Life History of Edwin Charles Jones
Gerald Harvey Jones
As Told to Lucile R. Jones
(Some minor explanatory corrections by Gerald Craig Jones)
My father, Edwin Charles Jones was born September 25, 1891 in Malad, Oneida County, Idaho to Edwin Morgan Jones and Margaret Jane Metcalf Jones.
His father, Edwin Morgan Jones, was born 13 November 1863 to David Richards Jones and Ada Morgan Jones in North Ogden, Weber County, Utah.
His Mother Margaret Jane Metcalf, was a daughter of Anthony and Mary Ann Reeder Metcalf, she was born in Hyde Park, Cache County, Utah on 1 January 1866.
Edwin Charles Jones was the oldest of four children: Edwin Charles, Ada, Vest and Warren. They lived in a big white two-story house south of Malad. Downstairs was a kitchen, living room and parlor and the bedrooms were upstairs.
He grew up in Malad and attended grade school there. His father taught school in a little one room school south of Malad ( I think it was Cherry Creek) and Edwin went to school with him before he was old enough to go to school so he was ahead of his class when he started school in Malad.
His father raised pure bred cattle, horses and chickens. He owned a race track south of Malad. He had a good orchard and I remember walking over the stile through the orchard to go to Grandma’s house.
Gerald Harvey Jones: “I remember a big thundermug upstairs. I also remember the story they used to tell about a little boy kneeling to the side of the bed when a visitor walked in and seeing the little boy kneeling by his bet thought, “how nice;, he’d kneel and join him in his prayers”. In a few minutes, the little boy said, “You’ll sure get it from Mom – the thundermug’s on this side of the bed”.
I remember a wind mill operated well in the back yard, a big potato cellar about 15 feet by 8 foot wide where they stored food. I remember “Old Barney” a horse I used to ride when I was 3 or 4 years old and one day I fell off of him by this well.
Old Bird was a white speckled horse that Edwin rode when he was a boy. Later I herded cows on this horse.”
Edwin Charles’ father Edwin Morgan Jones, died 22 May 1906 when Edwin C. was just 15 years old. The story goes that when he was a boy he rode a horse into the barn and cracked his head and later it developed into a brain tumor.
As Edwin C. was the oldest, his mother gave him a check book and turned the finances over to him. That was a mistake because he was too young and immature to handle it properly and he really went through the money.
Edwin started going with a pretty girl with thick brown hair named Ethel Etta Harvey. Her father was a well driller and they had come West from Minnesota. This romance blossomed and they were married 03 August 1909 in Malad. He was 18 and Ethel was 20 years old.
When they were married he started working for the Hedrick Bakery in Malad for $1.00 and two loaves of bread a week, while he was learning the business. Soon after this he started his own bakery in Malad and Mother worked by his side.
Soon after this they made a home in the old 2 room log house next to his parents. Three children were born to this union: Gerald Harvey, Dale Anthony and Lois Vesta.
Grandma Jones had cows and they sold milk to Lubens Confectionary and they make ice-cream. Before my 8th birthday we moved to Lava Hot Springs where Dad opened another bakery. A few pans, a show case, an oven, a bench, a proof box, a mixing trough, knives and scrapers was about all of the equipment we had. This bakery was across the street from the old Natatorium, just as you go into town from the west.
When I was 13 we left Lava and went to Logan where Dad had a bakery on West Center Street, just west of the old Herald Journal.
About 4 years later Dad sold the bakery equipment to a man in Lava and worked for him one summer to help him get started.
Then we went to San Francisco in an old touring car with all of our belongings. I drove an old cut-down bug with Dale for company. This was a real experience as I was a young fellow. I went to school my junior year there.
Once when I was just a little boy, Dad worked for Farmer’s Elevator in Malad and bought grain from the farmers. One day when we were going out to Holbrook in an old Buick coupe, we lost the gas tank. We went back and finally found it. There was a small vacuum gas tank that we filled from the big tank. When that ran out we put more gas in from the big tank. We did this until we got to a farmer’s house and he put the tank back on for us so we could go on our way. They invited us to have dinner with them and they had lamb chops and I thought that was the best meat I ever tasted.
While we were in California Dad worked as a hod carrier with Uncle Dode Bennett who was plasterer. Dads shoulders got so sore that he had raw sores on them.
Then he and Uncle Dode started a bakery in Mission District in San Fancisco but there was not enough business so they closed shop.
We weren’t there long when the folks went back to Logan where Dad got a job managing the Cherry Blossom Confectionary and bakery. Mother worked there too. She always worked side by side with Dad.
