Pioneer Days Ahead

 Pioneer Days Ahead


Don’t be surprised if you feel your in a different century when you 

visit Jefferson, Texas this weekend, because its “back to the earliest days” as the community showcases what is hoped to be the 1st Annual Pioneer Days Festival, Sept. 4, 5 and 6.

Begun as a project when the Opera House Theatre Players, a local

community theatre, decided to bring in the world renown musical

group, The Sons of the Pioneers, for a concert on the Monday of

Labor Day weekend, the excitement and anticipation of such big name entertainment gave birth to the idea that the entire community could and should benefit from the extra visitors it would likely bring in.  Thats when the theatre board members put their ideas together and came up with an entire weekend of activities geared to not only attract attention for the concert but create a festival that would hold people in town for the last long weekend of the summer. 

After organizing a working committee made up of board members and community volunteers, the committee set about soliciting

donations and service donations to the non-profit group that

would fund an event of three days.  Theatre board president

Marcia Thomas said that “they have been greatly pleased and

gratified to see so many businesses and individuals were 

really interested in supporting Jefferson tourism with this

idea. We’ve been able to make it all free except the concert! 

The perfect event for all the family. We have been blessed!”

The festivities will begin on Saturday, Sept. 4, with a Parade

at 10 am that will be comprised of horseback riders, wagons 

and walkers in period costume.  One local resident, Howard

Blatch, will wear  an exact replica uniform worn on the Lewis

and Clark Expedition that started in 1803 to explore the

New Louisiana Purchase or The New Frontier. Another par-

ticipant will be the Bayou Trailblazers Trail Riding  Group

who will be in period costume as they ride. A covered 

wagon with costumed passengers is also expected to be

part of the parade.  A trophy and prize will be awarded to

the most authentic costume.

Following the parade at 11:30 the re-enactment of an 

historical shooting incident that occurred in the wagon

yard of downtown Jefferson in 1906 will be performed

in the spot where it actually happened.  Board member

Jim Blackburn will portray Sheriff Will S. Terry and

theatre member/actor Mark McKay will play the Deputy

who “went bad”, Charlie Proctor.  A narrator will read

briefly read the background of the shooting to the

audience and several theatre members will appear as

some of the citizens who witnessed the event,   The

idea to do the re-enactment came from Thomas who

had been told of the incident by her grandfather and

his twin brother many decades back.  The two were

witnesses of shooting as young teenagers.

At Noon to 12:30 pm, singer Ann Leslie of Marshall

will entertain with country songs at the Otstott Gazebo.

Ms. Leslie writes her own music and accompanies

herself with recorded background music geared for

all ages.

At 6 pm, the crowds will be steered toward the east

end block of Austin Street where a Street Dance 

will play until 8 pm with music by the award-winning

group Sheila and the Caddo Kats.  There will be some

seating available and beverages will be available from

nearby businesses.

On Sunday, Sept. 5, a Cook-Out with Barbeque and

Beans will be served beginning noon at the grassy 

riverfront area near the stagecoach and horse dis-

play courtesy of the Collins Institute. Entertainment

will begin about noon and continue until 4 pm.  Sche-

duled to perform are cowboy singer John Nance,

Ann Leslie and Riley Cox (pending availability).  The

Players are also squeezing in a brief audition period

beginning at 4:30 at the Visitor Bldg lobby front to

cast two upcoming productions.

Monday Sept. 6 is the date for the much-anticipated

concert by the fabulous and famous Sons of the Pioneers

who will present a show of just under 2 hrs followed by

an autograph and photo session with the audience.  The

groups latest CDs will also be available for purchase.

VIP tickets are sold out but some general seating tickets

at $25/person are still available online at or at 

The Willow Tree 903-601-4515.  If there are any left, tickets

may be sold at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.


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The Josey Ranch and Its Competitors Don’t Hold Back

 The Josey Ranch and Its Competitors Don’t Hold Back at the Josey Jr World
The Josey Ranch continues to bring in the best from around the world for the 41st Annual Josey Jr. World

MARSHALL, TX – While most sporting events around the world are seeing a decline in participation and attendance, the 41st Annual Josey Jr. World continued to be a “Must Go To” event in barrel racing as 294 contestants from 16 states competed to take home the title in Marshall, Texas on August 13-15. This annual event is the oldest open to the world youth barrel race and has attracted top youth competitors who have gone on to have successful careers in the sport.

