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Captain William O. Jones

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Captain William O. Jones

Posted: 30 May 2003 5:38PM GMT
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Jones, Branstator, Wolf

From Biographical Memoirs of Huntington County, 1901, pages 576-578

The gentleman whose name introduces this biographical sketch was one of
the prosperous farmers of Union township, and as a soldier in the late
Civil war achieved distinction for organizing and sending to the front a
hundred men to do battle for the Union. Captain Jones was born in Warren
county, Ohio, April 25, 1825, and there grew to manhood amid the quiet
scenes of rural life. He was educated in the schools of Lebanon, and
while still a youth acquired proficiency with tools, which he afterward
utilized as a carpenter and builder. He continued his mechanical work in
the state of his nativity until 1852, when he came to Huntington county,
Indiana, and purchased a farm in Union township. From that time on he
devoted his energies principally to agriculture, but his first experience
as a farmer, in what was then a new and comparatively undeveloped
country, was anything but pleasant or profitable. There being no well
defined roadway leading to his place, Mr. Jones was compelled to cut one
through the unbroken forest to the spot selected for the site of his
dwelling. This reached, the next thing in order was the house itself,
which, with the aid of neighbors, was soon erected and ready for
occupancy. Like the majority of pioneer dwellings it was constructed of
round logs, contained the single room heated by a large fireplace
occupying the greater part of one end; the structure was roughly covered
with clapboards split from an oak log cut into required lengths. With
some modifications this house served its purpose for a number of years
before giving place to a building of other materials and of enlarged
capacity.

Captain Jones' married life began on the 11th day of September, 1852,
when Miss Frances Branstator, of Ohio, became his wife. To them were
born seven children, only two of whom are now living: William O., and
Mary A., who married Seth Wolf. Those deceased were Martha, Arminta, and
Eldorado, besides two dying in infancy.

Shortly after the breaking out of the Civil war Mr. Jones recruited a
company of volunteers, which was mustered into the service as Company H,
of the Seventy-fifth Indiana Infantry. Upon the organization of this
company he was unanimously elected captain, and as such reported for duty
at Indianapolis, where the regiment was assembled preparatory to
proceeding to the scene of action. By reason of ill health contracted a
short time previous, Mr. Jones, greatly to his regret, was compelled to
resign his commission, and returned home in the vain hope of recuperating
his failing energies so as to again enter the army. Finding this
impossible he abandoned all hope of becoming a soldier, and, turning his
attention to farming, continued the pursuit of agriculture until called
from his earthly labors February 6, 1877.

In many respects Captain Jones was more than an ordinary man. He
possessed strong powers of intellect, which made him a leader in his
neighborhood, and his stern sense of duty prompted him to do much for his
fellow man. His high qualifications of citizenship enabled him to
discharge faithfully and efficiently every trust reposed in him; and by a
life, unselfish in every respect and devoted to the best interests of the
community, he won in an eminent degree the respect and confidence of all
with whom he had business or other relations. For some time he served as
commissioner of Huntington county, and as such discharged his duties to
the satisfaction of all concerned, winning the highest praise from his
own party, the Democratic, and from his political adversaries.
Fraternally he was a Mason of high degree, in which order, as elsewhere,
he displayed an enthusiasm which showed that his heart was in whatever he
undertook to perform.

His death, which was greatly deplored by all, left a place in the
neighborhood hard to fill; and to live as he does in the hearts of those
left behind, is better far than to be commemorated by marble shaft or
granite obelisk.

Mrs. Jones, since her husband's death, has ably superintended the
beautiful homestead consisting of two hundred and thirty-nine acres of
valuable land, one hundred and seventy-five of which are in a high state
of cultivation. In addition to this she also owns another farm of one
hundred and nine acres, which, like the former, is operated under her
management.

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