Rev. Joshua D. Jones House
Backstory and Context
Born in South Carolina in Dec. 1858, Jones moved to Polk County, NC just before 1870, following his grandmother, mother, brother and sister. Polk County is the smallest county in the Blue Ridge Mountains area.
The hilly and heavily wooded county housed few slaves and the African-American population was largely free before and during the Civil War. The inhabitants of Polk were subsistence farmers and barely made a living. When the railroad came through in 1877, things were made a little bit easier.
Joshua Jones settled down in the Stony Knoll area of Polk in 1880, a mile from Mill Spring and on was on the road to Spartanburg, SC (considered the biggest town/city nearby at the time). Stony Knoll had a large African-American populace. By 1883, he was married and had a child. He worked to be able to purchase land for a permanent home for his small family. In total, he purchased over 121 acres by 1897. In 1883 he constructed a home that was enlarged in 1897 to its current condition. By 1900 he constructed a store in his property to serve the community and was also the community's carpenter.
From 1890-1900, Jones served as the pastor for the Stony Knoll Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME). For several years around 1910, Jones would travel between his home in Polk County to Monroe, NC to act as the pastor for the Langford CME.
From 1909 to 1926, Jones suffered from some legal woes over his mortgaging his farm and 121 acres. After his wife died in 1926, all his land holdings were sold to Tax Commissioners. Jones moved to Lebanon, Ohio to live with his daughter and died shortly thereafter and is buried in Lebanon.
From the 1926 to the mid-1930s the home was a private residence. From the mid to late 1930s, it acted as a parsonage for the Stony Knoll church. By the end of the 1930s it became the community's library. In 1977 the church was purchased and made into a residence again before being added to the NRHP in 1991.