Biography of Henry Cox Jones

Lawyer and Judge

Henry Cox Jones, lawyer, was born January 23, 1821, near Russellville, Franklin County, and died June 20, 1913, at Florence, son of William Stratton and Ann Harris (Cox) Jones, the former a native of Amelia County, Virginia, born in 1798, and died in 1874, came from Virginia in 1813, and located at Huntsville, moved to Franklin County in 1819, and settled on a large plantation near Russellville; grandson of Thomas Speck and Prudence (Jones) Jones, who lived in Amelia County, Virginia, the former a colonel in the Revolutionary army; and of Henry and Judith (Eldridge) Cox, who lived at Huntsville, Madison County; great-grandson of Peter Jones, of Dinwiddy County, Virginia, an officer in the British army who was sent to America to fight the Indians, and of Thomas and Martha (Bolling) Eldridge, the latter a descendant of John Rolf and Pocahontas, fourth generation.

The ancestors of the Jones family came from Wales. He was raised on a plantation near Russellville, and obtained his early education in the schools of that place, under the instruction of John Wyatt Harris. (He was the father of Colonel John Wyatt Harris) and was graduated from LaGrange College in 1840. He studied law in college under Prof. Tutwiler, and later under Hon. Daniel Coleman of Athens. He was admitted to the bar in 1841 in Franklin County. He was elected Probate Judge of the county, and resigned the office after eighteen months to become a representative of Franklin County in the state legislature. He was re-elected to the legislature in 1844, and was sent to the State Senate in 1853. He moved to Florence in 1856, and continued his law practice. In 1860 he was a Douglas elector, and the following year represented the county at the Secession Convention, where he refused to vote for or sign the Ordinance of Secession. Through he was an opponent of secession, he was elected to the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America and served in the body for one year. During the war he was engaged in the manufacture of cottons and woolens under a contract for the Confederate government. After the war he resumed the practice of law at Florence. He was associated at times with Sydney C. Posey and the Hon. Josiah Patterson. During the reconstruction period he was chairman of the Democratic Central Committee for five years. In 1876 he was a Tilden elector, and later in that year he was elected solicitor for the eighth district. He was re-elected to that office for two more terms, holding the position in all for eighteen years. He was a Democrat, a Methodist and a Mason. Married, October 13, 1844, at Athens, to Martha Louisa, who died at her home in Florence, May 6, 1887, daughter of George and Nelly (Rutledge) Keys, who lived in East Tennessee. * Children: (1) William Stratton, who served in the C. S. Army under Forest and was killed at Pulaski, Tennessee; (2) Bertha, married Lindsey Melbourne Allen; (3) George Pressly; (4) Ellen Rivers; (5) Henry Cox, deceased; (6) John Rather, deceased: (7) Jennie Keyes, married William Jones Kernachan; (8) Martha Bolling, married Thomas Sadler Jordan; (9) Robert Young; Wade Keyes, deceased.”

The above biographical sketch of Judge Jones is taken from Dr. Owen’s “History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography.” Mrs. Bertha Allen, his eldest daughter, still resides at Phil Campbell and is one of the oldest residents of the town. Her husband, Lindsey Melbourne Allen, was the pioneer settler and merchant of Phil Campbell.

Source: Source: James, R. L. Distinguished Men, Women and Families of Franklin County, Alabama. Russellville, Ala., Private Publication, 1928. 111 p.

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