The New State of Jones rests upon the notion that there exists an “old” State of Jones. However, you do not have to lose one to embrace the other. A restless, some may say rebellious, spirit stirs from the first generations who settled in Jones County near Ellisville and seceded from the Confederacy to create the Free State of Jones.
As the turn-of-the-century brought the next generation of restless, progressive entrepreneurs leaving their homes in the Midwest to carve out a new home, the population centered on Laurel where the sawmills saw all races working side-by-side, a growing middle class of merchants arise, Mississippi’s first museum built and the first public school for African-American children established.
Today, this subtle, rebellious spirit of her residents still lies under the surface as young families forsake the ubiquitous surroundings of large, suburban cities for a slower pace of life. Never has it been more evident with the majority of growth realized by self-made, multi-generational companies and world-class corporations who call Jones County home.