TABLE OF CONTENTS
Architectural Plans and Drawings
The following biographical note was written by H. Stephen Jones, AIA (grandson) on March 4, 1994. It has been edited by Michelle Holloway.
J. Lawrence Jones began his career as a carpenter from an East Texas farm and worked his way into becoming a predominant General Contractor instrumental in building Dallas into the great city it is today. The J. Lawrence Jones story is one of challenges, courage, commitment, and versatility characteristic in the growth of Dallas, Texas.
J. Lawrence Jones built numerous houses, apartment complexes, cafeterias, doctor's offices, department stores, shopping centers, and manufacturing facilities across the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex from the 1930s into the 1960s. His list of clients were predominant figures in Dallas history including Ben Cabell, William Caruth, Leo Corrigan, Lawrence Kerr, Eugene Kahn Sanger, Ray Skillern, Clyde Wherry, and Earl Wyatt. Some of the commercial projects J. Lawrence Jones built were: Inwood Shopping Center, Hillside Shopping Center, Park Cities Village Shopping Center, Jones Blair Paint Company's manufacturing facility, Humble Gas Stations, Luby's and Wyatt's Cafeterias, Skillerns Drug Stores, J.C. Penny's Department Stores, Jefferson Street department stores, El Chico Restaurants and Braden & Jones Architects offices. He built buildings designed by many Architects in the D/FW area including: George Dahl, Harwood K. Smith, Braden & Jones, J.N. McCamman, W. W. Ahlschlager, Fooshee & Cheek, Smith & Mills, Phil T. Crown, and Herman Cox.
J. Lawrence Jones was unanimously elected to membership in the Dallas Chapter of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America on November 2, 1948. He received commendations for his outstanding safety record and served on the Accident Prevention Committee of the AGC. In 1954 he received national recognition by the AGC for his perfect safety record of "No Time Lost" due to construction accidents. J. Lawrence Jones was active in his community through the Oak Cliff Rotary Club where on January 26, 1987 he was honored for having forty (40) years perfect attendance and active service.
James "Lawrence" Jones was the ninth of nine children in a family from Nixon, Tennessee and the only native born Texan. His father, James Moore Jones, was a blacksmith by trade who also raised cotton and corn and was a part time journalist for the Hopkins County Echo Newspaper writing under the pen name "Jumbo". The Jones family moved to Texas in August 1900 and settled in the small community of Arbala, located in Hopkins County, Texas just south of Sulphur Springs adjacent to Lake Fork where Lawrence was born on November 11, 1901. Lawrence married his childhood sweetheart Pinkie Funderburk, whom he referred to as his "treasured gift of a lifetime", on his twenty-first (21) birthday, November 11, 1922. They were married sixty-six (66) years until Lawrence died on January 27, 1989, which was his great grandson's, Lawrence Orion Jones', ninth birthday.
In the late 1920s Lawrence moved his family from East Texas to Monte Vista, Colorado where he entered into the construction industry. In 1930 he moved his family to Dallas where he began gaining his reputation as a quality builder and a man of strength, both in physical stature and virtue. He stood six feet two inches tall and was the classic example of a southern gentleman. He was known for helping folks without expecting anything in return. The values he lived by were focused on honesty, fairness, "doing it right the first time", and "keeping his word". It was these qualities that he credited his ability to keep food on the table and work through hard times during the "Great Depression" primarily building doctor's offices and furniture. He built his home and office with his own hands in 1936 where he, two other carpenters, and Harold, his twelve year old son, framed and laid the sub floor decking of his home in three days without the aid of present day nail guns. For a while during World War II he built fighter planes in support of the war effort and later built apartments to house the increasing number of workers building the fighter planes. During the Korean War, due to a shortage of steel, he was forced to fabricate massive laminated wood beams on site, in place of specified steel I-beams, plus travel all over Texas to find nails also in short supply. On several jobs, and architect was hired to draw As-Built Plans of buildings that Lawrence had already built from drawings he had sketched and field engineered in order to satisfy his clients time frames. He was a man of great ingenuity and versatile skills who gained the respect and trust of everyone who knew him.
Lawrence and Pinkie raised two sons; Harold W. Jones, a Dallas Architect, and B. Paul Jones, an Arizona banker and investment broker. Lawrence had both sons working various trades in his construction company as young men and put them both through college at Texas A&M in order that they could provide an even better life for their families. Lawrence didn't stop there. He taught his grandsons, David, Mark and Stephen, his construction skills with the intention to ensure his family could always make a living as he did, by working with their hands. He never lost touch with his roots and retired to raise cattle and farm his garden, which was big enough to feed his entire family, the neighbors and friends, on the same land where his father died and his first son was born. He has given us all a great example, by what he accomplished and how he lived, as a worthy challenge to follow in his footsteps.
This collection is a compilation of Jones’ architectural drawings and blueprints for many of his works. Many of these are in Dallas, TX. There is a Mosque in Houston, TX and a Temple in Garland, TX. The collection is arranged by residences, then apartments, followed by stores and other properties. There are addresses ranging all over Dallas, including Garland, Houston, and Fort Worth.
This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Harold W. Jones
J. Lawrence Jones
Ft. Worth, TX
J. Lawrence Jones Collection
MA93-16 J. Lawrence Jones Collection Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division, Dallas Public Library
Processed by Michelle Holloway, Archivist Intern