James Jones is engaged in business as a dealer in lumber and building materials in the village of Brighton,
which enterprise his industry and good management have so extended until the volume of trade he handles makes the
concern one of the largest and most prosperous of the kind in this part of the state. He was born in Clay township,
this county, January 2, 1862, a son of John Wesley and Melissa Jane (Davidson) Jones. His father, a native of Washington
county, Pennsylvania, came here about 1856, locating in Clay township, where he resided until 1885, and then removed
to Linn county, Missouri, where he pursued general agriculture until death called him, July 27, 1908, being laid
to rest in that place. The family came originally from Wales and he belonged to the third generation in this country.
Politically he was a republican, having voted for Abraham Lincoln, and after marking his first ballot was always
loyal to the candidates of his party and an ardent admirer and supporter of Theodore Roosevelt for the chief executive
office of the land. His wife, who was born in Hardin county, Ohio, near Bellefontaine, where they were united in
marriage, still survives, residing at Tarkio, Atchison county, Missouri. In their family were twelve children,
namely: Margaret, deceased, who was the wife of George Hyde and the mother of eight children; Arabella, the widow
of A. H. Waterhouse, whose farm lies five miles west of Brighton; Mary Ella, the wife of D. H. Hosick, of Jennings,
Oklahoma; James; John C., who departed this life in 1901; Anna Matilda, the wife of William Neal, residing in Linn
county, Missouri; William Elmer, who passed away in infancy; Emma, deceased; Helen, who married E. W. Wise, of
Tarkio, Missouri, and died April 9, 1909, leaving a son two years old who now makes his home with our subject;
Eddie, who passed away in infancy; Hester Agnes, the wife of Ralph McCormick, residing on a farm in Linn county,
Missouri; and Isaac Wilfred, who died in his fourteenth year.
James Jones was reared to agricultural pursuits, acquiring his education during his boyhood days in the district
schools. He resided upon the home farm, assisting in its various duties, until he was married, at which time his
capital consisted of but two dollars. He rented a farm for about four years and during that time his incessant
application and enterprise won him the success that enabled him to lay by sufficient means with which to buy eighty
acres of land in Penn township, Jefferson county. This he still owns and was actively engaged in its operation
until six years ago, when he removed to the village of Brighton, where he purchased the lumberyard formerly owned
by R. H. Pringle. At once he turned his energies toward developing the business and his trade grew so rapidly that
he was compelled to seek larger quarters. He purchased his present location in 1907, to which he. moved his entire
stock of lumber, having razed the sheds and other buildings which were originally on the property and constructed
new ones, at the same time erecting for himself an elegant residence in which he lives. His business has proved
very profitable, and since commencing the enterprise his accumulations have gradually increased until now he owns
two fine dwelling houses, the property upon which he conducts his business and a number of valuable building lots.
Moreover, he possesses a half interest in the old homestead in Missouri and owns a farm of eighty acres in Penn
township, Jefferson county, Iowa. He conducts his business under the firm title of the Jones Lumber Company, which
is the only enterprise of the kind here, and he carries a full line of building materials for inside and outside
work and various kinds of roofing and fencing materials.
In 1845 Mr. Jones was united in marriage to Miss Sarah A. Baldersen, a native of Lincolnshire, England, who came
to Washington county with her parents when she was five years of age. To them have been born two children, Linna
Rha, the wife of Albert C. Saunders; and Bertha, deceased.
Mr. Jones has been a life long supporter of the republican party, finding in its principles those policies which
he deems fully adequate to enhance and promote the business interests of the country, and since casting his first
vote has always been a loyal supporter of its candidates. He belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church, in which
he is a leading member, serving on the board of trustees, and as a business man he is entitled to honorable mention
as a representative citizen of the community.
History of Washington County, Iowa
From the First White Settlement to 1908
BY: Howard A. Burrell
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Washington County, IA
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