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Osceola 1878
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James Jones 1835
John H. Jones 1866
Thomas P. Jones 1868
William I. Jones 1869
David G. Jones 1871
Harry P. Jones 1873
Mary Agnes Jones 1877
E. Frank Miller 1882
William Ivill 1819
Ann Agnes Ivill 1845
John J. Ivill 1862
William C. Ivill 1881
Harry E. Ivill 1885
W. F. Holsing 1840
W. J. Holsing 1869
Fredrick Holsing 1896
Stella Holsing 1900
James J. Holsing 1902
Holsing Family Photos
Patzsch Family 1912
James Jones 1912
Ann Agnes Ivill 1895
David G. Jones 1915
William I. Jones 1905
W. J. Holsing 1929
John H. Jones 1959
John H. Jones Mayor '05
James Jones B-day '07
JAMES JONES: 1835-1912
James Jones Following Text from "History of Pittsburgh and Environs" by George Thorton Fleming 1922

JAMES JONES 1835-1912

The career of James Jones might be used as the starting point of a discourse on many of the cardinal virtues. And as such illustration his friends have often employed the story of his life of rewarded effort and achievement. No man could more truly declare from experience that success lies at the end of effort and that only the hard fought battles live in history. He toiled with his hands and his brain, taking from old Mother Earth the treasures she so reluctantly released. From the time he left his South Wales home until his death in 1912 he played the game of life with a fine regard for the rules of honesty and fairness, developing abilities and talents that placed him in the front rank with Pittsburgh’s industrialists in founding an organization of leading scope and importance.

James Jones was one of twelve children of Samuel Jones, and was born in South Wales, May 6th, 1835. His father was a farmer, and in his early life he knew severe manual labor, his education being obtained in the schools of Carmachln during those periods when he could be spared from farm work. In 1858 he came to the United States, landing in New York, and immediately striking out for the West. He first went to Cumberland Maryland, but failing to find employment there, he proceeded to Frostburg, a mountain town on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, but was unable to locate satisfactorily at the latter place. A short period was spent at Mt. Savage MD. After which he continued his westward journey, with Pittsburgh, PA, his objective.

For a time he was employed as a blacksmith in Pittsburgh but filled with an ambition for more lucrative employment, he left for Elizabeth, PA where he received his first introduction into the mining industry, crude and undeveloped as it was at the time. He was afterward employed at a mine on the South Side, Pittsburgh, and there continued until the outbreak of the Civil War. Young as he was in his citizenship he enlisted in Troop D, Sixth Regiment of the United States Calvary, and served under General Winfield S. Scott and General George McClellan. He served his adopted country with conspicuous bravery, and is remembered by his veteran comrades that survive him as a man of powerful physique and admirable personal qualities, whose force of character inspired others, and whose confidence in a faithful final outcome cheered his fellows no matter which way the tide of battle may flow. Soon after his return from the front he married Ann Agnes Ivill and together they strove for the better things that both felt was within their power to attain. “She was his guiding star, a devoted and affectionate Christian wife.”

United States Cavalry Following text from "The Jones Interests" 1905

A native of Wales, he removed to this country in 1858 at the age of 23 years and was one of the first to take up arms in defense of his adopted country, serving with conspicuous bravery and distinction until the close of the war. His name is still remembered and spoken by the old veterans and the records of the war department mention the name of none to whom more honor and credit is due for bravery and loyalty.{Company D, Sixth United States Cavalry} Off-site link

That he comes from fighting stock was not only proved in defense of the Union but by his remarkable business career, which teems with incidents where personal courage and tenacity of purpose have won battles where a weaker character would have fallen by the wayside and perished in the sloughs of despair, with which the paths of life are so thickly strewn. James Jones was made out of sterner stuff and thrived best where the obstacles were greatest, and true to the unerring instincts and traditions of his race and the indomitable personal traits with which nature so richly endowed him, he forged ahead and compelled success in all of his undertakings by rugged force and persistency.

There is something admirable in such strong and hearty character as he typifies and his life my well inspire the following famous lines: Stick to your aim, the mongrel’s hold may slip, but only crowbars break the bulldog’s grip. His first introduction into the coal business occurred in the year 1878, when he formed the Osceola Coal Company, which he operated for two years, aided by his eldest son, John H. Jones, whose remarkable business intuition was here given it’s first opportunity to develop and assert itself.

He disposed of his interests in the Osceola Company in 1880 and leased the Grant Mines at Carnegie, which he likewise sold out and two years later purchased the Ivill Mine near Monongahela City. It will be observed that his transactions gradually grew larger and more important and he was laying the foundation for the vast interests he would soon after control. His prominence as a coal operator on a large scale was now felt in the market and in 1889 he became the dominant factor in the Catsburg Coal Company Limited and a year later organized and controlled the Rostraver Coal Company. In these organizations John H. Jones, who proved an able lieutenant and wise counselor, always assisted him.

Like President Roosevelt, James Jones was not only an enemy to race suicide but also an exponent of the strenuous life. He is the father of thirteen children, eight of whom are living and every one of them has developed to a considerable degree the sturdy qualities of the sire, which is the fundamental principle for the success of the Jones Family.

In 1896 five of the Jones boys had proved their fitness for a business career and after judging them by the high standard of his own capacity and integrity, he decided to associate them with himself in the coal business, and the firm of James Jones and Sons was formed. The local river business and flats of the T. M. Jenkins Company, together with the river business, steamers, retail yards etc of John H. Jones the elder son, were purchased making the Jones’ interests “One of the largest among the shippers of coal in the Pittsburg district.”

The formation of the Monongahela River Coal and Coke Company in 1899 witnessed the transfer of the Jones’ holdings to the Big River Company to which James Jones and Sons subscribed one million dollars in stocks and bonds.

At this time the father retired from active business and has since made the building up of his many residence and business properties a recreation, the mind must have activity even in the hours of a well-earned rest.

The retirement of James Jones from active business like the cloak of the father fell gracefully upon on the shoulders of John H. Jones and he was sworn in with a dignity and success, which would have done credit to the father. It must be understood however that he had previously improved his opportunities and personally filled every subsidiary and executive position in the mining, handling and shipping departments of the various enterprises with which he and his father had been identified.

It is only justice to add that he had very early in life demonstrated an unusual capacity for business affairs and with this a personal honor and integrity, which won the confidence of his team with every businessman in the community, which has been his home from childhood. His life and success may well form a shining example for the rising generations to emulate as no detail was too humble for him to master and while through in small things his career has been marked by bigness and great things, two qualities which are rarely found associated together, even in the most successful of our great captains of industry.