JERNIGAN THICKET. Jernigan Thicket is a dense thicket of ten to fifteen square miles, which formerly covered an area including northeastern Hunt, southeastern Fannin, and western Delta counties. It was centered near Pecan Gap in Delta County. The thicket is made up of hardwoods, particularly bois d'arc, pecan, and oak; juniper and pines; and rattan vines. Mesquite and grasses grow on its outer fringes. The North Sulphur River flows through its upper section, and the West Fork of Jernigan Creek runs through its southwestern edge. Caddo Indians originally lived in the vicinity. By 1750 the French had arrived, and in 1820 scattered remnants of Delaware, Quapaw, and Seminole Indians were hunting there. The thicket was named for a hunter who was lost there for twelve days in 1843. For many years it served as a hideout for fugitives, including the Martin D. Hart company of bushwhackers. After the Civil War, when mechanized agriculture began to develop, much of the thicket vegetation was removed to clear the way for crop planting.
Thomas D. Rice and H. C. Smith, Soil Survey of the Cooper Area, Texas (Washington: U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1908).