Frontier Capitalist: The Economic and Environmental History of William Currie Jones




Dowdle, Zachary Lynn

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William Currie Jones, a Tom Green County pioneer, arrived in Texas in 1878 finding a region that verged on being a raw frontier. Jones employed economic flexibility over the course of his career, adapting to the dynamic western market. Due to his early acquisition of land with river frontage and manipulation of the environment, Jones capitalized on his wealth of natural resources by expanding into town building and real estate promotion. As Congress in Washington manipulated tariffs at the expense of western woolgrowers, Jones found opportunity in other industries. Jones evolved along with the county and region, displaying an increasing economic sophistication. By the end of his life, the one-time rancher had turned to the emerging exploration of hydrocarbons, predating the discovery of the Permian Basin oil fields by a decade. Jones embodied the pioneer spirit, which allowed him considerable success during his lifetime.



American West, Frontier, Tom Green County, Agriculture, 19th Century