Tom Green County
West Texas / Panhandle
Highway 67 and FM 2335
6 miles N of Knickerbocker
9 miles SW of San
3.7 miles W of Twin Buttes Reservoir
Population: 20 est. (2000)
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Photo Courtesy Fort Concho Museum
in a Pecan Shell
According to the Handbook of Texas, The land for the town was
donated by R. F. Tankersley in 1864. A post office was granted in
1910, although it was discontinued in 1963. Tankersley's zenith was
reached in 1946 with 75 persons. Increased mobility drastically reduced
the town to only 20 by 1953.
a most interesting letter from Mr. Hiram Joel Jacques of San Jose,
California. He gives our readers a personal look at the people who
settled this region in the 1880s. - Editor
Mr. Jacques writes:
My late father's ancestors have deep roots in Ben Ficklin and Knickerbocker
history and Tankersley.
My great-great-grandfather, Tomas Jaques de Salazar (1800-1880), moved
Ficklin around 1871-72 with his family.
He was the oldest man in Fort
Stockton in 1870 at the age of 70 years. He crossed over to Fort
Stockton, Texas from Chihuahua by wagon in 1870. In 1872, Tomas and
two of his four sons, Trinidad and Jesus Jose, signed the Petition
of 1872 to form Tom Green county, which included about 13 of today's
counties. Tomas died around 1880, two years before the great flood
Around 1886, Two sons then moved toward El Paso and two settled in
My great-grandfather, Honesimo Jaques, worked for Joseph Tweedy and
built his rock house in Knickerbocker.
grandfather, Selso, worked for R. F. Tankersley as a foreman on his
Selso married the niece of R. F. Tankersley's second wife, Conchita
My late father, Francisco (Frank) Jacques, was born on the Tankersley
ranch in 1917.
Left - Selso and Maria wedding photo
Courtesy Hiram Joel Jacques
Hiram Joel Jacques, San Jose, CA, August 14, 2003
vintage photos of Tom Green County contributed by Mr. Jacques can
be found on the town pages of Ben
Ficklin , Knickerbocker,
TE, I attended school at Tankersley for the last couple of years
that it was open. I remember Mrs. Rhine as one of the two teachers
there. I was recently there but could not find the school so I would
guess it was torn down. I lived at Lake Nasworthy and my two sisters
and I had to ride a bus through San
Angelo to Tankersley. When I was in the 5th or 6th grade there,
I aquired an old Indian motorcycle and would ride to school by cutting
through the ranches. I would arrive before the school bus to fire
up the old wood burning heaters in both classrooms, sweep the hall,
and do other chores in return for a free lunch. We had propane heaters
also but the ceilings were so high that it would take forever to
warm up on propane heaters. After lunch and at recess our big sport
was baseball and we had just enough players to make up one team.
One day we all loaded on the bus to play another small school but
their team consisted of all boys and ours was at least half girls.
We lost but had a great time playing and singing on the bus. On
rainy days we entertained ourselves in our classroom with a game
of eraser tag or hangman. The opening day of deer season would just
about close the school as both boys and girls had gone hunting.
When the school did close we were all transfiered into San Angelo's
Robert E. Lee and things were never the same. My time at Tankersley
school was the very best education as the teacher had time to give
personal attention to problems. The days of the one or two room
schools are long over and the innocence lost forever. By going to
such a large school I quickly learned how to fight to defend myself
and deal with the modern world. If anyone has any pictures or information
on the Tankersley school [please consider sharing it]. - Rick
Carthen, Coleman Texas, June 27, 2007
Subject: Tankersley School
My brothers and sisters and I went to school in Tankersley in the
early 1950's. There was a two room school with first, second, and
third grades in one room and forth, fifth and sixth grades in the
other. The main building consisted of a simple square box, stucco
design. Along with the two classrooms, there was an auditorium.
The last time I was in the area was in the middle 1980's and the
building was still there although the school had been long closed.
I believe it closed in the early 1960s.
The secondary building was the living quarters for the husband/wife
teaching team and also the cafeteria for the students. The restrooms
were outside in a separate building.
The teachers that I remember being there were Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson.
Mr. Ferguson had a stroke during the school year, and they had to
leave since he couldn't keep up his teaching duties. Mr. and Mrs.
Smith moved in after the Fergusons left. They were a younger couple
with no children. His first name may have been Curtis, her name
was Polly. I only attended school there for two years and then transferred
I also remember across the highway from the school was a store/gas
station owned by Mr. and Mrs. Boggs. We would take whatever change
we had to school and after lunch, we would go across the highway
to Bogg's Store and buy penny candy.
The majority of the students at Tankersley School lived on farms
in the area, but the residents of West Texas Boys Ranch also attended
there. - Gary Clark, Crawford, Texas, July 06, 2005
I remember that schoolhouse. My father ran the gas station/store
for a time and we lived next door to the gas station. There was
a ranch next to us that we used to visit and learn about chickens
from the ranch hands and they would let us ride their horse for
a short distance. My aunt and uncle (Jay and Ruby Ferrell) lived
down the road a piece and we would visit them often. - Robert
Featherston, January 27, 2007
Anyone wishing to share history, travel or photos of Tankersley,
Texas, please contact
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