Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


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Alfred Schroeder Jones was born at Fisher's Ferry, Susquehanna river, a few miles below Sunbury, Aug. 18, 1835. When he was six years old his father, Thomas Jones, who was a farmer and the proprietor of a tannery, died, and his widow with three children returned to Reading, her native place.

The subject of this sketch received his education in the public schools of Reading; in the classical school of John Kelly, Court street below Sixth, who had been educated for a priest, in Trinity Lutheran Parochial school, southwest corner of Sixth and Washington streets, taught by Constantine Deininger, a linguist, and in the Reading Institute, No. 225 South Fifth street, a classical school of which Prof. James S. Lee and Rev. Dr. William A. Good were the principals. In the spring of 1857 he became an assistant teacher in the latter school, which position he held for several years. Subsequently he taught a select school at Snydertown, Northumberland county, and public schools in Maidencreek, Bern and Cumru townships, and at Rehrersburg and Strausstown, Berks county, and during the summers read law in the office of Amos B. Warmer, but that being too sedentary for Mr. Jones be turned his attention to the newspaper publishing business.

In April, 1864, he started the Reading Daily Reporter, the publication office being located at No. 517 Penn street, having previously personally canvassed a portion of the city for subscribers, which gave him needed outdoor exercise. He bid for the city printing, which was awarded to him, and the newspaper was so successful that the receipts from its circulation and advertising paid all the expenses from the beginning until the paper was enlarged at the suggestion of a candidate for office who promised financial aid, but did not give it, when the expenses became greater then the receipts, and the publication was suspended after being in existence six months.

A number of years before he published the Daily Reporter he did his first newspaper work when he contributed to and edited the Educational Department of the Berks County Press which was specially intended to be read by the school teachers of Berks and surrounding counties. He was then a teacher himself.

When the Civil war was in progress Mr. Jones spent three years in the employ of the Ordnance Department of the United States Navy, drawing his pay, nearly $4,000, from the paymaster located at the Navy Yard, Philadelphia. After spending two years at Scott Foundry, Reading, he was sent to Fort Pitt Foundry, Pittsburg, where he remained a year, until the manufacture of cannon ceased there, the war having closed. His duty was to be in the foundry when the naval guns were cast, note the different stages of their fabrication in the machine shop, and be at the proving ground when they were tested with powder and shot, and prepare weekly reports, which were signed by the Naval Ordnance Inspector, and sent to the Navy Ordnance department at Washington, D. C.

Mr. Jones had begun the study of shorthand when he was a school boy, and he put it to practical use when he was one of the official reporters in the Pennsylvania State Senate during the session of 1867-68. When he returned to Reading at the close of the session the Reading Daily Eagle had just been started, and he accepted a position on it, which he has retained ever since, a period of forty years. He has done all kinds of reportorial work up to and including the reporting in shorthand of the proceedings of political State conventions. When he first became connected with the Daily Eagle he was for some time the only newspaper reporter in Reading. Later he occupied the position of city editor, and he now edits the manuscript of correspondents of the paper, of which there are over 300 in Berks and adjoining counties. Every week he prepares special articles for the Sunday Eagle, and he has written more historical articles about aged persons and occurrences in Reading and Berks county, in olden times for publication in the daily and weekly press than any other person in eastern Pennsylvania. When he first became connected with the Eagle in 1868 he began interviewing for publication the oldest residents, veterans of the War of 1812, persons prominent in politics, business and other pursuits, and he has continued this ever since. He is a member of the Historical Society of the County of Berks, and has prepared historical sketches for the archives of this organization. Mr. Jones is proud of the fact that he is the oldest reporter in Reading, and has been continuously connected for over forty years with such a wide-awake and progressive journal as the Eagle.

On April 11, 1861, Mr. Jones was married to Catharine Hammer, daughter of the late judge Jacob Hammer, of Orwigsburg. She died March 29, 1906. Two children were born to them, Thomas H. and Lilian H.


p. 1095


Amanda G. Jones, for many years principal of the Bingaman and Orange street school, in Reading, was one of a family in which many members have distinguished themselves by their intellectual attainments, either as teachers or ministers, a distinct scholarly trait appearing through several generations. Miss Jones, herself, was particularly successful in her work, in which she was engaged from the time of her graduation from the Reading high school in 1863, until her death March 16, 1908. She was a member of Berks County Chapter, D. A. R., by virtue of her descent from Lieut. Josiah Philips, her great-grandfather. Miss Jones was the daughter of Jonathan and Joanna (Philips) Jones, the latter of whom moved to Reading in the spring of 1860, after the death of her husband. Jonathan Jones, a resident of Chester county, was the son of Samuel and Rachel (Davis) Jones, and grandson of Joseph and Lydia Jones of Pikeland township, Chester county. His mother, as Rachel Davis, taught in the township long before the days of public schools, and was a very learned woman for her day. In religious faith she was a Baptist, and for fifty-nine years was a devoted member of the Great Valley Church.

On the maternal side Miss Jones traced her descent from Joseph and Mary Philips, who came from Wales to Chester county in 1755, and whose remains are interred there in the Vincent Burying Ground. One of their sons, Lieut. Josiah Philips, was a personal friend of George Washington, and served in the Revolution, three of his brothers being in the same company. One of Lieut. Philips's sons, Rev. Josiah, at one time pastor of the Windsor Baptist Church, in Chester county, was the father of Joanna Philips, who married Jonathan Jones.

Jonathan and Joanna Jones. were the parents of eight children, four sons and four daughters: Samuel, Josiah, Ann Jane, Rachel D., Mary S., A. Judson, Amanda G. and Jonathan. Both parents are now deceased, and are interred in the Great Valley Baptist burying ground. Of the children there are two living: Miss Rachel D. lives in Reading; and A. Judson, of Minneapolis, was in early life a teacher, teaching his first term in Cumru township, Berks county. During the Civil war he served in the army, for more than three years, in Company B, 24th Wis. V. I., and afterward settled permanently in Minnesota. Samuel was a soldier in the Civil War. Ann Jane died aged six years. Jonathan, the youngest, was graduated from the Reading high school in 1863, served some time in the army and then entered Bucknell College, receiving a degree therefrom, and became principal of the Young Ladies' Seminary connected with his Alma Mater, a position he was ably filling when he died in Lewisburg, in 1882. Mary. S. graduated from Bucknell College, and was a teacher in the Reading schools.


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Charles Henry Jones, son of Hon. J. Glancy Jones, of Reading, Pa., was born Sept. 13, 1837. He was educated as a civil engineer in the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, at Troy, N. Y., and served in the engineer corps in the location and construction of the East Pennsylvania railroad. In 1859 he accompanied his father, who had been appointed United States Minister to Austria, and served as attache to the legation until November 1861. Having returned to America, he studied law under his father's instruc-tion, and was admitted to the Reading Bar in April 1863. In the same year he removed to Philadelphia, where he has since actively practiced his profession. He was solicitor to the park commissioners during the laying out of Fairmount Park, from 1869 to 1874; was the candidate of the Democratic party for city solicitor of Philadelphia in 1874; counsel for the De-partment of Protection, Centennial Exposition of 1876; and special deputy collector of the port of Philadelphia under President Cleveland from 1885 to 1889. In 1890 he organized The Trust Company of North America, and served for many years as vice-president of that corporation. For twenty-one years he has been one of the managers and for the past ten years chairman of the board of managers of Christ Church Hospital. He is an able lawyer and was prominent as counsel in many of the notable contested election cases in the Philadelphia courts and made a great reputation for the thoroughness and ability with which he sifted out the frauds of a number of municipal elections and unseated the wrongful holders of many important offices.

Mr. Jones for many years has been identified with the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution, of which he is chairman of the board of managers and treasurer, and the Colonial Society, of which he is president. Several of the papers he has read before these societies, notably those relating to the encampment of Washington and his army on the banks of the Neshaminy and at Whitemarsh during the year 1777, are replete with the most interesting information and charming descriptions of the thrilling events of that wonderful year, and have attracted universal attention as the best history of the immortal days of the Revolution covered by the period of that narrative. He is the author of a number of works of history and fiction, among them the "History of the Campaign for the Conquest of Canada in 1776," in which several companies from Berks county figured conspicuously, under the command of his great-grandfather, Col. Jonathan Jones, a lieutenant-colonel in the Continental army; "Genealogy of the Rodman Family from 1620 to 1886," containing 2,892 names of the descendants of his maternal ancestors, among them being William Rodman, who served as an officer on the staff of General Lacey during the war of Independ-ence and was a member of Congress in 1812; "Davaults Mills"; "Recollections of Venice"; "A Pedestrian Tour Through Switzerland"; and "The Life and Memoirs of J. Glancy Jones."


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The Jones family was founded in this country by Rev. Thomas Jones, who was born in the year 1702, in Newtonottage, Glamorganshire, Wales. In 1729 he married Martha Morris, and in 1737, they came to America with several children, arriving at Philadelphia on July 22d of that year.

Rev. Thomas Jones first settled in the Great Valley of Chester county, Pa., where he took up lands, and where his neighbors included a number of Baptists, mostly of his own nationality, some of whom had crossed the Atlantic over thirty-five years earlier. In 1711 they had organized the Great Valley Baptist Church, and in 1719 the Montgomery Church. In 1738 a number of these people, all of Welsh extraction, members of the Great Valley and Montgomery Baptist Churches, removed to Lancaster county, Pa., settling along the Tulpehocken creek, near its junction with the Schuylkill river, and also southwardly along that river, opposite what is now the city of Reading. The adults of this little company were as follows: Thomas Jones and wife; David Evans and wife; James James and wife; Evan Lloyd and wife; George Rees and wife; John Davis and wife; Thomas Nicholas and wife; James Edwards and wife; Rees Thomas and wife; Henry Harry; David Lewis and Thomas Lloyd.

These twenty-one persons, finding themselves to be too far from their respective churches, requested leave to be constituted into a distinct society, which accordingly was done Aug. 19, 1738, and the same year the new church joined the Philadelphia Association of Baptist Churches. In the year 1740 Thomas Jones was ordained a minister and became pastor of this church. which was called the Tulpehocken Baptist Church, after the river which runs through the neighborhood. For two years services were held in a small log cabin erected on the property of Hugh Jones, but in 1740 the congregation built two meeting houses on lands presented to it, one about six miles from the Schuylkill river at Sinking Spring and the other several miles nearer the river. The church continued to prosper for a time, but became extinct sixty years later, "owing to the departure of Baptist families to other parts, and the coming of Germans in their stead." The lands owned by the church passed into the possession of the Philadelphia Baptist Association. Those parts on which the ancient graveyards are located are still held by the Philadelphia Baptist Association, but are at present under the care of the First Baptist Church of Reading.

Rev. Thomas Jones died March 22, 1788, in his eighty-seventh year, and his wife Martha (Morris) died June 9, 1799, in her ninety-third year. They are buried in the graveyard of the Great Valley Baptist Church in Chester county, where their graves are suitably marked. Their children were: Thomas, Samuel, Griffith, Elizabeth and Sarah. They became allied by marriage with the Davis, Broomfield, Spicer, Lloyd and Cornog families, and from them sprang a host of descendants, many of whom still live in the vicinity of the homes of their fore-fathers, though the majority are widely scattered over the United States.

Thomas Jones, son of Rev. Thomas and Martha (Morris) Jones, was born in Wales in 1733. On Oct. 6, 1762, he married Mary Broomfield, and to them were born the following named children: Martha, Susanna, Sarah, Mary and Samuel. Of these, Martha m. Llewellyn Davis; Sarah m. Roger Davis; Mary m. Mr. Geiger; Susanna m. Dr. Kuhn, of Lancaster, Pa. The father of this family was a large land holder in Heidelberg township, Berks county, and was a farmer by occupation. "At the very beginning of the Revolution he assisted in organizing the Associators of Berks county, and was in active service for a time as Major of one of the battalions of this county." He was one of the eight delegates from Berks county to the Provincial Convention which met at Philadelphia July 15, 1776, "for the express purpose of forming a new government in this Province on the authority of the people only." The convention appointed a committee of Safety, approved the Declaration of Independence, and prescribed for justices of the peace, oaths of renunciation of the authority of George III., and oaths of allegiance to the State of Pennsylvania. Dr. Benjamin Franklin was president of the convention. Thomas Jones was commissioner of Berks county from 1779 to 1786. He died in March, 1800, and is buried in the Baptist graveyard at Sinking Spring. He was the last surviving male member of the Tulpehocken Baptist Church. His wife, who survived him several years, was buried at his side, and their graves were marked, but the stones were removed.

Samuel Jones, son of Thomas and grandson of Rev. Thomas, was born on the homestead in Heidelberg township where his father erected a house in 1775. This house is still standing. He was a farmer by occupation, owned a large and valuable tract of land in Heidelberg township, and had slaves, whom, however, he set free. The most noted of these slaves was Dinah Clark, a well known character in Reading in her day. The negro quarters occupied by the slaves on the Heidelberg farm are still standing. Samuel Jones donated the land upon which the eight-cornered building at Sinking Spring, used first as a Baptist meeting house, later as a school house, now as a dwelling -- was erected. The original deed of this property is held by the First Baptist Church of Reading. Samuel Jones married Elizabeth Huey, and to them were born four children, Thomas H., John H., Margaret and Mary C.

(1) Thomas H. Jones was engaged in the iron business at Leesport, this county, and at the Windsor Furnace at Hamburg. He married Elizabeth Van Reed Evans, and their children, Mary E. and Elizabeth E. Jones, are living in Reading.

(2) John H. Jones married Margaret (Seitzinger) Van Reed, widow of Joshua Van Reed, and to them were born four children, namely: M. Agnes, wife of Hon. James K. Getz, at one time mayor of Reading; Ellen A., widow of Dr. Christian N. Hoffman; Elizabeth, widow of Dr. S. H. Clemens, of Allentown, Pa.; and William W., deceased, who lived at Robesonia.

(3) Margaret Jones m. Dr. Darrah.

(4) Mary C. Jones m. Jacob Van Reed.

Samuel Jones, D. D., son of Rev. Thomas Jones, was born Jan. 14, 1735. In his youth he was baptized into the membership of the Tulpehocken Baptist Church. He was educated in the College of Philadelphia, graduating in 1762, was ordained to the ministry in 1763, and became pastor of the Pennepek Baptist Church, which was organized in 1688, and is now known as the Lower Dublin Church of Philadelphia. He retained that pastorate for fifty years, and he was known as one of the most scholarly Baptists of his day, being the most influential minister of his denomination in the Middle Colonies. The Philadelphia Baptist Association in 1764, sent him to Rhode Island to assist in founding Rhode Island College, now Brown University. He remodeled the rough draft of the college charter, which then received the sanction of the Colony of Rhode Island. Later he was offered the presidency of the college but did not accept it. "He exerted a vast and useful influence over the rising Baptist Churches of our country, and himself educated many young men for the Christian ministry. He was a large and firmly built man, his face was the image of intelligence, and good nature, which, with the air of dignity that pervaded his movements, rendered his appearance uncommonly attractive." He died Feb. 7, 1814, and is buried in the Lower Dublin Church.


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George M. Jones, a member of the faculty of the Boys' High School of Reading, is connected on both sides of the family with some of the first settlers of the county and State. His paternal ancestors are traced in direct line to Nils Jones, who came from Sweden in 1638, and settled in the northern part of what is now Delaware, not far from the site afterward selected by William Penn for Philadelphia. The original settler in Berks county was Mounce Jones, who built the. first house in Berks county at Douglassville, in 1716, which historic structure is still standing. He was our subject's great-grandfather's grandfather. Nicholas Jones, grandfather of George M., was a forgemaster at Hecla, Schuylkill county. He was born in Amity township, and during his lifetime was prominent in public affairs having been a member of the Legislature from Schuylkill county in the year 1850. He lived to the advanced age of eighty-six.

Daniel Young Jones, son of Nicholas and father of George M., was a resident of Reading, but is now deceased, having died in 1883, at the age of forty-one. He married Elenora S. Miller, daughter of Daniel and Sarah Miller, whose ancestry is traced back to John George Spang, who came to America from Germany in 1751 and settled near Womelsdorf, Berks county.

George M. Jones was born Sept. 8, 1874, in Reading. He passed through the graded schools of that city, graduating from the Latin Scientific course of the high school in 1891. He then entered the University of Pennsylvania, where during 1891-92 he studied architecture. During the summer following, and until February 1893, he was a rodsman for the city engineer of Reading. Returning to the University he took the course in Finance and Political Economy. His degree of Bachelor of Philosophy he took in 1896, receiving honors at graduation.

Upon his return home Mr. Jones selected the law as a profession, reading under the instruction of Isaac Hiester, of the Berks County Bar. His certificate of admission bears date of Nov. 14, 1898, from which time until 1906 he was actively engaged in practice. Since 1906 he has been a member of the faculty of the Boys' high school of Reading.

Mr. Jones married April 10, 1901, Mabel Catherine, daughter of Joseph Hertzog and Anna Mary (Wicklein) Lutz, of Reading. Their children are: Ruth, born June 28, 1904, and Frank Nicholas, born Nov. 19, 1906. Mr. Jones is connected officially with a number of the religious, educational and charitable societies of his community. He is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, having been superintendent of the Sunday-school from 1900 to 1907, and a deacon from 1906 to 1909. He is a member of the board of education of the Lutheran Ministerium, of Pennsylvania, and treasurer of the Beneficial Brotherhood of Trinity Lutheran Church of Reading. He is a member of the Pennsylvania German Society, the American Civic Association, the National Educational Association, the Pennsylvania State Educational Association, and the College and General Alumni Society of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Jones is a Life Member of the Historical Society of Berks County, the Athletic Association of the Reading Boys' High School and of the Alumni Association of the Reading high schools. He was Treasurer of the Berks County Bar Association from 1902 to 1908. At present he is corresponding secretary of the Historical Society of Berks County, recording secretary of the Associated Charities of Reading, corresponding secretary of the Reading Sanitarium for the Treatment of Tuberculosis, treasurer of the Five-Minute Club, treasurer of the Reading Teachers Institute, president of the Athletic Association of the Reading Boys' High School, vice-president of the Teachers' Nature Study Club of Reading, and of the Alumni Association of the Reading High Schools. Other local organizations of which Mr. Jones is a member are the Board of Trade, the Humane Society of Berks County, Hope Rescue Mission, the Civic League, Young Men's Christian Association, Trinity Luther League, Berks County Alumni of the University of Pennsylvania, and Oneonta Camping Club.


