Mary Etta Abernathy Jones

Marietta Daily Journal
Marietta, Georgia

April 29, 1998

Transcribed and submitted by: 

Martha Jones Witnessed a Century of American History

Martha Jones was a witness to an entire century.

From World War I to the Persian Gulf War, from the invention of electricity to man’s first walk upon the moon, and from a small post-Civil War farm community to a major metro county, Ms. Jones has literally lived it all.

“She had a memory that was unbelievable,” said her grandson, Johnny Barron.

In fact, when the recent tornado hit Hall County, Ms. Jones related a more deadly incident in the 1930s when a tornado ripped through Hall, killing over 300 people.

“She said she could see it and went and hid under the porch,” said her granddaughter, Edda Nix.

While she remembered hearing about major world events, Ms. Jones was a virtual storehouse of family knowledge, including the memorization of every name and birth date of her kin, the family said.

Martha Etta Jones, 102, of Acworth died Tuesday, April 28, of pneumonia.

Despite her age, Ms. Jones was still active and aware.  A hallmark of her personality, Ms. Jones was both loving and feisty “to the end,” the family said.

“She was probably the most loving person you could meet,” said Ms. Nix.  “She would tell you like it is, and people loved her for it anyway.”

Ms. Jones was born on November 7, 1895, in Paulding County to a family that included 13 siblings and a father who was a preacher for a primitive Baptist church.  While Ms. Jones was still a young girl, the family moved to Cobb County.

At the age of 14, Ms. Jones married her husband Robert Lee Jones.

“It was just basically the thing to do,” Ms. Nix said.

While Ms. Jones’ primary vocation was as a housewife for most of her life, working on the farm and raising her four children, she engaged in many activities.  During the 1910s, she assisted midwife for her friends and neighbors when they were having children, and in the late 1950s, she worked in a doll factory in Acworth, the family said.

Ms. Jones also was filled with home remedies predating modern medicine.  In fact, when she caught malaria in 1927, the doctor’s cure was a pint of whiskey and quinine.

Living in times before most modern inventions made Ms. Jones very resourceful.

“She wouldn’t throw anything away,” Barron said, adding that she even kept flour sacks out of which to make clothing.

As for her favorite invention, Ms. Jones particularly appreciated natural gas, the family said.  It allowed her to sleep later instead of rising at 4 a.m. every morning to build a fire in the wood-burning stoves.

Ms. Jones was also very knowledgeable on current events.  A staunch Democrat, she defended President Clinton and the recent allegations, her family said.

“She said, “I just wish they’d leave that Bill Clinton alone.  He said he didn’t do it,” Barron said.

Ms. Jones also was the last original member of the Macedonia Baptist Church.

Services will be 1 p.m. Thursday at Collins Funeral Home in Acworth, with the Rev. Francis Summey officiating.  Burial will be in Macedonia Baptist Church Cemetery.

Survivors include her two daughters, Thelma Barron and Lillie Ann Jones, both of Acworth; two grandsons, Johnny Barron of Acworth and Vernon Vaughn of Texas; six granddaughters, Carol Dolge of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Mary Jane Crocker of Rydal, Nancy Hunt of South Carolina, Linda Harden, Martha Vaughn and Edda Nix, all of Cartersville; 16 great-great-grandchildren, 9 great-great-great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.

[NOTES: Daughter of John Thomas Abernathy and Delphanie Ann Tidwell.  Etta and her husband are buried in the cemetery at the Macedonia Primitive Baptist Church, where they had been members since the 1920s.  The church is located on Highway 20 in Cartersville.]


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