TRR photo by Mark Aldrich|
The Jones family gravesite in Monticello.
Thursday, August 8, 1996, p. 6.
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Graveside service for a founding family
By MARK ALDRICH
- MONTICELLO -- The gravestones once stood tall on the highest point in the old Presbyterian cemetery. It was only fitting that they be prominent, because these marked the gravesites of one of Monticello's rounding families. Over the years, the stones came down, grass grew up, and tile Jones family seemed all but forgotten.
- A service will be held at the graves of John P. Jones and his brother Samuel Frisbee Jones at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, August 12, at the old Presbyterian cemetery on St. John St.
- It will honor volunteers who have assisted in maintaining the cemetery, and attract public attention to the need of the restoration. Most of the Jones family stones lie broken on the ground and are sinking into the earth.
- The Jones brothers came to Monticello. in 1804 from Connecticut, and quickly established their presence in the area. John P. Jones was first Town of Thompson
supervisor, first Sullivan County clerk, a postmaster, and a state senator. Samuel Jones was also a town supervisor and the first master of a Masonic Lodge which met in Monticello in the 1810s.
- Because the brothers were Masons and built in 1805 the first Masonic temple in Monticello, Monticello's current lodge, number 532, is spearheading the restoration project. A committee of Masons and local officials has been established to oversee. District deputy grand master Jens V. Meyer; lodge history chair Thomas Rue; lodge master Samuel Kleinberger; lodge members David Silverman, Arnold L. Levy, and mayor James Kenny; and Town of Thompson historian Marjorie Smith, former historian Bill Smith. and a representative of the Sullivan County Historical Society are the committee members.
- The cemetery is behind the current Presbyterian cemetery, and is no longer in use. Its maintenance is mandated by the Town of Thompson, which has workers cut grass there several times a year. The town also maintains a defunct cemetery in Thompsonville, according to supervisor Anthony Cellini.
- Cellini said thai the current restoration project is "very worthwhile," and that the town will help the project "in any way," including providing heavy equipment.
- The condition of the gravesite was discovered recently when a group. of Continuing Day Treatment clients based in the Rhulen building visited it in a citizenship project. They cleared brush and grass from the stones, and will be honored for their efforts at the service on August 12.
- Also speaking at the ceremony will be Sullivan County Court judge Burton Ledina, who is a Masonic history expert, grand secretary., and past NYS grand master Gary Henningsen, and other local officials.
- Other prominent figures from Monticello history are also buried in the cemetery. Their stones are also in disrepair.