Saturday, August 29, 2009

George Jones 1898 - 1973

George Jones was raised as a cowboy. He had his own saddle and chaps and loved to help his folks with the round up. He maintained the Yavapai County roads. He lived in work camps seven days a week.

When he first married Belva they lived in an apartment in back of a small grocery store. After Norma was born they moved into a larger house directly back of the Ferris home. Here they lived for two years until George was sent to Cottonwood to be foreman of Yavapai county roads in the Verde Valley. There they bought a two-bedroom home situated two miles from Cottonwood and lived in the home for twelve years. For the first time George came home each night and they enjoyed meals together. They were a really happy family and made many close friends.

At the Cottonwood house they hauled away the rocky soil and brought in many wheel barrels of rich soil. They planted grass, trees, flowers, and made a small vegetable garden in the back. George put in water pipes down to the roots of the cottonwood stumps and they sprouted out nicely.

They raised turkeys and setting hens. They would put the chickens on the back porch until they got too big and then they would wander about the back yard, strutting and gobbling. His daughter Belva said, "They were sure pesky, and would pick the buttons off the shirts hanging on the line, but they were the best watchdogs". George told her that since he'd raised them as pets he couldn’t kill them, so Belva had the milkman chop their heads off. Belva added, "We sold most of them usually, and kept one to ourselves, probably one the milkman couldn’t get the head off of."

George liked to go hunting and usually would take care of the meat. One time he came home with a wild turkey and said, “You can pick it and get it ready.” Belva said, “No way, you brought the turkey in. I’ll cook it when it's all plucked and everything, but I will not get it ready.” That turkey lay around for two days and no one would do anything about it. He finally saw that Belva wasn’t going to, so he finally picked it, cleaned it up, and then Belva cooked it. Every once in a while Belva assert herself and said what she intended to do and what she didn’t.

In the 1930’s George’s wages were cut to $100 a month. George worked a crew of W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration) on the county roads and they cut expenses where we could. Banks closed their doors and their small savings were reduced to a small percentage of the original amount. The girls were taking music lessons from a teacher who lived in Jerome and they were permitted to continue these lessons because the county W.P.A. paid her. They always had two missionaries that visited often, hoping to convert George, but he was not interested. He always said if he did not ask questions they would have no reason to talk to him of Mormonism, as a result his mind was closed to it.

George died in 1973 from a heart attack while trying to start a caterpiller tractor.

1970 George+SecondWife Susie 

George in the 1940 census: 

George and his second wife: