Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. I, p. 433
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
In no profession is there a career more open to talent than in that of the law, and in no field of endeavor is there demanded a more careful preparation, a more thorough appreciation of the ethics of life or of the underlying principles which form the basis of all human rights and privileges. Unflagging application and intuitive wisdom and a determination to fully utilize the means at hand are the concomitants which insure personal success and prestige in this great profession, which stands as the stern conservator of justice; and it is one into which none should enter without a recognition of the obstacles to be overcome and the battles to be won, for success does not perch on the falchion of every person who enters the competitive fray, but comes only as the diametrical result of capability and unmistakable ability. Possessing all the requisites of the able lawyer, Mr Jones is now occupying an enviable position among the leading attorneys in central Kansas, his home being in Lyons, where he has a large and distinctively representative clientage. He came here in 1888 and has since been a resident of the city.
Mr Jones is a native of Bloomfield, Davis county, Iowa, born Mary 10, 1857, and is a son of M H Jones, one of the prominent lawyers of the southern portion of that state through nearly half a century. The family is of English lineage and was founded in the south in early colonial days, the first of the name having come to America with Lord Baltimore. A settlement was made in Queen Anne county, Maryland, the original American ancestor being the grandfather of Benjamin Jones, the great-grandfather of our subject. The family has been represented in the Revolutionary war, the war of 1812, and the Civil war, and have always been found on the side of liberty, of right and of progress.
Benjamin Jones, grandfather of our subject, was reared in Maryland and Virginia and was a son of Mrs Pamelia (Segar) Jones of Frederick county, Maryland. He became superintendent of a large mill race which was being erected in Virginia, and in that capacity directed the labors of many slaves, but being convinced that the habit of holding human beings in bondage was unscriptural, he espoused the abolition cause and announced to his wife his intention of leaving Virginia and seeking a home in a new country free from the influence of slavery. He had married Miss Kate Alexander, who belonged to a prominent and distinguished family of Virginia that was also represented in the war of the Revolution. Her parents resided in Rockbridge county, Virginia, where they had many slaves. They were wealthy and influential and it will thus be seen that Mrs Jones was descended from prominent ancestry. As Mrs Jonesí views were in harmony with those of her husband they liberated their slaves in 1819 and removed to Putnam county, Indiana, locating near Greencastle, where the grandfather of our subject erected one of the first log houses in that portion of the state. He then devoted his energies to the development of a home for his family and to the work of preaching the gospel among his friends and neighbors, carrying the glad tidings of great joy into the frontier region. The Rev Benjamin Jones and his wife became the parents of five children, namely: Peter A, deceased; Samuel; M H, deceased; Benjamin, who served as colonel of the Third Iowa Cavalry in the Civil war; Thomas, of Wayne county, Iowa; Mrs Kate Tolbert, deceased; and Mrs Jane May, who has also passed away. The grandfather died at the old homestead in Putnam county, Indiana, in 1845, at the age of sixty-five years. He had devoted much of his life to the work of the gospel and his influence had been far-reaching and beneficial.
M H Jones, father of him whose name introduces this review, was born near Greencastle, Putnam county, Indiana, and was reared on a farm, assisting in the arduous task of developing and improving the fields in those early days. He was instructed concerning the value of industry and honesty in the affairs of life and acquired a good education in the public schools. Determining to enter professional life he became a student of law and when a young man took up his abode in Bloomfield, Davis county, Iowa, where for many years he successfully engaged in practice. For nearly half a century he was regarded as one of the distinguished attorneys and prominent and influential citizens of the southern portion of the state. He was an important factor in its progress and upbuilding and contributed in large measure to its general advancement. He left the impress of his individuality upon public thought and action and his influence and efforts were ever on the side of right and of improvement. He married Miss Emaline Judson Spencer, a lady of superior nature, culture and refinement, who was born in Coosco, New York, January 3, 1824. Her father was Benjamin Spencer, of the Empire state. Her grandfather, Thomas Spencer, and the latter was a son of General Joseph Spencer, of Revolutionary fame, who served on the staff of General Washington. Benjamin Spencer married a Miss Abigail Wheeler, of the Empire state. Mr and Mrs Jones became the parents of four children: Charles Benjamin, who is residing in Davis county, Iowa; Samuel, of this review; Mrs Alice Esther Deupree, now deceased; and M A, who is living in Iowa. The mother of this family passed away in 1889, dying in the faith of the Christian church, of which she had long been a consistent member. Mr Jones was a Republican in his political affiliations and took an active part in the work of the party. He served as district attorney of the second judicial district, which embraced seven counties of Iowa, and also as district attorney fully sustained the dignity of the law. At the time of the Civil war M H Jones manifested his patriotism and loyalty by joining the Union army, serving as a lieutenant in the Forty-fifth Iowa Infantry, under General A J Smith. In his social relations he was a Mason and attained the Knight Templar degree in the commandery. In manner he was jovial and in social life was easily approachable, but in the court-room had the dignified bearing of one who recognized the fact, too often forgotten, that he stood as the conservator of right, justice and the liberty of the people. Wherever he went he won friends by his cordiality and genuine worth and he died at the age of seventy-one years, honored and respected by all who knew him.
Samuel Jones, the well known attorney of Lyons, was reared in the city of his birth and acquired his preliminary education in its public schools, after which he matriculated in the State Normal, of Iowa, and was graduated in 1876, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. The following year he entered the Wesleyan University, where he was graduated in 1877, as Bachelor of Science. In 1878 he was admitted to the bar and was elected district attorney for the second judicial district of Iowa in 1882, embracing the counties of Van Buren, Wayne, Appanoose, Lucas, Monroe and Davis. In 1888 he came to Lyons, where he has since engaged in practice, being regarded as one of the most capable and distinguished lawyers of Rice county. He is remarkable among lawyers for his wide research and provident care with which he prepares his cases. In no instance has his reading ever been confined to the limitations of the question at issue: it has gone beyond and compassed every contingency and provided not alone for the expected, but for the unexpected, which happens in the courts quite as frequently as out of them. His logical grasp of facts and principles and of the law applicable to them has been another potent element in his success; and a remarkable clearness of expression, an adequate and precise diction, which enables him to make others understand not only the salient points of his argument but his every fine gradation of meaning may be accounted one of his most conspicuous gifts and accomplishments. In addition to his law practice Mr Jones is also connected with financial interests in Lyons as one of the directors of the Lyons National Bank.
In 1881, in Bloomfield, Iowa, Mr Jones was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Young, who was born in that state and was educated at the Iowa Wesleyan University, in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Her parents were Ephraim and Elizabeth (French) Young, formerly of Virginia. Mr and Mrs Jones now have three children: Robert Young, Benjamin Samuel and Elizabeth Z. They have lost one daughter, Mary, the second born, who died at the age of four years. Mrs Jones is a member of the Christian church and is an estimable lady, whose many excellencies of character have gained her a large circle of warm friends. Socially Mr Jones is a Mason and has taken the degrees of the blue lodge and chapter. He is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and Knights of Pythias. In his political affiliations he is a Republican, unswerving in his support of the principles of the party. In social life he is a genial, cordial and courteous friend. He is well versed in the principles of juris-prudence and in addition to his comprehensive legal knowledge he employs wit and satire with good effect as he presents to the court the points in litigation which bear upon his case.