Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Herbert C. Jones Collection
Jones, Herbert C.
3.85 cubic feet
Sourisseau Academy for State and
Abstract: The Herbert C. Jones Collection documents the home files of
Senator Herbert C. Jones. This collection is divided into eleven series, and a total
of nine linear feet, in eight manuscript boxes (1-8), two pamphlet boxes (9 and 11),
and one flat box (10). All attempts have been made to keep these files in their
original order. There is also an extensive newspaper clippings collection which has
been left in its original order within the collection.
Language of Material: All material is in English.
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Sourisseau Academy. Neither the original
photographs nor the digital images held by the Sourisseau Academy may be
reproduced, published, or used on the Internet without the expressed, written
permission of the Executive Secretary. Permission for publication is given on
behalf of the Sourisseau Academy as the owner of the physical items and is not
intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also
be obtained by the researcher. The credit line, "Courtesy of the Edith C. Smith
Trust Collection, Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History" must
accompany any such use.
[Identification of item], Herbert C. Jones Collection, [Box number]: [Folder number],
Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History
The Herbert C. Jones Collection was donated to the Sourisseau Academy around
Herbert C. Jones was born in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He moved to San Jose as a child and
spent his grammar school and high school education in San Jose. He spent his
university education at Stanford University. He was a lawyer, State Senator, civic
leader, church treasurer and conservationist. Herbert C. Jones was a lawyer and
State Senator from 1913 to 1934. Senator Jones was a pioneer in Santa Clara County
devoted to the well being of a rapidly growing population and industry in the Santa
Clara Valley. He graduated in 1902 with a Bachelors degree and in 1904 he graduated
from the Stanford school of Law. After graduating from law school Senator Jones
spent a short period of time working in the County Clerks Office for Santa Clara
County. He later established his law firm in downtown San Jose.
Senator Jones, during his 22 years as State Senator, worked very hard to secure water
for Santa Clara County; to save the local redwoods and establish state parks; and to
improve the education system of California. He was an active conservationist and
served as president of the Sempervirens Club of California. Jones secured the
appropriations for two new roads into Big Basin State Park. These are the roads we
use today. One travels into Big Basin from Saratoga Summit and the other is the
coast road into Santa Cruz. Senator Jones also was able to add 1200 acres of
additional park land to Big Basin State Park He actively worked with conservation
groups for the acquisition of the Butano Forest as a state park. Senator Jones
worked on a legislative special committee that studied the state school system.
Three important recommendations came out of this study; the need to convert the old
normal schools into state colleges, set up a state junior college system, and the
need to consolidate all California elementary school districts.
Senator Jones pioneered two sanitary districts; College Park Sanitary District and
the Agnew Sanitary District. The College Park Sanitary District provided the sewage
disposal for the region from Hanchett Park to the Santa Clara City limits prior to
this region’s incorporation into San Jose. Senator Jones’ law firm was the legal
advisers for the Agnew Sanitary District. He also introduced and secured the passage
of legislation for the Sanitary Commission to have jurisdiction of the fresh water
streams of the state. After his first congressional term in 1913 he participated in
the delegation which viewed and later purchased the land which became Coyote
Reservoir. The land was purchased from the Spring Valley Water Company. Senator
Jones knew that Coyote Creek was a very large producer of water for the valley.
During the 1921 and 1923 legislative sessions Senator Jones introduced two bills for
proposed water districts in Santa Clara County. In the 1929 legislative session the
water Act was ratified by the voters and the Santa Clara Valley Water Conservation
District was organized. For more than a quarter of a century Senator Jones was the
lawyer for the water district. Senator Jones knew the second largest producer of
water in the valley was Los Gatos Creek. He advocated that the creek be dammed for
water storage. In 1933 he laid the ground work for the Lexington Reservoir project.
