where he underwent
extensive examinations and
preoperation treatment. His left hip
operation (replacement of
and socket joint) was on Sunday, November 25. He came through surgery well, and today
(Monday) was up on the "new
hip" for a short time. His
condition is now classified as "Advanced Alzheimer's". Admittedly, the
past several days have been
stressful- and extremely
me. Less than three months ago, as my readers will recall, I
myself underwent five
surgery. We learn to meet emergencies and life's challenges
"one day at a time," and
there is always
miraculous strength to walk through them. These, to me, are results of strong faith
presence. Thank you for your concern.]
c2007 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Nov. 29, 2007 in The Union
Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights
Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance writer, poet, and historian.
She may be reached at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org;
phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708