Facts and Events
||Reuben Pettijohn Jones
||21 Apr 1882
||Wright, Iowa, United StatesEagle Grove Township
||Palo Alto, Iowa, United StatesWalnut Township
||11 Mar 1909
||Mountrail, North Dakota, United Statesreceived US land patent
||22 Dec 1909
||Stanley, Mountrail, North Dakota, United Statesto Ingeborg Uglum
||Mountrail, North Dakota, United States
||21 Mar 1918
||North Dakotamentioned in father's probate
||12 Sep 1918
||Mountrail, North Dakota, United StatesRegistered for draft
||Mountrail, North Dakota, United States
||Tioga, Williams, North Dakota, United States
||Tioga, Williams, North Dakota, United Statesreferenced in sister's obituary
||27 Jul 1957
||Austin, Mower, Minnesota, United States
||1 Aug 1957
||Austin, Mower, Minnesota, United States
Reuben Jones was born 21 April 1882, on a farm in Wright County, Iowa, near Eagle Grove and the Boone River. He was the sixth son and ninth child of George Washington and Eliza Bliss Liscum Jones. Soon after his birth, the family moved to Palo Alto County, where three more of Reuben’s sisters were born. When Reuben was not quite six his mother died, giving birth to his youngest sister.
Already beset by financial difficulties, Reuben’s father farmed the younger children out to friends, neighbors, and the older children, and left home. During that time, Reuben acquired an autograph book, which became one of his prized possessions. Along with autographs of siblings and friends, he recorded many of the events in his life. On the first page, for example, he wrote his birthdate. His book and the memories of one daughter add a personal touch to the documented details of his life.
Where Reuben stayed immediately after his mother died is not clear. His oldest brother, Del, apparently remained in Palo Alto County, where he married in 1893. In February 1895, Del and his wife Mary both signed Reuben’s autograph book, as did his brother Stephen and his wife Maggie, although this could have been the occasion of a partial family re-union in Rodman. Their father apparently returned home once after their mother died, possibly about this same time. He apparently asked for the money being paid to Reuben from the farmer for whom Reuben worked (and with whom he lived?), but the farmer refused, saying "That's Rube's savings. He earned it!"
By 1900, Reuben was boarding and working with a family near his brothers Stephen and Frank, and Del had moved elsewhere. Other members of the family, Reuben’s sisters Anna and Neva and brothers Henry and Edward, were living in Dickinson County, Iowa. In spite of the moves, Reuben maintained contact with at least some of his siblings. Both Anna and Neva signed his autograph book when he visited them in 1901. He maintained contact with some of the other friends of his childhood, as well. Two, Charles and Ernest Stillman, attended Reuben’s funeral fifty years later.
The prospect of moving to North Dakota may have been discussed when Reuben visited Anna and Neva in 1901, as that is about the time his brothers Henry and Edward moved to Richland County, in the southeast corner of the state. Unlike Henry and Edward, however, Reuben moved to the northwest corner of the state, arriving in Tioga, Williams County, on June 24, 1903, a date he recorded in his autograph book. Reuben may have been drawn by the prospect of claiming government land. He received a patent for land in Mountrail County in March 1909. Six months later, he married Isobel Uglum, a school teacher, and they began their family in the tarpaper shack built to prove Reuben’s claim.
In the winter of 1915-16, they were visited by Reuben’s father and his adopted grandson, George Moss Jones. In the words of Reuben’s daughter,
- “Dad and Mother were watching the weather closely one late fall afternoon through the window in the kitchen of their second Claim home, the Synsteby place. It had slightly more room and was more comfortable than their tarpaper shacks. Mother noticed a horse-drawn "rig" coming up their lane from the main road. She asked Dad who that could be, and his answer was "I think it's the Old Man." And, it was.”
- They had “traveled by a horse-drawn wagon or "rig" to visit in North Dakota in 1915-1916. They got as far as Mom and Dad's on their return trip to Wyoming and were stranded there by the heavy snowfall. The storm was so severe that they tied a rope from the barn to the house to be sure they didn't wander off. I have a picture of GWJ carrying a milk pail--with the "rig" outlined in the background. Dad hadn't heard from his father for 28 years.”
- ” The snow piled up until everything was at a standstill. There was no way they could resume their trek home. They stayed the winter. Grandfather and his adopted son slept in the unheated attic. Mother cooked, washed and mended their clothes. My sister was almost 3 years old, and Mother was pregnant with me! Grandpa and George must have left the last week in March or early April, and I was born May 2! It was a difficult time, but the folks always put family first.”
It was the last time that Reuben would see his father, as he died not much later.
While his father was visiting in North Dakota, Reuben must have written to his sister Ona in Missouri, as she wrote asking for information about the family. Reuben wrote down some of the answers his father gave. As Reuben’s daughter comments, “Dad's note reveals his "6th grade" education. His ability to compose and express himself in written form improved much with age. He loved to read, and could "juggle" figures and accounts with the best of "them."” He, and presumably Isabel, had a strong belief in education, enough, apparently, that they lived in town in the 1930s when their girls were attending school, while boarding two other school-age children as well. His daughter commented, “Even in the depth of the Depression Years, they always told us girls, "WHEN you go to college--never "IF you go to college." Dad farmed in North Dakota, and supported 3 daughters through college (BA) in the depth of those Depression and Bank-closing years.”
