History & Staff
The Jones Funeral Homes in both Dixon and Amboy have a long history stretching back to 1897 when the Jones Funeral Home in Dixon was established by Royal and Celia Jones. During the 115 years since then family members including J. Willard, Elizabeth and Patrick R. Jones, Sr., and present day owner and Patrick R. Jones Jr., have operated the business. In 1972 the business expanded when the Mihm Funeral Home in Amboy was purchased and has operated since that time as the Mihm-Jones Funeral Home. In the 1930’s the Jones Funeral Home in Dixon moved to its present location in the historic J.W. McAlpine Home at the corner of Ottawa Ave. and Second St where the clock in the front yard provides those traveling East Second St. and beyond with the correct time of day or night.
Jones Funeral Home History
The Jones Funeral Homes in Dixon was founded in April 1897 when Royal and Celia Jones opened the business in a storefront in the Dixon business district. In December 1904 Mr. Jones died at the age of 34 and Celia the mother of 6 children and one of first licensed woman funeral directors in the State of Illinois carried on with the business. In 1927 her son J. Willard Jones joined her in the operation of the funeral home until he died as a result of an auto accident in November of 1947 at the age of 46.
His widow Elizabeth Hennessy Jones, the mother of 7 children herself, then entered the business with Celia and with the able assistance of Leo A. Miles continued to operate the firm. Celia Jones died in 1953 and in 1957 Elizabeth Jones brought her son Patrick R. Jones into the business. He has continued operating the funeral home as an owner and partner since that time. He was joined by his son Patrick R. Jones Jr. in 1986. Elizabeth H. Jones died in September of 1994.
The funeral home has been in 4 locations in Dixon prior to moving to its present location in the early 1930’s, the McAlpine House a historic Dixon home.
In April of 1972 Patrick Jones Sr. purchased the Mihm Funeral Home in Amboy, IL from the Mihm Family and has operated it as the Mihm-Jones Funeral Home ever since. The Jones family had assisted Michael G. Mihm in his funeral home for many years prior to the purchase. Present day owner of Jones Funeral Home in Dixon and Mihm-Jones Funeral Home in Amboy, Patrick R. Jones Jr., is assisted by James J. Phelps and Scott Bonnell who joined the firm in 1996. One hundred and fifteen years and several thousand funerals later the Jones Family continues to serve our communities as it has since its beginning in 1897.
The Mihm-Jones Funeral Homes extends back over 70 years to its founder Michael G. Mihm (pictured at right) who established the business in the 1930’s in a home on east Main St. near the Amboy City Park. In 1949 the business was moved to its present location at 303 E. Main. The founder it is rumored had attempted to enter business in competition against Frank Vaughan who was a very popular and successful funeral director in Amboy. Having failed to succeed in that endeavor Mr. Mihm then was employed by the Jones Funeral Homes in Dixon. Mr. Vaughan subsequently died and Mr. Mihm was debating whether or not he should again attempt to establish a funeral Home in Amboy. The debate was short lived as his employer and friend Willard Jones told him he was terminated at the end of that week forcing Mr. Mihm to again establish a funeral business in Amboy. The Mihm family and the Jones Family worked closely together for the next 35 or more years assisting each other until Mr. Mihm decided to retire and sold his business to Patrick R. Jones Sr. in 1972.
The Jones Family whose roots extended back into nearby May and Marion Townships has operated the business as Mihm-Jones Funeral Homes to the present day. Also the Joneses continue to operate the Jones Funeral Home in Dixon, which was founded in 1897. Patrick R. Jones Jr., the present owner of the business, is the 4th generation of the family involved in the funeral business. The Joneses were very ably assisted by Amboy native Wayne Hike, until his retirement in the early 1990’s.
Ambulance service, which the Funeral Home had operated for many years, was discontinued in the mid 1970’s It is said that the Fire Department came to Pat Jones Sr. and asked what he thought about them taking over ambulance service in the Amboy area. Pat asked for 30 seconds to think it over during which time he attempted to get out the ambulance cot and send it back with the fireman as an initial contribution toward their success. The fire department representatives thanked him for his generosity but recommended that he hang on to it for a while as it would be a few months until they could get into full action and they were sure the vehicle they ordered would come with a cot.
It has been a pleasure serving and being a part of the Amboy Community.
Our Valued Staff
J. Willard Jones
Elizabeth H Jones
Patrick R. Jones Jr., Owner, Funeral Director, Embalmer
Patrick R Jones Jr. is the 4th generation of the family to work as a licensed funeral director with the firm. He was born in Dixon, attended St Mary Grade School and graduated from Dixon High School. He received his bachelor of science degree in Economics from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb. He did his mortuary science studies at Worsham College of Mortuary Science graduating in 1986.
Pat, his wife Lois and son Christopher live in Amboy. Son Brian, who occasionally assists at the funeral home, lives in Dixon.
Pat is a member of the Dixon Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Club and Past President of the Pankhurst Memorial Library Board in Amboy. He is a member of St Patrick Catholic Church in Dixon and the Dixon Knights of Columbus Council 690. He is a member of the Lee County Tourism Council where he serves as Treasurer. He is also a past member of the Lee County Board.
James J. Phelps, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
James J. Phelps started working for Jones Funeral Homes in 1996 as a funeral director’s apprentice. He has been a licensed funeral director and embalmer since 1997. Jim was born in Evergreen Park, Illinois where he attended Most Holy Redeemer grade school and graduated from Brother Rice High School in 1989. He received his Associates’ Degree from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in 1994.
Jim is the treasurer of the Amboy Depot Days Car Show Committee. In his spare time he enjoys golf, automobiles, drumming, and spending time with his children.
Patrick R. Jones Sr., Retired Owner, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
Patrick R. Jones Sr., the third generation of the Jones family to serve the Dixon and Amboy Communities, is a graduate of Dixon Schools attended the University Of Notre Dame and graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Following that he attended and graduated from Worsham School of Mortuary Science in Chicago. Pat has been a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer in Illinois for over 50 years. He has been very active in Civic Affairs since his return to Dixon and the business. He is a member of and past president of the Dixon Rotary, past member and past President of The Board of Directors at K.S.B. Hospital and the Board of Directors of the Dixon Area Chamber of Commerce. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of Heritage Square Health Care Center and maintains memberships in other fraternal and professional organizations including the Dixon Knights of Columbus, the Dixon Gyro Club and the Dixon Elks Lodge. He is also a member of St. Patrick Church in Dixon. Pat Jones Sr. lives in Dixon with his wife Linda Schaeffer Jones who is a Real Estate Agent for Heartland Realty in Dixon. He is the father of 4 children and 3 grandchildren.
Scott W. Bonnell, Funeral Director Assistant
Scott began working for Jones Funeral Homes in 1996 as a Funeral Director's Assistant. He was born in Dixon and graduated from Amboy High School. Scott is a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Amboy. He attended Sauk Valley Community College and DeVry University. Scott enjoys golf, attending family functions, local sporting events, and spending time with his fiancee, Bonita Willis, a Real Estate Agent for Woodhaven Lakes Realty in Sublette.