North Carolina Architects and Builders - A Biographical Dictionary

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Jones, Albert Gamaliel (1812-ca. 1880)

Variant Name(s):
  • A. G. Jones
Birthplace: Warren County, North Carolina, USA
Residences:
  • Warren County, North Carolina
  • Greene County, North Carolina
Trades:
  • Carpenter/Joiner;
  • Builder
NC Work Locations:
  • Louisburg, Franklin County
  • Franklin
  • Halifax County
  • Halifax
  • Hollister, Halifax County
  • Halifax
  • Hertford County
  • Hertford
  • Murfreesboro, Hertford County
  • Hertford
  • Martin County
  • Martin
  • Williamston, Martin County
  • Martin
  • Warren County
  • Warren
  • Creek, Warren County
  • Warren
  • Embro, Warren County
  • Warren
  • Littleton, Warren County
  • Warren
  • Warrenton, Warren County
  • Warren
Building Types:
  • Educational;
  • Residential
Styles & Forms:
  • Greek Revival

The Columns [Murfreesboro]

View larger image and credits

The Columns [Murfreesboro]

Biography

Albert Gamaliel Jones (1812-ca. 1880), a house carpenter from Warren County, built distinctive Greek Revival houses and college buildings during the flush years of the 1840s and 1850s in several Piedmont and eastern North Carolina counties. Although his parents and early life have not been ascertained, he was probably born in Judkins township in Warren County. In 1832 he married Elizabeth Harriet Harris and in 1841 he bought land near the village of Embro (Jones's Crossroads). Here he built a large frame house that survived until the 1950s, and his 1-room frame office remains on the Wagner farm. Albert Gamaliel and Elizabeth Jones had seven children, of whom William Z. Y. Jones (born about 1835) and John Thomas Jones (1849-1923) followed their father's trade as builders.

By the 1840s, Albert G. Jones (who typically signed his name as "A. G. Jones") was among leading builders in Warren County, where the combination of the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad and tobacco plantation wealth generated a demand for building. Jones's documented works share some features with other Warren County builders, but no records shed light on these men's relationships. Such carpentry details as a spool-like turned molding on pilasters and entrances suggest possible early training or work with Thomas Bragg, Sr. or James Burgess. In the 1840s and 1850s Jones used Greek Revival mantels and other features in common with builder Jacob W. Holt, who arrived in Warrenton in the mid-1840s, but their connection is likewise unknown. In his documented houses such as the Cushing Biggs Hassell House (1847-1848) in Williamston and Lake o' the Woods (1852-1853) in Warren County, Jones displayed hallmarks of the Greek Revival mode that suggest other work as his: these symmetrical, 2-story frame houses are distinguished by oversize bull's-eye cornerblocks at doors and windows, frequent use of triple windows and geometric tracery in transoms and sidelights, heavy mantels with stout fluted columns from Asher Benjamin's designs, and his favored spool-turned molding.

Although he built many houses in Warren County, from the 1840s Jones also took contracts elsewhere, beginning with the house he built for merchant Cushing Biggs Hassell in Williamston. Hassell noted in his diary every step of construction. Jones arrived on January 31, 1847, and attended preaching with Hassell, then "commenced laying off the framing" on February 1, raised the frame on March 31 and April 1, with between fifteen and twenty hands, and later installed sash and blinds from New York. The house was completed in 1848, with masonry by G. A. Ellington and John Rodgers the painter.

Also in Williamston, Jones contracted to build the Williamston Female Institute (1851-1852), one of the first of a series of major school buildings in an era of rapid college development. In Murfreesboro, Jones undertook in the early 1850s the large, brick main buildings for Chowan College (The Columns) and the Wesleyan Female College, as his name on both their cornerstones recalled. These were Greek Revival edifices with massive porticoes. He also built houses for T. N. Myrick (a member of the Wesleyan College building committee) and other Murfreesboro residents. In Louisburg he contracted for the main building for Louisburg College and a number of residences.

For these big projects, Jones became indebted to various creditors and sureties. When the trustees of Chowan College failed to pay him after the building was finished, in 1855-1856 Jones had to mortgage, then sell much of his property and take the oath "for the relief of insolvent debtors." He wrote to client Ellis Malone in Louisburg in 1855 that he could not finish building his house, "a source of great mortification to me." Builder Thomas Raney completed the job. Around 1860 Jones moved to Greene County where his son William Z. Y. Jones was living. By 1870 he was back in Warren County, listed as a farmer, and in 1880 he was listed there as a house carpenter, head of a household that included his son John T. and family. Through his son, John Thomas, Jones left numerous descendants in the county.

Authors: J. Marshall Bullock and Catherine W. Bishir.

Published 2009

Building List

Linden Hall (Littleton, Warren County)

Warren Littleton

1841

Contributors:
Dates: 1841-1844
Location: Littleton, Warren County
Street Address: SR 1528, Littleton vicinity, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).

Jones-Cook House (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1810

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1810; ca. 1850
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: 301 Bragg St., Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

The 2-story frame house reflects two building phases, one in Federal style, one in Greek Revival style. According to local tradition, Thomas Bragg, Sr. built the initial, Federal style house in the early 19th century as payment to an attorney for defending his wife; the expansion and remodeling in Greek Revival style is attributed to Albert Gamaliel Jones.

Jones-Cook House

Louisburg College Main Building (Louisburg, Franklin County)

Franklin Louisburg

1855

Contributors:
Dates: 1855-57
Location: Louisburg, Franklin County
Street Address: N. Main St., Louisburg, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).

