Sarah Van Hoosen Jones #259, Rochester Hills, Michigan

Sarah Van Hoosen Jones, PhD. (1892-1972) was a lifelong resident of Avon Township, now Rochester Hills. Dr. Jones lived on the beautiful family farm settled in 1923 by Lemuel Taylor, making her the fifth generation of the Taylor family to live on the land.

As recounted in her autobiography Chronicles of a Centenary Farm as well as her aunt, Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen’s autobiography, Petticoat Surgeon, the farm was run by the Taylor/Van Hoosen men for the first three generations. They cleared the land, founded the village, built log cabins, a school, a blacksmith shop, homes and mills, and farmed the land.

Dr. Van Hoosen lost her father when she was three years old and her grandfather when she was five years old leaving her grandmother, mother, aunt and herself to run the farm.

Growing up, young Sarah split her time between Chicago and the family farm. The farm was her favorite place. The Van Hoosen women were also world travelers and, upon graduation from high school, Sarah traveled to Europe before beginning her studies at the University of Wisconsin where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree, Master’s degree in Animal Husbandry and a Doctorate degree in Animal Genetics. Inspired and supported by her grandmother, mother and aunt, Sarah achieved great success as a world-renowned dairy farmer as well as earning the title of Master Farmer multiple times for her scientific farming practices. Her Holstein cattle were awarded many blue ribbons. She managed the farm from 1923 to 1952 when she retired.

Education was very important to Dr. Jones; she served two terms as a trustee of Michigan State University and deeded her farm property to M.S.U. upon her death. Through Quester and community action, the Farmhouse and six acres were donated to Avon Township by M.S.U. to be used as a local history museum and follow Dr. Jones wishes that her farm be used for educational purposes. The Museum has grown to 13 acres and 7 buildings where the stories of the Taylor/Van Hoosen families continue to inspire past, present, and future generations.