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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

JONES, William Carey

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JONES, William Carey. (eastern United States--San Francisco, California, 1867). In 1835 Jones had learned the art of printing and acquired enough education that he wished to move West. His wishes came true when he met in Chillicothe, Ohio John King who had traveled east to purchase equipment to print a newspaper in Dubuque. (1) King hired Jones to be the foreman of the newspaper in return for $350, fifty dollars to be paid immediately and the rest as requested. He also promised Jones board and lodging for one year. (2)

Jones accompanied King to Cincinnati, Ohio to purchase the needed press and type. The two men and the equipment then returned to Dubuque where the first issue of the DUBUQUE VISITOR was published. To work with Jones, King hired Andrew KEESECKER of Galena. Keesecker served as an editor while Jones wrote articles and set the type. (3)

Jones, a Whig in political temperament, soon decided that the neutral "Visitor" was not his ideal workplace. He left for New Orleans where his talents made the paper so profitable that he was soon able to retire. He traveled to Washington, D.C. where he made the acquaintance of Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri and married one of the senator's daughters. It was Senator Benton who suggested that Jones' study of law would benefit from his mastery of Spanish and a practice in San Francisco. (4)

After determining the potential of San Francisco, he returned east to gather his family, his mother and a sister and brother. They returned to San Francisco where Jones was involved in nearly all the land claims occupying the California courts. His legal practice was so successful that at one time he was said to be worth half a million dollars. (5)



1. "Death of William Carey Jones," Dubuque Daily Herald, January 4, 1868, p. 4

2. Adney, John R. "Pioneer Journalists of Iowa," The Annals of Iowa. State Historical Society of Iowa, Volume 38 (No.8 Spring of 1967), p. 612-625 Online: http://ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=7841&context=annals-of-iowa

3. "Death of William Carey Jones..."

4. Adney, John R.

5. "Death of William Carey Jones..."