Skip to main content

Full text of "Samuel Minot Jones; the story of an Amherst boy"

See other formats


^ tfS* 




. Jones. Library , Inc.*— 







77^07 A 



Copyright, 1922, by 
Thk Jones Library, Inc. 




Amherst, mother of men, has had many children, 
soldiers and scholars, readers and writers, tillers of the 
soil and master craftsmen, adventurers and missionaries 
of the cross : but no one of these has been more grateful, 
or shown his gratitude in a more fitting manner, than 
Samuel Minot Jones. He received both from his father 
and from his mother those traits of New England char- 
acter, developed in a long line of ancestors, physical 
strength and intellectual vigor, magnanimity of soul and 
decision of character, industry and perseverance, public 
spirit and patriotism, morality and religious faith, which 
he so utilized as to make himself always the man for the 
emergency, a brave soldier, a pioneer in unbeaten paths, 
a successful business man, a loving son, brother, hus- 
band, father and friend, and a public benefactor. 


I. Heredity 1 

II. Birth and Early Education 12 

III. The Soldier in the Civil War 53 

IV. The Man of Business 68 

V. Private Life 77 

VI. The Jones Library 87 


Samuel Minot Jones 

The Minot House, Dorchester, Mass. . 
Mary Minot's House, Enfield, Mass. 

Thomas Jones 

The Thomas Jones House, Enfield, Mass. . 
Interior of the Thomas Jones House, 

Enfield, Mass 

"The Homestead on the Hill," Amherst, 


Amherst Academy 

Cutler's Store 

The Meeting House 

Amherst Landscape, Holyoke Range, 1840 

The Morristown Home 

The Morristown Study 

Mrs. Harriet Stenger Jones and Son . 

Minot Jones 

The Jones Library Board of Trustees 

Facing page 7 




Samuel Minot Jones was born in Enfield, Massachu- 
setts, September 16, 1836. His mother was Mary Hub- 
bard (Field) Jones, a lineal descendant of Hubertus 
de la Field who came from Colmar near Strasburg in 
Alsatia on the German border of France. He was a 
member of the family of the Counts de la Field, who 
resided at Colmar as early as the sixth century. He 
came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066, 
and in 1068 held land in Lancaster, granted to him by 
the Conqueror for military service. 

Zechariah Field, of a later generation, who was the 
son of John Field and grandson of Sir John Field, was 
born in Ardsly, England, in 1600 and emigrated to 
Boston and settled in Dorchester in 1630. He moved 
to Hartford, Connecticut, in 1636 and came to Hadley 
in 1659 and to Northampton later. In 1663 he went to 
Hatfield, where he died in 1669. His youngest son, 
Joseph Field, settled in Sunderland, on the site of the 
present Congregational Church, and died February 15, 
1736. Joseph's son Jonathan married Esther Smith of 
Hatfield and in 1752 moved to Long Plain, Leverett. 
He was a Captain in the Indian Wars and a brave 
soldier. His son, Seth Field, born in 1741, married 
Mary Hubbard of Sunderland in 1764 and settled in 



Leverett. Martin Field, the third son of Seth, born 
January 12, 1778, was a graduate of Williams College 
in 1798, studied law in Chester, Vermont, and practiced 
his profession in Newfane, Vermont. He was attor- 
ney of Windham County, a member of the General 
Assembly, and Major General of the First Division of 
the Vermont Militia. 

General Field, February 21, 1802, married Esther 
Smith Kellogg, daughter of Daniel Kellogg of Am- 
herst, who died June 6, 1867. She was educated at 
Maplewood Seminary in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. On 
her return home she decorated the parlor of her father's 
house with mural paintings illustrating agricultural 
scenes. She was a woman of fine personal appearance 
and of many accomplishments. Her father served as 
selectman of Amherst and as a soldier in the Revolution. 
His father, Daniel, born in Hadley, came to Amherst 
about 1745 and settled on East Street. The only 
daughter of General Martin Field and Esther Smith 
Kellogg was Mary Hubbard Field, the mother of 
Samuel Minot Jones. She was born in Newfane, Ver- 
mont, September 13, 1804. She was educated at the 
famous school of Emma Willard in Troy, New York. 
Her brother, Roswell Martin Field, was the Nestor of 
the Missouri Bar and the father of Eugene Field, the 
poet. She married Theodore Francis French, a leading 
merchant of Troy, New York, who died September 11, 
1828. They had three children, Mary Field French, 
born June 30, 1825, died April 15, 1900; Theodore 
Francis French, born May 3, 1827, died June 30, 1828; 
Theodore F. French, born December 11, 1828, died 
September 21, 1865. For her second husband she 



married, December 24, 1835, Thomas Jones and left 
Newfane, Vermont, to make a new home in Enfield, 

Thomas Jones, the father of Samuel Minot Jones, 
was a lineal descendant of John Jones, who died June 
22, 1673, and whose wife was named Dorcas. Their 
son, Samuel Jones, was born in Cambridge, Massachu- 
setts, in 1648, married Elizabeth Potter January 16, 
1672, and died in 1717. Samuel's son Nathaniel was 
born in 1676, married Mary Rait, September 1, 1696, 
and died March 22, 1745. Their son Elnathan, born 
March 29, 1697, married September 22, 1721, Hannah 
Pierce, born 1701, died 1730. He died July 29, 1772. 
Elnathan Jones, Jr., the father of Thomas Jones, was 
born the son of Elnathan Jones and Hannah Pierce in 
1736, married Mary Minot February 10, 1774, and died 
February 27, 1793. He was a prominent citizen of 
Concord, Massachusetts, and a prosperous merchant 
engaged in the East India trade. Thomas Jones was 
born March 6, 1787, and died in Amherst October 21, 

Mary Minot, the grandmother of Samuel Minot 
Jones, after whom he was named, was a remarkable 
woman, inheriting the best traits from a distinguished 
ancestry. She was the eighth child of Deacon Samuel 
Minot of Concord, Massachusetts, and the fifth child of 
his second wife, Dorcas Prescott, whom he married in 
1738. He died in Concord March 17, 1766, and Dorcas 
died June 13, 1803, aged ninety-one years. Mary 
Minot was born October 5, 1755, and died December 20, 
1845, aged ninety years. 

Deacon Samuel Minot was born March 25, 1706, the 



son of James Minot, the tenth child. This James Minot, 
Mary's grandfather, was born September 14, 1653, was 
graduated from Harvard College in 1675, studied 
divinity and physic and kept the grammar school in 
Dorchester in 1679. Later he moved to Concord, 
Massachusetts, where he practiced medicine and taught 
school. In 1685 he was preaching in Stow. He served 
as justice of the peace in 1692. He was a Captain in 
the militia and represented his town in the legislature. 
He was a man of versatile talents and of sterling char- 
acter. He married Rebecca Wheeler, daughter of Cap- 
tain Timothy Wheeler, the founder of the ministerial 
fund in Concord, and inherited the homestead of his 
father-in-law near the residence of the Hon. Daniel 
Shattuck, where he died September 20, 1735, at the age 
of eighty-three. 

These epitaphs in the Hill burying ground, Concord, 
where he and his wife were buried, bear testimony to 
the high esteem in which both were held by their 

Here is interred the remains of 

James Minott Esq. A. M. an 

Excelling Grammarian, enriched 

with the gift of prayer and preaching, 

A Commanding officer, a Physician of Great Value, 

a Great Lover of Peace as well as of justice and, 

which was His greatest Glory, a Gent'n of distinguished 

Virtue and Goodness, happy in a Virtuous Posterity, 

and living religiously died Comfortably, 

September 20, 1735 Aet 83. 



Here is interred the body of 
Mrs. Rebecca Minott Ye Virtuous 
Consort of James Minott, Esq. 
and daughter of Capt. Timothy Wheeler. 
She was a person of Serious piety and abounding 
Charity, of great usefulness in Her Day and a pattern 
of Patience and Holy Submission under a long Con- 
finement and resigned Her Soul with joy in her Re- 
deemer, September 23, 1735. Aged 68. 

This famous James Minott was the second son of 
Capt. John Minott and Lydia Butler of Dorchester, 
whose estate was valued at £978/5. He was born 
April 2, 1626, and married Lydia Butler May 19, 1647. 
Captain John's father was Elder George Minott, who 
was the son of Thomas Minott, Esq., of Saffron, 
Walden, Essex, England, born August 4, 1594. 

This Thomas Minott was among the first Pilgrim 
emigrants in Massachusetts and the first settlers of 
Dorchester. His residence was near Neponset Bridge 
and he owned the land which has been known as S quan- 
tum. He was a freeman in 1634, representative of the 
town 1635-1636 and for thirty years a ruling elder in 
the church. He died December 24, 1671, with an estate 
valued at £277/7/7. His death was much lamented by 
the town whose weal he sought and whose liberties he 
defended. He was contemporary with Elder Hum- 
phrey. In the ancient Dorchester burying ground these 
quaint lines carved on the tombstone tell the story of 
his service: 

Here lie the bodies of Unite Humphrey and Shining Minot. 
Such names as these, they never die not. 



A picture of the house in Dorchester occupied by 
Elder George Minott has been preserved and used to 
illustrate Winsor's "History of Boston." President 
Timothy Dwight of Yale College tells a story of an 
incident connected with this house which gives a vivid 
impression of the courage, self-control and heroism 
which marked even the women and children of the house- 
hold of the Minott family in those early times- 
While Mr. and Mrs. George Minott were absent, hav- 
ing gone to Boston, an Indian, left by a roving band, 
attempted to avenge his chief for some fancied injury 
caused by Elder Minott's refusal to grant a demand for 
supplies. This Indian, coming out of the bushes where 
he had been concealed, tried to enter the house, but failed 
because the maid, warned by her master, had barred the 
door. Concealing the two children under brass kettles 
with instructions to keep quiet, she seized a musket and 
guarded the house. The redman's shot missed its mark, 
but returning the fire the maid shot him through the 
shoulder. Ignoring his wound the man made a rush to 
climb in the window. Here he was stopped by a shovel- 
ful of red-hot coals thrown in his face. He fled to the 
woods, where his dead body was found the next day. 
For this act of heroism the girl was honored by the Gov- 
ernment of Massachusetts Bay, from which she re- 
ceived a silver wristband with the motto inscribed upon 
it, "She slew the Narrhaganset Hunter." 

Such were the ancestors of Marv Minot. From them 
she inherited intellectual power, varied talents, a strong 
body, brilliant traits and a resolute spirit. In The Jones 
Library is preserved a rare volume, a quarto, bound in 
calfskin, showing the marks of long use. It was pub- 













lished 1766 in London by Mark Baskett. It contains 
the Apocrypha and the following inscription: "Mary 
Minott. Her Bible. The Gift of her mother, Dorcas 
Minott, November 27, 1766." Mary was only eleven 
years old when she received this precious volume which 
she kept until her death, using it for eighty years as the 
light of her pathway, and then bequeathing it as a rich 
legacy to her children. In it she recorded the birth of 
her seven children, three daughters and four sons. Here 
also is recorded her own death and that of her children 
and grandchildren, as well as their marriages. 

Mrs. Mary Minot Jones was a leader in the social 
circles of Concord in her day, a famous beauty, whose 
portrait Gilbert Stuart was pleased to paint. As the 
wife of Captain Elnathan Jones, the successful East 
India merchant, her home was filled with the treasures 
of the Orient, many of which were long preserved as 
heirlooms in the family. During the Revolutionary 
War, Captain Jones and his wife were among the lead- 
ing patriots. 

"There were received," so the records of those days 
show, "from Mr. Daniel Cheever of Charlestown 20 
loads of stores containing 20,000 pounds of musket balls 
and cartridges, 50 reams of cartridge paper, 206 tents, 
113 iron spades, 51 wood axes, 201 bill hooks, 19 sets of 
harnesses, 24 boxes of candles, 14 chests of medicine, 27 
hogsheads of wooden ware, 1 hogshead of matches, 20 
bushels of oatmeal, 5 iron worms for cannon, rammers, 
etc." These were stored at Captain Elnathan Jones', 
Joshua Bonds', W. Houghby Prescott's, James Hay- 
wood's, Colonel Barrett's and the town house, and 5 
tierces of rice at Deacon George Minott's. 



Hearing of these stores, the British sent out an expedi- 
tion from Boston to seize them. But when the soldiers 
came to Captain Elnathan Jones' East India Ware- 
house where many supplies were concealed, Mary 
Minott, the Captain's wife, was equal to the occasion. 
She invited the British officers into her parlor, served 
them the best wine and entertained them with games of 
cards played on her mahogany table. Her fascinating 
and charming hospitality proved so attractive that her 
guests forgot all about the supplies until the patriots 
had sufficient time to remove them to a place of safety. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson and others have told this story 
of Mary Minott's quick wit and patriotic service, for 
the inspiration of her posterity. 

Mrs. Mary Minot Jones on her wedding day, when 
she married for her second husband Robert Field, Esq., 
made a sensation as she came into the church beautifully 
dressed. Her bonnet was the latest creation of the 
Boston milliners. Her second husband was a justice of 
the peace, selectman for five years, representative of the 
town in the legislature 1801-1804, an innkeeper, a manu- 
facturer and for many years a leading man in the com- 
munity. It was in his honor that, when the southern dis- 
trict of Greenwich was constituted a town by itself, it 
was called Enfield. The house he built in 1776, to which 
he took his new wife, still stands, although one only of 
the two elms that shaded it now survives. Mrs. Mary 
Minot Field's reputation as a good cook and house- 
keeper as well as leader in society still persists and her 
recipe for cake has been handed down from mother to 

Mary Minot was the mother of seven children, of 















whom three were ffirls and four boys. After the Revolu- 
tion times changed. The East India trade was no 
longer prosperous. Her husband died February 27, 
1793. Ten years later, May 8, 1803, she married Robert 
Field, Esq., who had fought at Bunker Hill, and went 
to live in a fine house which he built in Enfield, where 
her sons developed the water power and manufactured 
satinets and other fabrics. One of their factories was 
named the Minot Mill. Her son, Samuel Jones, died in 
Enfield September 26, 1819. The three remaining sons, 
Elnathan, Marshall and Thomas, carried on the business 
for many years and their families became the patrons of 
the industrial, social and religious life of the community. 
Dr. Francis H. Underwood in his story of Enfield, 
written in 1892, gives the following account of the life 
there of Mary Minot and her sons : "A few houses in the 
village had an indefinable charm for those who remem- 
bered their former occupants. There is one in a com- 
manding position near the crossroads which is venerable 
in slow decay, and out of relations with modern neigh- 
bors. Two ancient elms tower over the grounds and 
are seen afar. One of the patriots who fought at Bunker 
Hill built the house, then considered a mansion. His 
wife, the descendant of a Huguenot family, had three 
sons by a former marriage ; and these in their maturity, 
were the only persons in Quabbin (the name by which 
Enfield was then known) that could in the strict sense 
be called Gentlemen. The bright old lady long sur- 
vived her husband and made a striking picture as she 
moved about in her wheeled-chair, accompanied by one 
of her sons, a grave and stately man who lived with her. 
Another son built a dwelling nearer the meeting house. 



It appeared to be the dream of some inspired carpenter, 
a dream of wooden pilasters, wreaths and scrolls, with 
a fretwork balustrade of wheel patterns upon the eaves 
and an arched and decorated gateway all in a glittering 
white. Hillside terraces at the rear with flower beds and 
fruit trees were to youthful eyes like the hanging 
gardens of Babylon. The owner, with his tropical com- 
plexion of pale orange, his gold-rimmed spectacles and 
his distinguished manners, in which dignity, courtesy 
and kindness had equal share, was a wonderful person in 
Quabbin society years ago. For he had actually sailed 
around the world; his cheeks had acquired their rich 
color in China, where he had been a tea merchant; the 
bronze idols and the great vases that adorned his rooms 
had come from farthest East. Besides he knew Euro- 
pean capitals, and along with his well-earned wealth, he 
had brought to the village an aroma from spice lands, 
a knowledge of the world, and the grand air that so 
becomes a traveled man. 

"The third of the brothers, a manufacturer, built a 
fine house, but with less ornament, on a knoll not far 
distant. All three could have been presented with credit 
at any court. They spoke the language of the educated 
world; but, along with their somewhat ceremonious 
manners they had a sense of what was due to others, 
especially to humble neighbors, and as they were public 
spirited, just and generous, they were respected and 
loved. No one envied them their good fortune — a rare 
experience whether in Quabbin or elsewhere. 

"The sombre old house with its two elms connected the 
village with the by-gone days of the Colony; and the 


Thomas Jones 


little old lady, while she lived, was a link with the great 
world, as her family was justly distinguished 

"A circle of brilliant associations ended for Quabbin 
when the places of the three brothers knew them no 
more. Relatives from the county town and from Boston 
used to enliven the village and the country roads in sum- 
mer, charming and cultivated ladies, budding clergymen 
and lawyers, the usual gathering of people of leisure at 
hospitable country houses. After the end of the old 
regime they came no more. Neither the balustraded villa 
near the meeting house, nor the ancient, sombre, elm- 
shaded mansion, ever knew again the gaiety of former 

The youngest of these three sons of Mary Minot was 
Thomas Jones, the father of Samuel Minot Jones. He 
married for his first wife Elizabeth M. Lyman of North- 
ampton, June 3, 1829. In 1826, he and his brother, 
Marshall Jones, organized the Swift Manufacturing 
Company, which for eleven years manufactured satinets. 
This company was succeeded by the Minot Company, 
in which Marshall Jones was the senior partner. 