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Picture of J. Glancy JonesJ. Glancy Jones was born Oct. 7, 1811, in Caernarvon township, Berks county. His ancestors were of Welsh origin. His great-grandfather, David Jones, settled in 1730 upon the Conestoga creek, near Morgantown, and there he erected and carried on one of the first forges in that section of the State. His grandfather, Jonathan Jones, was captain of a company of troops belonging to the Continental Line, enlisted by authority of Congress, and rendered distinguished services in the expedition against Canada in 1776. Afterward he was lieutenant-colonel. His death was occasioned by the hardships of that campaign. Jehu Jones, son of Jonathan and father of the subject of this sketch, was for many years engaged in the profession of teacher, for which he was qualified by a classical education. He died in 1864, at an advanced age.

J. Glancy Jones was educated at Kenyon College, Ohio, and in 1833 was ordained to the ministry of the Protestant Episcopal Church, to which his family had for generations belonged. His inclinations, however, led him to prefer the profession of the law; and having undergone the necessary course of preparation he was admitted to the Bar. He commenced practice in 1842, at Easton, Pa. The judicial district was composed at that time of the counties of Berks, Lehigh and Northampton, and was presided over by Hon. John Banks. After a residence of three years at Easton, he removed to Reading, and was admitted to the Bar of Berks county, Jan. 7, 1845. He was appointed district attorney for Berks county, under the administration of Governor Shunk, in March 1847, and served in that capacity until January 1849. During that period he was tendered by the Executive the president judgeship of the Chester and Delaware District.

Though successful in the practice of his profession, he very early inclined to politics. Being a decided Democrat, he became active in the affairs of the dominant party in his native county, as well as in the State at large. He was the warm personal friend and political supporter of Morris Longstreth, the unsuccessful competitor of Governor Johnston in 1848, and the following year was chairman of the Democratic State Committee. In 1850 he was elected to Congress from the Berks District. Having declined a renomination, the Hon. Henry A. Muhlenberg, the younger, was chosen as his successor for the term beginning in December 1853. Mr. Muhlenberg having died shortly after taking his seat, a special election was held in February 1854, to fill the vacancy, when Mr. Jones was chosen for the unexpired term. He was reelected for two succeeding regular terms, in 1854 and 1856, thus holding the position of representative, with but a brief intermission, for the period of eight years. As a member of the committee on Claims, he was author of the bill establishing the United States Court of Claims. In 1857 he was chairman of the committee on Ways and Means, a position of leadership which necessarily secured for its incumbent a national reputation.

After the election of Mr. Buchanan to the Presidency, in 1856. Mr. Jones was selected as a member of his cabinet. This selection was ratified by the Democratic press and party throughout the country with great unanimity, but Mr. Jones declined the appointment. In February 1857, he tendered to Mr. Jones the mission to Berlin. "It is my purpose." he wrote, "to present your name to the Senate for that highly respectable and important mission immediately after my cabinet shall have been confirmed. And permit me here to add that I think your mind and qualities are admirably adapted to that branch of the public service." This position Mr. Jones declined. He continued his service in Congress as chairman of the committee on Ways and Means, and was the zealous advocate and supporter of President Buchanan's administration on the floor of the House.

In the year 1858 he was unanimously renominated for Congress, his opponent being Maj. John Schwartz, the candidate of the anti--Lecompton Democracy, which united with it the strength of the Republican party. Mr. Jones being the special representative of the policy of the Federal administration, the contest in Berks, as elsewhere, was conducted largely upon national issues. One of the most exciting campaigns in the history of the county ensued, which resulted in the election of Maj. John Schwartz by a majority of nineteen votes. The total vote in the district was upward of fourteen thousand. Immediately after the result of the contest was known, President Buchanan tendered to Mr. Jones the Austrian mission, which he accepted. Upon his confirmation by the Senate, be resigned his seat in Congress, and left, with his family, for his post in January 1859. Upon the accession of the Republican party to power, in 1861, Mr. Burlingame was appointed by President Lincoln to succeed Mr. Jones at the court of Vienna; but, having been almost immediately recalled, Mr. Jones, at the request of the administration, remained in the embassy until the arrival of his successor, Hon. John Lothrop Motley, in the month of December. At the period of the outbreak of the Civil war in the United States the subject of the belligerent relations of the two contending sections devolved duties of a peculiarly delicate and responsible nature upon our diplomatic representatives abroad, and, so far as Mr. Jones's sphere of service was concerned, he sustained his official trust in a manner highly satisfactory to the administration and the government of the country.

Upon his return home, where he arrived in January 1862, the period of Mr. Jones's public life practically terminated, though he did not cease to participate in the councils of his party for many years afterward. He resumed the practice of the law, and carried it on for about ten years, when declining health compelled him to retire from all employments of a public nature.

Mr. Jones was, for a long period, prominent in the councils of the Protestant Episcopal Church, having been frequently a delegate to diocesan conventions, and having taken a leading part in the measures which led to the establishment of the new diocese of Central Pennsylvania in 1871. During his entire political and professional career he preserved a character of unblemished integrity, and in his private relations to his fellowmen was equally above reproach. He had many warm and zealous friends, and succeeded, as few public men succeed, in preserving the personal esteem of his political opponents, against whom he never cherished animosity or resentment. He was well fitted to be a leader of men, and those who differed most radically from him in political opinion did not hesitate to acknowledge the winning power of his personal influence. He was a very social man. His domestic life was especially happy and attractive. His wife, Anna Rodman, a daughter of the Hon. William Rodman, of Bucks county, formerly a representative of that district in Congress, was a lady of superior refinement and most estimable Christian character, and her decease, in 1871, severed the ties of a peculiarly united and affectionate household.

