Located in Eastern Oklahoma County, Jones is situated just south of the place that Washington Irving described as "The Ringing of Horses" which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The present site of Jones has been the Hunting Grounds, Battle Fields, and Tribal Homes to numerous Plains Indian Tribes. The Federal Government eventually reserved this area for the Kickapoo Nation, who still have reservation land in the area, and continues to be home to numerous Kickapoo tribal members in addition to several other Indian families.
In 1832, this area was visited by Washington Irving when making his wild west tour of the United States. A State Historical Marker, depicting this event is now located along the route of old US Highway 66 in a roadside park
On March 23, 1889, President Harrison issued a proclamation that the Oklahoma district (known as the Unassigned lands) would be available for settlement at noon on April 22, 1889 and in the Land Run of 1889, all the land around Jones was claimed. The platted designation for the area was Springer Township. It was strictly made up of 160 acre farm sites.
Soon the semblance of a farm community started to form and it was given the name of Glaze in 1896, after the homesteader upon whose land it was located on Henney Road just north of the present day railroad track right of way.
In 1898, Mr. Luther Aldrich and Mr. C.G. Jones, purchased most of the land which today makes up the town of Jones. They had the area platted and named after C.G. Jones, a local businessman and politician, Pres. of the St. Louis and Oklahoma City Railroad and later Mayor of Oklahoma City and Speaker of State House of Representatives. He was also pres. of one of the two banks in Jones.
The two land developers indicated to land seekers that the railroad intended to establish a depot in Jones and settlers eagerly purchased town lots, in fact, construction on the railroad was ongoing when the Jones townsite platt was being filed and there was a rail road passenger station built at the south dead end of present day State Street behind the bank. Everyone was sure it would be a thriving Depot. However, after the sale was complete, talk of the railroad establishing shops was not mentioned again. Mr. Aldrich transferred any interests he had to Mr. C.G. Jones in 1903.
The town lot purchasers were disappointed, but pressed onward and Jones developed as a farming community. The rich earth produced bumper drops of corn, wheat and cotton. During those early years, Jones shipped more broom corn and hay than any town in the county and more fruit than any town in the state. Jones had two cotton gins and the only cotton huller in the state. Jones also had a thriving livestock trade.
On April 6, 1906, a meeting was held in the city's opera house, to organize a telephone service and in 1916 a water system and electric light plant was installed and operated by the town. Also in 1926 the business street of Jones was paved with cement sidewalk to sidewalk, making Jones the first small town in the state to have a paved street.
Residents of Jones have served in every military conflict from the Spanish-American War to Desert Storm. In 1950, American Legion Hut was built in their honor. It remained active by our veterans for 40 years and is currently being used as a community activity building.
Before the first school was organized in Jones, in fact before the town existed, a school was conducted in a log building on the Keller Farm located one half miles south of Britton Road on Henney Road. It was known as the Iola School. The first school in Jones was built in 1899, in a one room frame building. This building is still standing and is currently used as a private residence.
The school then moved to its present site in 1911. In 1921, several small schools in the immediate area consolidates to form the first four year high school in Jones and was known as Consolidated District No. 9. The first class graduated in 1925 and consisted of only three students. Since then, approzimetely 2,500 gradutes have passed through the halls of JHS.
Churches and Civic Organizations, some of them have been here since the turn of the century, are very active and a vital part of the community.
The town has grown steadily during the second half of the twentieth century from 794 residents in 1960 to 2,270 in 1980, and 2,517 in 2000. Jones has a mayor-council form of government, and its public schools enrolled 1,048 in grades kindergarten through twelve in 2000.
HELP US TELL THE STORY
The Jones Oklahoma Historical Society museum is currently undergoing a renovation and we would greatly appreciate your assistance in expanding our collection, especially in the following areas.
If you have any artifacts, or most especially PHOTO'S, we would appreciate it very much if you could loan them to us for scanning and copying. We have almost nothing from the 1920's, 30's and 40's and only a little from the 50's.
1. Jones High School - While we have a nice State Center collection, we have very few artifacts and photo's of high school life and alumni from before the 1960's. Most prized are group, club, team and special occasion photo's.
2. Town life and residents - Examples would be street scenes, clubs and organizations, festivals and special events.
3. Military - While we have a good start on our collection of veterans, we have almost nothing of the women, wives and sweethearts that served at home or abroad. Pictures of men in uniform with their significant other would be great addition's to the collection. Also needed are photo's of the WWI and Korean era.
Artifacts and photo's can be given to the museum permanently or on loan. All photo's will be promptly scanned and returned to the owners.
If you have anything you would be willing to share, please feel free to contact us at any time.
John McEwen - 399-2228 Joe Dooling - 396-4725
Jim Selders - 399-3134