Cover photo for William T Jackson's Obituary
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1924 William 2021

William T Jackson

October 24, 1924 — June 19, 2021

Third generation Harrison rancher William T (Bill) Jackson, 96, passed away peacefully June 19, 2021 leaving his Pleasant View Ranch in the hands of the next generations. Bill was born the second son to Joel and Virginia (Ellis) Jackson on the ranch two miles north of Harrison, Montana on October 24,1924. His fathers diary entry listed the high and low temperatures of the day and stated simply “son born”. He grew up working on the ranch. In his words, “when you were old enough to carry an egg in from the chicken house, you were old enough to work on the ranch”. Bill rode horseback four up with his brothers and sister to school at Harrison Schools. He graduated in 1942 as Valedictorian of his class. That summer, wanting to learn about the building trade, he worked for the contractor building the family ranch house; which he lived in most of his life. In the fall he attended Montana State College (MSU) on an academic scholarship of $150. As he related later, he wasn’t big enough for the football team or tall enough for the basketball team so he joined the newly organized MSC Bobcat Wrestling Team; lettering three years in a row. Bill served his country in “Able” troop of the 7th Cavalry Regiment (George Custer’s unit) in occupied Japan guarding gold shipments and the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. The 7th Cavalry regiment was among the first US Troops to enter and occupy Japan. After his discharge, he returned to MSC and in 1951 graduated with Honors in Animal Science. Upon graduation Bill moved home to his beloved ranch. Bill later started and coached a wrestling team at Harrison High School. He was a true steward of the land and caretaker of kids and all the critters his family added to the menagerie over the years. The only thing he truly hated was an invasive weed. He would come to a screeching halt, in whatever rig he was driving, to pluck out a errant tansy or hounds tongue on his way to one project or another. On January 7,1974, Bill married Betty Jackson and her two children Deb & Dean. They ranched together raising and showing Morgan horses until her passing in 1996.

Bill Jackson was a quiet and soft spoken man; until you were moving cows with him. Heaven forbid you stand in the middle of the gate or his voice would boom out for everyone to hear and his arms would wave about wildly. It was, however, worse not to get yelled at which meant you weren’t trying!

The ranch is widely known, in horse circles, as Jackson’s Morgan Horse Ranch and been raising “Mortana” Morgan for over 100 years. Bill served as president of the National Morgan Reining & Stock Horse Association for several years and served on the Board of the Pacific Northwest Morgan Horse Association. He was proud to be recognized by Circle J Morgan Horse Association. He received a stewardship award from Madison County. The American Morgan Horse Association inducted him in their Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Pleasant View Ranch was inducted into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2019. Bill’s idea of a vacation was moving cattle. He rode his last cattle drive in 2020 at age 95. He also had a keen interest in anything scientific or new, read voraciously, loved to travel and had the driest wit and greatest patience. He could be meticulous and exasperatingly correct. He was the best Dad, Grandpa, G’Pa, Great Grandpa, Uncle Bill, Chief of our tribe, friend, mentor, boss and neighbor. He is predeceased by his wife Betty, parents Joel C and Virginia, his two brothers Rollin J (Lois) and Dean C, his sister Edith (Bill) Wilson and his dear friend Corrine Hoffart. Bill is survived by his daughter Debra Jackson (Robert Banis) of Bozeman, grand daughter Kelsey Jackson of Portland, OR, son J Dean (Debbie) Jackson, grandsons Justin (Laura) Jackson, Nathan (Tayler) Jackson and their children Ella, Evan, Nora and Kye all of Harrison and his adopted son Elias (Ace) Llamas and family of Bellvue, WA. He will be missed greatly by many nieces, nephews, friends, neighbors, his faithful dog Mike and his Morgan mare Mortana Mitzi. His was a long and good life, He was the best “Hand” we had and will be hard to replace.

Graveside services will be Thursday morning at 10:00 am at Harrison Cemetery with reception at the Harrison Firehall from 11:00 - 1:00 pm.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William T Jackson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, June 24, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Mountain time)

Harrison Cemetery

, Harrison, MT

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