Mr. Jones died at Reading, March 24, 1878, in his sixty-seventh year, and upon that occasion the Bar of the county united in a testimonial of marked respect to his memory and appreciation of his public services. Two of his sons, Charles Henry and Richmond L. Jones, were admitted to the Berks county Bar in 1863, having studied law in their father's office. The latter was a representative from the county in the Legislature from 1867 to 1869, and the former became a resident and practitioner at the Bar of Philadelphia. Mr. Jones's eldest daughter, Anna Rodman, married Farrelly Alden, of Pittsburgh, and died there in December 1885. His youngest daughter, Katharine, married William Thomas Wallace, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


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John Pringle Jones, first President Judge of Berks county under the amended Constitution of Pennsylvania, from 1851 to 1861, was born near Newtown, Bucks county, in 1812. His father died when he was young. His mother was of an English family in Philadelphia. His education was acquired at the Partridge Military Academy in Middletown, Conn., at the University of Pennsylvania, and the College of New Jersey at Princeton, from which last he was graduated in 1831. He studied law in the office of Charles Chauncey, Esq., and was admitted to the Philadelphia Bar in 1834. While in Berks county, in 1835, he determined to locate at Reading. In 1839 he was appointed deputy attorney general of Berks county and served in that office until 1847. During this time he was associated in the practice of law with Robert M. Barr, Esq., who in 1845, was appointed reporter of the decisions of the Supreme Court. At the expiration of the official term of the Hon. John Banks in 1847, he was appointed to fill this position. By an Act of the Legislature, passed in 1849, Berks county was erected into a separate judicial district, of which David F. Gordon, Esq., was appointed president judge, and judge Jones continued to preside in Lehigh and Northampton counties until 1851.

In 1849, Mr. Barr, the State reporter, died and judge Jones completed two of the State Reports, known as the "Jones reports." In 1851 he was elected president judge of Berks county for ten years. After the expiration of his term he devoted himself to literary pursuits and to the management of the Charles Evans Cemetery Company, of which he was elected president.

In 1867, Judge Maynard (of the 3rd Judicial District, then composed of Lehigh and Northampton counties), died, and Judge Jones was appointed his successor for the unexpired term. This was the last official position he occupied. In 1872, he sailed for Europe, accompanied by his wife, and traveled through France, Italy, Germany and a part of Russia. He was taken sick and died in London on March 16, 1874. His remains were brought to Reading and buried in the Charles Evans Cemetery. He married (first) in 1840, Annie Hiester, daughter of Dr. Isaac Hiester, of Reading. After her death, he married, in 1851, Catharine E. Hiester, daughter of John S. Hiester.


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Levi G. Jones, of Spring township, who is en-gaged in carpentering in the borough of West Reading, Pa., was born in Honeybrook township, Chester county, Sept. 20, 1849, son of William and Susanna (Mumm) Jones. William Jones, who was a well to do agriculturist of Chester county, followed that occupation all of his life, and died well advanced in years. He and his wife were the parents of the following children: Louisa m. Nicholas Northeimer; Annie m. John Mon-dy; Margaret, twin of Annie, m. Ephraim Stauffer; Lydia m. Peter Plank; Emma m. Henry Reifsnyder; Eliza m. John McCannen; Loretta m. Oliver Fry; Mary, Rebecca and John all died unmarried; Reuben re-sides in Chester county; and Levi G.

Levi G. Jones attended the schools of Chester coun-ty, and worked on his father's farm until eighteen years of age, at which time he engaged in work at a furnace, where he continued until his thirtieth year. He then began learning the carpenter trade in Read-ing, which he followed exclusively until 1901, and then went into a restaurant business at No. 418 Penn avenue, West Reading, in connection with his trade. He makes his home at No. 408 Penn avenue. Mr. Jones is a Democrat in politics, and for one term served on the school board of Spring township. He and his family are members of St. James Reformed Church, where he is Serving as deacon; and he is fraternally con-nected with the Knights of Friendship, and the P. O. S. of A., of which latter society he is financial secretary.

Mr. Jones was married to Mary Reiffsnyder, daugh-ter of Samuel and Hannah (Hartman) Reiffsnyder, and to this union there have been born children as follows: George m. Annie Gicker; Laura m. Henry Dundor; Levi m. Gussie Williams, of Philadelphia; and Charles died aged nine months.


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Surnames: JONES

Picture of Jonathan JonesJonathan Jones was a son of David Jones, one of the earliest settlers of Caernarvon township, Berks county. He was born in the township in 1738. Upon the breaking out of the Revolution he raised a company of Associators in that locality, and was appointed a captain in the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment, of the regular Continental army Oct. 25, 1775. He was ordered with his company to the "British Barracks," at Philadelphia, and acted as part of the escort of Martha Washington into Philadelphia. In December he was ordered into Northampton county, Va., to protect it against Lord Dunmore. The alarming state of affairs in Canada led to the revocation of this order, and, by command of Congress, he marched with his company of eighty-three men for Quebec, over the snow and "frozen lakes." This terrible midwinter march consumed two months. After the precipitate retreat from Quebec, he voluntarily returned, at the risk of capture, and recovered valuable papers. He was with Arnold in his pursuit of the British, after the battle of the Cedars, and took part in the battle of "Three Rivers," June 8, 1776. He shared the terrible and distressing sufferings of the army in its disastrous retreat to Ticonderoga, and underwent at that post the severe and exacting routine of military duty incident to its fortification and defense to resist the attack of General Carleton. He was stationed there from July 9 to Nov. 15, 1776. On Oct. 27th the time of enlistment of his men ran out, but through his exertions they consented to remain as long as the enemy was in their front. After a year's active service he was promoted to the rank of major, Oct. 25, 1776, and to lieutenant-colonel of his regiment, which had become the 2d under the new arrangement, March 12, 1777. His constitution was so shattered by the hardships and exposure of the campaign against Canada that he was obliged to return home to recruit his health in the winter of 1776-77. Having partially recovered, he rejoined his regiment in the spring of 1777, the command of which devolved upon him after the resignation of Col. James Irvine, June 1, 1777. Two companies of the regiment were then on duty in Philadelphia and the remainder were guarding the upper ferries of the Delaware.

Increasing ill health, however, obliged him to resign his commission in the latter part of July. In December, 1778, he was appointed by the Assembly a commissioner under the test laws, and he was a member of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania from Berks county from October, 1779, to October, 1780. His health continued steadily to decline, and he was shortly afterward stricken with paralysis, of which he died, after a lingering illness, on Sept. 26, 1782, at the early age of forty-four. He was buried at Bangor Church, Churchtown, of which members of his family had been wardens and vestrymen from its earliest foundation.

(An engraved image of Jonathan Jones is found opposite page 352.)


p. 1177


Capt. Richard Hall Jones, who in his lifetime was a citizen useful to his town, his State and his country in peace and in war, came of loyal, sturdy pioneer stock, descending from the Swedes whose colony was planted at Philadelphia before William Penn was born.