After 14 years of campaigning within the legislature an appropriation of $2,475,000
was passed for the project. Senator Jones did not stop here. He saw that in order to
build the new Lexington dam the highway would need to be rerouted. He handled the
correspondence by the Santa Clara Valley Water District with Public Works Department
of California, the State Highway Commission, and the Engineer of Division IV.
Senator Jones pointed out that the railroad would loose its freight and passenger
business to the personal automobile once the new highway was rerouted through Los
Gatos Canyon. He was able to convince the Legislature in 1947 that the highway
authorities did not head this warning. This in turn decided the State to bear the
entire expense of the new highway.
Senator Jones also worked with other water districts. He was the lawyer for the
Pacheco Pass Water District which had a dam on the north fork of Pacheco Creek in
Hollister. With the help of two colleagues, Bruce P. Griswold and Albert T. Henley,
Senator Jones organized the Milpitas Water District which uses the Hetch Hetchy pipe
line. As a member of the Citizens Committee he helped to establish the
"Tri-County Water Authority", which includes Santa Clara, Alameda, and San
Benito counties. On November 6, 1928 the new "riparian law" was enacted.
Senator Jones participated in the development of this new constitutional law
changing the water law of California. This new amendment restricts the right to
water to reasonable use and by reasonable methods.
Between 1921 and 1931 Senator Jones participated in the Central Valley Project. In
time, a constitutional amendment to the Central Valley Act was passed, introduced by
Senator Jones and others, requiring the construction of a transmission line for the
increase of power from Shasta Reservoir to Antioch. Senator Jones campaigned very
hard for this line throughout the entire State. Then in 1927, as a member of a
special committee of the legislature, Senator Jones with the other committee members
saved the Folsom site from sale to a private utility company based on the invalidity
of the 1925 legislation supporting this sale. In 1948 Senator Jones, representing
Santa Clara County, appeared before a congressional committee on the development of
the American River. The American River Development was passed and Senator Jones
became one of the directors on the American River Development League. To increase
local water sources Senator Jones, ever alert to the need of obtaining outside
water, solved the needs in Milpitas by purchasing the Milpitas County Water District
of Hetch Hetchy water.
Senator Jones was vigilant in securing outside water for Santa Clara County. He laid
the foundation for all the local water districts. But, he felt that with the rapid
growth of Santa Clara Valley that search for outside water sources must be
maintained. In 1957 Jones advocated that the north coast water sources of the Smith,
Klamath, Trinity, Eel, Mad River, Van Dusen and Russian Rivers be looked into as
possible sources of water. Not all of his attempts to secure water for Santa Clara
County were successes. He advocated the purchase of Calaveras Reservoir by Santa
Clara Water Conservation District from San Francisco Water Authority. This sale was
refused. He strongly advocated that the North District and South District work
together on the construction of Uvas Dam. His plan was for North District to pay
sixty percent of the cost and receive sixty percent of the water. This also failed
when South District withdrew its offer.
Senator Jones was very active in his community. He was on the Board of Trustees for
Hester Grammar School on The Alameda. He successfully led the movement for the
assessment district which provided the underpass in front of the school for the
protection of school children and pedestrians. In 1912 Jones was the chairman of the
Executive Committee of the YMCA and campaigned for the then new building. In the
1950’s he was on the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors for the YMCA and
campaigned for the present building on The Alameda between Naglee and Emory Streets.
Jones also served as the president of the Santa Clara Bar Association and on the
Board of Governors of the State Bar. He also served as president of the Board of
Trustees of the Agnew State Hospital.
Senator Jones was very interested in historical events. He had varied interests in
history ranging from General Custer to the First State Legislature of California. He
worked with the San Jose Landmarks Association. He was an active member of the
Pioneers Club of Santa Clara County and the California Historical Society. Senator
Jones was also very active in his church, the First Congregational Church of San
Jose and later the Church of the Valley. He served as church treasurer and legal
Scope and Content of Collection
The Herbert C. Jones Collection documents the home files of Senator Herbert C. Jones.
