The Pioneer of Municipal Progress and Reform of the Middle West
TOGETHER WITH THE HISTORY OF
POLK COUNTY, IOWA
The Largest, Most Populous and Most Prosperous County In the State of Iowa
THE S. J. CLARKE PUBLISHING COMPANY
By the time this came into print, T.J. was diseased. Sad that he didn't get to see it. He died in August 1911 and the book was released in November from the printers.
PG 577 & 578
THOMAS J. JONES, M. D.
There are some brave souls whom no adversity casts down and no difficulty thwarts. They seem by divine right of mastership to turn every obstacle to advantage and the lesson of their lives is unanswerable argument in favor of the claim that man makes circumstances and that he has the power within himself to rise superior to every environment. Such is the teaching of the life of Dr. Thomas J. Jones, of Des Moines, who started as a poor boy in Wales and has won a. place alongside the favored sons of America. He was born in Wales, March 3, 1854, his parents being David and Margaret (Jenkins) Jones. The father was a veterinary surgeon. He died in 1858, leaving a widow and a family of five children practically without means of support. The mother like a brave and loyal-hearted woman faced the emergency and she continued the remainder of her life in her native country, passing away in 1893, when she was more than eighty years of age.
At the early age of ten years Thomas J. Jones went to work in the mines to assist in supporting the family. He received four shillings or about one dollar in American money per week. At sixteen he became a clerk in the grocery store of his brother-in-law, under whom he continued about two years, when his sister died and he was apprenticed to the carpenter's trade. According to the terms of the agreement he was to receive one shilling a week and board for the first year and two shillings and board during the second year. Before the close of the second year, however, he was offered four shillings a day to build houses for the operators of the mines and his master kindly permitted him to accept this offer, which proved an important step in his progress. At twenty-one years of age he became a contractor on his own account, making money which enabled him to provide more liberally than previously for the other members of the family. Shortly after this time he took up the study of medicine at home, purchasing books to which he devoted his spare time. Believing that the new world presented more favorable opportunities than he could expect to find in Wales, he came to America in February, 1883, and on the 7th of March following arrived in Des Moines where he readily found employment as a carpenter.
However, he had not given up the idea of continuing the study of medicine and in 1884 became a student in the medical department of Drake University, from which he was graduated February 19, 1887, with the degree of M. D. He took a post-graduate course in the Iowa Eclectic Medical College, receiving the degree from that institution March 15, 1889. During his attendance at university and college he worked at his trade and thus earned the money with which to pay necessary expenses. He practiced at Bevington, Iowa, until October, 1903, since which time he has successfully engaged in practice at Des Moines. He was the founder of the Seno Medicine Company of this city, which was organized in 1902 and has been in successful operation ever since, the Seno Powders having gained a splendid reputation wherever introduced. In 1907 Dr. Jones sold: his interest in this company to his brother and .shortly afterward put on the market the Heal-O Powder through the Berg Medicine Company, of which he is a heavy stockholder. He is a member of the National and Iowa State Eclectic 578 Societies, and takes an active interest in all movements calculated to advance his profession.
On the 29th of June, 1874, Dr. Jones was married at Glyntaff church, Treforest, Wales, to MISS Jemima Walker, who died in July, 1893, leaving five children, namely; David, who is engaged in the postal service at Des Moines; Margaret, the Wife of John Henry, of Bevington, Iowa; Maria, the Wife of Mote Newman, Of Spokane, Washington; Agnes, the Wife of Ralph Masser, of Spokane; and Anna, also a resident of that city: In March, 1895, Dr. Jones married Mrs. Mary B. (Steele) Bell, the widow of Thomas Bell, a native of Madison county, Iowa. By this union one, son has been horn, Arvon.
While a resident of Bevington Dr. Jones served as president of the school board. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and has served as medical examiner for that order for over twenty years, first at Bevington, and later at Des Moines. Politically he is identified with the progressive element of the republican party, and religiously he upholds the doctrines of the Methodist church. As a student of subjects pertaining to his profession he is tireless, being an indefatigable investigator who never counts time or labor spent in acquiring knowledge as to the cause and cure of diseases. His record is in a remarkable degree creditable, as he has won his way by rare perseverance and self-denial and is deserving of the confidence and esteem of all with whom he comes into contact.