The Josey Jr. World is open to barrel racers 20 years old and under and runs in a 4D (or Divisional) format, which allows every competitor an opportunity to earn money. For all of the Josey events, the format for the qualifying rounds is to drag every five draws, big pack every 50, and reverse the order for the second go so that every competitor has an equal opportunity on the ground. The Joseys set the standard when it comes to taking care of the ground for its competitors.

The Med Vet Pharmaceuticals 1st go on Friday and AIP Energy 2nd go on Saturday were qualifying rounds giving each contestant two chances to make it to the Big Tex Championship SHOOT OUT on Sunday. Tristan Bowles from Gainesville, Texas riding Short Okie Lena placed sixth in the Second Go on Saturday with 16.474 before taking the 1D title on Sunday with a time of 16.097. Eight-year-old Charlie Raye Sohrt from Manvel, Texas had the fastest time on Friday before finishing reserve champion on Little Dash Priest with a time of 16.239 on Sunday.

Mckenna Caudle from Horatio, Arkansas finished first in the 2D riding Toxic Tango with a 16.625, Faith Terry from New Waverly, Texas finished first in the 3D riding Mr JB 118 with a time of 17.105 and Kalyn Albright from Tomball, Texas riding Blue Eyed Beauty finished first in the 4D with a time of 18.163.

Last year’s Josey Jr. World winner, Mallory McGee, qualified in the first go with a fast time of 16.395 for the finals on Sunday, but took a no time with a barrel down. Watching her ride was an inspiration to everyone in attendance as she is currently suffering from an eye injury that has left her legally blind.  

“It’s incredible to see a competitor like Mallory fight through the challenges that have been coming at her over the last year,” Martha said. “We are proud to call her a Josey kid.” 

With Great sponsors like AIP Energy, Wards Restaurants, Draw it Out, Davis Chemical, and Pietro’s Pizza of Marshall contestants ran for a $10,000 added money barrel race.  Support of national and local sponsors like Big Tex Trailers, Circle Y Saddles, Med Vet Pharmaceuticals, Purina, Priefert Ranch and Rodeo Equipment, and the Marshall/Harrison County Chamber of Commerce Martha and R.E. Josey had many super prizes this year. Plus, a Big Tex Trailer was awarded to the 1D winner, with a Circle Y Saddle, Shea Michelle custom belt buckle, an American hat, and 500 pounds of Purina feed given to each of the D winners. They also received other sponsor prizes from Med Vet Pharmaceuticals (MVP), custom 5 Star saddle pads, Draw It Out product, Flair Strips, and much more.

Four more competitors also came out winners as recipients of the annual scholarships awarded during the Josey Jr. World. The Carol Hall Adams Scholarship was given to Jasleigh Montagne, with Sarah Buck earning the Josey Ranch Scholarship and Aly Jurica receiving the Joyce Barney Scholarship, and the Shirley Webb Scholarship was awarded to Kaitlyn Foster. The recipient of the annual “Mom Arthur” award that honors Martha’s mother, was presented to Jami Kay Garrison by Oakley Kay Ellis. The final award was the “Cebe Reed Horse with the Most Heart” honoring Martha’s great horse Cebe Reed, who won 52 consecutive barrel races and seven horse trailers. The choices were so difficult this year the committee decided to honor two great horses.  The winners this year were Little Man owned and ridden by Hadlee Huckabee from De Berry, Texas and Little Dash Priest (AKA Snoopy) owned and ridden by Charley Raye Sohrt of Manuel, Texas.

There’s always more than just world class competition at the Josey Jr. World.  On Friday night former Josey student and former Jr. World competitor, and the youngest NBHA world champion barrel racer, Chancie Neal, took the stage on Friday night to put on a show for the competitors, their families and the Marshall community. Neal is a platinum-selling songwriter, opened for Luke Bryan for seven years and is featured on his current album that was nominated for an ACM Award. She kicked off her show with her signature song, “Rodeo Money”, but it wasn’t her typical performance when she was joined on stage by the voice of the Josey Ranch, Randy Adams, who is featured on the recorded version of the song. Adams wowed the crowd, and Neal, when he provided live calls during the song that were reminiscent of Neal’s days running barrels on the ranch. Neal later called her sister, Chesnie, up on the stage to play guitar and sing one of their favorite songs, “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”.

Following in her sister’s footsteps in music and barrel racing, Chesnie qualified for the finals on Sunday.

