Judge Thomas R. Jones, who is filling the position of probate judge at Girard, Kansas, well merits the respect which is accorded him, for his has been an honorable record, in which, through the utilization of his opportunities, through his unwearied industry and persistent purpose, he has steadily worked his way upward in the business world and at the same time has commanded the esteem and confidence of those with whom he has been associated.
He was born in Glamorganshire, Wales, on the 24th of March, 1858, and is a son of Richard and Eleanor (Rees) Jones, who were also natives of Wales. The father was a miner by occupation, and in November, 1857, he bade adieu to friends and native land and sailed for the United States. He took up his abode in Ohio and for some time was engaged in mining in that state. Subsequently leaving Ohio, he moved to Pennsylvania about 1873, and resided there until 1875, thence to Will county, Illinois, (Braidwood) for one year, and thence to Joplin, Missouri, in 1876, and was resident there until 1877, when he came to Crawford county, Kansas. On settling in Crawford county he turned his attention to farming, carrying on that pursuit until his death. He was killed, however, in the mine at Midway by slate falling upon him in August, 1891, being at the time fifty-eight years of age. His first wife had passed away in Ohio in 1862 when but twenty-seven years of age.
Judge Thomas R. Jones pursued his education in the public schools of Pennsylvania, Ohio and northern Virginia, successively, but his privileges in that direction were somewhat limited as at an early age he began to earn his own living. He was a lad of nineteen summers when he came to Kansas with his father and secured employment in the mines at Midway. He worked earnestly, diligently, mastered every task which was assigned to him and by reason of his fidelity and capability he was promoted from time to time, until in 1885 he was made foreman of the mines, and occupied that responsible position until the 1st of January, 1903, when he resigned in order to enter upon official service. He had in the previous November been elected judge of the probate court of Crawford county, and on the 12th of January, 1903, he entered upon the duties of the office. He is now acceptably serving in that position, being a worthy custodian of the legal interests of the county in this direction.
On Christmas day of 1880 was celebrated the marriage of Judge Jones and Miss Elizabeth Tangye, a daughter of James and Mary (Bishop) Tangye, who were natives of England. Mrs. Jones was born in Maryland. By her marriage she has become the mother of six children: Harry, who is occupying a position as bookkeeper with the Boland, Darnell Coal Company at Hartford, Arkansas; Ethel, Thomas R., James R., Arthur D. and Grace E., all at home. Mrs. Jones and the children are all members of the Episcopal church and the family is widely and favorably known in Girard. The judge belongs to the Masonic fraternity, in which he has attained high rank, being now affiliated with the blue lodge No. 187, chapter No. 58 and Montjoie Commandery No. 29, at Pittsburg, and also with Abdalla Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Leavenworth, Kansas. He likewise belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Lodge No. 196, at Pittsburg, and to the Ancient Order of United Workmen, Lodge No. 346, at Litchfield, Kansas.
Coming to this state in his boyhood days, Judge Jones has gained a wide acquaintance among the people in this part of the commonwealth, and is justly regarded as one of the foremost citizens of his community, his progressive spirit being manifest in active co-operation for the general good along lines of substantial progress and improvement.Pages 356-358 from A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by Jonathan Card and Thomas Hughes, students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, in April, 2003.
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