Robert Leslie Jones (1907-89)
James H. O'Donnell III, April 1990
Robert Leslie Jones, emeritus professor of history and former chair of the history department at Marietta College, died at his home on October 3, 1989 at the age of eighty-two. To generations of students at Marietta College from 1938 to 1975, Jones was synonymous with the study of history. Those who knew him realized that his no-nonsense attitude was balanced by the warmth of his compassion. His infectious love of history is shared by all who studied with him.
Born in Ontario, Professor Jones received his B.A. and M.A. from Queen's University. From 1932 to 1938 he was a student of Frederick Merk at Harvard University where he completed his doctoral dissertation, The History of Agriculture in Ontario, 1613–1880. That research became his first book, published by the University of Toronto Press in 1946. Praised upon its publication as a "pioneer effort in a badly neglected field," it was described as a "classic" in a review of his second publication, History of Agriculture in Ohio to 1880 (Kent State University Press). At the time of his death he had completed the manuscript of a second volume on Ohio agriculture, bringing the story to 1920.
He is survived by his widow, Irene Neu Jones, a well-known scholar in the field of American economic history, and two daughters: Constance Jones Mathers, an associate professor of history at Randolph Macon College in Ashland, VA; and Natalie Jones Kavula who resides with her family in Mt. Morris, MI.
Memorials may be sent to the Robert L. Jones Memorial Fund, Marietta College, Marietta, OH 45750.
James H. O'Donnell III