He was born on 11 June 1842 (26, 27, 28, 30, 42; 18 (19 in 1861), 42 [74 years 9 months]). He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (18, 26, 27, 28). He was born to Albanus A Jones and Jane Thomas (30).
His father died early in 1843 (30). His mother raised Joseph and her sister (30).
In 1850, he was living in Sterling Township, Wayne County, Pennsylvania (46). He was living with his mother Jane Jones, and with Eleanor (presumably his sister), and with Elijah Thomas (46).
He went to the public schools of Wayne County, Pennsylvania (42).
When he enlisted, he was 5 feet 7 inches tall, and had a light complexion, light eyes, and light hair (18).
He enlisted and was mustered into service as third sergeant in company H on 10 September 1861 (1, 17, 18, 42, 51). He was enlisted for three years, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by Charles Brown (18). He had rifle number 78 (18).
According to the regimental descriptive book, he was promoted from second sergeant to second lieutenant on 26 March 1863, replacing John Dyke (10; see also 11; 16 [18 Mar]). This is when he received his commission (3). However, Sinex did not request his discharge to allow him to be mustered in as a commissioned officer until 18 June 1863 (3). Bates claims he was promoted to second lieutenant on 16 July 1863, from first sergeant; this is probably the date he was mustered in as a second lieutenant (1). On 5 July 1863, the regiment received an order from the Fifth Corps Headquarters, dated 28 June 1863, discharging him (12).
Bates also claims he was commissioned, but not mustered in as, first lieutenant on 7 May 1863 (1).
He fought at the Battle of Gettysburg (23). He was the officer in charge of the picket on 2 July, and found two men to relieve James Thompson and William Reiff for two hours when they couldn't stay awake (29). Reiff claims that they called Jones "Josie", because they "love[d] him and had every confidence in him" (29).
In December 1863, he was with John Goodwin in the Division Hospital, near Bealton Virginia, during Goodwin's last illness and death, and attended Goodwin's burial service (48).
He was appointed "acting captain" in May 1864 (26).
On 20 May 1864, as lieutenant commanding company D, he certified that George Borlan (D) died in camp on 3 Apr 1864 'of a disease of the liver' contracted in the service, and was apparently 'sound and able bodied' when he began serving (50).
He was wounded in both feet on 2 June 1864 at Cold Harbor, Virginia (1, 16, 26, 27, 42). Because of an exploding shell, he was unconscious, lying in the trenches, for twenty-four hours (42). He never fully recovered from those wounds (27).
He was (probably) admitted to the General Hospital, Division 1, Naval Academy, in the first week of August 1864 (24).
He was discharged on 1 October 1864 (1) or 23 September 1864, because of physical disability resulting from wounds received in action (2, 9, 10, 18, 22, 26 [Sep 64]). He was second lieutenant of company H (51).
On 7 October 1864, he applied unsuccessfully for a pension (19, 34).
After recuperating from his foot wounds for months, in his mother's house in Philadelphia, he was able to walk with crutches (26).
He spent 1865 and 1866 in western Pennsylvania, drilling oil wells in the Cherry Run district above Rouseville (26). His first twelve wells were dry, which left him indebted to Rouseville banks for $6,000 (26, 42). Fortunately, his thirteenth well was successfull (26, 42). (He drilled this in 1867 on the Shaw Farm, on a hill overlooking Cherry Run and Oil Creek (26).) He sold the crude oil that winter for $90,000, paid his debts, purchased more leases, and drilled more successful wells (26).
In November 1872, he extended his operations into Clarion County, in Salem and Perry townships (26). He built a pipeline to transport his crude oil from Clarion County to nearby railheads (26). In 1877, he merged with Standard Oil's United Pipe Lines (26).
On 15 October 1876, he married Lou Blakmar, of Venango County, Pennsylvania (27 (Lou Blackmar), 28, 30 (Melodia E Blackmarr), 33 [35 years in 1910], 42 [Melodia E Blackmarr], 45). They had two children (28, 33):
On 20 April 1876, he and three others established the Bradfield Oil Company (26). They had drilled more than 300 wells by 1879 (26). In 1879, Jones bought out his partners, who were frightened by the lack of storage and a sharp decline in price (26).
In 1880, he was living in a hotel on Mechanic Street, Bradford City, McKean County, Pennsylvania (31). He was living with his wife Elizabeth and son Albert (31). He was an oil producer (31).
In 1883, he had 584 wells in production in the Bradfield Field (26).
Politically, he was a Republican (30). In 1888, he was appointed a Presidential elector, from Pennsylvania (30, 45).
In 1890, he was living in Bradford, McKean County, Pennsylvania 9#2).
In the 1890's, he invested in West Virginia (26).
He moved to Buffalo, Erie County, New York, in 1893 (27). He was president of the Niagara Gorge Railroad company (27, 41, 42).
In 1895, he and three others formed a partnership to develop a timber company in Mississippi (26). They finished a railroad from Jackson to the Gulf Coast, dredged a channel to deep water, created the harbor of Gulfport, and developed the city of Gulfport (26, 42, 45). Jones bought out his partners in March 1901 (26).
He lived partly in Buffalo, New York, and partly in the Great Southern Hotel in Gulfport, Mississippi (26, 45).
In 1900, he was living at 1192 Delaware [?] Avenue, Buffalo, Erie County, New York (28). He was living with his wife Melodia B, children Joseph and Grace, and a servant (28). He was an oil producer (28).
In February 1909, he had a stroke (49). He was comatose for three weeks, and then delirious for another two months, but recovered after that (49). He went to Europe for four months, but returned to Buffalo in October 1909 (49).
In 1910, he was living in Buffalo, Erie County, New York (33). He was living with his wife Melodia and daughter Grace (33). He was living on his own income (33).
On 16 June 1910, William C Reiff wrote him a letter, to which he replied on 2 July 1910 (49). He had not had any contact with men who served in the 91st, but had devoted all his life to his business and family (49). He claimed that Roosevelt was a 'demagogue', 'the greatest newspaper agent that ever occupied the Presidential chair', and was someone 'preaching to the galleries and thoughtless masses and bringing panics on the country' (49).
