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Capt. H. S. Jones collection


Identifier: 1976-14-0

Scope and Contents

This collection contains records and correspondence pertaining to Captain Herbert Sidney Jones, of Litchfield, Conn. Herbert Sidney Jones was born on July 22, 1893 in New York City.  He attended the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1916.  He received his master's degree in engineering from Columbia University.  He served in the U.S. Navy, and was the commander of a destroyer when he retired in 1934 for reasons of health.  During WWII, he was recalled to active duty and served on the Bureau of Ships from 1939 to 1941.  He and his wife, Ruth Shafter Jones, moved to Litchfield in 1955, where he lived until his death on February 6, 1976 following a short illness. Captain Jones, as he was known in Litchfield, was an active participant in Borough affairs, serving as a member of the Litchfield Historical and Architectural Commission, the Litchfield Historical Society, My Country Society, and the Sanctum Club of Litchfield.  The collection contains personal papers and correspondence as well as records of several of these societies. Captain Jones was instrumental in establishing the Borough in Litchfield as a historic district, the first of its kind in the area.  The collection includes information on the Historical and Architectural Commission, which oversees the district, as well as reports pertaining to the creation and managing the district, which served as a model to other local towns seeking to establish their own historic districts.  He also was responsible for attaining recognition as a National Landmark for the Tapping Reeve Law School.  The collection contains information on this process as well as several newspaper articles detailing the role of Captain Jones in the debate with the College of William and Mary about whether Tapping Reeve really did have the first law school.  He served as a vice president of the Litchfield Historical Society for many years, also as chairman of the committees for Maintenance of the Grounds and the Tapping Reeve School.  As such he was instrumental in fundraising for the preservation of the law school, and the records of this process are contained within the collection, along with records of the general workings of the historical society and their efforts to redesign their space and exhibits in the 1960s.  The Captain also spearheaded the tree replacement program in Litchfield when many of the historic Elms in the borough were threatened by the Dutch Elm Disease sweeping the area.  The collection includes papers relating to the preservation, maintenance, and replacement of the trees in Litchfield.  As an important figure in the borough affairs, Captain Jones was also involved in communication with the Conn. State Highway Dept. concerning roads through the town, as well as the shift in local government from traditional Town Meeting style to Representative Town Meeting.  The collection contains records pertaining to both of these activities. Captain Jones was the president of My Country Society, Inc., for several years, overseeing publication of the My Country magazines and writing historical and editorial articles as well.  My Country Society, Inc. was founded in 1967 by Mr. Walter L. Upson, and published a small booklet three or four times a year until 2008, when the society merged its assets with the Litchfield Historical Society.  The booklet contained articals of historic interest in an effort to reach a wide audience and in particular regain the interest of young people in America.  A large part of the collection contains records and correspondence pertaining to the publication and organization of My Country. H.S. Jones was also an artist,  and the collection contains political cartoons as well as his design for Litchfield's 250th anniversary commemorative seal. The collection contains mostly professional correspondence, as well as meeting minutes, financial records, drawings, and copies of various publications including newspaper clippings.  There are also two photos and one reel of 16mm newsreel.


  • created: 1928-1975
  • Other: Date acquired: 11/04/1977


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has been transferred to the Litchfield Historical Society for materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection.  Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown.  Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners.  Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners.  Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.


1.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged in 8 series: 1. My Country Society, Inc. 2. Litchfield Historical Society 3. Litchfield Law School 4. Litchfield Trees 5. Historical and Architectural Commission 6. Connecticut State Highway Department 7. Litchfield Representative Town Meeting System 8. Miscellaneous

Physical Access Requirements

The Litchfield Historical Society does not posess a way for researchers to view the 16mm newsreel film contained in the collection.

Custodial History

The collection was donated with several maps including: 20th century road map of Litchfield Borough 11"x17" 20th century road map of Litchfield Borough 17"x23.5" 1934 Litchfield Borough general plan and sanitary sewerage plan, Morris Knowles, Pillsburgh, PA The locations of these maps are unknown. The collection also included a landscape and planting plan for the property of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Sidney Jones.  This map was returned to Mrs. Nan Heminway.

Source of Acquisition

Mrs. Richard Marsh and Mrs. Nan Heminway

Method of Acquisition

Deed of Gift.

Existence and Location of Originals

multi-part note content

Related Materials

multi-part note content

Capt. H. S. Jones collection
Emilie Kracen
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Litchfield Historical Society Repository

7 South Street
P.O. Box 385
Litchfield CT 06759
860-567-3565 (Fax)