Thomas Jones, in 1829, bought four acres of land, 
including a knoll in the village of Enfield near the cross- 
roads, and built upon this site a commodious country- 
house to which he brought from Northampton his first 
wife. She was the mother of his two sons, Thomas and 
William. After her death he married Mary Hubbard 
Field French, the widow of Theodore Francis French. 
When she became mistress of the Enfield home, the 
family included her daughter, Mary Field French, ten 
years old, and her son Theodore, aged seven, in addition 
to the two sons of Mr. Jones. 

The house was none too large for such a household. 
It was thoroughly built and stands today, after ninety- 
three years' service, one of the best residences in the 
town. The front, forty feet in width, is shaded by the 
spreading branches of elms and maples. The depth is 
one hundred feet, including the annex in the rear. A 
large broad hall is entered through a wide door fastened 
with a double lock. The front and back parlors are 
separated by folding doors which, when opened, make 
a capacious apartment for entertaining many guests. 
The floors are southern pine. The mantel over the fire- 
place and the rest of the woodwork are decorated with 
hand carving. The dining-room is connected with an 


















ample kitchen which contained the open fireplace and 
the brick oven. There is one bedroom on the ground 
floor and five on the second floor. The stairs leading up 
from the front hall are beautifully carved and protected 
by a handsome baluster. 

A broad sandstone step leads up to the front door. 
The addition to the southwest afforded opportunity for 
the many household tasks essential to the support of 
family life in the first half of the nineteenth century. 
The outbuildings were suited to the mansion house. 
From the lawn at the rear of the house and from the 
upper windows an extensive view of the valley and 
surrounding hills toward the south and west can be 

In this fine homestead, one of the best in the town, 
Samuel Minot Jones was born September 16, 1836, and 
here he spent the first three years of his life. The infant 
boy had the best of care, with pure air to breathe and 
food that gave strength to his muscles and vitality to his 
nervous system. 

But it was fortunate for him that Enfield should not 
remain his home for the years of his youth. Shut in on 
all sides by hills and mountains, the narrow valley fur- 
nished scant subsistence for the farmers, while the sterile 
hillsides, in spite of the toil expended upon their stony 
acres, produced a class of people devoid of culture and 
denied opportunities for developing the best elements 
of manhood. Intemperance prevailed and immorality 
was common in the back districts. The schools were of 
an inferior grade. The Calvinistic doctrines of the 
Puritan Church tended to give a somber cast to religious 



life. Few were elected to be saved and the broad way 
was crowded with multitudes. 

The Jones brothers and their friends brought with 
them from Concord a new element of progressive civil- 
ization. The East India trade having been made profit- 
less by the War of 1812, the Jones family turned to 
manufacturing to supply the demand for goods which 
household industries could no longer provide. In En- 
field they found in Swift River a good water power 
and in the people good operatives, which discovery justi- 
fied the erection of the Minot mill and other factories 
that for a time brought wealth to the owners and pros- 
perity to the community. But conditions soon changed. 
The panic of 1837 unsettled the business of the whole 
country. Moreover, the construction of the Boston & 
Albany trunk line of railroad left Enfield and its fac- 
tories unable to compete with other mills whose raw 
material and finished products could be transported by 

The Swift Company failed in 1837 and Thomas Jones 
was obliged to seek his fortune elsewhere. Having 
friends in Northampton and Leverett he found in Am- 
herst a new field for his business ability. In addition 
to its manufacturing facilities Amherst's social and edu- 
cational advantages appealed to him and his wife with 
their family of boys and girls for whom Enfield schools 
provided no adequate means for education. 

In North Amherst were a good water power and a 
community able to furnish the needed working people. 
Thomas Jones therefore closed his business in Enfield 
and made a new start in Amherst. In March, 1839, he 
sold his Enfield house to Alvin Smith and April 26 of 


,v*- row 















the same year he made a contract with Robert Cutler 
that he should build a house on Amity Street in Amherst 
as good as the one he had built in Oak Grove for Luke 
Sweetser. It should be located on the two acres of land 
bought of Elisha Pomeroy Cutler. It must have two 
stories, the ceilings eleven feet high on the first floor and 
ten feet on the second, and there must be a piazza forty- 
two feet long with balustrades on top. 

Into this house Samuel Minot Jones was taken when 
he was three years old and in it he spent his boyhood and 
youth. It was, as his father intended it to be, one of the 
best houses in the town and is today a beautiful mansion. 
For a generation it was a center of Amherst business, 
social and religious life. Here, after her husband's 
death, Mrs. Jones from 1864 to 1876 took care of her 
two nephews, Eugene Field and his brother Roswell, 
whom her daughter, Mary Field French, taught Eng- 
lish literature. In this house, largely through the influ- 
ence of Mrs. Jones, who contributed a thousand dollars 
for the purpose, Bishop Frederick D. Huntington or- 
ganized, September 20, 1864, Grace Episcopal Church. 
Here during his life her husband planned his business 
enterprises. Here gracious hospitality welcomed many 

After the death of Mrs. Jones the heirs sold the house 
to Hiram Heaton, October 7, 1879, who filled its 
grounds with choice trees, shrubbery and flowers. Here 
his daughter, Mary Heaton Vorse, learned to write 
stories which have proved almost as popular as Eugene 
Field's poems. Here too David Grayson (Ray Stan- 
nard Baker) lived before his present home on Sunset 
Avenue was finished. 



The years from 1840 to 1854 formed a period of 
transition from household industry, in which the pro- 
ducer was his own landlord, capitalist, business manager 
and laborer, to the era of capitalistic production and the 
minute division of labor. Thomas Jones, first in Enfield 
and later in Amherst, was a pioneer in the new age of 
New England community manufacturing. Many diffi- 
culties beset his way. Failures, however, became means 
to final success. Fire again and again destroyed his 
mills. But he persevered resolutely until he won at last 
a competence. 

In company with his brother, Elnathan Jones, in 
1842 he rebuilt the cotton mill in Factory Hollow, North 
Amherst. About this time he owned three mills there in 
which Kentucky jeans were made. These mills he sold 
to the Amherst Manufacturing Company, chartered in 
1846 by Thomas Jones, John S. Adams and J. M. 
Whitcomb. In 1845, in company with Bradley, he built 
a woolen mill which was burned in 1857. In 1852 he 
was a member of the Westville Company, which built a 
woolen mill on Meadow Street in North Amherst. His 
business interests, however, were not confined to Am- 
herst. He was a stockholder in many manufacturing 
concerns in western Massachusetts. He was at one time 
president of the Carew Paper Company at South 
Hadley Falls. 

Understanding the value of railroad transportation, 
in company with John Leland and Charles Adams he 
raised $72,000 for a railroad planned to run around 
Mount Holyoke at Hockanum and to pass through 
Amherst. His fellow townsmen showed their apprecia- 
tion of his public spirit by electing him in 1845 to the 


Tf • ■ 

















legislature. He served as a trustee of Amherst Acad- 
emy from July 14, 1841, to his death, October 21, 1853. 

The following notice, which appeared October 28, 
1853, in the Hampshire and Franklin Express, shows 
the esteem in which he was held by his fellow citizens : 

"The sudden death of Thomas Jones, Esq., strikes 
this community with more than ordinary surprise and 
sorrow. Though he had been very ill several months, 
for some weeks past he had been rapidly improving and 
was rejoicing in the prospect of speedy recovery. 

"We shared the hospitality of his house and table only 
the night before his death and found him serenely exult- 
ing in the luxury of returning health and renewed life. 
He remarked that it was the best day he had seen for a 
long time. At midnight a sudden alarm of fire awaked 
him out of sleep and before three o'clock his heart, which 
was doubtless the seat of his disease, had ceased to beat. 
How impressive the lesson to his friends and neighbors 
to be also ready. 

"The loss of Mr. Jones will be felt — how severelv it 
will be felt by the afflicted family, of which he was not 
only the support but also the joy, we dare not under- 
take to tell — but it will be felt by the whole community. 
His enterprise and public spirit, his large hospitality 
and liberal charity, his singular kindness and urbanity, 
will be remembered with affectionate regret, not only 
by the citizens of Amherst, but by strangers who occa- 
sionally visit the town, long after that pleasing and 
benignant face, so familiar in our streets and so welcome 
to our sight, shall have moldered to dust." 

After the death of her husband, Mrs. Mary Hubbard 
Field Jones continued as the head of her family and 



maintained her position as gracious hostess, social leader 
and religious worker until her death, January 9, 1879, 
at the age of seventy-four years. The Amherst Record 
in the notice of her death pays this tribute to her 
memory : 

"Mrs. Jones was a woman of very high character, 
highly esteemed by those with whom she was so long 
associated, and a wide circle of friends will mourn her 

Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Frederick 
Burgess, rector of Grace Church, and she was buried in 
West Cemetery, where a granite monument marks the 
plot containing her remains resting by the side of those 
of her husband. 

A tablet in her honor has been placed at the left of the 
pulpit in Grace Church. The inscription names her as 
one of the founders of the church. 

Amherst during the years from 1839 to 1854, in which 
Samuel Minot Jones grew from infancy to young man- 
hood, furnished an excellent environment for the de- 
velopment of those traits and characteristics which he 
inherited from his distinguished ancestry. Nature's 
method of making good specimens of her handiwork in- 
volves two stages of progress. The first is isolation and 
protection: the second is the bursting of barriers, ex- 
pulsion, dispersion, thrusting her child out into the wide 
world to shift for himself, facing defeat and failure, or 
making stepping stones of difficulties to wrest success 
from untoward circumstances. At first the thistle is 
guarded at every part with sharp points: then it blos- 
soms and its silken petals are torn from their support 
and carried to distant fields to start a new life in a barren 



pasture. The nestling, so tenderly guarded by the 
eagle, in due time is cast out of the nest on the top of the 
crag to fly or fall. The Jewish boy is shut up in the 
shop in Nazareth for thirty years and then driven into 
the wilderness from whence he emerges a Son of Man, 
a new type of humanity. 

For fifteen years, from the age of three until he was 
eighteen years old, Sam Jones was an Amherst boy. In 
his home were two older half brothers, William and 
Thomas Jones, an older half sister, Mary Field French, 
and another older half brother, Theodore F. French, 
and a younger sister, Augusta Thayer Jones. The Am- 
herst house was commodious, but none too large for such 
a family of children. The yard was a big one overlook- 
ing the valley of the Connecticut. Immediately below 
stretched the Hadley meadows, out of which Mount 
Warner arose to hide the river, except in flood time 
when its waters rushed around the northern slope. To 
the south lay Mount Holyoke and, beyond, Mount 
Nonotuck and Mount Tom. There was a splendid big 
attic from whose western window could be seen gorgeous 
sunsets that glorified the evening skies as the sun ran his 
yearly course from Holvoke to Warner's northern 
slope. Past his house sometimes ran the stage to North- 
ampton, the shiretown, and many private teams bent on 
pleasure or driven on business. North of his house were 
the famous Cutler orchards. Down the hillside ran the 
brook that drained the marshy land between his house 
and the common. In winter time the coasting was 
splendid. The forests of white oak, of pine, of chestnut 
and of hickory afforded great opportunity for tramping 
and for filling one's bags with hickory nuts and chestnuts. 



Squirrels, rabbits, foxes, birds of all kinds abounded. 
There were trout in the brooks and pickerel in the ponds. 
But Sam was brought up to work. Play was not the 
chief end of boyhood. His father operated the mills at 
North Amherst and knew how to make his own boys as 
well as mill hands employ their time usefully. The care 
of the large house and grounds and the successful man- 
agement of such a household demanded that there 
should be no idlers and that each one should contribute 
according to his ability that he might draw from the 
general fund according to his need. 

Amherst was a country town with a broad outlook, 
but nevertheless shut in by the encircling hills. It was 
a long way to Boston, reached only by relays of stage 
horses. Springfield was a thriving village. Northamp- 
ton was little larger than Amherst. Horses were com- 
paratively few, and ox teams were the main reliance of 
the farmer. Wood was the fuel which boys were ex- 
pected to chop, saw, split and store in the woodshed and 
as needed heap up in the wood boxes. There were nu- 
merous great fireplaces in the Jones mansion and it was 
no slight task to keep the fires blazing during the long 

It was in this same homestead, under the care of 
Samuel Jones' mother and his sister, Mary French, 
that Eugene and Roswell Field were trained in their 
boyhood. Eugene's testimony as to the value of this 
environment enables one to understand how it must have 
influenced the older boy Samuel in his day. When 
asked who had exerted the most influence in shaping his 
life and character, Eugene Field at first said that it was 
his grandmother. But later he declared that he was 



sorry that he had said that, for after mature thought he 
was certain that the woman was Mary Field French. 
To her he dedicated his "Little Book of Western Verse" 
in a poem that shows how much she did for him. These 
are the verses : 

To Mary Field French 

A dying mother gave to you 
Her child a many years ago; 
How in your gracious love he grew, 
You know, dear, patient heart, you know. 

The mother's child you fostered then 
Salutes you now and bids you take 
These little children of his pen 
And love them for the author's sake. 

To you I dedicate this book, 
And, as you read it line by line, 
Upon its faults as kindly look 
As you have always looked on mine. 

Tardy the offering is and weak ; — 
Yet were I happy if I knew 
These children had the power to speak 
My love and gratitude to you. 

The influence of this New England homestead never 
left him. Traces of it appear again and again in his 
writings. Here is one of his pictures : 

We see it all — the pictur' that our mem'ries hold so dear — 
The homestead in New England far away, 
An' the vision is so nat'rul-like, we almost seem to hear 
The voices that were hushed but yesterday. 



Why the robins in the maples and the blackbirds round the pond, 

The crickets and the locusts in the leaves, 

The brook that chased the trout adown the hillside just beyond, 

An' the swallers in their nests beneath the eaves — 

They all come trooping back with you, dear Uncle Josh, today, 

An' they seem to sing with all the joyous zest 

Of the days when we were Yankee boys an' Yankee girls at play, 

With nary thought of livin' way out West. 

The brook that ran down the hillside northwest of the 
Amherst homestead made a lasting impression upon 
Eugene so that in after years he wrote: 

To a Little Brook 

You're not so big as you were then, 

O little brook !— 
I mean those hazy summers when 
We boys roamed, full of awe beside 
Your noisy, foaming tide, 
And wondered if it could be true 
That there were bigger brooks than you, 

O mighty brook, O peerless brook ! 


But once — O most unhappy day 

For you, my brook ! — 
Came Cousin Sam along that way ; 
And, having lived a spell out West, 
Where creeks aren't counted much at best, 
He neither waded, swam, nor leapt, 
But with superb indifference, stept 

Across that brook — our mighty brook. 


In his verses entitled "My Playmates" his memory- 
reverts to his Amherst boyhood and the Jones mansion 
on the hill : 

The wind comes whispering to me of the country green and cool, 
Of redwing blackbirds chattering beside a reedy pool ; 
It brings me soothing fancies of the homestead on the hill, 
And I hear the thrush's evening song and the robin's morning 

trill ; 
So I fall to thinking tenderly of those I used to know 
Where the sassafras and snakeroot and checkerberries grow. 

O cottage 'neath the maples, have you seen those girls and boys 
That but a little while ago made, oh! such pleasant noise? 

trees and hills and brooks, and lanes, and meadows, do you 

Where I shall find my little friends of forty years ago? 
You see I'm old and weary and I've traveled long and far; 

1 am looking for my playmates — I wonder where they are! 

One of these playmates was Mary Smith and in his 
lines to her he begins : 

Away down East where I was reared amongst my Yankee kith 
There used to live a pretty girl whose name was Mar} r Smith. 

Continuing he exclaims : 

How often now those sights, those pleasant sights recur again : 
The little township that was all the world I knew of then — 
The meeting-house upon the hill, the tavern just beyond, 
Old Deacon Packard's general store, the sawmill by the pond, 
The village elms I vainly sought to conquer in my quest 
Of that surpassing trophy, the golden oriole's nest. 



Roswell Martin Field, who shared with his brother 
Eugene the Amherst life, attributes to it much of the 
influence which shaped his character and developed his 
genius. In his sketch of Eugene's life, Roswell says : 

"The formative period of my brother's youth was 
passed in New England, and to the influences which still 
prevail in and around her peaceful hills and gentle 
streams, the influences of a sturdy stock which has sent 
so many good and brave men to the West for the up- 
building of the country and the upholding of what is 
best in Puritan tradition, he gladly acknowledged he 
owed much that was strong and enduring. While he 
gloried in the West and remained loyal to the section 
which gave him birth and in which he chose to cast his 
lot, he was not the less proud of his New England blood 
and not the less conscious of the benefits of a New Eng- 
land training. His boyhood was similar to that of other 
boys brought up with the best surroundings in a Massa- 
chusetts village, where the college atmosphere prevailed. 
He had his boyish pleasures and his trials, his share of 
that queer mixture of nineteenth-century worldliness 
and almost austere Puritanism which is yet characteristic 
of many New England families." 

Roswell thus describes how the literary atmosphere of 
Amherst led Eugene when a child to write his first 

"The family dog at Amherst, which was immortalized 
many years later with 'The Bench-Legged Fyce,' and 
which was known in his day to hundreds of students at 
the college on account of his surpassing lack of beauty, 
rejoiced originally in the honest name of Fido, but my 
brother rejected this name as commonplace and un- 



worthy and straightway named him 'Dooley' on the pre- 
sumption that there was something Hibernian in his 
face. It was to Dooley that he wrote his first poem, a 
parody on 'O Had I Wings Like a Dove,' a song then 
in good vogue. Near the head of the village street was 
the home of the Emersons, a large frame house, now 
standing for more than a century, and in the great yard 
in front the magnificent elms which are the glory of the 
Connecticut Valley. Many times the boys, returning 
from school, would linger to cool off in the shade of these 
glorious trees, and it was on one of these occasions that 
my brother put into the mouth of Dooley his maiden 
effort in verse : 

.. . 

