Colusa County











EDWARD W. JONES. - Both through the promotion of important business enterprises and through his efficient service as a public official, the late Edward W. Jones constituted an influential factor in the development of the city and county of Colusa. Liberally endowed by nature with the qualities that bring popularity and prominence, he attained a high position in the regard of others and was honored with the confidence of associates to an unusual degree. Along commercial lines his interests centered in the grain business, which under his management developed important and far-reaching dimensions and furnished the nucleus of all his later successes. It was conceded among the residents of his county that he possessed high business qualifications, as well as principles of honor and integrity that elevate the citizenship of any community.

        On a farm in Madison county, Wisconsin, Edward W. Jones was born July 23, 1848, being the oldest among the five children of James Winslow and Hannah (Heathcote) Jones, natives of England, the former of Welsh extraction. His father was brought to America in infancy and grew to manhood in New York state, later removing to Wisconsin, where he conducted a farm. The discovery of gold in California led him to change his plans for the future. In 1850 he crossed the plains to the coast, where he soon acquired interests in mining, farming, and speculating. Besides holding interests in California mines he aided in developing Nevada silver mines. Included in the holdings that he acquired were different bodies of land in Colusa county, including a large ranch in Colusa. Both he and his wife passed their last years in Colusa county, where he died in 1869 and she in February of 1903. 

         In 1859 Edward W. Jones was brought to California by way of Panama. After a short attendance at public schools he was sent to the State Normal School in San Francisco, from which he was graduated at the age of eighteen years. On leaving school he became a clerk in his father's mercantile store and on the death of the father he turned his attention to the grain industry, which under his capable supervision developed into the leading business of its kind in Colusa. From time to time he acquired farm property, owning not only considerable land in Colusa county, but also two thousand acres of fine wheat land in the state of Washington. His exceptional business ability was everywhere recognized. Such was the opinion of his judgment that many sought him for advice prior to making investments. However, his activities were not limited to the field of commerce and property-holding. Devotion to the progress of his city and county was ever one of his leading characteristics. A leader in the local work of the Republican party, he served as chairman of its county central committee and as a member of the state central committee.  Though the county was a Democratic stronghold and he a stanch, unwavering advocate of Republican principles, his popularity was so great that he was elected to various offices of trust and responsibility, all of which he filled with a fidelity and intelligence characteristic of him in every walk of life. For one term he served as county treasurer. From January, 1895, to January, 1899, he held the office of county sheriff. For seventeen years he served in the capacity of city trustee and for twenty years, under his efficient labors as school director, the welfare of the public school of Colusa was carefully promoted. Religion added its beneficent influence to the rounding of his character. For years he was a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South and a contributor to its maintenance, as well as to other movements for the uplifting of humanity. Socially he was connected with the Union League Club of San Francisco, and fraternally was a Knight Templar Mason.

        In Colusa County, June 14, 1871, occurred the marriage of Edward W. Jones and Ellen A. Morris, who was born near Smartville, Yuba county, California, a daughter of John S. Morris, and a sister of Mrs. Susan Drake, represented elsewhere in this volume. Her paternal ancestors were of Welsh extraction and were represented in the colonial history of Connecticut. At Morris Cove, New Haven, Conn., may still be seen, in a fair state of preservation, the house owned by Amos Morris and occupied by him after his return from the Revolutionary war, in which he served. Mrs. Jones was educated in public schools and seminary at Marysville. Since the death of her husband, which occurred December 3, 1899, she has managed the estate. In connection with Messrs., Brown and Zumwalt she owned about three thousand acres in Colusa county, suitable for subdividing into small homesteads, and besides was also financially interested in the storage warehouses on the Sacramento river at Colusa, owned by a corporation known as the Colusa Warehouse Association. Like her husband she has for years been a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South and active in its societies. Born of her marriage were five children, namely: Pearl, who died at the age of fourteen years and five months; Edna F. Cochran, of Colusa; Eleanor L, who resides with her mother; and Edward W., who died at the age of seven years and ten months. Lucille Mendenhall, a daughter of a relative by marriage, has been reared by Mrs. Jones since early infancy.

         It would be unjust to the memory of Edward W. Jones to close this review without making a permanent record of the testimony of those who knew him best as to his character and standing as a citizen and a friend. It has been said of him that no man who ever made his home in Colusa county possessed principles of greater integrity. Throughout his career he appeared to be prompted, in his dealings with his fellowmen, by a spirit of unselfishness, of sincerity, of candor and of fairness, these splendid characteristics extending into the most trifling details of his association with others.  He was never known to take an undue advantage of another but, on the other hand, frequently permitted himself to be the loser by reason of his unwillingness to perform any act that might be regarded by others as an indication of an ungenerous spirit on his part. His acts of charity were performed without ostentation, and they were numerous and timely. He was nevertheless a prudent and sagacious man, weighing well the consequences of each step; and while generous to those who had no claim upon him, he was actuated by a sentiment which demanded that he be just to his family. His public spirit and regard for the welfare of his people were frequently demonstrated in no unmistakable manner. No worthy and well-considered project for the promotion of the best interests of the public was presented to him without receiving his sanction and assistance, and he not infrequently took the initiative in such movements. He was a noble, high-minded, useful citizen and friend, who deserves a place of prominence in the history of the state.





Transcribed by Sally Kaleta.

Source: “History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the Sacramento Valley, California  by J. M. Guinn.  Pages 251-252. Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago 1906.

© 2014  Sally Kaleta.




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