My dad, William Arthur Jones, son of James and Lucrecia (Willis) Jones, was born May 4, 1887 in Prentiss Co. MS. He was 13 years old in 1902, when his family came by train to Okfuskee Co. Oklahoma Territory. Because there was a typhoid outbreak the train could not pass through parts of AR, and was routed through Cairo, IL. Even though it was hot they were not allowed to open the windows on the train for fear of catching the dreaded disease.
A number of other families made the trip too. Most of the families were related in some way. They settled near Keokuk Falls. Some of them built log cabins or houses to live in and others lived in tents.
Two sisters, Tensie Ann Jones Parsons, and Minnie Lou Jones Johnson, died of T. B. before they left Ms . One sister, Bettie Evonie Jones married George W. Rogers, in 1906. George and Bettie raised their family at Paden. Their daughters married into the VanZant, Cole and Dawson families and lived at Paden, Ok.
My dad's sister, Minnie, died at age 22, back in Mississippi and left two sons, Charlie and Cleo Johnson. They were passed back and forth among the family. Grandma and Grandpa Jones, (Jim and Lucrecia) would keep them awhile, then one of the married kids would take them. They probably lived the longest amount of time with my dad's older brother, Columbus Edward Jones and his wife, Mary Johnson Jones. I believe Mary was the sister of their father, Hickman Joseph Johnson. I guess each tried to do their part to help with the raising. None of them had much to offer their own children, let alone, two that weren't theirs, but they did the best they could.. Cleo Johnson, George Rogers and my dad, WIlliam Arthur Jones, called Arthur, loved to sing and would travel around the country, Okfuskee, Pottawatomie, etc., singing in the churches. My dad belonged to a Baptist Church at Paden, but I don't know the name.. I think they were all Baptist. My dad's oldest brother, James Daniel Jones, who married Cansada Carpenter in 1896 in MS, was one of the first to leave the Keokuk Falls area. He eventually became a Assembly of God preacher at Roaring Springs, TX. He died at Palvadera, New Mexico 1936.
A sister of Arthur Jones, Tiny Catherine Jones, married Bill Carpenter. They lived at Paden. Tiny died, 23 Feb 1925, at age 27. She is buried in the cemetery at Paden. They had no children.
Effie Lela Jones was the youngest daughter of James and Lucrecia( Willis) Jones. She married Robert Lee Carpenter, Bob as he was called, Cansada and Bill Carpenter were all kin to one another.
Chester Vernon Jones was the youngest son of James and Lucrecia Jones. He married Betty Smith in 1913 and they moved to Chandler, OK. All of James(Jim) Jones and Lucrecia's children were born in Prentiss Co. MS near Booneville. One daughter Tensie Ann Jones Parsons died in 1901 at age 25, in TX. Her husband was Charles Chester Cox.
According to a story told in 1983 by 82 year old, Cleo Johnson of California,, to his cousin, Alta (Jo)Faye Jones Thrower, whom he had just met for the first time. " Grandma died on Christmas Day, 1915. It was dreadfully cold but the family had gathered at Grandpa and Grandma's house for Christmas dinner. Grandma worked hard cooking a big delicious dinner, to feed a large crowd. Then she just dropped dead of a heart attack. It was really cold. The ground was frozen solid. I didn't think they would ever get the grave dug so Grandma could be buried. They worked all day and late into the night digging it."
Sometime after Grandma's death, Grandpa was supposed to have married a lady by the name of Mrs. Tidwell, but no one seems to know this for sure. James (Jim) Jones died Aug. 1926, but his grave marker is incorrect and says 1925. He is buried in the cemetery at Paden
William Arthur Jones married, Alice Ethel Cullison, in 1906, at Tecumseh, OK. They had six daughtes and one son, all born at or near Keokuk Falls, OK. Alice died 1931. He married, Allie Gardner Archer, in Sept 1933, at McLoud, OK. They had two sons and three daughters. The youngest the writer of this article. William Arthur Jones, died 24 May 1964, in Shawnee, OK and is buried in the Pilgrims Rest Cemetery, Newalla, OK.
By Alta (Jo) Thrower, youngest child
of Wm. Arthur Jones and Allie Gardner Jones
This page was last updated on 10/12/11
County Coordinator Linda Simpson