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Jackson Broocks Osborne Papers

Identifier: AC-273

Scope and Content Note

The Jackson Broocks Osborne Papers are primarily composed of the papers of Osborne's grandfather, John H. Broocks, and stepfather, William Seale. The Broocks' papers include correspondence, his personal writings and manuscripts, and his legal papers. The legal papers contain land deeds, case files, land abstracts, and surveys. Broocks represented Pattillo Higgins in his suits against George W. Carroll and Anthony F. Lucas, and so these records also include correspondence sent from Lucas to Higgins in 1899, as they made their agreements regarding the divison of potential profits from any oil found on Gladys City Oil, Gas and Manufacturing Company land. This correspondence, along with Higgins' suits against Carroll and Lucas, comprise their own series.

Broocks also invested in the Dominican Lumber Company, which had ties to Clark M. Votaw, assistant land commissioner of Kirby Lumber Company. The Dominican Lumber Company was a corporation chartered in Texas, and it possessed large holdings on the island of Santo Domingo. Initial explorations of this land seem to have taken place around 1907. The Company was especially interested in harvesting the yellow pine so prevalent in the Dominican Republic, but it also made forays into the turpentine and mining industries. The Company was sold, in part, to A. C. Wilkins of Calcasieu, Louisiana, in 1923. A great deal of Broocks' correspondence concerns this company. His other correspondence is almost all related to his legal practice. His involvement with real estate means that there are a great number of deeds and land titles held in the collection, some dating back to the 1830's. These deeds cover Jefferson, Hardin, and San Augustine counties.

Broocks wrote two political pamphlets, To Hell I Reckon, and The Empty Dinner Pail. His papers include correspondence on these publications and his notes regarding their cartoon illustrations. He also ran for Congress in 1910, and the collection holds copies of his campaign pamphlets. In addition, he wrote a book detailing his folk wisdom on health remedies, entitled, My Remedies for Human Ailments and Other Stories.

The Broocks' papers are arranged roughly chronologically.

The William Seale's papers contain records from his sister Ruth's pharmacy, R. Seale & Co. Drugs, of Woodville, Texas. These records span the 1920's and 1930's, and include account ledgers and statements. Deeds from Seale's work as a contractor are also included, along with some correspondence.


  • Creation: 1834-985


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Access Restrictions

Some restrictions may apply.


The Tyrrell Historical Library holds copyright for the Osborne Family Papers. Exceptions include published works, for which copyright is held by their creator and/or publisher. The researcher must secure permission to publish. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the Tyrrell Historical Library. The researcher assumes full responsibility for complying with copyright, literary property rights, and libel laws.

Biographical Note

Jackson Broocks Osborne was born on February 27, 1923, to Isham Jackson Osborne and Eugenia Allen Broocks. His father died in 1926, and Jackson and his mother then moved to Beaumont, Texas, to live with her mother and stepfather, Laura Sims Allen and John H. Broocks.

John H. Broocks was originally from San Augustine County, Texas, where he was born on March 15, 1862, to Colonel John H. Broocks and Elizabeth Jerome Polk. The Broocks family was involved there in a family feud known as the Wall-Broocks-Border Feud. The Wall boys were childhood enemies of Lycurgus Border, who was related to the Broocks family. George Wall became sheriff of the county in 1900, and in April, Lycurgus Border shot and killed Wall. He was indicted but never tried for this crime. Retaliation soon followed, with Eugene Wall shooting and killing Ben C. Broocks, one of John H. Broocks' brothers, on June 2. This action sparked an attack on the courthouse on June 4 by Border and other Broocks relatives. In this attack, they wounded Sheriff Noel Roberts, Wall's nephew, and killed his two brothers, Sid and Felix Roberts. No trials were held for this attack. Eugene Wall was acquitted for the death of Ben C. Broocks, on the grounds of self-defense, but he was assassinated by an unknown person on October 25, 1901. Border was killed in 1904 by Sheriff Sneed Noble, after he had threatened to kill Noble.

