The blue and white barn with the horse stalls was decorated with a recliner, a bale of hay and birthday cake for James B. Jones, who turned 95 on July 16 with family and friends gathered to celebrate his longevity.

Jones was born in Urbana, near Livingston, on his family farm in 1913. In 1938 he married the love of his life, a young lady named Inez. She remained his love until her death in 2006. They had two children, Dr. Jimmy Jones and Cynthia Jones Hooks.

Jones’ first job was doing meter work for Gulf States Utilities, now Entergy. He was later employed by DuPont and worked there until he retired 30 years ago. In 1945, the Jones family moved to the Orange area and he lives only a few miles from their original location, on the JBJ Ranch. The ranch has horses and Brahma cattle that are bred to an F-1 cross and sell.. Every day Jones drives either his truck or a four-wheeler and goes out to check his cattle.

He remains active and his health is good. When he turned 90, he said one of the good things about it is, “ … you don’t have to worry about paying child support.” In 1947-48 Jones served on the Bridge City school board and was on the board when Bridge City changed from a common to an independent school district. He is the last surviving member from those school board years.

Since 1945, he has been involved in the Methodist Church and remains active at St. Paul today.

The numerous friends that were gathered for Jones were there out of respect and love for the elderly gentleman. The guests were enjoying themselves and his pride in their being present was evident.

“He told me to make plans for his 100th birthday party,” said Dr. Jones. “He enjoys life every day.”

An unusual but practical birthday gift, the previously mentioned bale of hay, was given to him by Gus Harris. Jones has a quick wit and appreciated the humor in the gift as well as being able to put it to good use.

As the party was being planned he told the planners, ”Don’t put no gifts please on the invitations. Let them make up their own minds.” All those present made plans to be back in five years for another party.