I just received a wonderful email, and thought I would pass it along to everyone. I gotta get over to this place! This is the stuff legends are made of...
I was doing a little idle surfing on the net today, and accidentally came across your question asking if anyone knew any info about the history of Herd's Hamburgers in Jacksboro, Texas.
I know more than you want to know.
My Grandmother, Ella Gafford, started the business in 1916. It was already a legendary place of sorts by the time she sold it, in the mid-1940's, to her sister Mary (Aunt Sissie) and her husband, Jess Herd. (My Grandfather had a major heart attack at that time, and she had to quit work to take care of him.)
It then became Herd's Hamburgers. It has become even more of a legendary place since then. Aunt Sissie and Jess operated the place for many years, but at some point....I can't recall exactly when....they sold it to one of their sons, Claude Herd (my cousin). He has continued to operate it until the present time, but he is probably 70 by now, and is getting close to turning it over to his son, Danny.
They still make the hamburgers just like my Grandmother did in 1916. They have a small griddle, maybe 4 or 5 ft by 3 ft, heated by gas burners. Claude puts a pile of fresh ground meat on one corner and works that into individual patties that move from left to right as they progress, and then off the griddle to the "fixin's" assembly.
It is an absolutely unique hamburger in unique surroundings. The space inside is very small, and people sit in old fashioned school-type desk chairs....or on soft drink cases turned upside down over other cases of drinks. Herd's Hamburgers has been honored by the Texas State Legislature as one of Texas' historic businesses.
No fries, no onion rings, no malts, no nothing, except the best burgers you ever had, chips, and drinks.
I live about 16 miles from Jacksboro in Runaway Bay. Look me up if you're ever through here....