Rosie Jones


November 17, 1912 - July 28, 1992

Rosie was born into the classic cowhand family on the West Ranch in Goliad County. Her father, Larry Terrell, was foreman on the ranch and her mother, Elvira Steward Terrell, was the ranch cook. Her brother, L.V. Terrell, became a tophand on the O’Connor Ranches. Both sets of grandparents were brought into Texas as slaves. Both grandfathers, Henry Terrell and Tom Seward, were cowhands on the Welder Ranches and O'Connor Ranches respectively. When her family was badgering her grandfather, Tom Steward, to buy a house he countered, “As long as O’Connor horses and cows had a tail he didn’t need to buy a home”. Rosie went to school in Lewis' Bend, the freedman community on the banks of the San‘tone River, and then to Booker T. Washington High School in Houston, Texas. Life in Lewis’ Bend was very good to Rosie. She remembered big outdoor BBQ suppers lighted with lanterns and candles. There were many weddings and a big choir with a piano. Rosie wanted to marry a cowhand early on, and soon enough she married Willie Jones, an O’Connor tophand, in the church in Lewis’ Bend. Willie’s mother was Josephine Power, the sister of Louis Power, the revered O’Connor Bros. foreman. Rosie spent many years keeping Louis' books and cooking for him at the O'Connor Duke Ranch. With her husband a Duke Ranch tophand, any horse her husband would ride for the first time, she would ride the second time. She only got thrown once. “I guess that horse got a bit contrary ‘cause he threw me from Goliad County into Refugio County, right across the fence line.” Rosie remembered her husband being very upset when he quit riding. He had a stroke but he never gave up the ranch. Rosie lived the ranching life. She was tough and talented both on the ranch and in the home.

Introduction to Rosie Jones

Louise S. O'Connor
00:01:13
Voice of Rosie Jones
00:01:24
Rosie Jones – I wanted to marry a cowboy. The reason I wanted one, he was such a good cowboy, and a handsome looking cowboy. I mean he was handsome! He was good and a popular cowboy. The best one that ever was! But I tell you, I was a cowhand. Any horse…I thought my brother had a horse on the West Ranch, they called him "Trouble." Old Trouble. And any horse that they thought they could ride when they rode him one time, Rosie Jones got on him the next time. And I wasn't scared. I only got throw'd one time. Humm. I tell you what did happen. After I married Willie and went out on the Hollow, and I thought I could ride every horse that Willie rode. And I'd go in sometimes. Uncle Lewis would say, "Rosie, you oughtn' be on that horse." I say, "Oh, if Willie can ride him, I ride him." So one day I was coming home, and I guess the horse got contrary. I was in Goliad County and the horse throw'd me in Refugio County! Threw me across that fence. That's true! The fence line was just like this. And I was gonna make him go over the fence. And I was in Goliad County and he threw me over in Refugio County. He come on in and ride on to the house and left me out there. Well, they looked and saw me coming, walking across the prairie. They had to come get me. I had to go to the doctor that time.

I bet so!

Rosie Jones – I love horses!