The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

May 8, 2013

Danville High to add names to Wall of Fame


DANVILLE — During the Salute to Veterans concert Thursday night, former Danville Mayor Robert E. Jones will be formally inducted into Danville High Schools’ Wall of Fame.

Jones, DHS Class of 1956, was announced in November as the 2012 inductee to the Wall of Fame. The DHS Wall of Fame was established in 1991 to promote pride in Danville and in District 118 as well as to provide role models for DHS students.

Nominations for DHS’ Wall of Fame are received each year, and a community committee reviews the nominations and selects up to two inductees annually.

Categories for achievement may include but are not limited to: business/industry/entrepreneurship, entertainment/sports, service professions (education, religion, politics, law, medicine, etc.), and/or distinguished service to the community served by District 118.

When Jones is formally inducted Thursday night, he will join 46 others who have their photographs and life stories framed and hung outside the entrance to the Dick Van Dyke Auditorium at DHS.

Members of this group include community volunteers, an astronaut, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, a Pulitzer Prize recipient and Oscar, Emmy and Tony winners.

Jones said his high school years made a lasting impression on him.

He was a member of the wrestling team all four years and was captain of the wrestling team his junior year and president of the boys’ athletics club his senior year.

Jones also served on the student council and was program chairman of the Projector Club,

A lifelong resident of the Danville area, Jones first worked then managed a number of local restaurants and stores before purchasing the Colonial Parkway Restaurant in 1970, a popular establishment he operated until 1994.

He has owned and operated a Dairy Queen in Danville since 1982. He opened the new Dairy Queen on East Main Street in 2003.

Besides a successful Danville businessman, Jones also has served the public in a variety of elected political offices. After serving as Vermilion County Treasurer from 1978-1987, Jones was elected as Mayor of Danville in 1987, an office he held for 16 years over four terms.

Jones was the first mayor elected under the new aldermanic form of government. During his administration, he held economic summits, the new Danville Public Library was built, the Vermilion County War Museum was established in the former library building, the Winter Avenue Soccer Complex and AMBUCS Playground for Everyone were opened, and Danville Stadium was renovated. McLane Midwest, AutoZone and Alcoa located in the city during his tenure as mayor, and the Lynch area was further developed.

An active 33rd Degree Mason, Jones is a life member and past master of the Anchor Lodge 980. His active and sustained support was instrumental in the establishment of the Masonic Learning Center for dyslexic children.

The City of Danville named City Hall in his honor after he ended his tenure as mayor.

A nine-member independent community committee reviewed about a dozen nominations — including a number of Jones’ classmates from 1956 who nominated him — and selected Jones as the inductee for 2012.

This was the second year for the new selection committee, which is comprised of representatives from the school district, Danville Public School Foundation, Vermilion County Museum and Danville Area Community College.