Montgomery Leaders

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Entry Category: Montgomery Leaders

Jones, James Fred

J. Fred Jones was a farmer, laborer, lawyer, and populist politician who aspired to be a justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court and made it in 1967 after his third race for the position. His ten years on the bench, begun as he approached retirement age, were marked by sympathy for underdogs, workers, and educators. He found that the law nearly always sided with them rather than their adversaries.  James Fred Jones—he went by “J. Fred”—was born on January 12, 1907, on a Ouachita Mountain farm near Mount Ida in Montgomery County. His children described his childhood home as so remote and untamed that a mountain lion once crashed through the roof of the house. His parents were Ira S. Jones and Ella Tyler Jones.   Jones attended Montgomery County’s rural schools and …

Maddox, Ode Lee

Ode Lee Maddox was a long-serving and influential member of the Arkansas General Assembly as well as a dedicated career educator. By combining his passion for education with his well-developed political skills, he played a central role in the development of the Arkansas public education system. Ode Lee Maddox was born on October 2, 1912 in Oden (Montgomery County). He was the youngest of four children of Hugh Maddox and Alice Edwards Maddox. He received his early education at Caney Elementary, an experience he believed so central to his future accomplishments that he often said that his most important educational experience had been at the “University of Caney.” He graduated from Oden High School in 1932. On October 6, 1934, …