Joseph “Mickey” Jackson was born in Hillsboro, Texas, on September 29, 1937. He, and his twin sister, Kathleen, attended Hillsboro Public Schools. In high school, Kathleen was in the band, and was a majorette and drum major. From grade school through high school, Mickey was active in football, basketball, and baseball. He attended Hillsboro High School from 1952 through 1956 and was a four year letterman in all three sports. He participated in football (’52-’55), basketball (’52-’56), baseball (’53-’56), Key Club (’53-’56), Letterman’s Club (’53-’56), English Club (’55-’56), and Math Club (’55-’56).
Mickey was a member of the 1955 Hillsboro Eagle Football Team that won their district and went to the Texas Class 2AA State Finals game where they were defeated by Stamford. Stamford’s coach was the legendary Gordon Woods. It was the first time since 1936 that Hillsboro had won their district in football. Mickey played quarterback and defensive back on the 1952, 1953, and 1954 HHS teams. In 1955, Coach P.T. Galiga became the new Head Coach at Hillsboro High School. Coach Galiga moved Mickey to right end on offense and to left cornerback on defense. In those positions in 1955, he received All District, Super Centex Squad, and Ft. Worth Star Telegram All State honors. Mickey was a Tri-Captain of the 1955 Eagle team along with Merlin Priddy and Robert Himmel. One of his favorite memories of his time in high school is attending the Annual Jaycee Football Banquet on January 28, 1956, honoring the 1955 Class AA State Finalist Hillsboro Eagles; Paul “Bear” Bryant was the guest speaker. Mickey was recruited to play football by SMU, TCU, Texas Tech, Houston, and Oklahoma. He accepted a four year football scholarship to The University of Oklahoma; Bud Wilkinson was the head coach. In 1956, when he was a freshman at OU, the varsity won the national championship. The 1956 freshmen played and defeated Oklahoma State University and the University of Tulsa. As a sophomore in 1957, OU won 10 games and lost 1 game; they played Duke in the 1958 Orange Bowl. The one loss in 1957 was 7-0 to Notre Dame, and that loss ended Oklahoma’s 47 game winning streak; OU finished the season ranked #4 in the nation. In 1958, Oklahoma finished with a 10 and 1 record, losing to Texas 15-14 and finished the season ranked #5 in the nation. At the end of the 1958 season, Oklahoma played Syracuse in the 1959 Orange Bowl. In Mickey’s senior year at OU, the Sooners had a 7-3 record, losing to Northwestern, Texas, and Nebraska. OU finished the 1959 season ranked #15 in the nation. He was a member of the 1960 Sooner coaching staff as a student assistant coach, coaching the 1960 freshmen.
Mickey was at the University of Oklahoma from 1956-1961. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in January of 1961 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology. He also went through the Army ROTC Program for four years and was a Distinguished Military Graduate, and upon graduation, he received a regular army commission. He met his wife, Barbara Failing, at the University of Oklahoma in 1959. After he graduated, Barbara and Mickey were married on August 5, 1961.
Mickey was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He went to Ft. Benning, Georgia, and went through the Infantry School, Airborne School, and Ranger School. His first tour of duty was in Germany where he was assigned to an Armored Infantry Battalion; the 2nd Battalion 36th Infantry, First-Brigade, of the 3rd Armored Division. His daughter, Laura, was born in Germany. In later years, as a reserve officer, he became branch qualified to serve in ordnance and transportation units. Between the Regular Army and the U.S. Army Reserves, he served in the military for over 27 years and retired as a Lt. Colonel.
In 1967, after working in the oil fields in west Texas in the Odessa-Midland area fracking and acidizing oil wells, Mickey enrolled at the University of Oklahoma where he took 30 hours of business management courses in 1967-1968. In 1968, while taking these courses, Texaco, Inc., headquartered in Tulsa OK, offered him a job. While he was in Tulsa, he took 6 hours of graduate business management courses in night school at the University of Tulsa. His oldest son Jeff was born in Tulsa. In Tulsa, Texaco was a retail and consumer training center. Consumer instructors at Texaco trained Mickey on how to service large industrial and manufacturing accounts having a need for large volumes of motor oils, process oils, industrial oils, and greases. He was taught how to work with management, plant engineers, and maintenance supervisors to implement quality service programs. Some of these programs included conducting lubrication surveys, setting up lubrication schedules for plant equipment, setting up sampling and oil analysis schedules on large volume reservoirs to determine the serviceability of the fluids, setting up plant and supplier inventory levels, and troubleshooting to prevent costly manufacturing or production downtime. Most of his training was technically oriented. He used these skills the rest of his working career. Industries that he became familiar with in his career with Texaco were steel mills, underground and surface coal mines, paper mills, rubber plants, cement plants, pipe mills, plywood plants, automotive manufacturing plants, and manufacturers of refrigerators, air conditioners, and a wide range of other products. Mickey was transferred to Little Rock, AR in 1968; his youngest son Jay was born in North Little Rock, AR. In 1976, he was transferred to Birmingham, AL. This was one of the most interesting and learning experiences of his career. He spent one day a week in US Steel in their steel mill, coke works, and pipe mill at Fairfield, Al and their supporting coal mines at Concord and Oak Grove, Al. He spent a lot of time underground setting up Jim Walter’s three deep underground coal mines at Brookwood, Al, and one at Adger, AL. At the time, these were the deepest mines in the United States. These mines produced both steam coal and metallurgical coal. They were all shaft mines approximately 2000 feet deep. Jim Walters used Long Wall Miners, (new in the United States at the time) to produce the coal. Metallurgical coal was loaded on barges and shipped down the river to the coast, and then shipped to Japan to make steel. The steam coal was shipped to Alabama Power Company. Methane gas was vented to the surface, compressed, and then sold to Alabama Power Company. Mickey also set up their Bessie, Nebo, and Flattop slope mines that used continuous miners to mine the coal; he set up a very large slope mine at Berry, AL, North River Energy Corp. He progressed from a marketing representative with Texaco Inc. to an area manager.
He resigned from Texaco in 1982 to pursue other business interests. General Motors started building its Saturn Corporation Automotive Plant in Springhill, TN in 1989-1991. Saturn started production of Saturn cars in 1991. Mickey was an onsite consultant on lubrication issues at Saturn Corporation from 1991 until his retirement with Henkel Chemical Management in November of 2004. While there, he did lubrication surveys on the equipment, set up maintenance schedules, and implemented an oil analysis program on their injection molding machines and presses. He setup inventory levels on lubrication products used in the various plant department stores for lubrication products used in those particular areas.
After Mickey retired in 2004, he purchased a home in Frisco, Texas, to be near friends and family. Over the years, he has tried to stay in touch with his former HHS Eagle teammates and classmates, and his former Oklahoma Sooner teammates. He thinks that whatever success that he has had in the business world, it all started with being a member of the successful 1955 AA State Finalist HHS Football Team that allowed him to receive a four year football scholarship at a higher level education institution.