Thursday, April 30, 2020

Ricy Howell Jones (1856-1935)

Portrait from the History of the Bench and Bar of Utah, 1913.

  As April draws to a close we journey to Utah to examine the life of Ricy Howell Jones, a descendent of Utah pioneers who practiced law for nearly five decades. A resident of Box Elder County for many years, Jones served as Box Elder county attorney on multiple occasions and later held a seat in the Utah Territorial House of Representatives for one term in the late 1880s. Born of Welsh descent in Utah on May 10, 1856, Ricy Howell Jones was the son of Ricy Davis and Ann (Howell) Jones.
  Jones was a student in the common schools of the territory and from 1876-77 studied at the University of Utah. Deciding on a career in law, Jones relocated to Ogden to study law in the offices of Richards and Williams. After being admitted to practice he established his practice in Brigham City, where he continued his profession for nearly four decades. Jones married his first wife Mamie Houtz (1857-1883) in 1882, and in the year following his marriage suffered the death of his wife, who died two days after giving birth to a son, Ricy Houtz Jones, who died in infancy. Four years later he remarried to Fredricka Maria Widerborg (1864-1946), who survived him upon his death in 1935. The couple had six children.
  Born into a Mormon family, Jones was baptized into the Church of Latter-Day Saints in 1864, and in 1884 was called to his first mission.  He would preside over the Welsh Conference in the United Kingdom for two years, his mission concluding in June 1886. Before his travels in England Jones had entered the political life of Utah with his election as County Attorney of Box Elder County, serving from 1883-84. Following his return stateside he was again elected to that post, serving consecutive terms from 1886-91.

From the 1885 composite of American missionaries in England.

  Ricy H. Jones' highest degree of political prominence came in 1887 with his election to the Utah Territorial House of Representatives. His one term (1888-90) saw him named to the committees on the Judiciary, Private Corporations, Public Health, Public Printing, and Ways and Means, and in February 1888 "petitioned for the appropriation of $3,000" to be used to better the road systems in his county.
  After his one legislative term, Jones continued to reside and practice law in Box Elder County, where he was a member of the Brigham City Commerical Club. Around 1920 he and his wife relocated to Salt Lake City, where they resided until Ricy's death on June 21, 1935, at age 79. Fredericka Jones survived her husband by thirteen years and following her death in 1948 was interred alongside him at the Brigham City Cemetery.

From the Salt Lake Telegram, June 22, 1935.

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