McLAIN JONES. The career of a lawyer is a succession of contests, and the successes made in the legal field are probably more than in any other calling in life, examples of the "survival of the fittest." To become distinguished at the bar requires not only capacity, but also sound judgment and persevering industry, and these qualities are admirably combined in McLain Jones. This gentleman has been a resident of Springfield, Mo., since 1874, but his native State is Illinois, his birth having occurred in Decatur, February 28, 1857. His parents, John E. and Mary E. (McLain) Jones, were natives of Madison County, Ohio, in which State their ancestors were early settlers. Both are now deceased, the former dying in Illinois and the latter in Missouri. The father was a successful agriculturist and followed that occupation all his life. During the Rebellion he enlisted in the Twenty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and held the rank of quartermaster. McLain Jones, the only child now living born to this worthy couple, received the rudiments of an education in Illinois and later entered -----college, when it was first opened. He graduated from that institution in the class of 1878, but previous to that, in 1877, he had started to read law. He was admitted to the bar in 1880, and began practicing his profession in this city. In 1880 he was appointed United States councilman of the West District of Missouri, by Judge Arnold -----, and when the court was established at Springfield, be was appointed United States district clerk. This was in 1887, and in 1889 he was appointed United States district attorney, which position he holds at the present time. He has always been identified with the Republican party, and has been prominent in the political affairs of the State. For about fourteen years Mr. Jones has been engaged in the practice of his profession, principally in the United States courts, and is one of the few members of the Springfield bar that possesses in the highest degree the gift of moving oratory. Poets are born, not made, and so are orators, and among those who are swayers of the human emotions by the genius of natural inheritance must be classed this able lawyer of Springfield. He combines with his forensic genius the talent of painstaking and accurate analysis and careful arrangement of facts in almost impenetrable order and solidity, a talent which not all orators have. In fine, while a born orator be does not solely rely upon the rhetorical finish of his sentences, upon his fervid declamation or upon his rich imagery, but he has a substantial foundation upon which to build, and result is not only charming to mental sensibility but convincing to the reason of his hearers. Mr. Jones was married to Miss Mary E. Abbott, and now has a pleasant home at 529 East Walnut Street, Springfield. His office is in the city hall building. He and family attend the Presbyterian Church and are highly esteemed in the city.
Springfield-Greene County Library