My name is Karen Jones Jemison, and I am a native of Liberty County.
In celebration of Black History Month, I’d like to share a personal story about my father the late Maxie R. Jones Jr.
My siblings are Liberty County Tax Commissioner Virgil Jones and County Commissioner Maxie R. Jones IV Randolph A. Baker and Neal E. Jones, Sr.
Our father was the first full-time African American to be certified as a deputy sheriff here in Liberty County. He was sworn in January, 1969 under Sheriff William Phillips. And, after 23 years of committed and dedicated service, he retired.
His name still speaks volume to the history of our county and certainly to our heritage.
I have had this yearning to have an article placed in the Courier during this month of Black History. It means a lot to us and if we don’t speak and keep the story going, it will vanish.
I have been beating myself for not following through, for not following my mind to do what I know to be a reminder to some, but still education for many others.
There were certainly articles written and published during the time he served as a deputy in the newspaper.
In fact, some stories would depict the disrespect of travelers along I-95 who refused to allow him (being African American) to arrest them.
However, many others would address the Sheriff praising him for his professional mannerism, character and service.
Our father died on September 15, 1992. But his memory and legacy remain strong to this day.
Karen Jones Jemison