The present County Judge of Clinton County, is a native of Marion county, Tenn., and was born July 31st. 1826. The family is of Welsh origin on the paternal side, and English on the maternal. Hercules Jones, the father of Jesse, was born in Virginia, in 1783, and removed to Tennessee while yet young, and settled in Marion county, where he lived until the fall of 1830. He then came to Illinois, and settled on Looking-glass Prairie, and there entered forty acres of land. He remained at the latter place four years, then removed to Clinton, Mo. Four years later, he returned to Clinton county, Ill. In 1846 he went to Texas; but that state proving uninviting, he returned here, and in 1850 removed to Caldwell county, Mo., where he died in 1860. He married Elizabeth ROBINSON, of Marion county, Tenn., who was born in North Carolina. She died in 1843. He afterward married Nancy MADDUX, by whom he had five children. She is now a resident of Kansas. By Mr. Jonesí first marriage there were ten children, three of whom are living. Jesse is the second in the family. He was raised upon the farm, and received a limited education; the whole of his time spent in school did not exceed seven months. When he was seventeen years of age, he rented land and went to work for himself. From that time to the present farming has been his chief occupation. In 1863 he purchased one hundred and eighty-two acres of land, in sec. 17, T. 1, R. 3 W., and to this original purchase he has added until he now has three hundred and twenty acres, nearly all of which is in a high state of cultivation. In 1877 he was nominated on the Democratic ticket for County Judge, and in November following was elected, and is now serving the people in that official capacity. He has held other local offices. In 1849 he was elected Justice of the Peace, and held that office ten years. He also served as constable for two years. In all the offices he gave complete satisfaction to the people.

On the 16th of December, 1847, he was united in marriage to Miss Eliza OUTHOUSE, whose family were among the pioneers of Illinois. She died in 1851. By that union there were three children, one of whom is living, named Harvey D. Jones, a farmer of this county. In September, 1852, he married Mary Jane REEVES, of Clinton county, Ill. She died in 1860, leaving three children, all of whom are living. Their names are, William Newton, who is a carpenter by trade, and a resident of Iowa; Eliza Jane; and Jacob R. Jones. In 1863 he married Mrs. Nancy AMMONS, nee SHELTON, by which marriage there are two children, named James Edgar and Luann Jones. He is a member of the ancient and honorable order of Freemasonry, and belongs to Scott Lodge, No. 79, Carlyle, Ill. Politically, Mr. Jones was formerly an old-line Whig, and voted with that party until after its abandonment, when he joined the Republican party, and voted with the latter organization until near the close of the war, when he joined the Democratic party, and has remained with that political organization to the present. In matters of religion, Judge Jones is inclined to liberalism. He believes that real religion consists in doing unto others as you would have others do unto you. Judge Jones is eminently a self-made man. His advantages in youth for receiving an education and improving his mind through the medium of schools and books, were exceedingly limited, and therefore his knowledge is of the practical kind, that comes from close observation and actual contact with the world. He is a man possessing an unusual amount of plain practical common sense, which, after all, is of more real value than knowledge derived from books. In the capacity of judge, he brings to the bench practical knowledge of the wants and rights of the people with whom he has lived for over a half century, and by the exercise of common sense arrives at a decision that is seldom disturbed by the higher courts.

Source: History of Marion and Clinton Counties, Illinois, 1881, Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia

Submitted by: Pamela Safriet

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