Walter A. Jones is judge of the Probate Court of Lyon County and represents one of the very first families in Lyon County and in that section of Kansas. Both he and other members of the family have accounted well for themselves in the business, farming, professional and civic life of the county.
His father, Griffith P. Jones, formerly a merchant at Emporia, is one of the most extensive raisers and breeders of Hereford cattle in Lyon County. He was born in Carnarvonshire, Wales, in 1847, a son of John and Jeanette Jones. John Jones was born in Carnarvonshire, Wales, and spent his life there on the farm which his ancestors had occupied for fully three centuries before him. After his death his widow Jeanette Jones, in 1852, brought her family to America, landing in New York City and afterwards going to Lewis County, New York. She married for her second husband Richard Humphries, and in 1880 they came to Emporia, where she died. Griffith P. Jones, who was five years old when brought to America, lived in New York State during his youth and in 1868 at the age of twenty-one arrived in Lyon County, Kansas. Emporia was then a village, and for four years he was employed by the firm of Bancroft & McCarty, merchants. He then established the G. P. Jones Clothing Store which is still in operation at 508 Commercial Street, being now owned by his nephew, George R. Jones. After continuing in the clothing business until 1888, he sold out his mercantile enterprise and removed to the Hereford Ranch which he still owned and which comprises 1,500 acres of land in Lyon County. The Hereford Ranch had become widely known as the home of blooded Hereford cattle. It is a matter of interest that a brother of Griffith Jones, John C. Jones, was a schoolmate of Lloyd George, the noted English statesman. Griffith Jones is a republican, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is a charter member of Union Lodge No. 15, Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Emporia. He married Abbie C. Allen, who was born at Turin, Lewis County, New York, in 1856. Their children are: A. C. Jones, who lives on a dairy farm two miles north of Emporia; Edward G., who operates his ranch of 400 acres near the Hereford Ranch in the southwestern part of Lyon County; Walter A.; and Lucina, at home with her parents.
Walter A. Jones was born at Emporia August 22, 1886, and when an infant removed with his parents to the Hereford Ranch. He gained his first education in the public schools of Lyon County, and also pursued two years of study in the State Normal School at Emporia. Later he was a student four years at Baker University, where he specialized a part of the time in the fine arts. This was followed by three years in the law department of Washburn College at Topeka, where he was graduated LL. B. with the class of 1911. After one year of preliminary practice in Topeka and one year spent in New Mexico, he returned to Emporia and at the time of his election as probate judge in November, 1916, had already succeeded in building up a profitable civil and criminal practice. His offices are in the Jones Building on Commercial Street.
Mr. Jones is unmarried. He is a republican, a member of the Second Presbyterian Church, is active in the Lyon County Bar Association and the Emporia Commercial Club and fraternally is affiliated with Emporia Lodge No. 12, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Emporia Chapter No. 12, Royal Arch Masons, Emporia Lodge No. 749 of the Maccabees; Emporia Lodge No. 184 of the Ancient Order of United Workmen; and Emporia Lodge No. 633 Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.