From A Memorial and Biographical History of McClennan, Falls,
Bell and Coryell Counties Texas – Published in 1893
Submitted by Frances Patterson, Great-Great-Granddaughter
WILLIAM L. JONES is an old and highly respected citizen of Coryell county, in whose honor Jonesboro is named, was born in the State of Mississippi, in Claiborne county in 1827, the oldest of a family of thirteen children. His parents, Milton H. and Kisiah (Culbertson) Jones, were natives of Tennessee; they removed to Mississippi at an early day, and were married in Claiborne County: later they removed to Yalobusha County, where they resided a few years, and in 1839 they came to Texas and located in Shelby County; here Mr. Jones engaged in farming. He was a preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church and was a very earnest and enthusiastic worker in cause of his Master; he died January 22, 1875, in Hood County, Texas; his wife died February 10, 1847. William L. Jones received his education in the pioneer schools of the Lone Star State. After the death of his mother, in 1847, he volunteered in the Mexican war, and served with General Scott; he led a most exemplary life while on the campaign, never indulging in the habits which the life of exposure encourages; he participated in many skirmishes, but was in no battles. Upon his return from the war he engaged in farming, and the following autumn he entered school and attended one term. He then went to Corsicana, Texas, in 1850, and with his brother-in-law, C.B. Lindsey, embarked in mercantile pursuits; he followed this business until 1852, when he went back to Rusk county, and was employed as clerk for Mr. John Abney for a year; he was at Mt. Enterprise the next year, clerking for C. Vincent, and then removed to Bosque county, where he again conducted a store in partnership with J.A. Goodlet. At the beginning of the Civil war he secured a permit and operated a mill until the close of the conflict. In 1866 he purchased a tract of land, 320 acres, on the line of Coryell and Hamilton counties, and set up a saw and grist mill; this small industry soon became the center of a settlement, and goods shipped to the point were marked for Jonesboro, so that by common consent the town was christened in honor of the founder. In 1872 Mr. Jones brought his family here, and in the same year he established a general mercantile trade, which he carried on successfully until 1833 [sic] [should be ~1888], when he closed out the business. The land which he bought is the present site of Jonesboro, and most of it has been sold in town lots; he has been one of the prime factors in developing the resources of the surrounding country, and has aided very materially in the growth of the place. Every laudable enterprise has found in him a liberal and enthusiastic supporter, and his country has found in him a loyal and patriotic citizen. His dealings in the commercial world have been characterized by the most upright and careful methods, and the successes he has made have been fully merited.
Mr. Jones has been twice married: in Bosque county, February 4, 1858, he was united to Miss Mary C. Loyd, a native of Hempstead county, Arkansas; she died April 25, 1864, leaving two children: Fountain E., who is now engaged in the drug trade in Arizona, and Allie K., wife of Thomas J. Atkinson, a citizen of Hamilton county; the second union was to Miss Susan R. Thomas, a native of Alabama; three children have been born to this marriage: Mary C. Hall, William L., and Wiley P., who died May 26, l879; Alfred M., a son of the first marriage died May 29, 1864. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South; Mr. Jones is superintendent of the Sabbath-school, and takes a deep interest in all the efforts toward the elevation of humanity. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, having joined more than thirty years ago. He is active in the temperance cause, and since early manhood has had the courage of his convictions upon this subject. He is a man of so many excellent traits that he numbers his friends to the full number of his acquaintances, and is well worthy of the admiration he arouses.
Siblings of William L. Jones:
Candace Benton Jones
John Wesley Jones
Milton Henry Jones Jr.
Martha Elizabeth Jones
Benjamin Franklin Jones
Francis Wilson Jones
Wiley Palmer Jones
John Culbertson Jones
William L. Jones died March 8, 1896 and was buried in the Jonesboro Cemetery in Jonesboro, Texas.
A Memorial and Biographical History of McClennan, Falls, Bell and Coryell Counties Texas. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1893, p. 471-472.