The Buddy Calvin Jones Caddo Collection contains several thousand objects and is one of the largest collections of Prehistoric artifacts in the region. Caddo ceramic vessels and tools dating from Early Caddo through Historic periods were donated to Gregg County Historical Museum (GCHM) in 2003. Buddy Calvin Jones excavated most of the artifacts during the 1950s and 1960s in northeast Texas, many in Gregg County.
In Spring 2014, after restoring the downstairs display area, the museum began developing a new exhibit to show a portion of this significant collection. The exhibit illuminates the rich heritage of East Texas’ first peoples and the impact of the Caddo in Gregg County and beyond. Occupying the region from AD 800, the Caddo were known for their advanced farming techniques and beautiful pottery. The ceramics and tools these peoples left behind tell the story of their culture and their achievements.
This exhibition was made possible by the Museum’s generous supporters and funding from the Patsy B. Hollandsworth Family Foundation and the Neil & June Killingsworth Memorial.
In compliance with Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), and in partnership with the Caddo Nation, GCHM has completed a full inventory and documentation of the Buddy Calvin Jones Caddo Collection with the assistance of archaeological consultants. The Museum has also received a National Trust for Historic Preservation grant to fund a docent manual and teacher curriculum guide related to the Collection. Additionally, a donation from the Patsy B. Hollandsworth Family Foundation to the Museum has provided proper climate control and shelving for its storage. The Museum intends to deliver workshops and programs related to the Collection and the remarkable culture of the Caddo people.
GCHM welcomes and encourages archaeologists, scholars and researchers to make use of its collections. We make every effort to accommodate requests, however, mitigating circumstances (including but not limited to inaccessibility, fragility, publication status, sacred nature, construction, and time constraints) may restrict access to some materials.
For general inquiries about access to the Buddy Calvin Jones Caddo Collection, please email Patti Haskins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For specific requests, please download and complete the Request for Access to Collections form after reviewing the Access to Collections policy.
Completed forms may be submitted to email@example.com with the title of the form in the subject line.
Jones is a nationally and internationally recognized archaeologist. His findings on conquistador Hernando de Soto were recognized by the Florida Senate and published in the Spanish journal Revista de Arqueología in November 1988 and The Florida Anthropologist in June 1998. His research on the Caddo has been published in various journals and is of great importance to the field.
Jones was born in Longview, TX on October 31, 1938. His father was one-eighth Creek and his mother was one-quarter Cherokee; this ancestry fueled his desire to learn more about his Native American heritage. After he found his first “arrowhead” in 1945, at the age of 7, Jones spent his summer vacations in the East Texas woods on what he called "a dig.” Returning home late in the evening, tired and dirty, he was always jubilant because his wagon was loaded with Native American artifacts.
In 1956, Jones helped establish the East Texas Archaeological Society in Tyler, Texas and in 1957, wrote his first publication, "The Grace Sites, Gregg, Texas," which was published in The Bulletin of the Texas Archaeological Society.
Jones studied anthropology at the University of Oklahoma where he received his Bachelor of Arts in 1961. He focused his studies on the Caddoan culture and its chronological placement in the development of Mississippian Native American life. After serving in the U.S. Army and working with the National Park Service, Jones began his post-graduate work in Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma where he received his Master of Arts in 1968. His thesis, The Kinsloe Focus: A Study of Seven Historic Caddoan Sites in Northeast Texas, continues to be an important reference work for this area.
In 1965, Jones married Patsy A. Olive, a gifted author and artist. The couple moved to Florida where Jones began his employment as an archaeologist for the state in 1968. Through patience and technique he refined his discovery technique to an art form. His efforts resulted in the location of about 1000 archaeological sites, over 40 of which were excavated, many under Jones’ direct supervision.
In May 1990, Florida Senate Resolution 3088 recognized Jones for his archaeological achievements including the discovery and excavation of nine Spanish Missions in Leon and Jefferson Counties, the Desoto winter encampment in Tallahassee, and his work and cooperation with property owners and amateur archaeologists. Also in 1990, Jones received the Special Achievement Award for Historic Preservation from the Florida Heritage Foundation and the Historic Tallahassee Preservation Board.
Jones consistently involved the public in his efforts, and it was this spirit of sharing that was responsible for his many significant contributions. The Florida Archaeological Council presented Calvin with a Lifetime Achievement Award in May of 1998.
When Jones died, after a yearlong battle with cancer, his remains were sent back to Texas where he is buried.
It was often thought by his colleagues that Jones had mystical powers; it seemed he could spot and find, with uncanny accuracy, lost civilizations and cultures. In Jones’ own words: "The archaeologist must be like a shaman; he must have a communion with the people who lived thousands of years ago."