Biography of John Willits Jones
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JOHN WILLITS JONES. Madison County from its early pioneer history to the present time has had the benefit and the productive labors of different members of the Jones family, one of whose best known members is Mr. John W. Jones of Fall Creek Township. The industrial and social character of a community is the result of its citizenship, and among the many family groups which have contributed in this important regard to the development of Madison County, none could claim more credit than the Jones family, through its various representative since early pioneer times.
Mr. John W. Jones the Fall Creek Township farmer and stockman, was born in the Township where he now makes his home on December 22, 1865, a son of Captain Jonathan and Elizabeth (Busby) Jones. Jonathan Jones was born in West Virginia in 1832 and died in March 1898. He came to Madison County with his parents when he was a boy, and the Jones family established itself in Fall Creek Township and took part in the pioneer work which then awaited the coming of every new settler. Jonathan was reared in Fall Creek Township and received his education in one of the old log school houses which was the chief feature of the educational system prevailing here during the first half of the century. These schools were invariably supported by a private subscription, and were primitive in all their facilities and methods of work. Jonathan Jones married Elizabeth Busby, who was born on an adjoining farm in this County, her father having entered the land from the government. That farm is now known as the old Lewis D. Kinnard farm. After their marriage Jonathan Jones and wife made their home in Monroe Township near Alexandria. Then in April, 1861, the Civil war having become reality, after having threatened its fury for a number of years, he organized Company D of the Thirty-Fourth Indiana Infantry, and was chosen captain. He was out at the front and in the campaigns of his regiments for about two years, when failing health compelled him to resign his commission and return home. After he had sufficiently recuperated, Governor Morton appointed him a drafting officer, and he served for some time in that capacity. About the close of the war, Captain Jonathan Jones sold his farm in the northern part of Madison County and moved to Fall Creek Township, and bought the Scott farm, situated on Lick Creek. That remained his home until 1884 at which date he moved into the city of Anderson, which remained his home until his death. His wife passed away in 1871. He was one of the prominent citizens of Madison County during his time. He was for eight years County ditch commissioner and was also assessor of Fall Creek Township. Fraternally he was a member of the Independent Order of Odd-Fellows. There were nine children born to the parents, and the eight now living are as follows: Mahala, wife of F. P. Jackson of Anderson, Indiana; Matilda Jones of Anderson; Isaac B. Jones of Pendleton; Sarah, who is unmarried and resides in Anderson; Etta, wife of Justice Frampton, who resides in California; John Willits; and Morrison B. of Anderson.
Mr. John W. Jones was reared in Fall Creek Township and received his education in the public schools of this locality. He spent most of his early years on a farm, and along with such schooling as the local schools afforded, has acquired a thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of first-class agriculture. When he was about twenty-six years of age, on October 7, 1891, he married Miss Ella Haines, who was born and reared in Fall Creek Township. In March, 1891, a few months previous to his marriage, Mr. Jones moved to the city of Anderson, where he was engaged in the ice business. This industry occupied his time and attention until February, 1911, at which date he sold out his interests in the Anderson plant, and moved back to Fall Creek Township. Since then he has been an out and out farmer, is the owner of 90 acres of some of the best land in the Township, and makes a specialty of the raising of hogs and cattle, shipping his stock by the carload. He also has realty in Alexandria and Madison. Mr. Jones is a man of wide experience both in business and in farming, and has applied business-like methods to his present enterprise and is regarded as one of the most successful men in the agricultural line in Madison County. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and the order of Elks and has for a number of years been one of the influential men in the Republican party. He is a member of the Universalist church and his wife a member of the Society of Friends. Mr. Jones and wife have an attractive rural home, and both are among the prominent members of local society.