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Richard W. ("Iowa Dick") Jones


Posted By: Kay Gavin (email)
Date: 6/1/2009 at 20:59:26

History of the Welsh in Minnesota; Foreston and Lime Springs, IA. Gathered by the Old Settlers, 1895.

The Welsh Settlement of Lime Springs, Iowa by the Rev. Daniel Williams, Bancroft, Iowa
Chapter I. Early Settlers ----1856-1866 (Pgs 140-141)

In this chapter we propose to give rather a full account of some of the early settlers. The first Welshman who came to the vicinity of Lime Springs, of whom we have any account, was R.W. Jones, in the summer of 1856. America may have been discovered before the days of Columbus, but it was Columbus who made the western continent known to the civilized world. We believe that there was a Welshman or two near New Oregon (southwest of Cresco) before the coming of Jones, but it was Jones, as we shall see, who made the country known to others, and drew in other Welsh families. Jones and his wife returned to Dodgeville, Wis., his former home, in the autumn of 1856, and remained there until the spring of 1858. In the spring of 1858, Jones, not wishing to come to the fair land alone, said to an acquaintance, Thomas Evans, "If you will come with me I will get you there eighty acres of land." With their wives they came, and Jones was as good as his word, he secured the northwest quarter of Section 32, York township, and gave half of it to Evans, who built a house thereon, where he lived several years. (This quarter corners land now owned by Rev. R. W. Hughes). Jones at this time, we believe had two children: one of them now lives near the Foreston church.

During the summer of 1860, Jones went north to Chatfield, where the land office was at that time. Here he accidentally met four Welshmen, J.J. Jones, J.R. Williams, O.D. Owens and R.W. Thomas, moving westward looking for land. Jones began to tell them of the advantages of Southern Fillmore, and prevailed upon these men to turn their faces that way. This was an important event. There was a relationship. J.J. Jones' wife was a sister to Owens; J.R. Williams married another sister, and all these were cousins of the wife of R.W. Jones. Yet this meeting in Chatfield was purely accidental, and most important in the history of the Welsh settlement; after this, one family came in the wake of another, one man came because an acquaintance had come before him, but this meeting at Chatfield was a mere accident. Had this not occurred it is quite possible that the Welsh settlement of Lime Springs would never have come into existence, and the lot and relationship of hundreds, if not thousands of persons, would have been otherwise than they are.


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