O had I wings like a dove I would fly 
Away from this world of fleas ; 
I'd fly all around Miss Emerson's yard 
And light on Miss Emerson's trees. 

? JJ 

This house still stands, used as headquarters of the 
Amherst Historical Society and shaded by two magnifi- 
cent sycamore trees, but the great elms have both been 
broken down by time and stress of weather. 

How Amherst scenery affected Eugene, especially 
that seen from the Jones mansion, is thus described: 

"Throughout his writings may be found the most 
earnest appreciation of the joyousness and loveliness of 
a beautiful landscape, but as he would share it intellec- 
tually with his readers so it was a necessity that he could 
not seek it alone as an actuality. In his boyhood, in the 
full glory of a perfect day he loved to ramble through 
the woods and meadows, and delighted in the azure tints 
of the far-away Berkshire hills. 



"Acting was his strongest boyish passion. Even as a 
child he was a wonderful mimic and thereby the delight 
of his playmates and the terror of his teachers. He or- 
ganized a stock company among the small boys of the 
village and gave performances in the barn of one of the 
less scrupulous neighbors." 

That neighbor was Lucius Boltwood and the barn 
stood near the ground where now is located Pratt 
Memorial Dormitory at Amherst College. But the 
literary atmosphere of New England did not stimulate 
alone the dramatic and poetic genius of Eugene. It 
even compelled him before ten years of age to write a 
sermon showing the results of those arduous Sabbath 
days in the old meeting house on the hill. But the most 
powerful and lasting of all the many influences which 
shaped the life of Eugene Field during his boyhood in 
Amherst was revealed by Rev. Frank N. Bristol in these 
words quoted in Slason Thompson's biography of the 
poet, from the address given at the funeral : 

"I have said of my dear friend that he had a creed. 
His creed was love. He had a religion. His religion 
was kindness. He belonged to the church — the church 
of the common brotherhood of man. With all the 
changes that came to his definitions and formulas he 
never lost from his heart of hearts the reverence for 
sacred things learned in childhood and inherited from a 
sturdy Puritan ancestry. From that deep store of love 
and faith and reverence sprang the streams of his happy 
songs and ever was he putting into his tender verses 
those ideas of the living God, the blessed Christ, the 
ministering angels of immortal love, the happiness of 
heaven, which were instilled into his heart when a boy." 



The Jones mills at North Amherst produced material 
wealth, but the Jones home on Amity Street, where pre- 
sided Mary Hubbard Field Jones and her daughter, 
Mary Field French, opened its doors to the orphan boy 
from the wild West and so trained his passions wild 
and strong and so shaped his eccentric genius that he 
became the sweet singer of the nineteenth century whose 
songs still make music in the heart of humanity. 

Dr. James Tufts, who in his famous academy at Mon- 
son prepared Eugene Field for college, bears this testi- 
mony which explains much : 

"Mary Field French, a daughter of Mrs. Jones by 
her first husband, was a lady of strong mind, and much 
culture, with a sound judgment and decision of char- 
acter and very gracious manners. She was always 
sociable and agreeable and so admirably adapted to the 
charge of the two brothers. Here in this charming home, 
under the best New England influences and religious 
instruction, with nothing harsh or repulsive, the boys 
could not have found a more congenial home. Indeed 
few mothers are able or even capable of doing so much 
for their own children as Miss French did for these two 
brothers, watching over them incessantly, yet not spoil- 
ing them by weak indulgence or repelling them by harsh 

Such was the home life in which the bov Samuel Minot 
Jones shared and which was a potent factor in shaping 
his character. If Mrs. Jones did so much for the Field 
bovs what must she have done for her own son ? And if 
Mary Field French accomplished so much for her 
cousins, surely she must have been an inspiration to her 



brother Samuel, who was eleven years younger than 

But the Jones home was only one of many other 
similar homes in Amherst. At the present time the 
influence of many parents over their own children is 
greatly hindered by the conflicting customs and fashions 
of neighboring families. But seventy years ago the 
best families in Amherst were united in their common 
ideas and practices concerning the education and train- 
ing of the young. 

Professor John W. Burgess, who came to Amherst 
from eastern Tennessee during the Civil War, found 
this Massachusetts village with its peace, beauty and 
charming homes to be for him a Garden of Eden in con- 
trast with his own Southern home, which had been 
harried first by the Confederate and then by the Union 
armies. He became a member of the Jones family and 
finally the husband of Augusta Jones, Samuel's own 
sister. "I think," he states in a recent letter, "it would 
be too much to say that the Jones home on Amity Street 
was the center of the social life of Amherst. It was 
certainly a center, but Amherst social life was on a very 
high plane between 1864 and 1879, the period when I 
knew it. In fact, it was almost brilliant. The homes 
of the Stearns, the Seelyes, the Tuckermans, the Dick- 
insons, the Tylers, the Boltwoods and Clarks were 
equally delightful social centers." 

The home of the Tylers is one especially worthy of 
mention, for in it were reared four boys, Mason, Henry, 
William and John, under conditions very much like 
those which prevailed in the Jones family. They lived 
in a home in Oak Grove adjoining the Sweetser house, 



which was the model for the Jones mansion. All these 
became men of distinction, one a soldier and a lawyer, 
two professors and the other a manufacturer. The 
Tyler house was placed upon the summit of the hill, the 
view from which, similar to that from the Jones house, 
is thus described by Professor Henry M. Tyler of Smith 
College : 

"There were naturally many beautiful glimpses of 
scenery to be obtained from different points on the 
piazza. The view toward the northwest was peculiarly 
fine. You could look out over the rich fields of the 
Connecticut Valley, with trees scattered here and there 
covered with freshest green in springtime, growing more 
sober as summer advanced, and then in autumn covering 
themselves with an indescribable variety of brilliant 
colors, as if Nature were bent upon proving that with 
all of the uniformity of her laws she could indulge in 
infinite changes of ornamentation. And over this fore- 
ground which seemed never twice to be the same the eye 
passed to the sloping hills on the other side of the river, 
dotted with white houses and nicked with smooth fields 
and rough woodlands, and rested beyond upon the 
heights which look down into the valley of the Deerfield. 
Strangers were taken to look out over that scene as one 
of the best treats of hospitality which could be offered 
them, and friends of the house took a last view of it ere 
they went away that they might carry its impression as 
a part of the remembrance of the house. It was a land- 
scape full of gentleness in the summer time. But in the 
winter from the wild snows of those same heights the 
wind came howling across the open fields never finding 



an obstruction to check its onward rush until it struck 
the house upon the hill." 

It was the fashion for Amherst boys to work. Con- 
tinuing his story of his youthful training, Professor 
Tyler says: "Both indoors and out the boys were taught 
to work. Regular duties were assigned to everyone and 
they were trained to do things in the proper way and 
at the proper time. Most of the time we had a horse, if 
not a horse and cow, and had to learn to take care of 
them. There was always something to be done on the 
place. When the hay was to be cut, a man was hired 
for the mowing and heavy work, but we all had our parts 
to perform, and so generally we were expected to do 

what we could We learned to do our work 

together We had our regular duties to perform, 

but a fair allowance of time was alwavs left to us for 
play. We understood that the work had to be done." 

The Tyler home was a place where many guests were 
entertained whose influence for good was a large factor 
in the education of the boys, giving them an outlook on 
life. The story continues : "There was in fact a continu- 
ous procession of pleasant people going in and out from 
the house and helping to dispel the atmosphere of 
drudgery and hardship which might be in danger of 
gathering there. The house might well be said, I think, 

to be given to hospitality To ministers and 

teachers the house was always open, so that their visits 
were more frequent than those of relatives. But above 
all others, missionaries were counted welcome. It would 
have been reckoned a misfortune not to have them come. 
.... The social life of those days had some decided 
advantages. There was less of conventionality than 



now, but more time and better opportunity for making 

lasting friendships The social life of Amherst 

half a century ago had some features of rare attractive- 
ness It was at the annual commencement season 

that Amherst reached the climax of its social advan- 
tages The strangers and friends who were thus 

brought to the house left in it an influence of culture 
and grace, an atmosphere of thought worth more than 
if it had been an abode of wealth." 

In the making of men the influence of such Amherst 
homes was a prime factor. How the thought of such a 
home influenced Mason W. Tyler and kept him sane 
and sound when a soldier may be learned from these 
words from his letter to his parents written November 
15, 1863, from Brandy Station, Virginia: "I have man- 
aged to get time enough to write my Sunday letter. I 
have managed to read the Independent and Congrega- 
tionalist at odd spells while waiting for things to 
progress and standing over the fire drying myself. Last 
night at sundown, the real old Saturday night feeling 
came over me and I lay in my tent a good share of the 
evening thinking in the dark while outside it was rain- 
ing hard. I thought of you gathered around your cheer- 
ful fireside, and with your work all laid aside for the 
pleasant Sunday, books and papers in each and all of 
your hands. I could see you perfectly. I thought you 
looked very comfortable. I only wished I could step 
in on you for a moment." 

With such thoughts of home the boy, even in the midst 
of the wild temptations of civil war, could not go wrong. 
Another letter home tells of his reading "Old Curiosity 
Shop" and "The Last Days of Pompeii." "The fact 



is," he writes, "I sit in my tent and read the most of 
the day except when I am occupied with my camp 
duties." "While out on picket I read Bulwer Lytton's 
'Rienzi.' " At Winchester he read Haynes' and Web- 
ster's great speeches and wrote home: "I have had a very 
pleasant Sabbath today. In fact the privilege that we 
have here of spending a Christian Sabbath in some- 
thing like a Christian neighborhood is more like home 
than any military experience we have previously had. 
The Chaplain has a regimental service in the afternoon 
and in the morning I usually attend church in the city 
and the rest of the day the quiet of my own room affords 
me a place for reading, meditation and praj^er. The 
quiet is as marked here Sunday as in our own New Eng- 
land village." 

Entering the army as Second Lieutenant, Mason W. 
Tyler was discharged with the rank of Brevet Colonel 
after a brilliant service. His army life instead of un- 
dermining his physical strength and moral character 
developed both, so that when he entered New York city 
life he was master of himself and circumstances and won 
both fame and fortune as a leading lawyer and public- 
spirited citizen. How much his success was due to his 
Amherst home may be inferred from these words quoted 
from his recollections : 

"My three brothers and I worked the garden in 
summer, which composed nearly an acre of ground, 
raised vegetables and fruit, harvested the hay, took care 
of a horse, a cow and the chickens, sawed the wood and 
piled it, and at all seasons carried it by armfuls into the 
house until the wood-boxes were filled, built and fed the 
fires, and if occasion required helped about the cooking, 



the bed making, the dish washing, and the other domestic 
employments. Many hands made light work, and we 
were adepts in the art of despatching work. Our hours 
for play were short but they were appreciated and made 
the most of. 

"Of course the college attracted a great many dis- 
tinguished strangers and visitors from all parts of the 
world and as accommodations at the hotels were very 
uncomfortable, such persons were generally entertained 
by some member of the college faculty, who in such 
cases exercised a very simple but charming hospitality. 
I have seen under my father's roof and at his table 
governors of states, United States senators and mem- 
bers of the House of Representatives, justices of the 
courts, foreign ministers, distinguished preachers, ora- 
tors and teachers from my own country and from 
foreign lands, and professors connected with foreign 
universities altogether too numerous to mention." 

Mason Tyler was less than four years younger than 
Samuel Minot Jones so that his description of a typical 
Amherst home gives one a good idea of what the Jones 
home and the environing circumstances must have 
been. Mason Tyler thus describes the Amherst of his 
boyhood: "I was born June 17, 1840, at Amherst, 
Massachusetts. It would be hard to find a more quiet 
and peaceful hamlet of twenty-five hundred inhabitants 
than Amherst was in my boyhood days. There was not 
a public bar nor a drinking saloon in town. There was 
not a man in town worth one hundred thousand dollars. 
They mostly owned the houses they lived in. No family 
had more than one servant; most of them not any 
servants. One of the principal industries of the place 



was furnishing board to students of the college. There 
were few wealthy students. Many of the students were 
working their way through college to become ministers 
or missionaries. The price of board ranged from 
seventy-five cents to two dollars and a quarter a week." 

Amherst schools were a factor of prime value in the 
environment added to home training which developed 
and molded the character of Samuel Minot Jones. 
When Noah Webster sold his house in New Haven, 
Connecticut, and came to Amherst to complete his dic- 
tionary, the work of his life, he found the schools little 
better than those of the average New England country 
town. He found the Amherst public school to be as his 
daughter thus describes it: "I remember well the forlorn, 
unpainted, unshaded building on one side of the village 
green. There was an entry way where hats and cloaks 
were kept and then one large room with an open fire- 
place at each end, and in winter full of green logs with 
the sap oozing out of them. Two or three rows of hard 
benches with desks before them were on each side and a 
tall desk in the center of the room was for the teacher. 
There were no maps or pictures of any kind — no maps 
or equipments for the assistance of the teacher, but I 
remember that the children were happy and anxious to 

But Webster, being a graduate of Yale College and 
a scholar and writer of national and international fame, 
had, his granddaughter declares, "a passion for educa- 
tion, and the fire of his enthusiasm helped to kindle the 
desires of the townspeople. He talked in private, he 
harangued in public, he showed the advantage and he 
pressed the necessity of it. Moreover, he gave his own 



daughters a far longer and higher course of study than 
was then customary. Indeed, he felt the need of this 
more advanced school in educating his younger chil- 

As a result of this agitation started by Webster, which 
was continued for a generation, we find in Amherst 
greatly improved public schools. From an examination 
of school reports we learn that the children were taught 
both to think and to behave themselves. R. L. Parsons, 
who won the approbation of the school board, taught the 
winter school. "From the outset," the committee re- 
ported, "there was a constant improvement in the order 
of the school and in the behavior of the children. Even 
when at play in the school yard, they studiously avoided 
disturbing the neighbors, and Mr. Parsons was attentive 
to the cultivation of good manners. At the close of each 
day's session the scholars passed out of the school room 
with a courtesy or bow to their teacher which was always 
returned. Absence of rudeness and the presence of 
easy, graceful manners characterized the school. The 
studies included arithmetic, history, physiology, analysis 
and geography. Much attention also was given to writ- 
ing and spelling." 

One cause of the excellence of the Amherst schools is 
thus revealed by the school report of 1853: "Your com- 
mittee attribute the uniform success of the public schools 
under Providence to the superior teachers employed. 
These were selected with particular reference to their 
past experience, tact in government and literary attain- 
ments. Other qualifications being equal, one who could 
sing was preferred. Singing has been an occasional 
exercise in every school. Females were selected gen- 



erally on account of their superior ability to govern and 
educate children, and because their wages are about fifty 
per cent less than those of male teachers. The continu- 
ance of an excellent teacher in the same school for suc- 
cessive terms was always secured when possible." This 
committee was guided in its action by the advice of 
Horace Mann and Dr. Sears, secretary of the state 
board of education. 

Another cause of the excellence of the Amherst public 
schools was the success of Amherst Academy, which was 
founded largely through the influence of Noah Webster. 

Mrs. Jones, a daughter of Noah Webster, who re- 
ceived her education chiefly within its walls, thus de- 
scribes it: "The school became a favorite with the public, 
its teachers were Christian gentlemen, and entirely com- 
petent for the places they filled, and the lady teachers 
were refined, gentle and cultivated, and exerted a beau- 
tiful influence on their pupils." Mrs. Ford says: "The 
school opened with a large number of students and 
attracted pupils from every part of New England. It 
had at one time as many as ninety pupils in the ladies' 
department and quite as many more in the gentlemen's." 
"It was," says Professor W. S. Tyler, "the Williston 
Seminary and the Mount Holyoke of that day com- 

Among the pupils in Amherst Academy were Mary 
Lyon, the girl from Buckland who afterwards founded 
Mount Holyoke Seminary; Abby Maria Wood, niece 
of Luke Sweetser, who lived with him in Oak Grove 
and who afterwards became the wife of Dr. Daniel 
Bliss, the founder of the Syrian Protestant College in 
Beirut, Syria, giving her useful life to the service of 


, r.-SlO% 

Amherst Academy 


Syrian boys and girls; Helen Fiske, afterwards known 
as Helen Hunt Jackson, whose writings signed "H. H." 
were famous; and Emily Dickinson, the unique genius 
whose posthumous poems and letters, edited by Mabel 
Loomis Todd, twenty-five years ago charmed many 
readers and made a sensation in the literary world. 

Emily Dickinson, when a girl of fourteen, wrote a 
letter in which she thus describes the school: "Viny and 
I both go to school this term. We have a very fine 
school. There are sixty-three scholars. I have four 
studies. They are Mental Philosophy, Geology, Latin 
and Botany. How large they sound, don't they? I 

don't believe you have such big studies I have 

written one composition this term, and I need not assure 
you it was exceedingly edifying to myself as well as 
everybody else We are obliged to write com- 
positions once in a fortnight, and select a piece to read 
from some interesting book the week we don't write 
compositions. We really have some charming young 
women in school this term I never enjoyed my- 
self more than I have this summer ; for we have had such 
a delightful school and such pleasant teachers. Our 

examination is to come off next week on Monday 

I am already gasping in view of our examination and 
although I am determined not to dread it I know it is 
so foolish, yet in spite of my heroic resolution I cannot 
avoid a few misgivings when I think of those tall, stern 
trustees, and when I know that I shall lose mv character 
if I don't recite as precisely as the laws of the Medes and 
Persians. But what matter will that be a hundred vears 
hence ? . . . . Have you heard anything from Miss Adams, 
our dear teacher? How much I would give to see her." 



