Today, I finally broke through a long standing brick wall that seemed unbreakable.
Out of all my discoveries in our family’s genealogy, this is the one that proves that perseverance and analytical thinking in the face of questions and confusion do pay off – to a point.
For several years, all I knew was that I was blocked at Robinson Coke Jones, born 1822 in Amelia County, Virginia, United States. All sources I’d found up to then made no mention of his parents – only those of his wife Emily, who belonged to the illustrious Shelby family. Below are two of these records – their marriage record and a census record showing their whole family.
I became obsessed and every time I did research, no matter who for, I would also do general searches hoping something would crop up for poor old R. C.
Then, a couple of years ago, I discovered two different obituaries for Robinson Coke Jones and a biographical article on his son Olliver Stillwell Jones, one-time Mayor of Covington. The obituaries mentioned that his father was Richard Cannon Jones, but the name of his mother differed – Elizabeth Anderson Jones in the obituaries and Sarah R. in the biography.
Robinson C Jones
West Lebanon Gazette
May 20, 1897
Robinson C Jones
Robinson Coke Jones, familiarly called “Boby” who died on the 11th at his home in Kent township, was born in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, October 12, 1822, being one of 11 children who came to bless the union of Richard Cannon and Elizabeth Anderson Jones. At the age of 11 he accompanied his parents to Indiana. He learned the printer’s trade and for several years was editor of the Covington Friend but at the breaking out of the war he abandoned the profession and enlisted for his country’s sake, serving all through the war. On April 10, 1851, he was united in marriage to Emily Shelby, who together with a son and daughter, survive him. The deceased united with the U. B. church in February, 1896 and remained a consistent member until his death. He was a man of ability and pronounced views, always taking a prominent part in the affairs of the community in which he lived. Honored and respected by all who knew him, he will be sadly missed. Mr. Jones was one of the best known men in Warren County. The funeral occurred last Thursday and the remains were interred in the Steely cemetery in Fountain County.
Olliver Stillwell Jones; The Past and Present of Fountain County, Indiana; p. 373.
“Whether the elements of success in life are innate attributes of the individual or whether they are quickened by a process of circumstantial development, it is impossible to clearly determine. Yet the study of a successful life, whatever the field of endeavor, is none the less interesting and profitable by reason of the existence of this same uncertainty. So much in excess of those of successes are the records of failures or semi-failures, that one is constrained to attempt an analysis in either case and to determine the measure of causation in an approximate way. But in studying the life history of Oliver S. Jones, a well-known attorney at Covington, there are found many qualities in his makeup that always gain definite success in any career if properly directed, as his has evidently been done, which has resulted in well-earned success.
Oliver S. Jones was born in Warren county, Indiana, on October 24, 1862, and is the son of Robinson C. and Emily (Shelby) Jones. Robinson Jones was a native of Amelia county, Virginia, and in 1830 came to Fountain county, Indiana, settling in Covington with his mother, who was then a widow. The paternal grandparents were Richard Cannon Jones and Sarah R. Jones. The former died in eastern Indiana in an early day, and his widow was murdered by an insane man in Covington in 1867. The subject’s maternal grandfather, Joseph Shelby, came to Fountain county in 1828 from Circleville, Ohio, and settled in Troy township, where he entered land from the government. He was a surveyor for the government and also followed farming. During General Harrison’s historic campaign against the Indians, Mr. Shelby enlisted and served as quartermaster for three years. He was the father of six children, namely: Rachel, Mary, Oliver, Rezin, Indiana and Emily, the latter being the mother of the subject. On his way to Fountain county Grandfather Shelby stopped at Terre Haute and helped to build many of the first houses there. Robinson C. Jones was a printer by trade and, with his two brothers, William and John, established the newspaper known as The People’s Friend, now the Covington Friend. He followed his trade for fifteen years, also serving over a year in the war with Mexico, and then engaged in farming, in which pursuit he was engaged until his death, which occurred in 1897, at the age of seventy-five years. His widow survived him several years, dying on July 21, 1912, at the age of eighty-three years. They were the parents of three children, namely: Sarah Belle, who died in 1902, was the wife of Augustus Cronkhite; Oscar N., who died in 1890, and Oliver S., the subject of this sketch.
Oliver S. Jones received his elementary education in the public schools of Warren county, and then attended what was known as the Indiana Normal School at Covington. During the following five years he engaged in teaching school, during which period he gave earnest attention to the study of the law. At the end of the period mentioned, he entered upon the active practice of law at Covington. In August, 1898, he accepted a position as special agent for the ‘Frisco railroad line, with headquarters at Terre Haute, Indiana. In 1910 Mr. Jones returned to Covington and resumed the active practice of his profession, in which he is still engaged. His abilities have been recognized and today he is commanding his full share of the legal practice at the local courts. He is well grounded in legal principles, and is an indefatigable student, keeping in touch with the latest decisions in the courts. Of attractive personality and recognized worth, Mr. Jones easily wins friends and stands high throughout the community. In 1903 Mr. Jones was elected mayor of Covington, serving from 1904 to 1906, to the entire satisfaction of his fellow citizens. In 1912 he was appointed by Judge Schoonover as a member of the board of children’s guardians.
On June 19, 1883, Mr. Jones was united in marriage with Carrie Madaria, the daughter of James and Harriett (Hall) Madaria, natives of Warren county, this state, the father having successfully followed farming until his death. To Mr. and Mrs. Jones have been born four children, namely: Maude, the wife of Clayton Blythe, of Vermilion county; Myrle is the wife of Asa Kauffman, of Terre Haute, Indiana; Carlos L., who married Belle Pruitt and lives at Terre Haute; Gilbert, at home.
Mr. Jones has been successful in business affairs, aside from his profession and is the owner of the old homestead farm in Warren county, consisting of one hundred and fourteen acres, which has been continuously in the possession of the family since it was entered from the government, under President Jackson’s administration. Fraternally, Mr. Jones is a member of the Improved Order of Red Men, holding membership in Lodge No. 188, at Covington. His religious membership is in the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Jones gives his endorsement to all moral, educational, social or material interests which he believes will benefit the community, and as a man of sterling worth he justly merits the high regard in which he is held.”
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