W. Goodrich Jones Papers, 1881-1982 | East Texas Research Center

Collection Overview

Title: W. Goodrich Jones Papers, 1881-1982Add to your cart.

ID: A/16

Primary Creator: Jones, W. Goodrich (William Goodrich) (1861-1950)

Extent: 3.0 Linear Feet

Subjects: Arbor Day -- Texas, Forests and forestry -- Texas, Genealogy, Jones, W. Goodrich (William Goodrich), 1860-1950 -- Correspondence

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Personal and business correspondence; writings; newspaper and magazine articles; brochures; biographical and genealogical materials; Texas forestry history by and about Jones, known as the Father of Texas Forestry.

Collection Historical Note

William Goodrich Jones, acclaimed as the "father of Texas forestry," was born in New York on November 11, 1860, the son of John Maxwell and Henrietta (Offenbach) Jones. His father was a merchant, watchmaker, and jeweler of Galveston, Texas, with interests both in the East and abroad, and his mother was the sister of French composer Jacques Offenbach. Because of the looming Civil War, John Jones left his family with friends and hastened back to Texas. His wife and three small children joined him later, completing the trip from New Orleans by ship despite the Union blockade. The family soon moved to Houston to escape the naval warfare and soon after the war returned to New York. In 1873 they went to Europe for two years, and young Goodrich studied in a German grammar school. In the summer his father took him on a walking tour of the Black Forest, where they talked with rangers and forestry workers. There the younger Jones gained a deep appreciation of the beauty and commercial advantages of a well-managed forest. The continuous planting, cultivating, and cutting rotation enabled the villagers to make their livings from the forest, generation after generation. The maxim that when one cuts a tree from the forest he must plant another in its place became one of the abiding principles of Jones's life. Upon return to the United States, he entered Princeton, where he graduated in 1883 with a degree in business. After serving an apprenticeship in banks in Galveston and South Texas, he became president of a new bank in Temple. There he soon established himself as a civic and business leader. Wherever he went he urged the townspeople to plant trees, and soon Temple looked like "a green oasis in a sea of black plowed land." To promote tree planting statewide, Jones advocated the adoption of an official Arbor Day. The state legislature so designated February 22, but later changed the day to the third Friday in January.

During his early years Jones made repeated trips through East Texas, observing the developing lumber industry, which followed the penetration of the piney woods by the railroads. In 1898 B. E. Fernow, chief of the United States Bureau of Forestry, made a trip to Texas and asked Jones to make a survey of the region and write a report on the condition and future of forestry in Texas. The resulting document became a blueprint for conservationists in Texas. Jones denounced the haste and waste of the large logging operators and predicted that under current methods the great forest would disappear within twenty-five years. He recommended that the state and federal governments cooperate to regulate a planned-cutting, sustained-yield, systematic reforestation program that would prolong the life of the Texas forest indefinitely.

When President Theodore Roosevelt and chief forester Gifford Pinchot called a White House Conference on Conservation, Jones attended as one of the Texas delegates. After this meeting Jones led in organizing a conservation agency for Texas. In 1914 he gathered key lumbermen, conservationists, and public officials together for a meeting in Temple to found the Texas Forestry Association; Jones served as its president until 1921. With assistance from the United States Forest Service, this group drafted legislation to establish a state department of forestry and lobbied for its enactment. Jones proved to be a very able lobbyist, and, after some compromises, the bill passed and the Texas Department of Forestry became a reality. Jones and the TFA participated in choosing the chief forester and in expanding the department, which, in 1926, became the Texas Forest Service. During the 1920s Jones led a drive to enact a severance tax on timber cut in Texas. Though this effort failed, the legislature provided more funds for the TFS, which developed a pine-seedling nursery and expanded fire-protection services. Later the state authorized a system of Texas state forests, one of which has been named the W. Goodrich Jones State Forest.