March 15, 1847, she again writes of her school: "I go 
this term and am studying Algebra, Euclid, Ecclesiasti- 
cal History, and reviewing Arithmetic again to be upon 
the safe side of things next autumn. We have a de- 
lightful school this term under the instruction of our 
former principals, and Miss R. Woodbridge, daughter 
of Reverend Dr. W. of Hadley, for preceptress. We 
all love her very much. Perhaps a slight description of 
her might be interesting to my dear A. She is tall and 
rather slender, but finely proportioned, has a most witch- 
ing pair of blue eyes, rich brown hair, delicate com- 
plexion, cheeks that vie with the opening rose-bud, teeth 
like pearls, dimples which come and go like the ripples 
in yonder little merry brook, and then she is so affec- 
tionate and lovely. Forgive my glowing description, 
for you know I am always in love with my teachers." 

Another picture of life in the old Amherst Academy 
is given by Mrs. Gordon L. Ford (Emily Ellsworth 
Fowler Ford), daughter of Professor Fowler of Am- 
herst College. She wrote as follows : 

"There was a fine circle of young people in Amherst, 
and we influenced each other strongly. We were in the 
adoring mood and I am glad to say that many of these 
idols of our girlhood have proved themselves golden. 
The eight girls who composed this group had talent 
enough for twice their number, and in their respective 
spheres of mothers, authors, or women, have been note- 
worthy and admirable. 

"This group started a little paper in the Academy 
which was kept up for two years. Emily Dickinson 
was one of the wits of the school and a humorist of the 
'comic column.' Fanny Montague often made the head 



title of the paper — Forest Leaves — in leaves copied 
from nature and fantasies of her own pen work. She is 
now a wise member of art circles in Baltimore, a man- 
ager of the Museum of Art, and the appointed and in- 
telligent critic of the Japanese Exhibit in Chicago. 
Helen Fiske (the 'H. H.' of later days) did no special 
work on the paper for various reasons. This paper was 
all in script, and was passed around the school, where 
the contributions were easily recognized from the hand- 
writing which in Emily's case was very beautiful — small, 
clear, and finished. We had a Shakespeare Club — a 
rare thing in those days. There were many little dances, 
with cake and lemonade at the end, and one year there 
was a valentine party, where the lines of various authors 
were arranged to make apparent sense, but absolute 
nonsense, the play being to guess the names and places 
of the misappropriated lines. Emily was part and 
parcel of all these gatherings. Several of this group had 
beauty, all had intelligence and character, and others 
had charm. My busy married life separated me from 
these friends of my youth, and intercourse with them has 
not been frequent; but I rejoice that my early years 
were passed in scenes of beautiful nature, and with these 
mates of simple life, high cultivation and noble ideals." 
Such was Amherst Academy in the days of its glory, 
as seen through the eyes of the girls who were among 
its pupils. Professor W. S. Tyler, quoting the words 
of an eyewitness, records these facts concerning this 
famous school: "Under the government and instruction 
of such superior teachers the academy obtained a reputa- 
tion second to none in the State On Wednesday 

afternoons all the scholars assembled in the upper hall 



for reviews, declamations, compositions and exercises 
in reading in which both gentlemen and ladies partici- 
pated. Spectators were admitted and were often pres- 
ent in large numbers, among whom Dr. Parsons and 
Mr. Webster, president and vice-president of the board 
of trustees, might usually be seen, and often the lawyers, 
physicians and other educated men of the place. Not 
unfrequently gentlemen from out of town were present, 
including Dr. Packard, who early became a trustee, and 
was much interested in the prosperity of the institution. 
Once a vear at the close of the fall term in October, the 
old meeting house was fitted up with a stage and, 
strange to tell, in the staid town of Amherst where danc- 
ing was tabooed and cards never dared show themselves, 
reverend divines went with lawyers and doctors to the 
house of God to witness a theatrical exhibition." 

A valuable library was provided for the use of the 
pupils. All were expected to take part in the weekly 
Bible lesson and all attended morning and evening 
prayers in the Academy hall and public worship in one 
of the churches on the Sabbath. There was a weekly 
literary society connected with the Academy. Scholars 
from out of town could get a room for fifty cents a week 
and board for $1.17. Pupils could attend college lec- 
tures without charge. 

Thomas Jones served on the board of trustees of this 
Academy from 1841 to his death in 18.53 and sent his 
children to it to be educated. Thomas Jones, Jr., at- 
tended this school in 1842, 1843, 1847 and 1848; Mary 
French was a pupil in the French class. Samuel Minot 
Jones attended this school in 1847, 1849, 18.50 and 1851 
and probably previous to 1847. Other Amherst pupils 



were Charles H. Hitchcock, son of President Hitchcock 
of Amherst College, Charles U. Boltwood, Laura 
Emerson, Lavinia Dickinson, Henry Hills, M. Fayette 
Dickinson, Mason Tyler, Mary B. Snell and Emily 
Dickinson. Samuel M. Jones took part in the exhibi- 
tion held August 10, 1847, when he was eleven years old 
and declaimed Everett's oration. In 1849 he took part 
in a farce adapted from Charles Lamb. 

The Academy building was for its time an imposing 
structure, devoid of ornament and planned for utility. 
It was a marvelous schoolhouse in comparison with the 
old district schoolhouse on Pleasant Street which Noah 
Webster found on his first arrival in Amherst. It stood 
in the center of a half-acre lot on Amity Street. It was 
a three-story building with a basement. It was fifty 
feet long and thirty-eight feet wide and contained recita- 
tion rooms, an apartment for a family, with a kitchen, 
and an assembly hall. The family superintended the 
building and kept a boarding house in the early years 
of the institution, but afterwards the building was de- 
voted wholly to school purposes. Amherst Academy 
was the nucleus out of which Amherst College was 

In this school Samuel Minot Jones was fitted for col- 
lege and received that thorough instruction and train- 
ing from his teachers which prepared him for practical 
life. The culture was intensive and yet broad enough 
to give him an outlook into the world. The frequent 
reviews and public oral examinations fixed what he 
learned in his mind, making it entirely his own for future 
use. His compositions and declamations taught him to 
express what he thought in the presence of others so that 



they could get his ideas and feel his influence. By asso- 
ciating with scholars older than himself, both young men 
and young women, coming from distant parts of the 
state and country and actuated by a serious purpose, he 
gained self-control, self-reliance and self-direction. 

The death of his father when Samuel Minot Jones was 
seventeen years of age changed the boy's plans. He 
would not consent to be dependent upon his mother for 
his support and therefore did not enter Amherst College 
but went to work in the country store of Sweetser, 
Cutler & Company, dealers in general merchandise. 
Here one could buy blue and green flannel reefing 
jackets, all kinds of clothing, dress goods, china, buffalo 
robes and ladies' furs. Groceries, paints, glass and 
hardware were offered at the lowest prices. 

As in former times young men learned to be ministers 
of the gospel by studying divinity with settled pastors, 
boys learned to be doctors by studying with practicing 
physicians and helping them mix medicines in a mortar, 
and bright scholars studied law in the office of a noted 
judge where they learned not only principles from 
Blackstone but practical details of the profession by 
making out legal papers, so, as there were no business 
colleges available in his day, Samuel Minot Jones be- 
came a clerk and utility man in the village store. Here 
was the town forum where leading citizens gathered to 
pass the time of day and discuss questions of moment. 
Here farmers brought their produce from adjacent 
towns. Here women and girls came to do their shop- 
ping. Tea and coffee and spices from the East Indies, 
cashmere and fine fabrics from Europe, satinets and 
calicoes from American mills, led one's mind to think of 


^ v >, 




distant places and of a big world. Human nature dis- 
played itself between traders. Mercantile bookkeep- 
ing required accuracy and patience. Most customers 
had accounts which they settled at least once a year. 

Today in a large department store the division of labor 
is so great that any one clerk or employee can learn only 
a small part of the business. She sells gloves, it may be, 
and nothing else. He measures calico by the yard and 
that is all. But in the old-fashioned country store the 
boy learned the whole business, dry goods, boots and 
shoes, groceries, hardware. He swept the floor, built the 
fires, delivered parcels, sold goods, kept accounts, 
studied human nature. He worked early and late with 
hands and feet, with tongue and brains. 

Sweetser & Cutler's store was a town institution. In 
it George Cutler learned the business in his boyhood 
and continued his interest in it until his death at the age 
of ninety-six. His son, George Cutler, Jr., followed 
him in the same course. In it many of the leading busi- 
ness men of Amherst and other towns served their 
apprenticeship. One generation after another has 
passed, but the business is still continued at the old stand 
and conducted along similar lines. 

In addition to the training provided by home and 
school and country store the influence of the village 
church was potent in giving decision of character to 
young Jones and in fitting him to accept responsibilities 
of life and to keep steadfastly in pursuit of the end of 
his being as duty pointed out the path. 

Thomas Jones had a pew in the village church and 
that it was considered an asset of real value may be 
inferred from the following advertisement which ap- 



peared in the Hampshire and Franklin Express: "Pew 
for sale. Pew No. 15. Pleasantly situated near the 
center of Rev. Mr. Dwight's church on the south side of 
the middle aisle and in front of the pew of the late 
Thomas Jones." Rev. Edward S. Dwight, D.D., was 
pastor of the church from August 21, 1853, to August 
28, 1860. He was a graduate of Yale College, and for 
many years secretary of the Amherst College board of 
trustees. He was a refined, scholarly gentleman of the 
old school. He succeeded Aaron M. Colton, who was 
pastor thirteen years, from 1840 to 1853, which com- 
prised most of the boyhood of Samuel Minot Jones. 

This village church of the Congregational denomina- 
tion was the dominant institution in the town. Its or- 
ganization preceded by twenty years that of the town 
itself. The third meeting house was built in 1829 and 
was used until 1868, when it became the property of 
Amherst College. In this meeting house members of 
the family of Thomas Jones were regular attendants. 
Music was provided by a choir seated in the gallery. A 
bass viol, a flute and other instruments were in use be- 
fore an organ was secured. In 1832 stoves were allowed 
to be placed in the meeting house and in 1857 a chande- 
lier and lamps were used for lighting. The students of 
the Academy had seats in the gallery. The church 
prayer meeting was considered by young men preparing 
for the ministry as a school as well as a place for devo- 
tion. Mr. Colton's pulpit, as described by himself, was 
"of pine wood, narrow, doored and achingly plain. Man 
up there had to look well to his elbows in essaying a 
gesture. High and closed against all assaults; but so 
were the old Bastile towers in which prisoners were 


The Meeting House 


immured." Its height, however, enabled the preacher 
to face his hearers in the galleries as well as the congre- 
gation below his desk. But when Sam Jones was a boy 
six years old a new pulpit, bought in Boston, replaced 
the old one. In later years Pastor Colton said, "Per- 
haps the parish has never since been stronger as to 
number, character, wealth and standing of chief men." 
These included lawyers, doctors, merchants, clergymen, 
teachers, an editor, bankers, the postmaster, manufac- 
turers and a score or more of leading citizens. Evening 
meetings were held in the Academy to save lighting the 
church. The pastor preached two sermons on fast days 
and two sermons on communion Sabbaths, when the 
sacrament was administered during the noon hour, and 
a prayer meeting was held the same evening. 

During Mr. Colton's ministry there were three re- 
vivals, in 1841, 1843 and 1850. The last one began in 
January and continued until August. There were 150 
conversions and 68 converts joined the church in one day, 
August 11. The spiritual awakening was greatly aug- 
mented by the temperance revival which accompanied it. 
The story as told by Pastor Colton at the 150th anniver- 
sary of the church in 1889 is as follows: 

"Early in January, 1850, the prayer meetings were 
notably fuller and more solemn. A cloud of mercy 
seemed to hang over us and ready to drop down fatness. 
Days and weeks passed, but no conversions. What was 
the hindrance? Once and again the church standing 
committee — the Deacons — met in the pastor's study to 
talk and pray over this question. Oppressing fear was 
felt, lest our dawn should shut down in darkness. The 
trouble, we came to believe, was in the rum places in the 



village with fires of hell in full blast. What could be 
done? My counselors did wisely in advising prudence, 
for we were told the rum men were desperate. Kind 
words had been used, but availed nothing. You can 
imagine a pastor's anxieties in such an emergency. 
March meeting was close by. I drew up two articles 
and obtained five signatures asking for their insertion 
in the warrant : First, to see if it be the wish of the town 
of Amherst that places be kept open here for the sale of 
intoxicating drinks in violation of law; and, second, to 
see if the town will authorize and instruct their selectmen 
to close such places, if such there be in the town. I went 
to Lieutenant Dickinson of the South Parish, and 
Judge Conkey of the East, and Daniel Dickinson of the 
North, and President Hitchcock of the College. They 
all promised to give a helping word, Dr. Hitchcock to 
speak last. The meeting came. Sweetser's Hall was 
crowded to the stairs. There was much excitement. A 
man from South Amherst moved that the articles be dis- 
missed. This was voted down. Then the main question, 
and now the speaking as pre-arranged — Dr. Hitchcock 
closing — and a more affecting and effective appeal than 
his I have never heard. He said in substance: 'The 
people of Amherst are aware that I have not been in the 
habit of meddling in the affairs of the town. I feel that 
the interests of myself and family are safe in the care 
of the town, and I am confident that the good people 
here who have done so nobly for the College will not 
allow the institution to suffer injuries from evil causes 
among us'; and then with an emphasis that fairly choked 
his utterance he added : 'But it were better that the Col- 
lege should go down, than that young men should come 



here to be ruined by drink places among us.' Then the 
voting — 400 hands shot up for abating the nuisances — 
so it was said. Contrary minds — just one hand, and one 
only and alone. The next morning at ten o'clock the 
selectmen went to these rum resorts and shut them up. 
'Then the heavens gave rain and there was a great 
refreshing.' " 

Professor W. S. Tyler at the 150th anniversary of 
the church bore this testimony to the important place it 
held in the community : 

"As historian of Amherst College I ought to know 
something of the origin and history of these (educa- 
tional ) institutions. And I have no hesitation in saying 
that the officers and members of this church were the 
founders of Amherst Academy and Amherst College, 
and inasmuch as the Agricultural College was the 
daughter of Amherst College, this church is the mother 
of them all. 

"Amherst College was founded . . . . by a single 

local church The ministers and members of this 

church took the lead. They bore the burden. They did 
the work. They gave the money to begin the work. 
They poured it out like water when money was scarce, 
when ten dollars was worth as much as a hundred is now, 
when it was more difficult to get ten dollars for a college 
than it is to get a thousand now. None of them was 
rich. Some of them literally made themselves poor by 
their liberal giving." 

Noah Webster wrote the constitution of the First 
Church Sundav school and was the chairman of the 
board of managers. Joseph Estabrook, the first pro- 
fessor of Greek and Latin in the College, was the first 



superintendent of the first Sunday school in Amherst. 
Many of the teachers were college students. "Henry 
Ward Beecher," Professor Tyler continues, "then a 
senior in college, was the inspiring teacher of a large class 
of young men, when I was superintendent. The great 
revival of 1831, which was equally powerful in the Col- 
lege and the village, originated in the Sabbath School 

"Witness," says Professor Tyler, "the generous sub- 
scription to the building and the books of the library of 
Amherst College which, beginning as such subscriptions 
usually do, in the First Church and parish of Amherst, 
extended to the other parishes of this and several neigh- 
boring towns, gave the College not only a new library 
building but a new epoch in its general prosperity." 

The First Church bell came from the foundry of Paul 
Revere. When that was worn out others took its place. 
The church bell not only tolled for the dead, one stroke 
for each year of age of the deceased, but it rang daily at 
noon for the dinner hour and at nine o'clock each night 
the curfew rang the hour for retiring. Its peals on Sab- 
bath day called the people to worship, when as a matter 
of course young and old, boys and girls, went to church. 

Eugene Field, with his erratic genius, when a boy 
chafed under the strict discipline of the Jones family 
and the Puritan spirit of Amherst which compelled his 
attendance at the meeting house on the hill, where, ac- 
companied by George Cutler's flute and the bass viol 
played by Josiah Ayres and the strident notes of the 
violin, the choir and congregation sang "That awful day 
will surely come," and "That last great day of woe and 
doom," and "Broad is the way that leads to death." To 



him and other kindred spirits the Sabbath often seemed 
to be a veritable day of judgment. In his later years 
Eugene Field spoke humorously of those all-day ses- 
sions in church and Sunday school, so his biographer 
declares, "though he never failed to acknowledge the 
benefits he had derived from the enforced study of the 
Bible." "If I could be grateful to New England for 
nothing else," the poet declared, "I shall bless her for- 
ever for pounding me with the Bible and the spelling 

The observance of Sunday, which began at sundown 
on Saturday and closed at sundown on Sunday, the 
evening and the morning comprising the first day, was 
enforced not only by the church but by the town as well. 

