Bob’s connection with the regions discussed in his work are more than mere coincidence. Some of his own family settled first in North Carolina during the 17th century and were granted land in East Tennessee for their efforts in the American Revolution. Others migrated with the Mormons to Mormon Station (now Genoa), Nevada and put down roots there. Ben Jones, Bob’s 3rd great-grandfather and one of the characters in the book, was a Welsh locksmith turned blacksmith, and some of his handiwork (a huge single-blade plow) is on display in the museum there in Genoa. Ben had been evangelized with others in his family and migrated from Wales with the Mormons in 1849. Several of Bob’s ancestors are buried, both in Genoa, and in the small family plot in Jacks Valley, just north of Genoa, where the family established a cattle ranch.
Some locals and historians ascribe the ‘Jacks Valley’ name to Jake Winter, one of Bob’s antecedents.