“Jake” legally known as David Franklin Els, was born in a two-room house on a family farm in Lee County Texas, in 1945. He was the third of nine kids and the oldest boy. From about the age of six, he always worked hard helping his dad with everything that needed to be done on the farm. His father was very mechanical, so Jake learned at an early age about “fixin” or “riggin” things that were broken. Before he graduated from high school, he could tear apart just about any piece of equipment and put it back together to make it work better than it had before. He was someone who always thought outside of the box. When a job needed to be done, he would always dream up of a way to make it quicker or easier. Jake had a large heart and invented many things that he just gave away to make people’s lives a little easier.
The story behind Jake’s Wire Tighteners occurred when a couple of bulls caused havoc on his fence and it appeared mending this would be an all-day affair. Jake walked back to his shop and created a clip out of small pieces of cattle panel. This was the beginning of what is known today as Jake’s Wire Tightener. The first version was very large and did not have a handle. After several modifications, the clip worked like no other. Jake’s dream was to spread this clip around to every rancher at a fair and manageable price to make other rancher’s lives a little easier.
Unfortunately, as soon as he started to fulfill his dream with the clips, Jake, in his mid 50’s, was diagnosed with colon cancer. This was a battle he couldn’t win. In his memory, his nephew, who worked as his partner, patented the clip and called it “Jakes Wire Tighteners”. You can see a picture of Jake right on the label. I’m sure Jake would be proud to see that his clip is spreading across the country and keeping his dream alive.