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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


William D. Jones

Legion were the caravans that wended their tedious way over the lonely plains and across the trackless deserts during the years that followed the discovery of gold in California. Not the smallest or least important among them was the emigrant train commanded by Captain Sewell, who led a large company safely into the land of destiny and brought the journey to an uneventful conclusion at the expiration of six months of constant travel. Among the travelers was William D. Jones, who was born in Kentucky in 1842 and who at the time of the expedition was a boy of ten years. Always ready to assist in the care of the wagons or the oxen, on more than one occasion he proved himself the possessor of patience in hardship and heroism in danger. Arriving in California during the autumn of 1852, he came with the family to Sonoma county in 1853, and here passed the remainder of his useful existence, earning a livelihood through the careful tilling of the soil. To the end of his life he retained a vivid recollection of the trip across the plains, and often referred to it during advanced years, dwelling especially upon the contrast between modes of travel then and now.

The founder of the family in California was Robert W. Jones, a native of Kentucky, born in 1782, and deceased in Mendocino county, Cal., when about one hundred years of age. By his marriage to Margaret March, who was born in Kentucky in 1816, he became the father of five children, William, Eli, Mary, Elizabeth and Susan. Eli, a resident of Potter Valley, Mendocino county, is married and has three children, Walter, Leroy and Lena. Leroy married Agnes Berryhill and they have two children, Leroy and Agnes. Lena, Mrs. Charles Whittaker, of Potter Valley, has one son, Charles. Mary, the eldest daughter of Robert W. Jones, became the wife of George Pickle, and nine children were born of their union, namely: William, Jesse, George, Frank, Margaret, Mattie, Della, Ellen and Josie. The first-named son, William, married Lulu Jackson, by whom he has five children, Samuel, Robert, Ella, Bessie and Georgia. Jesse, who chose as his wife Miss Julia Jackson, resides at Potter Valley, and has four children, Henry, Cecil, Laura and an infant unnamed. Mattie Pickle married Fisher Day, of Potter Valley, and they have six children, Grover, Marion, Ralph, Ruth, Stella and an infant unnamed. Della Pickle became the wfe of Warner Neil, of Potter Valley, and they have five children, George, Francis, Ora, Edith and Ruth. Ellen Pickle married Edward Shelton, of Rock Tree Valley, and they have three children, the two elder being Harold and Marion.

Elizabeth, daughter of Robert W. Jones, became the wife of John Pickle. Their twelve children were named as follows: Wiley, George, John, Frederick, Hattie, Nannie, Marnie, Elizabeth, Effie, Susan, Dovey and Mabel. Wiley married Emma Maze, and they with their three children reside at Potter Valley. George is married and has two children, Ray and Jennie. Hattie, Mrs. Barnard Berger, of Coalinga, Fresno county, has three children, Hattie, Frank and Anna. Nannie is married and has four children, Johnson, Minnie, Mary and Lulu. Marnie, Mrs. Jerome Worth, of Coalinga, Cal., has two children. Elizabeth, Mrs. Edward Banker, is the mother of two children. Effie married Frank Banker and has three children. Susan is the wife of Samuel Spears, of Ukiah, this state, and they have two children, Innis and Ruby. Dovey married James Guinu and has three children, Wilbur, Dorothy and Erma. Mabel, Mrs. Frank McKee, resides at Potter Valley and has one child, Blanche. Susan, the youngest daughter of Robert W. Jones, became the wife of D. Taylor and settled at Upperlake, Lake county, Cal. Their family comprised eight children, Leonard, Jessie, George, Charles, Ernest, Josephine, Ellen and Alice.

The establishment of domestic ties by William D. Jones united him in marriage with Mrs. Laura (Berryhill) Adams, who was born in Linn county, Iowa, in 1852, and who was his faithful companion and capable helpmate until he passed away, August 13, 1910. She was the daughter of Joseph T. and Jane (Butler) Berryhill, natives of Ohio, who subsequently settled in Iowa, and still later in Dade county, Mo., where the mother died. Later the father came to California and now resides in Potter valley, at the age of eighty-eight years. Five children were born of Mr. Jonesí first marriage, Robert, William, Hattie, Hester and Edna. The first-named, Robert, married Sarah Ryan and resides in Rio Grande; their children are Albert, Ernest, William and Myrtle. Hattie married George Berryhill, of Fort Bragg, Mendocino county, and is the mother of seven children, Rhoda, Pearl, May, Myrtle, Ruth, Hazel and Gladys. Hester Jones is the wife of E. A. Preston, of Garden Grove, Orange county, and they have four children, Elmer, Mont, Alvin and Delbert. Edna Jones, now the wife of Bert Hayes, make her home at Garden Grove, and has two children, Leta and Wilford. By his second marriage Mr. Jones had two children, Cecelia, the wife of Carl Nozler, of Healdsburg, and Clarence, at home. Mrs. Jonesí first marriage united her with Matt Adams, of Missouri, by whom she had three children. The eldest Joseph Adams, married Clara Spencer, by whom he has three children, Harold, Trilby and Alvin; they reside in Potter Valley. Viola Adams, who became the wife of George Pickel, of Potter Valley, died in 1910, leaving three children, Herbert, Littie and Earl. Alice Adams became the wife of Richard Corvel, of Fort Bragg, and they have two children, Meta and Laura.

The old homestead in Sonoma county, where for so many years Mr. Jones lived and labored, is now owned by his widow, who has shared with him the good-will of neighbors and the regard of a large circle of acquaintances. She maintains her membership in the Baptist Church, and for a long period he served as a deacon in the congregation, always contributing generously to religious movements, and giving his sympathy to all uplifting enterprises. His sons have been active in local lodge work in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, but his inclinations did not lead him toward fraternal organizations. His was a busy existence, and a modest degree of success r3ewarded his exertions, but greater than his pride in material prosperity was his devotion to his children, his sacrifices for their good and his earnest hope of their well-being. Through his own labors he cleared ten acres out of his homestead of forty acres; the balance of the estate contains valuable redwood and oak timber. The place stands as a landmark of his industry, a memorial to his pioneer labors. With it are associated memories of his quiet perseverance, his long years of to8il and his unselfish interest in the welfare of the community t=and the county. In the local annals his name is worthy of a position of honor and of permanence as that of a resolute, patriotic and brave pioneer. In October, 1910, after the death of her husband and daughter, Mrs. Jones took up her residence in Healdsburg, where she now lives.

History of Sonoma 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: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011