His son Joseph Albert died on 25 December 1911 (30).
He was "in feeble health" in the last three years of his life (42, 43).
He died on 6 December 1916, at his home, 267 North Street, Buffalo, Erie County, New York (26, 27, 35, 36, 42, 43). He was buried in the Jones (family) Mausoleum, in Forest Lawn (27, 38). His funeral was held on Friday 8 December 1916 (36, 38). Gulfport Mississippi closed all businesses from noon (or two?) until 5 PM on that day, and held a memorial serivce at the Methodist Church in Gulfport (36, 40, 41, 42).
Shortly after Jones' death, the Beauvoir soldiers' home superintendent started a movement to erect a monument to Jones in Gulfport (39).
He left his estate, worth more than fifteen million dollars, to his widow and daughter (37).
By 31 December 1916, his widow was elected president of the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad (37, 44).
His wife died on 11 March 1931 (30).
The statue of Joseph Jones in Gulfport Mississippi was damaged by Hurricane Katrina (47). It was restored, and rededicated on Friday, 26 February 2010 (47).
Bruce Jones is researching Joseph Jones. Contact him at email@example.com.
I have not yet checked these sources (cited in (26)):
1 Bates, Samuel Penniman. History of Pennsylvania volunteers, 1861-5. Harrisburg: B. Singerly, state printer, 1869-71. 5 volumes. 'Ninety-first regiment', volume 3, pages 186-233. (In the roster)
3 letter, Sinex to Marvin, 18 June 1863
4 special order 62, HQ 91st PA, 28 August 1863
5 special order 86, HQ 91st PA, 21 September 1863
6 special order 105, HQ 91st PA, 14 November 1863
7 letter, Sinex to Marvin, 7 March 1864
8 special order 13, HQ 91st PA, 1 March 1864
9 special order 202, War Department, 8 August 1864
10 regimental descriptive book (Joseph T Jones)
11 consolidated morning report, 91st PA, 29 March 1863 (Sergt Jones)
12 special orders received, #4 (Sergt Jones)
13 consolidated morning report, 91st PA, 7 October 1863 (Lieut Jones)
14 consolidated morning report, 91st PA, 15 November 1863 (Lt Jones)
15 consolidated morning report, 91st Pennsylvania, 16 April 1864 (Lieut Jones)
16 company H, list of commissioned officers (Joseph T Jones)
17 company H, list of non-commissioned officers (Joseph T Jones, Joseph Jones [2 entries])
18 company H, descriptive roll, #5 (Joseph Jones)
19 pension index, by name (Joseph T Jones)
20 consolidated morning report, 91st PA, 13 July 1864 (Lt Jones)
21 consolidated morning report, 91st Pennsylvania, 14 August 1864 (Lt Jos. T. Jones)
22 consolidated morning report, 91st Pennsylvania, 28 September 1864 (Lt Jones)
23 Pennsylvania Memorial, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (Joseph F Jones)
24 'Our Annapolis letter', Philadelphia Inquirer 11 August 1864, page 2 (James T Janes [sic])
25 'Our Annapolis letter', Philadelphia Inquirer 24 August 1864 page 2 (Joseph T Jones)
26 Neil McElwee. "J T Jones - Early Oil Region Producer". Available at http://www.oil150.com/essays/2007/02/j-t-jones-early-oil-region-producer (viewed 3 November 2007)
27 'Death of Captain Jones'. The McKean Democrat (Smethport, PA), 14 December 1916, page 8 (Joseph T Jones)
28 1900 US census, New York, Erie County, Buffalo, supervisor's district 17, enumeration district 203, microfilm series T623, film 1032, page 19 = 19 B handwritten (Joseph T Jones)
29 William C Reiff. 'Josie and I at Gettysburg'. Gettysburg Compiler 9 August 1911.
30 'Capt. Joseph T. Jones'. From John H. Lang, History of Harrison County, Mississippi (Dixie Press, 1935), pp.157-158. (viewed 9 Nov 2007) (Joseph T Jones)
31 1880 US census, Pennsylvania, McKean County, Bradford City, ward 1, supervisor's district 6, enumeration district 76, microfilm series T9, film 1153, page 104 = 12 D handwritten (J T Jones)
32 1890 US census, veterans' schedule, Pennsylvania, McKean County, Bradford, 2nd ward, supervisor's district 6, enumeration district 206, page 5 (Joseph T Jones)
33 1910 US census, New York, Erie County, Buffalo, ward 21, microfilm series T624, film 947, supervisor's district 19, enumeration district 201, page 151 = 5 B handwritten (Jos T Jones)
34 pension index, by regiment, 91st PA Infantry, company H (Joseph T Jones)
35 'Founder of Gulfport dead', [George] Macon Weekly Telegraph 7 December 1916 page 1 (Joseph T Jones)
36 'Proclamation', [Mississippi] Daily Herald 7 December 1916 page 1 (Joseph T Jones)
37 'Mrs Jones elected head of G and SI Railroad', [Alabama] Montgomery Advertiser 31 December 1916 page 13
38 'Capt Jones laid to eternal rest', [Mississippi] Daily Herald 14 December 1916 page 6 (Joseph T Jones)
39 'Biloxians believe monument should be erected to Capt. Jones' memory', [Mississippi] Daily Herald 7 December 1916 page 1
40 'Eulogies for Capt J. T. Jones', [Mississippi] Daily Herald 11 December 1916, page 1
41 'Memorial services largely attended', [Mississippi] Daily Herald 9 December 1916, page 1 (J T Jones)
42 'Captain J T Jones passed away at his home in Buffalo, New York, early this morning', [Mississippi] Daily Herald 6 December 1916 page 1 (J T Jones)
43 'The late Joseph T Jones', [Mississippi] Daily Herald 19 December 1916 page 4 (Joseph T Jones)
44 'Widow takes his place', [Louisiana] Times-Picayune 31 December 1916 page 24 (Joseph T Jones)
45 'Joseph T Jones, 74, Gulfport founder, is dead in Buffalo', [Louisiana] Times-Picayune 7 December 1916 page 3
46 1850 US census, Pennsylvania, Wayne County, Sterling Township, microfilm series M432, film 835, page 119 recto = 237 handwritten (Joseph Jones)
47 'Gulfport rededicates Captain Joseph Jones statue' (accessed 20 March 2010) (Joseph Jones)
48 page 13, widow's pension certificate file, John Goodwin (Jos T Jones)
50 widow's pension certificate file, certificate WC 129,097, Margaret widow of George Borlan, National Archives and Records Administration, record group 15 (Joseph Jones)
51 index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania (Joseph T Jones)
The subjoined named staff officers have received leaves of absence to visit their families and friends:--Captains [...] Joseph T. Jones, H, 91st Pa.; [...]['Our Annapolis letter', 'Our Annapolis letter', Philadelphia Inquirer 11 August 1864, page 2]
The subjoined is an official list of the changes of Pennsylvania staff and non-commissioned officers which have taken place in General Hospital, Division No. 1 (Naval Academy), for the past week:--Admissions.
