Jackson Gregory (12 March 1882, Salinas, California, USA, 12 June 1943, Auburn, California). Western writer Jackson Gregory was born on 12 March 1882,in Salinas, California, the son of Judge Durrell Stokes and Amelia Hartnell Gregory. He spent much of his youth living on a ranch near Point Pinos Rancho (now Pacific Grove), where his father was part owner of a sawmill. The year after Jackson's birth, the governor of California appointed his father to fill a vacancy on the Superior Court of San Luis Obispo County. D.S. Gregory, who had been practicing law since he was 20, settled in California the year after the 1849 Gold Rush. In 1860 he was named a delegate from California to the Democratic National Convention at Charleston, South Carolina. He passed away on 12 June 1889, at San Luis Obispo, just a couple of days shy of his 64th birthday. Sometime after his father's death Jackson, along with his mother and two siblings, went to live with the family of Jackson Gregory Jr., an uncle who lived in Alisal, California. Amelia Gregory died in 1916 at Berkeley.
Outside there was shimmering heat and dry, thirsty sand, miles upon miles of it flashing by in a gray, barren blur. A flat, arid, monotonous land, vast, threatening, waterless, treeless. Its immensity awed, its bleakness depressed. Man's work here seemed but to accentuate the puny insignificance of man. Man had come upon the desert and had gone, leaving only a line of telegraph-poles with their glistening wires, two gleaming parallel rails of burning steel to mark his passing.
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