Following is one of the Biographies and Stories which where gathered by Charles Sumner McKamy in the 1950s for publication in a Crawford County History Book. Unfortunately he passed away before the book was published.

I was the fourth and youngest son of George W. Jones and Euphemia Bales Jones, my brothers being John Paul, the oldest; Alfred Hanby, Jr., next; and then Joseph Raymond. I was born on July 20, 1889 at the present site of the County Jail during the time my father was sheriff of Crawford County. My maternal grandfather, D.M. Bales, had served as Sheriff of Crawford County, and he had appointed my father as his Deputy, and after being elected Sheriff, father moved into the old County Jail which was later replaced with the present building. During the time he served as Sheriff and afterward, he studied law and was admitted to the Bar of Crawford County where he practiced for many years until his death in September 1929. During the last 25 years prior to his death, he was associated in the defense of every important murder trial in the County except one, and enjoyed the reputation of being an exceptionally fine trial lawyer, especially in the defense of persons charged with murder, and it is to his credit that only one client was ever convicted, and that conviction was reversed by the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois, and the defendant was later set free without another trial. He was born and during his early years lived on a farm southeast of Hardinsville in Crawford County, which has been homesteaded by his father and mother, and which is still in our possession. The original land grant for the 160 acre farm signed by President Fillmore is one of the prized possessions in our home. After the term of Sheriff was ended he moved to 10 acres which was then just outside of the western city limits of the City of Robinson which extended from outer West Main Street to the Illinois Central Railroad, and on the south part of this land is now constructed part of the W.A. Case Mfg. Company and many homes occupied by the workers in the Case Pottery and employees in other industries in Robinson and in Crawford County. While living in the family home west of Robinson in February 1892, Mrs. Jones passed away leaving Mr. Jones and his four boys, and during this period of time after the death of their mother, the children were cared for by their paternal grandmother, Mary A. Jones. In July of 1896 he married Christine Kern of Mt. Carmel, Illinois, and with her loving assistance and tender devotion she and Mr. Jones reared their four boys to manhood. In the management of the home of Christine Kern Jones, she proved herself to be a wise and devoted mother to her step-children, and the loving care and attention which she gave them during the rest of her life was all that any mother could have given her own children. She was very artistic, being an accomplished painter, musician, seamstress and although when married she had no experience in cooking or raising a family, by her constant study and effort she soon became one of the many outstanding cooks and housewives in Robinson. Oil paintings which she did, china which she painted, needle point and fancy work which she did during her life time are still among the prized possessions of those who remained after her death in April 1928.

During the time Mr. Jones was serving as Sheriff, and while living in the County Jail, a prisoner by the name of Boyd, whose nickname was "Booze" Boyd because of his addiction to intoxicating liquor, was in jail. One day he prevailed upon me to get and give him a large key hanging behind the door of the living quarters of the home, and with this key the prisoner made his escape. He fled no further than the nearest saloon and was soon recaptured by Sheriff Jones in the vicinity of the present Big Four Railroad Station, and as usual, was in an intoxicated condition. In an effort to determine what punishment should be inflicted upon me for delivering the key to the prisoner, various methods of punishment were discussed, but the decision was made by Jenny Mitchell, later the wife of Samuel R. Taylor, as Miss Mitchell was at that time staying at the Jail and helping with the work. She announced that the punishment should be that from then on I should be called "Boozer", and from that time on I was known throughout my childhood and for many years of my life as "Booze" Jones.

During the time he was Sheriff and afterwards, Mr. Jones studied law with local lawyers of the City of Robinson, and was later admitted to the Bar. After a few years of practice he was appointed by the Judge of the Circuit Court to defend one Dave Eaton who was charged with murder. This was a particularly important case in this county because the victim Mr. Eaton was charged with killing was a Civil War veteran, and the general consensus of opinion was that Mr. Eaton would either be hanged or sentenced to the penitentiary for life.

However, Mr. Jones, by brilliant and outstanding work in behalf of his client, was able to obtain a sentence of only two years in the State Prison instead of the death penalty or life imprisonment a great many people had anticipated. From that time on until his death, with one exception, he was involved in the defense of every person charged with murder in Crawford County and the one exception was in the case of Floyd Dart. The reason he was not involved in that defense or in the prosecution, and he was offered employment on both sides, was due to the fact that the prosecution was in my hands as State's Attorney at that time, so he refused to accept employment for the prosecution or for the defense.

During the early years of his life father had learned, through experience, the benefits arising from frugality, thrift and perseverance and although, at times he was in debt in order to educate his children, he educated the three oldest sons in the profession of dentistry and the youngest one in the profession of law. During the time his two eldest sons were in dental school, the oil boom was beginning in this community, and although he received offers to sell the farm, which had been homesteaded by his parents and which he had later purchased from the other heirs, at the insistence of his wife, Christine Kern Jones, a mortgage was placed on the land to obtain sufficient funds to continue the education of his two oldest children. Before the mortgage became due, he was able to lease his farm for oil and gas and he received from such lease a bonus of more than enough to pay off his indebtedness. This proved to be a fortunate event in his life, for later oil was discovered on the farm, and it was through the insistence and the cooperation of his wife, Christine Kern Jones, that the farm was saved and they were allowed to enjoy in later years those things which production of oil produced the money to purchase. He was a firm believer in religious matters and a deep student of the Bible, and the booklet he prepared entitled "The Trials of Christ – Were the Legal?" which he had published and distributed freely to his friends, shows the research in Biblical history, from a legal standpoint, which went into the preparation of this work. He was an able speaker, often in demand on many occasions, and during the latter years of his life, he found great pleasure in conducting the Men's Bible Class in the Methodist Church in Robinson. In April of 1928, his second wife, Christine Kern Jones, passed away, and the following years in September of 1929, Mr. Jones passed away.

Of the four children of George W. Jones, I am the only one left, as Hanby Jones passed away in 1907, while he was studying dentistry in the Northwestern University in Chicago. He was never married and had almost completed his course in dentistry at the time of his death. Dr. Paul Jones died in East St. Louis in 1931, having been married to Nina Denman of Greenup, Illinois, who was killed in an automobile accident near Highland, Illinois, Dr. Paul later married Miss Nell Farthing, who was a sister to Paul Farthing, one of the outstanding lawyers in Southeastern Illinois, and although he had been blind since childhood, he became a lawyer and, at one time was elected to the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois. Dr. Paul left no children at his death, as there were none born to either his first or second wife. Dr. Ra Jones was married to Ada Blessing of Vinton, Iowa, and they had three children, George William, James R. and Marianne. Ada, the wife of Dr. Ra, died in 1941 and Dr. Ra died in 1942, being survived by the three children above mentioned. George William (or "Jeff" as he was commonly known) was with the Ohio Oil Company for some years, and later accepted a responsible position with the Red Cross. He was married to Sally Westerman and they have three boys; James R. (or "Jimmy", as he was commonly known in Robinson) never married, and after serving in the Army during the Second World War, he devoted several years to writing one of the best sellers in American Literature "From Here To Eternity", from which one of the outstanding moving pictures at that time was also made. Marianne, the youngest of the three children of Dr. Ra, died suddenly in Marshall, Illinois, where her brother, James, was pursuing his writing career, and the suspicious circumstances surrounding her death, and the cause of her death, have never been fully cleared up. Her death leaves only Jeff and Jimmy as the surviving descendants of George W. Jones, in addition to myself, and Jeff's three sons, David, James and Richard.

It was my good fortune to be associated with my father in the practice of law from October 1912, when we formed the partnership of Jones & Jones, until his death in 1929. Although in 1925 I went to Florida for the purpose of engaging in the practice of law, where I did practice until April 1937, the firm name remained Jones & Jones until after I returned to Robinson to establish my law practice at which time the firm name was dropped.