This collection is divided into eleven series, and a total of nine linear feet, in
eight manuscript boxes (1-8), two pamphlet boxes (9 and 11), and one flat box (10).
All attempts have been made to keep these files in their original order. There is
also an extensive newspaper clippings collection which has been left in its original
order within the collection.
The first series, Church Papers (36 folders), is divided into two subseries: the
First Congregational Church of San Jose and the Church of the Valley. These papers
consist of the financial records and administrative records of both churches, the
building fund papers and correspondence for the First Congregational Church of San
Jose, general correspondence, newsletters, photographs, legal papers, and general
papers. Folder 18 documents the history of the First Congregational Church of San
Jose. Folder 1 documents the Basis of the Union, which is the merger between First
Congregational Church and the Evangelical and Reformed Church. Folder 16 is the
Gertrude Freitag Estate. The monies from this estate were apparently distributed to
the First Congregational Church of San Jose. Three church properties are documented;
the Leigh Avenue site, the Third and San Antonio site, and the Winchester Road
The second series, Government (10 folders), documents the local and state government
interests of Herbert C. Jones. There is the Agnew Sanitary District correspondence;
general papers and letters on the California State Chamber of Commerce (2 folders);
the Santa Clara County Charter; Senate Bill No. 720-H.C. Jones and No. 33-Senator
Lyon; general papers pertaining to the San Jose Chamber of Commerce; the San Jose
Zoning Ordinance; the 1921 California State Budget; and extracts from the State of
California Health and Safety Code; and various newspaper clippings on many of these
The third series, Historical Interests (19 folders), is divided into three subseries;
Associations, State and Local History, and Personages. Associations documents
Herbert C. Jones’ activities with the California Historical Society (4 folders);
Pioneers of Santa Clara County (5 folders); and general papers about other
historical societies in California. These papers consist of membership lists,
correspondence, newsletters, administrative papers, pamphlets and general papers.
Also found in this subseries is the Stockton House Historic Landmarks Report (folder
55). State and Local History documents the California First Legislature 1849, an
address given by Herbert C. Jones December 10, 1949 (Folder 61). There is also a
list of senators for the first 100 years. "The Story of California in Mural
Paintings" by Arthur F. Matthews dated 1915 is also in this subseries. Folder
63, San Jose Centennial Celebration 1949, consists of the souvenir program, Governor
Warren’s radio address of 1949, and memorandum and newspaper clippings. Personages
documents General Armstrong Custer and the United States Presidents.
The fourth series, Legal Issues (11 folders), is divided into two subseries:
Associations and Judiciary. Associations documents Herbert C. Jones activities with
the California State Bar Association (2 folders). Judiciary documents correspondence
on judgeship, juvenile delinquency, loyalty oaths and probation cases. The Herbert
C. Jones case for O. P. Mills Water Company is documented consisting of the court
papers, letters, other legal papers, and the Annual Report of the O.P. Water Company
for the years 19221-1927. The Thomas J. Mooney case is documented with a pamphlet,
correspondence, general papers and newspaper clippings.
The fifth series, Legislation (39 folders), is divided into 5 subseries: Agriculture,
Commissions, Legislative Issues, Law, and Papers, which documents the legislative
activities of Herbert C. Jones. Agriculture documents the Braceros with the Tod
Potter letter and newspaper clippings. It also documents farming issues with the
Quartz Creek Dredging Company stock certificate of 1932, the newsletter "The
Rural Observer," and correspondence. For lack of a better place to house two
personal papers, a Power of Attorney dated 1948 and the cemetery deed for Mrs.
Margaret Jones dated 1897, these papers have been kept in their original order.