Picture of Richard JonesIn a case in the Philadelphia library, on Locust street , is an old volume, "Nya Sverige," by the Rev. John Campanius Holm. It was published at Stockholm in 1702, and contains the first printed account of the colonial settlement of Pennsylvania. The Rev. Mr. Holm was chaplain of the company of Swedish colonists who came over with Capt. John Printz in three ships in 1643, and established a permanent settlement on Tinicum Island.

The King of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus, sent out these early settlers, and they were provided for spiritually by three missionaries, and the first church was built by the government of their mother country. This was a block house, which stood on the present site of Old Swedes Church, (erected in 1700) at Swanson and Christian streets. These first settlers were accustomed to the use of boats, and were wont to use the water instead of the paths and half-opened Indian trails along the shore.

A history of any of the descendants of these pioneers would be incomplete, indeed, without a short sketch of their old house of worship, "the meeting place at Weccacoe," now Gloria Dei or Old Swedes Church. The present edifice, as stated, was erected on the site of the old block house in 1700. Originally its ministers were of the faith of the National Church of Sweden-Lutheran in faith, and Episcopal in government. To the energies of the first pastor, the Rev. Mr. Rudman (or Ruchman) was due the erection of the present building. From 1700 to 1786 ten ministers occupied the pulpit, and then as the Swedish languages and purposes had died out, the congregation elected a minister of the Church of England, and of that faith it has since continued, though of such great length have been the pastorates that the present priest is but the fourth of his faith, and his term of faithful service lacks but one year of four decades. The interior has been remodeled several times, but the quaint hint of for-mer days is seen, and the aisle is inlaid with the tablets of the ten Swedish ministers.

"The footprints of an elder race are here, And memories of an heroic time - And shadows of the old mysterious faith."

In Philadelphia. there is yet to be seen a house that was built by one of the companions of Capt. John Printz's voyage. It stands on the desolate flats west of the Schuyl-kill, and was built (family tradition says in 1650) by Jo-nas Nielson, who for some years before building this house dwelt in a cave, the site of which is still pre-served in the side of the hill which slopes from the front door of the cottage to what was originally the bank of a navigable creek. Ships from the Delaware brought up merchandise to the front door of the cottage, and the cave, the first home of Jonas Nielson and where he partly reared his eleven children, became a store house for the goods brought up for traffic with the Indians. The old house with its two rooms and garret was hardly larger than a packing box. In the ground floor room there is an immense fire place, now walled up, extending almost the entire width of the room and reaching nearly to the ceiling, which is itself scarcely more than seven feet high. In front of this fireplace George Washing-ton once sat as guest. Sessions of court were held where -ever a building was available, and the old Jonas Nielson cottage, today so lonely on the Schuylkill meadow, was one of the earliest places in America where trial by jury was held. A trail that led to the house from the direction of Tinicum Island has appeared on the maps of the city from time out of memory as Jones's Lane. Jonas Niel-son is buried at the Old Swedes Church cemetery.

By the custom of the Swedes to change their names to the baptismal name of the father, the progeny of Jonas Nielson became known as Jonasson, and in the next generation that was Anglicized to Jones. This is referred to in an old deed of partition on record at the City Hall, which mentions William Jones as "a grandson of Jonas Nealson, yeoman, late of Kingsessing, the said William Jones, having agreeable to the Swedish custom, changed his surname from Nealson to Jones." Mounce Jones, son of Jonas Nielson, moved to Amity township, Berks county, late in the seventeenth century. He built the stone house still standing at the Douglass-ville bridge, on the old Schuylkill road. It bears the date "1716." Mounce Jones had a son Jonas, who had a son Nicholas, who had a son Samuel, who had a son Ezekiel, the father of the subject of this sketch.

Capt. Richard Hall Jones was born near Douglassville, Berks county, Pa., Aug. 22, 1834, and grew to manhood in his native county. From 1851 to 1870 he was engaged in the manufacture of iron tubing in Reading. He be-came very prominent during the Civil war. In 1862 after Gen. Banks' retreat, Mr. Jones tendered his services to Governor Curtin, but additional troops were refused by the Secretary of War at that time. When the call for nine months men was made, Mr. Jones opened a re-cruiting office in the Ringgold Armory, and Aug. 1, 1862, he had succeeded in enlisting 119 men. Acting under or-ders, on Aug. 9, 1862, he marched his company to Harrisburg, where he remained in camp until the 17th, when they proceeded to the front in defense of Washington, camping near Hunter's Chapel, Virginia. They were organized as Company I, 128th Pa. V. I., and Mr. Jones became captain of the company. On Sept. 6, 1862, the reg-iment marched from near Fort Woodbury, opposite Georgetown, D. C., to Rockville, Md., where it was bri-gaded with the First Division of the Twelfth Army Corps. With this Corps it entered upon a severe campaign in Maryland, and was engaged in the battles of South Moun-tain and Antietam, after which it occupied Maryland Heights, opposite Harper's Ferry, Sept. 20, 1862, and from that time it remained there until relieved Dec. 11th following. Proceeding at once to Stafford Court House, Va., it entered upon the Rappahannock campaign. Moving from Stafford Court House by way of Kelly's Ford, it reached the line of battle on the right of Chancellor House, April 30, 1863. In the attack that followed, Captain Jones and thirty-five of his men and Companies C and K of the same regiment, were captured, and sent to Libby Prison. Here they suffered all the horrors and privations of that noted pen, and while there their regi-ment was mustered out by reason of the expiration of the term of service. As soon as he was released Capt. Jones returned to his home at Reading, and resumed the occupations of peace. He became clerk with the Adams Express Company, and remained with that company un-til he entered the employ of Mr. George W. Hughes, with whom he remained until the latter's death. Capt. Jones then took charge of the business and carried it on with great success until his own death. The firm is now known as Dietrich & Hollenbach. Capt. Jones died Jan. 15, 1899.

