IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

John Barton Jones


John Barton Jones needs no introduction to the readers of this volume, for his is well known in Waukon and Allamakee county, where he has resided since 1875. He is one of the active business men and public-spirited citizens of the community, where for a number of years he has been in the grain and coal business, winning in the conduct of his affairs that success which always follows earnest and persistent labor.

John Barton Jones was born in Newport, England, of English and Welsh parentage, and was left an orphan when he was four years of age. At the age of eighteen years a friend of the family from the family from Wisconsin visited England and persuaded him to come to America and he accordingly crossed the Atlantic, accompanying his friend to the vicinity of Bloomington, Wisconsin, where he worked upon the farm. He subsequently clerked for a short time in a store, continuing at the occupation until 1875, when he left Wisconsin and moved westward seeking a favorable locality to make a permanent location. However, not liking the country, he began his return journey to Wisconsin, but on his way east arrived in Waukon. He was at that time obliged to work at anything which would bring him an income. He secured a position as a member of the construction department of the narrow gauge railroad then being built into Waukon and he later worked with Mr. Hale on the surveys, aiding also in important bridge construction work. He continued in this line of employment until the spring of 1876, when he joined C. O. Howard and George Stoddard in the building of an elevator in the city. After the completion of this building he took charge of Mr. Howard’s grain business and from 1880 until 1890 worked ably in his interests. In the latter year he resigned in order to enter the county auditor’s office and after serving one term was reelected, acting as auditor for four consecutive years. After leaving the office he formed a partnership with M. W. Eaton and they purchased the elevator No. 1 in Waukon, Mr. Jones taking charge of the grain and elevator business. The firm also deals extensively in coal and building material and has secured an extensive patronage. Much of the credit for the expansion of the business is due to Mr. Jones’ energy and enterprise and he is known in Waukon as a resourceful, far-sighted and progressive business man, whose judgment is seldom if ever at fault.

Mr. Jones married, in Waukon, Miss Ada J. Goodrich, who was born and reared in Allamakee county, Her father, Lyman W. Goodrich, was one of the pioneers in this section of Iowa, having located here in 1852. He was a native of New York, born in Chautauquea county in 1824, and in his early youth moved with his parent to Illinois, residing in Cook and later in Kane county. He married in 1850, Miss Julia Merrian, a native of Canada, and after his marriage turned his attention to farming, coming in 1852 to Allamakee county, where he resided until his death. Mr. and Mrs. Jones became the parents of three children: Alfred G., who makes his home in North Dakota; Stella F., who is a teacher in the public schools in Montana; and Lyman B., who died at the age of five years. Mrs. Jones is a member of the Presbyterian church of Waukon.

In politics Mr. Jones is a stanch republican and has supported the party since casting his first vote. Aside from his service as county auditor he has also done able work on the board of township trustees and is progressive and public-spirited in matters of citizenship. Fraternally he is identified with the Knights of Pythias in Waukon and his religious views are in accord with the doctrines of the Episcopal church. He is numbered among the successful and prominent men of Waukon and his prosperity is the more creditable to him since it has been attained thorough his own determination, energy and enterprise, for he started out in life empty handed and, by the force of these qualities in his character has worked his way upward to success. His business enterprise has carried him forward into important commercial and financial relations and his friendly spirit has gained him the warm and lasting regard of those with whom he has been brought in contact.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich

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