Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

December 12, 2013

Arena namesake Tom Frank Jones dies

Longtime Cleburne native and resident Tom Frank Jones died Tuesday. He was 82.

“It’s quite a loss,” Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford said. “Tom was one of the early members of [the Johnson County Sheriff’s Posse] and just a really good man. He served not only the Posse but also the community.”

Jones, a member of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Posse since 1958, served as captain and chairman of that group’s rodeo committee for several years.

The arena building at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Posse Grounds was later named after Jones to honor his contributions and service to the organization.

“Tom was a heck of a gentleman, a good businessman and a heck of a cowboy,” said Johnson County Sheriff’s Posse Captain David Welty, a 25-year member of the posse. “Really the reason the arena was named after Tom is because of the time, dedication and actual labor he put into the Posse. You won’t find a more dedicated Posse member. He’s one of the guys who helped form and shape the Posse, came in not long after it formed in 1951, and at times single-handedly took things on to make sure the Posse survived.”

This year’s Posse Christmas party marked a sad occasion, Welty said, the first time one in years without Jones and his wife in attendance.

Born March 25, 1931, Jones lettered four years and started three on the Godley High School basketball team. Jones and fellow students also cobbled together a football team of sorts.

“Godley quit playing football during World War II because there weren’t enough boys in the high school; they were in the service,” Franks told former Times-Review reporter Pete Kendall in a 2009 article. “But they had some football equipment stored, and some of the boys found it and wanted to get up a team. 

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