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Capt. H. S. Jones collection

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

My Country Society, Inc.

Litchfield Historical Society

Litchfield Law School

Litchfield Trees

Historical and Architectural Commission

Connecticut State Highway Department

Litchfield Representative Town Meeting System

Miscellaneous



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Capt. H. S. Jones collection, 1928-1975 | Litchfield Historical Society

By Emilie Kracen

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Collection Overview

Title: Capt. H. S. Jones collection, 1928-1975Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Primary Creator: Jones, Captain Herbert Sidney (1893-1976)

Extent: 1.0 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

The collection is arranged in 8 series:

1. My Country Society, Inc.

2. Litchfield Historical Society

3. Litchfield Law School

4. Litchfield Trees

5. Historical and Architectural Commission

6. Connecticut State Highway Department

7. Litchfield Representative Town Meeting System

8. Miscellaneous

Date Acquired: 04/23/1976

Subjects: Connecticut. State Highway Dept., Dutch elm disease--Control., Historic preservation, Lawyers - Connecticut, Litchfield Historical and Architectural Commission, Litchfield Historical Society (Conn.), Litchfield Historic District Advisory Commission, Litchfield Law School, Newspapers, Roads - Connecticut - Litchfield

Forms of Material: Correspondence, Financial records, Minutes, Notes, Tax returns

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains records and correspondence pertaining to Captain Herbert Sidney Jones, of Litchfield, Conn.

Herbert Sidney Jones was born on July 22, 1893 in New York City.  He attended the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1916.  He received his master's degree in engineering from Columbia University.  He served in the U.S. Navy, and was the commander of a destroyer when he retired in 1934 for reasons of health.  During WWII, he was recalled to active duty and served on the Bureau of Ships from 1939 to 1941.  He and his wife, Ruth Shafter Jones, moved to Litchfield in 1955, where he lived until his death on February 6, 1976 following a short illness.

Captain Jones, as he was known in Litchfield, was an active participant in Borough affairs, serving as a member of the Litchfield Historical and Architectural Commission, the Litchfield Historical Society, My Country Society, and the Sanctum Club of Litchfield.  The collection contains personal papers and correspondence as well as records of several of these societies.

Captain Jones was instrumental in establishing the Borough in Litchfield as a historic district, the first of its kind in the area.  The collection includes information on the Historical and Architectural Commission, which oversees the district, as well as reports pertaining to the creation and managing the district, which served as a model to other local towns seeking to establish their own historic districts.  He also was responsible for attaining recognition as a National Landmark for the Tapping Reeve Law School.  The collection contains information on this process as well as several newspaper articles detailing the role of Captain Jones in the debate with the College of William and Mary about whether Tapping Reeve really did have the first law school.  He served as a vice president of the Litchfield Historical Society for many years, also as chairman of the committees for Maintenance of the Grounds and the Tapping Reeve School.  As such he was instrumental in fundraising for the preservation of the law school, and the records of this process are contained within the collection, along with records of the general workings of the historical society and their efforts to redesign their space and exhibits in the 1960s.  The Captain also spearheaded the tree replacement program in Litchfield when many of the historic Elms in the borough were threatened by the Dutch Elm Disease sweeping the area.  The collection includes papers relating to the preservation, maintenance, and replacement of the trees in Litchfield.  As an important figure in the borough affairs, Captain Jones was also involved in communication with the Conn. State Highway Dept. concerning roads through the town, as well as the shift in local government from traditional Town Meeting style to Representative Town Meeting.  The collection contains records pertaining to both of these activities.

Captain Jones was the president of My Country Society, Inc., for several years, overseeing publication of the My Country magazines and writing historical and editorial articles as well.  My Country Society, Inc. was founded in 1967 by Mr. Walter L. Upson, and published a small booklet three or four times a year until 2008, when the society merged its assets with the Litchfield Historical Society.  The booklet contained articals of historic interest in an effort to reach a wide audience and in particular regain the interest of young people in America.  A large part of the collection contains records and correspondence pertaining to the publication and organization of My Country.

H.S. Jones was also an artist,  and the collection contains political cartoons as well as his design for Litchfield's 250th anniversary commemorative seal.

The collection contains mostly professional correspondence, as well as meeting minutes, financial records, drawings, and copies of various publications including newspaper clippings.  There are also two photos and one reel of 16mm newsreel.

Biographical Note

Herbert Sidney Jones was born on July 22, 1893 in New York City.  He attended the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1916.  He received his master's degree in engineering from Columbia University.  He served in the U.S. Navy, and was the commander of a destroyer when he retired in 1934 for reasons of health.  During WWII, he was recalled to active duty and served on the Bureau of Ships from 1939 to 1941.  He and his wife moved to Litchfield in 1955, where he lived until his death in 1976.

