By Jonathan K. T. Smith
Copyright, Jonathan K. T. Smith, 1996

(Page 86)


            Dr. Isaac W. Jones was born in Charlotte County, Virginia, March 17, 1830 [1], one of the children of James B. Jones (Halifax County, Virginia, May 28, 1786-Carroll County, Tennessee, November 9, 1840) and his wife, Elizabeth G. Cardwell Jones (May 28, 1798-February 20, 1869)[2], who were married March 8, 1816 (bond).[3] The father was a farmer and at least for a time was overseer of a Compton farm in Charlotte County.[4] The Joneses moved from Virginia to Carroll County in October 1835. According to his son, LeGrand M. Jones, James B. Jones returned to Virginia the next fall to close out his business there and brought several relatives back to Tennessee with him to live permanently.[5]

            The elder Jones rented land until his purchase of real estate on Reedy Creek in February 1838, two miles east of the village of McLemoresville in Carroll County.[6] Probably on the eve of his trip back east, on September 7, 1836 Jones executed his will, leaving his wife and their sons, LeGrand and Silas, to manage his estate and at his wife's demise he directed that the estate that was left be divided among his children, including the yet-unborn. This will was probated in December 1840, shortly after his demise.[7] The Virginia militia records indicate that he had served/volunteered during the War of 1812 to combat the British and he was a charter member of the McLernoresville Baptist Church.

            The children of James B. and Elizabeth Jones were LeGrand Michaux Jones, Silas Palmer Jones, Paul Starkweather Jones, Moses A. Jones, Isaac W. Jones, Abraham C. Jones, James D. Jones, Bettie Ann Jones (who married Thomas K. Brower), Mary Jones, Abner Clopton Jones, Philip Doddridge Jones, the two latter, the youngest of the lot, both died as Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.[8]

            Young Isaac, Ike, Jones apparently received his legacy in tuition and support during his schooling. After a rudimentary education he attended the Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, taking the medical course there. He prepared an eighteen, handwritten pages "inaugural address" on "the blood," submitted to the trustees and medical professors of this institution, July 1, l854. As he prefaced his paper, "As custom has made it obligatory on the medical student to write a thesis on some subject pertaining to the healing art, I will proceed to do so in as clear and brief a manner as circumstances and the nature of the case will admit. I have chosen the blood as a subject well worthy of the study of him who expects to practice the science of medicine as a basis for the few remarks which I may present to my worthy and esteemed instructors. I presume at this advanced period of medicine it will not be expected of the inexperienced student to present anything new or interesting and I will not claim originality for the remarks contained within these sheets, my knowledge having been gathered from my instructors and from books which I have read on the subject."[9] He did just as he said he would by writing in a well-organized manner what would appear to be his grasp of the subject of his paper from the reading he had done and the lectures he had heard. His diploma from Transylvania was dated March 15, 1855.[10]

            A part of his medical training was derived from his older brother, Dr. Paul S. Jones (a medical graduate of the University of Nashville, 1852) of Shelby County, Tennessee with whom he had studied medicine.[11]

            It is not remembered or recorded where the young doctor began his medical practice although by August 1860 he was a practicing physician, boarding in the household of T. R. Dallum near Cotton Grove in Madison County, Tennessee.[12] There being no record of his having served in the Federal or Confederate armies during the Civil War it is assumed he did not serve, at least for any length of time, in the ranks of either. On July 2, 1865, as a resident of Madison County, he voluntarily took an oath of allegiance to the United States government.[13]


(Page 87)

            Dr. Jones bought 68 acres of land from the heirs of R. J. Locke adjoining Cotton Grove in February 1866 [14] and over the years he made modest purchases of land so that by 1900 he owned a 290 acre tract in civil district fourteen (Cotton Grove), valued at $2900; another 210 acre tract in the same district, valued at $500 and 150 acres in civil district twelve, valued at $1500. He built a timber house back off the Lexington Road where he and his family resided and a small frame office building to the north front of his yard where he treated those patients who came to him; as often as not, though, he had to travel with his "doctor's kit" to those who needed his services. He used hired help to cultivate the cotton raised on his place and to work his garden and to tend to odd jobs around the farm.

