Biography - NORMAN L. JONES

Hon. Norman L. Jones, who has the distinction of being one of the youngest, if not the youngest, man ever elected to the state legislature of Illinois, and who in the practice of law has gained a position of prominence, was born in Patterson, Greene [C]ounty, Illinois, September 19, 1870. His father, John Jones, is the publisher of a newspaper at Roodhouse. At the usual age he entered the primary department of the public schools and was advanced through consecutive grades until he completed the high school course with the class of 1888. Following his graduation in Carrollton he went to Valparaiso, Indiana, where he attended the Indiana State Normal, and subsequently he engaged in teaching school in Fayette, Illinois, acting as principal there for two years. He next continued his studies in the West Point Military Academy, receiving the appointment through Hon. Scott Wike, member of [C]ongress. He remained at West Point for a year, after which he returned to Carrollton and associated himself with W. K. Withers in the abstract business.

Almost immediately afterward--in 1892--Mr. Jones received the nomination of the Democratic party for the state legislature. He had previously taken an active part in politics, was a popular citizen and one whose deep interest in the public welfare was widely recognized. The election showed that he was the choice of the majority of Greene [C]ounty’s citizens, and after serving for two years he was re-elected in 1894. He proved an able working member of the [H]ouse, giving to each question which came up for settlement his careful consideration. He was probably the youngest man ever elected to the Illinois legislature, being but twenty-one years of age when first nominated for the office.

In the meantime Mr. Jones began reading law, having taken up the study after leaving West Point, and in May, 1896, he was admitted to the bar. He then entered upon the practice alone in Carrollton, and, like all others, his practice was slow at first, but gradually his legal business grew as he demonstrated his ability to successfully handle the intricate problems which continually come before the courts. In 1900 he was elected city attorney and was so faithful as a custodian of the legal interests of the municipality that he was re-elected in 1901. During his term in that office there arose the question of the legality of the certificates issued by the city in payment of the extension of the new waterworks. He won his suit and thereby secured the waterworks system, of which the city has every reason to be proud. The same question has since been decided adversely by the [S]upreme [C]ourt but too late to have any effect upon the waterworks of Carrollton.

In 1902 Mr. Jones joined Congressman Henry Rainey in the formation of the present law firm of Rainey & Jones, which stands prominently forward in the ranks of the legal fraternity in this city. Nature was generous in her gifts to Mr. Jones. Endowed with strong intellectuality and with latent talent which his energy and ambition have developed, he is now accorded a place among the more capable and successful members of the Greene [C]ounty bar, although he is one of its younger representatives. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen camp and to the Ancient Order of United Workman and is popular in professional, social and political circles.

Extracted 2021 Jul 31 by Marti Swanson from Past and Present of Greene County, Illinois, by Ed Miner, published in 1905, pages 394-395.

Templates in Time