Commissions documents two commissions; the meeting of Governor Culbert L. Olsen’s
Commission on Reemployment dated June 28, 1939 and the Legislative Tax Commission,
with letters, reports, and memorandum. Legislative Issues documents nine issues:
California Park Bond Issue, finance, gambling, liquor, lobbying, narcotics, oil,
public ownership and taxation. There is the news release on the appointment of
Herbert C. Jones as the Chairman for the Santa Clara County "Californians for
Beaches and Parks" by Governor Brown. There are numerous articles and an
interview by Franklin Hichborn on finance, gambling, and liquor. Herbert C. Jones
maintained a large abundance of correspondence, pamphlets, newsletters, general
papers and newspapers clippings on these issues. Law documents the 1946-1962
Initiatives and Referendums, liquor regulation, the State Liquor Control Act of
1933, and the 1931 Legislative Session on Prohibition, with the Herbert C. Jones
address on Prohibition of 1930. Papers documents Herbert C. Jones’ legislative
papers from 1918- 1961 with correspondence and general papers.
The sixth series, Individuals (9 folders), documents the men Herbert C. Jones had
contact with. These men were: Franklin Hichborn, Hiram W. Johnson, William F.
Knowland, Leon L. Loafbourow, George W. Lyle, Professor George E. Mowry and C. C.
Young. In this series there are numerous articles, letters, general papers and
newspaper clippings about these men. The researcher will find "The Hichborn
Papers"; "The Twelve Apostles of California" by Rev. Leon L.
Loafbourow; extracts from William F. Knowland’s speech before the National
Association of Manufacturers’ Annual Dinner of December 9, 1955; and campaign
material for C. C. Young.
The seventh series, Parks (19 folders), is divided. Folder 125 on California Parks
stands alone in this series and contains letters, general papers and newspaper
clippings on state parks. Sempervirens (subseries) documents Herbert C. Jones’
activities with the Sempervirens Club of California with, correspondence (5
folders), legal papers, administrative papers, financial papers, the history of the
club (folder 133), maps, newspaper clippings (4 folders), pamphlets (box 9), general
papers and ephemera (box10).
The eighth series, Personal Papers (4 folders), documents Herbert C. Jones’ campaign
for the 28th Congressional District; the 40th and 50th Stanford University Class of
1902 Reunions; and the Citizen Soldier training program of 1916 at Camp Monterey,
The ninth series, Political Papers (24 folders), documents various political
campaigns from 1928 through 1964. Herbert C. Jones kept several directories in this
file and also complete constituency lists. The report "Cross-filling and Its
Background Struggles for Majority Representation" is found in folder 160.
Senator Jones kept files on the Progressives, the Speakership for 1937, cross-filing
and newspaper clippings on various political campaigns and political issues dating
from 1928 to 1965. This file also contains two congressional publications: "The
California Liberator" and "The Searchlight on Congress."
The tenth series, Additional Interests (27 folders), documents 21 different topics
and civic interests. These topics are: bridges, disarmament, Hester School,
Japanese, Mount Whitney, peace, Port of San Jose, power utilities, propaganda,
rainmaking, recreation, religion, Salvation Army, the San Francisco Earthquake and
Fire of 1906, San Jose State College, Save the Redwoods League, smog, strikes,
tuberculosis, war, YWCA and the YMCA. These folders contain letters, general papers,
legal papers, pamphlets, photographs and newspaper clippings.
Series eleven is comprised of 1915 newspaper clippings. The topics covered are: Agnew
State Hospital, California State Legislature, education, Franklin Hichborn, the
Jitney bus, judiciary issues, labor, political cartoons, the Redwood Park
Commission, taxation, tuberculosis, World War II, and the Y.W.C.A. Most of these
clippings are alright for researchers to handle but many are extremely brittle and
damaged. Photocopies have been made of the brittle and damaged clippings so the
information will be accessible by researchers.
The following terms may be used to index this collection.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
California Legislature Senate
California State Chamber of Commerce
First Congregational Church of San Jose
Jones, Herbert C.
San Jose Chamber of Commerce
Sempervirens Club of