The Jones Museum opened in 1995 with a two-fold mission to educate and to preserve the historical artifacts of the Jackson County, Ohio area. Genealogical information and research are also an important part of the Jones Museum’s dedication to preserving Jackson County’s history of all kinds. The museum works regularly with the Jackson County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogy Society in continuing efforts in the Carriage House, which is on the Jones Museum property.
A stop on Ohio’s Welsh Byway, The Jones Museum also works with the Jackson City Library, the Madog Center of the University of Rio Grande, the Friends of Lake Katharine, the Apple City Players theater group, the Southeast Ohio History Center and the Ohio Local History Alliance group of the Ohio History Connection to spread and educate all about the region’s accomplishments and future vision.
The Lillian E. Jones Museum is a resource for the entire Jackson County community fulfilling Miss Jones’ dream of a historical, cultural, and educational museum in her family’s former home in loving memory of her parents Edwin and Lola Williams Jones.
Currently, The Jones Museum offers at least four themed exhibits inside the main building, while also maintaining a large and eclectic permanent collection that includes:
- a vast number of rare items and photographs collected by Miss Jones during her travels in the 1950s and 1960s;
- sculpture and research materials from internationally acclaimed artist Fletcher Benton, who was a family friend of Miss Jones;
- hundreds of bound volumes of all the different Jackson newspapers from the late 1890s to 1992;
- more than 80 hard copies of Jackson High School yearbooks, the Osky Wow, from 1912-1991, and digitized versions of the Osky Wow from 1912-2016;
- remarkable items from the Jones family’s industrial past including Globe Iron, DT&I, Crown Pipe&Foundry, and the Cambrian Hotel along with large portraits and photographs of family members.
Since the opening of the Jones Museum, local individuals and former residents have donated treasured items and photographs of Jackson’s past that are regularly used in exhibits. The museum is often used by local groups for small special events and group meetings.
The main museum building was a home built in 1867 by Horace Chapman, founder of the National Bank. The Jones family purchased the home in 1921 and remodeled it using architect Frank Packard, who had worked with Edwin Jones in the building of the Cambrian Hotel in 1900. Both Chapman and Edwin Jones were candidates for Ohio Governor in the early 1900s.
The museum is by ordinance a part of the City of Jackson and is overseen by the seven-member Jackson City Museum board. Three of the members are chosen by the Mayor of Jackson and the other four are chosen by current board members.
Current Museum Board members are President Amanda Crabtree; Vice-President Alana Billman; Secretary Mike Morgan; Treasurer Brian Moore and members Joe Finch, Kathy Miller, and Karen Yablonsky.
Regular meetings of the Jackson City Museum Board of Trustees are the first Monday of each month at the Jones Museum.
About the Jones Family
Lillian Jones’ great-grandfather came with his family from Wales in 1834 and settled in southern Jackson County at Hewitts Fork. He was a very ambitious and capable man and was one of the founders and the first president of Jefferson Furnace in 1854. He purchased Globe & Fulton Furnaces which became Globe Iron in 1872. Globe Iron was on West Main Street (at the site of the Eddie Jones Ball Field) and was destroyed by fire in 1876. Fulton Furnace was remodeled and became Globe Iron Company on East Main Street.
Thomas had four children, one of whom was Eben Jones (Lillian’s grandfather). Eben, a Civil War Captain, was involved with Jefferson Furnace and was also a banker. He married Ann Williams, and they had seven children:
- (1) Thomas A. (1895-1937) a member of the Ohio Supreme Court 1914-1937;
- (2) Edwin (1862-1921) Lillian’s father and Jackson business developer;
- (3) John E. (1864-1944) the Iron Master linking the 19th to 20th centuries at Globe Iron, father of Globe Presidents Edwin A. Jones and Marshall H. Jones as well as noted attorney Harold Jones;
- (4) Newton M. (1866-1941) President of Jones Sand Co.;
- (5) Emma Jones Givens (1886-1943);
- (6) Charles D. (1872-1921) owner of Millwood White Sand Co. and lived on South St. in Jackson next door to older brother John E.;
- (7) Frederick E. (1876-1936), his son Fred, Jr. was the founder of Buckeye Union Insurance Company.
Most of the sons of Eben were involved in the local coal, furnace, and banking industries. Edwin was involved in many businesses in Jackson including coal mining, the Diamond Flint Glass Company, Crown Pipe & Foundry, Globe Iron Company, Jackson Mill and Lumber Company, and the DT&I Railroad. In 1901, he built the Cambrian Hotel. Everything he touched seemed to do very well. He was mayor, and a councilman, on the Republican Party’s State Central Committee and the State Executive Committee. He made an unsuccessful run for governor in 1918. He was a strong supporter of community athletics and a member of the Presbyterian Church, Elks Lodge, and K of P. He was held in high esteem by those who knew him.
Lillian E. Jones
Lillian Jones, born September 10, 1893, was the second child and only daughter of Edwin and Lola Williams Jones. Her brothers were Donald and Dwight Jones.
She went to boarding school at the Knickerbocker School for Girls in Indianapolis. After graduation, she went to France for a year to study voice. After leaving France, she lived in New York “taking” music. Lillian did not talk much about herself, but we do know she was still in New York in 1923. She would have been thirty at that time.
Lillian’s father died in 1921, and several months after that her mother bought the house on the corner of Broad and Broadway Streets. The house was built in 1867 by Horace L. Chapman for his family. Mr. Chapman started the National Bank and was a staunch Democrat in a Republican stronghold.
Mrs. Jones hired Frank L. Packard, who was the architect for the Cambrian Hotel, to completely renovate her newly purchased home. This was completed in the early 1920s. The only structural change since that time is the pitched roof over the side porch.
Lillian came home from New York to stay with her mother, who was ill at the time, and was convinced to remain in Jackson. Lillian and her mother spent winters in Sarasota, Florida, a habit Lillian continued until she no longer felt like traveling.
Although she was a very frugal woman, Lillian loved to travel and made four trips around the world. Once in Europe, she took a freighter to Sweden because the passage was so cheap. While there, she met and talked with the King of Sweden while admiring flower gardens. She especially loved India and Japan. She would often leave the group she was traveling with to stay in a place she particularly liked.
She was an active member of the Presbyterian Church, but as far as we know, she did not belong to any other organizations. Lillian never married, had no children, and died on August 22, 1991, at the age of 97.
Ashley Aldrich, MLIS | Museum Director
Director at The Jones Museum since August 2022, Ms. Aldrich is a graduate of Ohio University with a B.S. in Education and a B.S. in Journalism as well as an M.S. in Library & Information Science from Drexel University. Her professional experiences include teaching English, speech, and drama at Eastern Local High School in Beaver, Ohio, being an adjunct instructor of composition at the University of Rio Grande and Shawnee State University, teaching English and College Success at Jackson High School, and being the library media specialist. Ms. Aldrich is a 2004 graduate of Jackson High School – the last class to graduate when it was still on Tropic and Vaughn Streets. She is looking forward to continuing the work of previous museum directors to ensure the preservation and exhibition of Jackson County’s history.