This is the story of Louisa Jones, a local woman who lived a rich and varied life. Her story begins in Coepoeth, but ends in the US state of Colorado.
Louisa, born in Talwrn on 7th April, 1861 and baptised in Wern Chapel, Minera. She was the daughter of John Brooks and Caroline Thomas. John was a stonemason from Llanasa and Caroline was born locally. Apart from Louisa, they had five other children. Her father John Brooks died on 19th February, 1876, Caroline died in 1910.
The Journey Begins
By 1881, Louisa had moved away and was a servant in Salford working for a paper manufacturer. Ten years later, she married William Willams Jones in Marylebone as described in this article from The Cambrian Standard dated 23rd January, 1891.
Married: Jones-Brooks – Jan 14th, 1891, at Regent’s Park Chapel by the pastor, Mr William W Jones to Miss Louisa Brooks, both from London.
William Williams Jones was a gold miner born in Llanbadarn, Aberyswyth, in 1860. He was the son of William Jones and Mary Williams. His father was a lead miner and later a mining agent. His sister Ann had married Richard Evans Jones, but she died in 1874. A few years later, Richard went to the mines in Colombia and it’s possible that William went out there with him. Richard returned home and died in 1891. William came home because we know he and Louisa visited some people in Cardiff in April 1891 and they left for the USA the same year.
Sadly, Louisa died soon after as reported in Y Drwch on 22nd September, 1892.
Sep 13th – With deep sadness, I chronicle the history of the death of our dear-loved Mrs WW Jones, Yankee Girl Mine, the first Welsh woman to be buried in Silverton Cemetery.
She lived amongst us for a little over a year in time and showed a friendly spirit to everyone and everything that called for help and compassion. She was ready to contribute her greatest part towards this timely calling.
A Kindly Soul
When Red Mountain burned completely to the ground a few days ago, causing all the inhabitants to look for lodging in the middle of a cold night, Mrs Jones threw open her doors for them to come in. She opened her cupboards that were full of food so they could eat their fill.
On the day of the funeral, the attendance showed fully that a good friend had fallen. They conveyed her remains over 20 miles from Yankee Girl Mine to Silverton Cemetery over 20 and the testimony of all was that they had lost a friend in times of need.
The departed was born on Talwrn Road, Coedpoeth, Wrexham, She has a mother, brothers and sisters to weep after her in the Old Country and a kindly good-natured husband in this place.
Louisa Jones was about 31 years old. She married WW Jones, son of Capt Jones, now of Aberystwyth. They arrived in Silverton a little over a year ago and went to live and work in Yankee Girl Mine. They built their own house, deciding to stay a while in the place, but things turned out differently for them: “Expecting splendid things to come, when the opposite happens.”
She was taken ill about 5 o‘clock on Tuesday afternoon and died the following day, Wednesday, August 31st about 1 o’clock in the afternoon. It’s difficult to say what caused her illness, being the fits which caused her sudden death. She was nearing the time becoming a mother and it is believed that this, together with her illness, caused the fits.
“An Excellent Funeral”
She was buried on the 1st of September in the town’s Free Mason’s cemetery, her husband being a member. She had an excellent funeral in every sense. The service at the chapel and at the graveside was conducted in English by Mr Sam Williams, who carried out his work very commendably.
As hard as it was turning away from the grave of his wife and having to return to see an empty home for the first time in a mountainous area like this, hopefully Mr Jones and his brother, on losing a comfortable home, will have help to live through the rough waters of the death of a wife and sister, while looking forward to a better day when grief is swallowed in victory:
The old Welsh hymn “Bydd Myrdd O Ryfeddodau” (There Will Be A Myriad Of Wonders), was sung at the graveside. It is hoped that the widowed husband will have strength to overcome the blow without complaining against He who gives and takes away.
Louisa will rise from agony of death
After leaving her decay
To sing steadfast and in peace – in the new view
In the land of Caersalem is the true belonging.
Dear friend, do not lose heart
After losing your beloved wife.
This is a world full of troubles
As it was and so it is.
Across the river we cannot go
Together hand in hand.
No, Jesus alone is enough
To keep us always away from dread.
Although the body of your dear wife
Lies in a grave today,
Her soul has flown
To a world of eternal peace
Where she will live together with the Creator
Who formed the sanctuary of man’s soul.
This is the life of a soul
Living together with God himself.
(by Elerch Jones)
Cambrian News Obituary
There was a further article in The Cambrian News on 30th September, 1892.
Obituary – On the 31st August last, Mrs Louisa Jones, the wife of Mr Wm W Jones, and daughter-in-law to Capt Wm Jones, Powell Street, died after a very short illness near Redmountain, Colorado, USA. The deceased, maiden name – Brooks, was a native of Coedpoeth near Wrexham, she married in the early part of last year to the above-named Wm W Jones.
They emigrated from this town to America in June of the same year. Mrs Jones was much respected in her new home and when the town of Redmountain was recently destroyed by fire, her house was thrown open to the homeless. The funeral took place on September 1st and the remains were buried at the Silverton Cemetery in the part set aside for Freemasons, her husband being a member of that Society. She is the first Welshwoman to be buried at the Silverton Cemetery.
She has a fine memorial in Welsh which translates as “In loving memory of Louisa, dear wife of WW Jones, who died at Yankee Girl Mine, Colorado, formerly of Coedpoeth, 31 years old”. William W Jones had no positive records after Louisa’s death.
Researched by Annette Edwards, April 2020. Many thanks to “Sam Swift” for the translation from the original Welsh obituary published in Y Drwch.
We thank wrexham-history.com for this article.