Captain Jones, as he was known in Litchfield, was an active participant in Borough affairs, serving as a member of the Litchfield Historical and Architectural Commission, the Litchfield Historical Society, My Country Society, and the Sanctum Club of Litchfield.  Captain Jones was instrumental in establishing the Borough in Litchfield as a historic district, the first of its kind in the area.  He also was responsible for attaining recognition as a National Landmark for the Tapping Reeve Law School.  He served as a vice president of the Litchfield Historical Society for many years, also as chairman of the committees for Maintenance of the Grounds and the Tapping Reeve School.  The Captain also spearheaded the tree replacement program in Litchfield when many of the historic Elms in the borough were threatened by the Dutch Elm Disease sweeping the area.

Captain Jones was the President of My Country Society, Inc., for several years, overseeing publication of the My Country magazines and writing historical and editorial articles as well.

H.S. Jones was also an artist, creating several political cartoons for various newspapers and other publications.  He also designed Litchfield's 250th anniversary commemorative seal, which was officially adopted as the town seal in 1968.

Captain Jones died on February 6, 1976 in Litchfield after a short illness.

Subject/Index Terms

Connecticut. State Highway Dept.
Dutch elm disease--Control.
Historic preservation
Lawyers - Connecticut
Litchfield Historical and Architectural Commission
Litchfield Historical Society (Conn.)
Litchfield Historic District Advisory Commission
Litchfield Law School
Newspapers
Roads - Connecticut - Litchfield

Administrative Information

Repository: Litchfield Historical Society

Access Restrictions: The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: Copyright has been transferred to the Litchfield Historical Society for materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection.  Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown.  Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners.  Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners.  Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Physical Access Note: The Litchfield Historical Society does not posess a way for researchers to view the 16mm newsreel film contained in the collection.

Acquisition Source: Mrs. Richard Marsh and Mrs. Nan Heminway

Acquisition Method: Deed of Gift.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: My Country Society, Inc., 1967-1974],
[Series 2: Litchfield Historical Society, 1961-1975],
[Series 3: Litchfield Law School, 1963-1969],
[Series 4: Litchfield Trees, 1951-1973],
[Series 5: Historical and Architectural Commission, 1959-1972],
[Series 6: Connecticut State Highway Department, 1963-1972],
[Series 7: Litchfield Representative Town Meeting System, 1962-1971],
[Series 8: Miscellaneous, 1928-1975],
[All]

Series 1: My Country Society, Inc., 1967-1974Add to your cart.

Papers pertaining to the publication “My Country,” put out three (later four) times annually by My Country Society, Inc., of which Captain H.S. Jones became president in the late 1960s.

Series contains correspondence written and received by those involved in the production of My Country, including founder and editor-in-chief Walter Lyman Upson and president Captain Herbert Sidney Jones, including several letters detailing the discontinuation of the publication of My Country as an organ of the Litchfield Historical Society after its second issue in 1967, as well as letters containing advice concerning fundraising and reorganization in a period of financial difficulty.  The series also includes the financial records of the Society from 1968 through 1974, mostly consisting of treasurer/financial committee reports as well as bills and correspondence dealing with printing and supplier services from several different companies.  Also included are records of the board of directors and directors at large of My Country Society, Inc. including meeting agendas and minutes, committee information, and listings of directors at large.  There are also several reports and letters dealing with contributions received from readers and subscribers.  There are several letters and articles published in issues of My Country to readers and members concerning fundraising, solicitation of donations, and various other topics.  The majority of the pieces are written by president Captain H.S. Jones.  The series also contains three drafts of historical articles for My Country written by Captain Jones, as well as drafts of articles written by five other authors.  Drafts are annotated and editorial notes are included.

The series contains a variety of miscellaneous papers as well, including a photograph of Captain Jones and two other men, notes concerning publication details, newspaper clippings and other publications saved by Captain Jones, and various other documents.

Series 2: Litchfield Historical Society, 1961-1975Add to your cart.

Documents pertaining to the workings of the Litchfield Historical Society.  Captain Jones served the Society for many years as one of the vice presidents as well as chairman of the Law School Committee and Grounds Committee.

The majority of the documents concern the remodeling of the recently acquired space in the building on the corner of South and East Streets as well as the reorganizing of the collections and the "revamping" of the exhibitions.  Advice was sought from representatives of the Smithsonian Institution to aid in this process.  The papers also deal with the finances and general maintenance of the various buildings, including the Tapping Reeve Law School building, of which Capt. Jones was in charge.  Series also includes details on officers and meetings of the administrative board.  Among the papers is a spiral-bound notebook, mostly empty except for various notes on the first page and on several detached pages in the back concerning  museum affairs and historical research.

