History Podcasts

Scipio A. Jones House

Scipio A. Jones House

One of Little Rock`s most richly detailed Craftsman-style houses was built around 1928 for Scipio Africanus Jones, an African-American attorney. Jones was one of the prominent members of Little Rock’s black community during the late-19th and early-20th centuries. It was listed in National Register of Historic Places on May 28, 1999.A lawyer`s storyBorn into slavery in rural Arkansas in 1863, Scipio Jones moved to Little Rock around 1881 to further his education. He finished a preparatory course at Philander Smith College, then enrolled in North Little Rock’s Shorter College, graduating with a bachelor’s degree. Jones` long legal career began when he passed the bar examination in 1889, becoming one of Little Rock’s first black lawyers.Jones practiced law in Little Rock for more than 50 years. Jones` successful appeal on their behalf resulted in his receiving national recognition during the 1920s. The NAACP hired a white Little Rock attorney, George W. Supreme Court, the NAACP again hired a white lawyer, Moorfield Storey, but Jones is credited with preparing the briefs on which Storey’s successful argument was based.Because of the respect he earned as a lawyer and leader of the black community, Jones also served as a bridge to Little Rock’s white power structure.Long before Jones attracted national attention, he was well-known locally as the attorney for several black fraternal organizations and as a powerful member of the Republican Party in Arkansas. Despite white Republicans’ growing support for segregation during the late-19th and early-20th centuries, Jones held several responsible party positions, including serving as a delegate to the 1928 Republican National Convention.Living in the Dunbar neighborhoodDuring his more than 60 years in Little Rock, Jones owned several residences. They lived at that address until 1928, when they moved into their new Craftsman-style home at 1872 Cross Street.Although the house on Pulaski Street was Jones’ residence during the period when he was representing the Elaine Race Riot defendants, the more substantial and stylish house on Cross Street represents the fruit of his career because it was made possible by the wealth he accumulated during his many years as a lawyer. Scipio Jones died in the home on March 28, 1943.


Watch the video: Attorney Scipio Jones Dunbar Moment (January 2022).