John H. Broocks, meanwhile, lived in Beaumont with his other brother, Moses Lycurgus (1864-1908). They established a legal firm known as Broocks & Broocks, based in Beaumont and San Augustine, which dealt mainly with real estate law. Of significant importance was they represented Pattillo Higgins in 1901 in his suits against George W. Carroll and Anthony F. Lucas for the money he felt he was due from the oil discovery of Spindletop. In addition to their legal practice, Moses represented the Second District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1905-1907, and John was a principal owner of the Gulf and Interstate Railroad from Beaumont to Galveston, and a director in the Higgins Oil and Fuel Company. They also directed the Jefferson County Abstract Company, a real estate firm, and invested heavily in rice agriculture.

After serving in Congress, Moses returned to San Augustine, where he died in 1908. He is buried in Old Broocks Cemetery.

In 1906, John married his brother Ben's widow, Laura Sims Allen. She had married Ben in 1894, and they had three children together: Ben, Ara Francis, and Eugenia Allen Broocks. John and Laura had one child together, Elizabeth Jerome, born around 1910. John and Laura both died in 1938, and are buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Beaumont, Texas.

Eugenia Allen Broocks was born on November 17, 1900. She married Isham Jackson Osborne (October 21, 1895 - April 1, 1926) in the Dallas area, remaining there until Osborne's death. She then moved back to Beaumont with her son, Jackson Broocks Osborne. She remarried in August 1938, to William Seale (September 2, 1882 - January 29, 1962). Seale was a lumberman and contractor who worked in the Beaumont area. He was an active member of the American Lumberman Society in the 1920's. His sister, Ruth, owned her own pharmacy, R. Seale & Co. Drugs. William and Eugenia's son, William Seale, Jr., became a noted historian and historical preservationist. He has written extensively on the restoration of historic American buildings.

Jackson followed in his grandfather's footsteps and entered the legal profession. He dealt mainly with oil and gas law. He also was deeply interested in history, joining the Beaumont Heritage Society and the Tyrrell Historical Library Association, and serving as president of the Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record.

Jackson married Margaret "Peggy" June Wilson (1926-2005), and he served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He and Margaret had two sons. They were divorced on October 31, 1985. Jackson married a second time in 1986, uniting with Yvonne L. Lyle. Margaret also remarried, uniting with Dr. Joseph B. Carlucci, a former conductor of the Symphony of Southeast Texas. Jackson passed away on Febraury 6, 1994. He and his mother, stepfather, and grandparents are buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Beaumont.


15.0 Cubic Feet (15.0 cubic feet in 19 boxes)


The Jackson Broocks Osborne Papers are a series of papers primarily related to Osborne's grandfather, John H. Broocks, and step-father, William Seale. The Broocks' papers include correspondence regarding his business ventures, papers from his legal practice, and his own personal writings. While the Seale's papers consist of correspondence and deeds, and financial ledgers from his sister's pharmacy, R. Seale & Co. Drugs.

Organization of Collection

This collection is organized into three series.

  1. Higgins/Lucas Correspondence
  2. John H. Broocks Papers
  3. William Seale Papers

Acquisition Information

Donated by Yvonne L. Osborne, October 1997.


No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

Andrew F. Smyth Papers, 1799-1800, 1832-1990, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

William Seale Items, ca. 1844-ca. 1878, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Gilbert Family Papers, 1850-1995, AC-159, Tyrrell Historical Library. This collection has a copy of an "Address by John H. Broocks," and a photograph of W. E. Seale, Jr.

The digitized books Souvenir Beaumont, 1903 and The Advantages and Conditions of Beaumont and Port Arthur Today> have advertisements for the Jefferson County Abstract Company.

Processing Information

Processed by Tyrrell Historical Library staff, 1998 June.

Finding aid revised and encoded by Tyrrell Historical Library staff, 2013 October.

Finding Aid for the Jackson Broocks Osborne Papers, 1834-1985
Tyrrell Historical Library Staff
2013 September 30
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Tyrrell Historical Library Archives Repository