In July, 1845, a circus was advertised to give two per- 
formances on Saturday afternoon and evening. There 
were to appear "a melodious brass band and female 
equestrians." There was little protest against the after- 
noon performance, but to permit a circus to exhibit 
Saturday night was to desecrate the Sabbath. The 
whole town became excited. The selectmen were called 
to account for permitting such a desecration of sacred 
time. They in their own defense declared that they had 
issued a license for the afternoon only and that the pro- 
posed evening exhibition was unauthorized. A special 
courier was, therefore, sent posthaste to Worcester bear- 
ing the town's ultimatum to the circus managers that no 
exhibition should be given in the evening and that if 
they were not satisfied with one performance only, in the 
afternoon, they must give none. 

During the boyhood of Samuel Minot Jones, the 
Puritan home, the schools, the business organizations, 



the college, the church and the town were united. These 
were all factors of a homogeneous community cooperat- 
ing for the general welfare and for the education and 
training of the individuals of the rising generation. The 
social, intellectual, moral and religious atmosphere was 
all-pervasive and most powerful in its influence over the 
boy in his infancy and during the period of adolescence. 
The traits inherited from his forefathers were strength- 
ened in the growth of Sam Jones and so molded as to 
give him a character that fitted him for his future career. 
He learned the nobility of labor. He was brought up 
to work. Everybody worked, young and old, rich and 
poor, boys and girls. Labor was not the badge of a 
slave. Labor was divine. He was shown the value of 
intelligence. It was work intelligently planned and 
wisely executed that brought results worth the effort. 
In his large family of brothers and sisters he learned 
self-control and cooperation. The young folks worked 
together as they played together. Intelligence con- 
sisted not merely in memorizing ideas of other minds, 
but in the power to think for oneself, to discover the 
adaptation of means to ends. His father in his factories 
must look ahead and anticipate the demand of the 
market for his goods and then produce them by organiz- 
ing labor, applying it to raw material and producing 
what was fitted to supply human need. The Yankee 
farmer during the winter planned his next season's 
work; in spring, sowing seed to be harvested in autumn; 
in summer, preparing for the winter. Intelligence con- 
sisted in embodying the truth in such fashion as to be 
able to apply it to the practical affairs of life. The 


• 4?" > 






















public schools, the Academy, the college, the Sunday 
school, combined to make him intelligent. 

Sam Jones was taught the majesty of the law and 
reverence for law and order. The law of the family, 
the law of the factory, the law of the school, the law of 
the town, state and nation was not to be defied, ignored 
or evaded. It must be obeyed. License was not liberty. 
His declamation of Everett's oration and his studies in 
the Academy gave him an idea of the sacredness of law. 
The church and the Sunday school taught him the neces- 
sity of righteousness. The Ten Commandments re- 
vealed to him the meaning of two important phrases: 
"Thou shalt" and "Thou shalt not." They developed 
his conscience and strengthened his will. The sense of 
his own individual responsibility, involving self-control 
and self-direction, gave him the determination to think 
right, feel right, choose right, do right and be right. So 
at eighteen years of age we find Samuel Minot Jones 
trained to work intelligently, in accordance with the 
laws of nature, the laws of thought, the laws of the 
State, for righteous ends. 

The death of Thomas Jones in 1853 changed the plans 
of his son, then seventeen years old. Although pre- 
pared for the college which was the pride of Amherst 
and which he might have attended while living at home, 
he nevertheless would not consent to be dependent upon 
his mother for support while spending four long years in 
study. He believed that it was his duty rather to sup- 
port her and help her maintain her position as head of 
the Jones mansion. He was ambitious for a business 
life. His half brothers, older than he, were already in 
the West located on the wide prairies of Illinois among 



other pioneers. So the young man of eighteen, no 
longer a boy, bade good-by to his mother and his sister 
Augusta, his schoolmates and many friends, and made 
the journey of a thousand miles to Chicago, then a 
growing city of 30,000 pioneers recently located on the 
southwest shore of Lake Michigan. A canal had been 
dug connecting the lake with the head of navigation on 
the Illinois River, which emptied into the Mississippi. 
Early settlers from New England had made their 
journey through the Erie Canal on packet boats, in 
which they could board themselves if they so desired, to 
Buffalo and thence by steamboats across Lake Erie, and 
perchance through Lakes Huron and Michigan. But 
in 1854 railroad connections had been made by the New 
York Central, the Lake Shore and the Michigan 
Southern. Other railroads made Chicago their center. 
Sam Jones found employment in the lumber office of 
James H. Ferry & Company, at the foot of Washington 
Street. Here he remained for two years. The contrast 
between his life in his Puritan home in Amherst, where 
he was protected from temptation on every side, and his 
life in the new city of Chicago, where were gathered to- 
gether on the western border men, women and children 
from all lands, each in the strenuous fight for money, for 
fame or for pleasure, was most remarkable. He was 
thrust into the midst of an entirely new world, his own 
master, where he could do as he pleased with no one to 
compel him to do this or to prohibit his doing that. But 
here his self-control, self-direction and dominant pur- 
pose to care for and please his mother, kept him from 
pitfalls on all sides, proved his salvation, and gave him 
final success. 



Samuel Minot Jones, after serving an apprenticeship 
in the city, went to Knoxville, Illinois, five miles from 
Galesburg, to be associated in the lumber business with 
his brother, William G. Jones. Later, about 1857, he 
went to Havana, the county seat of Mason County, 
located on the Illinois River, thirty-nine miles north- 
west of Springfield and midway between Chicago and 
St. Louis, Missouri. Here he was in business with his 
brother, Thomas Jones. Havana was the market not 
only for Mason County, but also for the rich farming 
communities on both sides of the river. Wood was 
found only along the rivers so that the dwellers on the 
prairies must trade their grain and dairy products for 
the lumber needed to construct their houses, barns and 
other buildings. 

Here the Jones brothers, with their New England 
thrift and enterprise, were able to meet the demands of 
the pioneers who came not only from the Atlantic coast 
but also from Ohio and the South to seek their fortune 
on the fertile and cheap lands of the new commonwealth. 
The business of the firm prospered. The younger 
brother, Samuel Minot, became a man and he was fast 
realizing his dreams and achieving his plans to be the 
support of his widowed mother and his sisters in Am- 



herst, when the whole situation was changed by the out- 
break of the Civil War. Abe Lincoln, the Springfield 
lawyer, was elected President of the United States. The 
election of 1860 and the preceding events, including the 
debates between Lincoln and Douglas, created an at- 
mosphere in which all the inherited instincts for patriotic 
service and love of liberty in the soul of Samuel Minot 
Jones were aroused to action. His uncle, Roswell 
Martin Field, his mother's brother, won fame by his 
part in the trial of the Dred Scott case before the United 
States Supreme Court. The convention that nominated 
Lincoln was held in Chicago and Illinois was a pivotal 
state hotly contested in the election. It was from 
Springfield, only a few miles from Havana, that Lincoln 
started for Washington to run the gauntlet of assassins 
to assume his great responsibility. 

Under such circumstances Samuel Minot Jones did 
not hesitate to give up his ambition for a business career 
and to subordinate his love of mother and of home to 
his love of country, and to consecrate his young man- 
hood to the service of freedom. He hastened to St. 
Louis at the beginning of the war and enlisted, July 9, 
1861, aged twenty-five years, in the 9th Missouri Regi- 
ment, which afterwards became the 59th Illinois Regi- 
ment of Infantry. He was mustered in July 17, 1861, 
and commissioned bv the Governor of Missouri First 
Lieutenant and was assigned to Company A. He re- 
signed January 8, 1863, on account of severe illness re- 
sulting from a wound in his leg and an attack of typhoid 
fever, and was discharged on that date in Tennessee. 
During these eighteen months he shared in all the 
strenuous service of his regiment and was repeatedly 



cited for bravery and distinguished efficiency in critical 

The organization of the 9th Missouri Regiment, com- 
posed of stalwart, self-reliant pioneer citizens of Illinois 
and adjoining states, was completed September 18,1861, 
by Colonel John C. Kelton in St. Louis, Missouri. 
Three days later it was ordered to Jefferson City, and 
soon after was moved to Booneville and brigaded with 
the 37th Illinois, the 5th Iowa, the 1st Kansas and David- 
son's Battery of Illinois. Colonel J. C. Kelton com- 
manded the brigade and General John Pope the divi- 
sion. October 13 the regiment moved to Otterville and, 
later, to Springfield, Missouri. February 12, 1862, the 
regiment was changed to the 59th Illinois. Two days 
later, under the command of Major P. Sidney Post, it 
pursued the enemy to Cassville. 

This regiment participated in the battles of Pea 
Ridge, Corinth, Perryville, Knox Gap, Liberty Gap, 
Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge, 
Resica, Cassville, Dallas, Rockyface Ridge, Kenesaw 
Mountain, Smyrna Station, Atlanta, Love joy Station, 
Franklin and Nashville. It marched through Missouri, 
Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi and Ten- 
nessee, enduring hardships innumerable in all kinds of 

The two memorable battles in which Lieutenant S. M. 
Jones took part were at Pea Ridge, Arkansas, and at 
Stone River, Tennessee. The battle at Pea Ridge in 
the Ozark Mountains, in the northwest corner of Arkan- 
sas, occurring early in the war and resulting in a notable 
victory for the Union forces, did much to encourage the 



North and to make the South realize the nature of the 
struggle upon which it had entered. 

The Union forces had been lured far from their base 
at Springfield, Missouri, into the mountains, just where 
the Confederate generals had set a trap for them. Van 
Dorn, McCulloch, Price and Mcintosh coming from 
different points concentrated their forces with a regi- 
ment of Indians under Pike and Ross so that their com- 
bined armies numbered about 75,000, or three times that 
of the Union forces. Their plans were skillfully laid to 
throw a strong force between the Union army and its 
line of communication with the base at Springfield, so 
as to surround it completely and ensure its capture. 
These plans succeeded so far that General Price threw 
his strong force in the rear of the Union army before its 
generals were aware of the fact. Why the South's hope 
of victory, so nearly attained, was suddenly turned into 
an ignominious defeat is explained by this interesting 
letter written on the battlefield by Lieutenant Jones and 
sent to his brother : 

In camp on Sugar Creek, Ark., 
March 16, 1862. 
My Dear Brother : 

You have doubtless seen e'er this will reach you the full 
particulars of our great fight and as I do not feel in a writing 
mood I shall not go into details, but merely state a few facts 
to you which will be likely to be kept in the dark by those in 
high position. Our whole army fell back some fifteen miles from 
the advance we first made and on the bluff of Sugar Creek made 
preparations to receive the enemy, if he advanced, and, if we 
found they were in too heavy force for us, we had the way 
open to fall back. Imagine our surprise when on the morning 
of the 7th of March at about 10 o'clock it was found the enemy 



had thrown their whole force into our rear and on our right. 
The truth is we had been entirely outgeneraled and were forced 
to fight a vastly superior force and to whip them or surrender. 
By a train of circumstances which seem little less than miracu- 
lous and the unflinching valor of our troops, we accomplished 
the former against odds of three to one. What I consider 
gained the day for us was the killing of McCulloch and Mcin- 
tosh the afternoon of the first day by our Brigade in its en- 
counter with their forces and the Indians under Pike and Ross. 
When they were killed, their troops were thrown into confusion 
and their reserve which amounted to some thousands failed to 
come up, leaving our boys victors. Meanwhile Price had been 
fighting Carr directly in our rear and had been gaining ground 
all day, having taken three of our cannon. So the first day 
closed. Our boys bivouacked on the field they had so dearly won. 
Towards morning it was found that the forces our Division 
had met and routed had left their portion of the field (since 
ascertained that discouraged by the loss of their generals they 
had all retreated in the night) leaving us Van Dorn and Price 
to fight the next day with our whole force which we did and 
after a hard fight of four hours completely whipped them at 
all points. Had we been obliged to fight their whole combined 
army the second day we should have had a terribly tough time 
of it. 

Lieutenant Jones' reference to the Indians needs to 
be explained by this communication from General 

Head Quarters Army of South West, Pea Ridge, Ark., 

Mar. 9, 1862. 
Earl Van Dorn, 

Commander Confederate Forces : 

The general regrets that we find on the battlefield, con- 
trary to civilized warfare, many of the Federal dead who were 



tomahawked, scalped and their bodies shamelessly mangled, 
and expresses a hope that this important struggle may not 
degenerate into a savage warfare. 

By order, 

Brig. Gen'l S. R. Curtis. 

How the victory was appreciated by the country may 
be inferred from these despatches : 

Hdquarters Dpt of the Missouri 
St. Louis, Mar. 10, 1862. 
Brigadier-Gen'l Curtis, 

Commanding in Arkansas. 

I congratulate you and your command on the glorious 
victory just gained. You have proved yourselves as brave in 
battle as enduring of fatigue and hardship. A grateful coun- 
try will honor you for both. 

H. W. Halleck, 

Major General. 

Hdquarters Dpt of the Missouri 
St. Louis, Mar. 10, 1862. 

The Army of the Southwest under Gen'l Curtis, after three 
days' hard fighting near Sugar Creek, Arkansas, has gained a 
most glorious victory over the combined forces of Van Dorn, 
McCulloch, Price and Mcintosh. Our loss in killed and 
wounded estimated at 1000; that of the enemy still larger. 
Guns, flags, provisions, etc., captured in large quantities. Our 
cavalry in pursuit of the flying enemy. 

H. W. Halleck, 

Major General. 
Major Gen'l McClellan, 



The experience of Samuel Minot Jones as a business 
man was discovered soon after his enlistment and he 
was detailed from company duty to serve as brigade 
quartermaster. With the army so far from its base, the 
question of food, clothing and other supplies for men 
fighting continuously for three days and sleeping on 
their arms in the open field in the mountains, was of 
momentous importance. But he was the man for the 
hour and ready for the emergency. He seldom spoke of 
his part in the battle. His sensitive nature shrank from 
the bloody scenes enacted about him when, fighting for 
their lives and for their country, surrounded by forces 
three times as large as their own, those western stalwart 
pioneers, attacked by savages with tomahawk and scalp- 
ing knives, cut their way out and put the enemy to flight. 
But how well he played his part may be learned from 
official reports. 

Colonel Julius White, commanding 2d Brigade, in 
his report to General J. C. Davis, 3d Division, of the 
battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, March 11, 1862, says: 
"Brigade Quartermaster S. M. Jones and Brigade 
Commissary A. D. Baker have during the three days of 
the enemy's presence discharged their duties promptly 
and efficiently; their several departments, so essential 
to the welfare of the troops, having always been in 

After this victory at Sugar Creek the regiment re- 
sumed its travels. Post was made its Colonel April 1, 
1862. May 20 the regiment reached Hamburg Land- 
ing, Tennessee. Eight days later it joined General 
Pope's reserve. After the evacuation of Corinth the 
regiment pursued the enemy to Booneville and then 



marched to Ripley, Missouri. It participated in the 
skirmish at Bay Springs, Missouri, August 5, and on 
the eighth reached Iuka. August 18 the Tennessee 
River was crossed at Eastport and the regiment en- 
camped at Waterloo with Post commanding the brigade 
and General Robert B. Mitchell commander of the 
division. The regiment reached Florence, Alabama, 
August 24, and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, September 1. 

The next march, September 3 to 26, ended in Louis- 
ville, Kentucky, with General Buell. A new campaign 
started in October in pursuit of General Bragg's forces 
to Bardstown and on the seventh the enemy was over- 
taken at Chaplain Hills near Perryville. The following 
day there was a battle in which 113 men out of 361 were 
killed or wounded. Pursuit of the enemy was resumed 
on the tenth of October and four days later there was a 
fight at Lancaster, Kentucky. Nashville, Tennessee, 
was reached November 7. 

Here seven weeks were spent in preparation for the 
winter campaign under General Rosecrans, command- 
ing the Army of the Cumberland. The day after 
Christmas, 1862, the regiment drove the enemy until 
found in force at Nolensville, where after a fight the 
Confederates retreated in confusion. Knob Gap was 
attacked December 27 and the enemy driven out to 
Triune. Here the 59th Regiment rested for two days 
before marching to Murfreesboro, where it lay within a 
few hundred yards of the enemy's works. Early on the 
thirty-first the enemy, adopting the same plan as that 
which so nearly succeeded at Pea Ridge, surprised 
Rosecrans by throwing a strong body of troops in the 



rear of the Union Army. The right flank of the 20th 
Corps was turned so that the 59th Regiment was obliged 
to change front and face to the rear. Here, supported 
by the 5th Wisconsin Battery, it held the enemy for a 
long time and brought off the battery, whose horses were 
killed. As before, some one had blundered and only the 
dogged determination of those Western veterans saved 
the day. General McCook's right wing was routed. The 
enemy following up attacked Davis' division and 
speedily dislodged Post's brigade, including the 59th 

The story, as told in the report of Colonel P. Sidney 
Post, commanding the 1st Brigade, follows: 

"Dec. 26, Men after fighting in rain bivouacked on 
the field. Dec. 27, marched in rain in rear of Colonel 
Carlin's regiment nearly to Triune. Dec. 29, marched in 
rear of Colonel Woodruff's brigade toward Murfrees- 
boro. Dec. 30, the 59th in reserve to support battery. 
Afternoon attacked by Rebel battery, enemy in strong 
force. During the night men lay down without fires or 
shelter. Dec. 31, awakened in morning and stood in 
order of battle one hour before the first light of dawn. 
Horses stood by the battery all night. 

"As soon as it became light the enemy were dis- 
covered moving in great numbers toward our right and 
nearly parallel with our line with the evident design of 
turning the right wing of the army. I immediately 
despatched Lieut. Jones of my staff to inform Brigadier 
General Davis." 

After the battle of Pea Ridge the services of Samuel 
Minot Jones attracted the attention of his superiors so 



that he was made Adjutant. That was a memorable 
ride of his, after the days and nights of terrible conflict 
with the enemy and the elements, in the early morning 
to report at headquarters the serious turn of the battle. 
Reinforcements were needed badly and needed at once, 
but the appeal did not produce the desired results. Gen- 
eral Rosecrans would not believe that the enemy could 
circumvent him. It was not in his plan. He imagined 
that General McCook could hold his own. 

Colonel Post's report continues: "The 59th prepared 
with fixed bayonets to receive the enemy's charge. But 
being cut off by the enemy in the rear the 59th withdrew 
dragging two Parrott guns." 

Here Lieutenant Jones appears in a new light. Not 
content with bearing despatches he takes the initiative 
and does the thing that needs to be done without waiting 
for orders. "The 74th and 75th Illinois regiments," 
the report states, "fell back across the cotton field and 
under the direction of Lieutenant Jones, who also rallied 
a number of detachments from other regiments, made a 
determined resistance again checking the foe. The fresh 
troops from the reserves here relieved the brigade and I 
proceeded to the pike, reformed my shattered battalions 
and supplied them with ammunition. I was soon ordered 
by Brigadier General Davis to move up the pike and 
take position on the right of the line, and the men lay 
down for the night. 

"The next morning I was ordered to occupy the 
open field where I built breastworks and stationed a 
battery. During the following day, after skirmishing, 
the men crossed Stone River in the afternoon, which 
was swollen by heavy rains, rushing through the flood 



to attack the enemy. They stood at arms all night with- 
out fires. Jan. 3, breastworks were constructed under 
the fire of sharpshooters. At night during a pouring 
rain the men again lay on their arms. At 2 a.m. the 
battery recrossed the river and at 4 a.m. the brigade 
forded the stream and took position on the right where it 
remained until January 6, when it encamped south of 
Murfreesboro after passing through the town." 

In closing, Colonel Post pays this tribute : 

"The zeal and decision shown by Lieutenants Jones, 
Hall, Hatch and Baker, members of my staff, and the 
intrepidity of my faithful orderly, George Forgel, de- 
mand my highest commendation." 

"During the long contest and notwithstanding the 
extreme inclemency of the weather and the scarcity of 
provisions, no word of complaint was heard. Officers 
and men seemed alike anxious to do their full duty as 
patriotic soldiers. In our advance they pushed forward 
boldly and when greatly superior numbers were hurled 
against them they awaited the onset with the utmost 
coolness and determination. The temporary confusion 
which occurred when they fell back was caused to a 
considerable extent by the large force of skirmishers, 
thrown out to check the enemy, having been driven 
toward the left instead of directly upon their own regi- 
ments. The deliberation and order with which the 74th 
Illinois retired is especially commended." 

The part played by Colonel Post's brigade, rallied by 
Lieutenant Jones, checked the enemy and gave time for 
General Sheridan to come to the rescue. General Mc- 
Cook's right wing was routed. The enemy following up 
attacked Davis' division and speedily dislodged Post's 



brigade. At this critical juncture Sheridan, after sus- 
taining four successive attacks, gradually swung his 
right from a southeasterly to a northwesterly direction, 
repulsing the enemy four times, losing his gallant 
General Sill of his right and Colonel Roberts of his 
left brigade, met the advancing enemy and checked his 

This report of Brigadier General Philip H. Sheridan 
tells the story: 

Jan. 9. Headquarters 3d Div. Right Wing 14th 

Army Corps Camp on Stone River, Tenn. 
My division alone and unbroken made a gallant stand to 
protect the right flank of our army, being all that remained of 
the right wing. Had my ammunition held out I would not have 
fallen back, although such were my orders if hard pressed. As 
it was, the determined stand of my troops gave time for a 
rearrangement of our lines. 

The real nature of the battle may be learned from 
the following paragraph from a letter printed in the 
Amherst local paper, written by one who escaped alive 
from the fierce fight : 

"We were ordered into the Cedar woods and formed our 
alignment about fifty yards from the edge. A brigade of our 
troops was giving way before the terrible fire of the enemy 
and we were relied upon to check the rebels. We lay down 
until our troops had all passed to the rear and the enemy 
approached to within a hundred yards. We arose and fired and 
must have done awful execution. That they damaged us was 
apparent. In fifteen minutes thirteen officers and 270 men out 
of 575 had fallen. We were forced to retire but our purpose 
had been accomplished. The division had reformed in our rear 
and the enemy did not advance beyond the edge of the timber. 



Our dead lay four days upon the field. I have been command- 
ing Co. E, 2d Battalion. Five days we lay upon the battlefield 
at one time eating corn issued to officers and men for rations." 

Another participant in this battle wrote to his friends 
in Amherst describing the crushing of Rosecrans' right 
wing and the enemy's attack upon the right flank of the 
center of the Union Army. He says their rations were 
ears of corn and the promise of horse meat. Continuing 
he wrote: "We have had hard times all along. It has 
rained all the time since Friday evening and we have not 
had any kind of shelter and have had to lie in the mud, 
half starved, wet, frozen, awake." 

The losses as reported were severe. The total killed 
and wounded were 8778, including 92 officers and 1441 
privates killed and 384 officers and 6861 privates 
wounded. Colonel Post's brigade suffered a loss of 161 
or 11.33 per cent killed and wounded. Rosecrans esti- 
mated the enemy's forces at 62,000 men, including 46,000 
infantry, 1200 sharpshooters, 1800 artillery and 13,000 
cavalry; and their loss 23% per cent of the fighting 
force. The Union forces were 42,000 and the loss 21 
per cent. The mobile force of cavalry gave the enemy 
a great advantage in hurling an attack with concen- 
trated energy at the weakest points. Only the de- 
terminated resistance of the stalwart Western regiments 
and the genius of Sheridan prevented an utter rout and 
final defeat of the Union Army. 

By fighting to the bitter end the Federal troops won 
the victory which gave new courage to President Lin- 
coln and the North. The following despatches an- 
nounced the result of the battles : 



Headquarters Department of the Cumberland 

Via Nashville, Tenn. 

Jan. 5, 1863. 
We have fought one of the greatest battles of the war and 
are victorious. Our entire success on the 31st was prevented 
by a surprise of the right flank ; but we have nevertheless beaten 
the enemy after a three days' battle. They fled with great 
precipitancy on Saturday night. The last of their columns of 
cavalry left this morning. Their loss has been very heavy. 
Generals Rains and Hanson killed. Chalmers, Adams and 
Breckenridge are wounded. 

(Signed) W. S. Rosecrans, 

Maj. Gen'l. 
H. W. Halleck, 
Gen'l in Chief. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, D. C, 

Jan. 5, 1863. 
Maj. Gen'l W. S. Rosecrans, 
Murfreesboro, Tenn. 

Your despatch announcing retreat of the enemy has just 
reached here. God bless you and all with you ! Please tender 
to all, and accept for yourself, the nation's gratitude for your 
and their skill, endurance and dauntless courage. 

(Signed) A. Lincoln. 

The part played by Adjutant Samuel Minot Jones 
won repeated citations for courage, gallantry and effi- 
cient service. He was always in the right place at the 
right time, the man for the crisis, with orders and with- 
out waiting for orders, doing the one thing that needed 
most to be done. In addition to other public notices of 
his valor on record in official documents is this report 



of W. P. Carlin, Colonel 38th Illinois Volunteers, com- 
manding Second Brigade, January 6, 1863. 

"Among the staff officers of the army who made them- 
selves useful in rallying the scattered men Dr. L. F. 
Russell, 2d Minn. Battery; Lieut. S. M. Jones, 59th 111. 
Vols.; Capt. Thurston, aide camp to Major Gen'l Mc- 
Cook and Chaplain Wilkins, 21st 111. Vols., came espe- 
cially under my observation." 

Lieutenant S. M. Jones by his distinguished service 
as Assistant Acting Adjutant General had attracted the 
attention of his superior officers. A brilliant future 
awaited him and rapid promotion. But his sensitive 
temperament and delicate constitution were not fitted 
for the horrors of war. He was not ambitious for mili- 
tary glory. Only patriotism and the stern imperatives 
of duty led him to enlist and to continue for eighteen 
months his arduous tasks. 

After the victory of Stone River he found himself 
weakened by a wound in his right leg, completely ex- 
hausted by the long protracted hardships of marching, 
camping, bivouacs and battles, and his constitution 
undermined by a severe attack of typhoid fever. He 
was confronted by the question, Shall I remain in the 
army an invalid and a burden to the government until 
speedy death shall close the scene; or shall I resign and 
serve my country best as a private citizen? It seemed 
wise to choose the latter alternative, believing that a 
live servant is of more, value to the nation than a dead 
soldier. He resigned therefore at once. His resigna- 
tion was accepted and he was honorably discharged 
January 8, 1863, while his regiment was still encamped 
on the battlefield of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. 



Samuel Minot Jones, returning to Amherst, sought 
rest and recuperation in his mother's home. He found 
the town busily engaged in making up its quotas of 
soldiers. The glamour of war had given place to stern 
reality. The draft had been found necessary to provide 
sufficient recruits. Those who could not go themselves 
provided substitutes. Bounties were freely offered by 
the town, the state and private individuals. Public 
meetings were held and the recruits were escorted to the 
station on their way to the front. But Adjutant Jones, 
no longer a citizen of Amherst, from which he had been 
absent for nearly ten years, spent his time quietly rest- 
ing until he gained strength enough for a trip abroad 
where he might forget the terrible scenes of fratricidal 
strife in which he had been driven by duty to participate. 

As soon as his health permitted he returned to Chi- 
cago. Although he never fully regained the physical 
strength he lost during his army service, but suffered 
more or less during the remainder of his life, he never- 
theless continued to do a man's work as long as he 
lived. In 1864 he formed a partnership with Charles R. 
Barton, who had already begun business for himself. 
The new firm of Barton & Jones opened a lumber yard 
near the Chicago River at the southeast corner of 



Lumber and 12th streets and Mr. Jones resided at 523 
Wabash Street. This firm continued to do business for 
twenty-two years, until the death of the senior partner 
in 1886. 

The story of the prosperity of this firm is told in a 
sketch printed in "Industrial Chicago" in part as 
follows : 

"He met with the success due to hard and intelligent 
application to business, to such an extent that the firm 
soon became interested in the manufacture of lumber at 
various points, having a half interest with the milling 
firm of B. Merrill & Company at Muskegon, acquiring 
a shingle mill at Manistee and a sawmill at Menominee, 
Michigan, with large holdings of pine lands in various 
portions of the State of Michigan, increasing the early 
manufacture of 4,000,000 feet per annum to 20,000,000 
and as high as 30,000,000 feet in later years. The firm 
continued in the vard business until 1880 when it with- 
drew from that branch of the trade and confined itself 
wholly to wholesaling by cargo with office on the market 
at South Water and Franklin streets. In 1886 Mr. 
Barton died and his son-in-law, D. J. Kennedy, became 
associated with Mr. Jones, and the firm of Jones & 
Kennedy have for several years past been engaged in 
winding up the affairs of the former house, which task is 
now happily accomplished. During the continuance of 
the firm of Barton & Jones no less than 200,000,000 
feet of lumber with a proportionate quantity of shingles 
and lath was manufactured at the mills which were 
wholly or partially owned by them. In the winter of 
1894, the business of the old firm having been settled up, 
Jones & Kennedy dissolved partnership and Mr. Jones, 



who during his busy life had time to make several Euro- 
pean trips in the interest of health as well as of recrea- 
tion, decided to see more of his own country and has 
spent the past several months in the South, visiting the 
Pacific coast, storing his mind with a better knowledge 
of the resources and grandeur of his native land which 
he appreciates the more, not less, from his own personal 
sacrifices in its interest, than from that pride which 
swells the breast of every true-born son of America as he 
contrasts his own land with the world at large. Mr. 
Jones, with ample fortune, now devoted his time to its 
care, having retired from active business. His firm was 
for many years a member of the Lumberman's Ex- 

An interesting account of Mr. Jones' business career 
in Chicago has been written by his former partner, D. J. 
Kennedy, as follows : 

"Mr. Jones came to Chicago after the close of the 
Civil War and went into the lumber business as partner 
of Charles R. Barton, my wife's father, under the name 
of Barton & Jones, the yard being on the west side of 
Chicago River on 12th Street (now Roosevelt Road) 
bridge. They manufactured and sold lumber, lath and 
shingles. They bought land on which was standing pine 
which they cut and sawed (or had sawed for them) into 
merchantable lumber. 

"Their customers were country lumber dealers, sash, 
door and blind manufacturing concerns, interior finish 
contractors, carpenters, etc. Later they bought stump- 
age, that is, the trees but not the land. They were one 
of the large firms though not the largest, and no lumber 
firm ever in this city had a better reputation for honesty 



and fair dealing than Barton & Jones. They were abso- 
lutely fair and square in all dealings with everyone. 

"Mr. Barton died in 1886 at which time Mr. Jones 
was too ill to attend to business. He then insisted that I 
take the business until he should be well enough to help 
look after it. I took mv wife's interest and we con- 
tinued under the firm name of Jones & Kennedy until 
we had cut nearly all the standing lumber we owned, 
about 1894 or 1895. 

"Barton & Jones were in business at 12th Street 
bridge at the time of the Chicago fire in 1871. The fire 
did not burn their yard, but sweeping just north of them 
and crossing the river it destroyed the main business 
part of the city and the eastern part of the north side. 
They had many men and managed to save their lumber 
by hiring fire engines outside the city to pump water 
from the river. 

"In 1886, when I was in the business, we owned a con- 
trolling interest in a sawmill at Menominee, Michigan, 
on the Menominee River, just across from Marinette, 
Wisconsin. We contracted with loggers to cut down the 
trees in winter and cut them up into logs and draw them 
over snow or ice roads to the banks of Menominee or 
its branches or lakes tributary to it. We had estimators 
at each camp (usually eight or ten camps) who sent us 
each Saturday an estimate of the amount of feet of logs 
cut during that week, and we paid the loggers, using that 
estimate as a basis. 

"About the first week in March of each year we took 
from Chicago one or more lumber buyers with us and 
went from camp to camp, looking at the logs piled up 
on the log rolls and estimating the quality of lumber 



that could be sawed from the loos, and settled on a price 
to be paid for the lumber including everything above the 
grade of mill cull. A mill cull is a piece too poor in 
quality to pay to ship. A shipping cull is poor quality 
but of enough value to pay the freight and handling. 

"In the spring, when the ice melted, the logs in the 
lake and on the river banks were floated by the Drive 
Company at so much per thousand feet to the mill and 
put into the mill booms, storage places, and there sawed 
during the summer into lumber and piled on our docks 
and in the yard. Each Saturday the mill sent us a 
statement of the amount sawed that week. We sent a 
bill to the purchaser together with a sixty-day note 
which the purchaser signed and returned to us and which 
we deposited in the bank for collection. We also paid 
the mill for sawing, using these weekly statements as a 
basis. We finally sold our interest in the mill and our 
remaining standing lumber to the Soper Lumber Com- 
pany of Chicago. Mr. Jones and 1 bought and cut two 
rather small tracts after that, but he was ready to retire 
from the lumber business. Though I wanted to con- 
tinue. I felt that I had not sufficient experience to go on 
alone. He was a good judge of timber and of lumber, 
a good business man and was not 'close.' He was care- 
ful, but 'hadn't a mean hair in his head.' I consider him 
one oi the cleanest, squarest men I ever met. His word 
was absolutely good and his conduct in business a 

Samuel Minot Jones was the man for the emergency 
in the business world as well as in the battlefields of the 
war for the Union. If he fought Indians at Sugar 
Creek and rallied panie-strieken soldiers at Stone River, 

- o 


he found need of a soldier's courage and a patriot's en- 
durance in his fight with the conflagration that was de- 
vouring the lives and the property of the great city on 
the shore of Lake Michigan. 

The fire, starting from a lantern in a stable at 9 p.m. 
Sunday, October 8, 1871, spread through the lumber 
district on the west side, crossed the river and burned 
over 2024 acres, SYs square miles of business blocks and 
dwelling houses. The flames burned their way for 2% 
miles in an air line in 6% hours. The value of property 
destroyed was estimated^ at $187,000,000 and 300 lives 
were lost. People fled to the lake shore to escape the 
flames. Thousands of men, women and children fled 
south and west away from the roaring flames, conveying 
their goods in every kind of vehicles, paying extortionate 
prices for them. They spoke many different languages. 
Wooden pavements burning freely carried the fire in a 
stream. Brick walls burned and granite blocks melted. 

The panic brought to the front gangs of the under- 
world bent on plunder. Some even tried to extend the 
disaster. Two caught in the act of firing houses on the 
west side were arrested and immediately hung to lamp 
posts, one on 12th Street near Barton & Jones' lumber 
yard, and the other three miles away on the north side. 
This summary action checked the thieves and murderers. 
The police department was strengthened by 1500 addi- 
tional deputies. General Sheridan came to the rescue 
with 500 veteran soldiers. In making arrests forty-one 
persons were shot. Out of the ruins ninety bodies were 
recovered. Fire on the south side was checked on Mon- 
day by the use of gunpowder. On the north side the fire 
burned its way almost to the prairie before it was 



stopped after twenty-seven hours, when it began to rain. 
The thousands of homeless people found refuge in 
schoolhouses and churches which had been saved. Others 
were obliged to camp by the wayside exposed to rain 
and cold. 

