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RG0956.AM:  Will Owen Jones Family

Papers:  1882-1979

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska

Size:  1.5 cu.ft.; 2 boxes


Will Owen Jones was born on October 6, 1862, at Berlin, Wisconsin. His father, John A., was a Congregational minister and in 1874 moved the family to Richardson County, Nebraska, where the younger Jones received his education at Salem. In 1877 Jones entered the newspaper field and founded the Salem Advertiser, which he edited until 1880 when he enrolled in the University of Nebraska. Following graduation from the University in 1886, Jones became the city editor of the Nebraska State Journal and in 1892 was promoted to managing editor, a position he was to hold for the rest of his life.

In 1889 he married Edith Doolittle of Lincoln and this union produced one daughter, Mariel. In 1899 he was a delegate at the organization of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. President Roosevelt appointed Jones as a member of the board of visitors to the United States Naval Academy in 1907. In 1927 the Carnegie Peace Foundation chose Jones as one of forty editors to tour Europe on a fact-finding mission. At the time of his death, January 29, 1928, Jones was a director of the Lincoln Joint Stock Land Bank and was the author of By Land and Sea, a publication on foreign travel.


This collection consists of manuscript material arranged in five series: 1) Correspondence, 1885-1978 and undated; 2) Writings of Will Owen Jones; 3) Scrapbooks, 1882-1979; 4) Diaries of Mariel Jones, 1905-1908; and 5) Jones Family Materials.

The Correspondence of Series 1 includes a typed copy of an 1885 letter from John M. Thayer; letters regarding articles in the Nebraska State Journal; and letters between members of the Jones Family. Also included in this series is a comic song about William Jennings Bryan.

Series 2 is comprised of the writings of Will Owen Jones. Included is a manuscript entitled, “The Pilgrim in the West:” “By The Way” newspaper columns written by Jones during the years 1924-1926; Carnegie Editorial tour letters of 1927 written from Europe, which appeared as newspaper articles penned by Jones. A selection of writings by Jones, also titled By Land and Sea has been published and is available in the Society’s Library.

The Scrapbooks of Series 3 cover the years 1882-1979 and contain a variety of materials on members of the Jones Family. Included are newspaper articles, theater and recital programs, and cards relating to performances of Will Owen, Edith, and Mariel Jones.

Series 4 contains the Diaries of Mariel Jones for the years 1905-1908, 1911, and 1937. The entries for the early years describe school and social events. The 1937 diary contains entries made during a trip to Europe.

The Jones Family Material of Series 5 includes biographical material on Will Owen Jones; Mariel Jones; Guernsey Jones papers; and miscellany.

Photographs are stored separately. See the Reference Staff for assistance.

A collection of Mariel Jones items is housed in the Nebraska History Museum ‘s collections.


Series 1 – Correspondence, 1885-1978 and Undated

Box 1


  1. 1885 – July 1927

  2. August 1927 – 1978 and undated

Series 2 – Writings of Will Owen Jones, 1924-1927

Box 1


  1. Manuscript – “The Pilgrim in the West”

  2. Speech, “The Spirit of a Community,” Nebraska State Association of Commercial Clubs convention, June 2, 1920

  3. “By the Way” columns, 1924-1926

  4. Carnegie Editorial Tour letters, 1927

  5. Newspaper articles

Series 3 – Scrapbooks, 1882-1979

Box 1


  1. 1882-1887

  2. 1884-1899

  3. 1899-1910

  4. 1910-1920

  5. 1920-1922

  6. 1923-1927

  7. 1902-1979

Series 4 – Diaries of Mariel Jones, 1905-1908, 1911, 1937

Box 1


  1. 1905-1906

  2. 1907-1908, 1911, 1937

Series 5 – Jones Family materials

Box 1


  1. Biographical material on Will Owen Jones

  2. Mariel Jones papers

Box 2


  1. Guernsey Jones papers

  2. Expense book, 1889-1927, and Travel Diary, 1927, of Mrs. W.O. Jones

  3. Miscellany

  4. Miscellany

  5. Miscellany

  6. Miscellany

OB059   Certificates


Subject headings:

Jones Family

Jones, Guernsey

Jones, Mariel T., 1890-1986

Jones, Will Owen, 1862-1928


Revised TMM        04-25-2007