Among the early and prominent families to settle in the county of Grenville, Upper Canada, now Ontario, were the Joneses, figuring largely in the history of Brockville. About the time of the opening of the struggle of the American colonies for their independence, Ephraim Jones, United Empire Loyalist, left the United States and his property there, came to Canada, and was an officer in the King’s service, settling in Augusta, Grenville, eight miles east of where Brockville now stands. There he died in 1811. He was the father of eight children, one of whom, Charles Jones, born in 1781, was a leading man of this part of the Province. In March, 1805, he purchased 200 acres of land, comprising no inconsiderable part of the present site of Brockville, and became the founder of the town. He and some other men, meeting Gen. Brock about that time, at their solicitation he gave his consent to have the new town named for him Brockville. He afterwards fell in the battle of Queenston Heights.
When Brockville was started there was a court house at Johnstown, below Prescott, and by the efforts of Mr. Jones, it was removed to this place, and courts were therefore held here, thus giving this town its first important start. He was an enterprising business man, a merchant here for a long period, owning at the same time extensive milling interests in the township of Young, county of Leeds.
He was a member of the Legislative Council of Upper Canada for some time, dying in August, 1840, while holding that office. He was well known, particularly in this part of the Province, and by the older people now living in this section, his name is held in tender remembrance. He first married Mary Stuart, daughter of Rev. Dr. Stuart, of Kingston, by whom he had three children, all sons, only one now living. She died in 1812. He had four children by a second wife.
Ormond Jones, the son of the first wife, that is still living, was born November 7, 1811. He received his education in the Brockville grammar schools; read law, and practiced here for many years; was in the city council a long time, and judge of probate seven or eight years.
During the rebellion of 1837-38, he was connected with the commissariat department, with rank of Captain.
From 1858 to 1864 Mr. Jones was registrar of the county of Lanark, and since 1864 has held the same office in the county of Leeds. In 1834 he married Eliza, daughter of Col. Jessup, of Grenville, and she had twelve children; her death occurring in 1862. Ten of the children survive her. Two of the daughters are married. Susan M. is the wife of Thomas W. Evans, of Montreal, and Eliza E., is the widow of George Redmond, barrister, of Brockville. The eldest son, George Jones, is connected with the Post Office Department, with residence at Montreal, and the second son, William H. Jones, barrister, is mayor of this city, and a rising young man.