In January 1972, 20 elected Montgomery County officials and Mrs. Clara Dotson, serving as an appointed tax assessor, were sworn into office to serve. Out of the 20 elected officials, only one is still living –former constable George Jones.
Recently, Jones ran across a newspaper clipping from The Winona Times of the day he was sworn into office, and it flooded his mind with memories.
At 72, Jones had a long-standing career in law enforcement. Throughout his life, Jones held many jobs. He worked at Screw Conveyor, the Billups station next to the Hitching Post, and Mrs. Nix’s, now Nix’s Café. He worked in the oil industry. and he served as a police officer for Winona Police Department, a special deputy under several Montgomery County sheriffs. and Chief of Police for the Town of Duck Hill.
He said he got into law enforcement because Dillard Biggers and John Bennett approached him about putting in an application.
“I was 21, I turned 22 on Aug. 4 at the time, I was making $1.60 an hour,” he said. “They told me that I should apply. So, I went down and applied. I guess they recommended me to the board of aldermen because next thing I know, I get the call saying ‘You’re hired.’”
He said he worked at the Winona Police Department from 1966 to 1970. Jones said he left because “politics got in the way,” and he was asked to resign. He then started working at the gas station, where he worked his way up to manager.
In 1971, he ran for constable and he won. Jones served one term as constable, he ran again twice, but both times he was unsuccessful.
He said he also served as a special deputy for Maxie Ellis and several other sheriffs including Robert Tompkins, who served for 16 years and eight months.
Jones also served as police chief under three administrations and boards in Duck Hill.
He said, he’s not sure what he was doing when he came across the old Winona Times clipping, but it made him stop for a moment when he realized he was the only elected official alive in the picture.
“That’ll make some hair stand up on the back on your neck,” he said.