After the children were grown and on their own, Reuben retired from farming. On September 18th, 1944, he added another note to his autograph book: “Packing goods for move to Adams, MN after 41 years & 3 months in this locality.” He apparently moved soon after to the nearby town of Austin, where he “bought and sold real estate--mostly homes. He had the needed capital and the business know-how to supplement their income. And, he enjoyed going to sales, etc.” He also continued to visit family and friends. He and his family had visited his brother Henry during the years he lived on the farm, and at least once they visited his sister Lottie when she moved to Minnesota. Then, in 1947, Reuben and Isobel "spent the winter in Portland with one of my mother's sisters and her husband. He was terminally ill. They made the effort to visit Aunt Neva, and on their way back home to Austin, MN, they visited Aunt Anna in Denver.” His ability to maintain contact with family and long-time friends was apparent when he died and they, along with “many other friends from Adams, Elkton, Lyle and Minneapolis" attended his funeral in 1957.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Reuben Jones' Handwritten Note , in Jones Family Documents, Primary quality.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Lila Campbell , in Jones Family email, Secondary quality.
According to his father, "Rube was borne on Boon[e] River Midleton place, Right [Wright] County Iowa. 6 Mi S.W." Reuben himself claimed that he was born in Eagle Grove. Eagle Grove is located near the Boone River.
- ↑ Walnut, Palo Alto County; FHL #1240452, in United States. Census Office. 12th census, 1900. 1900 U.S. Census Population Schedule. (Washington, District of Columbia, United States: The National Archives, 19--?), HH 113, Fam 116, Primary quality.
Jones, Reuben, boarder, white male, born April 1881, age 19, single, born Iowa, parents birthplace blank, farm labourer, unemployed 8 months of previous year, able to read and write, speak English
in home of Millea James, age 39, married 8 years, born Iowa, both parents born Ireland, farmer, with wife, 1-year old daughter, 14-year old adopted son and 16-year old adopted daughter
HH 105, family 108; Jones, Stephen L., and family
- ↑ Townhip 158, Range 94, Mountrail County; FHL #1375156 , in United States. Bureau of the Census. 13th census, 1910. North Dakota, 1910 federal census : population schedules. (Washington [District of Columbia]: The National Archives, 19--?), HH 103, Family 88, Primary quality.
Jones, P. Ruben [sic], head, white male, age 28, 1st marriage (0 years), born Iowa, father and mother born US (English), speaks English, Farmer on Homestead, able to read and write, owns farm with mortgage (Schedule 100)
, Isabel, wife, white female, age 23, 1st marriage (0 years), born Norway, both parents born Norway, immigrated 1890, speaks English, teacher at rural school, working April 15, 1910; unemployed 22 weeks during 1909, able to read and write
- ↑ George W. Jones Probate, in George Jones Documents, Primary quality.
- ↑ Bicker Township (158, R94), Montrail, in United States. Bureau of the Census. 14th census, 1920. North Dakota, 1920 federal census : soundex and population schedules. (Washington [District of Columbia]: The National Archives, 193-?), HH 12, Family 12, Primary quality.
Jones, R. B., head, owns farm with mortgage, white male, age 37, married, able to read and write, born Iowa, both parents born Wisconsin, speaks English, farmer on general farm
, Asubel [sic], wife, white female, age 33, married, immigrated 1891, Naturalized, able to read and write, born Norway, both parents born Norway, speaks English
, Ada, daughter, white female, age 6, not attending school, born North Dakota, father born Iowa, mother born Norway
, Sila [sic], daughter, white female, age 3 6/12, single, born North Dakota, father born Iowa, mother born Norway
, Gertrude, daughter, age 1 2/12, white female, single, born North Dakota, father born Iowa, mother born Norway
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Jones Family Obituaries, Secondary quality.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Tioga Village, Williams, North Dakota, in United States. 1930 U.S. Census Population Schedule. (National Archives Microfilm Publication T626), HH 6, Fam 6, Primary quality.
Johns, R. P., owns worth $2000, age 47, married age 28, b. IA, both parents b. WI, farmer general farm
, Isabel, wife, 43, married age 24, b. Norway, both parents b. Norway, immigrated 1889, naturalized
, Ada, dau, 17, b. ND
, Lila, dau, 13, b. ND
, Gertrude, dau, 11, b. Nd
Stipe, Time, roomer, 14, b. ND, fa b. IL, mo b. ND
Volla, Mirtheres, roomer, 14, b. ND, fa b Norway, mo b. ND
Ugstad, Marvin, roomer, 19, single, b. Canada, fa b. MN, mo b. WI,
immigrated 1920, Naturalized [crossed out in original], farm laborer
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Minnesota, United States. Death Index, 1904-2001, Secondary quality.
Reuben P. Jones, b. 21 Apr 1882, d. 27 Jul 1957, Mower County
Mother's Maiden Name: Liscolm [sic]
Certificate #010699, Record #1342375
- ↑ United States. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1509), Serial #249, Order #a148, Primary quality.
Reuben Pettijohn Jones
Address: RFD One, White Earth, Mountrail, ND
Age 36, b. 21 Apr 1882, farmer
Nearest Relative: Isabell U. Jones, RFD One, White Earth, Mountrail, ND
Signed Reuben Pettijohn Jones
Description: tall, medium build, blue eyes, dark brown hair
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 United States. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records.
Jones, Reuben P, 160 acres, Mountrail County, North Dakota, Issue Date: 3/11/1909 [11 Mar 1909]
NE1/4 Sec 31, R158N, T094W
Authority: May 20, 1862: Homestead Entry Original (12 Stat. 392)
Accession Nr: 50703
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 Reuben Jones Autograph Book, Secondary quality.