JONES FAMILY The Jones family was one of the first families to settle in the Towanda area. Abraham R. Jones came to McLean County in 1856. He was born October 17, 1791, in the State of New York, of Welsh descent. He moved to Ohio in 1808 and during the War of 1812 was engaged in hauling provisions to the U.S. Army. On May 13, 1813, Abraham Jones married Matilda Noel. Abraham and Matilda had ten children: John Jones, born July 23, 1814, died December 22, 1845; Levi Jones, born January 16, 1817, died in 1903; William Washington Jones, born November 11, 1818, died February 2, 1894; Eliza Ann Jones, born September 20, 1820, died October 22, 1901; Cyrus Jones, born June 21, 1822, died March 13, 1915; Abraham Russ Jones, Jr., born May 3, 1824, died April 4, 1878; Nelson Jones, born April 5, 1826, died February 26, 1896; Phoebe H. Jones, born February 18, 1828, died February 26, 1911; James Jones, born February 11, 1830, died September 5, 1831; and Francis Marion Jones, born March 8, 1833, died August 16, 1918. Many of the family and their descendents are buried in the Smith's Grove Cemetery located southeast of Towanda. Abraham R. Jones, Jr., was the first member of the family to move to the Towanda area, settling in the Smith Grove area in 1849. He returned to Ohio in 1850 and married Nancy Donovan, then promptly returned to the Towanda area. Other family members followed from Ohio, experiencing many hardships and problems along the way-including bad roads, "spooked" horses, tall prairie grass, swampy areas, and provisions spoiled or lost along the way. Nelson Jones and Cyrus Jones, brothers of Abraham, Jr., came to the Smith Grove area in 1849. Francis Marion, the youngest brother, arrived in 1851, and Abraham and Matilda, the parents, arrived in 1856. These early settlers settled near the "grove" as it provided immediate shelter, wood for fuel and a ready supply of water from a nearby creek. Francis Marion Jones married Ann Hempleman on January 28, 1858. They were the parents of seven children: Price, Noel, Edwin Evan, Maurice Ellsworth, Cyrus Grant, Lola, Stella and Max. Maurice Ellsworth Jones married Alice Rockel on January 16, 1889. They began their married life on the family farm then owned by Cyrus Jones, located in Section 10, Towanda Township, moving in to a large, ten-room house which Cyrus Jones had built in 1862. Maurice and Alice had five children: Leora Grace Jones (Van Petten) was born June 9, 1890; Erlma Reah Jones (Kraft) was born September 14, 1892; Francis ("Frank") William Jones was born September 11, 1895; Elmo Rockel Jones was born December 30, 1897; and Delmar Lee Jones was born August 21, 1901. An amusing story passed down by some of Delmar Lee Jones' siblings and their descendants was to the effect that because a pie was more easily cut into six pieces, than into seven pieces, Lee's siblings told him he didn't like pie and he grew up thinking he didn't care much for pie! Elmo Rockel Jones married Velma Elizabeth Davison on January 21, 1922. They then occupied the same farm house in Section 10 of Towanda Township that Elmo's parents-Maurice E. and Alice R. had occupied when they began their marriage. Elmo and Velma had three children: Ellen Elizabeth Jones (Henderson), born January 10, 1925, died April 25, 1988; twins Maureen and Maurice were born October 1, 1929. Maureen married William ("Bill") Harris on January 9, 1954. Maureen and Bill now reside in Lawrenceville, Virginia, and are the parents of four children: Margaret Ann, Nancy Ball (deceased), Paul Hunter (deceased), and William Hunter Harris, Jr. Maurice married Dorothy Schroeder, of rural Bloomington, on June 20, 1954, and they moved in to the same farm home earlier occupied by Maurice's parents and grandparents. Maurice and Dorothy continue to reside on the family
farm and are actively engaged in farming that land. Ellen E. Jones married Jerry M. Henderson on November 29, 1947. They had two children: Stephen Hunt Henderson, born August 7, 1948; and Holly Henderson, born January 16, 1951. Ellen passed away April 25, 1988. Jerry later married Mary Lou Birky. Hunt married Linda R. Brandt on July 10, 1971, and they have three children-Heath ML, Ryan H., and Hutcheson B. Heath married Rebecca Lowery Richards on August 2, 2003, and they have two children, Allison and Brandt. Holly married Lawrence Nord and three children were born of the marriage: Heather, Brent Alan and Kristin. Later, Holly married Arnold ("Arnie") Lober and they currently reside in LeRoy, Illinois. Heather married Chris Shankland (they have no children), Brent married Gretchen Luedtke (they have one child), and Kristin married L. Maurice Huff (currently serving as an officer in the U.S. Army) and they have two children-Christyian and Xavier.
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Illinois State University, Milner Library, Normal, IL, 61790 - for the Towanda Area Historical Society/Towanda District Library
Towanda Area Historical Society/Towanda District Library
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