Biography of William W. Jones
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For more than thirty-six years William W. Jones has been a resident of Washington County, Oklahoma, and is a representative of one of its honored pioneer families. A native of the Lone Star state, he was born in Fannin County, Texas, in 1883, and is a son of John W. S. and Martha T. (Stowe) Jones. The father, a native of Illinois, was reared to manhood in that state, while the mother’s birth occurred in Indiana, but was also reared to young womanhood in the Sucker state, where her marriage was celebrated. In 1878 the parents removed to Texas, where the father followed the occupation of farming and stock raising until 1885, at which time he came with his family to Indian Territory. They made the overland journey in one of the old-time prairie schooners, Mrs. Jones driving the team attached to the schooner, while the father drove a second team, carefully supervising the primitive caravan and taking care of the cattle, which were driven by men hired for the purpose. In July, 1885, they arrived in what is now known as Washington County, where they located on a pioneer farm two miles east of Bartlesville. Here John W. S. Jones also continued to follow agricultural pursuits, achieving marked success as a farmer and stock grower. In 1895 he moved six miles southeast of Bartlesville, where he now resides. He developed a valuable landed estate of three hundred acres in Washington County, which is devoted to diversified agriculture and the raising of live stock. In January, 1901, his wife passed away at the age of forty-four years, leaving four children : Francis A., who is also a prosperous farmer of Washington County, being located a few miles south of Bartlesville; William W., of this review; and Ora Dessie and Ola Bessie, twins. The former is now the wife of Charles B. Skinner, who resides on a-farm two miles east of Bartlesville, and the latter is the wife of Roy E. Spear, who is assistant city manager of Ambridge, Pennsylvania. Mr. Jones is one of the sterling pioneer citizens of Washington County, who has fully done his share in the development of this section of the state and is highly esteemed by all who know him.
William W. Jones acquired his early education in the primitive local schools of that early period. The first school he attended was located four miles southeast of Bartlesville in the old Missionary Baptist Church building, after which he continued his studies in a schoolhouse which was built and supported by his father and other settlers of the vicinity, the teacher receiving a dollar a month, for each child to whom he imparted instruction. Mr. Jones attended school about four months out of each year to the age of sixteen and during the interim of eight months he learned the practical lessons of industry and self-reliance under the careful guidance of his father, the latter earnestly encouraging his children in the development of character, ambition and determination in order to achieve worthy success in life. After leaving the rural schools he, attended the public schools of Bartlesville for a period of two terms, one of seven and the other of eight months’ duration, but he was ambitious further to improve his educational opportunities, so he enrolled in a school at Independence, Kansas, where he pursued a high school course, also completing a regular business course, winning diplomas in each department in 1904. He depended largely upon his own resources to meet the expenses of a three years’ course and completed his studies at the age of twenty. When his student days were over he entered the business world, turning his attention to the Fire insurance business at Bartlesville. On the 1st of January, 1905, he removed to Shawnee, Pottawatomie County, where he continued in the insurance business until the spring of 1906. He then returned to Bartlesville to accept the position of bookkeeper and stenographer in the Bartlesville National Bank, occupying the position for two years. The following two years he was employed as an auditor and bookkeeper of the Sachem & Mid-West Oil companies. In 1910 Bartlesville adopted the commission form of municipal government and Mr. Jones was appointed Secretary to the board of city commissioners, serving in this capacity for three years, while at the same time he held the office of city Treasurer until the spring of 1912, when he was elected to the responsible position of commissioner of finance and supplies. In this connection he rendered most valuable service to the citizens of Bartlesville, becoming one of the popular and valued municipal executives of the city. In 1916 he bought the real estate and insurance business conducted formerly by James P. Easterly and O. D. Ruling, continuing the business in the same location at 315½ Johnstone street. During the past five years its revenue has been increased over four hundred per cent, due entirely to his progressive methods and unremitting effort. He also conducts a general insurance, real estate and loan business. He is Secretary of the Empire Building, Loan & Savings Association and is President of the Bartlesville Abstract Company. He is likewise a director and stockholder of the Fish Creek Oil & Gas Company, of which he is also Secretary.
In 1904, the year of his graduation, at Independence, Kansas, Mr. Jones was married to Miss Grace McCreery, who was born and reared in the Sunflower state, a daughter of John L. McCreery, a resident of Bartlesville. Mr. and Mrs. Jones have become the parents of eight children: Ray Winfield, Elsie Genevieve, Charles Francis, Helen Lourie, Robert Lincoln, William Walter, Alberta Grace and Donald Joseph. For the first three months after their marriage he and his wife lived with his parents, since which time they have maintained an independent home, being now the owner of his residence property at 1301 Dewey Avenue, in Bartlesville. Their first child was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and the others were all born in the city of Bartlesville.
In his political views Mr. Jones is a stanch supporter of the principles of the Republican Party. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, to the Knights of Pythias, the Woodmen of the World and the Fraternal Aid Association. He is President of the Bartlesville Realtors Association and Vice President of the Business Men’s Association. He is likewise a member of the Rotary Club. Mr. and Mrs. Jones are members of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he has served as Superintendent of the Sunday school for sixteen years and he is also a member of its board of trustees. He was Treasurer of the committee which had charge of the building of the present beautiful Church edifice. In a humorous way it is remarked that Mr. Jones held practically every lay office in the Church, save that of President of the Ladies’ Aid Society. Since his earliest childhood Mr. Jones has imbibed the progressive spirit of the southwest, watching its marvelous development and up-building and taking an active part in promoting the general welfare of the city and state.