Col. Joshua R. Jones
 April 10, 1815 - April 17, 1899
Sulphur Springs, Asheville, North Carolina 

by Iris Teta Eubank Wagner
2nd great-granddaughter

Photo of Col. Jones from collection of Frances B. Whisenhunt,
 granddaughter of Col. Joshua R. Jones; W. T. Robertson, Asheville, N.C

__________   J  __________

The following obituary for Col. Joshua R. Jones was published in the Asheville Citizen on April 18, 1899. 
 Pack Memorial Library, Asheville : 

Col. Joshua R. Jones, one of Buncombe's best known citizens, died yesterday afternoon at 5 o'clock at his home on Hominy, after an illness of several weeks.  The funeral services will take place tomorrow at 11 a.m., and the interment will be at the family burial ground on the old homestead. 

This  is the Jones Family Cemetery on the old homestead on the hill above Brookside Circle in west Asheville - Year 1990 : Gravestone at right is Joshua R. Jones;  middle, Laura Garman Jones;  left, Robert R. Jones.   Other gravestones in the cemetery are children of Sara Jane Jones Harkins (youngest daughter of Joshua and Laura) and Hershel Springfield Harkins.  Joshua's father, William Jones, was the first burial in the cemetery in the year 1845, though no gravestone is evident in the cemetery for him.

(the obituary continues . . .
* Col. Jones was a native of Buncombe County, the place of his birth being near the mouth of Hominy Creek.
** He had lived at the place where his death occurred ever since he was seven years of age.  He was a man of sterling worth and had the esteem of the people of the county in which he was born and spent the years of his long life.   His time was wholly given to farming and dealing in livestock and he had accumulated considerable property.  During the Civil War, he was colonel in the home guard.

Col. Jones was 84 years of age having reached that age just one week before his death.  He married Miss Laura M. Garman of this county about 52 years ago.  His wife and four children survive, the children being Justice H. C. [Henry Calvin] Jones of Asheville, M. M. [Marcus Maloney] Jones of Black Mountain, Mrs. H. S. Harkins of Asheville and Mrs. Tolitha Wilson (Eldridge Wilson) of Hominy.

Notes . . .

the place of his birth being near the mouth of Hominy Creek refers to the location of the home and farm of Joshua R.'s  grandparents, Joshua and Elinor Medley Jones.  From information in this obituary record, Col. Jones was born in 1815 at the home of his grandparents, Joshua and Elinor Medley Jones, who owned a  large tract of land that included the mouth of Hominy Creek.  Much of this tract would become a part of the George Vanderbilt estate in the late 19th century.   Several years ago, a memorial stone was placed by several descendants to honor Joshua and Elinor at the site of the old family burial ground, now owned by the Biltmore Estate.   The stone contains the engraved names of all the children of Joshua and Elinor.
** Joshua R. had lived at the place where his death occurred ever since he was seven years of age [1822] At the time of his death, Joshua was living in the old, two-story log house, later covered with clapboard (see below) on Brookside Circle.  This house was built by Joshua's father William Jones in 1820/1822.  The land of Joshua R's father, William Jones, was along Hominy Creek.  The tract shared a west border with the tract of William's brother, Thomas Jones, who died in 1832.  U. S. Route 19/23 runs between Hominy Creek and the old house.
Wagner  1990

  Discovery in 1990 of the Old Jones House, west Asheville
On a research trip the summer of 1990, I drove around this west Asheville neighborhood with my sister Betty and our mother Bonnie, searching for the location of the house, as my mother knew it was still standing at the time . . . but where in the immediate vicinity she did not know.  I stopped to ask a fellow, who was working in his yard, if he knew of the old Jones house and its location.  His name was Talmadge Carter, and he did know, and told us . . . Though it's covered with siding now, that house was built a long time before the Civil War, and it is all built of logs.  