            Dr. Jones married Sallie Jenny Powell (May 23, 1844-October 1903), February 9, 1869 and they set up housekeeping at the homeplace he had begun to develop a few years earlier. It is not known where they married or how they had met. She was born in Marshall County, Mississippi where she lived her young life. She was a daughter of Thomas Powell and Sarah (Sallie) S. Puckett who were married in Rutherford County, Tennessee, December 13, 1827.[16] The Powells moved to Marshall County, Mississippi about 1837;there the family prospered, having a farm in the country while living in Holly Springs, the county seat. The August 26, 1850 entry in the U.S. census of that year [17] indicates that Thomas Powell was born about 1802 in North Carolina; his wife, Sallie, was born about 1806 in Tennessee. Their children were listed: Margaret Powell, age 20;William C. Powell, age 19; Charles N. Powell, age 18;Thomas H. Powell, age 16; Elizabeth A. Powell, age 14 (all of whom were born in Tennessee); born in Mississippi were: Mary B. Powell, age 10; George W. Powell, age 8; Sarah Jane Powell, age 6; James E. Powell, age 4; Walter and Catherine Powell, twins, age 2. Powell's real estate was valued at $6000.

            Ten years later, Thomas Powell's real estate holding was valued at $23, 600 and personalty, mostly slaves, valued at $30,000.[18]

            Powell's death has the element of mystery to it because he disappeared during the Civil War. In a deposition presented by his son, Charles N. Powell, to the probate court of Marshall County, July 16, 1866, he wrote that his father had "left this county, on a temporary absence as he believes, early in 1863 and that for more than two years, he has not been heard from."[19] The probate court was satisfied from evidences submitted by the family that Thomas Powell was deceased, from the most reliable information they could get and they presented his will, executed by him June 20, 1858 for probate. With a rundown estate, resulting from neglect during the war years and his absence, Thomas Powell's estate was declared insolvent and the will was virtually ignored. His widow was granted her dower, including the Holly Springs residence and she bought for a small payment the farm from which she derived some revenue by renting it out.

            In his will Thomas Powell had left his estate to be managed "for the benefit of my wife and children in decent manner" by his widow, their sons William and Charles and a son-in-law, David H. Leseuer. Apparently the son, Tom, was mentally deficient or physically handicapped as his father particularly tried to provide for him in the will. Bequests of slaves were made to his children which was nullified by the results of the war with the emancipation of the slaves.[20]

            Dr. Ike and Jenny Jones had but two children, Elizabeth G., called Lizzie, named for her paternal grandmother, born in 1869 (who later married Sebon W. Pearson) and Abner Wentworth Clopton Jones, called by the last of his given names, born in 1873, who bore the full name of the Baptist minister, 1784-1833, who had made a lasting impression on the Jones family back in Carolina and Virginia. This son suffered a heat stroke and lingered ill for sometime and died July 12, 1903. His mother died a few months later.


(Page 88)

            Dr. Jones bought a lot and house in Jackson, at 598 Hays Avenue, where he lived for years with his daughter and her family. However, growing ever more senile, he died in his old home at Cotton Grove, June 13, 1914 and was buried beside his wife and son at Brown's Methodist Church cemetery [21] where their graves are marked with substantial tombstones. In his will, Dr. Jones left his entire estate to his daughter, Lizzie.[22]



