(1919 – 2009)
Bertha M. Jones began her 38-year 4-H career in Crenshaw County in 1945 with the responsibility of adults and 4-H youth work. She believed that “4-H is life” and that every young person should be exposed to 4-H for their total life skills development. After completing graduate school, Jones became the state leader for Negro 4-H Girls at Tuskegee University. She was responsible for 4-H publications and 4-H administration for 37 county agents.
Miss Jones was born in Huntsville, Alabama, on August 5, 1919, to parents Joe Wheeler Jones and Octavia Battle Jones. She attended Councill High School in Huntsville and graduated Cum Laude in 1939. She received her B.S. in Home Economics in 1945 from Alabama A&M University. She continued her education by attending Penn State and received her M.Ed. in Home Economics Education in 1956. Her desire for educational advancement led to further studies at Prairie View A&M University and George Washington University.
Miss Jones wrote many publications, including the “4-H Officer Training Handbook” and “The Clean Look and Youth Health,” a series of member and leader guides. She is featured in the book They Too Call Alabama Home: African American Profiles, 1800-1999 by Richard Bailey. She wrote, with Bailey, the “History of Negroes in Cooperative Extension.”
Miss Jones was a noted philanthropist of local 4-H efforts, giving not only financial resources but also substantial amounts of time towards helping enrich and increase the growing knowledge among young people about 4-H procedures and practices.
In 1965, when the segregated Extension services were merged, she moved to Auburn University to serve as a 4-H specialist. She was also the first state leader for Urban 4-H in both Mobile and Huntsville.
Because of her passion for 4-H, she was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in 2004 and a member of the inaugural class of the Alabama 4-H Wall of Fame in 2008.
Epsilon Sigma Phi is pleased to include her name on the dedicatory plaque at the Extension Memorial Chapel.
Chapel Plaque Inscription Number: 537