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Madera Biographies: JOHN JONES

   JOHN MARION JONES.   The sheriff of Madera County is a member of an old southern family.  Through his paternal ancestors he traces his lineage to Wales while his maternal progenitors were of English extraction. His grandfather. W. T. Jones, was a native of Virginia and became a planter in Tennessee, where he remained until death.  The other grandfather, Charles Pigg, was also of Virginian birth and became a pioneer planter of Tennessee.  During the war of 1812 he enlisted in the service of the country and took part in the memorable engagement at New Orleans under Gen. Andrew Jackson.  In his brave service as a soldier he displayed the inheritance of a patriotic spirit from his father, who was a Revolutionary hero.  W. C. and Mary Frances (Pigg) Jones, were natives of Tennessee and made their home upon a plantation in Smith County, near Gordonsviille, that state.  From that homestead during the Civil War W. C. Jones went forth to serve the Confederacy as a member of a Tennessee regiment.  When defeat met southern arms he returned home and resumed the management of his estate, but later settled upon a plantation in Davidson County.

   In the family of W. C. Jones there were five children, all but one of whom are living, John Marion being the eldest and the only one in California.  He was born near Gordonsville, Tenn., September 7, 1865, and during boyhood years attended district schools and the Dekalb County normal school at Alexandria, Tenn.  His education was brought to an abrupt termination through a severe attack of inflammatory rheumatism, which confined him to bed for sixteen months. As son as he was able to travel he came to the Pacific coast, where in a month he had entirely recovered his strength.  After coming to Madera in 1885 he secured employment on the Hely ranch.  Two years later he became a teamster with the Madera Flume and Trading Company and continued in their employ in 1892.  His next position was with the Yosemite Stage & Turnpike Company as teamster, engaged in hauling supplies, and later in charge of the teaming and supplies with headquarters in Raymond. During his last years with them he superintended the oiling of the company’s road from Raymond, a distance of twenty-eight miles.

   The Democratic Party, of which Mr. Jones has always been a firm supporter, brought his name before their county convention in 1902 and made him their candidate for sheriff.  Elected by a plurality of seventy he took the oath of office in January 1903, for a term of four years, and has since given his attention with conscientious fidelity to the discharge of official duties.  It is his ambition to preserve law and order in the county and every precaution is taken to secure the protection of law-abiding citizens.  The State Association of Sheriffs of California numbers him among its members; while fraternally he is connect with the Knights of Pythias, Madera Lodge No. 280, F. & A. M. in which he was made a Mason and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, in Fresno.

Guinn, J. M., History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley, California, (Chicago: Chapman Publishing, 1905), page 533.

Transcribed by Harriet Sturk.

Last update: September 16, 2000
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