Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 396 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
which time he became imbued with Texas fever
tthrough letters written him by his friend, James
Benson, who had been for several years located at
Washington, Texas. Mr. Jones had now become
very much attached to the South, its climate and its
people. He wished to engage in business for himself,
hence he returned to New Orleans and sought the
friendly counsel of his friend, Wm. Goodrich. Mr.
Goodrich advised him to first try Shreveport, La.,
before going to Texas. About November, 1838,
he packed up his possessions, taking along in his
trunk a nice assortment of watches and jewelry
Purchased from his savings. On the boat he fell
in with a young jeweler and watchmaker, George
Ball, from New York, bound for the same town.
Mr. Ball located at Shreveport, but Mr. Jones,
after looking the place over to his satisfaction,
turned his steps toward Texas, reaching Galveston
about January 1st, 1839. He settled there, and
at once opened a shop. He put up one of the first
buildings in the town, erected in a string of wooden
structures on what is now the Strand, then called
by him Commercial Row, his building, a two-story
frame, being the best in the row. It cost him
$1,000 in United States money" which he paid
down on its completion, the lot on which it stood
being leased for a term of five years at $400 a year
1in Texas money." In the primitive condition of
things at that date the houses were not numbered,
but Mr. Jones through sport selected the day of the
month on which he was born as his number and the
street in the meantime having been named put on
his sign, "No. 8 Strand." So his place of business
was for a long time afterwards known, and a
clock which he for years used as a regulator, still
in the possession of his son, bears this designation.
His central location made space in his building
desirable and he had no difficulty in renting half of
hir house at $50.00 a month, still having all the
rom he needed He was the first regular watchmaker
on Galveston Island, and, as more than half
thre imigration to Texas in those days went
trough Galveston, he repaired the time-pieces
nd furnished the time for most of the population
f the Republic. "Jones' time " was considered
the correct time and everybody went by it. He
also did a good business repairing nautical instruments,
getting all the work of this kind that there
was to do. He was an industrious workman and
shrewd trades m an, and his activity and upright
business method brought him substantial returns.
That he had the instinct of the latter-day merchant
is eidenced by the liberality with which he patronized
te newspapers and sought in every legitimate
y to place his goods and wares before the public.
In an old issue of the Civilian and Gazette of date
1845, the writer counted five separate advertisements
of his, one of which was accompanied by a cut of his
building, said to be the first cut ever inserted in a
Texas newspaper. He turned to good account his
acquaintance and previous connection with Hyde suspenders, gloves, stocks, straps etc., etc."
One of the first things he did was to form a temperance
society and to push the subject of good'
schools in his little community. Although a member
of the Presbyterian Church, he allied himself
with the Episcopalians for many years, as this sect
was the most active in church work and the pastor,
the Rev. Mr. Eaton, was his intimate friend.
Mr. Jones took an active interest in the town;
became a member of its first fire company, Hook
and Ladder Company, No. 1; was commissioned by
President Houston Captain of militia for "Beat
No. 2, Fourth Regiment, Second Brigade, Militia
of the Republic of Texas," and, in 1850, was the
commissioner from Texas appointed by Governor
Bell to the London Industrial Exhibition, for which
he collected exhibits and, in company with Dr.
Ashbel Smith, set forth as best he could with the
limited means at his command the resources of this
After his return from Europe in 1851, Mr. Jones
associated with himself Messrs. John B. Root and
B. R. Davis, forming a partnership under the firm
name of Jones, Root
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, ; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/396/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .