Brother, Can You Spare A Billion? The Story of Jesse Jones  

Jones in Red Cross Uniform

From these bureaus, Jesse Jones quickly set up medical aid for the troops in Europe. In the span of a few months, 95 hospitals were built, serving a wide variety of casualties. The Red Cross rapidly recruited physicians and nurses to staff the hospitals for troops at home and abroad. Jones created a motor corps whose sole responsibility was to safely transport sick and wounded soldiers from ships and trains to hospitals and homes. In addition, he created a network of canteen and relief centers that provided much-needed clothing and personal care items to military personnel.

Under the Red Cross Bureau of Construction, he built convalescent homes, recreation centers and warehouses all for the use of military service people fighting in World War I. Costing millions of dollars, many of the building concepts for these structures were drawn out by Jones himself. Overall, Jones' efforts contributed to the mental, moral and physical well-being of the American servicemen. When the war ended, the American Red Cross had established itself as a powerful relief agency that successfully assisted those in need.

But Jones' service for the organization did not stop with the signing of the armistice. In 1918, he was appointed to the Red Cross War Council. In this role, he once again put his remarkable organizational skills to work assisting with the demobilization effort in Europe. In 1919, Jones served as an American delegate at the Red Cross conferences in France and Switzerland. In that capacity, he and other leaders created the League of Red Cross Societies, making the agency the international relief organization it is today. Bascom N. Timmons, author of Jesse H. Jones: The Man and the Statesman comments: "Jones was always to remember his association with Davidson while Director General of Military Relief for American Red Cross, as a member of his war council and in helping him create the League of Red Cross Societies as among the most satisfying experiences in his life."