Wylie Palmer Jones 1844 – 1912



Childress, Texas, March 12, 1912


TEXT: And he was a good man and just – Luke 23:50

Other scriptures read – Psalm XC; I Cor. XV:20.58


Asleep in Jesus

Oh, Come Angel Band

I Saw a Wayworn Traveler

            The one whose memory we come to honor today, Bro. Wylie P. Jones, was born in Houston County, near Crockett, September 12, 1844. He was raised in Rusk County and moved with his father to Johnson County in 1860. He enlisted in the Confederate army in the company of Capt. W. G. Veal, Parson’s regiment, in 1861 and was discharged in 1862 and shortly hereafter re-enlisted in Capt. Samuel Carruthers’ company, Gurley’s regiment. He embraced religion in the army in 1863 and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at Auburn, Texas, in 1865, soon after the close of the war. He was married to Miss Harriet Anderson Gilmore of Ellis County, Texas, on January 28th, 1866. From this union there were three children, two of whom, our highly esteemed and respected townsmen, J. H. P. and Will P. Jones, survive.

          While living at Cleburne with his father-in-law, John P. Gilmore, they made a trip together to dispose of some horses, taking cattle in return, and had some very thrilling experiences in imagining that they were being attacked by Indians, all of which proved to be “False Alarms.” He gave his experiences of this trip in a write-up under the caption “False Alarms,” years later. I quote just one paragraph from this entertaining paper: “I want to remark right here that we had recently passed through the four year’s struggle between the states, during which time we had often stood face to face with the enemy where every inch of the ground was strongly contested: had often stood as a lone sentinel by the roadside where we counted the enemy on the march when they numbered up into the thousands; had also lain in line of battle in fair view of the enemy as the balls and shells played their part in keeping us interested, but during all these four years of war, we don’t remember ever to have felt so lonesome and nervous as we did at times while we were standing guard around our stock, with the constant expectation of an attack by the Red-Skins. We, somehow, had learned to regard them with a holy horror.”

          From Johnson County he moved to Acton in Hood County, and was in business there for a number of years, where he lead in the work of a Sunday School, and was also a leader in church music, using the old “Sacred Harp,” the songs of which moved with wonderful power the souls of the people and often in his last sickness, when his mind would wander, he would whistle, when he could no longer talk, some of these old tunes especially this,

“and as I pass along,

I’ll sing a Christian song,

I hope to live forever.”

          He repeated the first verse of “Asleep In Jesus,” and asked his wife to repeat for him the other verses, as he could not speak them.

          He moved from Acton to Young County when it was a wild unsettled country and engaged in the stock business. He also taught school in order that his boys might have advantages in their young days, and organized the first Sunday school that was organized in old Eliasville. He moved from there to Stephens County, where he remained for only a short time, moving to Hall County in 1888 and to Childress County in 1889, which would make him a citizen of Childress County for twenty years, save the eight years he had made his temporary home in Matador. In Childress he was a County Judge for two terms, was also in business – running a general merchandise and exchange business, in which our fellow townsman, J.H.P. Jones, received his training for the banking business. It was here that a great sorrow came into his life, the death of his first wife, who died January 19th, 1901. He was married again to Mrs. Lou Humes on August 11th, 1901, with whom he lived most happy till the day of his death. He also organized, and was the first Superintendent of the first Methodist Sunday school in Childress. These are but the salient points in the history of this great life, the details of which would make a very remarkable record. He died about 12:35 P.M., March 11, 1912.

          He went out as a child falling to sleep in the arms of its mother, without a struggle, just a perceptible shortening of the breath, then on long breath, and all was over here; no, not over here. We say he is dead, and yet he lives. I have no doubt should some inhabitant from another world drop down to ours just as the sun was hiding himself behind the western hills, as he looked upon him disappearing from view, he would say “Gone, gone forever.” But not so. He shines on the myriad of stars in the heavens above, and still more beautifully in the moon, the queen of the night. So with our dear brother, he is dead but lives, lives in the lives of his children of his wife, and of his friends, and will live on till the end of time, gathering in influence and power until the might river created by his blessed life shall empty itself in the fathomless ocean of eternity.

Contributed by Jim Moody of Wasilla, Alaska – Wiley Palmer Jones’ great-great-grandson

Additional Family History:The Milton Henry Jones Family, Republic of Texas Pioneers, 1803 – 1875William Lorenzo Jones, 1827 – 1896