[...] Lieutenants [...] James T. Janes [sic], 91st Pa.; [...]['Death of Captain Jones'. The McKean Democrat (Smethport, PA), [Thursday] 14 December 1916, page 8]
Captain Joseph T. Jones, soldier, railroad promoter and pioneer oil producer, died at the family home, No. 267 North street, Buffalo, Wednesday morning. His death, due to a protracted illness, was not unexpected.
Captain Jones was born in Philadelphia on June 11, 1842. At the age of 19 he enlisted in the Civil war and was assigned to the 91st Pennsylvania Volunteer infantry. At Cold Harbor he was wounded in both feet, injuries from which he never fully recovered.
Capt. Jones was promoted to quarter-master sergeant at Alexandria, Va., and later attained the ranks of second lieutenant, first lieutenant, and captain. At the close of the war he entered the oil fields of Pennsylvania and since became one of the largest factors in the oil industry. Capt. Jones moved to Buffalo in 1893, and became active in the community life of that city.
He became president of the Niagara Gorge Railroad company, Buffalo, and has since worked actively in the corporation. For the last ten years his chief interests centered in the State of Mississippi, where he had developed a deep water port and also the Gulf & Ship Island railroad.
Coming to the Bradford field in 1877 Captain Jones organized the Bradford Oil company. At one time he was the largest individual owner of producing wells in Bradford.
Twenty-two years ago Captain Jones and his family left Bradford to make their future home in Buffalo, where an imposing residence was constructed.
Captain Jones was married in 1876 to Miss Lou Blakmar, of Venango county, Pa. Two children, Joseph Albert and Grace Jones, both born in Bradford, were the fruits of this union. Mrs. Jones, with her daughter, Grace, survive.
Funeral services were held at 3:00 p.m., from the home, No. 267 North street, and the body was laid at rest in the Jones mausoleum in Forest Lawn.--Bradford Herald.
|Name||Elijah Thomas||Jane Jones||Eleanor||Joseph|
|Occupation of males over 15 years||No occupation|
|Real estate owned||1000|
|Birthplace||" [sc. Pa]||Maryland||Pa||"|
|Married within year|
|Attended school within year||1|
|Over 20 & can't read/write|
|Deaf, dumb, blind, etc.|
|street name||[Mechanic Street]|
|dwelling visit #|||
|family visit #|||
|name||J T Jones||Elizabeth||Albert|
|month born if born in year|
|relationship||" " [sc. Boarder]||" "||Son|
|married during year|
|school this year|
|street||[illegible, beginning with 'D', perhaps 'Delaware'] Avenue|
|dwelling number||371 [??]|
|family number||386 [??]|
|name||Jones Joseph T||- Melodia B||- Joseph A||- Grace E||Gilchrist Kate|
|birth date||June 1842||Oct 1859||Aug 1877||Sept 1880||Sept 1872|
|# years married||23||23|
|mother of how many children?||2|| |
|# of children living||2|
|birthplace||Pennsylvania||New York||Pennsylvania||New York||Manchester [?] Eng|
|father's birthplace||England||New York||Pennsylvania||Pennsylvania||Scotland|
|mother's birthplace||England||New York||New York||New York||Scotland|
|# years in USA||7|
|occupation||Oil producer||At School||Waitress|
|# months not employed||0||4|
|# months in school||9|
|free or mortgaged||F|
|# of farm schedule|
|name||Jones Jos T||_ Melodia||_ Grace|
|#years present marriage||35||[blank]|
|mother of # children||2|
|mother of # living children||2|
|nature of industry etc.||own income|
|out of work 15 Apr 1910?|
|# weeks out of work 1909|
|school since 1 Sep 09|
|owned free or mortagaged||F|
|nr on farm schedule|
|civil war vet|
|deaf & dumb|
GULFPORT, Miss., Dec. 6--Capt. Joseph T. Jones, known as the founder of Gulfport, railroad president and largely interested in numerous enterprises in Mississippi and on the gulf coast, died early today in Buffalo, N.Y., according to a dispatch received here today.
Whereas, the sad news of the death of Captain Joseph T. Jones, which occurred in Buffalo, New York, yesterday morning, has been received by the people of the City of Gulfport, Mississipi; and
Whereas, the City of Gulfport and the development of South Mississippi is due most largely to the enterprise and investment of Captain Jones; and
Whereas, he was highly respected and loved by the people of the City of Gulfport, and that his funeral will be held Friday afternoon in the City of Buffalo; now,
Therefore, I, J. C. Corbett, Acting Mayor of the City of Gulfport, do hereby issue the following proclamation:
That there be a cessation of all business from twelve noon to five p.m. Friday, December 8th, 1916, in the City of Gulfport out of memory and respect to Captain Jones; and it is earnestly recommended that suitable memorial exercises be held at the same hour that the funeral is held.Respectfully,
BUFFALO, Dec 30--Mrs Joseph H [sic] T. Jones, widow of Captain Jones has been elected president of the Gulf and Ship Island railroad to succeed her husband, it was announced here today. Captain Jones died a month ago, leaving an estate of more than fifteen million dollars to his widow and daughter, Grace Jones.
