Born in Utopia, Texas, Aaron Jones was one of five children. He came to Oregon when he moved to his uncle’s dairy farm in 1931. Aaron graduated from Toledo High School and did well academically, being one of only two students from his class to go onto college at the University of Oregon.
Aaron’s college studies were disrupted by World War II. He joined the Army, rose to the rank of Captain and by the end of the war, was a Battalion Commander.
When Aaron returned to Eugene after the war, he married and was blessed with the arrival of three daughters, Becky, Kathy and Jody, who would one day share his vision and take the reins of the Company.
Not long after, Aaron heard opportunity knock when the government declared new forest management plans that would open forestlands to commercial harvest for the first time in order to provide jobs for the returning veterans. Aaron and a brother-in-law went into the lumber business. By 1954, Aaron established his own lumber company. In its first year of operation, Seneca Sawmill Company employed 25 people and manufactured 18 million board feet of dimensional lumber.
Aaron was on his way to becoming a leader among leaders in the forest products industry. The success of Seneca Sawmill is based on Aaron’s insistence on excellence which led to technological innovations that have resulted in over 20 patents, four new sawmills, three new planers, a log merchandiser, a renewable energy electrical plant and at least a dozen technical and mechanical revisions to stay at the forefront of efficiency in sawmill manufacturing.
Now, nearly 60 years later through continual reinvestment in Lane County, the Seneca family of companies, has grown to 400 employees in three locations. The Seneca legacy and commitment to excellence continues with Becky, Kathy and Jody Jones as company owners.