Jack County, originally part of Cooke County, was created on August 14, 1856. It was named for two brothers, William H. Jack and Patrick C. Jack who were lawyers that came to Texas from Georgia in 1832. They aided in the fight for Texas independance and held elected offices in the State.
The first county courthouse was completed on August 17, 1858 in Jacksboro, which was originally called Mesquiteville because of the large mesquite trees. Although the name was changed to Jacksboro in 1858, the festival “Weekend in Old Mesquiteville” is still celebrated on the second weekend in June.
In 1867, a frontier post named Fort Richardson was established to protect settlers in the county; however, In the spring of 1878 it was abandoned as a military post. The original hospital and field officer quarters have been restored and are now preserved as a State park.
The Butterfield Overland Mail Route and the Chicago, Rock Island, and Texas Railway passed through Jacksboro. The Butterfield Stage made its first run from St. Louis to San Francisco on September 15, 1858. The original Butterfield Overland Mail Route passed about three miles south of Jacksboro until a narrow passageway through a cliff was purposely blocked by large boulders, causing the mail route to be diverted through Jacksboro.
Tom M. Marks organized the Corn Club on September 8, 1907, in Jacksboro. New types of corn seed were distributed among the membership of 111 boys. Each boy received 1 gallon of corn. The following year, the first county fair was held. There were 91 boys and 30 other men exhibiting their corn in addition to the 270 other exhibits. Upon seeing how well the boys’ corn grew, the farmers began to apply some of the same techniques. The Corn Club survived and evolved into the 1st Texas 4-H Club. Marks’ home was purchased by the Jack County Historical Society and became the Jack County Museum and is known as the birthplace of Texas 4-H.