Jesus was born on the Murphy Ranch in Victoria County, Texas. His ancestors emigrated from the Canary Islands, a group that has escaped notice in the early settlement of Texas. His father, Juan Ybarbo, was a pasture rider and broke horses at the O'Connor Duke Ranch for Dennis O'Connor [I]. All of Jesus's sisters were born at the Duke. The familial connection of rancher and ranch hand is evident in Dennis's sons, Joe, Martin, and Tom, all being taught to ride by Juan Ybarbo, Jesus’ father. When Dennis died in 1900 the family moved back over to the Murphy Ranch. Jesus remembers that the horses in the early part of the twentieth century were wild and mean and much harder to break. Even the cattle were wilder, never seeing humans for years at a time. He notes that injuries were few because there were so many very skilled cowhands working at that time. Jesus left cow working in 1958 when Tom O'Connor Jr. hired him to take care of the O’Connor cemetery where he stayed for twenty-four years. Jesus was great teller of tales of early ranch life.
“I sure did like it — a bunch of men together in those days, workin’ cattle. It was fun. It made me happy.”