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STORY


COVER


Jones takes a phone call from a constituent this October in his office.


in Dallas County


“We built a new health center, a new senior citizens’ center, walking trails in the Sparkman area, a new fire department in Sparkman and in Manning, remodeled a pavilion for community events in Princeton, and in Carthage, we secured a new fire station, and helped administer the opening of a new jail,” Jones quickly said as he tried to remember the highlights of improvements. Rural water systems have been developed in the Lea’s Ridge area,


Sparkman and Bucksnort as well. Rural fire stations have also been im- proved to greatly enhance fire protection in rural Dallas County. “I have seen those firefighters in action in the last two years especially and they deserve to be commended,” Jones said. Downtown Fordyce was also placed on the National Register of His- torical Places in 2008 and Jones said that has been a significant positive for the community. “We’re also very proud of our wonderful museum,” Jones said. “It has been honored as one of the best museums in the state.” A big homecoming, so to speak, for Dallas County was when Steam


Engine 101 came back home from the Little Rock Zoo. Fordyce Lumber Company used the engine in the 1930s but it had been located in the Little Rock Zoo for many years.


“I was asked if the county wanted it and I talked to several people and


everyone thought it would be a big asset for it to come back home where it belonged,” Jones said. Steam Engine 101 Fordyce-Princeton sits in downtown Fordyce today. Jones said going forward he would like to see continued improvements


in rural water and he is working diligently to attract more industries because Dallas County “needs jobs just like any other county.” Te economic downturn has been rough on the community and


Jones said he wants to continue to focus on economic development and improving the infrastructure. “We’re also excited about the expansion of U.S. Highway 167 North to four lanes that we hope will make us more attractive for new busi- nesses to locate in our county, such as the new Jet Asphalt Plant located


COUNTY LINES, FALL 2012


along that new highway improvement. We are very excited that they chose Dallas County to locate their plant,” Jones added. Te man behind the chair After he returned home from the guard he worked in the construction


industry for a stint and then he “made one of the best decisions in his life” when he went to work for Allied Telephone Company in 1969. “I was a field engineer for 26 years and worked in several different


departments in the company,” Jones said. “Tey educated me and provided training that I couldn’t receive any where else. Allied was very good to me.” Allied Telephone Company had about 100 employees when Jones was


hired in 1969. In 2000, when he left the company, it was then known as Alltel and boasted more than 26,000 employees. “I was fortunate to be able to attend several schools and training,”


Jones said. “Te training they gave me was a big plus for me and has helped me as county judge.” He married Donna in 1971 and said “that was yet another one of the best decisions in my life.” Jones said there’s not a day that goes by that he’s not humbled and


credits his parents and Donna for helping make him who he is today. “We worked on the farm when I was growing up from daylight to


dark,” Jones said. “I was about 7 years old and already working farm equipment. I was walking with my daddy one day and I was dragging my right foot. Daddy whapped me pretty good and I asked him why he did that. He said, ‘Tose heals cost just as much as the soles … Pick your feet up.’” Jones said he has picked up his feet ever since. After 32 years with the telephone company, Jones said his desire to help people and certain factors in the business called him to make a change in his professional life.


“I talked with many friends and people in the county and decided to Continued Page 32 >>>


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