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Jones County is named after John Paul Jones, a successful early American Revolution Naval hero. The seven hundred square mile longleaf pine forest was surveyed into Jones County in 1826. Industrialists were inspired to settle in the area because of the surrounding timber which provided such an abundant natural resource.
The Masonite Corporation began in Laurel, Mississippi in 1924. William Mason developed a process that converted sawmill waste into a pressed hardboard. Today Masonite is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of doors.
Jones County is also home to Jones County Junior College, Howard Industries, Sanderson Farms, Laurel Machine and Foundry, Tanner Construction, Dunn Road Builders, Thermo-Kool, and many oil related service companies. Recently welcomed to the area is GE Aviation, a global leader in jet engine and aircraft systems.
Jones County has many recreational opportunities from Big Creek Water Park, a 200-acre public lake, to acres of US Forest Service property.
Forestry and the forest products industry are very important to the economy of Jones County with 1,559 forestry related jobs and 65.3 million dollars in income.
Walley Forestry Consultants, Inc. located in Ellisville, the county seat, was established in Jones County in 1978 and Walley Properties, LLC in 1983.