The faces behind the buildings: Jones Hall

The words “Jones Hall” are spoken many times each day on campus and each invocation honors the memory of Civil War veteran and lumberman Charles Hebard Jones, born April 13, 1845, in East Randolph, Vt. In 1851 Charles moved with his family to Wisconsin, where he attended Lawrence University before enlisting in 1864 in Company D, 41st Wisconsin Infantry. In 1872 Charles married Franke M. Tobey. The couple eventually came to Tacoma, where Charles was one of the founders of the St. Paul and Tacoma Lumber Company, the successor company of which still operates today as Simpson Tacoma Kraft.

May 22, 1923, was a momentous day in the history of the College of Puget Sound. The entire faculty and student body processed together from the campus at Sixth and Sprague in Tacoma to a vacant field centered at North 15th and Warner Streets. There Mrs. Franke M. Jones pledged $180,000 toward construction of the new campus. The trustees accepted the pledge, and Jones Hall groundbreaking took place immediately. Taking turns at the groundbreaking plow were Mrs. Jones, President Edward Todd, construction contractor J.E. Bonnell, and many students. Mrs. Jones’ gift, together with her earlier gift of $20,000, was used to build Jones Hall, named in memory of her husband, who had died in 1922. Charles and Franke were married 50 years.

May 22 was selected by President Todd for the groundbreaking ceremony because that day was Mrs. Jones’ 78th birthday. For many years thereafter, May 22 was celebrated annually as Campus Day, and flowers honoring Mrs. Jones’ birthday were placed in the Jones Hall entranceway beneath the plaque dedicating the building to her husband’s memory.

— John Finney ‘67