A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by staff and students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas.

1905 History of Crawford County Kansas


James Jones, of Lincoln township, has been acquainted with Crawford county perhaps as long as any other citizen now living here. Mr. Jones is a much-traveled, broad-minded, enterprising, and highly esteemed man of affairs, who in the course of a long life has seen much of the world and its peoples, has been identified with various enterprises, and in his later years may well be content with the success and material comforts which his varied life of effort has brought to him. He first saw and traveled through this county in 1854, when the Indians still considered it as their lawful territory, and although he has been in other parts of the country most of his subsequent life he has constantly kept in touch with the county's affairs, and is really one of the best informed men in regard to its development from primitive times to the present.

Born in the same county as the late President McKinley—Trumbull county, Ohio, in Fowler township, on July 15, 1832, he comes of an old and prominent family of the Western Reserve in Ohio. His grandfather, Silas Jones, who was born in Wales and came to this country when a boy, grew up in Connecticut and became captain of a company which fought the British and helped achieve the national independence. Some time after the war he became one of the pioneer settlers in the old Connecticut territory of the Western Reserve in Ohio, and he cut out his home from the dense forest of Fowler township, Trumbull county, making himself a good farm and living there until his death. William Jones, the son of Silas and the father of Mr. Jones, was born in Connecticut and was a boy in his teens when he accompanied his parents to their new abode in the woods of eastern Ohio. Here he grew to manhood and married Sarah Morsow, who was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, a daughter of John Morsow and his wife, he a native of Scotland and she born near Belfast, Ireland, whence they became early settlers in Trumbull county, Ohio. William Jones and wife had the following children: Ed, who died when seventy years old; Robert, who lives in Ohio; Dwight, who died at the age of twenty-one; Aaron, mentioned hereinafter; John D., who lives on the old homestead in Trumbull county; and Franklin, who lives near the old homestead. The father of this family died at the age of sixty. He was a cattle dealer and drover, often driving stock from his Ohio home over the mountains to market in Pittsburg and Philadelphia. He was a successful and honored man in all his relations. Politically he was a Whig. He was one of the most active workers and supporters of the Congregational church of his community, and was liberal in all his contributions to worthy causes, giving a considerable sum to Oberlin College when it was founded.

Mr. James Jones was reared on the old homestead, and in his boyhood the pioneer conditions had not yet disappeared from Trumbull county, for he attended a log-cabin school, where all the furnishings and educational equipments were indeed rude and primitive. He several times assisted his father in driving the cattle to Pittsburg and Philadelphia, and perhaps as a result of these long and eventful journeys acquired that taste for travel and adventure which have been dominant characteristics in shaping his entire career. In 1850, when a young fellow of eighteen years, he sailed for New York for the California land of gold, and at the isthmus took passage on a vessel which touched at the Sandwich islands and was one hundred and forty-two days in reaching San Francisco. For four years Mr. Jones mined and prospected in Sierra and Yuba counties, and then went back to Ohio, again by the isthmus route. In 1854 he went west to Missouri and Kansas, and this was the occasion which brought him through Crawford county at such a pioneer time in its history. He also went through Fort Scott, being on his way to the lead mines in Newton county, Missouri, and he mined and prospected in southwestern Missouri for several years.

Mr. Jones belongs to the Kansas contingent of veterans of the Civil war. At the beginning of the war he enlisted at Fort Scott in Company K, Sixth Kansas Cavalry, under Captain Jewell, who was later promoted to colonel and killed at Cane Hill, Missouri. This regiment saw much rigorous service along the Kansas and Missouri borders, in that most dangerous of warfare, with the bushwhackers and guerrillas, and took part in the battle at Carthage and several engagements with Price's troops. They were also fighting the famous Quantrell and his men, and after the Lawrence massacre took six of the rebels prisoner, one of whom was released, and the other five are buried where the city of Pittsburg now stands. Two of these men Mr. Jones had known before the war. Mr. Jones was in the army for three years and four months altogether, and experienced many of the roughest phases of war and rebellion, acquitting himself most creditably in the cause of his country.

After the war he settled near Cato in this county, and lived there until 1876, in which year he went out to the Black Hills country, where he was successfully engaged in prospecting and mining for twenty-seven years. He then returned to this county and bought a ten-acre tract of land in Lincoln township where he has a very comfortable home and most pleasant surroundings in which to pass the declining years of his life. He is a very entertaining talker and companion, with no end of anecdotes concerning his experiences in various parts of the world, and is a genial, frank and popular man with all. He was formerly affiliated with the Odd Fellows, in politics is a stanch Republican, and is a member of the G. A. R. post.

Aaron Jones, a brother of Mr. James Jones, is also one of the highly esteemed and prosperous citizens of Crawford county, where he has lived since 1871. He was born at the old home in Trumbull county, April 17, 1835, and in 1858 moved west to Ringgold county, Iowa, which was his home until 1871. From this latter county also he enlisted for service in the Civil war, being enrolled in August, 1862, as a member of Company G, Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry, under Colonel Thomas Benton. He took part in the battles at Helena and Little Rock, Arkansas, and at Sabine Cross Roads in the Red River expedition, and gave a creditable account of himself throughout his military career. He was in the hospital for six months altogether, and received his honorable discharge at Davenport, Iowa. On coming to this county in 1871 he bought a farm of eighty acres, and has since been successfully engaged in its cultivation, being one of the substantial men of the community.

He was married at Mount Ayr, Iowa, to Miss Frances Larr, who was born in Ohio, a daughter of James and Jane (Ford) Larr. They have four children living, William, Althie, Cora, Grace, and the daughter Laura died at the age of twenty-five. Mr. Jones is a Republican in politics, a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and his wife is a member of the Methodist church.