The Decatur Weekly News, December 8, 1906
Tribute to the Memory of the Late Lem Jones - J. LEMUEL JONES was born in Blount County, Alabama, July 22, 1865, and died in Decatur, Ala., November 10, 1906.
Deceased was the son of W. B. and Mary Jones, who were the representatives of a long line of respected ancestry, conspicuous in the early history of Alabama. Mr. and Mrs. Jones, the parents of Lemuel J., came to Morgan county when he was but a lad, and here on her gently undulating stretches, near Falkville and Danville, he grew to manhood. He is a member of a large family, having four brothers and three sisters, two of each of whom have preceded him to "that bourne whence no traveler e'er returns." His venerable father is still living near Basham Church, at the ripe old age of 71 years, and his mother silently sleeps in the little cemetery there.
I wish to speak of Lem Jones, as he was familiarly called, as I knew him. I first met him at Chestnut Grove Church. He was then a small boy and evidenced his christian character by his early piety. In later years, as he grew to stalwart manhood, I watched the increasing signs of a strong, virile man, in his fixed, steady habits, his upright life and a laudable ambition to climb to greater heights of life's uncertain mountain.
Mr. Jones was married to Miss Fannie Robinson, of Falkville, November 10, 1889. To this union two children were born, one a young man yet in his minority and who evinces the steady habits and life of sobriety that marked his late father. The other is a little girl in her teens, scarce old enough to realize the great loss she has sustained by an assassin's bullet. Mr. Jones moved to Decatur in 1892, and for a number of years was a trusted employee of the L & N Shops. In that great army of men he was conspicuous for the splendid traits that he manifested early in life and his strong moral nature. He served as U. S. Internal Revenue Officer during Cleveland's last administration, and filled many other offices of responsibility and trust.
He possessed the confidence of all who knew him, and was universally esteemed for his integrity and manly worth. while never bold or boastful as to religious pretentions, he was, nevertheless, strongly religious and his warm heart found delight in doing good. To the poor and needy he was ever a friend, to the grief-stricken a sympathetic comforter, and to the unfortunate, one ready to render whatever of assistance that in his power lie. He was a large man physically, brave and courageous as a lion. He never faltered in the discharge of duty. His sense of justice and honor was high and he could not by any manner of means be tempted to swerve from the right, as he conceived it to be. He was as true to himself, his family and his friends as the needle to the pole. His ideals were lofty and his ambition soared far above his station in life. Had he possessed the educational qualifications, with his unflinching courage, his devotion to principle and exalted conception of honor, he would have attained a high mark among the walk of men.
Lured to his death by the call of help, even from an abandoned woman, and where duty bade him to go, he responded to the call, fully conscious of the peril that such a mission involved; but his high sense of duty and a matchless courage has made him a hero in the eyes of those who knew him best.
At the time of his death, he was a member of the J O U A M, and the Masonic fraternity. In the former organization, he was the presiding officer, and in the latter, had passed from the lowest to the highest local ranks. On Saturday night, under the cover of darkness where sin and death lurked, and while in discharge of official duty, this man, who bore no grudge against any of his fellow creatures, received the deadly missile in his brain.
On Sunday morning, surrounded by his grief stricken little family and weeping friends, just as the morning sun was gilding the eastern hilltops, the immortal spirit of J. Lemuel Jones was wafted to its Maker. Let us hope that his change was as bright and glorious as was the change from the blackness of that Saturday night to the splendor of the rising sun of the beautiful Sunday morn that witnessed the flight of his spirit from time to eternity.
I place this sprig of myrtle on his sleeping dust.---------- A Friend.
(Thanks to Claude Hudson, who is the 2012-13 Historian for Rising Sun Masonic Lodge No. 29 in Decatur, AL, where Officer Jones was a Past Master, has made an Officer Down Memorial Page for Officer Jesse Jones at http://www.odmp.org/officer/21502-officer-jesse-lemuel-lem-jones. Visit www.risingsun29.org for more details of Officer Jones' case.)
Fannie Robinson Jones
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