Well known in business circles in Santa Clara county and also in connection with public affairs having to do with the welfare and progress of the community, Alfred W. Jones well deserves representation in this volume. He is now engaged in harness manufacturing in Milpitas, where he is likewise filling the office of justice of the peace. He was born in this place on the 23d of April, 1868, and is a son of Alfred and Celia (Thornton) Jones, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of Massachusetts. Both were descended from old American families antedating the Revolutionary war. It was in the year 1859 that Alfred Jones came to California, making the trip by way of the isthmus route. Lake most men who came here in those days, he sought a fortune in the mines, and after a few years spent in the mining regions at Virginia City, Nevada, he returned to San Francisco, where he resided for a brief period. He then came to Santa Clara county, settling in Milpitas in 1867. Here he embarked in the harness-making business, which he followed continuously up to the time of his demise. Being an excellent workman, energetic in the performance of his tasks and reliable in all his business dealings, he secured a good patronage and thereby gained a satisfactory reward for himself and family. He died in 1896 at the age of sixty-four years, and is still survived by his widow, who makes her home in San Jose. The family numbered four daughters and two sons: Ida; Alfred W.; George, a resident of South Omaha, Nebraska; Alice, a school teacher, who for two years has been principal of the public schools at Berryessa, California; Effie, who is living at home with her mother; and Nellie, who is a student in a Normal school.

Alfred W. Jones, born and reared in Santa Clara county, is indebted to the public school system for the educational privileges which he enjoyed and which he continued to improve until about eighteen years of age, when he put aside his text books and began learning the harness-maker's trade under the direction of his father. In the spring of 1891 he went to San Francisco, where he entered the wholesale house of W. Davis & Son, harness manufacturers. In the spring of 1892, however, he returned to Milpitas and continued in his father's employ until the time of his demise, when he purchased the business, which he has since carried on with constantly growing success. He is thoroughly familiar with the trade and the practical workings of manufacture, and as he placed upon the market an excellent commodity and as he is reliable in all his business dealings, he has won a full measure of success. It is true that he became interestsed in a business already established, but in controlling and enlarging such an enterprise many a man of even considerable resolute purpose, courage and industry would have failed, and he has demonstrated the truth of the saying that success is not the result of genius but the outcome of clear judgment and experience.

In 1894 Mr. Jones was united in marriage with Miss Mary E. Welch, a native of Berryessa, Santa Clara county, and a daughter of Robert Welch, who was a pioneer settler of Milpitas and a prominent farmer of that locality, carrying on agricultural pursuits until his death. He came from Canada to California in 1849, being among the early settlers who made their way to the gold fields and became the promoters of the early development and progress of this portion of the country. He was for many years prominent in political circles and was a stanch Republican. To Mr. and Mrs. Jones has been born one son, Robert Welch Jones, now about a year old.

Mr. Jones gives his political allegiance to the Republican party, and in 1897 was appointed justice of the peace to fill a vacancy. In 1898 he was regularly elected to the office and in 1902 was re-elected for a second term of four years, so that he is the present incumbent. His wife was appointed postmistress of Milpitas by President McKinley in 1898, and has filled the position to the present time, Mr. Jones acting as assistant in the office. He belongs to the Ancient Order of United Workmen, to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and to the U. P. E. C. His life has been one of continuous activity, in which has been accorded due recognition of labor, and to-day he is numbered among the substantial citizens of his county. He has achieved success through honorable effort, untiring industry and capable management, and in private life has gained that warm personal regard which arises from true nobility of character and deference for the opinions of others.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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