Schuyler County ILGenWeb

Schuyler County, Illinois

John W. Jones
Transcribed by Kathy Harris

John W. Jones of Peoria Was Found Dead in His Bed
on Sunday Morning
John L. Sweeney received a telegram on Sunday announcing the sudden death of his brother-in-law, John W. Jones of Peoria, and he left on the noon train for that city to attend the funeral.  Mr. Jones was known to many of the older residents of Rushville, who will be interested in the following sketch of his life from the Peoria Star.
At his residence, 1525 North Madison Avenue, early Sunday morning, John William Jones entered into rest at the ripe old age of seventy-nine years, and by his death Peoria lost a citizen honored and honorable, widely known and generally beloved.
The death was very sudden.  The heart, weakened by age and a life whose many activities had been prolonged far beyond the point at which most men relinquish the cares of business life, had at least proved unequal to the strain upon it, and while he slept his spirit slipped into the shadows of the great beyond.  When Yesterday morning members of the family to whom he had said his usual cheery good night a few hours before, went to call him they found him dead with a smile on his face so serene and peaceful that even in the midst of their grief they could only give thanks thay death had come to him in such a gentle and tender guise.
John William Jones was born in Greensboro, Green County, Pennsylvania, on September 18, 1832.  He came of fine old Scotch-Welsh stock and his ancestors were distinguished in American history.  His grandfather, Captain Jones, was a personal friend of General Lafayette, and established the first glass factory in the middle west.
In 1846 the family left Pennsylvania and John William Jones, then a boy of fourteen, accompanied them to Cincinnati.
In 1851 they came to Peoria and settled here.  Mr. Jones was of usually energetic and ambitious temperament and at once became prominent in the business world of this of this section.  With W. S. Gregg he established one of the largest dry goods stores in this section of the state.  The store was of unique character for those being called Oak Hill, and with the historic building in which it was situated, near the intersection of Franklin and Adams Street, which was torn down a few years ago, is well remembered by the older residents of this city.
Later he went to Havana, IL where he also engaged in the dry goods business, and in business until three years ago, when the increasing infirmities forced him to retire.  At that time he was persuaded by his family to consult a physician who discovered the weakness of the heart, which eventually caused his death, and ordered him to abstain from any exertion and excitement as far as it was possible to do so.  Change of climate being also recommended by his medical adviser, Mr. Jones spent two winters in the far west, finding both benefit and pleasure in the sojourn in Arizona.
His last years, were blessed far beyond the usual lot.  He retained his faculties unimpaired to the very last and his interest in life and the times in which he lived, together with his broad sympathies and keen insight, made him a most delightful companion.  In February last he and his wife celebrated their golden wedding, the day being brought to the happiest close by a dinner given by their son, Charles S. Jones, in their honor, at which Mr. Jones presided with the keenest zest and enjoyment.  On Saturday he was in his usual health and spirits and there was nothing in his appearance or actions to indicate that the end of his long and well lived life was so close at hand.
Mr. Jones was married in February 1861 to Miss Elizabeth Sweeney, of Rushville, the marriage proving an unusually happy one.  He is survived by his wife, two sons, Charles S. Jones, the well known broker of this city; Robert S. Jones, a prominent businessman of Minneapolis, and one daughter, Mrs. Boniface, living in Peoria.
The deceased was a life-long member of the Baptist Church, and died as he had lived strong in his faith of his fathers.
Altogether, he was a fine type of American citizen, doing his part in every relation of life bravely and conscientiously, meeting death at last with splendid faith, courage and optimism.
Published  October 5, 1911

Courtesy of  Judi Gilker




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