AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Believed to be the first Black-owned trucking company in Texas, Jones & Sons Trucking is based right here in Amarillo.
Even now, more than 70 years after it was started in 1950 the business is still in the family–Three generations of Joneses have operated the company–beginning with Eddie Lee Jones.
Eddie Lee’s son, and owner of Jones & Sons Trucking, David Jones said, “I tell guys all the time, we’re not new to it we’re true to it.”
The Jones family will also tell you, transportation is part of their legacy, and Eddie Lee’s legacy rolls on with each rotation of every tire in the fleet.
“So he’s just in our blood,” son and smooth operator Steven Jones said, “And it was something about your diesel smoke once you smell it? You hooked, you know?”
Jones & Sons Trucking celebrated 71 years in business, last year. The family said it was the first Black-owned company to get their trucking authority in the state of Texas back in 1971.
Eddie Lee started the business in August of 1950 and the Texas Railroad Commission granted him trucking authority after he purchased the established company in 1971.
“When my dad opened the door back in 1970 the trucking industry was a white industry. Blacks, Indians, Mexicans, they couldn’t have trucking authority. So my dad opened the door.” Steven said. “He caught a lot of hell. I mean, he really did, you know, protesting and stuff like this, but he opened the door, and so when he did, he actually helped other guys.”
The family does not dwell on the prejudice that Eddie Lee faced but some stories have stayed with the younger generation.
Driver and part-owner Devarius Jones said he is impressed by how his grandfather persevered, even though at times he was all alone.
“In Pampa, Texas, he used to work down there all day, and then he would have to sleep in his trailer because Blacks weren’t allowed in motels,” Devarius said. “For a man that had that much determination for his family, to not even get a good night sleep, sometimes in ice-cold weather–just going through that has stuck with me. No matter what obstacles come my way, there’s a brighter day ahead.”
It’s not just the diesel smoke, but perhaps, some of the grit from the sand and gravel they have moved for so many decades ingrained the Joneses, as well.
“If we’re going to do it, we’re gonna do it.” David said, “It’s just the bottom line and there is no other way. This is the way they raised us, the way they would do it, and that’s the way we have to do it”.
That dedication has helped their business grow, moving the operation from the original site of the business, now used as storage for classic trucks, to their current location on Loop 335 in 2014.
Thanks to David’s sons, the business will stay in the family for at least the next generation to come.
“We were in class and had to do the assignment ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ And I was eight years old, and I wrote I wanted to own a trucking company.” Devarius said,
David is hoping that the fourth generation of Joneses will one day hop in the driver’s seat, “I’ve got a little grandson and he’s out here and he’s into it, so I’m hoping it goes on for another 70 years, at least.” David said, “At least.”