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Isaac Jones (Engl. 1802) & Walnut Grove, Story Cty 1853-1903


Posted By: Jim Jones (email)
Date: 12/6/2017 at 17:43:27

In Response To: Isaac Jones of Walnut Grove near Cambridge and Kelleyville (JIm Jones)

Just in case anyone saw my earlier messages and checked back, I got to do some research in Des Moines in November 2017 and found some more material on my line of ancestors descended from Isaac Jones. Unfortunately I did not learn anything more about Isaac's birthplace, which I am certain was in England, but I improved my data in several ways. Rather than type it all out (contact me if you want more), here's the ancestral timeline:

1. Isaac was born in England (maybe “near London”) on July 6, 1802 and reached the USA prior to 1835. He paid taxes in Lower Makefield Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania in the early 1840s while siring five children (four survived) with his first wife, Rebecca Sophus. She died on December 11, 1849 (possibly while giving birth) and Isaac left the area with his children and slowly wandered west.

On October 3, 1850, Isaac married his second wife, Rebecca Ann Kelley (born 1822 in Kentucky) in Versailles, Ripley County, Indiana. They produced Isaac’s second family which included my great-grandfather Alba. After stopping in Bloomington, Illinois, Isaac & Rebecca traveled west with Rebecca’s brother George and her mother to Story County, Iowa, where in fall 1853 they settled adjacent parcels near the top end of Walnut Grove (about 6 miles south of Ames) on the border of what eventually became Palestine Township.

2. Among the eight children (seven reached adulthood) born to Isaac and his second wife Rebecca was Alba Jones, born September 4, 1861. He married Mary Burton (whose sister Laura married Alba’s step-nephew) on November 12, 1891 and took over the family farm until around World War I when they moved to Ames. Alba died on November 9, 1949 and Mary died on November 27, 1952.

3. Alba and Mary’s first child was Frederick Edward Jones (my grandfather) born on September 8, 1892. (More about Fred appears below.) Their second child Echo was born about 1897 and lived until November 12, 1960. She married Francis E. Stoops on August 13, 1919 and they lived in Ames where they produced two sons, Raymond (1921-1948) and Lyle (September 26, 1924 to October 16, 2011). Lyle married named Marilyn Minson in 1946 and they produced a son Michael and a daughter Mary Catherine, both of whom are deceased.

On my November 2017 trip to Des Moines, I learned the most about Alba and Mary’s first child Frederick (my grandfather). He was born at the Walnut Grove farm on September 8, 1892 and died on September 30, 1957 in Des Moines, Iowa. He spent most of his life working as an electrical lineman in and around Ames, but he also enlisted in what was then called the “Reserve Army” in 1916 (a year before the USA entered WWI), got involved with airplanes and wound up seeing action in France during 1918 as the sergeant of a squad that maintained SPAD pursuit planes (i.e. fighter aircraft) with the 13th Aero Squadron. After the war, he returned to the USA in March 1919 and reenlisted the next day in what became the 25th Bombardment Squadron stationed in the Panama Canal Zone. But before he shipped out, he married my grandmother, a girl from Queens NY who was working as a teacher, and she went with him to Panama from early 1922 to the end of 1923. She returned home in the middle when her mom died, and perhaps decided that life on a tropical airbase was not for her, because he left the service after his second enlistment ended in 1924 and moved in with her in her father’s house in Queens. Four years later my father – their only child – was born and three years later they went to Ames to visit his relatives in 1931. After that the story is unclear, but it appears that they separated between 1932 and 1934 and never had contact again, although they never divorced and my grandmother’s sister kept in touch with Fred’s sister Echo.

One other odd thing that I learned – although he didn’t mention it to anyone on the East Coast (including US Census takers), Fred had a previous marriage to Bessie Bloomfield of Collins, Iowa, which only lasted seven months from June 1915 to February 1916. Two months after the divorce became final, he joined the army and left Iowa.

That’s a lot of detail, but I include it in case one of Isaac Jones’ other descendants stumbles on to this web page and sees something they recognize about one of their ancestors. If that happens, feel free to contact me at sahara27@juno.com. I’ve got lots more info and I would be glad to receive anything that you wish to share.

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