I attended the Public School in this city and the Law School at the University of Illinois, completing my studies in the spring of 1912, taking the Bar Examination in July of that year and being admitted in October. During my four years of high school I was captain of the baseball and football teams for each of those years, and in the spring of 1908 I joined the St. Louis Bloomer Girls Baseball team and toured the country with them playing throughout Northern Indiana, Southern Michigan, Ohio, and finally leaving the team in East Liberty, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in September 1908 to return to my law studies at the State University. On my return to the State University, I discovered one of the instructors, a Professor Decker, had moved to Champaign from Battle Creek, Michigan, and I asked Professor Decker if he recalled an occasion during the past summer when the team of the St. Louis Bloomer Girls had played a game with a Michigan team in Battle Creek. The Professor distinctly remembered the occasion as he had been standing at the window of his law office when the parade moved down the main street of Battle Creek and on that occasion he recalled that one of the instruments used to attract attention to the ball team was a fog horn, and on that particular occasion in the City of Battle Creek the fog horn was being operated by me. During my summer with the St. Louis Bloomer Girls Baseball Team, I became acquainted with Emma McCaffrey, who was a ticket seller for the team and a daughter of Dominick McCaffrey, who was a pugilist of the John L. Sullivan period. The record books show that during the career of John L. Sullivan, only man ever caused him to quit the ring in a fight and that man was Dominick McCaffrey.

After my admission to the Bar in 1912, I went on a trip to South America visiting various countries on the East Coast and particularly for the purpose of visiting my oldest brother Paul, who had gone to Buenos Aires to practice his profession of dentistry. On my way to South America by way of Pittsburgh and New York City, I stopped and spent one evening in Pittsburgh with Dominick McCaffrey and his family and sailed from New York City for South America on the liner Vestris, which was lost several years later in a storm at sea, and the picture "The Sinking of the Vestris" has appeared in many works of art.

While I was in the Argentine Republic, I stayed with my brother, Dr. Paul Jones, and I became acquainted with many Americans and, some of whom had organized a small baseball league. The game was interesting to many Englishmen, but in reporting the game of baseball, the newspaper accounts would be phrased in terms to which applied to the English game of Cricket. At that time, there was no extradition from the Argentine Republic to the United States, although there was extradition from Uruguay, which was just across the La Plata River, and of which Montevideo was the Capitol. In Montevideo the Americans had also organized some baseball teams, and the result was that our team, composed of the best players in Buenos Aires, arranged to play a team composed of the best players in Montevideo, and I was chosen as the one to play the position of Catcher on the team from Buenos Aires. However, about a week before we were to go to Montevideo, we were notified by our Manager and Secretary, Louie F. Toussig, that the game would have to be called off indefinitely. Upon making inquiry as to the reason, I was discreetly told that some of the boys on the American team refused to leave the Argentine, where there was no extradition, and go into Uruguay, where the right of extradition would exist. Before I left Buenos Aires, on the night of August 20, 1913, the Buenos Aires Baseball Association gave a dinner and a dance in the Avenida Palace Hotel to give all the members of all the various teams an opportunity to get together for the last time and wish me a safe voyage back to the States, as I was leaving on Thursday, August 21st. On the way back from the Argentine we stopped in San Paulo, Santos, which is quite a port for exporting coffee, Bahia, and on up to the island of Trinidad.

I left the boat in Trinidad and took another boat to Colon, in Panama, where I spent a few days going from Colon to the City of Panama along the Panama Canal. I left Colon on the boat of United Fruit Lines in the company of several Americans who had been working in the Canal, and one of whom was named Henry Hudson, who was from Oklahoma. He was a steam shovel operator on the Panama Canal, and his claim to fame was the fact that he was the man who operated the steam shovel which took the last shovel full of dirt out of Culebra Cut, which was one of the large excavations made in construction of the Canal. We came to New Orleans, and from New Orleans, I went to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, where many people had settled who had been in Robinson during the early days of the oil boom. While there, I caught a baseball game for a Charity game, and the game was reported by a young man named Taylor, who formerly lived around Flat Rock and who was then working on the paper in Bartlesville. From Bartlesville I came on to Robinson, where I started the practice of law with my father George W. Jones, under the firm name of Jones & Jones, maintaining offices on the North side of the public square, upstairs in the East part of he rooms above the Crawford County State Bank. In 1914 I was appointed City Attorney and I served in this capacity until 1916 when I was elected States Attorney by the narrow margin of 33 votes, being the only Republican elected in Crawford County at this time. My election was contested, but the contest was dropped after the discovery of some irregular procedures which had taken place in the preparation of the petition to contest the election.

During my first term as State's Attorney the First World War broke, and although I was automatically exempted from the draft because of my office, I enlisted in an Officer's Training School, and was in the 20th Machine Gun Company at Camp Hancock, near Augusta, Georgia when the Armistice was signed. I had the choice of finishing my schooling in the Officer's Training School and receiving a commission as a Major, and becoming a member of the Reserve Forces, but as I was anxious to return home and continue the practice of law, I resigned from the school and returned to Robinson to take up duties of State's Attorney, which had been carried on during my absence by my father. After returning from the Armed Services I was one of the charter members of our American Legion Post No. 69, and also a charter member of the local Voiture of the 40 & 8, which is a branch of the American Legion.

I was re-elected for a second term in 1920, and served until December 1924, when my second term was completed. During the time I was State's Attorney I was able to save the County many thousands of dollars by greatly shortening the time spent by the Grand Jury by instituting new methods of handling the investigation of crimes. Many misdemeanors, which could be prosecuted in the County Court by filing Informations, had been handled by the Grand Jury. An Indictment would be returned by the Grand Jury and then it would be sent down to the County Court for prosecution, but by filing an Information in the County Court this work was taken off of the Grand Jury, and they would devote their time to investigating only felonies, which would have to be prosecuted in the Circuit Court. By adopting this method, and also by having all witnesses ready to be heard as soon as the Grand Jury was sworn in and ready for work, I was able, on many occasions, to complete the work of the Grand Jury in one day, whereas it has been the custom formerly for the Grand Jury to be in session for ten days or two weeks, at the expense of he County taxpayers.

At the end of the Second term as State's Attorney, I moved down to Tampa, Florida, where a long life friend Douglas R. Dewey and I formed a partnership for the practice of law. One of the important cases in which this firm acted as the defense counsel was the case of he People of the State of Florida vs: Benjamin Franklin Levins, who was charged with the murder of five members of he Lonnie Merrill family. The public feeling was so high that it was necessary for the authorities in Tampa to call out the National Guard to protect the life of the prisoner against the mob which had formed at the site of the jail, in an attempt to lynch the accused man, Levins. When the mob attacked the jail, it was necessary for the Nation Guardsmen to shoot, which they did by firing low on the paved streets, but the bullets ricocheted with the result that of the mob, seven persons were killed or injured, as a result of the outbreak. Having been appointed by the Court to defend the prisoner, my partner Mr. Dewey, and I could do nothing else but defend him, under our oath as lawyers, which we did throughout the spectacular trial, lasting over a week, and from which the public was practically barred for the reasons of security. The trial resulted in a conviction and later Levins was executed in the electric chair at Raiford, the site of the State Prison in Florida. On the day before Levins was scheduled to be executed, my partner, Mr. Dewey, and I talked with him in the death cell at Raiford. From where we were talking with Levins, all three of us could see the electric chair through the open door of a room nearby, and in our conversation with him, we pointed out to Levins even though we were returning to Tampa that night in an effort to obtain a stay of his execution, for an insanity hearing, it was highly probable we would not be successful, and that he would be executed the next day. There had always been doubt in our minds as to whether or not he was actually guilty, and on this occasion of our last conversation with him, we explained to Levins that if we were not successful in having his execution delayed for an insanity hearing, we would not see him any more, and that we wanted to know whether or not he had actually committed the crime of which he had been convicted. I will always remember the answer he made, for he said, "Mr. Jones, as God is my Judge, I do not know whether or not I committed that crime". I assured him that at trial he had told the truth as best he could, and that if he had to die the next day, he could do so with a clear conscience, that he had told the truth as best he could, and that, under those conditions, he need not fear to die. We always had thought that Levins was somewhat unsound, mentally, and in his statement to me, in reply to my telling him he need not be afraid to die, he assured me that we would have no occasion to be ashamed of him when he went to the death chair, as he would meet it like a man. He was executed the following day, as we were unable to obtain a delay of his execution for a sanity hearing, and in a later conversation with the Warden at the State Penitentiary in Raiford, the Warden told me that Levins marched to the chair unassisted, sat down, and assisted his guards in fastening the straps around his legs. I mention this incident, as one instance which caused us to question his mental stability, and the fact that he assured us that we would not be ashamed of the way he died, in an effort to make good his word to us, he would go as far as assisting his guards to strap him in the electric chair, knowing that within the next few minutes, the charge of electricity would be sent through his body which would take his life.