Jones was not a wilderness advocate but rather a supporter of conservation for prudent use of Texas forests. He also knew that his program of sustained-yield forestry and reforestation would be successful only if he could convince landowners that good forestry was also good business. He promoted the multiple-use concept of the forests in Texas and was interested in conserving the soil, grasses, and wildlife, as well as the trees. He also constantly urged the establishment of parks. To make every town a "green town" would, he believed, improve the lives of Texas citizens.

In 1890 Jones married Zollie Luther, daughter of the president of Baylor Female College (now the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor). The couple had three children who lived to maturity; all three had the middle name Goodrich, and all shared their father's interest in conservation. After retiring from banking, Jones moved to Waco, where he managed his various properties and devoted his time to promoting the cause of conservation. He lived until he was almost ninety and was widely honored. He died on August 1, 1950, and was buried in Hillcrest Cemetery in Temple.

(Robert S. Maxwell, "JONES, WILLIAM GOODRICH," Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 05, 2012. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.)

Subject/Index Terms

Arbor Day -- Texas
Forests and forestry -- Texas
Jones, W. Goodrich (William Goodrich), 1860-1950 -- Correspondence

Administrative Information

Repository: East Texas Research Center

Access Restrictions: Open for research.

Acquisition Method: Gift

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Bundle 1],
[Bundle 2],
[Microfilm 1: W. Goodrich Jones files - in microfilm cabinet, tray 1.],

Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: "A Forest Policy for Texas" by J. G. Peters, December 1914Add to your cart.
Ledger 1: Ledger of business correspondence, 1908-1933Add to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Memorandum notebook, 10 photos, 2 negatives of Jones, 1900-1919Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Miscellaneous pamphlets about forestry, 1890-1931Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Bulletins printed by Texas A ~ M Department of Forestry, 1917, 1940Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Bulletins printed by U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1904, 1937Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Addresses and speeches, 1924-1939Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Bill by the Texas Legislature, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Business correspondence, 1907-1944Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Genealogy and a pamphlet and poem written by Jones, 1930Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Geology notes, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Box 3Add to your cart.
Folder 1: News releases and magazine articles, 1889-1935Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Newspaper and magazine articles on Jones, 1893-1967, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Newspaper and magazine articles on Jones, 1970-1976Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Notes and portions of papers, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Answers to questionnaires, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Small research papers on various topics, 1931Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Texas Forest News, miscellaneous issues, 1920-1939Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Texas Forestry Association, membership lists, 1932Add to your cart.
Folder 9: A Short History of Forest Conservation in Texas 1880-1940" Bulletin 20, School of Forestry, SFASU, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Joyous Verse, poems of Jones and wife Zollie Luther Jones; brochures and articles on Jones, 1980-1981Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Articles, brochures, 2 photographs on Arbor Day Celebration in Lufkin, 1981-1982Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Newspaper clippings, photocopy of certificate, legislative bills, 1920-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Speeches, articles; interview with Luther Jones, ca. 1900-1902Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Newspaper articles relating to W. G. Jones and Arbor Day, 1982-1985Add to your cart.
Bundle 1Add to your cart.
Scrapbook 1: Forestry - Conservation Congress; Newspaper Clippings, 1910, 1980-1910Add to your cart.
Scrapbook 2: Forestry - Personal articles and clippings relating to The Texas Forestry AssociationAdd to your cart.
Scrapbook 3: Forestry - Memos, programs, letters, and other articles relating to The Texas Forestry AssociationAdd to your cart.
Scrapbook 4: Forestry - Arbor Day. certificates, conventions, 1900Add to your cart.
Bundle 2Add to your cart.
Scrapbook 1: Forestry - Newspaper articles, magazines, bookletsAdd to your cart.
Scrapbook 2: Forestry - Letters, articles, manila envelopes containing clippings and pamphletsAdd to your cart.
Scrapbook 3: Texas History - Writings relating to the history of Texas and to Texas Forest History, collected by JonesAdd to your cart.
Scrapbook 4: Arbor Day; Early History of Temple, 1889Add to your cart.
Microfilm 1: W. Goodrich Jones files - in microfilm cabinet, tray 1.Add to your cart.

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Bundle 1],
[Bundle 2],
[Microfilm 1: W. Goodrich Jones files - in microfilm cabinet, tray 1.],


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