C.G. Jones Homestead
Located approximately 8 miles east of Interstate 35 on Hefner Road in Jones City is some of the best river bottom farmland in Oklahoma County. Most of the land in this area was homesteaded in the land run of 1889. In 1900, C. G. Jones, pioneer state and city founder, acquired approximately 800 acres of this prime land for his farming operation. Having been a farmer and rancher in Illinois prior to coming to Oklahoma in 1889, he never lost his love for farming even thought he had his hand in many other endeavors.
His farm operation required many farm workers and a large number of mule teams. The headquarters for this operation was comprised of a residence, separate cookhouse, water storage system and a large barn with storage silos as well as some other smaller out buildings. Mr. Jones had a permanent residence in Oklahoma City, but he was almost always present during harvest and even had a hand in cultivating the soil and planting.
The farmhouse is a two-story structure believed to have been constructed in two phases. Most likely the main house was constructed and shortly afterward a small room with an upstairs room located on the west end of the main house was added. It is thought that the farm manager and his family may have lived in the west end addition. The main house was probably present even prior to statehood as the expansion is believed to have been completed by December 1908. This theory is supported by the fact that there was a stairwell at the west end of the house as well as a very ornate stairwell at the east end and the door and window trim in the lower and upper west end was different than the rest of the house. Currently, a person must walk through the lower and upper adjoining rooms to get to the west end.
This layout was not common to the period. It is believed that even after the expansion, the west end would have remained separate from the rest of the house having a separate ground level entry and access to the upstairs. There may not have been any doors to the west end from the east portion as there are presently. This could have been done to permit Mr. Jones and his family to use the east end of the house when they were there and at the same time provide separate, permanent quarters for the farm manager and his family. There was also evidence of gas lighting being used in the house since gas piping was discovered within some of the walls.
The freestanding wooden cookhouse has a root cellar underneath and appears to have been designed to accommodate the preparation of meals for a large family or perhaps a large number of field hands. It is believed that the cookhouse is one of a few or maybe the only surviving structure of its kind in the state from this period. The water storage tank next to the old windmill and adjacent to the cookhouse is believed to have been filled by pumping water into it from the windmill, since the tank has a covered top. The discovery of a valve box at the base of the windmill may further support this theory. This appears to be an unusual storage system for the period.
The large barn to the northwest of the residence appears to have been either where the mule teams were kept and fed by crops until they were ready for shipment, or both. A large corn kiln sits northeast of the house.
In 1906, Mr. Jones farmstead produced two trainloads of oats, corn and watermelons that were shipped both within the territory and out of the territory. It was determined that this was the largest shipment of agricultural products at the time for the Oklahoma territory.
The Charles G. Jones farmstead appears to be a model farming operation even by today’s standards. The standard that was set by this farm in the early 1900’s was a testament of the production capabilities of the fertile land found within the boundaries of the land run of 1889.