Jones, Albert Gamaliel (1812-ca. 1880)

Variant Name(s):

A. G. Jones

Birthplace:

Warren County, North Carolina, USA

Residences:

  • Greene County, North Carolina
  • Warren County, North Carolina

Trades:

  • Carpenter/Joiner
  • Builder

Styles & Forms:

Greek Revival

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.

  • 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.
Sort Building List by:
  • Albert Gamaliel Jones House

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

  • Bynum Plantation House

    Contributors:
    Albert Gamaliel Jones, attributed builder
    Dates:
    1850s
    Location:
    Hertford County
    Street Address:
    Hertford County, NC
    Status:
    Unknown
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    E. Frank Stephenson, Renaissance in Carolina, 1971-1976 (1971).

  • Cushing Biggs Hassell House

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

  • Ellis Malone House

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

  • Fairmount

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

  • Gloster-Hill-Crossan House

    Contributors:
    Jacob W. Holt, attributed builder; Thomas J. Holt, attributed builder; Albert Gamaliel Jones, stylistically attributed builder
    Dates:
    Ca. 1850
    Location:
    Warrenton, Warren County
    Street Address:
    211 Ridgeway St., Warrenton, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished 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.

  • Ivy Hill

    Contributors:
    Albert Gamaliel Jones, attributed carpenter/joiner (1847)
    Dates:
    Ca. 1800; ca. 1847
    Location:
    Hollister, Halifax County
    Street Address:
    SR 1002, Hollister vicinity, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential

  • Jones Fuller House

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

  • Jones-Cook House

    Contributors:
    Thomas Bragg, Sr., attributed builder; Albert Gamaliel Jones, attributed builder
    Dates:
    Ca. 1810; ca. 1850
    Location:
    Warrenton, Warren County
    Street Address:
    301 Bragg St., Warrenton, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished 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-Everett House

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

  • Lake o' the Woods

    Contributors:
    Dates:
    1852-1853
    Location:
    Creek, Warren County
    Street Address:
    SR 1512, Creek vicinity, Nc
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished 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).

  • Linden Hall

    Contributors:
    James Boon, attributed carpenter; Thomas Bragg, Sr., attributed carpenter; Albert Gamaliel Jones, attributed carpenter
    Dates:
    1841-1844
    Location:
    Littleton, Warren County
    Street Address:
    SR 1528, Littleton vicinity, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).

  • Louisburg College Main Building

    Contributors:
    Albert Gamaliel Jones, carpenter/joiner; Paschal Motley, brickmason
    Dates:
    1855-57
    Location:
    Louisburg, Franklin County
    Street Address:
    N. Main St., Louisburg, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Educational
    Images Puslished In:
    Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).

  • Myrick-Yeates-Vaughan House

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

  • Pipkin-Harrell-Chitty House

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

  • Pitchford House

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

  • Sam Davis House

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

  • Saxham Hall

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

  • The Columns

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

  • Wesleyan Female College

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

  • Williamston Female Institute

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

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