About Pat & Ted Jones

City to Prairie: A shared love of conservation and education.

In 1922, Edward D. Jones, Sr. established the Edward Jones & Co as a conventional brokerage house in downtown St. Louis, MO. He was determined to treat associates as partners and all their clients fairly. The company began very humbly in a single room with a desk, three chairs, and a hat rack. In 1948, after a stint in the Merchant Marines during World War II, studying agriculture at the University of Missouri, and working at the New York Stock Exchange, Edward D. Jones, Jr. (Ted) returned home to St. Louis to join the firm. In 1957, he opened the first one-person branch office in Mexico, MO. Jones differentiated his company by allowing employees to buy into his partnership instead of the norm of going public and selling stock. Ted took over full management of the company in 1968. In 2019, Penny Pennington became the firm’s sixth managing partner and is the only woman running a major U.S. brokerage. https://www.edwardjones.com/us-en/why-edward-jones/about-us/our-history

In 1933, Edward Sr. purchased a 750-acre farm in Callaway County through the Federal Land Bank. Although he didn’t know anything about farming, he had experience with finding bargains. At that time, people in St. Louis were buying farms, and Edward Sr. wanted to buy a place for his family to come and visit away from the city.

A few blocks away in Clayton, MO, growing up at the same time as Ted, Jr., was a young lady named Hilda Patricia Young (Pat). She was the daughter of Truman Post Young, a partner in the St. Louis law firm Thompson, Mitchell, Thompson & Young. Her mother, Hilda Jamieson, was the daughter of an architect who helped design Washington University, along with several buildings on MU’s “white campus.” The family lived in the city but loved the country and passed that love along to their daughter. Pat’s father would take the train from the city out to the country and float on the Meramec River. He enjoyed these trips so much that he purchased a 10-acre piece of land around 1910 near Eureka, MO, called “The Shack.” Pat did not like the social affairs of the city, and she said, “you have to behave yourself.” She cherished the family weekend getaways. Over the years, it grew to over 900 acres and is now the Young Conservation Area, thanks to Pat’s love of the land and her generosity. https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/young-conservation-area

It was a love of the outdoors that brought Pat and Ted Jones together.

In 1940, while attending high school at the all-girls St. Mary Institute in St. Louis, Pat Jones went on a cycling trip with a group of local high school students. The group of teenagers biked from St. Louis to the Ozarks and that’s where she met Ted. It wasn’t love at first sight: Ted dated Pat’s younger sister, Anne, first. But after World War II, Pat and Ted reconnected. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 1950 with a degree in soil science and married Ted the same year. Pat and Ted shared an intense love of nature and a keen interest in conservation. The couple moved to the family farm in Williamsburg in 1954 and built the home they shared until Ted’s passing on October 3, 1990.

The Jones’ love for cycling turned into one of the biggest conservation successes in the country. In the late 1980s after a trip to Wisconsin Ted saw a rail-to-trails bicycle trail. This experience inspired Ted to embark on a project to turn the railroads in Missouri into multi-use public trails. In1969 the states had been granted the power to turn railroad corridors into trails due to the high costs of maintaining the railroads along the river. The idea met opposition in Missouri from adjacent landowners fearful of potential harm to their property. At an impasse, Ted and Pat donated 2.2 million dollars for Missouri to acquire 200 miles of abandoned Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad tracks to form a bicycle path for the Katy Trail State Park. After almost two years of fighting with the state to open the trail, their dream was finally realized on April 28, 1990.

After Ted’s passing in 1990, Pat continued their shared love for nature, the outdoors and ensuring people had wide open spaces to explore. In 1997 she donated the farm at Williamsburg to the Missouri Department of Conservation and established partnerships with the School of Natural Resources at the University of Missouri and the Missouri Prairie Foundation. The farm became known as the Prairie Fork Conservation Area (PFCA). Pat had three goals in mind for PFCA: prairie restoration, youth conservation education and research. It is the destination each year for many student field trips and Pat would greet each group with her mantra, “learn, get dirty and have fun.”

They would visit the three unique habitats: the pond, the prairie and the forest, discovering the plants and animals that inhabit them along the way.