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Gaius J. Jones, M. D.
IN the untiring labors of Dr. Gaius J. Jones, the American Institute of Homeopathy recognize a tower of strength to the system of Hahneman. When, after many years of successful practice—years in which he had also borne his usual share of the work of preceptor for the younger generation of physicians, the time came for him to cease his labors at the command of the Great Physician, the profession at large and particularly the famous school of medicine he adorned, felt the loss as one irreparable.
President of the American Institute of Homeopathy, since the national convention in 1911 at Pasadena, California, indentfied [sic.] for years with the Cleveland Homeopathic Medical Society and Homeopathic Hospital College as Dean, President of the Board of Trustees, and for many years occupant of the chair of Theory and Practice, Dr. Gaius J. Jones was at the time of his death one of the most conspicuous figures in his profession, recognized not only within the State, but nationally.
Destiny moves in ways often indirect; and it is interesting to trace the events which so early lead Dr. Jones to his life's vocation. Born February 27, 1843, in the little town of Remsen, in beautiful Oneida County, New York, he had the usual early training of a boy on a farm. His father, Jonathan Jones, was of Welsh stock, a competent mason and builder who engaged in farming just out of Remsen and there married a young Welsh girl, Miss Elizabeth Roberts of Carnaryonshire [Sic.], who had come over seas to this country when only sixteen. After a short stay in New York, Miss Roberts came direct to the little central York village of Remsen, where she met and married Jonathan Jones, her countryman. Here they united their efforts for the successful management of the farm and their children were brought up in the wholesome atmosphere of farm activities and were given the best educational opportunities possible from the district school and nearby private establishments.
The boy Gaius exhausted the possibilities of the district school by the time he was thirteen, and was sent to a select school at Remsen one term, then to the Academy at Prospect for two terms, graduating at the age of sixteen. The ambitious lad presented himself for the teachers' examination, passed with credit, but on the board's learning his age he was necessarily refused a teaching certificate. However, the following year, despite his youth for the responsibilities of teaching, he was given an appointment, although still one year under the minimum age of eighteen required by the law for one holding a teachers' certificate.
Whether or not too close application to books had had their physical effect, young Gaius found teaching too sedantry [sic.] and was compelled to give up this career almost as soon as he entered upon it.
Not easily discouraged, the youth of eighteen, shortly after his birthday, February 27, 1861, went down to Utica, the county seat and biggest town of the section. Here he found employment as a dry goods clerk and dreamed dreams of a successful mercantile future.
Meanwhile trouble between North and South had long been brewing, culminating in February of this year in the declaration of the Southern Confederate States of America, at Montgomery, Ala. When in March, 1861, Lincoln came into the office as President he found matters in their most critical stage, and in April the die was cast by the attack of the Confederates on Fort Sumter.
Welsh blood can always be trusted to respond to the call of country. It is recorded of young Gaius J. Jones, then barely eighteen years old, that he was the first volunteer from his township. He enlisted in Company E of the Fourteenth Regular New York Volunteers and was soon transported to be a part of that vast Army of the Potomac assembled under the beloved leader, McClellan.
But ready as was the brave youth to shed his blood for his country, it was destined that he should fall victim of another danger of war—that grim spectre which stalks through every army encampment. Typhoid fever broke out in the ranks and among those levelled by it was the youthful volunteer from Remsen. Recovering with difficulty under the unfavorable conditions of army life he was left in such unfit condition as to compel mustering out, hence he was honorably discharged January 13, 1862, and returned to his waiting loved ones in Remsen almost a physical wreck. Friends hardly knew him on his return, so great were the ravages of the dread "slow fever" then so little understood, and frequently so imperfectly attended.
The young man determined on medicine as a career, and removing to the town of Holland Patent in the home county, he took up the study of the doctor's profession under the tutelage of Dr. M. M. Gardner, a successful practicing physician. His interest thoroughly aroused in medicine he was attracted to Cleveland, Ohio, by the Homeopathic Hospital College and betook himself hither to attend the lectures of the institution. From Cleveland, he went to the little town of Liverpool, on the Rocky River, in Medina County. He began to build up a creditable practice, and in the summer of 1886 married a young lady of the villiage [sic.], Miss Emma Wilmot, a young woman of rare charm and culture, a student of Oberlin College. Thus provided with sympathetic companionship, he settled upon his life work with earnest determination to acquit himself successfully of the obligations of one ministering to human ills.
The year following his marriage, young Doctor Jones was induced to move to Holland Patent, New York, in order to take up the practice of Doctor Gardner, his old preceptor. He endeavored to carry out this plan, but after a few months was called back to the Ohio town and continued to practice in Liverpool several years. In 1871, he was called to establish himself in Grafton, a larger town, some eight miles southeast of Elyria, and here he was well started on a successful practice when pressure was brought to bear and he was persuaded to devote a share of his talents to the Homeopathic Hospital College as lecturer on the subject of Anatomy. These lectures proved so valuable that the following year the Chair of Anatomy was tendered and accepted. However, such was his practice in Grafton that he was loath to give it up, and only yielded to the calls of the larger city in 1874, when he removed his family to Cleveland.
