A Land Full of Memories

The Jackson Family has had their roots in Crabb Texas for over two centuries. Now they reminisce about its impact.


Eryn Rainer

A group of photos from Crabb Texas.

They say home is where the heart is. If that’s true, then this family knows it very well.

Crabb, Texas, also known as Crabb Switch, is located “on Farm Road 762 below the bend of the Brazos River five miles southeast of Richmond in Fort Bend County,” Stephen Hardin of the Texas State Historical Association said.

Crabb is deemed as a small community unincorporated in Fort Bend County.

Or as the Jackson Family calls it, “CRABB.”

From cousins to aunts and uncles, the Jackson family had been in Crabb for over 200 years. And in that time period, they have experienced a lot of triumphs and tribulations.

History of the Jackson Family

Evelyn Smith, the historian of the family, helped give an account of those years.

“I again surmise that we came over with the white settlers in the mid-1800s the Kuykendall’s whose track we now reside on,” she said.

Growing Up

Along the tracks, everyone lived close to each other. Nicole Rainer recounts the impact of the rural areas.

“Growing up on rural land where your neighbors are also your relatives really impacted us. Crabb was and is a place we’ll always call home,” Nicole Rainer said.

The land was a tight-knit community.

“Back then there wasn’t many cars or people on the road. Walking or riding your bike to the only store within miles was a thrill. I can recall days when I either rode my bike or walked to the store and not having a single car pass me on the road. It was just that small,” she said.

The land the houses lie on was owned by Robert and Evelyn Jackson, the great grandparents of the Jackson’s.

“Now growing up in Crabb there were two family homes that were tied together by love,” Carol Heard said.

The two main houses of the Jackson Family in Crabb Texas near Thompson highway. (Eryn Rainer)

The homes resided right next to each other and allowed for family gatherings such as domino and card games, and basketball tournaments played on the court (gravel pavement) with a homemade plywood backboard and rim.

“We would have big basketball tournaments every Sunday after church. People from all over would come and we would pick teams and play that whole day,” Frank Rainer said.

Brothers Frank and Ronnie Rainer, and their cousin Larry Jackson, played on the 1980 Ranked Lamar Consolidated High School Basketball Team.

“We practiced here in Crabb with Larry’s Dad Allison Jackson,” Frank said. “We practice the knowledge, fundamentals, and even ran down the Thompson Highway for endurance.”

Sitting in the front on the right side is Larry Jackson. Frank Rainer is number 40 and Ronnie Rainer is number 45. (Frank Rainer)

Crabb symbolized togetherness for the Jackson Family.

“These families knew the true meaning of sharing and caring. We prayed together, we laughed together, and we cried together,” Carol Heard said.

Growing up in Crabb had a big impact on their lives.

“Kids played without a care in the world and didn’t have or relied on WI-FI. We had each other and that’s what made it special. Adults were honored and respected,” Nicole Rainer said.

When asked about the Matriarch of the family they couldn’t name just one.

Back then there wasn’t many cars or people on the road. Walking or riding your bike to the only store within miles was a thrill. I can recall days when I either rode my bike or walked to the store and not having a single car pass me on the road. It was just that small.

— Carol Heard

“Growing up as a Crabb Kid was special because you had a village raising and praising you but also disciplining when you needed [it],” Carol Heard said. “And that’s why my grandparents Robert and Evelyn Jackson, along with my parents John and Thelma Heard, my aunts and uncles Frank and Lula Jackson, Charlie and Lillie Simpson were the anchors we are building off of this very day.”

Lula Jackson, also known as Granny, was known to be one of the most important Matriarchs also known as the backbone and first of the family.

Lula Mae “Granny” Jackson. Was an important leader in the family. She strived to keep them going strong and rooted in love. (Eryn Rainer)






“She [Lula Mae Jackson] always stayed at her bedside window saying ‘what’s going on out there?'” Frank Rainer said. “Nothing happened in Crabb without her knowing.”

She worked for Mr. Manford Williams, the namesake of Williams Elementary, and others in the surrounding communities of Crabb, and was also a heavily involved member of Zion Hill Baptist Church.

“The Jackson family belongs to Zion Hill Baptist Church,” Frank Rainer said. “From ushers, to deacons, to  pastors, there has been a lot of involvement in the church.”

Michael Ellison, who has been the Pastor of Zion Hill Baptist Church since 2002, is also from the Jackson family.

He credits that all of the matriarch’s “teaching and inspiration is the reason why [he]… is in a leadership position today.”

Ellison also believes that the Jackson family has instilled certain values in him in order for him to be the leader he is today.

“We were all taught to follow the instructions which is the basis of responsibility and [to] show respect to our elders and the catalyst of their teaching; Honor thy Father and Mother, this was always a Jackson legacy in the family,” he said. “They also instilled and inspired in us to first have faith in God,  second, love and respect family, and third, make wise decisions in life.”

Other preachers include Marlon Heard and Frank Rainer.

“We grew up as close cousins,” Frank Rainer said. “We played together, we fought together, but most of all we worshiped together.”

Crabb Now

Crabb, Texas has been the roots of the Jackson family. From laughter to tears and joy. As years went on a lot of the pioneer and matriarchs of Crabb have passed away, and there is now nothing more than just memories and the last generation that grew up to experience the lifestyle that is not ordinary today have moved away from the place they called home. Unfortunately, the houses have been vacant and therefore deteriorated to the point where they were forced to be torn down.

“Even though the physical houses have been torn down, the lasting memories still remain,” Frank Rainer said.  “A family that prays together, stays together.”

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” Proverbs 22:6