Don Jones (Louisiana politician)

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Donald Edward Jones

In office
Preceded by Frank Blackburn (interim)
Succeeded by George Dement

National President of the Junior Chamber International (Jaycees)
In office
July 1, 1982 – June 30, 1983
Preceded by Gene A. Honn
Succeeded by Tom Bussa

Born July 10, 1949
Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana
Nationality American
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Gay Lynn Marchand Jones
Relations Fred S. Jones (uncle)
Children Thomas Edward Jones

Jacob Marchand Jones
William Dodwell and Marie "Mamie" Hinkie Jones

Residence Bossier City, Louisiana
Alma mater Bossier High School

Louisiana Tech University

Occupation Businessman
Religion Baptist

Donald Edward Jones, known as Don E. Jones (born July 10, 1949),[1][2] is a businessman and civic leader who served from 1984 to 1989 as the thirteenth mayor of Bossier City in northwestern Louisiana. Earlier, he was the national president of the Junior Chamber International, known as the Jaycees.


Jones was born in Shreveport[3] but reared in Bossier City. He graduated in 1967 from Bossier High School in Bossier City[4] and is a 2012 inductee of the Bossier High School Hall of Fame.[5] In 1971, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston.[6] He was affiliated with Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.[3] Thereafter, he joined the family-owned Jones Brothers Company, Inc., a general contractor based in Bossier City. He rose to the rank of vice-president of the company[7] and then the president.[8] He and his brother, Bill J. Jones (born 1953), remain the principals of the company, begun in 1953 by their father, William D. Jones (1925-2017),[9] and their uncle, Fred S. Jones (1913-1988), a Bossier City public works commissioner under the former city commission government. The company originally installed underground storage tanks and piping and is certified by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.[10] Jones Brothers also installs fueling systems in four states in such businesses as bulk plants, convenience stores, and aviation facilities.[11]

Jones Brothers also has offices in Scott near Lafayette and Farmerville near Monroe.[12] Since 1987, Jones has been vice president and secretary of Jones Environmental, Inc., based in a restored historic building at 708 Milam Street in Shreveport, with offices in Scott, Farmerville, and Van Buren, Arkansas. This company specializes in mold and asbestos abatement.[13] Since 1991, he has been the treasurer of Environmental Gulf States Laboratory, Inc., also based in Bossier City.[6] He is also an owner of Navarre Services Group, Inc.[2]

Jones is a member of the Baptist denomination;[3] his maternal grandfather, Joseph E. Hinkie (1889-1977), was a Baptist pastor from Sabine Parish in western Louisiana.[14] Jones is married to the former Gay Lynn Marchand (born September 1949), the daughter of the late Alexander Joseph Marchand, Jr., and the former Hallette Harlan (1919-2014), a Roman Catholic couple from Alexandria, Louisiana. Don and Gay Jones have two sons, Thomas Edward Jones (born November 1975) and Jacob Marchand Jones (born December 1978).[15]

Political life

Jones's involvement in politics began when he was a delegate to a Democratic State Convention in Louisiana.[16] In his first race for office in 1984, Jones won a hotly-contested special election to fill the months remaining in the second term of Mayor Marvin Anding, a former commander of Barksdale Air Force Base, who had died in office in September 1983. Patricia Janelle Ball Anding (1935-2012), the widow of Mayor Anding, was Jones's opponent. The interim mayor, Democrat Frank Blackburn, had won a special election on March 15, 1980, over the Republican David Harold Broussard (1947-1998) to fill the at-large seat on the city council created by the election of Robert Adley as a state representatives.[17]

On March 28, 1984, a mayoral debate appearance at a Bossier City hotel led thereafter to the filing of a defamation suit between two partisans of Anding and Jones. Bobby Garrett (born 1943), a Jones campaigner and the director of a local Community Action program, sued Anding backer Roger Kneass (born 1938) regarding remarks made during and after the debate. Kneass asked Jones about reports that he intended to select Garrett for various municipal offices. Garrett was outraged over the implications of Kneass's questioning. After the debate, with the reporters having exited the meeting and the crowd having mostly dissipated, Garrett walked up to Kneass and made remarks that became the subject of dispute. Kneass interpreted Garrett's comments as a threat to Kneass's family; others at the scene said that they heard no such implication. Garrett sued Kneass for having allegedly called Garrett "a thug". Kneass sent a letter to Jones, the United States Attorney General Ed Meese, and the FBI to complain of threats to Kneass's family. Reports of the threats against Kneass were repeated by Mrs. Anding to the since defunct Shreveport Journal, the Shreveport Times, and KSLA-TV, the CBS affiilate in Shreveport. Garrett sued and sought damages of $150,000 for humiliation, embarrassment, and loss of future income. The court held in Garrett's favor but awarded him only $2,500 based on mitigating factors as to whether the word "thug" alone is defamation. Jones also said that he would not hire Garrett in any "directory level" position.[18]