Doctor Jones soon attracted attention in surgery, and built up a large city practice. In addition, he continued in the Chair of Anatomy at the Homeopathic Hospital College, and was on the medical staff of the hospital itself. Other appointments of this period were as Surgeon of the Fifth Regiment, Chief Surgeon of the Relief Association of the Lake Shore Railroad, and at one time he was Surgeon of the Erie Railroad, but all of these demands on him were necessarily dropped when he accepted the Chair of Theory and Practice at the Homeopathic Hospital College in 1878.
Not only did he give himself up to lecture and clinical work in the college, but he was the author of "Jones' Practice," adopted in colleges all over the county.
Meanwhile, in 1887, Doctor Jones became associated with a business venture, which time has proved of considerable importance. This was the establishment of the National Safe and Lock Company, of which he became president shortly after it foundation, and he held this supervisorship until the time of his death, February 7, 1913.
In the year 1890 he was called to accept the Deanship of the Cleveland Medical College and continued for seven years to give the affairs of administering the college his chief attention. In 1890, it was deemed best to unite this with the University of Medicine and Surgery, to form the Cleveland Homeopathic Medical College, of which Doctor Jones was made vice-dean in 1898, be coming at the end of that time, dean, which post he continued to grace until in 1907, when he was made president of the Board of Trustees.
Always of a highly orderly mind, with a natural as well as cultivated contempt for confusion in methods, Doctor Jones was accustomed to look out for all details, and once having taken hold of a matter he carried it through to conclusion. In 1909 finding that the constant attention to the demands on him in the administration of the college were overtaking his strength, in view of the other obligations of his position and practice, Doctor Jones resigned as president of the Board of Trustees, but filled the Chair of Theory and Practice, and in this important connection with the faculty of the college he rendered his best services to the institution with which, in fact, his whole professional life was associated.
More than forty-two years of his life—years of full fruitage—were devoted to the advancement of Hahneman's principles and the Cleveland college founded on them. He was a distinguished member of the Cleveland Homeopathic Society, was a member and some-time president of the Ohio State Society, and at the national convention of the American Institute of Homeopathic Medicine, which met at Pasadena, California, in 1911, he was enthusiastically elected as the national organization's logical president.
This memorable trip to the Pacific Coast was a happy relaxation for the busy physician. Accompanied by his wife, he made a systematic tour of the western country before returning to his cares in the Ohio city. Fortunately, the private practice of Doctor Jones was in charge of his son, Dr. Frank G. Jones, so that it suffered but little by this protracted absence.
Doctor and Mrs. Jones were blessed with six children, three sons and three daughters. Dr. Frank G. Jones is the eldest son, and succeeds his father professionally. He married Miss Ella Stowe, of Garretsville, Ohio, and has been blessed with two sons, the eldest, Gaius, now being in the theatrical profession, and the younger son, Frank, having followed the traditions of the family and adopted the medical profession.
The third son of Doctor and Mrs. Jones was named George W., who graduated from Harvard Law School and practiced at the Ohio bar from 1892to 1898, but gave up barristry [sic.] for medicine in order to help his father in the care of the latter's practice. Dr. George W. Jones, like his father, held a professorship in Cleveland Homeopathic Medical College, and his death in 1906 interrupted a most useful career. He left a wife and one daughter named Marjorie. The second child, Charles A., died from diphtheria when seven years of age. The fourth child and eldest daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Jones was Ida May, who, in 1898, became Mrs. George White, Jr., of Franklin, Pennsylvania, but was widowed very shortly and some years later married Mr. C. O. Davis, of Detroit. Another daughter, Nellie B., married M. W. Lawrence, of Cleveland, and has three children, Mary, Mortimer, and a son named for the grandfather, Gaius. The youngest child of Dr. and Mrs. Jones was also a daughter, named Clara, married in June, 1909, to Frederick C. Powell, and living now in South Bend, Indiana, with her two children, George Jones and Norman.
The late Dr. Gaius J. Jones was extremely well known among fraternal orders—being a Mason of high degree, a Knight Templar, member of the Scottish Rite Consistatory of Cincinnati, Ohio, a charter member of the Lake Erie Consistatory of Cleveland, charter member of the Army and Navy Post, and a member of the Memorial Post. Resolutions of honor and tender respect were passed by all at the time of his decease.
Dr. Gaius J. Jones left a stamp indelible on the Hahneman movement in this country. It is doubtful if his loss can be filled for some time to come. His labors were earnest, his zeal unflagging. He was a worker, not a shirker in any undertaking. He was a finisher, for his mind was highly orderly and logical in every way and insisted on each tasks completion. He had little of personal ego in him—in fact, he was slow to advance himself. It was thus all the more remarkable that he should held his prominent place for certainly his honors were entirely unsought and in the nature of just tribute. They reflect but a shadow of the credit due him. He never sought recognition for work accomplished, but accomplish it he did, quietly, unerringly, and waited invariable and seemingly indifferently for such recognition as comes from "honors thrust upon him."
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