While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Joseph W. McKnight

JONES, ERIN BAIN (1896–1974). Erin Bain Jones, attorney, author, philanthropist, and lay expert on environmental issues, the daughter of Lewis E. and Barbara (Harris) Bain, was born at Kerens, Texas, on July 28, 1896. Extensive travel-first with her family, as her father, a bank examiner, moved from job to job, and later with her husband, John Leddy Jones, a wealthy businessman-instilled in her a life-long desire for knowledge. After receiving a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1922, she enrolled in the first law school class at Southern Methodist University and graduated in 1928. She went on to earn three additional degrees at SMU: a master's degree in comparative literature (1935), and master's (1968) and doctoral (1969) degrees in law.

Mrs. Jones made significant contributions by her legal research, her local and statewide civic activities, and her interest in oceanography and the environment. She wrote two books, Earth Satellite Telecommunication Systems and International Law (1970) and The Law of the Sea: Oceanic Resources (1972). She was an associate of the Marine Biomedical Institute at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and served on that body's national advisory committee. Although not herself a scientist, she traveled to both the North Pole and the South Pole on oceanographic research expeditions and studied energy and pollution-related problems. She was a member of the American Bar Association and the International Federation of Women Lawyers. She served as a consultant to the advisory board of the Texas Atomic Energy Committee. A staunch friend of education, she also served on the executive committee of the Chancellor's Council of the University of Texas System. She contributed funds to the University of Texas as well as to Dallas Baptist College, Baylor University, and SMU. She donated the Erin Bain Jones Library of Comparative Literature to SMU. She was a cofounder and first president of the Friends of the Dallas Public Library and a member of the boards of directors of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts (now the Dallas Museum of Art), the Dallas Civic Opera Company, and the Dallas Theater Center.

Southern Methodist University recognized Erin Jones as a Distinguished Alumna in 1962; she was subsequently chosen one of five annually selected Women of Achievement in 1970. She died in an air crash at Galveston on April 30, 1974.


Dallas Daily Times Herald, May 1, 1974. Dallas Morning News, January 19, 1973, May 2, 1974. Proceedings of the Philosophical Society of Texas, 1974.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Joseph W. McKnight, "JONES, ERIN BAIN," accessed May 24, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fjoaa.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on May 3, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...