Lewis Evan Jones Jr. (1825 – 1910)

Lewis Evan Jones, Jr.

Lewis Evan Jones, Jr.

Lewis Evan Jones Jr. (1825 – 1910)
– Son of Lewis Evan. Jones
Lewis Evan Jones Sr.’s activism should be remembered for leaving a lasting impact on the character of his children. His son, Lewis Evan Jones Jr. left Wales (and his work in his fathers’ shop) at sixteen years old. He worked his way on board sailing vessels from Liverpool to Russia and on to Constantinople. He briefly returned to Caernarvon to work with his father, but wanderlust struck once more – this time he brought his younger brother Richard on his journey. Their extended travels eventually took them, by 1843, to New Orleans and St. Louis (where Lewis met an English girl named Louisa Richards and married her.) From St. Louis, some years later, Lewis Evan relocated to the Nebraska Territory, where he and his growing family finally settled.

He followed his father’s model and became engaged in printing; publishing the first newspaper in Cedar County (Cedar Rapids), and in politics; serving in the territorial legislature in 1886-87, the year that Nebraska was admitted to statehood.[16]

[16] A Merioneth Family of Printers in Wales and the U.S.A.,  By Dr. Lewis Lloyd, The Journal of the Merioneth Historical and Records Society, Vol. XII (iv), 1997

Update: I ran across this nice little biography of Lewis Evan Jones, Jr. last night. It adds a good deal of detail to what I had previously been able to discover. Enjoy!

Illustrated History of Nebraska: A History of Nebraska from the …, Volume 1

By Julius Sterling Morton, Albert Watkins, George L. Miller

Lincoln, Jacob North & Company © 1907

Lewis Evan Jones, St. James, Nebraska, son of Lewis Evan and Jane (Pritchard) Jones, was born at Carnarvon, North wales, Feb. 21, 1825. His father was a printer, publisher, and stationer and the son of William Jones of Bryntision (ed. Bryntirion) (Pleasant Mt.) Merionettshire (ed. Marionethshire), North Wales. He was a noted scholar and an early disciple of John Wesley. He was the owner of an extensive tract of mountainous land on which thousands of sheep and goats ranged. On this estate valuable gold mines have been developed, the only ones in Great Britain, which have paid dividends as high as 80 per cent. The grandfather of Lewis Evan Jones on the maternal side was Mordecai Pritchard, an exiciseman in the employ of the British government. Lewis Evan Jones, Jr. received but a limited education in the country schools, but gained much knowledge from his early employment in his father’s printing office.

When fifteen years old he went to Liverpool and secured a berth, as a seaman, on a vessel bound for Cronstadt, seaport of St. Petersburg, Russia. After making this voyage he shipped on another vessel to Constantinople and Odessa. Returning to Liverpool he sailed with an American vessel for the states. He spent several years on the sea, going to all parts of the world. Landing at New Orleans in 1846, young Jones secured employment on the old Picayune, still a noted paper of the southern city. Finding that his long service at sea had impaired his efficiency as a printer, he determined to return home to polish up, taking passage on an English ship loaded with cotton to Liverpool.

His father being a Welch printer, he secured a position on an English newspaper printed in his native town. Here he worked for two years and then took passage on board an English ship loaded with slates, which cleared for New Orleans. Arriving there in January, 1849, he remained until April, then went to St. Louis and found work on the Missouri Republican, now the Republican. In 1850 he purchased a small printing office and printed the first number of the St. Louis conference of the M.E. Church, South, and which still exerts a powerful influence among southern Methodists. He continued to publish the Advocate for six years, when he sold the paper and office, in 1857, to the St. Louis conference.

Mr. Jones was married at St. Louis, June 11, 1850, to Louisa Richards, a native of Bristol, England. In 1858, with his wife and for children, he removed to St. Helena, Nebraska, making the trip up the Missouri on the steamer Florence. He had previously erected a steam sawmill at St. Helena, which he continued to operate for about ten years. He laid out the town of St. Helena in 1858, and established the Gazette, a weekly paper, having brought with him from St. Louis the equipment for a printing office as well as for his sawmill.

The newspaper was a little too much in advance of civilization and settlement, and Mr. Jones soon traded it for a span of mules. In 1860 there seemed to be a sufficient amount of wheat raised in Cedar county to justify the building of a flour mill, which Mr. Jones constructed on Little Brown creek, near St. James, to which point he removed with his family, and where he still resides.

Mr. Jones was a member of the last territorial legislature and has served continuously for a period of a more than twenty years as county commissioner of Cedar county. To Mr. and Mrs. Jones were born nine children: Louisa Jane, July 20, 1851; William Carnarvon, Feb. 25, 1853; Margaret Missouri, July 16, 1855; Louis Cambria, Aug. 8, 1854, who died Aug. 7, 1857; Evan Snowden, Sept. 12, 1859; Thomas N.(ed. Norcliffe?), August 16, 1861; Louis E., Feb. 4, 1863; Franklin Richard, April 3, 1865, who died Feb. 21, 1896; Albert Webster, Nov. 9, 1866. The first four of these children were born in St. Louis. The remaining five were born St. Helena before the admission of Nebraska as a state. The first wife of Mr. Jones, and the mother of all his children, died at her home at St. James, Nebraska, January 18, 1893. His second wife, Ellen Jones, was born at Tolsarn, Caernarvonshire, North Wales in 1836.

In politics Mr. Jones is a Jeffersonian Democrat. He has always attended the M.E. Church. He lived at St. Helena during all the Indian troubles and had an entire crew of Indians operating his sawmill during the Civil war.. Mr. Jones has lived in peace with the Indians, and has always maintained the confidence and respect of his fellow citizens. He is the owner of several hundred acres of valuable land in Cedar county.



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