Captain Jones was twice married. By his first marriage to Rebecca Miles, he became the father of two chil-dren: James Miles, who married Ellen Kinsey Weidner, and has one child, Dorothy M.; and Nathaniel Wilmer, a train dispatcher between Tamaqua and Williamsport, who married (first) Hannah Elizabeth Heffner, had one child, Richard A., and married (second) Ella Stryker. For his second wife Captain Jones married Ellen E. Hughes, and to this marriage three children were born: Henrietta Hughes, who married Edward Newton Wigfall, and has one child, E. Newton, Jr.; Henry Harrison, of Springfield, Ill., superintendent of the Electric Heat and Power Company, who married Ellen M. Van Duyn, and has three children, Ellen L. and Catherine E. and Gilbert A. (twins); and Miss Eleanor A. Mc., at home.

Capt. Jones was prominent in fraternal societies. He was a member of Lodge No. 62, F. & A. M., in which he was past master; Excelsior Chapter; Reading Com-mandery; Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; I. O. O. F.; K. of P.; and the Pennsylvania Commandery of the Loyal Legion of America. Capt. Jones was one of those men to whom duty is a watchword, and he was never found wanting in any relation of life. At his death be had the esteem of all who knew him.


p. 384


Richmond Legh Jones, Esq., the subject of this biography, was born Feb. 17, 1840, and after a thorough training in the best schools of this country completed his education at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Before entering that world renowned institution; however, he went to South America with the United States expedition against Paraguay, visiting the islands of St. Thomas and Barbadoes, in the West Indies, and the principal cities of the east coast of South America, and, sailing a thousand miles up the Parana river to Asuncion, was present at the capitulation of Lopez, which crowned the success of the expedition. After a sojourn of several years in Europe, he returned to America and entered the law office of his father as a student, and having been thoroughly qualified was admitted to the bar of Berks county, April 14, 1863. He was subsequently admitted to the Supreme court of the Commonwealth and to the Bar of Philadelphia and other counties of the State.

In his profession he has attained marked distinction having tried and won many cases involving important principles of law which are now widely quoted as precedents, and having recently been appointed, by the Bar Association of Pennsylvania, chairman of a committee to revise the corporation laws of the State. The Reading street railway system, with its suburban adjuncts, and the electric light and gas companies, and many other industrial corporations which he represents, owe their marked success largely to the genius and ability displayed by Mr. Jones in their organization and development. He is general counsel also for the United Power and Transportation Company and the Interstate Railways Company, corporations controlling over five hundred miles of street railways in Pennsylvania and the adjoining States. His services to the public, aside from business, have been equally notable, and the prosperous community in which he lives cheerfully acknowledges many substantial benefits largely due to his well-directed energy and the wisdom of his counsel. It was mainly through his efforts that the city of Reading recovered the tract of land, lost for nearly a hundred years, at the foot of Penn's Mount, now beautifully improved as the City Park and known as Penn Common; and that the free public library of the city, of which he is president, was rescued from obscurity and sacrifice, placed upon an enduring foundation by liberal private contributions headed with his name, and then adopted by the public as worthy of maintenance out of the common purse.

In 1862 on the invasion of Maryland by the Confederate army, Mr. Jones enlisted, serving as a private soldier, and was present at the battle of Antietam, and in 1863 he was made captain of a company of Pennsylvania volunteers. In 1866 he was elected a member of the Legislature from the county of Berks, and was twice reelected, and in 1868, his second term, he received his party's nomination for the speakership. His speeches on the amendments to the Constitution of the United States then being considered, were widely read, and ranked with the best arguments upon that subject. He had little taste for politics; however, and a preference for the work of his profession induced him to retire from public life. He has since held no public office excepting that of Commissioner at Valley Forge, to which he was appointed by Governor Pennypacker and has been reappointed by Governor Stuart.

He is a vestryman of Christ Church, Reading, and a director in many local organizations. He is also a member of the Colonial Society of Pennsylvania, Society of Colonial Wars, Sons of the Revolution, Society of the War of 1812, and Grand Army of the Republic.

On Nov. 26, 1870, he married Margaret Ellen McCarty, daughter of James McCarty, a prominent ironmaster of Reading, and Rebecca MacVeagh, his wife, and a niece of Wayne and Franklin MacVeagh. He had one daughter, now deceased, who was the wife of Nathaniel Ferguson of Reading. His country residence, "Merioneth." overlooks the city of Reading from the surrounding hills.

Mr. Jones is descended from a long line of distinguished Colonial and Revolutionary ancestors on both sides of his house. His father, J. Glancy Jones, was an able lawyer and distinguished member of Congress from Berks county from 1850 to 1859, during his last term having been chairman of the committee on Ways and Means. He resigned his seat in Congress to accept the appointment of envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Austria, which office be held during the trying times of the commencement of the Civil war, when our relations with foreign countries were extremely delicate. Mr. Jones's great-grandfather, Col. Jonathan Jones, was senior captain of the first regiment raised in Pennsylvania for the Continental army, October 1775. He participated in the winter campaign for the relief of the army of Quebec, after the death of Montgomery, and also in many important engagements. For distinguished services he was promoted to the rank of major, and later to that of lieutenant-colonel in the Pennsylvania Line.

Mr. Jones's great-great-grandfather, David Jones, came from Merioneth, Wales, to Pennsylvania in 1721, and bought a large tract of land in Caernarvon township, where he opened and developed iron ore mines, which still bear his name.

Mr. Jones's mother was the daughter of William Rodman, of Bucks county, who was a brigade quartermaster in the army of the Revolution, and afterward a member of the Senate of Pennsylvania and of the Twelfth Congress of the United States. The Rodman family is one of the oldest in the New World, having settled in America in the early part of the seventeenth century and contributed to the Colonies many of their most distinguished citizens.


p. 694


William H. Jones, a well known citizen of Douglassville, Amity township, belongs to the oldest family in Berks county. Before William Penn was born Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, sent out colonists to the New World, and in 1643, under Capt. John Printz, three ships came over and established a settlement on Tinicum Island. The Rev. John Campanius Holm was pastor for the Colony, and the first church was built by the government of the mother country. This was a block house, and it stood on the present site of Old Swedes Church, (erected in 1700), at Swanson and Christian streets, Philadelphia. Originally the ministers of this church were Lutheran in faith, but as time passed on and the Swedish language died out, the congregation elected a minister of the Church of England, and of that denomination the church has continued. On the flats west of the Schuylkill, at Philadelphia, is still standing a house built by Jonas Nielson (tradition says in 1650). Though consisting of but two tiny rooms and a garret, many traditions are extant concerning the importance of this place in early days, and in front of the fireplace George Washington once sat as a guest. Court was also held there. Jonas Nielson is buried at Old Swedes Church. By the custom of the Swedes to change their name to the baptismal name of the father, the progeny of Jonas Nielson became known as Jonasson , which in the next generation was anglicized to Jones. An old deed of partition on record at the City Hall, Philadelphia, mentions William Jones as "a grandson of Jonas Nealson, yeoman, late of Kingsessing, the said William Jones having agreeable to Swedish custom, changed his surname from Nealson to Jones."