The funeral of Captain Joseph T Jones, who died on Wednesday morning, was held at 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon from the family home, No. 267 North Street. The Rev. Cameron J. Davis of Trinity church officiated. The body was placed in the family mausoleum at Forest Lawn.
The services were attended by many prominent Buffalonians and business associates of Capt. Jones and these persons from out of town: Mayor George M. Foote, Frank W. Foote, Dr. J. J. Harry, J. A. Bandi, A. E. Fant, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Brown, B. E. Eaton, G. B. Dantzler, and W. T. Stewart of Gulfport, Miss.; Mr. and Mrs. August C. Morck and Dr. Frank Jackson of Oil City; Mrs. Henry Wilson of Pittsburg. A.C. Jackson of Sisterville, N. J. Bowker, G. J. Connoys and James Amberg of Niagara Falls.
The honorary bearers were D. S. Alexander, John W. Robinson, Hardin H. Littell, Bert L. Jones, C. M. Underhill, A. D. Bissel, Charles R. Huntley, Frank D. Baird, George P. Sawyer, Franklin D. Locke, John N. Scatcherd and C. M. Dow of Jamestown.
Superintendent Elnathan Tartt, of the soldiers' home at Beauvoir started a movement this morning looking to the erection of a monument to the memory of Captain Joseph T. Jones, 74 years old, founder of Gulfport, rail road promoter and capitalist, which occurred [sic] at Buffalo, N.Y., yesterday morning.
"I should like the opportunity of giving liberally to a fund for the purpose of erecting a monument for Capt. Jones," said Mr. Tartt. "I believe he was one of the greatest benefactors that South Mississippi has ever had and that not only will the people of Biloxi and Gulfport join in this movement, but residents throughout South Mississippi will be desirous of contributing to a fund to build a monument to a man who has done so much for the gulf coast region."
Capt. Jones' death created universal regret in Biloxi, where he is regarded as one of the most progressive men of Mississippi, and many people expressed approval of a movement looking to the erection of a monument to his memory.
The memorial services held at the Methodist Church Friday will long be remembered by those who were present for they were held in honor of a man whose constructive genius has done more for the material development of the state than any other individual who has ever entered its boundaries--Capt. Joseph T. Jones.
There were two addresses delivered upon this occasion which but reflected the esteem and affection in which Captain Jones was held, and it is with pleaslure [sic] that the Herald gives them space in this afternoon's edition. They follow:
Judge Jas. H. Neville made the following address in presenting the resolutions at the memorial exercised to Captain J. T. Jones.
In presenting these resolutions to this concourse of friends of Capt. J. T. Jones it is perhaps meet and proper that I should say a word.
It is a sad occasion that brings us all together this evening and one that causes sorrow to all our hearts, but it is meet and pre-eminently meet and proper in my judgment--that the citizens not alone of Gulfport but of this entire Coast should pause in their business engagements and pay tribute to this great and distinguished man, because he was a great man, and he was a distinguished citizen, and he brought good to the entire State of Mississippi.
I knew Captain Jones intimately and well. I was associated with him in all the relations of life, as companion, as friend, and as his counsel, and I think I knew the innermost recesses of Captain Jones' heart; I am sure I did.
Captain Jones was to me every day a wonder. These resolutions, Mr. Chairman, portray with real accuracy the character of life of that man, so much so that it does appear to me to be the work of supererogation to say one word in addition to what has been written, but I shall do so because I believe in the doctrine that the works of a good man and the works of a great man live after him, and those who are left behind and who know the innermost character of the man can engage in no better work than portraying the life and character of such a man.
I first met Captain Jones in Gulfport; it was not then a city. The buildings of the Gulf & Ship Island Railroad Company, or the offices of the railroad company composed of two or three little buildings, were situated on the front. He had invited the citizens of Gulfport and Harrison County, and I had come in response to that invitation on that night, to listen to the secret which he said he was going to give to the public. I shall never forget that night; there was nothing here at the time, indeed merely the start of a community, and when he was introduced to the audience and began to lay out his plans and this secret it sounded to me and to every one within hearing like a romance; he pictured his purposes, his plans and his desires. He gave to the public long before a lick of work was started upon it a project, his idea, to build here a great office building, a great hotel and all a channel and harbor things which would of themselves and before it was begun add immensely to the wealth and value of the community. I lived to see the dream realized in all of its promises, absolutely more than he promised.
Twelve months after that I became associated with Captain Jones as his counsel, and for seven years I remained in his service; the relations between us were the most cordial and pleasant. We did not always agree. Of course Captain Jones was human. Had he not been, his accomplishments would not be worth so much. In our disagreements of business or otherwise, there was always uppermost in the mind of the man and in his thought integrity of purpose; and he was amenable to reason to as much extent as any man I ever knew in my life, and such was the secret of Captain Jones' wonderful success in my judgment. I have seen him at times when he appeared to me like a mightly torrent driving irresistibly everything before him in his predetermined manner and way of accomplishing what he set out to do; yet he would stop, listen and reason and convince his judgment and he would go back the other way just as strongly.
All Capt. Jones' methods were honest. I never saw him in my life take a [sic] advantage in a business transaction of any human being, and I never knew him in any transaction that he did not take the heavy load in everything.
Let me even at the charge of being perhaps too lengthy relate one incident which illustrates well and stronger than I can tell you in any other way the character of this man. On one occasion it became necessary for his railroad company to purchase a large number of flat cars and he put the construction of these cars by contract with what is called the Car Trust Company. The contracts were signed, executed and delivered and months had passed and the cars were ready almost for delivery. Captain Jones called me in his office one morning and introduced me to a gentleman who was the president of the Car Trust Company. He had before him the contract, and asked me if that contract could be changed if they so desired, and I told him it could be and asked him in what manner he desired to change it. He stated to me that this gentleman had convinced him that the representative of this Car Trust Company which sold this shipment of cars to him if [page 2] delivered according to their contract will be at a loss of absolutely fifty thousand dollars to him. He further stated to me that he knew that was true, and that if a fifty thousand dollar addition was made to the contract that they would not make a dollar upon it but that they would merely recompense themselves for the time, labor and material expended on the same. He stated that he did not desire anything from this company in that way, and that he wanted to change the contract in order to pay them the fifty thousand dollars additional which belonged to them. And he did it. I have seen him do like that often, perhaps not so great in amount, but I have seen him do the same thing on other occasions.
