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Dorothy Arthella Jones, the youngest child of Arthur and Ella Jones, was born April 18, 1915 in Dallas, Texas. She married William Hubert Foster (born April 15, 1904 in Odessa, Texas and died March 25, 1975 in Austin). October 13, 1972, she married Jeptha Alfred Chandler, a Lee line cousin. Dorothy and Hubert had two children: Karen Elaine Foster, born February 13, 1945 in Austin, and Paula Kathleen “Kathy” Foster, born August 12, 1947 in Austin.
Note: Dorothy wrote this story for the 1996 Arthur Jones Family Scrapbook.
When Dorothy was born to Arthur and Ella Jones, the family included six older children, from 12 to 20 years old, and an aunt, Ella’s sister Dora—plenty of hands to help with the baby. Her father was pastor of the Oak Cliff Christian Church in Dallas.
His nine-year ministry was completed in 1916, when the family moved to Lone Oak, and two years later to Eastland.
These were World War I years, when sugar and other commodities were scarce, and living was a little harder. Highlights for Dorothy were the beautiful postcards sent to her from France by Miriam’s husband, Fritz Eisenlohr, and even a pair of wooden shoes, in which she delighted in clumping around the house.
Persis, Miriam, Erin and Granville left home to work, to go to college or to marry. When Arthur accepted a church in El Paso in 1921, only three children were left at home—Mozelle, Volney and Dorothy, who was six years old. She had to miss the first family reunion in Arkansas in order to start her first year in school, staying with her mother’s brother, Tom Jones and his family. Dorothy started piano lessons with her sister Mozelle while in El Paso.
A move to Marble Falls, where Arthur’s brother Guilford lived, started a close relationship between Dorothy and her cousins, Jane and Guilford, Jr., which continued through their college years. They travelled to family reunions together, and Jane and Dorothy became sorority sisters when they joined Phi Mu at the University of Texas.
The family lived in Dallas again for a time, and then moved to Arlington. Dorothy’s school experience there was successful. In grades 4 through 7, she entered Interscholastic League competition, winning district banners and state medals in spelling, essay writing and music memory, as well as a small college scholarship. At the 7th grade graduation, she was awarded the Rotary Club medal for outstanding pupil of the year.
Girl Scouting was an important activity and influence in her life during those years.
Dorothy’s first two years of high school were spent in Memphis, Texas, in the Panhandle where Arthur was a pastor, and Erin rejoined the family with her daughters Merle and Marjorie.
When the move was made to Llano, Erin and daughters went to Austin.
Dorothy’s senior year of high school, and her father’s last full-time pastorate, was in Austin. She graduated from Austin High School in 1932, and entered the University of Texas that fall.
After one year and a summer term in the University, Dorothy accepted an offer to teach on the ranch of Mozelle and John Moore. Her only pupils were her nieces, Colleen in the fourth grade and Jane in the second. She enjoyed participating in round-ups and other ranch activities, and square-dancing in the community (as well as dating the young ranch hands). Her board and room were paid for by doing the ironing and dishwashing for her sister Mozelle, who was then expecting Gail. The year’s work was completed in five months, and Dorothy returned to the University at mid-term, continuing her major in Education.
The family again included Erin, who worked at the State Capitol, and her daughters. Ella rented rooms in the large two-story house while Arthur did part-time preaching in West Texas towns. He returned to Austin because of his health and died January 1, 1935, when Dorothy was 20.
Dorothy received her B.S. degree in Education in 1936 and began her teaching career in the Austin public schools at the elementary level.
During the summers, she worked for the Austin Recreation Department as a park supervisor, overseeing such activities as baseball, volleyball, crafts, drama and puppet shows.
One of her favorite hobbies was square-dancing, an interest that began in her college days and continued through the ’60s. Whenever circumstances permitted, she travelled with square-dancers to state festivals and national conventions.
Dorothy met Hubert Foster in the University Sunday School class at Central Christian Church in Austin. Hubert lost his sight at the age of 11, and received his education at the Texas School for the Blind. He was a graduate of the University of Texas, with a degree in Psychology and Sociology. During their six-year courtship, Hubert received his Master’s degree and started teaching high school and college subjects to the young men at the CCC Camp near Austin.
Dorothy and Hubert were married October 11, 1941 in the small chapel at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth by the president of that school, Dr. M. E. Sadler, who had been their minister in Austin.
Karen was born in 1945, Kathy in 1947, and Dorothy assumed the role of mother instead of teacher.
Hubert left his teaching in 1948 to accept a position with the State Commission for the Blind, counselling other blind people, and moving his family to Tyler. Two years later, Dorothy started teaching in the Tyler School System. She took two years off from teaching to accept a position with the Campfire Girls as a Group Counselor. She went from group to group instructing the girls in nature study and singing.
When her daughters were in high school, Dorothy went to North Texas State University at Commerce, where she received her Master of Science degree in Education, minoring in Music. She then went to Oklahoma, teaching public school music there and in northeast Texas for the next six years. Karen and Kathy stayed in Tyler with their father, in order to remain in the same high school.
Dorothy settled in Conroe in 1968, and taught second grade there until her retirement. Hubert and Dorothy were divorced in 1969, and Hubert was married to a long-time school acquaintance for several years before his death March 25, 1975.
Although they had attended the same reunions for many years, Alfred Chandler and Dorothy had never become well acquainted until the summer of 1972. He is the son of Lee Jones Chandler, one of Arthur’s sisters.
Because of their mutual interest in nature, birding and photography, they were drawn into a lengthy conversation, which led to letters and phone calls and Alfred’s visit to Conroe in October. The marriage of cousins is frowned upon in Arkansas, even middle-aged ones, so they were married in Conroe on October 13, 1972. Each maintained a home, and time was divided between the states of Arkansas and Texas.
Alfred grew up in Arkansas, having been born at DeQueen March 11, 1907. He worked for some years in a railroad office in Texarkana, and was active in the Christian Church there. Being adept with a camera, he opened his own portrait studio in the same city.
With the advent of World War II, he joined the Air Force and was assigned to the Aerial Photography division. He was stationed in Denver, Colorado, among other bases, and his overseas assignments were in Japan, Morocco and the Aleutian Islands. He was married and divorced twice during his twenty year service, but had no children. He retired to a piece of land near Hot Springs, and much time was spent photographing the birds that came to his feeders.
Dorothy and Alfred belonged to several nature and environmental organizations, including the Big Thicket Association (of Texas) and the Audubon Society. They enjoyed many birding excursions and other field trips throughout the two states, photographing flowers, birds or whatever natural aspect presents itself. Dorothy studied wild mushrooms extensively, and hunted and prepared for eating the wholesome ones.
As a teacher, Dorothy took every opportunity to instill in her pupils an interest in nature. Her own interest probably came from her father’s love of the outdoors and from her Girl Scout and Campfire experiences.
As a grandmother, she took the children individually or in pairs on various types of field trips, and to the family reunion in Arkansas.
Dorothy’s church was always been important to her, and she served variously as pianist, choir member, teacher and women’s group president.
At one family reunion, Priscilla Diffie asked each person for a thumbnail characterization of him or herself. Dorothy’s was “Nature lover and peacemaker.”