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JONES, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (1799–1872). Benjamin Franklin Jones, early settler and sheriff, was born in Georgia on December 14, 1799, the night George Washington died. He married Letitia Guthrie about 1826 in Mississippi; they had five children. Jones moved to Texas in 1831 and settled in Jasper County near the home of John Bevil. In 1835 he applied to Mexico for a grant and was issued a league and labor of land on October 20, 1835. The league joined the Bevil league to the east and the labor is now in Newton County. When Newton County was organized in 1836, Jones was elected the first sheriff and served for two terms. He also listed himself as a farmer and surveyor, but there is no record of his practice as a surveyor. From 1846 until after the Civil War he was hardly ever out of politics. On September 23, 1847, he married Mrs. Nancy Cooper. In 1850 he was elected commissioner of Precinct 3 but resigned to become justice of the peace. In 1856 he was elected sheriff again but lost in 1858 to G. J. P. Hardy. Jones was reelected after Hardy resigned in a special election on April 1, 1859. In 1860 he was elected chief justice and counted the votes that certified secession from the union. In 1862 he was again elected sheriff but this time under the Confederacy. He resigned in 1863, and in 1867 he became justice of the peace for Newton County Precinct 1. The only record of military service in his name appears on "A list of the names of men in the District of Bevil capable of Bearing Arms that is from 16 to 50 years of age taken by order of the Committee of Vigilance and Safety" and on a muster roll of Capt. John Ingram's company, First Regiment, First Brigade, in July 1836. When he died on November 24, 1872, Jones was living at the home of his son John H. Jones. Family tradition holds that Benjamin and John died on the same night and were buried in the same grave near Little Crow Creek; their grave has never been found.


Madeleine Martin, More Early Southeast Texas Families (Quanah, Texas: Nortex, 1978).

Amanda Oren


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Amanda Oren, "JONES, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 29, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.