Thomas F. Jones, who is engaged in the real estate, loan and insurance business at Walnut, Crawford county, has been an enterprising and active business man of various parts of the state for nearly forty years, ever since boyhood, and there are few men who have been more closely identified with the growth and prosperity of the southeastern part of the state than he. He is a self-made man, and has been winning his own way since he was seventeen years old. He is popular and well known over a large section of Kansas, and is particularly prominent in Walnut, where he has lived and had the center of his operations for almost thirty-six years.
Mr. Jones was born in Wyandotte, Crawford county, Indiana, September 23, 1849, a son of Robert and Mary (Stockwell) Jones, who were Kentuckians by birth. His father was a lawyer, and spent nearly all his life in Indiana, where he died in 1893, at the age of seventy-three years. His wife had passed away in 1855.
Mr. Thomas F. Jones was educated in the schools of Indiana. He started out for himself at the age of seventeen, and on October 6, 1866, arrived in Fort Scott, Kansas. He remained only a short time there, and then went to Chicago. In 1868 he returned to Kansas, and on February 18 came to Walnut and began herding cattle over the free ranges, at that time there being hardly a single fence to obstruct passage in any direction across the county. After herding for a year he went to Fort Scott, and for two years was a clerk in a hotel there. He then became a clerk in Isaac Stadden's grocery, and continued in that business until 1880, five years of which time was spent on the road as a traveling salesman. He established his home and family in Walnut in 1876, and when he left the road in 1880 he located there and engaged in the real estate, loan and insurance business, which he has ever since continued with excellent success.
Mr. Jones was married, April 8, 1876, to Miss Mary E. Roe, a daughter of Alonzo and Jane Roe. Her parents are both living in the town of Walnut, and her father is an old gentleman who has passed the eighty-fifth milestone of his career, and her mother has also attained to great length of years, being now at the age of eighty. Mr. and Mrs. Jones have four children: Helen G. is the wife of Charles G. Woodworth, of Crawford county; Ruth is the wife of L. M. McCommon, of Vera, Indian Territory; Robert R. lives in Hutchinson, Kansas; and Forest is at home. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Jones is prominent in Masonry. He affiliates with Vulcan Lodge No. 229, F. & A. M., at Walnut, also with the Chapter Hiram, No. 30, R. A. M., with Palestine Commandery, No. 28, at Girard, and has crossed the sands of the desert with the Abdalah Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Leavenworth, Kansas. He is also a member of Lodge No. 206, I. O. O. F., at Walnut, and Lodge No. 116, A. O. U. W.Pages 488-490 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 Carolyn Ward, in November, 2003.
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