We found the house of my 4th great-grandfather, William Jones, at the lower end of Moody Avenue on Brookside Circle.  Both ends of this short road intersect with U. S. Route 19/23.  I took this photo (above) of the house at that time.  In 1990 the house was being used as an apartment residence.   In the 1920's, Jones descendants sold the farm to the Enka Corporation.  My mother and her aunt, Mrs. Frances Whisenhunt, remembered the house had been used for company offices for a time, until Enka built an administration building.

Beneath the long-ago-added clapboard siding, are logs 170 years old.  This house no longer stands.  Brookside Circle is a remaining section of the old Stage Road that ran from west Asheville through the Hominy Valley and Sulphur Springs.

                                        Map of the Asheville Vicinity 1839

Library of Congress
This 1839 map of the Asheville vicinity shows several Stage Roads intersecting in Asheville : the French Broad River Stage Road runs along the east side of the river toward the Tennessee border ;  the old Stage Road running west out  of Asheville through the Hominy Valley and Sulphur Springs ; the Stage Road running east out of Asheville crossing the Swannanoa River and on through the Swannanoa Gap toward Old Fort, and  the Stage Road running north across the Iron Mountains (Smoky Mountains today) to Greeneville, Tennessee;  and the Stage Road running south to Fletcher and Hendersonville. 

History of the house and farm
The house was built by Joshua R. Jones's  father William Jones By the obituary record of Joshua, William moved his family from his parents' home at the mouth of Hominy Creek in 1820, and the house was built by 1822. 

Joshua inherited his share of the family farm in 1845, at the death of his father.  Within three years of his father's death, Joshua had begun to add acreage to his farm by purchasing the inherited shares of several siblings, who had moved from the area.  

The farm extended some distance across land the Enka Company later bought in the 1920's.  Much of the land where Enka built was owned by descendants of Joshua's Uncle Thomas Jones.  William Jones's farm was located north across Hominy Creek from Uncle Thomas's land.  William's farm is located at the letter "J" on the map below.

The map above is from Kenneth Israel's book, Children of Israel.  The map also is from a descendant of Russell Jones, Nathan Jones, in his book "By the River and Beyond.

My Second visit to the William Jones House in 2010              
Planning my second research trip to the house in Spring 2010, twenty years later, I had hoped to find the house still standing and in reasonable shape.  Sadly, I arrived to see an empty site . . . (right) a lone chimney was left standing in a  field of weeds and fire debris. The house had burned to the ground in recent years.  Note the rock structure, on the left in this photo, is indicated also on the older photo of the house taken in 1990.  This was the corner of a rock building which still stands in front of and to the side of the old house site. 

On this second visit to the site,  I was accompanied by   Charles  R. Hendrix, a 4th great grandson of Joshua.

Looking closely at the charred and  scattered evidence of the old logs at the site, we determined that the fire had likely started in the chimney on the east end of the house, as  a pile of bricks and mortar debris lay among several charred logs.
As we looked around and studied the now lonely and vacant site, yet still with a chimney standing, we were looking at the fireplaces, first and second floors, that once held a warm and glowing fire that would have comforted our ancestors during the cold days and nights of  Asheville's high country winters. 

1860 U. S. Fed. Census - J. R. Jones - Lower Hominy, west Asheville

Joshua and Laura's Children
Marcus Maloney Jones  1846 - 1923
Marcus and
Rachel Jane Stepp of  Swannanoa in east Buncombe were married in 1868 at the Tabernacle Methodist Church in   In 1870 they lived a short distance from  the old home at Sulphur Springs; by 1873 they lived in east Buncombe at Swannanoa.

Tolitha Ann Jones Wilson  1848 - 1915
Tolitha and Louis Eldridge Wilson  were married about 1867.  Tolitha and her brother, Marcus, lived in adjacent residences in  Sulphur Springs Township in 1870.  Tolitha's death certificate indicates she was paralyzed twenty years before her death which occurred on Oct. 13, 1915.   Louis died in 1898.

