Colonel James Ellwood Jones

jonesbook1smblackJames Elwood Jones, who was often referred to as Colonel Jones, was the son of an immigrant from Wales who came to the United States in the mid-1800’s, settled in southern Pennsylvania and became involved in the anthracite coal mining industry. It was in Pennsylvania that James (Mr. Jones) was born , but because of the family move to southern West Virginia, he grew up in McDowell and Mercer counties.

He followed in the path that his father had carved and built his own empire in an area where, at the time, “Coal was King.”  As his fortune grew, he built this magnificent mansion on a mountain point surrounded by his mines. He was, “king of the hill”.  Mr. Jones, being a philanthropist, gave much back to the area.  He built a model community for his workers, became involved in the local government, and provided for college educations for many for the
residents.

Mr. Jones was married to wife Edith and had two children, Nancy and Jimmy.  Nancy died a premature death and Mr. Jones suffered a fatal heart attack while playing cards with a good friend.  The coal baron was gone, but his presence remains.  The trees that he imported from Europe are still flourishing and the fish in the pond are still swimming.

With the designation of this property as a National Historical Site, Colonel James Elwood Jones’s mansion continues to welcome guests and shines as a beacon of times past when “coal was king”.