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Chicago: Biographical Publishing Company

Page 342

WILLIAM M. JONES,. There is a well known aphorism that blood will tell. The gentleman whose name heads this sketch is a worthy representative of a family that for years has been distinguished by virtue of the intellectual superiority, mental vigor and business capacity and push of its members. He is a son of the Hon. David and Cindrella (Keller) Gore of Carlinville, the former of whom is a man noted for his broad intellectuality, and the prominent position he has successfully filled in public life. who represents one of the oldest families in Illinois and now of Honey Point Township was born in Madison County, February 6, 1818, at which time Illinois was but a territory. His father, Martin Jones, was a Virginian by birth, the son of the Rev. William Jones, who, it is thought was born in Giles County, Virginia. The father of the latter, great-grandfather of our subject, John Jones, was of English ancestry, and coming from Ireland to America in Colonial times, he settled in Virginia, where he passed the remained of his life. The maiden name of his wife was Lovina Pruitt.

William Jones, his son, was reared in the Old Dominion, where he married and went thence to Tennessee, and from there came to the Northwest Territory, locating in what is now Illinois. For a short time he resided in that part of the Territory now known as Bond County, and thence went to Madison County and settled on land now included in Wood River Township, where he erected a fort known as Jones' Fort. In that early day Indians were vastly more numerous than whites and had full sway, ofttimes being hostile to the settlers. For a few years he resided at the fort and then built a dwelling which continued to be his home until his death.

The father of our subject was about twelve years old when his parents brought him to Illinois. During the time of the trouble with the Indians he joined the Rangers and he was also an active participant in the Black Hawk War. Upon settling down he procured a tract of land near the old home and lived upon it until death closed his earthly career. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Margaret Wright, was also born in Virginia, and was the daughter of Toliver Wright, who was, so far as known, a native of the same State. He located in what is now Wood River Township in 1806, being one of its first settlers. In 1814, on the 10th of July, Mrs. Reagan, accompanied by six children, visited his home. Just before night she started for her home and the mother of our subject set out with her. As Mrs. Jones afterward expressed it, Divine Providence seemed to have interposed in her behalf, for all at once she was prompted to return home. In less than five minutes she heard gun shots, which told only too plainly of the massacre of Mrs. Reagan and her children, not one of whom was left to tell the terrible tale of that cruel slaughter. Mrs. Jones had escaped miraculously from one of the most brutal massacres in the history of the Northwestern Territory. Her marriage to Mr. Jones was contracted in 1814 and of their union there were nine children. She was a devoted member of the United Baptist Church, in which faith she reared her family. Mrs. Jones died August 11, 1861, at the ripe age of eighty-three years.

The early life of our subject was passed in his native county. In his youthful days the schools were taught on the subscription plan, each family paying for tuition according to the number of children sent. The people lived principally from the products of the farm and by hunting and fishing. There was no scarcity of game, deer, wild turkeys, bears and wolves abounding and having free range of the country. St. Louis was then a small place, in fact, at the time of our subject's birth was but a trading post. In common with the other women of that day, Mrs. Jones used to card, spin and weave all the cloth used by the family. Mr. Jones continued to live in Madison County the greater part of the time until 1866, when he came to this county and bought his present desirable farm in Honey Point Township, where he has ever since lived in comfort and prosperity. He has one hundred and three acres.

Mr. Jones was first married in Bond County, to Elizabeth P. Jones, a native of that county. She died in Honey Point Township, July 28, 1882, leaving two children, Emanuel and Melinda A. Emanuel is the father of two children, Mary A. And Robert L. Melinda is the wife of G. B. Ashton and has four children: Janetta, Magnolia, Carrie A. and Lena Belle.

Mr. Jones' second marriage took place in May, 1885, at which time he was wedded to Mrs. Julia Pauline (Powers) Karnes. She was born in Greene County, Tenn., October 1, 1839, a daughter of Benjamin and Cynthiana (Gower) Powers. She was reared in her native county and when eighteen years old accompanied her parents to their new home in this county. She was married in 1860 to William Karnes. He was a native of this county, born May 30, 1832, son of Peter and Sarah A. (Proctor) Karnes, who were natives of Kentucky. From that State they went to Indiana and thence coming to Illinois, were pioneers of Macoupin County. They settled in Cahokia Township, where the father took up Government land, improved a farm and made his home as long as he lived. His son William was brought up on that farm. He learned the trade of a house-painter, which he followed in this county until 1878, when he went to Southwestern Missouri, where he remained four years. Returning to this county at the expiration of that time, he soon after died at his father's home. By her first marriage Mrs. Jones has two children living, Oscar A. and Thomas Frederick.

In Mr. Jones Honey Point Township finds a worthy citizen, who lives an upright life and is accorded full respect by all who know him. He is an earnest worker in the United Baptist Church, of which he has been a member forty years, and every project tending to uplift the people and advance the cause of Christianity has in him a liberal supporter.

1891 Index

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