Transcribed by Teresa Kesterke from: Biographical Review of Des Moines County, Iowa: Containing Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Many of the Prominent Citizens of To-day and Also of the Past, Hobart Publishing Company, Chicago, 1905.


The above name is one that is familiar to the citizens of Des Moines county, for it belongs to one of the oldest residents of Washington township, who is now retired from the duties which have so long engrossed his attention as a farmer and stock-raiser. He was born in Wales, May 3, 1826, and when thirteen years of age, went to the city of Liverpool, where he remained till he was twenty-one years of age, being engaged part of the time as employee in the Queen's tobacco warehouse. He then came to America, and after landing in New York was employed for a time as a steamboat hand; remained there for a short time, and then went to Madison, Conn., where he was engaged for two years on a sloop transporting potatoes to New York. His next move was to the South, where he located in New Orleans, and secured employment in the gas works, and also followed steamboating for some time.

In 1850 he settled permanently in Iowa, and in 1852 purchased one hundred and sixty acres on Section 24, in Washington township, Des Moines county, where he at once became an active farmer and prosperous stock-raiser. He soon sold eighty acres, and later bought ten more, making ninety and one-half acres. Mr. Jones transformed this bare and wild place into one of beauty and cultivation. His home, barn, and other necessary farm buildings are good and durable, and today both field and meadow yield rich golden harvests.

Sept. 2, 1852, Mr. Jones married Miss Elizabeth Morris, who was also born in Wales, and came to America when a young girl with her parents, who located in the State of Ohio. In 1844 they came to Iowa, and settled in Franklin township, Des Moines county, where her father carried on farming and blacksmithing for many years. Later they moved to Louisa county, where Mr. Morris died, Nov. 11, 1869. March 16, 1899, Mrs. Jones passed away at the home place, at the age of seventy-one years and eight months. She was a member of the Congregational church, a kind and loving mother, a devoted wife, and a true friend.

Mrs. Jones left the following six children: William M., resides in Mt. Union, Henry county, where he is engaged as a farmer. He married Miss Clara Lusk, and they have seven children: Elmer M., Walter M., Lincoln O., Harry, Aletha B., Ruth U., and Delia. John E. married Miss Emma Muelkerson, and has two children: Elsie M. and Leila B. He is a traveling man residing in Winfield, Henry county. Mary is the wife of William H. Myers, who was born in Yellow Springs township, and is a son of Richard and Henrietta Myers. Mr. and Mrs. Myers reside with the parents of Mrs. Myers on the home place, and thus relieve the duties of Mr. Jones. Sarah J. is the wife of John C. Fye, of Washington township, and is the mother of one son. Morris C. Anna L. is now Mrs. A. H. Featherby, of Yarmouth, Iowa, where Mr. Featherby has a hardware store. Lincoln H. lives in Nebraska. He married Miss Anna Fye, and they have two daughters, Agnes and Dorothy. All the above-named children were born in Washington township on the home place.

Politically, Mr. Jones is a strong Republican, and has held nearly all the township offices, and those of road supervisor and school director for many years, attending to all duties in a very satisfactory manner. He is a devoted and conscientious member of the Congregational church, and lives up to his Christian profession in all walks of life.

Besides the beautiful farm mentioned in this review, Mr. Jones also has eighty acres of land in Henry county, Iowa, and also eighty acres in Washington township on Section 34. He truly is a self-made man. Starting in life as a steamboat hand, by his untiring energy and perseverance he has progressed step by step, till today, in the evening of life, he has accumulated a comfortable competence, and is able to live in retirement, and thus enjoy the labor of his early life. He also possesses those qualities which have insured the making of friends whose esteem and confidence he enjoys to an unusual degree.

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