COEDPOETH TO COLORADO

by Annette Edwards.

Louisa Brooks was born on 7 April 1861 in Talwrn and baptised at the end of August that year in Wern Chapel, Minera, she was the daughter of John Brooks a stonemason and Caroline Thomas. Caroline`s father John Thomas was an engineer.

In 1871 the family were living in “John Brook`s House” and as he was a stone mason, he may have worked on it himself. John was from Llanasa, Caroline was   born locally. Apart from Louisa they had 5 other children, one of which was John who had been a Pupil Teacher at the British Schools for 4 years.  Her father John Brooks died on 19 February 1876,   Caroline died in 1910.

By 1881 Louisa had moved away and was a servant in Salford working for a paper manufacturer and 10 years later she married William Willams Jones in Marylebone.

 CAMBRIAN STANDARD. 23rd January 1891

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 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.  They had a large family.

His sister Ann had married Richard Evans Jones, but she died in 1874, a few years later Richard went to the mines in Columbia.  As William isn`t found after 1871 it`s possible that he went out with Richard who returned home and died in 1891.

CAMBRIAN NEWS.

JONES-19th May, at Powell Street, Aberystwyth. Richard Evan Jones, silver mine agent, aged 47 years.

Obituary. On Friday, the 19th May, We regret to announce the death of R. E Jones, of Salem, Penrhyncoch, which took place at the residence of his father-in- law, Captain W. Jones, 9 Powell-street. For about fourteen years, he had been at work in South America and for nine years was engaged as head dresser at the Frias Mine, Tolima. In 1886 he returned home to spend 3 months holiday. He then returned to Columbia as agent for a North American Mining Company, and was engaged for eight months as agent for the Tolima Mines. In the last appointment he was taken ill, and had to retire in December last. He came home in February, suffering from consumption   he was 47 age, a widower, and leaves one daughter. Richard was buried with Ann in Salem.

By April 1891   William and Louisa were visiting some people in Cardiff that were from Aberystwyth, William W Jones was a “gold miner”, and the same year left Wales for America.  Sadly Louisa died the following year.

Y DRWCH. 22nd September 1892

The Burial of Mrs. W. Jones, the first Welsh woman placed in the cemetery of the place of Silverton, Colorado.

 Sep 13 – With deep sadness I attempt to chronicle the history of the death of our dear loved Mrs W.W. Jones, Yankee Girl Mine, who is the first Welsh Woman to be buried in Silverton Cemetery. She lived amongst us for only a little over a year in time and in spite of this showed that she possessed 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. 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 for them to eat their fill of everything that was in the house. On the day of the funeral, everyone showed that a good friend had fallen. They conveyed her remains in deep sorrow from Yankee Girl Mine to Silverton Cemetery, being over 20 miles away, and the testimony of all was that they had lost a friend in times of need.

The departed was born in 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, as well a brother of the grieving husband, who set up home with them here. Louisa Jones was about 31 years old. She was a daughter to John and Caroline Brooks, Coedpoeth, Wales. She married W.W. Jones, son of Capt. Jones, now of Aberystwyth, where he also has brothers and sisters, (apart from brother – Richard W. Jones) in Utica N.Y. They arrived in Siverton a little over a year ago and went to live in Yankee Girl Mine, where he worked since he arrived. 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 five o ‘clock on Tuesday afternoon and died the following day, Wednesday August 31st about one 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.

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. 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. 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 he 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:

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 30 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, U.S.A. The deceased, whose maiden name was Brooks, was a native of Coedpoeth, near Wrexham, and was 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 was the first Welshwoman buried at the Silverton Cemetery.

She has a fine memorial   in Welsh which translates as –

“In loving memory of Louisa, dear wife of W.W. Jones, who died at Yankee Girl Mine, Colorado, formerly of Coedpoeth, 31 years old.”

William W Jones hasn`t been found after Louisa`s death, he may have returned home to Wales, or remained in America. There are no positive records of him.

Wern Chapel

Researched by Annette Edwards.April 2020. Many thanks to “Sam Swift “for the translation from the original Welsh obituary published in Y Drwch.