Doc. Merrill and Herb Weston each came to Dad separately, and asked him to falsify the books, showing a loss when actually they were making money, so one could buy the other one out. Dad told each of them to go to hell and he left. Mother stayed on and worked for awhile.
Dad went to Ogden and worked for Royal and then Continental Bakeries until he got his hand caught in the bread mixer and he was fired. Then he came back to Logan and worked in the Royal Bakery for Max Johnson until he retired. ( Gerald Craig Jones as a young child worked in that bakery with his grandfather on Saturdays breaking eggs into a bucket for the pastries, and minding the donut making machine. He was able to eat the donuts that dropped into the hot oil twisted and came out deformed. I got my fill of donuts that way). Mother, Ethel Etta, died June 30, 1930, when I was 18.
Dad married Dorothy Wheatley Minkler, who had been a divorce for several years and had two sons: Ray and Rodney Minkler. The boys lived with their Aunt Hilda and uncle Howard Leatham for several years and then came to live with us. Dad and Doll, as she was called, were married 23 January 1932. Doll worked for the telephone company for 35 years altogether.
Dad’s church going days were very few. He said he went to Mormon Church once and they asked him to buy a book and he never went back. His father’s family had been members of the L.D.S Church but had broken away because of political reasons. David R. Jones, his grandfather, wanted to get into politics and to hold office in the Idaho State legislature, which he did, and had his name taken off the church records. At that time, members could not vote or hold office. Many people drifted away from the church because of these conditions.
- A side note by Gerald Craig Jones “ Perhaps some clarification and explanation of conditions in Idaho at the time David Richards Jones, left the Church. I was perhaps the first of my Great-great grandfather descendents to come back into the Church, My father joined after I had been ordained a Deacon. I served a Mission to Canada, then served time in the US Air Force and then married at 26. I have been quite a student of the Gospel and Church History. After I married, a sweet girl Maria Weissenburger, who came to Logan from The Swiss Austrian mission home. My parents were called to a Mission to Raratonga, in the South Pacific. I chose to run the family farm in Chesterfield, Idaho, while they served their mission. I and my wife Maria and our two daughters at the time moved from Kaysville to Bancroft. When they returned I was driven to my knees in earnest prayer to know whether we should stay in Idaho, or go back to our home in Kaysville, Utah. Maria did not want to live on the farm so I rented a Roul Wistisen house in Bancroft. I went to our basement bedroom and poured out my soul to the Lord, wanting to know what I should do. The destroyer was at me and I felt he would destroy me. I kept praying to Christ Jesus, now silently, for I felt my voice taken from me. Finally a peace came over me and I was filled with the spirit of the Lord and the words came to me. ” Go back down to Utah, you will come in contact with a people who are striving to live the Gospel, they will be polygamous.” It was foreign to Present Church doctrine. It came as a surprise to me, but I could not deny the message, it was a knowing by the small but powerful voice into my soul. My wife Maria and I moved back to Kaysville. I tried to introduce what I had been told by our reading the 132nd section of D&C., I said someday we may be required to live these things. She responded unfavorably. I would sometimes take leave of work, using my vacation leave, and go to the Church Office building in Salt Lake. As Church authorities would go by I would ask the Holy Spirit, silently, “Is this a person who can give further instruction.” Then one day my parents and my grandfather Rigby came to visit. They told me to quit studying and praying so much. Told me to quit growing a beard. When they left I went into my bedroom knelt down and poured out my soul to the Lord asking for correction, and saying, if I am wrong correct me so I know I am wrong, please give me further light and direction. I got up from my pleading and walked into the back yard with my arm around my wife Maria, my eyes were still wet from sincere pleading to the Lord. A man walked into the back yard and said he felt inspired that he was to share some important information with me. He asked if I had the books by Joseph Fielding Smith. I asked if he meant Doctrines of Salvation, he said yes. He asked if I had volume one, I answered I did. He said go get it. We went around to the front of the house, I stepped in and pulled the book from the book shelf in the living room. He opened it to the Adam God Doctrine, I read over his shoulder as he read, then he said that is not the full answer, would you like to know more. I answered in the affirmative. He later brought back books from Church Historians and I learned that what I had taught while on my mission about God was a watered down version of the truth. I was then led to the one who had been given the keys of keeping alive the Celestial Principles of the Gospel. I still had to go to the Lord in prayer and ask if the Priesthood was really outside the Church I had learned to love. One morning at 3AM I was woke up and went to my bed in the basement. I again in prayer asked the Lord if the Priesthood was outside the Church. I was led to open a certain page in a book I had got while I was on my Mission. It Inspired Prophetic Warnings. As I turned