Monday, April 15, 2013

Ruth Jones, a Much Beloved Third Grade Teacher in 1914

Photo Credit: FindaGrave,
Ruth Jones and Edmondson Jones - 1914, Posted by YCJ
Editor's Note: The above photograph was shamelessly lifted from FindaGrave.  I apologize if I have unwittingly violated any copyrights to the photo, but it was so charming I could not help myself and I present it here with full credit and the proclamation that I am including it here for educational purposes only.  If anyone with the rights to the photo objects, I will first flog myself and then promptly remove it.
Miss Ruth, as most of us Brookhavenites knew her, was born to P.Z. Jones and Maggie Edmondson Jones in 1894.  Four years later, sibling Robert Lee Jones was born, followed by Ella May Jones in 1900 and Sam Pendleton Jones in 1908, according to information on FindaGrave.  (There is no mention of Edmondson Jones on the site, pictured above, but I suspect it was an oversight, as information on file at the library indicates he grew up and married the "prettiest thing" Margaret Jennings, a teacher.)

Miss Ruth was educated at Whitworth College in town and later attended Millsaps College in Jackson.  She returned home to Brookhaven to serve in the public school system as a devoted third grade teacher, a position she held until retirement.  In adulthood, Miss Ruth, her sister Ella Mae and brother Sam lived in the family home, a landmark Queen Anne Victorian, facing the Illinois Central Railroad tracks.

Sam Jones, interviewed by Bob and Betsy Jones on Feb. 18, 1989, told many humorous stories about life in Brookhaven and living that beautiful old home, which sadly is now in a state of disrepair.

Here is but one of Sam Jones' stories about living so close to the railroad tracks that they knew every train by the time and its whistle:
"After my father died (in 1932) and nobody was home except my mother and Ruth and Ella Mae, one rainy night, night -- a dreary, scary, dark, dark night -- and Momma and Ruth and Ella Mae went home by themselves and the 11:00 No. 2 -- the fast train to Chicago came through -- and right after that train went by, my mother called my sister Ruth and said, “Ruth, go outside and go to the door and see what that is. I think the train has run over somebody.”  
So Ruth went to the door, stuck her head out, she heard somebody moaning and groaning, “O-o-o you good Christian people, don’t let me die out here in the rain. The train’s run over me and cut off my legs. Please somebody, come help me. Come help me.” 
And Ruth went back; she didn’t know what to do. It was pouring down rain so she went ... and did the only thing she could think of -- she called Hartman’s ambulance to come down for the man, and they came, and they charged twenty-five dollars a trip. 
They came down there to see what it was and ... it was a man (who) was drunk and he had fallen down on the sidewalk in front and his feet hung over to our yard -- our yard was about two feet below the street level -- and so he reached out and he couldn’t find his legs.  
So he decided the train had run over him.
The ambulance took him and they had to go all over the county trying to find a place, somebody to take him because none of his relatives would have him."

The tale ended there, and we never learn who the man was or where he wound up or, 
perhaps more importantly, who got stuck with that $25 ambulance charge.

Miss Ruth died in 1992, age 97.  Sam passed away in 2006, also at age 97.  Please click on the
turquoise link to see her obituary and read more about her civic activities.

Scherck-Jones House


  1. I was in Miss Ruth's third grade class in the fall of 1944. Our class studied the "Weekly Reader" newspaper, and during that year's FDR-Dewey Presidential election, Miss Ruth had to correct my assumption that the "Dewey" was our town's own Dewey (of "Dewey's 20th Century Pool Room", at the corner of Whitworth and Monticello. In the early 1950s, Sears Roebuck opened a catalog store in that building.)

  2. Bob, that is very funny. I am sure the Jones had a good laugh about that over supper that night.