Jay County Indiana Biographies
Josiah Wilbur JONES, a well known and substantial farmer and landowner of Jay county and proprietor of a well improved farm on rural mail route No. 2 out of Pennville, in Penn township, is a member of one of the real pioneer families of this county, his grandfather, John D. JONES, having built the first house erected on the present site of Pennville and was the first postmaster there, the post-office at first being known as New Lisbon, later as Camden and then as Pennville, as is pointed out elsewhere in this work. John D. JONES, the pioneer, was born in York county, Pennsylvania, May 27, 1793, and was a son of Morgan and Hannah ( DAVIS ) JONES, both of whom were born in Pennsylvania of Welsh stock. In 1817 John D. JONES married Lydia VORE, who was born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, a daughter of Jesse and Lydia (CADWALLADER) VORE, and in 1823 moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio and settled in Clinton county in this latter state. In the fall of the following year, 1824, he came over into Indiana with his family and located in Wayne county, where he became engaged in farming and saw milling and where he remained until 1836 when he came up into Jay county, which was set off from Randolph county in that year, and located at the point where the town of Pennville later came to be established, his house having been the first erected at that point. When the post-office of New Lisbon was established there in 1839 he was appointed postmaster. He also was proprietor of the tavern which was the popular stopping place for travelers through that part of the country in those days. The 200 acre tract which he had entered from the Government presently was brought under cultivation and on that farm he and his wife spent their last days, her death occurring on February 12, 1870, and his on January 13, 1876. Both were members of the Society of Friends and were influential among those who established the first meeting in Penn township. Josiah V. JONES, one of the ten children of this pioneer pair and father of the subject of this sketch, was eight years of age when he came here with his parents from Wayne county, where he was born on April 15, 1828, and he grew to manhood here. He completed his schooling in the old Quaker school at Richmond, the forerunner of Earlham College, and for more than ten years thereafter was engaged in teaching school during the winters, meantime continuing his work on the home farm during the summers. He then married and settled on a farm of his own in Penn township, where he continued to reside for nine years, or until 1866, when he returned to Wayne county and there became engaged in the woolen mill business. Nine years later he disposed of that interest and came back to Jay county and resumed farming on a farm of 100 acres, where he spent the remainder of his life. He was long an active Republican and for four years, 1876-80, served as trustee of Penn township, but in 1888 espoused the cause of the Prohibition party and became active in that behalf. He earlier had been an ardent Abolitionist and was one of the active agents of the old "underground railroad" through whose agency runaway slaves were helped on their way north through this region. On March 19, 1857, Josiah V. JONES was united in marriage to Elmira BEEDY, who was horn in Portage county, Ohio, a daughter of Abraham and Hannah (WARD) BEEDY, who later became residents of Columbiana county, Ohio. Elmira BEEDY was given a good education in her girlhood and had been teaching school for some years prior to her marriage to Josiah V. JONES. She survived him some years. Of the eight children born to Josiah V. and Elmira ( BEEDY ) JONES four are now living, the subject of this sketch having two sisters, Ida E. and Olive L., and a brother, John D. JONES. Josiah Wilbur JONES was born on November 19, 1868, during the time of his parents residence in Wayne county and he was about seven years of age when they returned to Jay county and settled in Penn township. He grew to manhood on the home farm, receiving his schooling in the JONES school, and remained with his father, helpful in the labors of developing the home place, until the death of his father, after which he managed the place in his mother's behalf. After his mother's death he bought the interests of the other heirs in the place and has continued to make his home there. Mr. JONES has a well improved farm of 100 acres and is regarded as one of the substantial citizens of the community. Josiah Wilbur JONES has been twice married. His first wife was Clara GRAY, daughter of Thomas I. and Jennie GRAY. To that union was born one child, a daughter, Gladys, who married Ward WILLIAMS and has three children, Juanita, Shirley and Ward Lee. Following the death of his first wife Mr. JONES married Mrs. Marietta ( EDMUNDSON ) WRIGHT, who also is of Quaker parentage and a member of one of the real pioneer families of this county. Mr. and Mrs. JONES have their birthright in the church of the Hicksite Friends, but now are members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Pennville and are Republicans. Mr. JONES is a member of the local grange of the Patrons of Husbandry and is also a member of the local lodges of the Knights of Pythias and of the Modern Woodmen of America at Pennville.