Jones, William Z. Y. (ca. 1835-after 1860)


Warren County, North Carolina, USA


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


  • Carpenter/Joiner

NC Work Locations:

Building Types:

Styles & Forms:

Greek Revival

William Z. Y. Jones (ca. 1835-after 1860), a house carpenter born in Warren County, North Carolina, was one of seven children of the prolific house carpenter Albert Gamaliel Jones. William Z. Y. Jones is distinguished from the better known Wake and Franklin County house carpenter William Jones by his unusual middle initials. (The names represented by the initials Z. Y. have not been established. Sometimes William was listed as William Z., William Y. Jones, W. Z., or W. Y. Jones.)

Presumably William learned his trade from his father, A. G. Jones, and worked with him. When the older man ran into financial difficulties in the mid-1850s, William tried to remedy the situation, but in 1856 A. G. Jones declared bankruptcy. William then apparently went into business on his own, and as William Z. Y. Jones advertised his services in “the House Carpentering Business in all its branches” in the Warrenton News of February 29, 1857.

The only documented project by William Z. Y. Jones is the Shady Grove Methodist Church (Addition) constructed in Warren County for a congregation active by the early 19th century and possibly earlier. On June 1, 1858, John Buxton Williams, a planter and leading Methodist, and William Z. Y. Jones signed the “plan and specifications” describing the addition to the “main building,” for which Jones was to be paid $675. The church was located not far from Williams’s plantation, the Buxton Place (see John A. Waddell).

By 1860, William Z. Y. Jones had moved to Greene County, N. C., where he was joined by his father. In the United States Census of 1860, he was listed there as head of a household that included his wife, Mary, baby Albert, and two young carpenters. He owned $7,000 in real estate and $6,000 in personal property, the latter probably including enslaved people.

In 1860, after a controversy terminated the work of Dabney Cosby in constructing a new Pitt County Courthouse in Greenville, N. C., the local authorities contracted with William Z. Y. Jones of Greene County to build a courthouse from plans by Lind and Murdoch (see Edmund George Lind). According to Warren County historian Kenneth McFarland, Jones did not complete this project. Jones’s subsequent life and date of death have not been established. McFarland notes that Jones died sometime before 1880, when his children were listed in the census as residing back in Warren County with his father, A. G. Jones.

  • Kenneth McFarland, The Architecture of Warren County, North Carolina, 1770s to 1860s (2001).
  • Preservation Warrenton, 2014 Plantation Homes Tour in the Inez Community, Warren County, North Carolina,
  • “Shady Grove Church (second),” Survey File, 1976, Survey and Planning Branch, State Historic Preservation Office, Raleigh.
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  • Shady Grove Methodist Church (Addition)

    William Z. Y. Jones, carpenter

    Ca. 1858

    Inez, Warren County
    Street Address:

    South side SR 1621, just west of SR 1625, Inez vicinity, NC


    No longer standing




    William Z. Y. Jones and John Buxton Williams, a leader in the congregation, signed the “Plan of the addition to Shady Grove Church and Specifications,” dated June 1, 1858 and describing the addition and some renovations to the existing “main building” (John Buxton Williams Papers, Duke University Manuscript Collection). The addition was to be built at the north end of the existing church and measure 14 by 28 feet to “correspond with the main building.” It was to have a “pediment front.” Presumably this addition produced the simple Greek Revival pediment-front church that stood, much altered, into the late 20th century. It was converted for use as a store and residence and subsequently lost to fire. According to the 2014 historic homes tour brochure of Warren County, the present (third) Shady Grove United Methodist Church, located on NC 58 near Inez since the 1920s, retains the pulpit and pews from the older church.

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