John W. Jones, who was one of the organizers of the Mohr-Jones Hardware Company, of which he is now the president, was born in Racine, December 21, 1862, a son of Captain Hugh W. and Laura (Thomas) Jones. The parents were natives of Wales but were married at Remsen, New York, remaining residents of the east until 1854, when they came to Racine. The father was a lake captain who sailed for thirty-two years and at different times commanded the well known lake vessels Active, Hamlet, Ethan Allen and Onward. In this connection he became widely known and was accounted one of the prominent representatives of navigation interests on the inland waters.
John W. Jones obtained a public and high school education and afterward attended McMynn’s Academy. When his education was completed he sailed with his father and was on the Lakes for ten years, working his way upward until he became mate of vessels. He afterward entered the employ of the Channon Company of Chicago, with whom he continued for two years, and subsequently he was with the Goodrich Transit Company as warehouse clerk. Later he spent a brief period with the American Express Company and then entered the office of the J. I. Case Plow Works. In 1889 he secured a position in the hardware store of Jacob Mohr and found the business congenial. Gradually he worked his way upward in that connection and in 1899 was admitted to a partnership, in which year the Mohr-Jones Hardware Company was organized. Ten years later Mr. Mohr passed away and Mr. Jones took over the Mohr interests and was joined by G. G. Jones, at which time the company was reorganized, John W. Jones becoming president. He has since so continued and under his wise direction the business of the company has grown and developed along substantial lines.
Mr. Jones has always maintained an independent attitude in polities, voting for the man rather than the party. He has been called upon for public service and for six years filled the position of alderman from the third ward, exercising his official prerogatives in support of many plans and measures for the general good. For the past six years he has been a member of the school board and has done much to further the interests of public education. Fraternally he is connected with the Masons, the Elks and the Knights of Pythias. He belongs to the Plymouth Congregational church and he is a member of the Commercial Club. In him the interests of life are well balanced and he gives due consideration to all those questions which are important features in the life of the community. Starting out in the business world as a seaman, he has progressed step by step, each change in his business connection indicating a forward move.