James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Meanwhile, Robert was involved in the establishment of The First National Bank of Delta. On November 9, 1889, Charles R. McConkey (he and Robert were in business together) was elected its first president and Robert became a director. He would later become its third president, an office he held until the year of his death. "A charter was obtained January 11, 1890, and the bank opened its doors for business January 16, 1890. A commodious bank building was erected. The capital stock is $50,000. In 1907 the bank had a surplus and undivided profits of $48,000. and the deposits were $335,000. The bank has paid $30,000 in dividends to its stockholders." [Hist York County Vol 1 p 859] Besides his two large slate quarries, Robert was a senior partner in the firm of Jones & McConkey, big general merchandise dealers, an interest he transferred to two of his sons in 1903 [1907 biography].

On 20 June 1891, Idris Robert Jones, the youngest of Isabella and Robert’s five children was born. His older siblings were Emma Eleanor (b Nov 1872), John Hayden (b 9 Sept. 1874), Arthur Lee (b 16 Nov 1877 or 1878) and Isabella (aka Bella - b Aug 1882). (Note: In the two biographies there are small errors in their names and there is a also a mistake in the 1900 US census). I am told that their family home was quite a grand Victorian mansion which was very lovingly restored in 2011 by its then occupants. The 1907 biography states that all the children were still living with their parents at the time of its writing but John had left home by then. Incidentally, as John grew older he was generally called Hayden or occasionally referred to as ‘J. Hayden’.

In 1891, Robert and F. R. Williams purchased the lease of the Eureka and Susquehanna Slate Companies and formed a joint stock association, the Excelsior Slate Company, of which Robert was elected president and general manager, positions he held until his death in 1907, by which time it employed forty hands. This was cited as one of the many changes of ownership of the slate quarries: "The Excelsior Slate Company, R. L. Jones, president, now operate the property formerly owned by W. A. McLaughlin and known as the Eureka quarry. The present corporation commenced Operations August, 1891, and from that time until the end of 1892 they produced 6,322 squares of slate, valued at $31,658." [Maryland, Its Resources, Industries and Institutions, Baltimore 1893]