Alfred Willis Arthur Jones

Author Name: gail-suggs

(Main article, and the articles on his children provided by Gail Suggs except as otherwise noted. If only each branch of the family had someone like Gail to document the line so well. Kudos, Gail!)

Brief bio

Arthur and Ella Jones

Alfred Willis Arthur Jones and twin Mattie were born July 18, 1870, Caddo Gap, Arkansas. Arthur married Temperance Benella ‘Ella’ Jones, born February 17, 1872, December 25, 1892, in Corinth, Howard County, Arkansas. Together they had one baby, Lois, who died either at birth or within the first year, and seven children who lived to adulthood: Persis, Miriam, Erin, Granville, Mozelle, Volney, and Dorothy.

Arthur died 1 JAN 1935

An interesting reunion letter from Arthur:


Arthur, who was best known as a renowned evangelist, minister of the Christian church, and leader in the prohibitionist movement in Texas, was also a businessman in the early Texas oil production boom era.

Arthur shared preaching duties with his brother Claude at the first family reunion in 1921. Arthur, passionate about his faith and family, passed away on January 1, 1935, followed many years later by Ella in February 1968. Both are at rest in the Jones Valley family cemetery.


Note: This story was written by youngest daughter Dorothy in 1996:

Twins born to Alfred and Jane

On July 18, 1870, twins were born to Alfred and Jane Poindexter Jones, the seventh and eighth children who lived. Arthur and Mattie were so small that the two could sleep lying crosswise on a pillow. They were reared on the 400-acre farm near Caddo Gap, Arkansas, where they were born. Three other children were added to the family, eleven in all. This farm was across the mountain from the present Jones Valley.

Their father, Alfred Jones, learned his doctor’s trade from his father-in-law, A.B. Clingman; and, in addition to farming and doctoring, he later became an itinerant preacher. Four of his sons followed in their father’s footsteps, one to be a doctor, and three, including Arthur, to be preachers.

After attending Add-Ran College (later to become Texas Christian University), Arthur was ordained as a minister of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ.

Marriage to Ella

On Christmas day of 1892, he married Ella Jones, Kentucky-born daughter of a church of Christ minister, James Richard Jones, and Lucy Ann Hurt. Ella’s mother died when her daughter was in her early teens, and she and her older sister helped care for the younger children. Ella had learned to sew, to knit and to crochet from her mother, and she made most of the clothes for the family, including her brothers’ shirts.

Traveling evangelist

Arthur Jones – Revival Service Announcement

Arthur was a minister and evangelist. The family moved frequently. From the places the children were born, we assume that Arthur served Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregations in Roswell, New Mexico; Dublin, Texas; Ardmore, Oklahoma; Blooming Grove, Texas; Austin (Central Christian Church), Texas; Comanche, Texas; and Oak Cliff, Texas. From some letters and other writings, we know he also preached or held pastorates around the state:?at Hubbard City, Clarendon, Llano, Memphis, Thorp Springs, Lone Oak, Eastland, Marble Falls, Valentine, Austin (Hyde Park Christian Church), and El Paso (Austin Park Christian Church).

Listed in Texas Disciples book

He was listed with his brothers, Granville and Claude, in Colby D. Hall’s book Texas Disciples. He was one of 34 evangelists in 1904 who had served the Texas Christian Missionary Society, forerunner of what is now the Southwest Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). And we know from letters and papers he left that he worked tirelessly for prohibition. He was fired from the church at Roswell for being too tough on the “saloon men.” But he said, “I do not know of a thing I have said that I could take back, for I believe it to be God’s truth.” Some of his letters and papers are included in Mementos of Arthur W. Jones, a little book compiled in 1995 by his granddaughter, Gail Moore Suggs.

Oak Cliff Christian Church in Dallas

In 1907, with children ranging in age from 4 to 12, the family moved to Dallas, and Arthur assumed the ministry of Oak Cliff Christian Church. His picture still hangs in the fellowship hall with other ministers who served there. Dorothy was born during this ministry. They also acquired a piano, which made many a move in the years to come. After leaving Dallas in 1916, they lived in Lone Oak and then Eastland during the oil boom.

One by one, the five older children left home, to work, to go to college, or to marry. These were World War I years, and the family was affected, as were most others, financially, by rationing, by loss of young relatives, and other hardships of war. Miriam’s husband, Fritz Eisenlohr, was sent overseas, but returned safely.

By the time Arthur accepted the pastorate at Austin Park Christian Church in El Paso, only Volney, Mozelle, and Dorothy were left at home. During his ministry, a new church annex was built.

1921 beginnings of the family reunion

In 1921, Arthur met with his brothers and sisters at the old Cubage homeplace near Amity, Arkansas, and established the tradition of a family reunion, which resulted in the acquisition in 1923 of the property near Caddo Gap which we now call Jones Valley.

In Marble Falls

The next move was to Marble Falls, in the Texas hill country, where Arthur’s youngest brother, Guilford, lived with his family; and the two families traveled together in a Model T Ford caravan over dirt roads to family reunions in Arkansas.

