To collect and preserve historical items, authentic to the American experience,
for the whole family to enjoy and understand within a scenic and inspirational setting.
HAR-BER VILLAGE MUSEUM MISSION
Despite their extensive accomplishments and good works, Harvey and Bernice Jones actively avoided the limelight. They simply loved helping people, and the satisfaction of knowing that they made someone else's life better was recognition
Harvey & Bernice Jones, Founders of Har-Ber Village Museum
enough. The keystone to this philosophy was the belief that the rewards of one's labor should be used for the benefit of the community and mankind. During the 51 years of Harvey and Bernice Jones' marriage, their lives were closely entwined with their employees, the church and numerous civic organizations. They had success because they delighted in helping others.
It all began near Springdale, Arkansas,in the early 1900s.
Both Harvey and Bernice were children of hard-working farm parents who had a strong work ethic and high moral values. Harvey wanted to be a doctor. Bernice wanted to be a teacher. Neither career materialized, for you see, greater things were in store for both.
Harvey's career started in 1918 during a prolonged railroad strike in Northwest Arkansas. There was a desperate need to transport supplies between Springdale, Rogers and Fayetteville and Harvey seized the opportunity. He purchased a team of mules with an old Springfield wagon, and he was in business. In 1919 he bought his first used hard-rubber tire Federal truck, and the Springdale Transportation Company was born.
In those early years, his business flourished, and the routes to Ft. Smith, Arkansas, and Joplin and Springfield, Missouri, were added. He hauled everything from dry goods to lumber and built a reputation on honesty and dependability. These values became increasingly important when the great depression hit. He never failed a customer and often accepted barter as a payment while sometimes working 16-hour days.
In 1933, the Springdale Transportation Company becameJones Truck Lines, Inc. (JTL). Over the next 60 years, JTL would become the largest privately-owned truck lines in the United States. By 1980, when JTL sold, the company was in 15 states and traveled over 100,000 miles daily. They had 41 terminals, 2,000 pieces of equipment and employed 1,500 people.
Harvey was also an avid civic leader. In the early 1930s, Springdale could not afford to keep all of its schools open. Harvey rented a church building, hired a teacher, and paid for supplies to open a school for grades one through six. The following year the schools were re-opened, but Harvey continued his support of education by buying supplies and giving a multitude of scholarships so children in the community could continue on to college.
Harvey was chairman of the Springdale Memorial Hospital Board, President of the School Board, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Board of the First National Bank of Springdale among other important posts. In 1969, he was the first recipient of the Springdale Chamber of Commerce "Outstanding Civic Service Award."
In all of these endeavors by Harvey, Bernice was an important and equal partner. However, she had a strong identity of her own. Shortly after the truckline was sold in 1980, Harvey became ill and progressively incapacitated. All of the Jones' remaining business endeavors became Bernice's responsibility, and it was her decision to expand their philanthropic endeavors.
Beneficiaries of her generosity include libraries, museums, children's homes, churches and substantial gifts to several colleges and universities. Bernice has provided for hundreds of nursing scholarships, and together with Harvey, has been a lifelong supporter of Springdale Memorial Hospital. In fact, she was one of the first women to serve on the hospital's board of directors. She was instrumental in helping to establish a nursing home in Northwest Arkansas, providing classroom facilities and property that was once used by Jones Truck Lines, Inc.
Bernice was ateacher and a youth leader in the Baptist Church, and a member of numerous Board of Trustees related to her philanthropic projects. She was Honorary Chairperson of the Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute's Advisory Board at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.
In 1992, she was the first woman to receive the "Outstanding Civic Service Award" given annually by the Springdale Chamber of Commerce. In May 1993, she received the UAMS College of Medicine's "Distinguished Service Award."
HAR-BER VILLAGE MUSEUM HISTORY
The setting for the Village just west of Grove, Oklahoma, is the wooded, rolling hills on the shore of Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees. Purchased in 1944, as a place for a summer home, Harvey and Bernice never expected to build an antique village.
It started in 1968 when Harvey built Bernice a church on the banks of the lake from bricks hand-made before the Civil War. The bricks came from three huge fireplaces in the old Van Winkle home in War Eagle, Arkansas. The stained glass windows were made in Fort Smith, Arkansas, especially for the church, and the pulpit came from the Zion Methodist Church, six miles southeast of Springdale, Arkansas, which was built in 1850. In front of the church and facing the lake is the white marble Statue of Christ with out-stretched arms that was sent from Italy. Another early feature of the Village was a fish pond built of rock that Harvey and Bernice personally selected from an area east of Springdale, Arkansas.
After the church was built and the statue of Christ was in place, vacationers boating on Grand Lake started coming ashore. Bernice thought a cabin for the preacher would be nice. Harvey found one, dating back to the 1840s, and brought it back to the Village to be recreated log by log. As the Joneses imagined the preacher would have a sizeable family, they desired a schoolhouse for the grounds.
Harvey located an authentic one-room building near Goshen, Arkansas. During the move, some of the original desks were found in its attic, as well as other school supplies of the day. So began their tradition of furnishing each building with authentic historical items. According to Bernice, “From this beginning, one thing led to another, until today there are over 100 buildings, each of which houses its own display.” The Village was named by Bernice, using the first three letters of each of their names.
To list all of Harvey and Bernice Jones' contributions and awards would take several pages. One must not overlook what some would say has been their greatest gift, that is, their gift of love and concern for those who needed a helping hand.