In 1985, Mayor Jones moved to demote Bossier City Police Chief Bobby Ray Gauthier (1944-1988)[19] to the rank of patrolman because of actions taken more than two years earlier during the Anding administration. Gauthier was accused of having conspired in 1983 to influence the physical examination of B. W. Spencer to prevent Spencer's promotion to the rank of police lieutenant. Gauthier sued for reinstatement as chief, but the court ruled in favor of the city. Judge Graydon K. Kitchens, Jr., said that Jones acted in "good faith" when he removed Gauthier from the post.[20]

In 1987, Mayor Jones ran unsuccessfully for the District 9 seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives. With 49.96 percent of the votes cast, he came within six ballots of winning the position outright.[21] However, he was placed into a runoff election with his fellow Democrat, Billy Montgomery, a teacher and coach from Bossier Parish, who later switched to Republican affiliation. In the showdown, Montgomery polled 4,998 votes (53.5 percent); Jones, 4,343 (46.5 percent).[22]

Mayor Jones sought to expand business development and investment into the Shreveport-Bossier City area, particularly after job reductions were announced in 1987 by AT&T. Earlier, Jones said that area officials had "thought of ourselves as a sleepy Southern town with cheap labor to offer corporations from the North, but we realized that we couldn't keep competing in the global economy on that basis any longer. We'd never be able to match the wage levels of Third World nations, so it was time to see if there was any other way for this area to survive."[23] Jones did not seek a second full term as mayor in 1989 and was succeeded by the Democrat George Dement, a businessman.[24]

Like most area political figures, Jones, even as a former mayor, is a long-term supporter of Barksdale Air Force Base. The Bossier City base fought to attract the "Common Battlefield Airmen Training" program to prepare troops for ready fighting on the ground. Jones said that for Barksdale to attract a program of this scope would have a decisive "economic impact throughout the entire community."[25]A member of the civic group Barksdale Forward and the 8th Air Force Consultation Committee, Jones pushed in 2009 for development of the Air Force Cyber Command at Barksdale.[26] However, the selection went to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

Jaycees national president

Prior to his tenure as mayor, Jones was from 1979 to 1980 the Louisiana state vice president for membership and from 1980 to 1981 the state president of the Junior Chamber International, popularly known as the Jaycees. In June 1982, he was chosen at the national convention in Phoenix, Arizona, as the national Junior Chamber president.[3] His selection came on the 42nd ballot after forty hours of politicking.[16][27][28] For this assignment as national Jaycee president, Jones, his wife, who was active in the Jaycee Jaynes, and their sons spent the year 1982 to 1983 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.[7] They were the last family to live in the former Jaycee "White House" in south Tulsa and the first in the "Founders Home," having moved early in 1983 to the residence a block from War Memorial Headquarters. This property remains the home for the Jaycee president and his family during the one-year presidential term.[29]

As the Jaycee president, Jones traveled through twenty-four states in a bus labeled "U. S. Jaycees Touring America," which received considerable media coverage. Though the Jaycees lost 4,300 members during Jones's tenure as president, the year ended with six consecutive months of growth. As Jones stepped down, the organization had nearly 272,000 members in about 7,000 chapters. During this time the Jaycees continued to exclude women from membership,[29] a policy changed a year later in 1984 with relatively little opposition in the wake of an opinion by the United States Supreme Court which declared the organization to be a public accommodation.[30]

Jones was thereafter the JCI national treasurer in 1984.[31] He viewed the organization as representing "improvement of the quality of life in America and the continuance of the free enterprise system. ... If we are to continue to remain a free country, it is going to take the efforts of each and every one of us as volunteers ..."[16] On November 22, 1982, Bossier City proclaimed "Don E. Jones Day" because of his leadership over the Jaycees.[7]

While he was the Jaycee president, Jones maintained an official Bossier City residence and was qualified to run for mayor. An opponent, James Quillen Wellborn (1927-2004), a native of Daingerfield, Texas, a mathematics teacher at Bossier High School and a former chairman of the Bossier Parish Republican Party,[32] failed to have Jones disqualified from the ballot on the grounds that Jones had not met the residency requirement for municipal office in Bossier City because he had spent part of the preceding year in Tulsa. Instead the [ouisiana Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Shreveport upheld Jones's validation as a legal resident of Bossier City.[7]

Civic activities

Jones is active in Ducks Unlimited and the Boy Scouts of America. In 2001, he was named a laureate of the organization Junior Achievement. He was a contributor to the restoration of the historic Strand Theatre in downtown Shreveport.[2] That same year, The Shreveport Times named Jones, along with then state Senator Rick Gallot, now the president of the University of Louisiana System, as one of eleven regional "Outstanding Leaders."[33]

Jones is a past chairman of the board of directors of the Biomedical Research Foundation, which oversees the operation of former Louisiana State University public hospitals, the[Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport, renamed University Health in 2013, and the E.A. Conway Medical Center in Monroe.[34]In 2013, Jones was among thirteen BRF directors selected from a list of fifty nominees.[8][35]