Capt. Jones was a charitable man, he loved his fellow man, and while he had what appeared to be a rough exterior, he had a large and warm and generous heart. His charity was not in libraries or things of that sort that are deeds for the public to see, but it was individual charity; silent unostentatious deeds of good that must count for him bright [sic] somewhere today.
He was generous with his men, with those with whom he worked, and those with whom he came in contact. I have seen his employees in struggles with their superior officers and in controversies and I never saw one of these controveries in my life, even though some time it appeared as though ruin would come from it, that Capt. Jones went into the struggle that he did not come out with peace and accord with his men. They loved him, whatever the "Old Cap'ain" said they believed in, because they knew he was honest. I have seen him reach down and lift up with the hand of charity the humblest colored man in his employ. I have seen him contribute of his charity not only to those who worked with and for him but to those who had no call upon him at all.
Let me recite one instance because I know that this man's life in that regard was not so well known to even those among whom he lived and esteemed so highly as it was to me. On one occasion a city in the State of Mississippi was visited with a terrible scourge in the nature of a storm, houses went down and people lost their lives, property of all description was swept away, and one portion of that city was absolutely wrecked and ruined. I was in Jackson when it occurred and reached home that evening. Capt. Jones sent for me to come to his office and stated to me that he did not know anybody in that community but from what he had heard the suffering there must be dreadful and among a class of people who were unable to help themselves and the burden upon that community hard to bear and that he wanted me to find out the truth for him from some reliable person, whether they needed assistance or not. I called up the clerk of the Circuit Court, a man whom I knew would tell me the truth, and he stated to me that it was a great mistake to say they did nnot need assistance but it was a mystery and a marvel to those people what they were to do with the citizenship utterly helpless and dependent upon their hands. I communicated to Capt. Jones what had been communicated to me, and the tears came to his eyes; he handed me a check, stating that it was his contribution to those people, but with the distinct and express understanding that no one except us would ever know it, a check for thousands of dollars to people whom he did not know. Captain Jones was not only a charitable man; he was a good and a great man, and while he had his faults like all of us, he possessed a generous heart.
Sitting in my office the evening the terrible stroke fell from which he never recovered and which removed him from his business environment in this place, he was talking to me at the time about Gulfport and how much the future held for Gulfport and how anxious he was that the work which was done should be well done. Capt. Jones loved Gulfport as a father loved his child and he was interested in everything that concerned Gulfport; his heart, his mind and his thoughts were always of Gulfport.
It is therefore fitting and proper that the people of Gulfport should do honor and reverence to the memory of a man who did so much for us. We only honor ourselves in so doing. I could stand here by the hour and tell you of the great deeds of heart and hand of his, and which would be pleasing I know, but others desire to speak of him as well as myself. I had for him the greatest regard and the greatest respect. Peace to his ashes, and this community will long cherish his memory.
Hon. W. G. Evans made the following remarks:
"I have not had the ability or command of words to express my high esteem of Capt. Jones. My first acquaintance with him was on his arrival in Gulfport in 1902. I was among the first citizens of Gulfport to make his acquaintance and to discuss with him the prospects and probabilities of the G. & S. I. Railroad and establishing a great sea port at Gulfport, which had been the dream of Mississippi for many years.
"I could see from the very first that Capt. Jones was delighted with the situation and with the beauties of our Gulf Coast. Not long after he began the dredging of the harbor and channel and spending large sums of money in its construction and the erection of magnificent buildings in Gulfport, at which time the city had only a small population, but soon it commenced to grow with great rapidity.
"It was the confidence and esteem that the people had in the man who was spending his millions in our midst and giving to South Mississippi unparalleled prosperity.
"Capt. Jones in his great work has built to himself a monument in Mississippi that will endure as an evidence of his indominitable energy.
"Capt. Jones possessed a gigantic mind and was a great business man; he was a kind-hearted man, and all who came in contact with him could not help but love him.
"Capt. Jones was not only held in high esteem by all the people, but was especially honored and respected by his employes [sic] in all the departments over which he had control.
"Capt. Jones is gone and a veil of sadness has been drawn over the city and entire community and indeed over the state. All we can do is to cherish his memory, for it can be truthfully said that he has been a benefactor to South Mississippi and the entire state. When another man like Capt. Jones will do for Mississippi what he has done, no one can foresee."
Despite a steady downpour of rain the spacious auditorium of the First Methodist Church was filled with representative citizens from all along the Gulf Coast to attend the memorial services conducted yesterday afternoon in respect to Cap. J. T. Jones.
The meeting was called for 3 o'clock, but long before that hour the people began to assemble from the towns along the Coast and especially from the city of Gulfport. They represented every religious denomination, every nationality and every business in the community. It was a spontaneous outpouring of people of every class, for there is not a man, woman or child, black or white from Jackson to Gulfport, or along the entire Gulf Coast who has not felt in some way the beneficent hand of Capt. J. T. Jones.
Such an assembly is a living, positive proof that the American people respect and honor a man of few words and many deeds. It is such men as Capt. J. T. Jones whose energy and constructive ability has made possible our churches, our schools, our homes and the other institutions which go to make up our civilization and the world's progress.
Rev. Dr. LaPrade, pastor of the First Methodist Church, where the services were held, stated that the meeting would be in the nature of a memorial service and that Judge W. A. White had been selected to preside.
Judge White took charge of the meeting and Attorney Hanun Gardner was selected as secretary.
Dr. La Prade opened the service with an eloquent and impressive prayer at the conclusion of which the audience, standing, joined with him in repeating the Lord's Prayer.
A committee consisting of Geo. P. Money, Hanun Gardner, Geo. P. Hewes, R. L. Simpson, J. H. Lang, J. W. Bradley, Jas. H. Neville, W. A. White and W. G. Evans drew up resolutions of respect. Judge Neville, on account of his having had business associations and intimate relations with Capt. Jones, was selected to read the resolutions. At the conclusion of the reading of these resolutions, which are here printed, Judge Neville spoke feelingly at some length about the man, Capt. Jones, aside from business, as he, the judge had found him in a number of years of intimate association with him. A copy of his eloquent address will be found in Monday's issue.