  1. Dr. Isaac Jones' tombstone at Brown's cemetery renders his birth date as March 17, 1828 of which date the birth year is incorrect. With his birthdate not recorded in the family Bible and with his having grown senile in his old age, his daughter may not have known just exactly how old her father was. In the 1900 U.S. census, Dr. Jones' age was given as 70 years. In his mother, Elizabeth G. Jones' census listing for 1850, Carroll County, page 112, his age was given as 20 years. In his father, James B. Jones' household, in the 1840 census, Carroll County, page 83, Dr. Jones would have been one of the two males, aged five to ten years of age, James Jones being the other male in that age range, born about 1831. In the 1870 U.S. census (June 20), Madison County, page 298, Dr. Jones' age was given as 40 years. In his father, James B. Jones' listing in the 1830 U.S. census, Charlotte County, Virginia, page 235, certified October 29, 1830, Dr. Jones would have been one of the three males, aged under five years; the others being Moses, born about 1825 and Abraham, born about 1827. One male, aged 5-10 (Paul, born 1822); two males, aged 10-15 (LeGrand, born 1817; Silas, born 1819); one male, aged 40-50 (James B., born 1786); one female, aged 30-40 (Elizabeth G., born 1798).
  2. In the book, FAMILY REMINESCENCES (published St. Louis, Missouri, 1894), its author, Dr. Isaac Jones' oldest brother, LeGrand M. Jones of Trenton, Tennessee gave the list of his parents' children: LeGrand Michaux Jones, Silas P. Jones, Paul S. Jones, Moses A. Jones, Isaac W. Jones, Abraham C. Jones, James D. Jones, Bettie Ann Jones, Mary Jones, Clopton Jones and Doddridge Jones. All these children but the two oldest are shown in the household of Elizabeth G. Jones, in the 1850 U.S. census, Carroll County, page 112: P. A. Jones, age 27; Moses A. Jones, age 25; Abraham Jones, age 23; Isaac Jones, age 20; James D. Jones, age 19; Elizabeth A. Jones, age 16; Abner (Abner Wentworth Clopton) Jones, age 14; Philip D. (Philip Doddridge) Jones, age 11. (Mary died young.) In his will, James B. Jones listed his children born up to September 1836: LeGrand M., Silas P., Paul S., Moses A., Abraham C., Isaac W., James D. and Elizabeth A. Carroll County Will Book A, page 90.

    James B. Jones (his middle name thought to have been Brown for his mother's people) was one of the eleven children of William Jones and his wife, Martha (Patsy Brown) Jones of Halifax County, Virginia, as noted by LeGrand M. Jones in his FAMILY REMINESCENCES, page 14. Patsy B. Jones moved to Tennessee where she died in old age, August 18, 1843 and was buried in the graveyard on her son's farm, where he and his wife and others of their family are buried. The only tombstone found intact by the present writer, on a visit to this cemetery, August 6, 1996, was that of Elizabeth G. Jones and it was off its base but otherwise in good condition. (It may be that the birth month and day of James B. Jones, May 28, usually given in genealogical references was incorrect, unless he and his wife had the same birth month and day; hers is inscribed plainly on her tombstone.
  3. Halifax County, Virginia marriage bond.
  4. In the 1820 U.S. census, Charlotte Co., Virginia, page 15A, James B. Jones is listed for his own family and as overseer of L. Compton.

    (Page 89)

  6. In FAMILY REMINESCENCES, page 11, is related the information about the Jones family's emigration from Virginia.
  7. Carroll Co., Tenn.: Deed Book D, page 245. Deed registered May 3, 1838.
  8. Carroll Co., Tenn.: Will Book A, page 90. Will probated December 1840.
  9. See footnote 2.
  10. The original paper is in the archives of the Special Collections Dept., Transylvania University Library from which a photocopy was made for the present writer.
  11. The original license to practice medicine (required by a recent law), dated Oct. 23, 1889, Madison County, based on his diploma from Transylvania, now owned by his great-granddaughter, Elner (Hutcherson) Steinhouse of Olive Branch, Illinois. This data was also recorded in the Madison County Physicians Register, 1889-1906.
  12. SETTLERS OF SHELBY COUNTY, TENNESSEE AND ADJOINING COUNTIES, by Bernice Taylor Cargill and Brenda B. Connelly, 1989, page 89. Sketch of Dr. Paul Starweather Jones, 1822-1880.
  13. U.S. Census, 1860, Madison County, August 30, page 237. Dr. Jones' personalty valued at $100.
  14. Oath of Allegiance document now owned by Dr. Jones' great-granddaughter, Elner (Hutcherson) Steinhouse, Olive Branch, Illinois.
  15. Madison Co., Tenn.: Deed Book 24, page 380, February 20, 1866. Other land purchases of Dr. Jones in deed books 24, page 5 (Feb. 28, 1866); IBID., page 381 (Oct. 27, 1866); 28, page 589 (April 1, 1871); 33, page 563 (July 2, 1874); IBID., page 604 (Jan. 20, 1875); 40, page 402 (Mar. 24, 1883); 51, page 124 (May 8, 1893).
  16. Madison County tax book, 1900. Tennessee Room, Jackson-Madison County Library.
  17. The family record of Thomas Powell and Sarah S. Powell is recorded in their Bible, listed below, as well as Dr. Isaac W. Jones and wife's family Bible data:

