Jere Benjamin Hart arrived in Palo Pinto County in
1866 with a horse and saddle and $65 in cash in his pocket. He had
left his home in Missouri to fight in the Civil War and since the
community was divided on the support of the North and the South he, a
soldier of the Confederacy, didn't go home, after the war but came to
Dallas where his maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Jere Jackson
lived. He spent a year there accumulating his "capital"
to buy the horse and saddle and the $65 he carried.
He had scarcely reached his destination here when his horse was stolen
by the Indians, along with several other horses. The next morning
he and other citizens gave chase to the Indians and a few miles from
Palo Pinto found his horse where it had been killed by its captors, who
skinned a part of it to make a rope. On his return to town, he
bought another horse with his $65 and started looking for work.
That night his newly acquired horse was stolen, leaving him
nothing. He immediately went to work for Capt. McAdams on his
ranch north of Palo Pinto receiving $12.00 per month for his work.
Within a few years, he started a herd of cattle of his own and
registered his brand and mark on June 12, 1867. His brand was NAN
on the left side, and his mark was overslope the right ear and
underslope the left ear. William Metcalf was county clerk at the
time. He later became partner with W. Scott Warren and their
partnership brand mark were also registered.
In 1872, Hart married Mary Joanna Taylor, daughter of Mr. and Mrs.
Stephen Slade Taylor, of Palo Pinto. Mrs. Hart was brought by her
parents to Palo Pinto when she was 3 years old, the year the county was
organized and they built the first house in Golconda, which is now Palo
This pioneer couple moved to the west part of the county in 1876 after
living in Palo Pinto for several years, in the comparative safety of the
settlement there. Indians were still a menace and several times
the family had to be taken to Palo Pinto to stay a few days while the
men of the neighborhood were on Indian hunts following raids.
James A. Hart has a Henry rifle his father took on several of these
hunts. Being a crack rifle shot, no doubt the enemy was out of
luck if he got in range of this rifleman.
They moved to the ranch early in 1876, living for a time in a log cabin
which in later years, was used as a smoke house. They had thought
they would have to haul lumber from Jefferson to build the new house but
it was learned that the railroad had reached Ft. Worth by then and that
shortened the haul several days. It took about 10 days to haul a
load from Ft. Worth and other work had to be done also, so building was
a long tedious process, but finally the new house was done and they
moved in. The house is still standing and a few years ago the
sleepers were exposed for some repairs and were found to be sound.
Several roofs have been put on and the boys of the family say they added
a new coat of paint to it every year.
Hart made at least three trips up the Chisholm Trail with his own
Children were Ariana, Jere Jackson, Charles Spencer, Bertha (Mrs. C. C.
Sanders), Edgar Taylor, George Smith, James A. and S. W. The later
two still reside in Palo Pinto County and Mrs. Sanders, resides in Big
Lake. Fourteen grandchildren; fifteen great-grandchildren and one
great-great-grandchild of the couple are scattered over several states.
Jere Hart died in 1913 and Mrs. Hart died in 1938 and both are buried in
the Ioni cemetery near the ranch where they spent so many years of their