Scope and Contents
This collection contains the personal papers of Wilbur D. Jones, Sr., (1892-1967), a Wilmington banker and World War I veteran, and his wife, Viola Murrell Jones (1903-1973). Materials include newspapers, biographical materials, World War I-era correspondence and memorabilia, reports cards, photographs, scrapbooks, programs, newspaper clippings, printed webpages, and realia, including two purses that belonged to Viola M. Jones. Major subjects include World War I and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, including the female branch of the organization known as the Daughters of Rebekah. Materials date from 1894 to 2002, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1908 to 1973.
Copyright 2021 University of North Carolina at Wilmington, all rights reserved (subject to exceptions). Certain items in this collections were conveyed to UNCW without the accompanying copyright. Where the donor did not convey copyright to UNCW, copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Biographical / Historical
Wilbur David Jones, Sr., was born February 25, 1892 in Onslow County, North Carolina to Jackson Jones and Francis Elizabeth Melville Jones. He took a course at the Southern Shorthand Business College in New Bern, N.C., before moving to Wilmington to work for Robbins Grocery and Produce Company in 1914. In 1915, he joined the Wholesale Dry Goods Firm of M. Roseman and Son. In 1916, Jones moved to Alexandria, Virginia, where he worked for the National Biscuit Company. He transferred back to Wilmington in 1917, and soon after enlisted in the U.S. Navy. During World War I, Jones served as a hospital apprentice second class at Naval Hospital Charleston (Charleston, S.C.) from April to November 1918. Following Germany’s surrender, Jones spent six months in the Dominican Republic, treating U.S. Marines at a field hospital in Santiago. Later that year, Jones took a business course in Alexandria, Virginia, then worked for Wilmington’s Carolina Building and Loan Association, eventually becoming Executive Vice President in March 1960. He retired from Carolina Savings and Loan Association in February 1962. He also served as secretary of the Moore Fonville Realty Company and Moore Insurance Company. Jones was a member of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, a grandmaster of the State Independent Order of the Oddfellows of North Carolina, a chairman of the board of trustees of the Oddfellows Home in Goldsboro, N.C., commander of the Wilmington Post 10 of the American Legion, and a member of the State Exchange Club. He married Viola Elizabeth Murrell on June 16, 1921, with whom he had three children. Wilbur D. Jones, Sr., died on September 18, 1967 in Wilmington.
Viola Elizabeth Murrell was born March 25, 1903 in Wilmington, North Carolina to Joseph Watters Murrell and Hattie Augusta George Murrell. She attended Hemenway Grammar School, graduating in May 1918. At age 16, Murrell worked as a railroad clerk in Wilmington. She married Wilbur David Jones on June 16, 1921, with whom she had three children. She was President of the Rebekah State Assembly and organized the Swan Quarter Rebekah Lodge on April 11, 1940. Viola Murrell Jones died on June 15, 1973 in Wilmington.