Metter’s unofficial historian and long-time newspaper columnist James Jones died on Thursday evening, surrounded by family. He was 92.
Jones was born and grew up in Metter, graduating from Metter High School in 1944. He studied photography while in college before serving in the United States Marine Corps during both World War II and the Korean conflict.
In 1947, Jones married Martha Lou Carden. When the couple moved to Metter, they operated Jones Photography. He served on Metter City Council in 1955 and in 1957, he opened James M. Jones Insurance Agency.
While operating his insurance business, James and Martha continued to photograph the community, taking pictures at weddings, class reunions, parties and other momentous events.
It was after his retirement that Jones began sharing his memories of Metter at civic group and historical society meetings. Five years ago, he put those memories to paper as he began writing a weekly column, “As I remember” in Metter Advertiser.
“Everyone loved Mr. James’ columns,” said Jerri Goodman, editor. “In fact, we have readers who have told us that they didn’t read any other part of the paper until after they read Mr. James’ column.
“We would get calls and letters from individuals who wanted to learn more about certain aspects of the community’s history. We’d put Mr. James on the case and, sure enough, in a week -- two weeks at most -- there’d be a column about that particular issue.
“Mr. James was one of a kind and a friend to everyone. He will be missed by his family, the newspaper staff, our readers and this entire community.”