Series 3: Litchfield Law School, 1963-1969Add to your cart.
Papers pertaining to the Tapping Reeve House and Law School.  The majority of the series consists of correspondence with various legal and historical organizations for the campaign launched by Captain Jones to raise money from outside sources to fund the preservation of the Law School.  Also includes several publications from various bar associations.  The papers also include correspondence and newspaper articles pertaining to the recognition of the Litchfield Law School as a National Landmark.
Sub-Series 1: Law School Fundraising, 1963-1969Add to your cart.
Papers mostly consist of correspondence with legal associations and individual lawyers concerning the need of the Litchfield Historical Society to raise more funds to support the preservation of the Law School as a "shrine to the legal profession" as well as the possible publication of a book about the Law School.  Includes various publications from bar associations, including a copy of the Massachussetts Bar Association's newsletter containing a short article written by Captain Jones about the Tapping Reeve Law School and its financial situation.
Sub-Series 2: National Landmark Ceremony, 1965-1966Add to your cart.
Correspondence between the Litchfield Historical Society and The Department of the Interior concerning the recognition of the Law School as a National Landmark.  Includes plans for the ceremony accompanying the presentation of the plaque, drafts of Captain Jones' acceptance speech, and the RSVP letters from those invited.  Also included are articles from several newspapers about The College of William and Mary's challenge of Litchfield's claim that Tapping Reeve established the country's first law school.  This debate had been simmering for several decades but was brought to a boil after the recognition of the Tapping Reeve Law School as a National Landmark.
Series 4: Litchfield Trees, 1951-1973Add to your cart.
Papers pertaining to the planting and preservation of Litchfield's trees.  The majority of the series concerns the Dutch Elm Disease threatening many trees in the area.  Captain Jones spearheaded the Elm replacement program in Litchfield, favoring the idea that the infected elms trees should be replaced by new elms, not by other species. Series includes correspondence concerning the various aspects of the program, including the spraying of healthy trees, the removal of infected trees, and the purchasing and planting of new trees.  There are also notes on the location of these trees, as well as documents concerning specific historic trees of Litcfield.  Various newspaper articles and other publications concerning Dutch Elm disease and Litchfield's efforts are included as well.
Series 5: Historical and Architectural Commission, 1959-1972Add to your cart.

Papers pertaining to the activities of the Litchfield Historical and Architectural Commission.

The committee was formed in May 1959 in accordance with the establishment of The Old and Historic Litchfield District.  The committee serves to assist the warden and burgesses in enforcing the regulations of the historic district concerning the destruction or alteration of the structures within the district.  The Commission holds meetings periodically to hear appeals of property owners in the district, and presents certificates of appropriateness to those which they feel comply with the historic district ordinance in maintaining the historic significance and spirit of the area.  The Old and Historic Litchfield District was the first of its kind in the area, and Captain H.S. Jones was instrumental in its formation.  He also served on the Commission for several years after its creation.

The series includes correspondence with other local towns concerning the creation of similar historic districts within their own communities.  Also included are meeting minutes, documents concerning the attaining of tax exemption status for the Commission (including tax returns for 1962-1972), and publications outlining the process of creating a historic district and the functions it serves within a community.

Series 6: Connecticut State Highway Department, 1963-1972Add to your cart.
Series consists of correspondence, meeting minutes and agendas, and newspaper clippings pertaining to interactions between the Borough of Litchfield with the Connecticut Highway Dept. concerning the re-naming of Route 25, road signs, and a projected bypass of Route 202.  Papers include an informational folder, dated 1966, put out by the Highway Dept. for use in meetings held with local governments and a petition signed by numerous Litchfield residents to remove the new signage in the borough.
Series 7: Litchfield Representative Town Meeting System, 1962-1971Add to your cart.
Papers pertaining to the shift in local government from town meeting, a system in which all registered voters meet to discuss local issues, to representative town meeting, a system in which voters elect representatives to meet and vote.  Series includes letters from several Connecticut towns addressing their individual experience with the representative town meeting system in their own towns as well as a memo explaining the proposed change for the residents of Litchfield.
Series 8: Miscellaneous, 1928-1975Add to your cart.

Various letters, certificates, newspapers/other publications, drawings (by Captain Jones), and other documents received with the Captain H.S. Jones Collection.

Notably, there is a pencil sketch of his winning submission for the new Litchfield town seal in 1968 along with a letter of congratulation for his winning the contest.  There is also an original political cartoon by Captain Jones as well as a letter from the National Observer thanking for another cartoon (not present).  There is also a certificate of participation in "The Sixth District Oratorical Contest."  Also included is a 16mm WTIC-TV newsreel in a canister labeled: "Law Day May 1, 1967.  Court held at first law school in U.S.A. Tapping Reeve Law School," first aired Apr 28 1967. (LHS does not posess a way for researchers to view this film).



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