Mattison Boyd Jones. Since coming to Los Angeles, in 1900, Mattison Boyd Jones has enjoyed a high rank in the legal profession, and is also well known as one of the most prominent Masons and Baptist laymen of California and the West, and as a citizen whose interest goes out to every well-considered movement for general welfare.
Mr. Jones was born at Tuttle, in Laurel County, Kentucky, June 15, 1869, a son of Hiram J. and Permelia W. (Black) Jones. The Jones and Black families are both old Southern stock, dating back over a hundred years in Kentucky and another hundred years in North Carolina. The Jones family is of Welsh, English and French ancestry and the Blacks are of Irish descent. His mother was a sister of Hon. James D. Black, former Governor of Kentucky. Mr. Jones attended the public schools until the age of eighteen, then taught school for two years, and took his college work at the University of Kentucky, at Lexington. He graduated with honors and an A.B. degree in 1894, his graduating speech being delivered in Latin. He taught school at London, Kentucky, as principal of the Laurel Seminary for one year, 1894-1895. In the meantime, he diligently pursued the study of law and was admitted to the bar October 17, 1895, at London, Kentucky. He practiced a few months at London, Kentucky, and then resumed his teaching. He was professor of mathematics and astronomy for two years at Williamsburg Institute, now known as Cumberland College, at Williamsburg, Kentucky. In 1898 he was called to his Alma Mater at Lexington as professor of military science and instructor in mathematics. He remained a member of the faculty of the University of Kentucky and also continued postgraduate work there until December 31, 1899, when he resigned. Coming to Los Angeles he made the city his home until 1911, and has since resided in Glendale.
Opening a law office in Los Angeles in 1900, he was soon in the midst of a busy practice, and in 1905 formed a partnership with E. B. Drake under the firm name Jones & Drake, which was dissolved in 1909. He then associated himself with W. E. Evans under the firm name Jones & Evans. After his partnership was dissolved in 1917, he practiced alone until 1920, when the firm of Jones, Wilson & Stephenson was formed. This firm has a very lucrative practice. He is a member of the Los Angeles County and the American Bar Associations, and practices before the U. S. Supreme Court.
Mr. Jones has had a very thorough military training. On his graduation from the University of Kentucky in 1894, he was ranking officer of the battalion of cadets. At that time Lieutenant Charles D. Clay, a grandson of the noted Henry Clay, and a regular army officer, was professor of military science in the University of Kentucky. Lieutenant Clay presented Mr. Jones with a dress sword, just before his graduation, in recognition of his one hundred per cent military record. At different times Lieutenant Clay had to go to Washington on military business, and left Mr. Jones in full charge of the university cadets. In 1898, when the commandant was recalled to his regiment during the Spanish-American War, he president of the University of Kentucky asked Mr. Jones to succeed him; this was the first time that a commandant of the university was called from civilian ranks. Mr. Jones is a man of thorough scholarship and has always been a student. As an orator he is much in demand. He took his post graduate work at the University of Chicago in addition to the work done at his Alma Mater. He is president of the board of trustees of the University in Redlands, having held that post since the university founded in 1909.
Since early youth Mr. Jones has given part of his time to church duties; being one of the organizers of the Temple Baptist Church of Los Angeles in 1903; president of the Southern California Baptist Convention two years; for three years president of the Pacific Coast Baptist Conference, comprising all the states west of the Rockies; past president of the Los Angeles County Baptist Association and the Los Angeles Baptist City Mission Society.
For many years he has been a deep student of Masonry. He is a member of both the York and Scottish Rite bodies and also the Grotto and Shrine, and has filled a number of chairs; being a Past High Priest, Past Illustrious Master, Past Commander, Past Grand High Priest of California, and at present is General Grand Master of the Second Veil of the General Grand Chapter, of Royal Arch Masons of the United States of America.
In politics he is a Democrat, and served as alternate delegate-at-large from California to the Democratic National Convention, at Denver in 1908. In 1902, he was nominated for city attorney of Los Angeles on the Democratic ticket, and in 1914, he was strongly urged for United States District Judge for Southern California. Being strongly urged by leading Democrats of the state, Mr. Jones finally entered the primary race for the Democratic nomination for Governor of California in 1922 but failed to receive the nomination. He is a member of the University Club of Los Angeles and the Sunset Canyon Country Club. In Glendale, he is the owner of valuable property on Brand Boulevard, both vacant and improved, including business, income and residence properties. He is chairman of the advisory board of the Los Angeles Trust and Savings Bank branch at Glendale, a stockholder in the Glendale Daily Press, and was president of the Glendale Printing and Publishing Company, which organized the Glendale Daily Press. He is president of the Brand Boulevard Improvement Association, and chairman of the committee that went before the supervisors and the Los Angeles City Council in 1917, bringing about the building of the bridge that spans the Los Angeles River on Glendale Boulevard.
During the entire World War he served as secretary of the exemption board of the seventh district of Los Angeles County, which field of service he values very highly.
At Louisville, Kentucky, on January 3, 1900, Mr. Jones married Miss Antoinette Ewell Smith, a daughter of James Dudley and America (Ewell) Smith. Her father was a lawyer by profession. Although his career was cut short by death in 1900, while still a young man, he had risen to prominence not only in his profession but also as a capitalist. Her mother was a daughter of Colonel Richard Leighton Ewell, a veteran of the Union Army in the Civil War, and of the Virginia branch of the Ewell family. The Ewell family is of Scotch ancestry, and was founded in America about the middle of the seventeenth century. The name in Scotland was spelled Yuille; in America, like many other family names, by some of its members it came to be spelled as pronounced, Ewell. The Ewell family is one of America’s largest and most illustrious. Its name is found in all walks of life, and not least is it mentioned in the military annals of the nation.
Mrs. Jones is an accomplished musician, particularly in piano, having attended the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, at Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1898 she graduated from the piano department of the John B. Stetson University, Deland, Florida, and prior to her graduation was a student at Daughters College, Harrisburg, Kentucky, a select girls’ boarding school. She is one of California’s prominent clubwomen, being a member of the Emeritus Club of California, which is made up of past state officers of women’s clubs. She is a past president of the Los Angeles district, Federation of Women’s Clubs and of the Glendale Afternoon Club and a member of the Women’s Club of Los Angeles. She was the leader in organizing the Glendale Music Club, and was its first president. This organization has now over six hundred members, though it is less than two years old. Mr. and Mrs. Jones have one daughter, Lillian Winifred Jones, who is a graduate of the Marlborough School, Los Angeles, later attending the University of Redlands, at Redlands, California. Like her mother she is an accomplished musician. Mr. and Mrs. Jones now live in their new palatial home “Bel Air,” 727 Kenneth Road, also known as the “White House” at Glendale. They also have a summer home at Hermosa Beach, California.
From History of Glendale and Vicinity by John Calvin Sherer. The Glendale Publishing Company, c. 1922 F. M. Broadbooks and J. C. Sherer. p. 375-377. Photos of Mattison Boyd Jones and Mrs. Mattison Boyd Jones appear on pages 372-373.