to the page I was inspired to go to, I read the words of the prophet “I do not see how the true principles of the Gospel will be lived among us as a people, we have strayed so far, the Lord must somehow lead out a people from among this people who will put spiritual things to the fore, pray that you may be worthy to be among them. He will lead them somewhere round about in these mountains, not exactly in the midst of this people. It was as it were an answer to the prayer I had just asked the Lord. It was so. I then went to Church Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith. We had a rather lengthy communication. I asked him about Celestial Plural marriage. He told me that he was a polygamist. I also asked him about the wedding garment spoken of in the Scriptures. I told him that before I went on my mission to Eastern Canada, I went through the temple and a garment was placed upon me, the Wedding Garment or Garment of the Holy Priesthood. It had a collar of special design, it had marks of the compass and the square etc. It came down to the wrists and down to the ankles, it had three pairs of tie strings. I told him that before I left the Temple that day, another garment was given to me to wear outside the Temple, and asked him about that, and he said there was only one garment he wore. I asked him again what about that, and he told me that it was up to the people whether they would live according to the covenants they made with the Lord. He told me that the modified garments were just rags, that they gave no protection against the Evil one. I learned the changes came about because the women wanted to live and wear the fashions of the world. It was not by revelation but by demands of the people who chose not to live according to the covenants made with the Lord. I know that many if not most of the “Saints” will object to my Testimony. Permit me to quote our most learned Apostle, Joseph Fielding Smith. He first stated that we formerly taught that it was the Catholics who had broken God’s Everlasting Covenant, but he excused them as they never had them. Then said he: that “it is the Latter-day Saints who have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances and broken the everlasting covenant, of Isa 24:5“. Recorded in the Desert News Church Section, October 17, 1936.
I shared some of the things I had learned with my dear wife, Maria, and she went to church officials with the information. I was active in the Church, teaching a Sunday School Class, and Secretary of the Elders Quorum. Then the man Elwin Hunt, who had baptized my wife in Austria suggested I go see a High Councilman in their Stake. I asked who it was and agreed to an appointment. On the appointed Sunday I went to his home in Ogden. When I arrived his wife Janet Jones Woolley greeted me at the door, invited me in and told me her husband was expecting me and would be there shortly, that he was still in High Council meeting. Montieth Woolley soon arrived, and we became acquainted. I learned that Apostle Lorin C. Woolley was his Uncle. That John W. Wolley was his Grandfather. I questioned him about the character of his Uncle Lorin, his honesty etc. He told me that he was a very honorable man, that he traveled around the Church with the Church Presidents. I asked him what he knew about the 1886 Revelation given to Church President John Taylor. He told me that he and the Woolley and Taylor families had known about that from the day it was received by a visitation from Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith the Prophet. It was all true including the 8 hour meeting, where President Taylor in a glorified light emanating from him rose above the floor while accounting his experience, and giving direction to the faithful Apostles and others present. Church Authorities, especially Mark E. Peterson had denounced that purported meeting and Revelation. I had read the Revelation and it rang true to me. Then Brother Woolley told me, “I am going to tell you something I have never told any of my family before. (His wife Janet Jones Woolley and daughter Janet Woolley were there present along with myself) Said Brother Woolley: I was present with my father and grandfather John W. Woolley when my Uncle Lorin came in and said President Grant called me in the other day and said, we are going to have to do something about your Father. It is being noised about that he is still performing plural marriages. Uncle Lorin then said he asked President about his young woman (wife) in Wyoming. He said there would not be anything done about his father. While at the Woolleys, they let it slip that I was being served divorce papers the next day.
After the divorce, I went on a Saturday to pick up my three daughters to go out for the day. I was greeted by two members of the Stake High Council with papers requesting my presence at a High Council Court. Previously Bishop Hill on a Sunday before the divorce called and asked if he could come over and visit. On that Sunday when he came to our home, I answered the door and invited him in. He walked across the room turned to my wife Maria and said, “If Craig does not quit studying, kick him out, we will see that you are taken care of.” Then he turned to me and said “you know who knows more than any of us?” After what he had just said it was revealed to me that he was referring to the Devil. I very calmly said “yes, Your friend.” He could have referred to Jesus Christ or one of the Apostles, but he didn’t. He came at me with his fists all doubled up, showing his true colors, I pointed at the door and said “there is the door.”
