|Birth: ||May 14, 1890|
|Death: ||Jun. 30, 1959|
V.A., as he was called, was well-loved by his family and friends and departed earthly life at a time when his family thought he had many more years to enjoy his well-earned retirement. He was a very special Grandpa and made his farm a fun place to visit. Taking his grandkids out to visit the baby sheep, teaching them how to get the eggs from the chicken coop, fishing, and walking downtown to the library were always on the docket when they came to visit. Ever an educator, a good book was always waiting to be read: "climb up on my lap and let's read!"
*V.A. Jones was born in Jasper County, IL, May 14, 1890, son of Wm. A. and Rachel (Cox) Jones. Mr. Jones married, August 18, 1915, Miss Helen Byers, of Charleston, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Byers. She, too, was a teacher, and the strong family ties with the field of education were maintained in their three sons and one daughter, all of whom obtained college degrees. That was a point of great personal pride to both Mr. and Mrs. Jones. They had four children, Raymond Earl, Herschel, Wayne and Shirley.
V.A. attended Jasper County public schools and in 1911 graduated from the Eastern Illinois Normal School at Charleston. He began teaching in 1912. He spent three summers in study at the University of Illinois. As a teacher Mr. Jones was located five years at Willow Hill, Il, four years of the time as teacher in the high school. He was principal of the high school at Effingham, Il, for three years, and for three years taught in the high school at Palestine. His work later continued in Newton, where he taught science and later agriculture. In 1923 he was elected county superintendent of schools and served two terms until 1931. In that office he accomplished a great deal toward giving the county school system a well rounded program, including vocational instruction in agriculture. Later he served with the Farm Security Administration, and after retiring from teaching, he taught veterans' classes in agriculture at Newton Community High School.
V.A. was best known to the general public for his tireless work on his favorite community activities. He served 30 years as a director of the Jasper County Fair. He frequently offered to give up his post to allow "new blood" to be added to the board while he continued to work as hard as ever without an official connection, but the other directors always rejected his proposal. When he had completed 27 years on the board, he made a determined effort to resign, pledging his continued loyal support, but again his resignation was turned down. Finally, after 30 years, he made it clear that he could not officially serve longer and was allowed to retire with special recognition and honors. The fair was "in his blood" however, and he continued to do everything he could to perpetuate this old Jasper County institution.
V.A.'s work in connection with the new library in the former theatre building defied description. There was no way in which the hours he devoted to this project could be calculated, but he worked many times to the point of exhaustion. His reward came in seeing the project completed after five years, giving Newton a valuable and widely used library full of books containing some of the world's great treasures.
He also farmed, owning and operating a farm in Jasper County. He was a member of the Farm Bureau Board, the Eastern Educational Association, the National Education Association, and for six years was a delegate to the State Teachers Association. He was a member of Willow Hill Lodge No. 489, A.F. and A.M., the Eastern Star and the Prince of Peace Shrine in Effingham. He was a Democrat and a member of the Methodist Church.
V.A. died June 30, 1959, in St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital in Effingham, IL, at the age of 69. One of the most respected citizens of the county, he had been a patient in the hospital 28 days. Funeral services were held at Grace Methodist Church with burial in Westlawn Memorial Park. Graveside Masonic rites were presented by members of Cooper Lodge A.F. & A. M at Willow Hill.
He was survived by his wife Helen; three sons, Earl of Kankakee, Herschel of Columbus, Ga., and Wayne D of Decatur; a daughter Mrs. Shirley Mellinger of Indianapolis; 12 grandchildren; two brothers, Evertt and Otto of Willow Hill and a sister, Mrs. Ida May Laws of Newton.
Newton Press, Newton, IL, July 2, 1959
William Abraham Jones (1862 - 1946)
Rachel Rebecca Cox Jones (1867 - 1932)
Helen Shirley Byers Jones (1892 - 1990)
Raymond Earl Jones (1916 - 1992)*
Herschel Allen Jones (1918 - 2003)*
Wayne Donald Jones (1924 - 2003)*
Shirley June Jones Mellinger (1927 - 2010)*
Created by: BjJ
Record added: Apr 09, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 18838409