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Jones, John Rice, Jr. (1792–1845)

L. W. Kemp Biography Entry

John Rice Jones, Jr., early Texas postmaster general, son of John Rice and Mary (Barger) Jones, was born in Vincennes, Indiana, on January 8, 1792. He and Stephen F. Austin were boyhood friends in Missouri, where their fathers were partners in a lead-mining operation. When the partnership was dissolved, the Jones family moved to St. Louis. Jones, Jr., served in the War of 1812 under Gen. Henry Dodge and held several civil positions before he moved to Texas in 1831, the first of three brothers to immigrate to the future republic. He received a grant of a league of land on Cummins Creek, now in eastern Fayette County, where he established a plantation known variously as Fairland or Fairyland Farm. He lived for a time at San Felipe and in October 1835 joined the Texas army. His military service was short, however, for on December 11, 1835, he was elected postmaster general by the General Council. He held the position until December 22, 1836, when he was succeeded by Robert Barr. Jones was reappointed postmaster general by Mirabeau B. Lamar on December 14, 1839, and served throughout Lamar's term. Jones was first married to Ruth Mary Hawkins. After her death on September 5, 1837, he married Sarah Fidelia Heard. He died in 1845 at his home on Cummins Creek and is buried in the family cemetery. His son, John Rice Jones III, was a member of the Snively expedition.

DeWitt Clinton Baker, comp., A Texas Scrap-Book (New York: Barnes, 1875; rpt. 1887; facsimile rpt., Austin: Steck, 1935). Gayle Talbot, "John Rice Jones," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 35 (October 1931).

Time Periods:

  • Texas Revolution
  • Republic of Texas

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

L. W. Kemp, “Jones, John Rice, Jr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 22, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.