Biography of Richard Jones

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About the year 1790, Jonathan Jones and Polly, his wife, both natives of Massachusetts, passed from New England to Otsego Co., N. Y., and in the town of Richfield entered upon the work of Western pioneering. There they spent the remainder of their lives, Jonathan dying in 1816, and his wife in 1847. Eleven children blessed their union, of whom the fifth is Richard, who first saw the light in Richfield. March 15, 1807. His earlier boyhood days were employed in schooling and farming, and at the age of twelve he journeyed afoot to Franklin Co., Mass., loaded with a ten-pound pack, and in Leverett, his father’s native town, tarried six years.

At the age of eighteen he returned to New York to live with his stepfather, who agreed to give him six weeks’ schooling each year for three years, but the schooling had amounted at the end of the three years to but twenty days all told. Sept. 26, 1830, Richard married Amelia, daugher of Benjamin Tuckerman, of Richfield, and directly after that the young couple moved to a farm in Oswego County, where they stopped four years, and after a further four years’ sojourn in Otsego County. setting their faces towards the West, entered Hillsdale Co., Mich., in September, 1838, as members of t.he grand army of Michigan pioneers. They battled bravely for existence, and, although sorely beset by hardships and privations, they heroically overcame every obstacle, and wrought a happy home out of the waste of wilderness. Illustrative of the scarcity of money in those days and the long journeys necessary to reach a market, Mr. Jones relates how he made a trip to Toledo with forty bushels of wheat, which lie sold at fifty cents per bushel, half’ trade and half cash. He was gone nine days, traveled seventy-five miles, and when he got home had, in place of the wheat he took away, one barrel of salt, one pair of geese, fifty pounds of nails, and twenty-five cents in money. Even twenty-five Cents in money was almost impossible to get for farm truck at home. Mr. Jones says he more than once begged a Jonesville merchant to give him just two shillings in money on a trade in butter and eggs, so that he could pay the postage on a letter which had lain in the post.oEce perhaps a week, but the merchant’s heart was adamant, and the two shillings were not forthcoming.

Mr. Jones remained with his family in Hillsdale County until 1848, when in September they removed to section 9, Assyria township, Barry Co., and there, renewing their pioneer experiences, have resided to this day. The first year of his settlement in Assyria, Mr. Jones cleared, with the assistance of his eighteen-year-old son, sixty acres, and put in fifty acres of wheat. He bought at first two hundred and twenty acres, and these he increased within three years to upwards of five hundred. So energetically did he devote himself’ to the business of agriculture that out of the products of his lands during the first three years he paid the purchase money for the entire five hundred acres.

Mr. Jones has served as supervisor of Assyria township, as postmaster from 1855 to 1863, was chosen to the lower house of the Legislature by the Republicans of his district in 1867, and has at various times filled office of local trust. A life-long Republican until lately, he affiliates now with the National Greenback party. In religion he is independent and liberal, and holds fast to the creed that “if we do right here, it will be all right there.”

Amelia Tuckerman Jones, his wife, was born in Richfield, Otsego Co., N. Y., April 1, 1806. Her parents, Benjamin and Tryphosa Tuckerman, were natives of Massachusetts, and migrated to Otsego Co., N. Y., shortly before 1800. Of their nine children, Amelia was the seventh. Her father took an active part in the incidents attendant upon the Shay’s Rebellion in New England, and later served as captain and major in the war of 1812. He died in New York in 1854, his wife having preceded him by thirty-four years.

Mr. and Mrs. Jones’ children have been five in number, of whom three are living: George T., who was born July 16, 1831, lives in Colorado; Flora T., born March 9, 1833, died Feb. 4, 1879; Mary A., born June 14, 1838, is now Mrs. Henry Talmage, of Bellevue; Fannie E., born June 9, 1841, is Mrs. George McCollum, of Van Buren County; Henry B., born March 28, 1847, died in 1847. Mr. and Mrs. Jones will on the 26th of September, 1881, celebrate their golden wedding, the fiftieth anniversary of’ their marriage-day, and towards that event they as well as a host of friends are now looking with pleasurable anticipations, for the incident will be a joyous one, marked by a large gathering of guests from far and near, and signalized as a memorable occasion in the history of human life.


From:
History of Allegan and Berry Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Their Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.

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