Judge W. G. Evans was the next speaker and spoke of having known the Captain from the time of his first visit to Gulfport until the time he left Gulfport for the last time a few months ago. No higher tribute could be paid to a man in the daily walks of life than that paid by Judge W. G. Evans to Capt. J. T. Jones. He spoke of the meeting which Capt. Jones had called to tell the citizens a secret. At this meeting Mr. Evans was chairman and those present could not but think that it was a romantic dream when Capt. Jones pictured to them the office buildings, the Great Southern Hotel and the harbor. Yet, said the judge, the dream in three years was more than realized.
Capt. Jones, he said, was a man who did more than he said. An extract of the address made by Judge W. G. Evans will also appear in Monday's issue of the Herald.
Geo. P. Hewes made a few well-chosen remarks, saying in part that as a business man of Gulfport that Capt. Jones was a man of integrity in business, a man of his word and a man who made an effort to shoulder a little more than his end of the load. Gulfport, he said, would miss Capt. Jones for he had been its greatest friend.
Dr. W. C. Grace, as a representative of the ministerial association, said that he had been asked to speak for the ministers as he had been in Gulfport longer than any other minister present. Capt. Jones was not identified with any denomination, but the heart of the man was full of charity and a desire to do good to others as shown by his many deeds of kindness. It had been the doctor's privilege on many occasions to call on Capt. Jones in connection with business matters. The Captain being a busy man, Dr. Grace said that he always tried to make his visits brief and to the point. On no occasion did Capt. Jones treat him with other than the greatest respect. No matter how busy he was he always asked Dr. Grace to sit down and talk and the Captain was always enthusiastic about the welfare of Gulfport. Directly or indirectly, Capt. Jones had donated the location or lot on which every church in Gulfport had been built.
John H. Lang then spoke concerning his knowledge of Capt. Jones. He had known him intimately. Mr. Lang told of two instances to show the character of the man. When Capt. Jones contemplated building the traction line along the Coast, he called several citizens together, among them being Mr. Lang, and told them his plan. He told them to make the matter as public as possible so that the people who owned the land along the beach would know it and would not sell their land to speculators, but would get the benefit of the increase in value which woudl result from the building of the traction road. It was pointed out that he might get agents to buy up the land secretly and make a million dollars, but his he positively refused to do. A bank at Pass Christian became involved, owning the First National National [sic] Bank, of which Capt. Jones [page 3] was president, large sums of money. Mr. Lang was chosen to wind up the affairs of the bank, and on going to Capt. Jones about it, was told to not cause any loss to anyone by hurrying matters of [sic] pushing them. The Captain told Mr. Lang that the First National Bank would stand behind him and the Captain carried out his word to the last letter, thereby obviating great loss. This, said Mr. Lang, was characteristic of the man.
Dr. H. M. Folkes of Biloxi, who next spoke, thought that is was his duty and privilege as a citizen of the Coast and of Biloxi to say a few words concerning this stalward man and true citizen. It was given to only one man in 10,000, said the doctor, to dream and execute at the same time. Capt. Jones was one of these. He was a remarkable man and an empire builder. Dr. Folkes could not help but contrast the conditions before Capt. Jones came to the Coast with conditions a few years after he came and with conditions today. The doctor was on the state health board before his G. & S. L. was built and knew something about conditions in South Mississippi at that time. The change was phenomenal.
It had been for some years the dream of Mississippi and especially Biloxi that they could have a deep sea harbor on the Gulf Coast. When Capt. Jones gave to publicity his dream of a harbor and a deep sea channel the people of Biloxi smiled and exchanged knowing glances, because government engineers advised against a harbor at this locality. But while they smiled and looked knowingly; while they said the first big storm would fill up the channel and make useless the harbor, Capt. Jones, the dreamer, dug the channel and built the harbor and Biloxi lost her opportunity.
It was rare, the doctor said, to find a dreamer, who could execute and yet who had goodness of heart and unselfishness combined in one character.
At the conclusion of the remarks of Dr. Folkes, a benediction was pronounced by Rev. H. H. Sneed, and one of the most remarkable meetings ever held in Gulfport came to a close.
The resolutions adopted at the meeting are as follows:
News of the death of Gulfport's builder brings its citizens together for a mutual consolation; and as a father's death assembles those who were the object of his care, so we, from every clime and state, who brought our fortunes and our hopes to this fair city of his dreams, his pride and his accomplishment, are in immediate gathering here to give spontaneous expression to our measure and appreciation of the man whose death now shadows forth the brightness of his life and character.
He builded [sic] here a city on the sand, but its foundations yet endureth [sic] as a rock; he broke the silence of the centuries upon this southern shore with industry, the corner stones of which forever bear the name of J. T. Jones. His early struggles as a boy; his sufferings and his glories on the crucial stage at Fredericksburg, the Wilderness, Antietam, at Cold Harbor, and at Gettysburg; his faith in Pennsylvania oil fields which at length repaid his strong endeavors; the constructive forces and the genius which made him an owner of the scenic railway at Niagara's mighty falls; the erection of great flouring and paper mills; his rare ability to see and use his opportunities, his courage to proceed where his own visions led; his wrestling of success from every venture--all of these are tributes to the man.
But comparable with these are what we saw and know of him. From Mississippi's capital down to the Gulf, where she had stood through all the years with yearning and with outstretched hands to other people and to other lands, clothed in the silence of her inactivity and apparently waiting for the knock of Opportunity, he pierced her labyrinthine wilds, and taking up abandoned plans of others, gathering in his sure grasp the broken ends of uncompleted works, he brushed aside the mocker and iconoclast, substantialized his dream with earnings from his earlier labors and investments, till at last he viewed his work and saw a smile upon the fact of Mississippi's Coast which made him glad. He sowed a strip from Jackson to the Coast with opportunity, and lived to see the people reap success in happy homes, in schools and towns and industries. He heard the whistle of his engines in the solemn woods, and set ten thousand hands to useful work among the pines, along the streams, and waiting Gulf. He heard the hum of industry; he saw the people congregate from every land, and watched them build their homes, and heard the voice of an infant city crying lustily; he loaned his money to the building of her structures; he built a bank and put his sinews of development within its vaults; his creosote factory transfused into the Mississippi pines the preservative of commerce, and then sent them to the Panama Canal.