Robert Jones -

Henry Calvin Jones  - The Asheville Citizen-Ttimes (Asheville, North Carolina) Tuesday, March 24, 1891

Millard Govan Jones -

Sarah Jane Jones (Harkins)

                       __________   J  __________

1870 U.S. Fed. Census, Buncombe County, Sulphur Springs Township
 - Joshua R. Jones household

The children remaining at home in 1870 were Robert Jones, Henry Calvin Jones, Millard Govan Jones, Sarah Jane Jones (Harkins).  Laura's father, Isaac Garman, was living with the family. Isaac's second wife, Ann Jones, had died by 1870. Ann was the widow of William Jones, Joshua's father.

Joshua Alexander Jones
The family has always known that the second child born to Marcus, "Mark" and Rachel Jane Jones, was named Joshua Alexander Jones, to honor the infant's  grandfathers, Joshua R. Jones and Joshua P. Stepp, and great-grandfather Alexander Porter, a resident of Swannanoa, North Carolina, in east Buncombe.

Little Joshua Alexander died in 1872 at one year and eight months.  No one knew where this child was buried.  Charles's online research of ancestral grave sites indicated that Joshua was buried at the Sardis Methodist Church Cemetery on Sardis Road in west Asheville.

Searching for an hour or so for Joshua's grave marker at the Sardis Cemetery, and about to give up and leave, we noticed a small rounded marker, broken from its base and leaning awkwardly.  Looking more closely at the inscription, we knew we had found little Joshua's grave site.   Charles cemented the marker to its base.   He has created memorials for several ancestors on the Find-A-Grave website.    Below are photos of the gravestone for Joshua Alexander Jones - before, and after Charles cemented the stone to the base.  The infant's sweet epitaph is shown below.



 Research, Original Narrative and Website  Iris Teta Eubank Wagner, 2010-2014

Sources of Reference for Proof of the Jones Narratives :

Oral and written records, and photographs, Frances B. Whisenhunt, personal archives, and archival photographs saved by her mother, Rachel Jane Stepp Jones.

 Bonnie Katherine Jones Eubank, oral records, photographs. 

Deeds and Vital Records held by The Pack Memorial Library, Asheville, North Carolina.

Dale Wayne Slusser, author and historian, who lives in Asheville, NC 1790 - 1940  United States Federal Censuses [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000.

John C. Inscoe, Mountain Masters, Slavery, and the Sectional Crisis in Western North Carolina, The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, copyright 1989. 1790 - 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census.

Thomas Perkins Abernethy, From Frontier to Plantation : A Study in Frontier Democracy, Southern Historical Publication #12, University of Alabama Press, p 174.

Nancy Alexander, Here Will I Dwell : The Story of Caldwell County, Rowan Printing Company, 1956, Salisbury, N.C.

Dorothy R. Hyde, Old Buncombe County Heritage, Article # 411, The Joshua A. Jones Family [son of Stephen Jones, Sr.], Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society, Asheville, North Carolina.

Johnson J. Hayes, The Land of Wilkes, p. 37

John Hammond Moore, Albemarle: Jefferson's County

Ruth and Sam Sparacio, Albemarle County Deeds 1761-1782

Robert Bell, The Book of  Ulster Surnames, p 106 

Culpeper County Courthouse, Culpeper, Virginia, Culpeper  County Register of Deeds, Will Book A ; 1759-61  Estate Probate of Will of Robert Medley, pp 203-205, 263-264 ; 1763 Estate Probate of Will of John Medley, pp352-354. 

Buncombe County Courthouse, Asheville, NC, Buncombe County Register of  Deeds, Deed Book 26, page 449, Deed of Gift of Stephen Jones to  his sons, April 9, 1859. 

Kenneth Israel, Children of Israel.

William Nathan Jones, great-great-grandson of Russel Jones [ Joshua and Elinor's son ], By the River and Beyond, a history of the Del Rio community in Cocke County, Tennessee. Copyright by the author, 1996.  Printed and Distributed by Newport Printing Company, Newport, Tennessee.

USGenWeb, Burke County, North Carolina page, History of Burke County, North Carolina, Burke County Annexation to Wilkes County, 1789.