To Dallas with Ella’s sister

After Marble Falls, the Joneses shared a house in Dallas with Ella’s sister Dora Jones White and her family, while Arthur did evangelistic preaching in various locations. Arthur bought a small farm on the Leon River about six miles from the (then) small town of Arlington. For the next four years the family lived in town, while Arthur and son Volney planted and worked a pecan orchard on the land. Years later, Volney discovered that the beautiful pecan trees had become a part of a fancy subdivision, near Six Flags.


Arthur always enjoyed dabbling in growing things. Next to fishing, his favorite hobby, he most enjoyed putting pecan buds or grafts onto native trees, such as walnut. He left a trail of healthy, bearing pecan limbs on trees wherever he went, from Arkansas to far West Texas, including the valley where the family reunion is now held.

The panhandle

When the farm had to be sold, Arthur moved his family to Memphis, Texas, in the Texas Panhandle, where he was pastor of the Christian Church. During his two years there, a new church building was constructed.

The Texas Hill Country

His next pastorate was Llano, again in the hill country of Texas; and his last full-time ministry was at the Hyde Park Christian Church in Austin. After that, the family moved into a beautiful old white frame house near the State Capitol Building and rented rooms to state government workers, including a state Senator.

Arthur’s final days

Arthur did some preaching at Valentine and other West Texas towns, until his health forced him to return home to Austin. On Christmas Day of 1934, he was taken to St. David’s Hospital, where he underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor. He died on New Year’s Day 1935 of pneumonia and other complications, and was buried in the family cemetery in his beloved Valley in Arkansas. He was 64 years old.

Ella’s final years

Ella lived for 33 years after Arthur’s death. After Dorothy’s graduation from the University of Texas, she moved her mother to a smaller house and took care of her until Ella’s state of health made it unwise for her to be left alone during the day. She lived with Persis and Erin for awhile, then with Mozelle, until she needed nursing home care. She died in February of 1968, at the age of 96, and was buried beside her husband.

Who was Arthur?

Arthur Jones was a social, outgoing person who never met a stranger. He was quite a storyteller. He always had an apt illustration for his sermons, and never lacked for a story or a joke for any subject or situation.

He was known for the simplicity and clarity of his sermons. People said that anyone could understand Brother Arthur, even a child.


Ella was a very quiet, modest, unassuming woman. She was a tireless worker, and was always there supporting her husband’s church activities, in the kitchen or wherever she was needed, but never as a public speaker.

She was a conscientious mother.



(This story was taken from a newspaper clipping)

An Uncle of Rev. Highsmith in a Dying Condition in Texas

Weatherford, Tex., Dec. 12.—Rev. Arthur Jones, a prominent minister and evangelist, who has been waging a vigorous campaign for local option in Mills county at the town of Goldwaite, was knocked down with rocks and bludgeons late yesterday by Bruce Batty and several companions and is dying tonight. Batty had been conducting a whiskey club in the town and had recently been indicted and heavily fined by the court.

Mr. Jones made a speech on the public square and was standing by listening to a rejoiner by a prominent liquor man of Dallas, who asked how people were going to keep clubmen from selling whiskey.

Mr. Jones replied, “By putting a plaster on the violators, as the court did on one yesterday.”

Batty drew a rock from his pocket and threw it with force, the missile striking the preacher over the temple, tearing his scalp open to the skull. A second rock thrown by some one in the crowd crushed the preacher to the ground as his friends rushed to his assistance.

Rev. Jones was an uncle of Rev. R. A. Highsmith, pastor of the Christian church at this place, and Mr. Highsmith left on the cannon ball today for Dallas, Texas, the home of Rev. Jones. Mr. Jones was a brother of Rev. Granville Jones, who is well known here as a prominent minister in the Christian church, and who was at one time pastor of the congregation here.

Editor’s Note: Rev. Arthur Jones  did not die, but recovered!


Jones, Arthur Card To Mother Jane

(the following provided by Gil Jones)

“Aunt Ella” and the antique desk

I just realized with Mike’s posting here that I knew “Aunt Ella.”  She lived in San Angelo in her later years, just “down the road” from Big Spring where I grew up. I thought as a youngster that she was my grandfather’s (Guilford, Sr.) niece, obviously an error on my part.

She lived with Mrs. Dalton (“Missy” I think) who apparently was a long-time friend and whose husband had been a world traveler and collector. It was on that occasion that I first saw a Ming Vase. Mrs. Dalton had an immense collection of articles and books from around the world. As a youngster I was overwhelmed.

She also had a beautiful desk made of Virgin Island Mahogany. French provincial is what I would call the style. It’s gorgeous. At Mrs. Dalton’s death it was left to my father, for reasons not now known to me.

I now have that gorgeous desk (and will upload a photo later) that “Aunt Ella” had in her home for some long while.

Perhaps someone knows the history of how Ella and Mrs. Dalton came to live together in San Angelo.
Guilford L. Jones, III
(Grandson of Guilford)


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