JAMES JONES who is engaged in general farming on section 22, Brighton Township, was born in Wales, in December, 1837 and is the eldest son of James and Mary Jones, both of whom were natives of the same country. The mother there died when in middle life. She was a member of the Baptist church. Some years after the death of his wife, Mr. Jones crossed the Atlantic to this country, and died at the home of his son Tom, in Brighton Township, having reached the allotted three-score years and ten. He, too, was a member of the Baptist Church.
The first one of the family to cross the ocean was our subject, who, when a young man of twenty years resolved to try his fortune in America, and in 1859, made his passage from Liverpool to New York on a steamer. Choosing Illinois as the scene of his future labors, he soon afterward began life here as a poor man. The first year he worked for John Bennett for $100, and continued farm labor for three years in the employ of others, when he began work on his own account. Whatever success he has achieved in life is due to his own efforts. He certainly deserves great credit, for he began at the very lowest round of the ladder and has worked his way upward step by step until he is now numbered among the well-to-do citizens of the community. His farm in Brighton Township comprises two hundred and eighty-eight acres of arable land, much of which is under a high state of cultivation and well improved. It yields to him a good income and he can provide himself and family with all the comforts of life, of which eh was once denied on account of his limited means. A view of his pleasant homestead is presented on another page of this volume.
Mr. Jones has been twice married. In this county he wedded Miss Emma Bradley, who was born in England, and during her childhood came with her parents to America, the family settling in this county, where she grew to womanhood. She died at her home in Brighton Township, at the early age of twenty-four years. Four children were born of their union, but William and Mary are now deceased. Charles and Mary A. still survive and are both married. The former now engaged in farming in Colorado and the latter is the wife of Josiah Morris, a resident farmer of Kansas.
On the 8th of April, 1875, Mr. Jones was untied in marriage with Mrs. Emma Barnes, nee Spencer, who was born in Marshawood Parish, Dorsetshire, England, December 8, 1853, and is a daughter of Barnett and Flora (Mecch) Spencer, also natives of Dorsetshire, who came of pure English stock. After their marriage they settled in their native county, where they spent their entire lives, Mr. Spencer following the occupation of farming. He died on the 1st of March, 1882, at the age of sixty years. His widow still survives him and will have attained her sixty-ninth year in December, 1891. She is a member of the Episcopal Church, to which her husband also belonged, and is still enjoying good health, retaining much of the vigor which characterizes middle life.
Mrs. Jones is one of a large family and in the county of her nativity she grew to womanhood and was educated in the common schools. She was first married to Charles Barnes, who was born and reared in Dorsetshire, England, and in 1873, they sailed for America, locating upon a farm in Brighton Township, Macoupin County, Ill., where the death of Mr. Barnes occurred March 27, 1874, at the age of twenty-four years, leaving one child, Eliza J., who still resides with her mother. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Jones have been born the following children: A. Zealy, Ellen F., George E., Emma S., M. Lucy, and Grover C. The parents attend the Baptist Church, and in politics, Mr. Jones affiliates with the Democratic party.