Oregon loses pioneer of timber, freedom & generosity

jones-aaron1Oregon loses its pioneer of timber, freedom & generosity
By Taxpayer Association of Oregon,

Aaron Jones, founder of Seneca Sawmills, died this week and leaving behind an extraordinary legacy of innovation, giving and efforts to help others. Jones served his country in WWI and came back to later start his first timber company in 1953. Aaron grew it a company that now hires over 400 people and is one of the largest-producing timber & sawmill single-site mill in the America. Like Steve Jobs or Henry Ford, Aaron’s ingenuities helped make his mills honored around the world for their innovation. Those successful mills helped employ hundreds of families & the resulting timber revenue brought millions in funding for local schools helping several generations of Oregon kids learn better, read better and achieve better because of his mills in operation.

The University of Oregon awarded him in the Business Hall of Fame and the UofO Presidential Medal for his entrepreneurship, leadership and generosity to his community.

Aaron considered it important that future generations of students could experience the same path to entrepreneurship and success that he personally experienced. To accomplish that meant protecting property rights, liberty and removing barriers to the American Dream that hold people down.

David Hunnicutt of Oregonians In Action spoke on how Aaron shared these values of personal freedom and individual rights when he stated, “Aaron was a true friend to all Oregon property owners. He understood that property rights are a cornerstone of a free society, and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with every Oregon farmer, rancher, timber owner, and rural resident. People who work hard to earn what they have understand the importance of property rights – that was Aaron.” Oregonians In Action currently has their annual award in Aaron Jones’s name.

The Taxpayer Association of Oregon stated, “Aaron Jones was Oregon’s Ben Franklin. He was an innovator ahead of his time helping to lift his business, his industry and community with the visionary force of ideas. Like Franklin, Aaron gave of his entire life to safeguarding freedom by protecting the rights of the taxpayer, the voter, the farmer and the family business owner. Franklin’s principles helped shape America. Aaron’s principles and personal support for the ballot measures protecting landowners from government takings has changed our local laws. Now, even Oregon’s smallest landowners (those least likely to fight back) no longer have to live in fear of losing their entire life’s investment to a government taking thanks to Aaron Jones. Taxpayers owe him a sincere debt of gratitude.”

A former employee shared this comment in the Register Guard that exemplified Aaron’s kindness,

“I married young over a decade ago and had worked for Mr. Jones that same summer. At my wedding reception, he gave me an envelope with strict instructions not to open it for 30 days. I listened, constantly wondering what was inside.When my husband and I eagerly ripped it open a month later, there was $1,000 in cash inside — the most money I had ever seen at one time. Attached was a note in his shaky scrawl: “In case you need a bus ticket home.” How many wealthy, well-known men would take time to do that for some random office girl who had only worked for them a few months?! Mr. Jones would, and I’m sure he did the same for many others.”

Aaron returned his success by investing in local charities and causes such as Festival of Trees, Volunteers in Medicine, Marist High School and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and University of Oregon.

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