Physician, prominent educator and statesman
Dr. Thomas S. Jones, a very successful physician and also a prominent educator and statesman was born and reared on a plantation near Russellville, Alabama. The year of his birth was 1827, the names of his parents were William Stratton and Anne Harris (Cox) Jones. He was therefore a brother of Judge Henry C. Jones, Dr. W. S. Jones, Jr., Ed Jones, Mrs. R. H. Rivers, Mrs. R. S. Watkins, Mrs. John K. Clarke and a first cousin of Colonel John W. Harris, all prominent in the history of Franklin County.
We have no data relating to the childhood days of Dr. Jones, but the supposition is that they were very similar to those of other boys whose parents were wealthy planters. In 1842, he entered the famous LaGrange College. Bishop Paine was then at the head of that great institution of learning. Dr. Jones graduated in 1847, with seven other young men, all of whom according to Prof. A. A. McGregor, made “useful, sober and good, citizens.”
In 1848 he moved to romantic Louisiana and settled in Jackson. He continued to make the Creole State his home until his death which occurred a few years ago. He lived at Jackson forty years and later was a citizen of Baton Rouge for many years.
When the Civil War came Dr. Jones did not enter the Confederate services, he was a Union man and strongly opposed to the war. In fact, he was opposed to all wars, being of the same opinion as the Quakers on that question. Prof. A. A. McGregor, author of the “History of LaGrange College,” wrote as follows:
“When Lincoln was elected he (Dr. Jones) felt that emancipation would soon come and he advertised his Negroes for sale. When the war came he had sold his Negroes for gold.”
Dr. Jones was Professor of Natural Sciences in Centenary College in Louisiana, when that institution numbered more than three hundred (300) students. In later years he was honored by being elected state senator. Again we shall quote from Prof. McGregor:
“He (Dr. Jones) has lived at Baton Rouge nearly sixteen years. (Written about 1904). He is well and hearty, free from aches and pains, and has the use of all his faculties, sleeping well, eating moderately, not given to intoxicants, and although, seventy-seven years old he is actively engaged in the practice of medicine, and expects to work as long as he is able, believing that an idle man is a curse to the country. He has been successful in his undertakings and has been honored by the people among whom he has lived.”
In 1849 Dr. Jones was married to Miss Eliza Perry. They reared one daughter and four sons.
One of their sons was killed by a horse when grown. The oldest and the youngest sons were also successful physicians. Both are dead. The other son made a lawyer and was very prominent in legal affairs.
The daughter married D. M. Rush, from Alabama. He was a minister, and at the time of his death, he was president of Centenary College, Louisiana.
Source: Source: James, R. L. Distinguished Men, Women and Families of Franklin County, Alabama. Russellville, Ala., Private Publication, 1928. 111 p.