Samuel M. Jones

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Samuel Milton Jones, a.k.a. "Golden Rule Jones", lived from August 3, 1846 to 1904 and served as a Progressive Era Mayor of Toledo, Ohio from 1897 to 1904 (he died while still in office). Born in Denbighshire, Wales, Jones emigrated to the United States in 1849. Jones had little education because he had to work in order to help his family survive economically. Jones held many jobs in his younger years, the most important of which was the position he accepted at the oil fields of Western Pennsylvania, where he gained a good deal of knowledge of the oil industry and was able to accumulate some modest sums. In 1870, Jones used his knowledge and savings to start his own oil firm. After the death of his wife in 1885, Jones moved to Lima, Ohio, in search of oil. He also helped established the Ohio Oil Company which was later bought by Standard Oil Company, making Jones a wealthy man. Jones later moved to Toledo, Ohio, in 1892, where he established the S. M. Jones Company which manufactured tools for the oil industry.

Jones asked his workers to work hard, be honest, and follow the golden rule. In 1897 Jones received the Republican nomination for mayor of Toledo. Workers liked his golden rule policy and united behind him, and he won the mayoral election. He strove to improve conditions for the working class of his community. Jones opened free kindergartens, built parks, instituted an eight-hour day for city workers, and reformed the city government. While Jones was not well...
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