On this occasion, which I have mentioned, I also talked with Al House, who had formerly lived around Terre Haute, Indiana, and on the occasion of my visit to Raiford, he was kept in what was known as the "Al House Bungalow". This was a building constructed of concrete, with all windows more than ten feet from the floor, and which had only one entrance, and that entrance was barred by two steel doors, each having a different key, and each key being the possession of different prison officials. This precaution was taken because Al House had previously escaped from Raiford, and other prisons as well. At that time, he was serving twenty-five years for participating in the holdup of a paymaster for a Tampa cigar company. He was later brought to Tampa to testify against one of the men charged with participating in the holdup, and when he refused to answer certain questions, the Judge, trying the case, warned him that if he refused to answer, he might be sentenced to Jail for one year for Contempt of Court, House replied. "Judge that does not worry me at all; I am doing twenty-five years now".

While in Tampa I became acquainted with Hilton S. Hampton, a prominent attorney who represented the Citizens Bank and Trust Company of that City, and I also became acquainted with various officials of the bank. The bank held a deed of trust or mortgage on about 600 acres of timber bearing land south of Ocala, Florida, and an agreement was entered into whereby I was to erect a mill and they would furnish timber at a stipulated price of so much per thousand feet in order to pay off the indebtedness against the property. In accordance with the agreement, I secured the services of Mr. Hughes C. Card, who had many years experience in the operation of lumber mills throughout the South, and under his supervision the mill was erected and the cutting of the timber began. This was a very successful operation and continued until the failure of the bank in 1929, which forced the closing of the mill and it was later sold by me to some Englishmen from Gulfport, Mississippi. In the meantime, due to injuries sustained in World War I my partner, Mr. Dewey, had returned North for his health so we closed the office in Tampa and I devoted my time to the operation of the mill until the same was closed. In September 1929, my father passed away in Robinson, Illinois, and I returned in time to be with him for a short period before his death in Allen's Sanitarium in Robinson. After his death I returned to Florida, and I moved my law office from Tampa, in Hillsboro County, to St. Petersburg, in Pinellas County, just across Hillsboro Bay. I engaged in the practice of law in St. Petersburg from the time I moved there in 1929 until 1937 when, in the month of April I returned to the City of Robinson to resume my practice of law. During the time I was in St. Petersburg, I was appointed by Honorable John U. Byrd, one of the Circuit Judges in that district, to assist in the defense of two men charged with murder. With Lawrence A Childs, a practicing Attorney in St. Petersburg, and now a Municipal Court Judge there, I was associated in the defense of Ernest Wilmot, who was charged, with one Hadnot, with killing Myra Hassen, whose body was found in Mirror Lake, which is in the center of St. Petersburg residential district. The prosecution of this case was in the hands of Chester A. McMullen, later Congressman McMullen from that district, and after about a week of a hard fought trial, the jury returned a verdict of guilty, but recommended a sentence of 10 years for my client Wilmot. After the case was over, Mr. McMullen told me frankly he considered the verdict a victory for us because he had felt sure he would be able to obtain the death penalty for each defendant.

