• Identification00145878
  • TitleDescriptive inventory for the Judge Sidney A. Jones, Jr. papers, 1931-1994
  • PublisherChicago Historical Society
  • Language
    • English.
    • English
  • RepositoryChicago History Museum Research Center 1601 North Clark Street Chicago, IL 60614-6038
  • OriginationSidney A. Jones, Jr. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Illinois. Circuit Court (Cook County) United States. Dept. of Labor
  • Date1931-1994
  • Physical Description1.5 linear feet (4 boxes)
  • LocationMSS Lot J

Processed with funding by the Council on Library and Information Resources-funded Black Metropolis Research Consortium "Color Curtain Processing Project."

This collection is open for research use.

Rights owned by the donor, including copyright, were donated to Chicago Historical Society. Other copyrights may be retained by the creators of items, or their descendants as stipulated by United States copyright law, unless otherwise noted.

Materials were a gift of the Judge's daughter Roma J. Stewart in 2012 (accession #: 2012.0031.1).

Judge Sidney A. Jones, Jr., papers (Chicago History Museum), plus a detailed description, date, and series/box/folder/call number of a specific item.

Correspondence, publications, programs, legal documents, newspaper clippings, photographs, and writings by and about Judge Sidney A. Jones, Jr., attorney, alderman of the 6th Ward, Cook County Circuit Court judge, and mayoral appointee as director of the Mayor's License Commission under Mayor Harold Washington in the 1980s. A portion of the collection documents his involvement in various fraternities, clubs, and religious organizations. Of particular note are legal cases Jones tried for the United States Labor Department in the 1930s concerning resistance by labor unions against admitting African Americans.

Judge Sidney A. Jones, Jr. (1909-1993) was a Chicago attorney, alderman, and Cook County Circuit Court judge. Jones was born in Sandersville, Georgia and later moved with his family to Savannah, Georgia. He graduated from Atlanta University in 1928 and from Northwestern University Law School in 1931. While at Northwestern, Jones became a member of the fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha of which he was an active member until his death. After law school, Jones practiced law in Chicago and was a Senior Attorney for the United States Department of Labor from 1939 to 1946.

Jones won election as alderman of the 6th Ward in Chicago in 1955. In 1960, he was elected Cook County Circuit Court judge and was re-elected until his retirement from the bench in 1980. After this retirement, Jones became an adjunct professor of law at DePaul University College of Law until 1983. Mayor Harold Washington appointed Jones director of the city License Commission in 1983. Jones stayed in the mayoral cabinet until 1989. Jones was a member of the Chicago Bar Association, National Bar Association, past President of the Cook County Bar Association, served on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Boys Club, life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, and was legal counsel of the Fourth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

  • Names
    • Jones, Sidney A., 1909-1993--Archives
    • Washington, Harold, 1922-1987
    • Illinois. Circuit Court (Cook County)
    • United States. Dept. of Labor--Officials and Employees
    • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
    • Original Forty Club of Chicago
    • Sigma Pi Phi
    • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). School of Law. Class of 1931 Sixtieth Reunion
  • Subject
    • African American Judges--Illinois--Chicago
    • African American Lawyers--Illinois--Chicago
    • African Americans--Illinois--Chicago--Societies, etc.
    • Courts--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Courts--Illinois--Cook County
    • Discrimination in employment--United States--20th century
    • Labor unions--United States--20th century
    • Legislators--Illinois--Chicago--20th century--6th Ward
  • Geographic Coverage
    • Chicago (Ill.)--Politics and government--20th century
    • Chicago (Ill.)--Race relations--20th century

The collection is arranged physically into five series by subject.

Series 1. Fraternal order and club involvement, 1936-1994 (items found in boxes 1-2)

Series 1 includes documents pertaining to membership and participation in Alpha Phi Alpha, the first African American inter-collegiate fraternity in the United States, its Xi Lambda and Theta chapters, Sigma Pi Phi fraternity, Original Forty Club of Chicago, Scufflers Club, and Clark Atlanta University Alumni Association. Materials include convention programs and minutes, financial reports, fraternal publications, writings by and about Jones and his involvement in Alpha Phi Alpha.

Series 2. Civic engagement, 1970-1992 (items found in box 3)

Series 2 is comprised of material relating to Jones' involvement in the Dr. Daniel Hale Williams Memorial Medical Society for Health and Human Services, the Chicago Boys Clubs, the Washington County Elderite Association, and writings on African American history, religion, and politics. Documents include correspondence, programs, and writings by Jones.

Series 3. Law career, 1932-1992 (items found in boxes 3-4)

Series 3 contains materials related to Jones' involvement in labor law and anti-discrimination law suits, primarily from the time he was Senior Attorney for the U.S. Department of Labor. Also represented is Jones' time in private practice in the early 1990s and as legal counsel of the Fourth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Materials include correspondence, a transcript record from the United States Circuit Court of Appeals, press clippings, and documents relating to Northwestern University law school class of 1931 sixtieth reunion.

Series 4. Political involvement, 1956-1989 (items found in box 4)

Series 4 is primarily comprised of materials relating to Jones' time as alderman of the 6th Ward but also his political interests in the 1980s. Documents include newspaper clippings, correspondence, programs, fliers, and photographs.

Series 5. Personal, 1937-1993, undated (items found in box 4)

Series 5 contains correspondence, a biographical sketch, and Jones' research and writings on Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.