Address: 1-3 West High Street
Architectural Style: Neo-Classical
Year Built: 1908; altered c. 1950s
Architect/Builder: Unknown
Original Owner: General Goshorn Alexander Jones

The building was constructed in 1908 for General Goshorn Alexander Jones, a prominent businessman in Mount Vernon, who gained his wealth by investing in, and developing, large tracts of real estate within the city.  Born in Frankly County, Pennsylvania in 1812, General Jones first came to Mount Vernon in 1834.  He established himself in merchandising, specializing in wool and produce.  By 1850, however, he retired form merchandising to become the superintendent of the Cleveland, Mount Vernon & Columbus Railroad.  This same year, he was also appointed as the United States Marshal for Ohio.  It was in this capacity that General Jones assisted in the capture of a Mr. Hinton, who was the superintendent of the mail stage line of Neil, Moore & Company.  It was discovered that Mr. Hinton would steal the money orders that came through on this line, in what later became known as the Hinton Mail Robbery.  General Jones retired from his position as U.S. Marshal in 1854, when he partnered with John H. Winterbothan in the manufacturing of agricultural instruments to be sent to Fort Madison in Iowa for use by convict labor.  Prior to the Civil War, he joined the Ohio militia as a member of the cavalry, and by the end of his service, was selected brigade general of his unit.  In 1865, General Jones again shifted career paths, this time taking up prospecting oil fields and mining regions throughout the United States.  In 1869, General Jones once more became the superintendent of the Cleveland, Mount Vernon, & Columbus Railroad, which ran along what became the Cleveland, Akron & Columbus Railroad line.  He even became one of the officers of the Knox County Savings Bank.

The General G. A. Jones Building, also known as the Jones Block, remains as important historic icon to the area, and is one of the largest and most imposing structures located on Mount Vernon's Public Square.  This turn-of-the-century commercial block is composed of reddish-purple brick, accented with white stone now stained to a pinkish hue from the dye in the bricks.  The cornice is composed of multiple Classical elements, including large stylized brackets with tasseled ends, and large and small dentils.  In the center of the large stone frieze panels are diamonds executed in the same brick as the building.  The storefront at the southeast corner was remodeled sometime in the 1940s to 1950s, when the space became the High Restaurant.  This storefront retains its Art Moderne ceramic tile facade.  The eastern facade possesses a white stone nameplate advertising the building to be the "G. A. JONES BLOCK."  Two distinctive features of the eastern facade are the 2nd-story oriel window, located at the northeast corner of the building, and the Neo-Classical entrance to the upper-level apartments.

 


 

Downtown District

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