This week in #52ancestors will celebrate one of my few Kentucky connections: Samuel Howell Jones. Like his brother Richard Jones, Samuel was into a bit of everything but unlike Richard, he appears to have traveled extensively.
Samuel Howell Jones was born on 30 June 1818 to Benjamin (1767-1849) and Mary Howell (1778-1836) Jones. He was the seventh of their eight children and although I have not been able to prove it, I believe he was born in Philadelphia because his birth is recorded in the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting minutes, along with the information that he was disowned in December 1850, likely due to marrying outside the faith. He spent a year at Haverford College from 1833 to 1834.
Samuel married twice. He married Lydia H. Bishop (1828-1860) on 7 March 1849 but they had no children. They are enumerated in Philadelphia in the 1850 Census along with several of Samuel’s siblings: Mary B Jones Tobey and husband Samuel, Harriet Jones. Samuel is listed with the occupation of merchant. By 1860, the family has relocated to Burlington County, where Samuel and Lydia maintain a household that contains most of her family: Nathanial Bishop (cultivator of cranberries) and Harriet Bishop. Samuel’s occupation is “manufacturing” and his personal worth is $50,000.
Then he married Eliza Catherine Jacob (1835-1864) on 1 May 1862. They had one child, a son named Samuel Howell Jones (1862-1894). Sadly, “Kate” died in 1864. I do not know what took him to Kentucky but I strongly suspect that it might have something to do with all the Louisville & Nashville Railroad stock in his estate accounts. Either Samuel was an investor or he was diversifying the family assets out of iron pipes to iron rails. A review of the family archive at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania will be necessary to complete this chapter.
The next time I find Samuel is in 1870 where he and his son are living at the southern tip of Lake George in the town of Caldwell. Their next door neighbor is a Mary Bishop, who may be a sister-in-law. By 1880, the pair have returned to Philadelphia but are living in a hotel or boarding house. They both appear in the 1882 Philadelphia city directory as living at 1010 Spruce St. When Samuel Sr. dies in 1883, the pair have retired to St. Lucie, Florida due to Samuel’s poor health.
According to his obituary in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Samuel held property in Louisville, KY as well as over 25,000 acres in New Jersey. The final statement says it all: “He was a man noted for his quiet and unostentatious liberality in many public and private channels, and although excessively retiring in his disposition, was much beloved by the limited circle of friends who both knew and esteemed him.”
A review of Samuel H. Jones’s Will and estate provides further enlightenment on the myriad things that Samuel was involved in and also gives some pause as to the family dynamics. The will establishes right off an annuity to be paid to brothers Richard and Benjamin W. Jones. The rest of the estate, including the lovely description “remainder of my estate real, personal and mixed whatsoever and wheresoever in possession, reversion, or remainder” was put in a trust to benefit the children of his son Samuel H. Jones Jr. The person responsible for maintaining this trust was Anthony Jones Morris, Samuel’s nephew. There is a considerable amount of money and assets at stake here and I would imagine that Anthony J. Morris was busy juggling the demands of family for some time. However, in 1887 he appears to have petitioned the courts to request that the trust be administered by the Camden Trust Company.
Samuel appears to have felt that his brothers, especially, needed looking after. I imagine that the demands of family life were a trial for this quiet man. I especially like this description of him from an agriculture writer: