Addison Porter Jones

From The Capital Region of New York State, Crossroads of Empire, 1942
Francis P. Kimball


Transcribed by Arlene Goodwin


wpe11.gif (426208 bytes)As president of the Catskill Savings Bank, Addison P. Jones has made a substantial contribution to the financial and business life of his native community and its people and institutions. He has been connected for many years with this bank and with banking affairs generally in the Catskill region.

Mr. Jones was born in Catskill on August 22, 1877, son of George Howard and Ione Elizabeth (Lusk) Jones and a member of a prominent local family. His paternal grandfather, for whom he was named, was State Senator from the Catskill district, serving at the time of the State Capitol was built in Albany, and for a period of years was a member and chairman of the County Board of Supervisors.  He was also a director of the Tanners National Bank of Catskill and a trustee of the Catskill Savings Bank, with both of which his grandson and namesake is connected.  George Howard Jones, the father, was for many years a leading member of the Greene County bar and for several years, county district attorney. In earlier life he served an enlistment in the State militia, now the New York National Guard. The mother, Ione Elizabeth (Lusk) Jones, was born in Coxsackie.

Addison Porter Jones received his general education in the public schools of Catskill and at Catskill Free Academy. From the latter institution, he spent three years with the Catskill dry goods firm of H. L. Boughton and then entered the Eastman Business College in Poughkeepsie, from which he was graduated in 1896. From 1897 to 1900 he was engaged in the grocery business at Catskill with his brother. On February 2, 1901, he entered the employ of the Tanners National Bank of Catskill as discount clerk and general bookkeeper, an association he continued until December, 1910, when he joined the operating force of the Catskill Savings Bank as clerk. Mr. Jones’ previous banking experience and demonstrated qualifications for larger responsibilities soon brought him advancement in the institution. On September 3, 1912, he was elected a trustee of the bank. In 1918, he was appointed assistant secretary and in 1923, was elected secretary.  This office he occupied until 1937.  Meanwhile, in 1927, he was also elected second vice-president. When the presidency of the Catskill Savings Bank fell vacant in 1937, Mr. Jones, who for years had borne conspicuous responsibilities in its management, was elected executive head of the bank.  He has served as president since that time, directing its operations with a sure hand.

Mr. Jones also continues his association with the Tanners National bank as director.  In addition to this banking connections, he was for some years a partner of Jones, Golden & Jones, and insurance and real estate firm, serving as  such until that firm was sold to Harring & Harring in 1935. Throughout his career he has taken an enlightened interest in civic affairs and in latter years has several times been called into the sphere of public service. During the World War period he was chairman of one of the Red Cross drives.  The quota of Greene County was $10,000 and Mr. Jones had doubts of their ability to raise it.  However, he personally organized committees in every town in the county and when the drive was ended had raised $243,000. In August, 1926, Mr. Jones was elected a member of the Board of Education of Catskill Union Free School District No. 1, and was president of the board from January 6, 1934, until his resignation on April 11, 1938, during which time the new Junior-Senior High School was erected.  On April 23, 1932, Mr. Jones was also appointed a member of the New York Bridge Authority by Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt and was successively reappointed  to this body by Governor Herbert H. Lehman on January 18, 1935, March 13, 1935, January 24, 1938 and February 4, 1941, the last appointment for the three year term which he is now serving.  On February 13, 1936, he was elected chairman of the New York State Bridge  and is still serving in this capacity, having been reelected on February 7, 1941. He has been a member of the authority since it was first constituted to build and operate the Rip Van Winkle Bridge at Catskill, and to operate the mid-Hudson Bridge at Poughkeepsie. In September, 1940, the State of New York purchased the Bear Mountain Bridge and the management of this bridge is also under the Bridge Authority.

Mr. Jones is a Democrat in politics and is past treasurer and past president of the Rip Van Winkle Club of Catskill, of which he has been a member since 1906. A prominent Episcopal layman, he was elected to the vestry of St. Luke’s Protestant Episcopal Church in Catskill in 1910, has served the church variously as financial secretary and treasurer and at present is senior warden.

On October 8, 1902, Addison Porter Jones married Alice Annette Whittaker, of Catskill, daughter of Howard and Amelia Elizabeth (Mitchell) Whittaker. They are the parents of one daughter, Ruth Elizabeth, born July 27, 1917, married, September 12, 1939, Roger Lyle Demeritt. She is a graduate of Skidmore College.

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