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Early Settler – James C. Jones – Hillside Cemetery, Edwards, Kansas

James C. Jones, his wife, Elizabeth, and their two children were early settlers of Ford County.

On the 8th of November 1835 in New Hampshire, James Chase Jones was born to Asa Gould and Caroline Jones. The family moved to New York where Asa was working as a teamster and James rode shotgun on a stagecoach. In 1855, the family moved to Illinois. James served in the 8th IL Cavalry.

After the war, James met and married Elizabeth Middleton on March 12, 1868. Elizabeth was born in England in 1844. She came to America with her parents at the age of eight.

James and Elizabeth were blessed with two children. Nettie was born in 1868 and Charles was born two years later. A decision was made in 1877 to head west. They had enough fare to take them to Offerle, Ford County. They settled seven miles east of Spearville.

Several years later, James was able to purchase an additional ¼ section under the Timber Culture Act. The qualifications were to plant forty acres of timber and maintain it. The Act encouraged farmers to grow timber on treeless plains.

A family story recounts the following: “The family had arrived at Offerle, in an immigrant car into which they put livestock, wagon, tools, equipment, household goods and furniture . . .” The family lived in a wagon until the house was built. The site of their house was built along the Santa Fe Trail and many travelers used it as a resting place. James operated a freighter wagon and traveled the trail many times.

James passed away at the old homestead on October 19, 1923 and is buried in Hillside Cemetery. Elizabeth, his wife, died on June 8, 1900 and is buried next to her husband.

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