    (Page 90)


    This Bible was published by Barnes & Company. New York, 1855. It is presently owned by Susanne Ivy Griffin Boyd (born 1956) of Cotton Grove, Madison Co. Inscribed in the front of the Bible, "Kindly presented to Mrs. Thomas Powell by her old friend, A. W. Goodrich 1858. After her death to her daughter Jenny S. Jones 1882. "My children do not cast this precious book aside but read it prayerfully and hand it down from one generation to another. Sept. 15. 1894. Your Mother. J. S. Jones."

    Thomas Powell and Sallie Puckett was married Dec. 13th 1827

    Margaret J. Powell daughter of Thomas & Sarah Powell was born Nov. 15th 1828
    William C. Powe:l son of Thomas & Sarah Powell was born April 21st 1830
    Charles N. Powell son of Thomas & Sarah Powell was born December 26th 1831
    Thomas Hume Powell was born January 9th 1834
    Elizabeth A. Powell was born October 26th 1835
    John Walter Powell was born October 25th 1837
    Mary Baker Powell was born November 29th 1839
    George Washington Powell was born October 28th 1841
    Sallie Jenny Powell was born May 23rd 1844
    James Elder Powell was born January 16th 1846
    Kate J. Powell was born February 2, 1847
    Emma B. Powell was born July 29th 1848 /twin/
    Thomas Walter Powell was born July 29th 1848 /twin/


    This Bible was published by Miller's Bible and Publishing House, Philadelphia, 1872. It is presently owned by Susanne Ivy Griffin Boyd (born 1956) of Cotton Grove, Madison County.

    Lizzie Cardwell Jones born Dec. 2, 1869
    A. W. C. Jones born March 19th 1873

    I. W. Jones & Jenny S. Powell married Feb. 9th 1869
    Lizzie Cardwell Jones married Sebon W. Pearson /January 8, 1891/

    W. Clopton Jones died 1903

    (Courtesy, Mrs. susanne Griffin Boyd, Cotton Grove, Tennessee)


  19. U.S. Census, 1850, Marshall Co., Miss., Northern Division, page 275.
  20. U.S. Census, 1860, Marshall Co., Miss., July 21, Ward 4, Holly Springs, page 168. The family's ages: Thomas Powell, age 57; Sarah S. Powell, age 53; Mary Powell, age 20; George Powell, age 18; Jane Powell, age 16; James Powell, age 13;Catherine Powell, age 12; Emma Powell, age 9.
  21. Marshall Co., Miss.: Estate Case 1649, Thomas Powell. Probate Court determined that Thomas Powell died sometime between Jan. 1, 1863 and July 1, 1866.
  22. The original will, written by Thomas Powell, is in the packet 1649, annotated to the effect that it had been transcribed into Record Book 17, pages 295-298 which volume is now missing.
  23. Madison County, Tenn. death certificate: Isaac Jones, died June 13, 1914. His birth date was not given in this record. Information given by W. H. Pearson. Age given as about 87 years.
  24. Madison County, Tenn. will Book C, page 23. Dr. Jones executed his will in 1907; probated June 27, 1914. Lizzie Jones Pearson died September 18, 1940. Her children with Sebon W. Pearson (1862-1915) were: Ruth, born 1892; Robert Lee, born 1893; Pauline, born 1894; Anna, born 1896; Mary, born 1901. Dr. Jones and his wife have numerous descendants through these Pearson grandchildren.


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