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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



The Jones family has been identified with the history of Wales since its earliest days. From time to time there were representatives who bade farewell to native land and crossed the ocean to America in the hope of benefiting by the opportunities offered by the new world. The branch of the family represented by Thomas R. Jones of Sacramento was established in the United States and in California by his father, Thomas, whose birth had occurred at the ancestral Welsh home on New Year's Day of 1817 and whose boyhood had been a period of privation and hardship destitute of educational or other advantages. Desirous of rising to a condition more prosperous and satisfactory, he crossed the ocean in 1840 and sought employment in New York City. For some years he earned his livelihood as a hotel employe. Upon learning of the discovery of gold in California he determined to come hither and accordingly made the trip via Mexico in 1849 in company with a party of forty men, among them being J. McClatchy, the late owner of the Sacramento Bee.

Arriving in Jackson, Amador county, as early as July of 1849, Thomas Jones at once began to mine, an undertaking in which he was successful, and he also engaged in other enterprises. From 1871 until his retirement in 1885 he held the responsible position of United States internal revenue collector. Prominent in local politics, he served for many years as chairman of the county central committee of the Republican party and enjoyed a wide acquaintance among the representatives of that organization. His death occurred October 7, 1894, at the age of seventy-seven years and nine months. During June of 1844 he married Miss Eleanor Owens in New York City. Four children blessed their union, namely: George W., Thomas R., Mary E. and Harry W. The second of these,

Thomas R., was born at Jackson, Amador county, Cal., October 31, 1853, and received such advantages as the public schools of that locality afforded. At the age of fifteen years he began to study telegraphy and subsequent practice made him an expert in that art. During 1871 he came to Sacramento as postmaster of the state assembly for the session of that winter.

On the conclusion of his services in the interests of the state in May, 1872, Mr. Jones entered the employ of the Central Pacific Rail- road Company as telegraph operator at Rockland. After a few months, in September of the same year, he was transferred to Sacramento and here he was appointed train dispatcher, a position of great responsibility, which he filled with characteristic fidelity for about sixteen years. In recognition of his efficiency he was promoted to be assistant superintendent in 1891 and continued as such for twelve years, when, in 1903, he was chosen superintendent of the Tucson division in Arizona. During November of 1901 he returned to Sacramento to begin the duties of superintendent of the Sacramento division, from which position he was transferred in August of 1907 to that of special representative of the railroad at Sacramento, which position he now fills. As a railroad man he has exhibited painstaking attention to every duty and intelligent comprehension of the magnitude of the tasks placed before the railroads of the west. His steady rise is due to the possession of these traits, supplementing the utmost tact and the greatest efficiency.

At no time in his busy life has Mr. Jones allowed his attention to be diverted from his chosen calling by extraneous affairs, yet he has proved a public-spirited citizen, in touch with all enterprises for the general upbuilding, and in politics he has been a staunch Republican. Fraternally, he holds membership with Sacramento Lodge No. 6, B. P. 0. E., and Sacramento Parlor No. 3, N. S. G. W., while socially he is a leading participant in the functions of the Sutter Club. In Sacramento, September 12, 1878, he married Miss Elizabeth Lillian Poole, by whom he became the father of four children, namely: Dr. C. B. Jones, a graduate physician and surgeon of the University of California and the affiliated colleges of San Francisco, and now a physician of Sacramento county; Mrs. W. B. Jordan of Sacramento; Mrs. A. D. Bechtel, whose husband is a physician at Victoria, British Columbia; and Miss Lesley H. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011