|Birth: ||Jan. 26, 1826|
|Death: ||Jan. 7, 1896|
The life of Arizona pioneer Dr. Wilson Walker Jones, who died in Tempe, Jan. 7, 1896, reads like something out of fiction – a man of wealth who came West to primitive living and never returned to claim his eastern heritage.
In "History of Arizona", published by T. E. Farish in 1915, Dr. Jones is described as a "Virginian by birth, proud of his bearing and distinguished lineage, who at an early age sought his fortune in the West."
The son of Thomas and Catherine Floyd Jones, tobacco and silk worm farmers, Dr. Jones was born in 1826 near Hampton Island, Va., on a plantation.
At the age of 16 he registered at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Va., graduating in 1843 from the Maryland Medical College.
After spending some years in the Orient doing research on the dread disease, "Cholera", Jones moved to Los Angeles, Calif.
There he was elected to the Legislature of Los Angeles County on June 12, 1855. Jones served in many early California government offices, also practicing medicine in that area.
Dr. Jones ventured into Arizona territory at age 38 in the year of 1864. Coming into Yuma, he met and married Alcaria Montoya, a beautiful 18-year-old Mexican girl from Altar, Senora, Mexico.
Dr. Jones and his bride set up housekeeping at the old river town of Ehrenberg. By 1870 Dr. Jones was listed as a resident of both Ehrenberg and Prescott. He was not only practicing medicine, but was engaged as a contractor in the freighting business, and his many spanned mule teams with their heavy freight wagons could be seen on the highways of the territory.
The freighting business in those days was a dangerous occupation, as savage Apache Indians lurked in ambush.
During his long and eventful residence in Arizona territory, Dr. Jones had many encounters with the war-like Indian, as did all early-day residents.
In one attack, Jones and his two companions, Joe and Mikel Goldwater, had a narrow escape from death. The incident was described as follows by the press of that day: Dr. Jones, Joe and Mikel Goldwater were traveling in the vicinity of Mint Valley out of Prescott when attacked by Apaches, June 22, 1872. Dr. Jones probed the ball from Joe Goldwater's body and saved his life.
There is still an $84,000 unsettled depredation claim in the Indian Claim Department in Washington, D.C. over that incident. The government disclaimed all responsibility for the Indian raid, because they said they had the Indians under custody at Ft. Apache.
The freighting business was followed by a mining venture for Dr. Jones.
"It is on record that Dr. W. W. Jones sold his interest in the Vulture Mine in 1876 for $202,500."
After selling the Vulture Mine, Jones built a home near Phoenix, and was neighbor to former plantation owners from the south who came to Arizona with their slaves after the Civil War. The homes were built along southern lines with the kitchens separate from the houses. (One of the territorial brick houses may be seen today near 3rd Ave. in Phoenix.)
Dr. Jones owned a large cattle ranch at "Coons Bluff" near Blue Point. Also he operated a tubercular sanitarium there. He cured many patients, but never allowed them to go back to the east. Having money most of them became small ranchers in the Tonto Basin area. Jones also ranched in the rugged Four Peaks Mts.
Dr. Jones' family consisted of six daughters and one son, John Floyd Jones. Because their only son John Floyd died at the age of 39 and was never married, descendants have surnames such as Gomez, Romo and Frank in the Tempe area, and Curry in Los Angeles and in Southern California.
Dr. Jones had a large horse ranch in Chandler. The father provided doweries for his daughters. Each girl was given a stallion, 30 mares and a brand. There was no brand for "John Floyd," the son, who the Doctor reasoned, being a man, could make his own way in the world. Although he managed the ranch for the girls, the horses were sold to the government at the outbreak of the Spanish American War.
Funeral services were held for Dr. Jones Jan. 7, 1896 at the residence of Winchester Miller in Tempe. His grave lies in the Double Butte Cemetery. (He was muy hombre.)
(Author's Note: Dr. Wilson Walker Jones, the proud Virginian from Hampton Island, was the grandfather of Mr. Floyd Jones Gomez, Sr., old time Casa Grande cattleman and rancher who lives north of the Santa Cruz wash today and is doing well.
Mr. Gomez, who was born in the year of 1900 in Arizona, has spent his entire life in the west and possibly has more friends than any man in the state.)
Transcribed from the Tri-Valley Central, article by Daniel Woods, published June 20, 1979.
Arcadia Jones (____ - 1923)
Katherine Jones Gomez (1875 - 1947)*
Anna Floyd Jones Turner (1877 - 1943)*
Maggie Jones Frank (1880 - 1982)*
Jacoba Jones Villanueva (1884 - 1911)*
Laura Floyd Jones Curry (1891 - 1972)*
Tempe Double Butte Cemetery
Maintained by: traceym
Originally Created by: Bonnie (Gallagher) Gilso...
Record added: Oct 07, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11908601
Gone but never forgotten in our family.|
Added: Jan. 22, 2014