Dr. William Edgar Jones, Sr., was born in Lick Mountain Township, Conway County, Arkansas, on January 30, 1887, the son of Dr. William Allen Jones and Marietta Adams Jones.  Most of his young life was spent in Plumerville, Arkansas (Conway County), and his early schooling was in the schools there.  He attended Hendrix College in Conway and Ouachita Baptist College in Arkadelphia.  Attending medical school first in Memphis, Tennessee, he finished at the Louisville, Kentucky Medical School in 1911.

After a year of intern work in Norfolk, Virginia, he returned to Plumerville where he practiced for a short time with his father.  Receiving an appointment to work in the government hospital in the Panama Canal Zone, he worked there for about a year and a half, after which he was hired by the British Rubber Company to work in the interior of Brazil.

Returning to the states in 1914, he went by Norfolk to look up Madeline Miller, a nurse he had met while doing his internship there.  After a brief courtship they were married, and he brought her to Arkansas.  Falling right in with his father’s practice locally, Dr. Edgar did not have to go through the lean years that usually beset a young physician.  But the calls from the inland towns and communities did not come through until he had built up a reputation as a surgeon.

One of the first surgery cases he had was a young fellow working at a cotton gin in Solgohachia, a small town in the county.  The worker had been leaning over an extended shaft to regulate the machine when a key in the shaft caught his coveralls and pulled him into the machine.  He quickly braced himself against the framework, but the turning shaft took off the whole front of his coveralls along with a large patch of skin from his groin.  After appraising the situation, Dr. Edgar sent for Madeline, who handled the anesthesia while the doctor took strips of skin from each leg and the abdomen of the patient, leaving one end of each strip still attached.  He then stretched these over the wound and stitched them on.  The boy made a quick recovery, and the doctor’s reputation as a surgeon began to grow.

As his reputation grew, he saw that he had a wider field to work from and more opportunities in a nearby, larger town, Morrilton.  Some time prior to 1920 he moved to Morrilton and built the first hospital in that town–or in the county for that matter.  By this time, he and Madeline had two children, and were expecting their third.  Madeline helped get the new hospital ready, making curtains, and seeing to the interior decorations.  They were excited about the opening of their hospital in 1920.

But tragedy struck!  Madeline died of complications in the childbirth, and they lost the baby, also, a little girl.  Thus they became the first patients to die in the hospital.

Besides this baby, there were born to Dr. William Edgar and Madeline the following children: Mary Elizabeth, born February 20, 1916, in Plumerville,  and William Edgar Jones, Jr., born January 3, 1918, in Morrilton.

In 1923, Dr. Jones married Mrs. Ruth Belcher, and this union were born two children: Jean Hires Jones who later married Daniel LeGear, son of the famous Dr. LeGear, producer of medicine for livestock and poultry, they had one son, Scott, and Arthur Allen Jones, famous for the Nautilus Exercise Equipment.

With the onset of the Great Depression in the late 1920’s, Dr. Jones experienced financial difficulties in Morrilton, and moved his practice to Seminole, Oklahoma where he became one of the best-known surgeons in that state.  Ruth Jones attended OU Medical School, graduating in 1936, and practiced with her husband until her death in 1941.

Dr. W. E. Jones, Sr. died May 11, 1964, in Seminole, and is buried there.

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