An American historian in the 19th century described the frontier vanguard in the following words:
“Thus the backwoodsmen lived on the clearings they had hewed out of the everlasting forest; a grim, stern people, strong and simple, powerful for good and evil, swayed by gusts of stormy passion, the love of freedom rooted in their hearts’ core. Their lives were harsh and narrow; they gained their bread by their blood and sweat, in the unending struggle with the wild ruggedness of nature. They suffered terrible injuries at the hands of the red men, and on their foes they waged a terrible warfare in return. They were relentless, revengeful, suspicious, knowing neither ruth nor pity; they were also upright, resolute, and fearless, loyal to their friends, and devoted to their country. In spite of their many failings, they were of all men the best fitted to conquer the wilderness and hold it against all comers.
The Anglo-American 18th-century frontier, like that of the Spanish, was one of war. The word “Texan” was not yet part of the English language. But in the bloody hills of Kentucky and on the middle border of Tennessee the type of man was already made. ”
These were the McLemores who left Tennessee for Texas.
Owen McLemore was born in 1791 in Tennessee and married Annabel March in 1816. Together they worked a sustenance farm in Tennessee and began to build a family outside of Nashville, seeing their first son Jacob McLemore come into the world on Christmas Day 1818. Annabel gave birth to six other sons before dying in 1838 at which time, Owen took his seven sons to West Texas.
Jacob “Christmas” McLemore, as he was known his entire life, was Jake McLemore’s great-great-great-grandfather. There was one other Jacob McLemore, “Christmas” McLemore’s grandson, who got in on the first oil boom in 1911, made a killing, losing it, getting rich again before ultimately losing all his money and dying with empty pockets if you don’t count bitterness.
Jake McLemore’s father, Charlie McLemore, was farmer and small businessman of Nacogdoches, Texas where Jake was born in 1951 and where he spent his early life. Jake decided to make his way in the world by returning to the family’s old territory of Tennessee and moved to Nashville in 1978.
After investing in several businesses, he came to own a bar, which he had won in a poker game. He promptly changed the name and settled down as proprietor of McLemore’s Bar in 1984.
By that time Jake had already married and had a son, Lee, in 1982 who would go on to join the army and fight and die in Iraq in 2007. But not before having a son himself in 2004 (a child Jake knew nothing about) with his girlfriend whom he secretly married shortly before being shipped out.
Jake kept the bar going for several years after Lee died but ended up selling it and buying some land outside of Shreveport, Louisiana near Caddo Lake where he used to go fishing with his father as an adolescent. Here Jake lived out the rest of his days fishing and shooting the breeze with Mike Broussard and other men from the area until the day Jake met his grandson, Charles, named after Jake’s father – in 2017.
Jake is raising Charles to be a sturdy young man in the long line of McLemore men.