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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Sheldon Frederick Jones

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 496-499 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

Contents | Portraits | Illustrations | Maps

Portrait of Sheldon Frederick Jones

Portrait: Sheldon Frederick Jones

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After more than forty years as the head of a successful business enterprise in Little Falls, Sheldon Frederick Jones is still an influential factor in the commercial life of the city as one of its principal coal dealers. The generous measure of prosperity he enjoys is but the result of a life-time of well directed effort and the reward for his years of hard and conscientious work. Moreover, his is an honored place in the esteem of his fellow citizens and the regard of the community that has so long been his home.

Sheldon Frederick Jones was born in the town of Little Falls, on August 25, 1849, the son of Erastus and Mary (Zoller) Jones, the latter likewise a native of that town. Mrs. Jones was the daughter of Frederick Zoller, a farmer by occupation and a veteran of the War of 1812. After the death of her husband (our subject's father) on April 4, 1858, Mrs. Jones was married to Garrett L. Fisher, an agriculturist from Fort Herkimer. She became a member of the Fort Herkimer church following her second marriage and was buried in its churchyard. It is said that Mrs. Jones was an excellent cheese maker and made cheese for her brother, Solomon Zoller, on his farm during the Civil war period. Erastus Jones was born in the town of Newville, New York, in 1820, and for many years was a farmer. He built a hotel at Newville, of which he was the proprietor for about three years, but for several years before his death, at the early age of thirty-eight, he was a clerk in a retail store. He was the son of William B. Jones, a farmer of Danube, and grandson of Benjamin Jones, whose father, Richard, was born in Wales in 1740 and came to the colonies in early life. Benjamin Jones lived to great age and passed away September 27, 1863. His son, William B., was born October 19, 1791, and was married to Margaret McChesney (born September 5, 1788), in June, 1818. She died twelve years later on the 19th of September.

Sheldon Frederick Jones, who was only a child of nine when his father died, obtained his early education in the public school at German Flats. In the spring term of 1866 he entered the Little Falls Academy after having spent the previous winter in a select school held in the basement of the old Methodist church on Third street. The following summer, from June to October, he worked on the farm, but in the fall he became associated with Charles Benedict, a carriage maker, under whose direction he learned to be a carriage trimmer and remained with him until 1869, when he went to Ilion. There he worked at his trade as partner with a Mr. Post for three years, under the name of Post & Jones. Early in 1872 Mr. Jones went on to Schenectady, where from February to May he worked for Shabel & Butler as a trimmer, but on account of his ill health he was obliged to get out of that business. The fall of that year he came to Little Falls and became associated with Jacob Moll, a manufacturer of furniture, as a salesman, remaining with him until January, 1878, when he went to New York city to take charge of the branch of the business in that great metropolis.

Mr. Jones's stay in New York city was destined to be brief. In March his father-in-law, Mr. Cheney, died in Little Falls, leaving his hammer manufacturing establishment in such condition that it seemed wise for Mr. Jones to return and take charge of the financial end of the business. Consequently he closed up his affairs in New York as quickly as possible and in April returned to Little Falls as financial representative for the firm now known as the Henry Cheney Hammer Company, which the late owner had founded and built up. Mr. Jones stayed with the hammer company for about four years and a half. He left to go into the trucking business for himself in this city in March, 1883, a venture that has proved to be a very profitable one, for Mr. Jones is still doing a large business of this nature. In the autumn of 1896 he branched out into the coal business, in which he has met with deserved success and has built up a large trade. That Mr. Jones is possessed of excellent business judgment is amply proved by his financial success. He has always been a person of energy and initiative, while his genial disposition has made it a pleasure to do business with him, as well as to meet him socially.

On the 22d of February, 1924, Mr. Jones and his wife celebrated the fifty-fifth anniversary of their wedding day. They were married in Herkimer in 1869. Mrs. Jones was Miss Eunice M. Cheney before her marriage, daughter of Henry and Lucretia (Garlick) Cheney. She was born at Fly Creek, Oswego county, December 24, 1849, and is now making her home in Little Falls at the age of seventy-four. Her father, who was also a native of Fly Creek, was born in 1821 and died in this city March 13, 1878. He was a hammer manufacturer and started out in a small way in Fly Creek, later bringing his industry to Little Falls, where he founded the Henry Cheney Hammer Company, which is today doing a good business. Mr. and Mrs. Jones have one son: Henry Cheney Jones, Sr., who was born here November 2, 1874. On June 21, 1899, he was united in marriage to Mary Andrews, daughter of George F. and Cornelia (Casler) Andrews, who was born in this city April 30, 1876. They are the parents of three children: George Sheldon Jones, born June 10, 1900; Marion Louise, born September 22, 1901; and Henry Cheney, February 1, 1906. All of the children were born in Little Falls. Their maternal grandfather, George F. Andrews, is a retired wagon manufacturer of Little Falls, who celebrated his fiftieth wedding anniversary on February 11, 1924.

Mr. Jones has always found his greatest pleasure in the life of his home and, needless to add, greatly enjoys the companionship of his grandchildren. In the summer time he usually motors about the country by way of recreation and comes back to his business refreshed by his vacation and the visiting of new scenes. He attends the Universalist church and is a blue lodge Mason, also belonging to the Masonic Club of Little Falls and the National Club. His political affiliations are with the republican party, but he has never sought a public career. At one time he did serve the town of Little Falls as assessor for a three-year period, which was the extent of his official life. In addition to his own business he has helped other enterprises of the financial or industrial nature in Little Falls, many of which owe much of their success to his support and good advice. At one time he was a director of the Little Falls Gas & Oil Company and he was one of the organizers of the Little Falls Building & Loan Company, in which he became a director. He is also financially interested in the Richmond Hotel of Little Falls and the Gateway Theatre, another local enterprise.

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