Samuel Cunningham Jones, the second child of William A. Jones and Sarah (or Sally) (Martin) Jones, was born 20 July 1854 in Macon County Illinois. By the time he was 2 years old, his family had moved to Fremont County, Iowa, as shown by the Iowa State census of 1856.
The 1860 Federal census shows the Jones family still in Fremont County but without Samuel’s father, William. It is unclear whether William died or whether he and Sally were divorced. The Fremont County marriage records, however, show that Samuel’s mother had married Thomas Pierce on 5 September 1859, and the census lists an unnamed infant in the household, who is shown in later records to be Samuel’s half-brother Charles Pierce. Nevertheless, Samuel’s mother still showed her name as Jones in this census and in subsequent censuses.
The 1870 census showed 15-year-old Samuel still in his mother’s household in Fremont County, Iowa, but the family apparently moved back to Macon County, Illinois, soon after that. Samuel’s sister Elizabeth was married there in 1875, and Samuel himself married Elizabeth Jane Sheppard (or Shepherd) in Macon County on 4 August 1878. She had been born in Macon County on 20 September 1861 (or 1860?),1 the daughter of William Riley Sheppard and Anna Margaret (Jacobs) Sheppard.
The 1880 census shows Samuel as the head of his own household in Decatur, Macon County, Illinois. Elizabeth is listed as “Jennie,” and they have their first son, William F. Jones, just 9 months old. Also in the household is Samuel’s half-brother Charles Pierce, his nephew George C. Jones (age 3), and his niece Gracie Jones (age 1). These must be the children of Samuel’s older brother William A. Jones, Jr. (which leads to the question of whatever had become of William and his wife). Samuel’s occupation is shown as “works on farm,” which suggests that he did not yet have a farm of his own but rather served as a hired hand on other people’s farms. Subsequent censuses do show him as a farmer.
The next available census, from 1900, shows Samuel, Elizabeth, and their first eight children in Freedom Township, Lafayette County, Missouri. (Their oldest child, William, is not actually in their household, but has his own household with his wife and daughter, listed just above on the same page.) They had not been there long, for even their youngest child, 2-year-old Stanley, was born in Illinois. They also did not remain there long, for they were back in Illinois by the time their ninth child was born in 1901. It’s hard to say what prompted their temporary relocation.The 1910 census shows Samuel and Elizabeth in Flat Branch Township of Shelby County, Illinois (about 18 miles south of Decatur), and it shows Elizabeth as the mother of 10, all 10 of whom were then living. Only the five youngest children were still in the home at this time. In all, Samuel and Elizabeth’s children were the following:
Samuel died in Flat Branch Township 10 November 1912 and was buried at West Frantz Cemetery in Oakley, Illinois. Following his death, Elizabeth moved to Assumption, Christian County, Illinois, which is where her eldest son was living. There she passed away on 6 May 1916. She was laid to rest next to Samuel at West Frantz Cemetery. Decatur newspapers published obituaries for both of them.
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