By Jack Hackley
The True Davis family owned Anchor Serum Company in St. Joseph. He was also assistant secretary of the treasury in Washington, D.C., where he owned a stable of thoroughbred race horses.
His brother Dexter was Missouri Commissioner of Agriculture during the Gov. Hearnes administration.
True and George (Dub) Hackley wrote a para-mutual race horse bill and submitted it to the Missouri Senate in 1954. It failed by one vote.
Had it passed back then, it would have created a racehorse industry that would have brought in an estimated $100 million a year for the state.
Dub was one of the most knowledgeable standardbred (trotters and pacers) authorities in the nation. His father, George Hackley, Sr., competed in a race at the Missouri State Fair when he was 90 years old. I was there with a group of my high school friends, and made a bet with them my great uncle would win.
Unfortunately he ended his career that day by coming in last.
Dub had a farm south of Waverly where he raised and trained his horses. Mary Brifemeyer, who later was the Methodist minister at Buckner, lived across the road from the Hackley farm.
Their house sat off the gravel road, as did the Hackley farmhouse. Mary was about 8 months pregnant and had two boys, ages 4 and 5. The mailman had just come and Mary sent her boys down the lane to get the mail.
When they didn’t come right back, she looked in that direction to see why they hadn’t returned. And there they were talking to Dub, who was also out getting his mail.
All of a sudden, very excited, they came running back to the house.
“Mommy, mommy,” they cried out, “guess what! Mr. Hackley has already given us a quarter a piece and is going to give us both a pony.
“And all we have to do is give him the baby when it’s born.”
Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075 or jack...@aol.com. Visit www.jackremembers.com