Harvey & Bernice Jones
Harvey and Bernice Jones are names that are familiar to almost anyone in Northwest Arkansas, and in fact, the State. Almost as familiar as the names are the stories of their willingness to give and their support of friends and neighbors.
Harvey and Bernice Jones were an extremely integral part in the growth and success of Springdale and Northwest Arkansas. For example, when Springdale could not afford to keep the schools open in the 1930s, Harvey rented a church, hired a teacher and paid for school supplies so they could continue teaching the children. In 1938, Harvey married Bernice Young. Bernice, a school teacher, had a great love for children and throughout her life worked to support and improve the lives of many children.
Before his death in 1989, Harvey was successful in establishing and running the largest private trucking business in the United States, Jones Truck Lines. Despite his enormous success, Harvey continued to focus on improving his local community through his efforts and generosity. He was instrumental in the development of the city's first hospital, Springdale Memorial Hospital, and served on the board for 47 years, nurturing and providing financial support through the hospital expansion into Northwest Medical Center, and growth of their medical programs. Harvey also served many years on the local bank board providing leadership and advice in the financial stability of the city and many families.
Bernice was a lead supporter for the Children's Library Fund, Arkansas Children's Hospital, the Baptist Youth Ranch, and various other children's learning and disability programs that vastly improve young lives. Bernice also shared Harvey's love for their community. She also served on the hospital board, started the hospital's auxiliary and supported several of the local ministries.
Throughout the lives of Harvey and Bernice Jones, giving was a key element. Six years after Harvey’s death, Bernice gave their legacy gift when she founded The Harvey and Bernice Jones Center for Families, now fondly known as The Jones Center. With this gift, Bernice’s vision was to continue forever what she and Harvey worked to achieve each day, namely
"to serve families, strengthen community and glorify God."
The Jones Legacy
The Jones Truck Line Legacy is one of service and giving that continues touching our lives. Quality of service. Quality of life. The Jones name is synonymous with both. Sharing the success of one of the country's largest and most successful transportation companies in recent history, the legacy of Bernice and Harvey Jones' generous giving and commitment to the northwest Arkansas community continues touching lives today.
Built from the original Jones Truck lines terminal facility after closing, Bernice Jones vision for a special place for learning, play, and fellowship was born as The Jones Center for Families. More that just the bricks and steel that enclose its 220,000 square feet of space, the Jones Center is a destination for life enrichment, and a place where Bernice Jones proclaimed
"all are welcome."
Even when Bernice opened The Jones Center in 1995, she knew that in order for the Center to thrive, it would require the community’s involvement and support.
“I want the people of the community to realize that The Jones Center is not just for me, but for everybody… and to be part of it; because I want this to go on for years and years when I can’t be here anymore.” - Bernice Jones, Founder
Serving Springdale: Harvey & Bernice Jones
Springdale's Founding Families, a 2010 Telly Award recipient
A tribute to Gene George, recipient of the inaugural Spirit of Harvey Jones Award