In the midst of all this terror Mr. Jones never lost his 
courage or his presence of mind. His lumber yard must 
be saved, not only because it was his property, but espe- 
cially because every foot of lumber would be at once 
needed to repair buildings and provide shelter for the 
homeless people. He did the one most essential thing. 
He sent out into the country and procured two fire 
engines and set his force of men pumping water from 
the river and throwing it in continuous streams upon the 
piles of dry lumber. He succeeded in saving the yard. 
Busy days followed when his depleted stock was re- 
plenished by shipments from his sources of supply in his 
lumber camps and mills in the northern forests. 

He was a leader of men. He knew human nature and 
drew to himself men whom he could safely trust. No 
partnership papers were signed either with Mr. Barton 
or with Mr. Kennedy to guard the rights or to secure 
the performance of necessary work. His word was as 
good as a bond and so he esteemed his partners to be 
men of honor and honesty: nor was he disappointed. 
His wealth was acquired by efficient work for private 
and public welfare. 

The firm of Jones & Kennedy was dissolved in the 
winter of 1894 and Mr. Jones retired from the lumber 
business at the age of fifty-eight after thirty years of 
strenuous activity in the city and in the forests. He did 
not, however, spend his time in idleness. He found it no 












easy task to keep the capital he had saved and to in- 
crease it. When a Chicago man learned that S. M. 
Jones had made several hundreds of thousands of dollars 
in the city and left with it for the East he exclaimed, 
"How did he get away with it?" He got away with it 
by the same method he used in getting it, by giving 
thought and good judgment to the employment of his 
time and his money for enterprises designed to promote 
the public good. His name appears in the Chicago di- 
rectory of 1895, "Jones, S. Minot, Capitalist, 100 
Washington Street." He invested his capital in rail- 
road stocks, public service bonds, Chicago Telephone 
Company, Edison stock and in other diversified securi- 
ties. He was no gambler in stocks, but was a cautious 
investor. His travels, wide acquaintance with business 
men and with resources and demands of the great West, 
and his public spirit enabled him to invest his capital 
securely, profitably and for the common good. 

Leaving Chicago he spent the last years of his life in 
the East, in Amherst, Philadelphia, Washington, D. C, 
Morristown, New Jersey, and Easthampton, Long 
Island, in close connection with New York City. 
Many men who have succeeded in the West have miser- 
ably failed when they have left their early environment 
and gone to New York City with the expectation of 
doubling their fortunes. But Mr. Jones was equal to 
the demands made upon him in the East and succeeded 
in keeping his fortune and increasing it, and at the same 
time in winning the respect and confidence of the busi- 
ness men with whom he was associated. 

He was for several years a member of the board of 
directors of the Morristown Trust Company, to which 



he was elected January 10, 1909. The following tribute, 
taken from the records of this Trust Company, shows 
that his genius for business conducted for the good of 
others continued as long as life itself : 

"The Board of Directors of the Morristown Trust 
Company has learned with deep sorrow of the death of 
their former associate, S. Minot Jones, and here record 
upon the minutes of the Company our respect and ad- 
miration for the sterling qualities of his nature, wisdom 
of his counsel, the generous kindness, the genial disposi- 
tion and sterling worth which, with his kind thoughtful- 
ness for others, have endeared him to us and to all who 
know him. 

"Mr. Jones was associated with this Company little 
more than three and one half years, but during that 
time his constant and careful attention to the trust com- 
mitted to him was of great benefit to all interested, and 
proved the value of his past experience and keen 



Samuel Minot Jones in his private life and in society 
was admired, respected, trusted and loved. His mother 
was the constant object of his filial love and service. He 
would not be a burden to her even to secure a college 
education for which he was well fitted, but at once after 
his father's death he began to support himself and to 
work for the welfare of his widowed mother and his 
young sister Augusta. Professor Henry M. Tyler of 
Smith College, writing of Mr. Jones, says in one of his 
letters, "My mother (Mrs. W. S. Tyler of Amherst) 
told me that his mother (Mrs. Thomas Jones) spoke to 
her of the comfort and help which he had given her in 
her advancing years." Professor John W. Burgess of 
Columbia University, New York City, writes: "Samuel 
Minot Jones was a very devoted son and he adored his 
widowed mother. He came constantly to Amherst from 
Chicago to visit her and would not marry so long as 
there was any likelihood of his having to support her. 
He was always contributing to her comfort." When his 
sister, Mrs. Augusta Thayer Jones Burgess, the wife 
of Professor J. W. Burgess, was ill in Switzerland, Mr. 
Jones left his business in Chicago and went at once to 
her relief. 

His kindness of heart is shown by the following letter, 



written to his brother Thomas and his wife on the occa- 
sion of the death of their daughter, Augusta Thayer 
Jones, named for her aunt : 

Chicago, July 13, 1872. 
My Dear Brother and Sister: 

May God bless and give you strength to bear up under the 
great affliction which in his infinite mercy he has seen fit to 
visit upon you. 

The dear little girl quite won my heart during my visit last 
winter and I had looked forward with pleasure to the time when 
I had hoped to be able to have done something that would have 
been not only of benefit to her but would also have shown my 
love for you. Would that I could find words to express my 
feelings of sympathy as well as of courage to you to bear up 
under what must seem to you an overwhelming burden of grief. 
Again I say, that God may comfort you is the sincere and 
heartfelt prayer of your attached brother, 

S. M. Jones. 

At the time of his mother's death he wrote to this same 
brother : 

Amherst, January 15, 1879. 
My Dear Tom : 

I presume you are prepared for the very sad news of 
Mother's death. I cannot tell you how grieved I am that I did 
not get here in time to see her alive. She died while I was on 
the road. On Monday we laid her in the tomb where she now 
sleeps in the fullness of the reward which our faith tells us is 
the future of a well spent life. She was a good mother to us 
all and you little know, Tom, how much she thought of you 
and your welfare. She felt you were a good son and did all 
you could to make her life one of happiness. It would have 
been a great satisfaction for her to have seen you and yours. 



The last letter she wrote me was that she wanted you to make 
her a visit. I wish you might have been here to the funeral, but 

it was impossible, so we did not send you the telegram 

Mary unites with me in much love to you and Minerva. 

Ever yours, 


In society Mr. Jones was a man of attractive and 
winning personality. The writer in "Industrial Chi- 
cago" says: "He, being of a highly social nature, while 
remaining a bachelor, has held membership in various 
social clubs, including the Union, Washington Park and 
other clubs of Chicago, and the Union and New York 
clubs of New York City. Of a genial nature his society 
is sought by his friends, and few have a happier faculty 
of winning and holding valuable friendships." 

His business partner, David J. Kennedy of Chicago, 
says: "He belonged to the Chicago Club. John Crerar, 
who gave the Crerar Library to Chicago, and Hunting- 
ton W. Jackson were his cronies." 

He was a member also of the Morristown Field Club 
and of the Morris County Golf Club in New Jersey. 

His brother-in-law, Professor J. W. Burgess, writes : 
"As to the character of Samuel Minot Jones I can 
truthfully say that he was one of the most admirable of 
men. He was very handsome in person, very intelligent, 
brilliant and vivacious, very upright and just in char- 
acter, exceedingly generous and charitable. He had 
sound business judgment and was a devoted citizen to 

his country He was a close friend of Grant and 

Sherman and Rosecrans, but especially of Sheridan. 
The country has never produced a finer man than 






Samuel Minot Jones. His character was more than 
fine. It was exquisite." 

Mr. Jones was a friend also of Robert Lincoln, son of 
President Lincoln, and of Admiral Dewey. He fre- 
quently met Dewey in Professor Burgess' summer home 
in Montpelier, Vermont. One day, previous to the 
Spanish- American war, after these three friends had 
been recalling their reminiscences of the Civil War, 
Dewey suddenly remarked, "They will be making heroes 
of us yet!" The coming admiral whose exploits at 
Manila Bay made the people idolize him, spoke better 
than he then knew. 

Having retired from active business with a compe- 
tence, having cared for his mother and his sister as long 
as they needed his assistance, and having been for many 
years the joy of the homes of many friends, the time 
came at last when his long cherished desire to have a 
home of his own was realized. 

March 16, 1898, at Overbrook, Pennsylvania, a 
suburb of Philadelphia, he was married by Reverend 
Thomas A. Hoyt, D.D., to Miss Harriet Watson 
Stenger, the daughter of William S. and Helen M. 
Stenger. Her father was a lawyer of note with whom 
Mr. Jones had been associated in business. She was a 
beautiful and gracious young woman for whom her hus- 
band, after residing for a time in Washington, D. C, 
made a beautiful home in Morristown, New Jersey, in 
addition to their summer residence at Easthampton, 
Long Island, New York. It was his joy to provide her 
with all that her heart could wish. 

Morristown is a beautiful suburb of New York Citv, 
composed of numerous elegant residences of wealthy 


TO p, '- ; riot-'" 
















people whose taste and health led them to escape from 
the crowded metropolis to the open country. The town 
on a high ridge of land commands extensive views and 
played an important part in the war of the Revolution. 
The Jones house was a fine colonial mansion, ample, 
open to fresh air and sunlight, in the midst of lawns 
shaded by maples, and commanding a beautiful outlook. 
A broad hall from the entrance on the front portico ran 
through the house to the stairway, dividing the reception 
room from the library. A large porch on the south was 
connected with the library. Everything about the home 
was in harmony with the character of the man, devoid 
of extravagance, nothing of pretense, all things real and 
genuine. The library was furnished with study tables, 
books carefully selected, walls hung with pictures, a 
homelike, comfortable place, a great contrast to the little 
wooden office in the midst of piles of lumber in Chicago 
where Professor Henry M. Tyler found Mr. Jones 
reading with much enjoyment Charles Dudley Warner's 
"My Summer in a Garden." 

The character of Samuel Minot Jones is to be 
learned not only from his valor on the battlefield, from 
his work in the forests of Michigan and in the lumber 
yard rescued from the Chicago conflagration, and from 
his career as a capitalist, but also from the books he chose 
for his hours of leisure and for his relief amid the strain 
of his daily business toil. While his body was in the 
dust, heat and turmoil of a city lumber yard, his soul, 
wafted on the wings of imagination, delighted itself and 
gained recreation and new vigor by visualizing the 
flower beds and vegetable plots and the shrubbery of the 



Hartford garden and by listening to the humorous talk 
of the author and chuckling at his wit. 

On the shelves of his private library were found stand- 
ard works of English and American literature, poetry, 
prose, history, fiction, biography, science and religion. 
Laurence Sterne, Fielding, Tennyson, Thackeray, 
George Eliot, Kingsley, Walter Scott, were his favorite 
English authors. Longfellow, Lowell, Hawthorne, 
Washington Irving, Motley, Parkman, Julia Ward 
Howe, were his American friends. The volumes are 
beautifully bound, the print legible and the illustrations 
of the best. He loved to see his friends — his books were 
among his friends — dressed becomingly, not decked with 
meretricious ornaments, but in a garb suited to their 
real merit. His books explain in large measure his suc- 
cess as a soldier, a lumber merchant, a financier and a 
man of leisure. His guide books show that his extensive 
travels in Italy, throughout Europe, in Norway, in 
Great Britain and in America enriched and broadened 
his mind and gave him an insight into the secrets of 
nature and human nature and an appreciation of the 
best things in art. 

Mr. John Crerar, the donor of The John Crerar 
Library to the city of Chicago, was one of the personal 
friends of Mr. Jones. His example, therefore, must 
have influenced the lumber merchant, when he came to 
consider the question how best to invest his fortune of 
$661,740 for the benefit of the boys and business men 
of Amherst, and must have convinced him that he would 
make no mistake in providing for them a library of the 
best books filled with the best thoughts and the most 
beautiful sentiments and the most inspiring incentives to 


Mrs. Harriet Stenger Jones and Son 


vigorous action, and in endowing it liberally, that as an 
institution it should during the coming generation do for 
its patrons as much as, and more than, his own library 
had done for himself. The Morristown home had many 
things to remind its owner of his boyhood home with his 
mother in Amherst. The summer home at the seashore 
at Easthampton was an unpretentious cottage near that 
of John Drew, the famous actor, with whom Mr. Jones 
enjoyed pleasant converse. Here he found recreation 
in afternoon walks, fishing and boating. 

His life in Morristown was by no means one of idle- 
ness. To the last he was interested in the public welfare 
and in the worship and work of St. Peter's Episcopal 
Church. His wife joined him in private charities. 
While not a college graduate, she received a good edu- 
cation in her father's home from private tutors. 

Their only child, Minot Jones, was born June 21, 
1899, at Atlantic City, New Jersey. During the next 
eight years Mr. Jones devoted himself to the care of his 
family, providing his wife and son with everything that 
his loving care could secure. The mother, however, 
always having a frail and delicate constitution, soon 
began to decline. In spite of all that medical science 
could do for her, after protracted suffering she died 
September 22, 1907. 

The loss of his wife was a severe trial of his faith, 
bringing disappointment to his plans for the home life 
he so dearly loved. But his religious nature, revealed 
in his letters at the time of the death of his little niece 
Augusta and of his mother, supported him in this hour 
of great sorrow. The following letter from his pastor, 
the Reverend Philemon F. Sturges, rector of St. Peter's 



Church in Morristown, shows the man steadfast in 
adversity : 

"Mr. Jones came to Morristown and settled in the 
house on Miller Road, and I remember vividly how 
quickly he won the affection of that intensely conserva- 
tive little neighborhood and became part of it. He was 
a very regular attendant at the services of St. Peter's 
Church, and I think every one felt the force of the 
serenity and buoyancy of his Christian character which 
illustrated in a peculiar way the truth of the old proverb, 
'Those whom the gods love are young until they die.' 

"I first came into intimate contact with him at the 
time of Mrs. Jones' death and remember very vividly 
my impression of the man at the time with his very clear 
and very calm assurance of immortality deepening at 
the end of a very long life, wishing for the sake of their 
boy that he might have gone and Mrs. Jones had been 
left to care for Minot." 

Rector Sturges closes with a reference to the "very 
lovable personality with its suggestion of light and peace 
at the eventide of a long and full experience of life" 
which was manifest in the daily conduct of Mr. Jones. 

The habit of attending church, formed during his boy- 
hood in Amherst, was dominant in Morristown. His 
coachman recalls this incident. When a party of visitors 
arrived on Sunday, he sent his coachman to meet them 
and give them the message that he would welcome them 
on his return from church. 

After the death of his wife Mr. Jones devoted himself 
to the care of his son, to whom was given the family 
name of Minot, so distinguished among New England 
patriots. He loved the boy and felt the responsibility 



Minot Jones 


for his education and training. While he was ready to 
provide him with all that his fortune could buy for the 
young man, he was careful that the boy should not be 
handicapped by the temptations which spring from the 
love of monev, the root of all kinds of evil. He believed 
in work, hard work, wisely directed. He himself was 
brought up by his Yankee father to work, and to his 
work from his childhood he attributed the success he had 
won. His son Minot was provided with the best of tutors 
and sent to the best schools, to Thacher's School for 
Boys, to the Taft School and to the Ojai School in Cali- 
fornia. With the aid of his housekeeper, Miss Jennie 
Canfield, who nursed his wife in her sickness, and by the 
help of John Mulcahy, his faithful coachman, he con- 
tinued to maintain his homes in Morristown and in East- 
hampton. He sought recreation at the Golf Club and 
the Field Club and in driving and walking about the 
country. As director of the Morristown Trust Com- 
pany, he found opportunity to serve others by wise 
counsel and generous kindness. But his heart, like that 
of his father, grew weaker and weaker so that he was 
obliged to favor it continually. He found that his daily 
walk in the open air fatigued him and must be shortened. 
Premonitions of the end led him on May 2, 1912, to add 
the last codicil to his will. Finally he closed his East- 
hampton house September 1, 1912, and hastened back 
to Morristown. Six weeks after his return from the 
seashore, at 1.30 a.m. on Thursday, October 10, 1912, 
his heart failed and his useful life of seventy-six years 

Simple funeral services were held in the Morristown 
home, conducted by Reverend Philemon F. Sturges, 



the rector of St. Peter's Church, assisted by Reverend 
Oscar Presdor, rector of St. Luke's Church at East- 
hampton, New York, his summer residence. The church 
quartet, directed by the choirmaster, sang "I heard a 
voice from Heaven" and "Peace, Perfect Peace." The 
burial was in Evergreen Cemetery, Morristown, in the 
family lot where he had laid his wife, Harriet Stenger 
Jones, to rest beneath a beautiful monument, and where 
later his son, Minot, was also to be buried. Many of 
his neighbors and representatives of Morristown or- 
ganizations attended the services and sent beautiful 
floral tributes. 



"Set thy house in order, for thou shalt die and not 
live," was a wise saying of an old prophet whose wisdom 
commended itself to Samuel Minot Jones and led him 
to devote much time and attention to the making of his 
will. It was drawn up and dated Washington, D. C, 
August 12, 1905. Feeling a due sense of responsibility 
in the disposal of his property that had been entrusted 
by Providence to his stewardship, he began; "In the 
name of God, amen, I, Samuel Minot Jones of the city 
of Washington, District of Columbia, being of sound 
mind and memory, do make, publish and declare this my 
last will and testament :" There follow twenty-two folio 
pages of legal cap, typewritten, including four codicils 
which were added from time to time to meet changed 
conditions, the last being dated May 2, 1912. 

