Col. Joshua Russel Jones
       April 17, 1815 - April 24,1899

This obituary for Col. Joshua Russel Jones was published in an Asheville newspaper in April, 1899.  The record is held at the Pack Memorial Library in Asheville.


Col. Joshua R. Jones, one of Buncombe's best known citizens, died yesterday afternoon at 5 o'clock at his home on Hominy, after an illness of several weeks.  The funeral services will take place tomorrow at 11 a.m., and the interment will be at the family burial ground on the old homestead.
 
[This cemetery is the Jones Family Cemetery on Brookside Circle in west Asheville at Enka.]. 

                                                                                                               

Col. Jones was a native of Buncombe County, the place of his birth being near the mouth of Hominy Creek.*             
He had lived at the place where his death occurred ever since he was seven years of age.**   He was a man of sterling worth and had the esteem of the people of the county in which he was born and spent the years of his long life.   His time was wholly given to farming and dealing in livestock and he had accumulated considerable property.  During the Civil War, he was colonel in the home guard.

Col. Jones was 84 years of age having reached that age just one week before his death.  He married Miss Laura M. Garman of this county about 52 years ago.  His wife and four children survive, the children being Justice H. C. [Henry Calvin] Jones of Asheville,  M. M. [Marcus Maloney] Jones of Black Mountain, Mrs. H. S. Harkins of Asheville and Mrs. Talitha Wilson of Hominy.

* From information in this obituary record, Col. Jones  was born to his parents William and Ann Jones at the home of his grandparents, Joshua and Elinor Medley Jones, who owned a  large tract of land that included the mouth of Hominy Creek.  Much of this tract was included in what would become the estate of George Vanderbilt in the late 19th century.   Several years ago a memorial stone was placed by several descendants in honor of Joshua and Elinor at the site believed to be the old family burial ground now located on the Biltmore Estate.   The stone contains the engraved names of all the children of Joshua and Elinor.                                                       

 ** "the place" refers specifically to the house, and not only to the land, then the old log house is older than originally thought, and it would have been built by Joshua's father William Jones about 1820/22. William was the first of this lineage to be buried in the family burial ground located on the  hill a few hundred feet east of the house. 

*** Photo of Col. Jones from collection of Frances B. Whisenhunt, granddaughter of Col. Joshua R. Jones; W. T. Robertson, Photographer and Publisher of Stereoscopic Views of Southern Scenery, Asheville, N.C.

                The Old Jones Log House in West Asheville
                                           by Iris Teta Eubank Wagner
                                            great- greatgranddaughter


I took this photo of the old house on one of my early research trips to Asheville in 1990.  Behind the long-ago-added exterior siding are logs 170 years old.  This house no longer stands.  It stood at Enka in west Asheville along Brookside Circle, a short jaunt of a road at the end of Moody Avenue, both ends which intersect with U.S. Route 19/23.  This short road is a remaining section of the old Stage Road that ran curving around the west Asheville hills of the Hominy Valley.

History of the William Jones house and farm
The house was built about 1820/22 by Joshua's father William Jones.   The house stood along the old Stage Road that carried travelers from Asheville into Haywood County, which was created from Buncombe in 1808.  Joshua inherited his share of the family farm in 1845 at the death of his father.  Within three years of his father's death, Joshua began to add acreage to the family farm by purchasing the inherited shares of several siblings, who had moved from the area.  The farm extended some distance across land the Enka Company later bought in the 1920's.  Most of the land where Enka was built was owned by descendants of Joshua's Uncle Thomas Jones.  William Jones's farm and Uncle Thomas's land shared a border which was Hominy Creek.  This house was the old family homestead.  The home where Joshua lived was located more toward Hominy Creek and its tributary Tom Moore Creek. 

 My first visit to this historic house in 1990
On a research trip the summer of 1990, I drove around this west Asheville neighborhood with my sister Betty and our mother Bonnie, searching for the location of the house, as my mother knew it was still standing at the time . . . but where in the immediate vicinity she did not know.  We stopped to ask a fellow who was working in his yard if he knew of the old Jones house and its location.  His name was Talmadge Carter, and he did know, and told us, Though it's covered with siding now, that house was built a long time before the Civil War, and it is all built of logs.  We found the house at the lower end of Moody Avenue on Brookside Circle.  I took this photo (above) of the house at that time.  In 1990 it was being used as a residence.   In the 1920's, after Jones descendants sold the farm to the Enka Corporation, my mother and her aunt Mrs. Frances Whisenhunt remembered the house had been used for company offices for a time until Enka built an administration building.

The second visit to the William Jones house in 2009
 
On my second research trip to the area in November 2009, I had hoped to find the house still standing and in reasonable shape.  Instead, the house had burned to the ground in recent years.  Wild flowers, weeds, and debris had taken over the lot . . . . only a lone chimney was left standing. 

On this second visit to the site in November 2009 I was accompanied by another Jones family researcher,   Charles  R. Hendrix.   By the name he is called by family and friends, Bobby descends from Nora Jones Stinnette Grant, whose son
 
Charles R. Stinnette Sr. was Bobby's grandfather.  Looking closely at the charred and  scattered evidence of the old logs at the site,  Bobby determined that the fire had likely started in the chimney on the east end of the house, as we discovered a pile of bricks and mortar debris lying among several charred logs. 

Notched Log

 Wagner photos
Logs on the ground at the site of the burned out house show a notched end of one log (left, above) and old axe cuts revealed in the log at right.  Remaining west end chimney is at left (below).  Note the rock structure on the left of the photo is indicated too on the photo above of the house taken in 1990.  This was the corner of a rock building which still stands in front of and to the side of the old house site.

  The Lone Chimney on the Old House Site 

It is interesting to note, as we looked around and studied the now lonely and vacant site, yet still with a chimney standing, we were looking at the fireplace that once held a warm and glowing fire that would have comforted our ancestors during the cold days of  high country winters.

Joshua and Laura's first-born grandchild
Born in 1869, Bobby's great grandmother Nora Jones Stinnette Grant was the first-born child of Marcus and Rachel Jones.  She was not likely born at this house but in a house closer to Hominy Creek at the home of her grandparents, yet  still located in the township of Sulphur Springs, Buncombe County.  

Joshua Alexander Jones, second-born grandchild
The family has always known that the second child born to Marcus and Rachel was named Joshua Alexander Jones, to honor the infant's  grandfather Joshua R. Jones and great-grandfather Alexander Porter, a prominent resident of Swannanoa, North Carolina, in east Buncombe.

Little Joshua Alexander died in 1872.   The family had no contact with anyone who knew where he was  buried.  Bobby's research of ancestral grave sites indicated that Joshua was buried at the Sardis Methodist Church Cemetery on Sardis Road in west Asheville.

Searching for an hour or so for Joshua's grave marker at the Sardis Cemetery, and about to give up and leave, we noticed a small rounded marker, broken from its base and leaning awkwardly.  Looking more closely at the inscription, we knew we had found little Joshua's grave site.   Bobby had brought cement mixture on this journey, and he re-attached the marker to its base.  

Bobby has created memorials for several ancestors on the Find-A-Grave website.    Below are photos of the gravestone for Joshua Alexander Jones - before, and after Bobby cemented the stone to the base.  The infant's sweet epitaph is shown below.

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Original Narrative and Website  Iris Teta Eubank Wagner 2010 - 2014