Lewis Evan Jones (1825 – 1910) of Cedar County Nebraska

The following was taken from The Illustrated History of Nebraska, History of Nebraska, Vol I, pages 371 – 372.


 

Lewis Evan Jones

Lewis Evan Jones, Jr., born February 21, 1825, was the eldest son of Lewis Evan Jones, Sr. and his wife, Jane Pritchard. Lewis Sr., was the second eldest surviving son of William Ellis Jones of Bryntirion, a noted scholar and early disciple of John Wesley. William of Bryntirion was the owner of an extensive tract of mountainous land in Merionethshire at Dolgellau, Wales, on which thousands of sheep and goats ranged since ancient times. On this valuable estate gold was discovered in the 18th century, leading to the early development of a highly profitable mining operation, one of the first of its kind in Wales.

Jane Pritchard, Lewis Jr.’s mother, was the daughter of Mordecai Pritchard, an exciseman in Wales in the employment of the British government.

As a boy, Lewis Evan Jones, Jr. received a limited formal education in the country schools, but gained a great deal of knowledge and experience from his early apprenticeship in his father’s printing and publishing office in Caernarvon, Wales. His father, an ardent Welsh nationalist and associate of many of Wales’ most progressive politicians, authors, and intellects, was a controversial figure in his home country. From his presses he published some of the earliest pro-labor, anti-British, anti-Established Church material to appear in a country that would in later decades become recognized as the birthplace of Socialism.

Not content to idle in his father’s shadow, at just fifteen years old, Lewis Jr. traveled to Liverpool, England and secured a berth as a seaman on a vessel bound for St. Petersburg, Russia. His early travels took him around the world to the ports of Odessa, Constantinople, across the Pacific, and within a few years to America, where he worked his way through the port cities of Richmond, Savannah, Charleston, and New Orleans.

After briefly returning home to Caernarvon to fetch his brother Richard (born 1837) and sister Ann (born 1823), in 1849 the three made their way back to America and the city of New Orleans. From there they ventured up the Mississippi, establishing their home at St. Louis, Missouri.
In St. Louis, Lewis Jr. secured employment at The Missouri Republican, a newspaper now esteemed for its extensive coverage of the politics and events leading up to the American Civil War.

In 1850, Lewis Evan Jones, Jr. met and married Miss Louisa Richards, a native of Bristol, England. The same year he purchased a small printing firm and began publishing the first numbers of the journal of the St. Louis Conference of the Methodist-Episcopal Church. This publication gained instant popularity among the largely immigrant, pioneer population of Missouri, wielding significant influence in Methodist affairs for many decades after its inauguration.

Sometime prior to 1857, Lewis’ sister Ann died in St. Louis, and his brother Richard moved south to New Orleans. That same year Lewis Jr. sold the Methodist Episcopal Journal and moved with his wife and four children to St. Helena, Nebraska, a sparsely populated, truly pioneer territory in the still unsettled American Northwest. In St. Helena he established the first sawmill and the first newspaper in the territory, using both to acquire wealth in land and early political influence. By 1860, Lewis was also operating a successful flour mill, servicing the needs of a small but growing population of farmers who trickled into the region from the east.

Lewis Evan Jones, Jr. became a member of the Nebraska Territorial Legislature and was a leading force in Nebraska’s admission to the Union in 1867. Throughout his long life he served in various capacities in the political leadership of Nebraska, including a twenty-year long stint as county commissioner of Cedar County, where he worked to encourage better relations between the original Native American population, the establishing state and Federal governments, and newly arriving white immigrants. Politically, he was a lifelong Democrat and described himself as a “Jeffersonian”. Lewis Evan Jones, Jr. was held in high esteem by his fellow Nebraskans and is today recognized as one of the earliest and most effective pioneer-settlers in the region.

Lewis and his wife Louisa had nine surviving children. Their countless descendants are now dispersed throughout the nation. Lewis Evan Jones, Jr. died on October 21, 1910, and is buried in the community he founded, Wynot, Cedar County, Nebraska.

Advertisements

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Old Used Bookshop

Home of a million stories hanging on the walls.

Reunion

America's Reconstruction at 150

Renegade South

histories of unconventional southerners

Student of the American Civil War

Reflections on learning about the Civil War

Gotta Find a Home

Conversations with Street People

The Gettysburg Compiler

On the front lines of history

Emerging Civil War

Providing fresh perspectives on America's defining event

The Neighborhood

Society online's creative conscious.

The Daily Dahlia

Not so daily, but definitely Dahlia.

Irish in the American Civil War

Exploring Irish Emigration & Irish Involvement in the American Civil War

To Preserve Family and Farm

A True Story of a Family's Encounter with Sherman's Army

Adventures in North Carolina Culture

The official blog of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources

Crutchfield's Orthoglossary

Notes & Comment on Language, Spoken & Written

stillness of heart

MUSINGS : CRITICISM : HISTORY : PASSION

Fredericksburg Remembered

Musings on history, public history, and historic Fredericksburg

Stumbling in the Shadows of Giants

For the sins of your fathers you, though guiltless, must suffer. - Odes of Horace

Cenantua's Blog

As a Southerner and native of the Shenandoah Valley, I offer reflections on the Civil War-era South... and sometimes a little more. But... expect the unexpected

Southern Unionists Chronicles

Reflections on the lives and experiences of Southern Unionists, during and after the American Civil War

Daily (w)rite

A DAILY RITUAL OF WRITING

Mark Coakley

Author of "Hidden Harvest" and "Tip and Trade"

Eye-Dancers

A site devoted to the Young Adult sci-fi/fantasy novel The Eye-Dancers

Break Room Stories

Service Industry Stories and More Since 2012

South Cathedral Place

Finding Architectural History and Following Historic Preservation in Richmond, Virginia

CardiffCataloguers

Cataloguing at Cardiff University

Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Virginia Historical Society's Blog

exhibitions, education, research, tours, bus trips, lectures, classes, collections, outreach, library, shop, and everything Virginia history!

Chronicles of Harriet

The Very BEST in Afrofuturism and Black Speculative Fiction!

Middlemay Farm

Nubian Goats, Katahdin Sheep, Chickens, Ducks, Dogs and Novelist Adrienne Morris live here (with humans).

Mysteries & Conundrums

Exploring the Civil War-era landscape in the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania region.

Stacey Redick

Information Professional

jamesgray2

A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A WordPress.com site

Special Collections and Archives / Casgliadau Arbennig ac Archifau

Showcasing Research Resources / Hyrwyddo Adnoddau Ymchwil

Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

Historic Collections at Senate House Library

Showcasing our rare books, manuscripts, archives, historic maps, artefacts and artworks

%d bloggers like this: