James P. Jones
A self-made man who started upon his business career without a dollar and has won his way to fortune, James P. Jones, of Denison, is justly held in high regard by all who know him.
He was born in Clinton county, Iowa, May 15, 1860, a son of John and Honora (Carlon) Jones, both of whom were natives of County Clare, Ireland, when they were married. Tlte father was reared a farmer and learned the stone-mason's trade in Ireland. He came to America early in the '50s and after stopping for a while in New York state took up his residence in La Salle county, Illinois, working at stone-masonry and housebuilding. He was employed on the first bridge built across the Mississippi river at Davenport and lived on the island and in Rock Island. He subsequently bought a farm in Clinton county, which he cultivated to good advantage. He died in the northern part of Iowa in 1891, at the age of eighty years. Mrs. Jones, who was born at Mount Shannon, Ireland, in 1823, came to Crawford county in 1879 after her husband's death and lived on a farm in Washington township with her children. She died Sunday, January 8, 1905, at the age of eighty-two years, and was in many respects a remarkable woman. She and her husband were earnest members of the Catholic church.
The paternal grandfather of our subject, Rogers Jones, was a farmer and spent his entire life in Ireland. Among his children were William, Rogers, James, John, Maria and others. The maternal grandfather was also a farmer in Ireland. Of his children Honora, Julia and Kate came to America. Honora is the mother of our subject, and Julia, now deceased, formerly lived in Denison. Patrick, one of his sons, died in Ireland. There were ten children in the family of John and Honora Jones, three of whom are now living, namely: Julia, a resident of Denison; James P., the subject of this review; and John H., also of Denison.
James P. Jones was reared on the old homestead in Clinton county and received his early education in the district schools. He was graduated from the Davenport Business College and subsequently came to Denison and started in the live-stock and real-estate business, with which he has ever since been connected. Being a man of energy and good judgment, he has been highly successful in his affairs. He is the owner of six hundred and forty acres in Crawford county and about three sections of land in Sanborn, Spink, Faulk and Potter counties, South Dakota. On coming to Crawford county, he gathered com at fifty cents a day and chopped wood for seventy-five cents a cord, working industriously at any honorable employment that he could find. By undaunted perseverance he overcame every obstacle and is now financially independent.
On the 18th of June, 1892, Mr. Jones was united in marriage to Miss Isabel Blakely, a daughter of David D. Blakely; She was born in New York, her parents being natives of Ireland. Her father came from County Antrim, near Belfast, and her mother from County Galway. They were early settlers of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, her father being identified with a packing house in that city, where he and his wife are still living. They were the parents of ten children, six of whom survive, namely: Kate, David, John, Isabel c., Elizabeth and Grace. Mrs. Jones grew to womanhood in Cedar Rapids and received a fine education, being a graduate of a convent and the Conservatory of Music at Cedar Rapids.
Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Jones: David B., who died in infancy; William B.; and James D.
Mr. Jones and his estimable wife were reared in the Catholic faith and are sincere followers of the church. They have resided in Denison many years, and their pleasant home is a favorite gathering place for friends who are always assured of a cordial greeting. Mr. Jones gives his support politically to the republican party. He has served in various township offices but never aspired to larger political honors as his interest has been concentrated upon his family and his business.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.