The original will left the bulk of his fortune to be 
divided, one-half to his wife, Harriet Stenger Jones, 
and one-half to his son, Minot Jones. The son's share 
was placed in care of trust companies so that he should 
have what was needed for his support and education 
during his minority, and should receive one-third of his 
portion upon attaining the age of twenty-one years, 
together with the annual interest of the remainder, and 



upon reaching thirty years of age should then receive the 
other two-thirds. 

But in case no child of his should attain the age of 
twenty-one years, then the share allotted to such an 
heir should be given for a free public library in the town 
of Amherst, Massachusetts, to be called "The Jones 

After the death of Mrs. Jones he disposed of her 
share for the further benefit of his son, Minot. Roswell 
M. Field was appointed his guardian. A legacy of 
$5000 was left to his housekeeper, Miss Jennie F. Can- 
field, and to his coachman, John Mulcahy, $2000. The 
final provisions of the will, in case his son should die 
before the age of twenty-one years, gave the entire 
residue of the estate to The Jones Library that should be 
incorporated according to the laws of Massachusetts 
with George Harris, John M. Tyler and George Cutler, 
Jr., as trustees, and directed that any vacancy on the 
board of trustees shall be filled by vote of the town of 
Amherst at the annual town meeting. The trustees 
were directed in due time to purchase a lot and erect 
thereon a fireproof building, leaving not less than 
$100,000 as a permanent fund to be put at interest and 
the income to be expended in the purchase of books and 
the maintenance of the library. 

The following bequest shows his regard for the church 
and his love for his mother: "I give and bequeath to 
Grace Church, of Amherst, Massachusetts, the sum of 
one thousand dollars ($1000) absolutely. I do this in 
memory of my mother to whom said Grace Church of 
Amherst was very dear." He bequeathed a similar sum 
to St. Luke's Church in Easthampton, New York, but 



paid it before his death so that this bequest was revoked. 
For St. Peter's Church in Morristown he contributed 
from time to time during his life. 

Minot Jones after his father's death continued his 
education, and for the maintenance of the home in 
Morristown and for his personal expenses an abundant 
provision was made. He became interested in automo- 
biles and when called to the service enlisted as a private 
in Company C, 305th Battalion, United States Tank 
Corps, at Camp Polk, Raleigh, North Carolina. But 
his constitution inherited from his mother was never 
strong and was poorly adapted to the severe training of 
military service. Attacked by the prevalent influenza 
he was sent to Base Hospital Number 12 at Bilt- 
more, Asheville, North Carolina. Pneumonia followed 
influenza and resulted in his death December 16, 1918. 
He was privately confirmed September 16, 1918, three 
months before his death. His body was brought to 
Morristown and buried in the cemetery where a stately 
granite shaft marks the family burial plot in which his 
father and mother lay side by side awaiting his coming. 
His friends received a beautiful certificate signed by 
President Woodrow Wilson, testifying to the fact that 
"Minot Jones, Private, Company C, United States 
Tank Corps, served with honor in the World War and 
died in the service of his country." Above this inscrip- 
tion is a significant picture entitled "Columbia Gives 
to her Son the Accolade of the New Chivalry of 

Samuel Minot Jones was a good judge of lumber. 
He could estimate the value of growing forest trees, the 
worth of a log in the woods, at the mill and in his Chi- 



cago yard when sawed into merchantable boards, lath 
and shingles. He was also a student of human nature 
and wise in his choice of friends. He knew whom to 
trust, and trustworthy men he associated with himself in 
business and trusted them implicitly without bonds and 
without suspicion. His partners were bound by no legal 
documents. Their word was sufficient. His own honor 
was unsullied and in his presence every man showed the 
best that was in him. 

He loved the young and all children were dear to him. 
His hope was that his son would live and with every 
advantage at his command would embody and perpetu- 
ate the valor, patriotism and distinguished service of his 
New England ancestors. But knowing the uncertainty 
of human life, he made a wise provision for the future. 
Should his own boy die before attaining his majority 
and without an heir, it was decided that the fortune 
should be invested for the benefit of the people of Am- 
herst and of their boys and girls. 

In all his travels north, south, east and west, in his 
own and in foreign lands he never forgot Amherst, the 
home of his boyhood, where from infancy to young man- 
hood he received his education and training in his home, 
his school and his church ; he could not forget his hills and 
valleys, his friendships, the beautiful town where his 
father and his beloved mother lived and worked and 
died and were buried. 

He came back to Amherst and conferred with George 
Cutler, who employed him when a boy, and with George 
Cutler, Jr., whom he took with him as a companion when 
traveling in the mountains or on the sea, and he finally 
decided that the town of Amherst, the people of Am- 


p^ : : turns* 

Board of Trustees 

George Hahris, D.D., LL.U., President 

[Died March 1. 1982] 

John M. Tyler, Ph.D.. LL.D., Clerk Georgk Cutler, Treasurer 


herst, should be his heirs. For them his money should 
be expended, to provide a free public library. A suit- 
able building should be erected and an ample endow- 
ment provided for its perpetual support. He would 
not follow the plan of making his gift a burden to those 
receiving it, requiring them to tax themselves forever 
to perpetuate a memorial in his own honor. The Jones 
Library is a free gift to the people of Amherst without 
money and without price and without any onerous stipu- 
lations. He believed that the name of his father, 
Thomas Jones, and of his mother, Mary Minot Jones, 
and of the Jones family that during the generations had 
wrought so much for the public good, was worthy of 
remembrance. He would have them remembered not 
because of a huge mausoleum which should emphasize 
their superiority to common folks, but have them 
through their library be constantly inspiring each suc- 
ceeding generation to attain more and more knowledge, 
wisdom, virtue and happiness. 

In his choice of men to found the librarv and to estab- 
lish it upon a sure basis he again showed his good judg- 
ment. John Mason Tyler was the son of a dear friend 
of his mother and one of the younger boys he knew 
before he left for the West, a native of Amherst, who 
from his lifelong educational work in the town knew 
the needs of the people and how best to supply them. 
George Cutler, Jr., he knew intimately from his child- 
hood and discerned in him genuine business ability 
joined to public spirit and a love for Amherst, his birth- 
place. George Harris, president of Amherst College, 
he knew by reputation as a New Englander from the 
state of Maine, an educator, an administrator, a minister 



of the gospel, of excellent judgment and long experi- 
ence. These three men he chose as trustees to whom, 
without any burdensome restrictions, he confidently 
committed his fortune to be expended in buying a lot, 
erecting a fireproof building, establishing an endowment 
and organizing and equipping the library. In order 
that the town might at length come into full control of 
his gift, his will provided further that vacancies occur- 
ring in the board of trustees shall be filled by vote of 
the town at its annual meeting. 

The will was duly admitted to probate and after the 
death of the son, Minot Jones, before he had attained 
his majority, the trustees secured a special act of the 
legislature of Massachusetts incorporating the library 
with the three men named in the will as trustees. The 
act provided that the corporation shall be authorized to 
purchase, or with the consent of the town given by vote 
at a meeting legally called for that purpose, to acquire 
by eminent domain, a suitable lot of land and to erect 
thereon a fireproof building for the accommodation of 
said library, to maintain an endowment fund for its 
support, and to carry out and fulfill in all respects, in so 
far as they relate to said library, the provisions of the 
will; that the selectmen may require the trustees and 
their successors to give bonds for the faithful perform- 
ance of their duties ; that the corporation shall make an 
annual report to the town duly audited; that vacancies 
shall be filled by vote at an annual town meeting to 
serve for three years and that after the death of the last 
survivor of the original trustees the town may so arrange 
that one trustee shall be thereafter elected annually for 
the term of three years. This act of incorporation was 



approved by Governor Calvin Coolidge, March 21, 

With the receipt of this authority "The Jones Library 
Incorporated" was organized with George Harris, presi- 
dent; John M. Tyler, clerk; and George Cutler, Jr., 
treasurer. The Morristown Trust Company of New 
Jersey immediately after the death of Minot Jones pro- 
ceeded to settle the estate according to the terms of the 
will. The real estate was sold and January 1, 1921, the 
treasurer, George Cutler, Jr., received the income from 
all the securities and The First National Bank of Am- 
herst was appointed fiscal agent of the corporation. The 
total amount received by the trustees from the Morris- 
town Trust Company was: stocks, $241,998; bonds, 
$405,207 ; cash, $14,542.08 ; total, $661,747.08. The net 
income received from these securities for fourteen 
months was $44,226.88. The total expense for the same 
period, ending December 31, 1921, was $29,608.21. This 
covered the entire cost of organizing the present library 
as now operated, including equipment, books, periodi- 
cals, supplies, rent, insurance, trust management and 
incidental expenses. The trustees adopted the policy of 
reinvesting and turning into principal all surplus of 
funds not required for operating the library. 

After qualifying for their trust, the three trustees 
found their most important task to be the appointment 
of a librarian. This position was one for which many 
librarians might eagerly seek, but the trustees de- 
termined that the Jones librarian must be more than a 
cataloger and keeper of books, more than an expert in 
architecture and in booklore, more than a business ad- 
ministrator and executive, more than a figurehead, more 



than an embodiment of the latest fads in bibliography. 
He must be a man of vision, one capable of compre- 
hending the end for which a free public library designed 
to serve the common town's people of Amherst should 
exist and persist and one who should be able to secure 
at all times the adaptation of efficient means for the 
accomplishment of this end. 

The trustees, therefore, instead of going far to fare 
the worse, found the man for the place, not in the 
metropolis, not across the seas, but right in the town of 
Amherst, one of the townspeople, Charles R. Green. 
After having been graduated Bachelor of Agriculture 
in 1895 from the Connecticut Agricultural College, he 
was employed in various capacities on The Courant of 
Hartford, Connecticut. He was soon, however, put in 
charge of the library of the editorial department. He 
made himself so useful in collecting material and putting 
it in such shape that the writers could get what they 
needed at a minute's notice, that he attracted the attention 
of the Connecticut state librarian, who called him from 
the newspaper office and set him to work in the State 
Library, where he remained for seven years, from 1901 
to 1908. When Kenyon L. Butterfield succeeded Henry 
H. Goodell as president of the Massachusetts Agri- 
cultural College, he found Mr. Green to be the one man 
he must have to build up the college library. For thir- 
teen years he served the college with great efficiency, de- 
vising and putting into successful execution new plans 
for increasing not only the number of new books, but 
also the number of people who should make the best use 
of the facilities of the library. Branch libraries were 
placed in the fraternity houses and in the several depart- 



ments of the college. Traveling libraries were sent out 
to rural communities throughout the state. Lists of 
helpful books were made and distributed to secure more 
readers and better reading. 

Librarian Green made the acquaintance of the people 
of this and other towns and worked to interest the young 
and old in the best books that he could furnish for their 
highest culture. He aimed to know the book, the reader 
and how to make the reader choose his book and get out 
of it into his own head the best ideas as food for thought, 
sentiments to cherish and motives to action. After care- 
ful consideration Mr. Green accepted the call of the 
trustees and began September, 1921, his work as libra- 
rian of The Jones Library. 

The trustees decided that the present unsettled condi- 
tions in the building trades and in the financial situation 
of the country were unfavorable for erecting a library 
building that would be a fitting memorial and suitable 
for the work to be accomplished. It seemed best to them 
first to organize the library as a working institution, to 
find out the real needs of the community and then later, 
when the favorable time should come, to select the site 
and construct on it a building adapted in the best possi- 
ble manner to secure the ends the donor desired should 
be accomplished. 

The second floor of the Amherst House was leased for 
three years and fitted up and equipped with whatever 
was necessary for the maintenance of a people's library. 
A reading-room, well lighted, was provided with periodi- 
cals and the latest books for consultation and for home 
circulation. A children's room was filled with the best 
juvenile books and papers. An assembly-room was 



put at the disposal of literary and other organizations 
for lectures and discussions. A study, removed from 
the deliverv-room, attracted those who wished to do 
special work or hold committee meetings. A stackroom 
with steel shelves furnished room for books not in con- 
stant use. A librarian's office and trustees' room was 
furnished with needed facilities for the business of ad- 
ministration. Storerooms and restrooms and work- 
rooms completed the apartment. Located at the center 
of Amherst's business life, at the meeting place of the 
town's thoroughfares, The Jones Library attracted 
public attention from the first and led all classes of the 
people to use freely the privileges offered. From the 
opening of the library, September 7, 1921, to December 
31, less than four months, out of a population of 5530 in 
the town there was a registration of 1108, an attendance 
of 11,701 and a circulation of 10,632. The number of 
books on hand was 2890. 

The plan adopted is one of growth from small be- 
ginnings to greater attainments. Instead of buying 
books by the thousands, they are procured one by one as 
the need for them is shown and their worth is proven. 
The Converse Library at Amherst College and the 
Agricultural College Library, the first with its 125,000 
volumes and the latter with 70,000 cataloged books, pro- 
vide for the needs of college faculties and students, so 
that The Jones Library has for its special field the needs 
of the men, the women and the children of the towns- 

The New England home such as that in which Samuel 
Minot Jones was born and reared is passing. The New 
England country church no longer dominates the com- 



munity. The town is no longer homogeneous. Instead 
of a few Yankee families constituting a society follow- 
ing the same customs, cherishing the same sentiments, 
obedient to the same moral standards, there is now a 
heterogeneous mass of immigrants, of native born, and 
of sojourners from all parts of our own land. The 
Polish people are cultivating the farms ; the Greeks are 
competing in trade; Italians, Chinese, French, Japa- 
nese, Irish and others are making homes in the village 
and in the open country. How shall they and their chil- 
dren be Americanized and so blended into a composite 
society as to make our democracy safe, sound and 
secure? The church is so divided into sects that the 
task, at least for the present, is too great for it. The 
public schools are wrestling valiantly with the problem 
and are attempting to teach things practical and theo- 
retical, handicrafts, business, sanitation, civics, science, 
morals, physical culture, art, music, agriculture, sew- 
ing, cooking; but alone they cannot accomplish the 

In this emergency The Jones Library, in the spirit of 
its founder, is coming opportunely with its offer of 
assistance to the schools, to the churches, to the family. 
The Jones fortune, instead of ministering to the need 
of one boy, Minot Jones, his father's only child, has in 
the providence of God come to help all the boys and all 
the girls of Amherst and vicinity without respect of 
race, religion or social station, and to the relief of their 
parents as well. 

The scholar who goes to school from his father's 
library, where from his infancy he has lived and played 
with books and pictures and music, and listened to the 



stories of his parents' guests who have gathered about 
the fireplace in the library on a winter's night, or sat by 
the open window on a summer's day, has an exceeding 
great advantage over the child who goes to the school- 
room from a house or an apartment destitute of any 
such thing as a library. Such a child has missed the 
inspiration of the best thought of the great thinkers and 
singers of the present and of the past; he has no taste 
for books; he knows not how to read; his imagination 
has never been kindled by visions and vistas of the great 
and glorious world; he has no friends in the realm of 
literature; his horizon is limited; he is like one in the 
bottom of a well with none to help him climb to the top. 

It is the purpose of the trustees of The Jones Library 
to make it a home library ; a place where any and every 
child of Amherst may come and make himself at home ; 
where he can help himself to whatever his mind or heart 
shall crave ; where he can see the best pictures, hear the 
best stories told, listen to the best music, learn the mystic 
open sesame that shall reveal marvelous treasures all his 
own for the taking. 

The trustees plan to make The Jones Library a place 
where teachers in Sunday school, in the day school, in 
the pulpit, in the home, in women's and in men's clubs, 
shall find the book, the paper, the information, they 
require to make their teaching a success; a place where 
the working man, or woman, ambitious to excel and rise 
to higher positions, shall find every facility for master- 
ing the courses of study he has determined to pursue. 

There are library schools where one is trained to 
catalog books and to become a librarian. The Jones 



Library is designed to teach the people how to use a 
library for their own pleasure and profit. The progress 
of machinery, the eight-hour laws, the multiplication of 
holidays, are all increasing the amount of leisure time 
the common people have at their disposal. What shall 
they do with it ? If they waste it, or worse, abuse it, our 
democracy and our civilization will degenerate and be 
destroyed. But if this leisure be rightly valued and im- 
proved, the common people will grow in wisdom and in 
stature, and in favor with God and man, and humanity 
in due time will develop sons of God. The powers of 
nature are so tremendous that the man who holds them 
in his hand must not only be wise, he must also be trust- 
worthy ; otherwise Jove's thunderbolts will destroy both 
those against whom they are hurled and also him from 
whose hand they explode. Every town in Massachu- 
setts, with one or two exceptions, has a public library. 
Our whole country from east to west is filled with 
libraries. The duty of the hour is to attract the multi- 
tudes within their doors and show the individual man 
and woman, boy and girl, how to use them for their 
own salvation and for the welfare of the human race. 

Let The Jones Library become a school for the mul- 
tiplication of the number of readers, so that each year 
from its reading-room shall go forth young people with 
a passion for reading, such as shall inspire them to put 
into practice what the best thought of the world reveals 
for the practical benefit of themselves and their fellow 
men, then Samuel Minot Jones will not have labored in 
vain, nor will his son, Minot, have died in vain on his 
cot in the Base Hospital during the World War. 



Robert Frost, the poet, while teaching in Amherst 
College, in season and out of season said to his students : 
"Be a Reader! Be a Reader!" This message of the 
poet might well be emblazoned on the walls of the new 
Jones Library: "Be a Reader! Be a Reader!" 




This book is under no circumstances 
taken from the Building 

o be 

: ' 

form -tlu