This past year, Humble lost one of its greatest treasures: A.W. Jones. A legend in the community, A.W. was greatly admired for his outstanding personal qualities and his contributions to the Humble, Aldine and Bordersville communities.
A.W. overcame great difficulties to succeed in life. He was born in 1935 during the time of segregation. As a child, he attended Humble ISD’s Colored School at Bordersville, until the school burned down in 1947. A new elementary school for African-American students was opened by Aldine ISD in Bordersville, but high school students such as A.W. ended up being bused to Carver High School in Acres Home. Despite great difficulty, he was able to graduate from Carver High School and then from Prairie View A&M University.
His greatest contributions were to his community; he was a business owner, a school board member and a community activist. He ran other businesses, but Betty’s Barbecue is the one the locals remember best. People from all across the country came to Bordersville to eat at Betty’s Barbecue. He even catered for the White House!
He was a strong activist for Bordersville. A.W. and his associates went to great lengths to get the City of Houston to provide the basic living services to Bordersville. He fought many battles to bring more things to his community and it was something he never stopped fighting for. Channel 13 honored him with a Jefferson Award in 1981 for his work in Bordersville. His greatest community contributions were probably as a member of the Aldine ISD school board. He was the first African American to serve on the Aldine ISD school board, serving for 30 years (from 1976 through 2006). He had a hand in reshaping Aldine ISD from the segregated school district he grew up in to the outstanding school district it is today. Aldine ISD named two schools in his honor: A.W. Jones Primary School and A.W. Jones Elementary School.
I was privileged to have had many discussions with A.W. regarding the history of Humble and the history of Bordersville. We typically met at the Humble City Cafe and would spend hours eating and sharing his stories about his childhood in Humble. A few years back, he and Emily Humble gave a talk at the Humble Museum about the history of Bordersville. A.W. shared his experiences with the audience, and they wouldn’t leave. They kept asking him to share more and more ... and he did!
A.W. Jones was a great man! We have lost a great resource and a great friend of importance of our community’s history.