During the time I was in St. Petersburg, in order to keep the Republican Party alive in that County, I ran on the Republican ticket for various offices, including County Judge and County Prosecuting Attorney, which office, in some respects, compares to the office of State's Attorney in the State of Illinois. Naturally, I was not successful in any of these races because of the overwhelming Democratic majority in Pinellas County at that time, but through the efforts of several others and myself, the Republican Party was kept alive in that County and has recently elected many of the County officials; in fact the public offices in the County are now in the hands of Republicans due to the recent elections in 1952.

When I moved from Tampa to St. Petersburg to engage in the practice of law in that City, I was married to Sadie C. Card, the daughter of Hughes C. Card, with whom I had been associated with the operation of the saw mill at Coleman, Florida. On October 27, 1929, in a little church in the City of Inverness, Florida, in the presence of only her relatives and mutual friends, we were married by Reverend Sam Eishman, who had been a school mate of her father. Mr. Card was a deep student of history, and also particularly well versed in the history of the South and in the works of Shakespeare. His father was the youngest Captain in the Northern Army, and because of the fact that the Card family lived in Tennessee, which was divided in its sympathies with the North and South, the six great uncles Sadie Card had served in the Southern forces. The ancestry of the Card family has been traced back to pre-Revolutionary days and one of the first historical facts about the ancestry of my wife, Sadie C. Jones, is that she belongs to the Daughters of the American Revolution and also the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Her ancestry descended from Revolutionary soldiers on both sides of her family as her forefathers went from South Carolina to Tennessee after the Revolutionary War. They settled in the Middle Blue Grass part of Tennessee and their descendants have lived there for past generations. She and her two sisters, Mrs. Druscilla C. Foley and Mrs. Cecil C. Harris, are exceptionally fine musicians, and on many occasions during the time we lived n St. Petersburg, they gave concerts before many of the local societies and organizations. After locating in St. Petersburg, I continued to practice law there until April 1937, and on the first day of that month, Mrs. Jones and I accompanied by our two bird dogs, and our faithful colored boy, Sidney E. Douse, moved back to the family home at 305 East Main Street where Mrs. Jones and I have continued to reside. After spending a couple of years with us, Sidney decided he preferred to live in the South, so he returned to Florida where he is still living and occasionally returns to visit us for a few months during the summer.

After returning to Illinois, I was appointed by Governor Dwight S. Green in connection with the Oil and Gas Division of the Department on Mines and Minerals of this State and served with that Division until August 1, 1949. Since then I have been engaged in the general practice of law in the City of Robinson where I expect to continue as long as possible. It is a peculiar coincidence, that my office is now, in 1956, located in the same rooms which were once occupied by Charles S. McKamy, who has compiled this book, and for whom, in many years gone past, I swept his office and builded his fires on cold winter mornings.

Upon reading this over, I realize that practically all my family, many of my loved ones and friends have passed on, and that I am truly, "the last leaf on the tree", and I seem to be looking back down the Highway of Life. It brings to mind one of the verses of Omar, the tent maker, contained in the Rubat, "The Moving Finger writes, and having writ, moves on; and all our piety and wit, can't lure it back to cancel half a line; nor all our tears wash out a word of it". And many times I agree with him saying, "Ah Life, could you and I with Him conspire; to grasp the sorry scheme of things entire; would we not shatter it to bits and then, remold it nearer our hearts desire". This we cannot do; the Record is made and it will stand.

In bringing this to a close, let me paraphrase Kipling, and say, "When Life's last pleasure has ended, and my checks are all settled for; and I say 'Good-bye' and beat it, through the Big Wide Open Door; I shall rest, and faith, I shall need it; I'll lie down for a year and a day, and forget the joyful echoes of our fun along the way. And tho' the chair that I leave vacant, and my presence a ghost like shape; may I live again, for a moment, in the hearts of the friends I have made."