Jackson County is very fortunate to have its own active historical, cultural and educational museum as envisioned by benefactor and namesake Miss Lillian E. Jones.

Miss Jones (1893-1991) was an unusual woman, who traveled the world for many years. She sought out experiences in foreign cultures, especially in Asia, while living the majority of her life in Jackson County and continuing her family’s philanthropic work in the region.

The Jones Museum opened in 1995 with the two-fold mission to educate and to preserve the historical artifacts of the Jackson County, Ohio area. Currently, the Jones Museum offers at least four themed exhibits each year, while also maintaining a large and eclectic permanent collection that includes: a vast number of unusual items and photographs collected by Miss Jones during her travels in the 1950s and 1960s; remarkable items from the Jones family’s industrial past including Globe Iron, DT&I, Crown Pipe & Foundry and the Cambrian Hotel along with large portraits and photographs of family members; sculpture and research materials from internationally acclaimed artist Fletcher Benton, who was a family friend of Miss Jones; hundreds of bound volumes of all the different Jackson newspapers from the late 1880s to 1992; more than 80 hard copies of the Jackson High School yearbook, the Osky Wow, from 1912-1995 as well as digitized copies of the Osky Wow 1912-2015 and the complete history of Lake Katharine's Camp Arrowhead (1949-1964) in the Welsh Hills of Ohio.

Genealogical information and research is also an important part of the Jones Museum's dedication to preserving Jackson County history of all kinds. The museum works regularly with the Jackson County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogy Society in continuing efforts in the Carriage House, which is on the Jones Museum property. 

The Jones Museum, which is a stop on Ohio's Welsh Byway,  also works with the Jackson City Library, the Madog Center of the University of Rio Grande, the Friends of Lake Katharine, the Apple City Players theater group,  the Southeast Ohio History Center and the Ohio Local History Alliance group of the Ohio History Connection to spread and educate all about the region's accomplishments and future vision.

Coming in December 2020 as part of the Jones Museum's 25th anniversary, the Digital Archive Index will become a  new and growing component of research in the area!


Signs of His Time: the life and work of Bill Hankey

Yes, Bill Hankey was a self-employed sign maker in Jackson, Ohio, but that's not at all the whole story of his 83 years on earth, 1915-1999.

 He showed the world where to look with his perfectly painted directions.

It didn't matter if it was paper, cloth, wood, or metal, Hankey would paint precisely aligned letters or fabulously designed icons on them. 

When Uncle Sam needed signs and planes painted, Hankey answered the call. He signed up with the U.S. Army's  8th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron of the Army Air Corps from 1942-1945. Many planes from the Philippines and Guam flew with Hankey's work on the tail fins or with a baby-faced female likeness on nose.

Back home, Hankey set his keen eye on business signs in all areas of Ohio.  As new businesses sprouted, Hankey was there to advertise for them. When neon signs need fixed and mounted, Hankey would paint behind them and install the glass tubes, making it better than before.

Many semi-trucks and cabs carried Hankey's handiwork across America. When a particularly large  illustrated bottle of 7-Up went by on a semi ,  it was likely Hankey had a part in it. The arrival of plastic signs didn't phase him, those needed painted too.

While all this work was happening, Hankey and his wife Louise Johnson raised a family of three daughters so they were ultimately  a family of five Jackson High School graduates: Bill in 1933, Louise 1940, Peggy 1965, Barbara 1968, and Susie 1975. Hankey even traveled to the Rose Bowl a few times to watch his OSU Buckeyes play and in 1971, his devotion to Jackson and the Buckeyes could be seen  in vibrant color in a Canadian magazine through a sign he painted on the spot and held proudly.

Even today, Hankey's design work is still visible in downtown Jackson, if you know where to look and what to see.

Stop in at the Jones Museum from Nov. 7-Dec. 31, 2019 to learn more or see again, the work of "Hankey of course'.