Jones is a board member of the Community Foundation of North Louisiana,[36] which in 2011 displayed an initiative known as the "Science of Generosity" exhibit in Shreveport-Bossier City. Created in 2009 through the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, and the John Templeton Foundation, the initiative encourages philanthropy and demonstrates how recipients and givers can both benefit. In 2011, the Community Foundation awarded more than $1 million in scholarships and grants in Bossier Parish.[37]

In 2008, Jones received from the United Way of Northwest Louisiana the Clyde E. Fant Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service, named for the late Mayor Clyde Fant of Shreveport. He was cited as a "bridge builder" willing to work behind the scenes for the good of Shreveport and Bossier City.[38]

Jones was a regular contributor in her early campaigns to former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. He also financially supported former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former Senators John Breaux of Louisiana and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas.[39] In 2011, Jones and his son, Jacob, each gave $1,000 to the Republican Jeff R. Thompson of Bossier City in Thompson's successful campaign for the Louisiana House of Representatives. Thompson in 2015 became a judge of the 9th Judicial District Court in Benton, the seat of Bossier Parish.[40]


  1. Donald Jones, July 1949. Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on December 28, 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Donald E. Jones (Biography and Photograph)," Junior Achievement, accessed January 14, 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Louisiana: Don E. Jones", Who's Who in American Politics, 2007-2008 (Marquis Who's Who: New Providence, New Jersey, 2007), p. 662.
  4. Don E. Jones (Class of 1967). Retrieved on January 12, 2015.
  5. BSHAA Hall of Fame - 2012. Retrieved on November 30, 2022.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Executive Profile: Donald E. Jones. Bloomberg Businessweek (January 12, 2015). Retrieved on January 12, 2015.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Wellborn v. Jones. (February 24, 1984). Retrieved on December 28, 2014.
  8. 8.0 8.1 13 members selected for the University Health Board of Directors. KTBS-TV (November 21, 2013). Retrieved on January 12, 2015.
  9. Obituary: William Dodwell “W. D.” Jones, Bossier Press-Tribune, accessed December 1, 2022.
  10. Underground Storage Tank installers. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. Retrieved on January 19, 2015.
  11. Marguerite R. Plummer and Gary D. Joiner (2000). Historic Shreveport-Bossier: An Illustrated History of Shreveport and Bossier City. San Antonio, Texas: Historical Publishing Network. ISBN 1-893619-08-7. Retrieved on January 14, 2015. 
  12. "Jones Brothers Company Inc., 4100 Meadow Lane, Bossier City, Louisiana,", accessed January 14, 2015.
  13. JonesEnvironmentalInc.. Retrieved on January 14, 2015.
  14. Mrs. Joseph Hinkie. Sabine Index (Many, Louisiana) (November 11, 1971). Retrieved on January 18, 2015.
  15. Hallette Harlan Marchand. Retrieved on January 18, 2015.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 "The United States Jaycees Foundation: Don E. Jones (1982-1983," U. S. Jaycee Foundation, accessed January 14, 2051.
  17. Shreveport Journal, March 17, 1980, p. 2.
  18. Garrett v. Kneass. (March 21, 1986). Retrieved on January 17, 2015.
  19. Bobby Ray Gauthier. Retrieved on January 14, 2015.
  20. City of Bossier City v. Gauthier. Retrieved on January 14, 2015.
  21. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Results, October 24, 1987.
  22. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Results, November 21, 1987.
  23. Tom Redburn (December 30, 1987). World at Crossroads: U.S. Holds Key to '90s Economics Comeback, Rebuilding the U.S. Economy, Last of a series. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on January 14, 2015.
  24. Bossier City loses a legend. The Bossier Press-Tribune (January 15, 2014). Retrieved on January 14, 2015.
  25. Barksdale's Mission Could Change. KSLA-TV. Retrieved on January 14, 2015.
  26. John Andrew Prime (June 10, 2009). Planners hang hopes on Barksdale's cyber future. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on January 14, 2015.
  27. "Don E. Jones" profile, Future magazine, July/August 1982
  28. Famous Junior Chamber International Members. Retrieved on January 18, 2015.
  29. 29.0 29.1 The 1980s, U.S. Jaycee Foundation, accessed January 19, 2015.
  30. Jaycees Vote to Admit Women to Membership. The New York Times (August 17, 1984). Retrieved on December 1m 2022.
  31. "Junior Chamber International,", accessed January 14, 2015.
  32. John Andrew Prime (June 2004). James Quillen Wellborn. Retrieved on December 1, 2022.
  33. "Outstanding Leaders from the Past," The Shreveport Times, February 4, 2011.
  34. Melody Brumble, "The new BRF Hospital Holdings Board has been announced," The Shreveport Times, November 25, 2013.
  35. Greg Hilburn, "University Health Board finalized," Lafayette Daily Advertiser, November 22, 2013.
  36. "The Community Foundation,", accessed January 30, 2015.
  37. "Community Foundation puts research on display," Bossier Press-Tribune, September 1, 2011.
  38. Diane Haag, "United Way honors former Bossier City mayor," The Shreveport Times, January 31, 2008.
  39. Retrieved on January 12, 2015.
  40. Candidate's Special Report: Jeff R. Thompson. Retrieved on January 21, 2015.