Doctor Coaken Jones
The late Doctor Coaken Jones was born on a small tenant farm on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, on January 15, 1894, and spent his boyhood on nearby Paris Island. After completing his schooling there, he left home to attend Penn Normal and Industrial School in Frogmore, South Carolina, working for his room and board.
His college education began in 1916 when he entered Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia. That education was interrupted by World War I, and he enlisted in the U.S Army in 1918, serving in France. He returned to Hampton after the war where he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in 1923.
D.C.’s first job after graduation was as a farm demonstration agent in Nansemond County, Virginia, where he worked for two years. In 1925, he resigned and moved halfway across the country, accepting a position at Langston University.
From 1925 to 1929, D.C. worked as a supervisor, itinerant teacher trainer, and vocational agriculture teacher at Langston and in the small nearby town of Luther. In 1926, he met Elesta Elliott, a Langston student, and married her in 1928. Their marriage was blessed with two daughters, Eloise and Dorista.
He organized the Oklahoma Association of New Farmers of America, a vocational student organization for young Black men studying vocational agriculture in 1929 and served as NFA’s state advisor and executive secretary. In 1946, D.C. was selected National NFA advisor at the organization’s Louisiana convention and served in that position until 1955.
Mr. Jones was inducted to the CareerTech Hall of Fame in 1997.