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Jones, William Chipley
Vernacular Photograph Album Compiled by W. C. Jones of Pensacola, Florida, containing Photographic Views both of Newton, Mississippi, Pensacola and of the Panama Canal Zone, dated January 25, 1914

Oblong octavo, photograph album containing 68 snapshot photographs, the images are small measuring between 2 x 3 and 2 ¾ x 5 ½ inches, mounted on 22 black paper leaves, bound in cloth backed flexible boards, binding is worn rubbed and scuffed. Jones has signed the album on the front pastedown: “W. C. Jones. Newton, Miss. 1-25-14” Several of the photographs are identified in ink captions under the images, images generally in good condition, some are over exposed.

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             A curious photograph album, which contains images of the Panama Canal Zone, Newton, Mississippi, and Pensacola, Florida. Newton is a city in Newton County, Mississippi. The album was compiled by W. C. Jones a Pensacola native, employed by the Pensacola Investment Company, who apparently worked or spent time in the Canal Zone and in Newton, Mississippi, in connection with his employment, in 1914.

 

The album contains 14 images from Panama, including the following captioned images: “Dinkies on Panama Canal”, depicting two small locomotives, “Power Plant Panama Canal’, “On the Docks Panama,” “R R Station Gorgona CZ,” “On the Docks Panama”, “4th of July on Canal Zone,” “Concrete Mixers CZ”, “In the Gatun Locks CZ” in addition to uncaptioned images.

 

The rest of the albums images contain views of Newton, Mississippi and of Mr. Jones and his family and friends, and records views of life in Pensacola and Mississippi, playing baseball, social outings, automobiles of the day, etc. The album includes a series of captioned views of Newton, entitled: “Main Street, Newton Miss,” Church St Newton, Miss”, Q & C Station Newton Miss,” “Cotton Compress Newton Miss,” “Shipping Cabbage Newton Miss”

 

 

            William Chipley Jones (24 September 1867 – 5 July 1926)

 

William Chipley Jones was born on 24 September 1867 in Kentucky.  He was the son of Boykin Jones and Emily Chipley, of Georgia. He married a woman named Nannie C., and together the couple had at least 3 children: Emily (1889-); Mary E. (1893-); and Campbell (1896-).

 

William Chipley Jones was listed in the 1890 Pensacola City Directories as the owner of a company that supplied” coal, wood and ice. Jones is found in the 1900 Census enumerated in Pensacola, Florida, listed as a “broker,” of what it does not say. By 1910 he was widowed and he was still listed as a broker of groceries. In 1920, he was still in Florida, now listed as a broker, general merchant. He appears to have married a second time to woman named Mary.

 

At one point in his career he appears to have been the secretary of the Pensacola Florida Chamber of Commerce. During this time he and partners were directors of a company called the Pensacola Investment Company. The company appears to have financed and built a street car line in Pensacola. When the mayor of the city failed to sign into law legislation that would allow the street car line to be segregated, Jones is stated to have assaulted the mayor and was arrested and, eventually, admitting his guilt, was fined. The company started a railroad, the Albany, Cairo, & Gulf, which ran from Albany, Georgia to St. Joseph’s Bay, Florida. While he was involved with the Chamber of Commerce in Pensacola, the chamber took out advertisements in a Pensacola newspaper and promoted the Panama Canal.  Jones’ name also appears in a “Special Panama Railroad Commissioners’ Report.” It is unclear exactly what the nature of his involvement.

 

W. C. Jones died on 5 July 1926. He was buried next to his wife in the Boykin family plot at St. John’s Cemetery, Pensacola, Florida. 

 

 

             Pensacola Investment Company

 

The Pensacola Investment Company (PIC) furnished the Pensacola News Journal with a weekly column with information on the real estate market in 1905. The company was described as one of the strongest of its kind in the Pensacola, Escambria County, Florida area and bought and sold real estate for themselves and others, and also loaned money, and made general investments.

 

The Hon. A. H. D’Alemberte became the “city manager” for the company in 1905 handling property in the city of Pensacola. D’Alemberte knew the city well, as he was previously the Escambia County tax collector for fifteen years (1890-1905) and was later a city alderman.

 

A man by the name of J.E. Stillman was stated to be the president of the company in 1905, with A. H. D’Alemberte the City Manager, R. B. Simpson the Secretary, and Knowles Hyer the Treasurer. 

 

After Stillman was President, he was the Vice-President and General Manager, with W.H. Knowles took over as President; this was in 1906. Stillman likely stepped down as President because he had started another venture, the Perdido Land Company, which he became an officer of.  PIC had large holdings in the Perdido section of Escambia County (northwest of Pensacola) on which they settled several groups of German immigrants on and then in 1906 they sold the entire tract of 13,000 acres to the Perdido Land Company, of which Stillman and Nowles Hyer of PIC were also officers. PIC also advertised houses and lots for sale at Beach Haven, Florida, where they appear to have had additional large holdings.

 

In 1905 PIC was seen closing a deal on 15,000 acres of land on the Santa Rosa peninsula between the East River and East Bay and Santa Rosa Road.  In 1907, PIC handled the Southern States Hay Farm sale, a tract of land lying between Cantonement and Muscogee, including all of the buildings, stock, equipment etc., and also over 17,000 acres of cut over timber land in Baldwin County. 

 

The company also appears to have held large investments in the East Pensacola Heights area, as part of their development they built a street car line to service the area connected it to other lines in Pensacola. The company also donated a lot for a school to be built in the Heights, donated a percentage of the cost of building it, and offered free street car service to East Pensacola Heights families who purchased a home there until the school was built locally.

 

           In March of 1908 it was announced that W.C. Jones, long time Secretary of the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, and resigned that position to join the Pensacola Investment Company. 

 

By 1918 it was reported that the Pensacola Investment Company had failed, along with some other local concerns.