The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974 Page: 356
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
At first glance W. Goodrich Jones seems an unlikely apostle of conserva-
tion. He was a city dweller, having lived in New York, Galveston, and
European cities. He was a businessman and a banker, with an Ivy League
background. Physically, he was a small, wiry man, well dressed, and neat.
He was quite unlike the stereotype of the ranger with broad hat and boots.
But he was a man of ideas and causes, who had developed a broad view of
public affairs. He had also acquired a sensitive appreciation of his environ-
ment and the necessity for long-range planning at a time when most Amer-
icans did not think beyond the current year. In many respects Goodrich
Jones was much like his father. Qualities of determination, boldness, re-
sourcefulness, and an ability to rise above a parochial pattern of thought
are discernible in both the father, John Maxwell Jones, and his more fa-
The elder Jones was born in Wilmington, Delaware, and was a second-
generation watchmaker and jeweler by trade.2 Because of health problems
he came south, arriving in New Orleans in 1836 at the age of twenty-two.
There he became acquainted with William Goodrich, a wholesale jeweler
who had connections in the East. The two became life-long friends and
Goodrich assisted John Jones and advised him on his career and location.
After visiting a number of towns in Louisiana and Mississippi, Jones deter-
mined to establish himself in Galveston, the principal port and a rapidly
growing town in the newly independent Republic of Texas. Arriving there
in 1838, Jones pitched a tent as a combination shop, store, and living quar-
ters, hung out a sign which he somewhat jestingly identified as "8 The
Strand" (after the jewelers' street in London), and was open for business.
After surviving a near-fatal case of yellow fever John Maxwell Jones pro-
ceeded to build a large two-story building, which became a landmark of
early Galveston business. Beyond his immediate business interests, he helped
organize the first Galveston hook-and-ladder company, took the lead in
building a new and larger Presbyterian church, and was one of the incor-
porators of the First National Bank of Galveston (1865). Jones was also a
member of the Texas delegation to the London Crystal Palace Exposition,
in I851. Periodically, he traveled to New York and other eastern cities to
purchase merchandise for his stores, frequently taking his family with him.8
'Anna Jones, "Early Days of W. Goodrich Jones," W. Goodrich Jones Papers (Forest
History Archives, Stephen F. Austin State University Library, Nacogdoches, Texas).
2Members of the Jones family have clocks made by George Jones (Wilmington, 1814)
and by John M. Jones (Galveston, 1839). The older clock is still in use. See The Dallas
Morning News, April 4, 1940.
sSee the Civilian and Galveston Gazette, June 14, 1845; Galveston Daily News, De-
cember 9, I834. In 1852 Jones married Miss Henrietta Offenbach in Galveston. She was
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974, periodical, 1973/1974; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117148/m1/406/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.