Louisburg College Main Building

Ellis Malone House (Louisburg, Franklin County)

Franklin Louisburg

1854

Contributors:
Dates: 1854-1855
Location: Louisburg, Franklin County
Street Address: 704 N. Main St., Louisburg, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Thilbert H. Pearce, Early Architecture of Franklin County II (1988).

Jones Fuller House (Louisburg, Franklin County)

Franklin Louisburg

1857

Contributors:
Dates: 1857
Location: Louisburg, Franklin County
Street Address: 307 N. Main St., Louisburg, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Thilbert H. Pearce, Early Architecture of Franklin County II (1988).

Ivy Hill (Hollister, Halifax County)

Halifax Hollister

1800

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1800; ca. 1847
Location: Hollister, Halifax County
Street Address: SR 1002, Hollister vicinity, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential

The Columns (Murfreesboro, Hertford County)

Hertford Murfreesboro

1851

Variant Name(s):
  • Chowan Baptist Female Institute
Contributors:
Dates: 1851-1852
Location: Murfreesboro, Hertford County
Street Address: Chowan College Campus, Murfreesboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Eastern North Carolina (1996).

The Columns

Wesleyan Female College (Murfreesboro, Hertford County)

Hertford Murfreesboro

1852

Contributors:
Dates: 1852-1855
Location: Murfreesboro, Hertford County
Street Address: Murfreesboro, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Educational
Images Published In:
  • E. Frank Stephenson, Renaissance in Carolina, 1971-1976 (1971).

Pipkin-Harrell-Chitty House (Murfreesboro, Hertford County)

Hertford Murfreesboro

1820

Contributors:
Dates: 1820s; 1850s
Location: Murfreesboro, Hertford County
Street Address: 207 N. Wynn St., Murfreesboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • E. Frank Stephenson, Renaissance in Carolina, 1971-1976 (1971).

Myrick-Yeates-Vaughan House (Murfreesboro, Hertford County)

Hertford Murfreesboro

1855

Variant Name(s):
  • T. N. Myrick House
Contributors:
Dates: 1855
Location: Murfreesboro, Hertford County
Street Address: 327 W. Main St., Murfreesboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • E. Frank Stephenson, Renaissance in Carolina, 1971-1976 (1971).

Bynum Plantation House (Hertford County)

Hertford

1850

Contributors:
Dates: 1850s
Location: Hertford County
Street Address: Hertford County, NC
Status: Unknown
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • E. Frank Stephenson, Renaissance in Carolina, 1971-1976 (1971).

Cushing Biggs Hassell House (Williamston, Martin County)

Martin Williamston

1847

Contributors:
Dates: 1847-1848
Location: Williamston, Martin County
Street Address: 138 Church St., Williamston, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Thomas R. Butchko, Martin County Architectural Heritage: The Historic Structures of a Rural North Carolina County (1998).

Williamston Female Institute (Williamston, Martin County)

Martin Williamston

1851

Contributors:
Dates: 1851-1852
Location: Williamston, Martin County
Street Address: Williamston, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Educational

Jones-Everett House (Martin County)

Martin

1857

Variant Name(s):
  • Swamplawn
Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1857
Location: Martin County
Street Address: NC 903, Martin County, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Thomas R. Butchko, Martin County Architectural Heritage: The Historic Structures of a Rural North Carolina County (1998).

Gloster-Crossan House (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1850

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1850
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: 211 Ridgeway St., Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).

Saxham Hall (Warren County)

Warren

1840

Contributors:
Dates: 1840s
Location: Warren County
Street Address: Inez vicinity, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).

Sam Davis House (Creek, Warren County)

Warren Creek

1850

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1850
Location: Creek, Warren County
Street Address: Creek vicinity, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).

Lake o' the Woods (Creek, Warren County)

Warren Creek

1852

Contributors:
Dates: 1852-1853
Location: Creek, Warren County
Street Address: SR 1512, Creek vicinity, Nc
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).

Lake o' the Woods

Albert Gamaliel Jones House (Embro, Warren County)

Warren Embro

1850

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1850
Location: Embro, Warren County
Street Address: Embro vicinity, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential

Pitchford House (Warren County)

Warren

1850

Contributors:
Dates: 1850s
Location: Warren County
Street Address: SR 1512, Inez vicinity, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).

Fairmount (Warren County)

Warren

1830

Contributors:
Dates: 1830s; 1850s
Location: Warren County
Street Address: SR 1640, Inez vicinity, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).

Gloster-Hill-Crossan House (Warrenton, Warren County)

Warren Warrenton

1850

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1850
Location: Warrenton, Warren County
Street Address: 211 Ridgeway St., Warrenton, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
Note:

In the 1970s, Miriam Boyd, a descendant of the owner, stated that she had always heard that the Holts, Thomas and Jacob, built the house. It has features typical of Holt and also some typically associated with Albert Gamaliel Jones.

Albert Gamaliel Jones's Work Locations

Bibliography

  • Thomas Butchko and Donna Dodenhoff, Martin Architectural Heritage: The Historic Structures of a Rural North Carolina County (1998).
  • Cushing Biggs Hassell "Diary", Cushing Biggs Hassell Papers, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
  • Thilbert H. Pearce, Early Architecture of Franklin County II (1988).
  • E. Frank Stephenson, Renaissance in Carolina, 1971-1976 (1971).
  • United States Census, 1850-1880.
  • Warren County Records, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina.
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