Earl & Terry Jones
Rose and Leland Jones, Earl’s grandparents, came from Gardner, Illinois to Garland in 1905. Leland’s widowed mother arrived shortly thereafter and homesteaded 320 acres on the bench to run cattle. Rose and Leland’s land subbed when irrigation came to the area, but Rose was able to file for another homestead further west of Garland in 1908. Earl’s son, Terry, still dwells on and farms Rose’s homestead.
Earl and his four siblings all worked on the farm from an early age, before tractors and mechanization, cars and electricity. As a boy, his day began by harnessing the horses and milking the cows. For hours, he’d walk behind the horses as they harrowed the fields to the point that the doctor cautioned he’d worn the pads off his feet. Despite the manual labor, life was fulfilling and exciting–he even learned to shoot from the outlaw Earl Durand.
After Earl graduated from high school in 1937, he worked for Cozzens Taggart Sheep Company hauling feed and cowboying. He spotted a pretty little cheerleader named Opal at a basketball game and fell for her immediately. After some convincing, she allowed him to drive her home even though she had a boyfriend. The boyfriend didn’t last long; this year they celebrated their 70th anniversary. During the first years of their marriage, Earl broke horses for ten dollars a head, and sold gallons of cream by train from Garland to Denver. Once a week he received a check for the cream for five dollars. Things improved—they ran a dairy with 36 milking cows and farmed about 110 acres of corn for silage, beans, and hay. Over the years, they added barley and beets. Later, Earl sold the diary and raised Tennessee Walking horses. They raised three children on the farm, all of whom still live in Powell.
Earl and Opal’s son, Terry went to Northwest for a year then received a license as an x-ray technician. He was drafted and served in Vietnam, but after his time in the service, knew he wanted to return to the farm. It was his grandparent’s presence Terry remembers most. They lived down the road and saw each other nearly every day. Since they were mostly retired from farming, his grandfather took him fishing and camping in the mountains. In 1971, he worked alongside Earl, his brother Ron, and brother-in-law Scott. Ron now runs sheep on Heart Mountain; Terry and Scott farm about 600 acres of sugar beets and malt barley.
Terry was the President of the American Sugar Beet Growers for 2004 and 2005 and served on the board for 18 years. For 21 years he served on the Big Horn Basin Beet Growers board and was recently elected to the Board of Directors for Great Western Co-op. He is the fifth generation farmer in the Jones family.