Although he could have made a wondrous profit for himself and his associates by purchasing the lands up on the shore, he built a modern street car line along the Coast from famed Biloxi to the city named for John Christian, declaring that he wished the people to enjoy full opportunity to buy these lands themselves: that he had found his health upon this sunny shore, and that he dreamed to see it filled with happy homes!
He saw a channel from Ship Island to the mainland an connected Mississippi with the world; he thrust a mile-long pier into the peaceful Mississippi Sound and sent a message to its greatest fleets: he lived to see them ride to anchor in the harbor of this port and leave for foreign langs with products of our forests. Cotton compresses he founded in the state, and in a thousand ways infused the spirit of development into the veins of Mississippi!
Swept into the fratricidal strife of 1861, he risked himself for the North: in the fraternal labor after thirty years, he put his heart, his money and his work in building in the South.
Of sturdy parentage, he was a sturdy man. Commencing in the North, and ending in the South, his heart and impulses were, however, universal and superior. Genial, sympathetic, generous, benevolent and kind, his ear was open to both individual and gregarious requests--so numerous that they could hardly be recounted.
Born in 1842, his active life and proper habits gave him more than the allotted time by fourteen years. Preceded by a son who pleased his heart, now followed by a wife and daughter who have been his comfort and his stay: two splendid women left to mourn two splendid men!
The people of this City meet to join their grief with that of these bereft, and to express in these poor words the value and esteem in which the stricken one is held by them: by way of condolence, by way of testimony to the world, and tribute to the memory of him who made himself a living force for those with whom he spent his latest years.
RESOLVED, That copies of these resolutions be given to the family of Captain Jones and to the press.
Signed: Geo. P. Money, Hanun Gardner, Geo. P. Hewes, R. L. Simoson J. H. Lang, J. W. Bradley, W. G. Evans, W. A. White, Jas. H. Neville.
The sad news of the death of Capt. J. T. Jones at his home in Buffalo, N.Y., was received here at 10 o'clock this morning by J.C. Simpson, secretary of the Gulf & Ship Island Railroad. The end came peacefully at 7 o'clock this morning. Death came so gently and peacefully that it was like a tired child going to sleep. Capt. Jones had been in feeble health for the past three years but the death was a great shock nevertheless. He was 74 years and 9 months of age at the time of his death.
W. T. Stewart, vice president and general manager of the G. & S. I., was absent in Washington, D.C., when the news was received but was immediately notified and started at once for Buffalo.
Upon receiving the news here this morning the regret was so spontaneous and univeral among the citizents that arrangements to give it concrete expression were immediately considered and it was intended to have a meeting at the City Hall this evening to adopt resolutions of respect, but upon learning later that the funeral ceremonies were to be held in Buffalo at 3 o'clock Friday afternoon it was decided to hold a memorial meeting at the same hour at which the funeral services will be held in Buffalo. This memorial service will be held in the First Methodist Church Friday afternoon at 3 o'clock for the purpose of adopting resolutions.
Flags on the city school buildings will fly at half mast during the memorial services Friday afternoon. The railroad shops and the Gulf & Ship Island offices will be closed all day Friday and every train on the road will stop for 10 minutes at exactly 3 o'clock.
Commissioner J. W. Bradley stated today that the City Commissioners would ask that all business in the city, and the public schools as well, close from 2 to 5 o'clock on Friday afternoon.
Captain Jones was born in Philadelphia, June 11, 1842, of sturdy Welch ang [sic] English parents, and received his schooling in the public schools of Wayne County, Pa., prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. On September 10th, 1861, he enlisted in Company of the 91st Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers under gallant Col. E. M. Gregory; and saw service in the bloodiest battles of the Civil War--Fredericksburg, Cold Harbor, Antiteam [sic], the Wilderness, Gettysburg. In the battle of Cold Harbor he was shot through both ankles, and lay unconscious in the trenches for twenty-four hours as a result of an exploding shell. So severe were the wounds that he was mustered out of service in the latter part of September, 1863. For gallantry on the field, Captain Jones rose from the ranks successively to quartermaster, sergeant, second lieutenant, first lieutenant and captain of his company.
In 1876, Captain Jones was married to Miss Melodia E. Blackmarr of Alliance, Ohio, whose social activities and support of organized charities have made her widely known and loved in their home city of Buffalo. To them were born two children, Joseph Albert whose ability and energy had promoted him to the position of able lieutenant of his father, and whose untimely death was deplored by the thousands who had come to love him; and Miss Grace E., an accomplished daughter, who was her father's constant companion and helper.
Immediately after the war Captain Jones turned his attention to the oil business, and began his first well on Cherry Run above Oil City, Pa. His first twelve wells were dry, but the thirteenth attempt brought in a gusher. He had drilled over 1500 oil wells, and his extensive operations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio made him at one time the largest individual oil producer in the United States.
Captain Jones' ability as an organizer early drew about him a coterie of men of ability and financial strength; and at the head of this group, he carried his constructive genius into many fields of endeavor. Aside from his old interests, Captain Jones was one of the largest stockholders in the Gorge Road, the magnificent Scenic Railway at Niagara Falls; the Cataract Milling Co., a flour mill with a capacity of 800 barrels a day; and the Pettibone Paper Mill which turns out 30 tons of paper daily.