“I grew up on the Josey Ranch, so this will always be home to me,” Neal said. “What I learned from Mrs. Martha and R.E. not only taught me how to be a champion barrel racer, but a champion in life.”

In addition to the concert that was held during the Fish Fry, the Josey Ranch staff kept everyone entertained throughout the weekend with activities for the whole family, including the NBHA stick horse barrel race, Rope and Run competition, Draw it Out Pony Race, and the hula hoop contest.  More fun was provided by the special guest of the weekend, Abby Poole, Miss Rodeo Texas Teen who also presented the flag during the National Anthem each day. With everything going on at the ranch, visitors were able to unplug from the world to enjoy time with the people around them because when you come to the ranch, you become part of the Josey Family. 

Plans are underway for the 42nd annual Josey Jr. World with the event moving back to the traditional time in May of 2022.

For complete results of the 2021 Josey Jr. World, please visit   


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PO Box 721

Scottsville TX 75688




NEED A VACCINATION? CALL 903 938 8338. LISTEN TO A RECORDING FROM THE MARSHALL HARRISON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT WHICH TELLS YOU WHERE AND  WHEN TO COME. Vaccinations are FREE. You need an ID card with your name on it. Any kind of card will do. No hassle. No charge. Spanish spoken. Not crowded. Professionally done under ideal conditions. Do you need your company employees vaccinated? Your church? Your poker club? The Health Department will help you set up injections at your business. You need to take your vaccination card, but, as one careless old doctor found out, lost cards can be replaced. There is virtually no valid reason or excuse not to be vaccinated. You might still get a mild case of Covid, especially when the Variants like Delta are plaguing the area — but you are unlikely to wind up on a respirator or stacked in a refrigerated truck with the bodies of your careless friends. Am I wrong or do the pictures in the obits in the papers seem to feature a plethora of rugged, outdoor, self-sufficient folks who “don’t need to take no damn shots?”




1. 180 cases are traced to a church camp and conference that didn’t require vaccinations or testing, the C.D.C. says.

(29/180 had been vaccinated. No deaths. 5 hospitalized. It’s too soon to tell if there will be any permanent harm or Long Covid. It’s lucky they didn’t kill Grandma — but, well, she’s old and all that.)

2. Pennsylvania’s governor announces a mask requirement for schools.


1. New COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations Among Adults, by Vaccination Status — New York, May 3–July 25, 2021

”…This study’s findings suggest currently available vaccines have high effectiveness for preventing laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 hospitalization. However, VE against infection appears to have declined in recent months in New York, coinciding with a period of easing societal public health restrictions††† and increasing Delta variant circulation (8). These findings support a multipronged approach to reducing new COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases, centered on vaccination, and including other approaches such as masking and physical distancing.

2. SARS-CoV-2 Infections and Hospitalizations Among Persons Aged ≥16 Years, by Vaccination Status — Los Angeles County, California, May 1–July 25, 2021 During May 1–July 25, 2021, among 43,127 SARS-CoV-2 infections in residents of Los Angeles County, California, 10,895 (25.3%) were in fully vaccinated persons, 1,431 (3.3%) were in partially vaccinated persons, and 30,801 (71.4%) were in unvaccinated persons. On July 25, infection and hospitalization rates among unvaccinated persons were 4.9 and 29.2 times, respectively, those in fully vaccinated persons. In July, when the Delta variant was predominant, cycle threshold values were similar for unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and vaccinated persons. (CDC MMWR, 8/27/2021)


1. Immunity To COVID-19 Could Last Longer Than You’d Think (NPR) All around the world, there seem to be signs that immunity to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19, doesn’t last very long after you’re vaccinated. Israel is now having one of the world’s worst COVID-19 surges about five months after vaccinating a majority of its population. And in the U.S., health officials are recommending a booster shot eight months after the original vaccine course. So, how long does immunity last after two doses of the vaccine? Six months or so? And at that point, how much protection is left over?(Some Repetition here.)

2.  Outbreak Associated with SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant in an Elementary School — Marin County, California, May–June 2021

”…The two classrooms were separated by a large outdoor courtyard with lunch tables that were blocked off from use with yellow tape. All classrooms had portable high-efficiency particulate air filters and doors and windows were left open…’

(J. Harris: This is a good quick read and has made news all week. I envy neither teachers nor students right now. )

Area Schools Covid through Aug 22 ATTACHED


It turns out that being an adult now is mostly just googling how to do stuff.


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