The year 2020 was a trial for most of this country. Even before the Pandemic began to divide the country, an on-going battle for history was raging. You could call it a war on history with battles wherever a statue or memorial of the past could be assailed. One side for reflection and preservation of the past, the other destroy, deface or deny anything that was thought to be "bad" history.
Many of us revere history. We look to the past, warts and all, to remember people who built our country, our state, our community. "Just the facts" don't tell the whole story. People tell the story. And no one better to tell of local history than Jay Jackson, historian and owner of the Frank James Bank Museum in Missouri City. Sadly, we lost Jay in October this year and he is an irreplaceable source of knowledge. He spent a good portion of his life enthralled with history. His enthusiasm for the details - the real details - of events and people was unsurpassed.
Jay was a re-enactor, a replicator (in uniforms,) a gifted speaker and a stalwart supporter of accurate research to educate us about the past. His Civil War collection included original and painstakingly reproduced items with which to show how people lived and soldiers fought. Jay was central to having historic sites recognized with markers and often quoted in newspapers and magazines for his efforts in preserving history. (Photo: Courier-Tribune.)
As Superintendent of Missouri City School, Jay took joy in sharing his love of history with his students. He produced the film, "The Battle of Blue Mills/Liberty Landing" with the Museum and Wide Awake Films and brought his entire school to its premiere. The film and a marker dedicated to the battle site were two of his dreams for local history. His storytelling is legend and one outcome of it, is the book "You Look Brave Enough to Hang a Woman" is based on his research of Clay County during the Civil War.
Jay will be missed, but his stories will live on through all that were fortunate enough to hear them in person.