Watson Jones, at present  Vice-Chancellor and Professor of
Chemistry in the
University of Mississippi, was born in Greensville county, Virginia, May
16, 1837. Graduating from Randolph-Macon College, Virginia, with the degree
of B. A., he subsequently pursued a post-graduate course in the University
of Virginia, from which institution he received the degree of M. A. in
1861. In 1881 the degree of LL. D. was conferred upon him by Mississippi
College, Clinton, Miss.
He served in the Confederate Army from 1861 to 1865, and had the honor
of being present and surrendering his regiment at Appomattox Courthouse,
Va. He entered the Confederate Army as a private and filled successively
and successfully the positions of Captain (1862-1864) and Major (1864-1865).
He was twice wounded and several times promoted.
Dr. Jones began teaching in 1866, being that year elected Professor of
Mathematics in Randolph-Macon College. For three years he was President
of the Petersburg Female College, and for five years President of Martha
Washington College. He was Professor of Chemistry in the University of
Mississippi from 1876 to 1885, which position he voluntarily resigned to
accept the presidency of the newly established State Industrial Institute
and College, Columbus, Miss. After three years of efficient service in
this institution, he was called to the presidency of Emory and Henry College,
Virginia. Voluntarily resigning this position, he returned to the University
of Mississippi in 1890. He was married to Miss Bettie S. Spradley, of Greensville
county, Virginia, Jan. 6, 1864.
Dr. Jones is a member of the American Chemical Society, American Association
for the Advancement of Science, and Mississippi Historical Society. He
has also been actively connected with the Mississippi Young Men’s Christian
Association since its organization, having been for eighteen years a member
of the State Committee of the organization. He was literary editor of the
Rural Messenger, Petersburg, Va., in 1870; of the Petersburg Courier, 1868-71;
one of the associate-editors of the People’s Encyclopaedia, 1881-2. As
an author he has contributed the following articles: “Cotton Army Worm”
(1880), “Cotton Boll Worm” (1880), “How to Teach a Bible Class” (Sunday
School Magazine, Nashville, Tenn., 1875), “The Prophet Elijah” (Ibid),
and a large number of other contributions of a literary, scientific and
educational nature. He has been a delegate to six General Conferences and
one Ecumenical Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. —Editor.
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