So at the appointed time I went to the Stake High Council Court. President Alan Blood, the Stake President said “Brother Jones, we do not want to hear anything that any of the Church Leaders have said in the past, all we want to know is how you feel”. I had gone with the instructions of the Lord when taken before your judges ”Take no thought before hand what you shall say it will be given you in the very hour.” I opened my mouth and the words came out: “I have been taught from my youth to speak the truth, and stand for God, even if it means being thrown in the fiery furnace. I have been taught from my youth that every blessing is received according to living according to the laws of God, if we do not live the laws we forfeit the blessings. Pres. Blood than asked “Do you believe in plural marriage?” I answered in the affirmative. Then he asked if I had more than one wife. I told him I did not have any wife at all, for my wife had divorced me. Then he asked if I believed President David O. McKay had more than one wife. I thought, David O. McKay is not on trial here, I am. I answered it would not change my testimony if I knew he did. Then he asked if I believed in the Word of Wisdom, I answered in the affirmative, and said even though Brother Bowman (Bowmans Market) here, sells a lot of meat to the “Saints”, he doesn’t sell much to me, especially in the Summer Time. The Stake President then excused himself and his two councilors for a few minutes, then returned and said “Brother Jones, it has been determined that you should be excommunicated because you believe doctrines no longer taught by the Church.
I was barbering in the local barber shop, one day one of the High Council men came in for a hair cut. When I finished I did not have anyone waiting so I walked out the door with him. Brother Forest Barker, said: “Brother Jones, I have been a Bishop, I have been in Bishoprics. “We have taken men and women before President Blood who were guilty of Adultery, and he would do nothing about those cases. Then a man such as yourself, who does everything he can to live the Gospel, and we excommunicate you just like that, as he snaps his fingers, I just don’t understand it Brother Jones.”
Another day Herb Barnes (Barnes Bank, President Blood was Bank President) came into the Barber Shop, and later I visited with him outside the shop. I shared with him what had happen at my “trial”. He said: “It sounds like the same thing happened to you that happened to my Uncle Thomas Barnes in Malad, Idaho. I asked, how’s that? He said to me “You were excommunicated because you would not apostatize. Then Herb told me how his Uncle and a number of other young men in Malad, were told by the local Church Authorities to go to the Polls and denounce their religion, say that they did not believe in Mormonism, and register to vote. Herb Barnes said you know back in the 1860’s it was against the law for Mormons to Vote in Idaho. I said, Yes I know and pulled a news paper clipping from the Ogden Standard Examiner out of my wallet.
So it was really against the law of Idaho for Mormons to vote until 1977-78 when the law was finally repealed. I confirmed this with a Politician in a LDS Ward in Burley, Idaho cir.1978.
Herb Barnes told me his Uncle Thomas Barnes along with a number of other young unmarried men, since they would not go to the Polls and denounce their religion; they were excommunicated from the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”. This is during the time that my Great-great grandfather David Richards Jones, had his name removed (I believe excommunicated) from the Church. I believe it was because he would not deny his religion, along with Thomas Barnes, and many others.
This was a rather long explanation, but I believe it important for the truth to be shown daylight.
If anyone has more definite information about David Richards Jones and what happened with him and the LDS Church removal or excommunication I would appreciate any information about the truth of the matter. Would like to hear from descendants of same. Also like more information about David Richards Jones’ father Isaac James Jones 13May1804-1Mar1894, as well as his father William Jones 12 Nov.1758 – 4Mar1894, and his father Evan Jones.
His (Edwin Charles Jones) mother’s parents had belonged to the L.D.S. Church but her father had been excommunicated from the church and there was much bitterness in the family.
Thus Dad grew up in a home with religious problems. His Mother went to the Presbyterian Church. Sometimes I went to church with her and Aunt Vesta.
Dad died in the L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City 14 May 1962. We had a good L.D.S. funeral for him and he was buried in the Logan cemetery. He was a good honest man and had been a friend to many people in need. He had made many friends in his life time.
He had always loved to fish and spent much of his time, especially in his later life, fishing. I’ve said many times if he can’t fish where he is, he wont stay there.
Gerald H. Jones as told to Lucile R. Jones
Foot note by Gerald Craig: I loved to fish with my grandfather, we would get up in the wee hours of the morning to get out on the stream or lake before daylight to begin fishing. After returning from my Mission I had some Gospel discussions with Grandfather and loaned him a book I had “The Quest”, Which I enjoyed. I asked him about joining the Church and he told me he could not join the Church unless he could go all the way. I have often wished I had asked him for further explanation.
- Let it here be known: I believe in God the Eternal Father and His Son Jesus Christ, The one True God. Gods cannot be Gods in the Family of Gods if they are not in unity with the Whole. Thus One True God. I believe in the Gospel Restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I do have a problem with men, whether Church leaders or not who pervert the Gospel, water it down and make it null and void as a way to salvation and Exaltation, by deceiving the people. Thus my council: Go to the Lord in fervent prayer, ask and know the truth for yourself. GCJ
Links to Jones Family History