100 years in the making - Jacksonville celebrates The Texas Basket Company

by By Cristin Parker cristin@thecherokeean.com

Friends, family and fellow community members helped usher Jacksonville’s Texas Basket Company into a new century last week.

“We’re here today to honor what has become a cornerstone of Jacksonville’s economy and one of the best-loved businesses here,” Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce Board President Tom Trimble said during his introductory remarks.

The company hit its 100-years-in-business mark this year and company employees, customers and fans -- along with officials from local and state offices -- were on hand to cut the ribbon, enjoy grilled hot dogs and tour the basket-making facility.

“We really appreciate everything the Chamber, Southside Bank and JEDCO did for us today,” company owner and operator Martin Swanson said. “We’re really overwhelmed with how many came out to help us celebrate today. We just can’t say thank you enough to our community supports.”

Visiting during the festivities held Thursday, April 25, were Berry Russo, from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office; Michele Slaton, from Sen. Robert Nichols’ office; and Jerri Jones, from Rep. Travis Clardy’s office. All three presented proclamations to the Swansons, issued from each of the three state offices.

Jacksonville Mayor Dick Stone also proclaimed the day ‘Texas Basket Company Day.’

Cherokee County Historical Commission member Dr. Deborah Burkett also presented the company with a historical marker, commemorating its 100 years of success.

“It’s been a joy working with Martin and Jackie Swanson on a historical marker,” Burkett said. “In 2016, our county Historical Commission implemented a new marker program – an in-county effort. We still have our state marker program but this new program adds to what we can do locally in terms of preservation. Documenting our history is critical if we are to preserve this valuable information for future generations.”

Entities that helped organize the event were the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Jacksonville Economic Development Corporation and Southside Bank-Jacksonville.