Maunce Jones, a Swede, came from the Wissahickon to Douglassville, in Berks county, with a colony of Swedes in 1701. He located on the east bank of the Schuylkill river where he built a stone house in 1716, where the Douglassville county "covered" bridge spans the river. This house has a very thick wall, and is very substantially built, having in its earlier days been a place of refuge for the pioneer settlers during Indian outbreaks. It is now owned by the Leaf estate. Maunce Jones was a farmer and owned considerable land. He was married to Ongabo, daughter of J. Jonas Yocom and was executor of his father-in-law's will in 1760. Among the Joneses who are buried in the Episcopal cemetery at Douglassville are the following: Peter Jones, who died Aug. 20, 1758, aged fourteen years; Sarah Jones, who died June 20, 1762, aged thirty years; Jonas Jones, Sr. who died Jan. 27, 1777, aged seventy-seven; Mary, wife of Jonas Jones, who died Sept. 11, 1772, aged sixty-eight years; Jonas Jones, Jr., who died April 23, 1799, aged sixty-five years; Mary, daughter of Jonas Jones, who died Sept. 30, 1805, aged seventy-eight years; Nicholas Jones, who died Oct. 15, 1826, aged ninety years; Rachel, wife of Nicholas Jones, who died March 5, 1792, aged forty-one years; Nicholas Jones, who died March 28, 1820 (or 1829), aged forty-one years; Mary, wife of Nicholas Jones, who died July 20, 1862, aged sixty-nine years; Samuel Jones, son of Nicholas, who died April 28, 1786, aged five years; David Jones, born March 1, 1786, and died Nov. 4, 1822; George Jones, born Sept. 28, 1814, and died Dec. 27, 1882; Hannah Jones, born Nov. 5, 1818, and died April 3, 1884; and Richard Jones, born Jan. 14, 1816, and died Sept. 25, 1875.

Peter Jones, great-grandfather of William H., was born at Douglassville, Oct. 10, 1749, and died there on his farm Nov. 24, 1809. He owned all the land including the Huysingue Meschert est. to and including the James Gorrell farm (eighty-eight acres of which was Jones land). Peter Jones had in all, three hundred acres, and he engaged in farming all his life. He and his wife were Episcopalians and are buried at Douglassville. He married Catharine Kirlin, born Nov. 9, 1756, died Feb. 25, 1844. They were the parents of fifteen children, namely: John, born July 9, 1773; Ruth and Elizabeth (twins), July 20, 1775; Peter, Aug. 9, 1777; Hannah, born Sept. 9, 1779, died Dec. 29, 1860, married Jonathan Jones, (son of Nicholas and Rachel), born March 2, 1778, died April 23, 1840, and their son Samuel died July 2, 1833, (aged thirty years, one month and eight days); Samuel, Jan. 3, 1782; William, Jan. 25, 1784; Jacob, Feb. 19, 1786; Nathan, May 22, 1788: Thomas, May 7, 1790; Ezekiel, April 2, 1792; Mary (Polly), Sept. 15, 1793; Caleb, July 8, 1766; Catharine, March 28, 1799; and Rebecca, April 5, 1802.

Samuel Jones, son of Peter, was born at Douglassville, Jan. 3, 1782, and died on his farm above Douglassville in 1864. He was a blacksmith by trade, and also conducted a thirty-five acre farm. He was very well known and was greatly interested in educational matters. In appearance he was tall and stout, of dark complexion. Both he and his wife Elizabeth Hoover (Huber) are buried at the Episcopal Church in Douglassville. He was a member of the vestry of this church, and was always active in its work. To Samuel Jones and wife were born children as follows: Peter; Richard, who kept a store along the canal at Unionville, now conducted by his grandson, Howard W. Jones; Jacob, who lived at Reading the greater part of his life , but whose children now live in Philadelphia; Julian, who married Thomas May, and lived at Douglassville; Ezekiel, an alderman of the Third ward Reading, who had Dick and Harry.

Peter Jones, son of Samuel, was born at Douglassville April 19, 1819, and was there reared to manhood, early becoming acquainted with the duties on a farm. He owned the farm that is now managed by his estate. He died March 15, 1896, and is buried in the Episcopal cemetery. He too was a member of the Episcopal church. and served on the vestry. On Feb. 25, 1847, he married Mary Ann Kirlin, daughter of John and Sarah (Brower) Kirlin, of Union township, the former of whom died at Hamburg in 1829. Mrs. Mary Ann (Kirlin) Jones was born Dec. 6, 1820, and is now (1909) residing on the old farm above Douglassville. She is remarkably well preserved, and she takes a keen interest in the life around her.

She is the mother of nine children: Winfield Scott. born May 23, 1848; Samuel H., May 14, 1849; Sarah Ann, Dec. 13, 1850; Newton, Sept. 27, 1852; Elizabeth C., April 30, 1854; Fannie, April 23, 1856; Hannah M., Sept. 18, 1858; William H., Sept. 17, 1860; and Maggie Y., Nov. 21, 1862.

William H. Jones was born at Douglassville, Sept. 17, 1860, and was educated in. the public schools of that district. He was trained to farming, and since 1888, he has been farming the old homestead for himself. This farm consists of thirty-five acres of excellent land, and Mr. Jones devotes a great deal of attention to dairying, having shipped his milk to Philadelphia many years. In the winter of 1908-09 he established the first milk route in Douglassville, and this he now serves. In politics Mr. Jones is a Republican, and he and his family are members of the Episcopal Church at Douglassville, in which he is a member of the vestry.

On Dec. 6, 1888, Mr. Jones married Margaret Gailey, daughter of William and Sarah Jane (Arble) Gailey, and they have two children: Mary Ethel, a member of the Pottstown high school class of 1909; and Herbert G.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:54:46 EDT

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