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Biography of James Madison Jones

James Madison Jones, the popular and efficient station agent of the Concord & Montreal Railroad at Concord, was born at Deerfield, N.H., April 26, 1833, son of James and Hannah L. (Marston) Jones. Jacob Jones, his grandfather, a native of Pittsfield, N.H., kept a successful clock and gunsmith shop in his native town for many years. He had a high local reputation as a mechanic, and he lived to a good old age. James Jones, who was born in Pittsfield, N.H., inherited his father’s mechanical talent. He took up and continued the paternal business of making and repairing clocks and executing gunsmith work, adding thereto that of a blacksmith. In the latter half of his life he removed to Concord, where he entered the employ of Abiel Chandler, the clock-maker, and soon established for himself a great local reputation in that city for skill in his line of business. He could repair any sort of machine or mechanical instrument. His useful life closed in Concord, at the age of seventy-eight years. He married Hannah L. Marston, of Pittsfield. Their family consisted of the following children: James Madison, the subject of this sketch; Thomas A., who went to Chicago, Ill., and was appointed paymaster on the Chicago & North-western Railroad; Charles E., who is an engineer on the Boston & Maine Railroad; George A., who enlisted for service in the Civil War, first at Portsmouth in the First New Hampshire Regiment of Volunteers, and subsequently for three years in Company E of the Second New Hampshire Regiment, and who was killed at the battle of Gettysburg in 1863; Frank and Eddie, twins, of whom Frank died aged two years and Eddie aged twelve years; and Addie, who died at the age of nine years.

After receiving his education in the district schools of Concord, James Madison Jones first went to work in hotels. After that he took up stage driving as a means of livelihood, and for a number of years continued in that business, running stages to and fro between various New Hampshire towns. He first drove a stage from Hillsborough to Bradford Springs, then from East Andover to West Springfield, then the daily stage between Springfield and New London, then from Manchester to Hillsborough, and after that to Concord. At the time of the building of the Sixth Avenue Railroad in New York City he went twice to New York with a shipment of horses, remaining in that city on each occasion for about six months. On July 1, 1852, he entered the employ of the Old Concord Railroad, and worked as brakeman and baggage-master between Concord and Boston for about eight years. Then he was promoted to the post of conductor, in which capacity he served the corporation on various trains running from Concord, Nashua, Portsmouth, Boston, and return, for another period of eight years. In 1869 he was appointed to the important and responsible position of station and baggage agent, and the superintendence of trains and trainmen at Concord. Upon the consolidation of the Concord and Montreal roads he was continued in the same capacity, being too valuable November, 1885, the new and commodious station erected by the railroad authorities was ready for use; and Mr. Jones was put in charge of the same, to the satisfaction of the travellers passing through the place.

Mr. Jones married Jane Maria Swan, and has two children. These are: Fred C., who has been a conductor on the Concord, Boston & Maine Railroad for about twenty years; and Jennie, who married George B. Wright, of Bradford, and is the mother of two children-Dorothy and James Jones Wright. A second marriage was contracted by Mr. Jones with Harriet M. Merrill. In politics he is a Democrat, and his first Presidential vote was cast for James Buchanan in 1856. He is an attendant at the Congregational church in Concord. He has been a member of the St. John Lodge of Free Masons of Portsmouth since the year 1861, and he also belongs to the White Mountain Lodge of Odd Fellows of Concord.

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