William G. JONES, b. 1861

William G. Jones, a prominent member of the Oskaloosa bar and state senator from this district entered upon the practice of law in February, 1885. His rise has been rapid since he entered upon his novitiate, for his position today is that of a recognized leader in the ranks of the legal fraternity in this part of the state. He was born in what is now Garfield township, Mahaska county, on the 22d of October, 1861. His father, John G. Jones, was born in Wales and came to the United States about 1850, at which time he settled in Pennsylvania. He was a poor boy and eagerly embraced every opportunity to earn an honest living. In 1852 he went to California and for a short time was employed in gold mines. He then came to Mahaska county and with the money he had saved in the west he made a partial payment on a tract of land of one hundred acres in Garfield township, which he cultivated and improved. He retained the ownership of this farm for about forty years but spent fifteen years of that time in a mercantile business in Beacon. Eventually he sold his store in 1875, and removed to Colorado, where he superintended a coal mine for about eight years. On the expiration of that period he returned to Beacon, where he lived for a time, and also resided for a while in Oskaloosa, making his home in the latter city from 1887 until 1894, during a part of which period he was president of the old Farmers & Traders Bank. His activity and ability made him a prominent factor in commercial and financial circles and he also became recognized as a local leader in the ranks of the republican party. He served at one time as a member of the board of supervisors. Fraternally he was connected with the Masons and the Odd Fellows, and he held membership in the Welsh Congregational church. He occupied a prominent position in the regard of neighbors and friends and his life was at all times characterized by fidelity to duty and to high principles. In his business affairs he prospered and in connection with a syndicate became the owner of several thousand acres of land in Colorado. He married Margaret G. Jones, a native of Wales, who came to the United States in her maidenhood and located in Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Baptist church and is now living in San Jose, California, at the age of seventy-two years, but Mr. Jones passed away in 1897, at the age of sixty-nine years. In their family were the following children: Sarah A., who is the wife of Thomas Ingels, a ranchman of California; Elizabeth, the wife of Dr. Joseph Bevan, a physician, who was prominent in his profession and died in Oskaloosa several years ago; William G., of this review; Enmia, the wife of John Parry, fire commissioner of San Francisco; Winifred, the wife of Frank Perry, a grocer of Spokane, Washington; John T., a clothier of Kansas City, Missouri; and one who died in infancy. William G. Jones was reared upon his father's farm. His birth occurred in a double log cabin upon the old homestead, which had been purchased by his father when he located in Garfield township. The son attended the district schools and continued his studies in the school of Beacon, being graduated from the high school there and also from Oskaloosa College in the class of 1882. Determining upon the practice of law as a life work, he entered the law department of the Iowa State University in 1883 and completed the course by graduation in 1884. He entered upon the practice of his profession in February, 1885, and has since been an able member of the Oskaloosa bar. His equipment was unusually good and his success therefore came soon. He possesses those qualities, natural and acquired, which are indispensable to the lawyer. His mind is analytical, logical and inductive, and he has, moreover, a ready capacity for hard work. He brought to the starting point of his career an excellent presence, an earnest, dignified manner and marked strength of character, combined with a thorough grasp of the law and ability to apply its principles accurately. In December, 1890, Mr. Jones was married to Miss Jennie L. Wood, who was born in Delaware county, Iowa, in 1863, and is a daughter of Hiram D. Wood. Her father was a pioneer farmer of Delaware county and is now engaged in merchandising. Mr. and Mrs. Jones have one child, Byril M., born in 1895. Mr. Jones is a member of the Knights of Pythias fraternity and of the Order of Foresters. In politics he is a republican and for one term served as city solicitor of Oskaloosa. He has made a close and earnest study of the political issues and questions of the day and his fitness for leadership has led to his selection to positions of honor and responsibility. He represented the county in the twenty-eight and twenty-ninth general assemblies, and in the fall of 1903 was elected state senator, in which capacity he is now serving. He has been interested in much constructive legislation and has furthered many measures introduced into the house and senate for the welfare of his constituents and of the state at large. His practice has not been restricted to any one branch of the profession and his experience in the trial of difficult law cases and the brilliant record of results attained leave no room for questions of his ability. He actively interests himself in public affairs and participates earnestly in any effort to propagate a spirit of patriotism and of loyalty to American institutions and wherever there is a public-spirited attempt to drive corruption or other unworthiness out of public office he is to be found working with the leaders of the movement.


from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906

Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa

Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy

Iowa Genealogy

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