Newman Potts Jones 1878-1898
Son of Benjamin and Mary Caroline Potts Jones
Wayne County, NC

Newman "Newey" Potts Jones
Photo contributed by Ouida Allison

Family historian, Jennie Jones King, wrote the following account of Ben, Mary and son Newman. Jennie, Fronia and Livey mentioned here were the children of Matthew and Susan Potts Jones.

"In 1898, there was some excitement in the family, when it became known that Newman 'Newey' Jones, the only child of uncle Ben and aunt Mary, had enlisted in the Army, to fight in the Spanish American War. He was just twenty one, but they tried to get him released because they needed him at home to help them run the farm. They were unsuccessful in their efforts, however, and he was sent to Jacksonville, Florida for his training.

"He was double cousin, as uncle Ben was father's brother, and aunt Mary, mother's sister. He visited in our home frequently, he was almost like a brother, so we felt bad to see him go to war. There were some in the family who thought the experience might be good for him, as it was about the first time in his young life that he had taken the initiative in doing anything on his own.

"I imagine sister Fronia was a great help and comfort to both aunt Mary and uncle Ben; she stayed with them at this time, more than she did at home. I can understand now why she was their favorite. The same might be said of Livey.

"Newey, as we all called him, had been gone only a few weeks, or months, when word was received, saying that he was ill with yellow fever. This news was quickly followed by the message conveying the sad news of his death.

"I shall never forget the day his body arrived. We lived, as I have said, within a few hundred yards of the Potts' burying ground, so the family had gathered at our house to wait for the arrival of the funeral cortege. When it arrived, it was accompanied by two soldiers in uniform, who stood guard over the flag draped casket; this proved to be fortunate, for there were one or two in the family who thought the casket should be opened, as aunt Mary, in her deep grief, had expressed her desire to see her boy. When it looked like the Army would lose the battle, and was ready to give in to the request, the soldiers told the women and children to leave the cemetery so that they would not be exposed to the dreaded plague yellow fever. This seemed to be more effective than the orders not to open the casket had been, so it was not opened. Newman Potts Jones was laid to rest to become a family hero of the Spanish American War.

"The government checks for the next three and a half decades were but a small compensation for the love of a son, and his strong arm to lean upon in their last days.

"They thought brother Livey and Newey looked so much alike that they told Livey, if he would live with them, they would leave everything they owned to him, at their death. He worked for them for a year or two, but did not agree to live with them for the rest of his life. This was another disappointment to them but again, Fronia was their main comfort. However, they were frequent visitors at our home and were always received with open arms and hearts by all the family.

"Uncle Ben and aunt Mary Jones, who had left Wayne County several years before, sold their home in Greene County, and moved back. They bought a farm within a few miles of us (bless them), knowing they were very near and dear to us, they thought they could influence the family and prevent us from going to Utah."

Goldsboro Headlight - September 22, 1898 - The remains of Newman P. Jones, of Saulston Township, who left here with the Goldsboro Rifles, passed through here Tuesday afternoon from Jacksonville, FL, where he died suddenly Saturday morning, on their way to Dudley, where the Interment was made that evening.

Military Tombstone in Potts Cemetery.

Contributed by Ouida Allison

The Goldsboro Rifles erected a monument in Willowdale Cemetery in Goldsboro, Wayne County, NC to three soldiers from Wayne who gave their lives for their country during the Spanish-American War. Pvt Newman P. Jones, September 17, 1898 who died in training camp in Florida from yellow fever.