Jones County Bicentennial
History & Heritage, Inc
Jones County History and Heritage, Inc. (JCHH) contributed delegates to the Jones County 2007 Bicentennial Steering Commission, which developed an entire year of events to celebrate the county's 200 years of progress. As part of the celebration, JCHH presented the first Hamilton-Williams Preservation Award which continues to be awarded annually to an individual who has demonstrated a dedication to preserving Jones County's history. JCHH also placed two plaques at the Jones County Courthouse. The first honors Jake Hutchings (1831-1909), who cut the massive stones in the courthouse retaining wall. The second stands in front of the courthouse bell which is mounted on the courthouse grounds. Please click the links below.
Jacob (Jake) P. Hutchings Plaque
Born a slave in 1831 in Virginia, Jake eventually became the property of R. H. Hutchings of Jones County, Georgia. He was a skilled stone mason, cutting much of the stone in the county, including the granite in this retaining wall. These blocks originally formed the walls of the first county jail in nearby Clinton. Jake was a tall man of great strength, polite and well respected. He was elected as the first Black state representative for Jones County in 1868. Jake died on June 9th, 1909.
This bell is the original bell placed in the courthouse tower when construction was completed in 1905. The bell and its mechanism were manufactured by the E. Howard Clock Company. This was the premier clock manufacturer in the United States during the early 20th century. The company was established in 1842 and produced its last tower clock in 1964. Around 1900 the E. Howard Clock Company installed over 28 tower clocks in Georgia. The original bell and its mechanism were housed in the courthouse bell tower until restoration work on the tower began in 2006. For more than 100 years this bell and its chime found its way into the daily lives of countless Jones County residents. Dedicated October 20, 2007. Jones County History and Heritage and Jones County Bicentennial Steering Commission.