"In the year 1866," says
a recent letter from William L.
Jones, who has been a Texan for
fifty-three years, " David
Jones and I erected a steam saw and grist mill on the Coryell and
Hamilton county line, at which time there were very few persons living
in the valley of the Leon nearer than Gatesville, and none where the
town of Jonesboro now stands." Homeseekers, whom the war had
ruined or left penniless, began to come in, and sought employment
about the mill. These were: David Jones,
P. P. Jones, James
Pennington, Simmons &
Green, blacksmiths, Daniel and Tom McCarty
, Dr. J. R.
Small, W. A. Chancey,
Daniel Murray, J. L.
McElroy, Charles Pate,
T. J. Neil, J. F.
Stickney, and John
Mr. Nall opened a store at once,
but it soon passed into other hands; Joseph Key had it awhile, then
F. Stickney, then Mr.
McElroy, and finally in 1872, W. L. Jones and
J. Strickland. It was about 1869 that those interested in a church and
school, and the society of Masons, struck upon a plan of building a
two-story frame building, the lower part of which should be used for
school and church purposes, and the upper part for the secret order.
This was done, and in June, 1873, the Masonic lodge was chartered. The
place had no name, except Jones'
Mill, and the first post office bore
that name, with Charles Pate as Postmaster. The real name of the place
was given to it by some wholesale dealer's packer, for this packer had
addressed the first box of goods ever received there, as "
suited the people, and soon the post office was changed to that name.
The town suffered some from the
Indians in 1869 and 1871, as it was on the border. The population in
1890, the first census that quoted the town separately, showed 207
people. Mr. Jones estimated that "now(1893) it is about