THOMAS GOODE JONES was born in Macon, Georgia, on November 26, 1844. In 1850 Jones moved with his family to Montgomery, Alabama. He attended private schools, entered the Virginia Military Institute in 1859, and withdrew from school to join the Confederate Army. Jones had a distinguished military career, fighting in well-known battles, and he was wounded four times. After the war, Jones studied law, and he was admitted to the bar in 1868. He was editor of the Montgomery Daily Piquayunein 1868, and a reporter for the Supreme Court for 10 years. Jones’ military career continued after the war, when he was elected captain of the Montgomery Greys in 1876. He served as colonel in the Alabama State Troops from 1880 to 1890, and commanded the troops in every serious riot. Jones’ political career started as alderman of Montgomery, serving from 1868 to 1884. He served in the Alabama House of Representatives from 1884 to 1888, serving as speaker from 1886 to 1888. On August 4, 1890, Jones was elected Alabama’s 28th governor, and he was sworn into office on December 1, 1890. He was reelected to a second term in 1892. During his tenure, the Alabama Polytechnic Institute became co-educational, the University of Alabama opened some classes to women, and district agricultural schools were established at Athens and Evergreen. Also the Alabama School for Negro Deaf Mutes and Blind was opened in Talladega, and the Girls’ Industrial School (now the University of Montevallo) was established. Jones left the governor’s office on December 1, 1894. He chaired the 1896 State Sound Money Convention in Indianapolis, and in 1901, was elected president of the Alabama Bar Association. President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Jones a U.S. District Judge in 1901. He died on April 28, 1914, in Montgomery, and is buried at the Oakwood Cemetery, Montgomery, Alabama.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.