In 1895 Captain Jones became interested in South Mississippi, and with a small group of associates began the work that stamped him the South's greatest captain of industry; and in no part of a wide and varied business career did he show the broad mental grasp of big business, the indomitable will, the enduring enthusiasm, and a power of organization amounting to genius more strongly than in this undertaking. He came to the Coast when Gulfport was a struggling village, and the Gulf & Ship Island Railroad, a road of about 20 miles in length with right-of-way as far as Hattiesburg. He bent his back to the burden of road building through what was practically unbroken forests. His associates in the venture became timid from adverse reports and difficulties to be contended with and withdrew. Single-handed Captain Jones forced his steel lines through forest and swamps, over hill and valley, conscious that the completion of his dream would double the value of a rich state, and furnish millions of acres ready to the hand of industry and thrift. The building of a road from the Capital to the Coast, and the opening up of the richest pine timber area in the world had been the hope of Mississippians for decades past; but in the 307 miles of Gulf & Ship Island system there stands the most enduring testimonial that can be cited to a single man's ability, perseverance and energy.
He recognized the fundamental need of South Mississippi for a sea port and in the year 1897 began the dredging of the Gulfport Harbor against adverse reports of government engineers and experts. He paid the National Dredging Company of Baltimore, Md., over a million dollars for their work on the basin and channel, and expended another million on the approaches and piers. Today this harbor stands land-locked and safe, one of the notable engineering features of the South.
His genius has touched the Coast in every phase of constructive effort. He organized the Gulfport Real Estate Improvement Company, which concern erected the first modern business block in the city. Through his personal agents and other channels he has furnished the means of building hundreds of homes. He belted the Coast with the lines of the Gulfport & Mississippi Coast Traction Company, a million dollar system, that has brought to thirty thousand people the conveniences of quick travel, ready market facilities, and suburban home building on 25 miles of the beautiful Coast front. He put into existence the Gulfport Towing Company, and gave to this port the advantage of low rates on the towing and coaling of vessels. He organized the Gulfport Creosoting Company and marketed the pine timber in its most valuable form. At Hattiesburg, Laurel and Mt. Olive he founded cotton compress companies to stimulate the farming and commercial interests of those communities. He built the magnificent Hotel Hattiesburg at Hattiesburg at an expense of over a quarter of a million dollars to accommodate the traveling public. At Gulfport he transformed a pile of sand into the most beautiful garden in the South and in its midst, at a cost of three hundred thousand dollars, set the Great Southern Hotel, a hostelry whose fame is making the Coast the playground of the Mississippi Valley. His constructive ability has been tested in the financial as well as in the industrial field. He founded the First National Bank of Gulfport with a capital of $250,000 and total resources of over $2,000,000. With his hand at the helm as president, and with a list of stockholders representing large capital and strong banking connection, the First National Bank has taken its position in the forefront of banks in our State, the strongest financial institution on the Gulf Coast.
In every generation there come but few men of the mold of Captain Jones. These are the men who make industrial history, and on their foot-steps follow the progress that makes for industry, home and happiness for teeming thousands. They are alike--the big-brained grasp of men and measures; the rugged strength of body and mind that knows no rest; the unswerving purpose and granite will that sees no turning aside. For these and many other reasons the whole State of Mississippi will mourn the death of Captain Joseph T. Jones.
Captain Jones--as he was generally called--had been ill for several years, but continued to the last to give more or less attention to his large and diversified business interests. He had served his country in time of war, but he was essentially a business man, and one of the most successful that ever made Buffalo his home. His accumulations were of the sort that are beneficial to a community and a country, as they were the result not of speculation, but of the development of new industrial and transportation enterprises.
Captain Jones's main activities for some years past had been displayed in other parts of the country, but he remained the owner of several large enterprises hereabouts, where his home and principal offices continued to be.
His was a typical American career--small beginnings, growing into great results, due to capacity and courage as well as to industry and foresight. Moreover, he was a good citizen, a good friend, a good husband and father.
Buffalo, N.Y., Dec. 30.--Mrs. Joseph T. Jones, widow of Captain Jones, has been elected president of the Gulf and Ship Island railroad and other interests in Mississippi, to succeed her husband, it was announced here today.
Captain Jones died a month ago, leaving an estate of more than fifteen million dollars to his wife and daughter, Grace Jones.
The report that Miss Grace Jones, Captain Jones [sic] daughter, would head the company gained circulation soon after Captain Jones' death here six weeks ago. At that time it was emphatically denied by Mrs. Jones and by Miss Jones that the latter would fill the place of her deceased father.
He married in Venango county, Pennsylvania, October 15, 1875, Miss Lou E. Blackmarr, daughter of the Rev. R. L. Blackmarr, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and they had two children, Joseph Albert and Grace E. He was a Republican in politics, and in 1888 was appointed one of the presidential electors from Pennsylvania.
Captain Jones removed to Buffalo in 1908 [? possibly 1903?]. Branching out, he soon became known through his investments and enterprises as the "Mississippi Railroad King," head of the Gulf and Ship Island railroad, and promoter, among other prodigious projects, of the work of making a city and seaport of Gulfport. Like the Jones "that paid the freight," he opened the harbor and at the same time the eyes of the national government, which was loath to discourage the coveted desire of the wealthy Buffaloian.
He dredged a seven-mile channel, 300 feet wide, 28 feet in depth, constructed an immense pier at an expense of a million dollars, enabling ship and train to stand within hand-shaking distance. These trains represented the equipment of the Gulf and Ship Island railroad, 307 miles in length, which he bought, completely rebuilt, extended and placed in operation thereon the latest type of motive power and cars, organizing and maintaining an experienced staff of officials, with "system and results" as the watchword.
The government, in the meantime, assumed supervision of the harbor, because of the rapidity with which the port developed, the exportation of lumber growing by leaps and bounds, until today Gulfport is said to be the greatest pitch pine port in the world, and in other exportations, such as naval stores and cotton, which are fast placing it as a maritime station of great importance.
Captain Jones, realizing the importance of an interurban railway connecting the towns of Biloxi, Mississippi City, Long Beach and Pass Christian with Gulfport, constructed the railway along the beach front, thereby affording an unsurpassed novelty in this section in the way of a scenic attraction to the tourist, and needed facility to residents of the towns mentioned, being the father of the Mississippi and Gulf Coast Traction Company. Today, high-speed traction cars, the finest that money can purchase, operated under the electric block system, traverse the water's edge for twenty-eight miles. [Two lines of this paragraph are out of order in the original.]
Railroad shops and offices and the palatial modern hotel known as the Great Southern were also constructed by Captain Jones in Gulfport.