Jones, Jenkin Lloyd, 1843-1918

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Minister, pacifist. Pastor, All Souls Church, Chicago, Illinois. Secretary, Western Unitarian Conference, 1874-1884. Founder, Unity magazine, 1878. Founder, Abraham Lincoln Centre, 1905. Chairman, Committee of Administration, Henry Ford Peace Expedition.

From the description of Papers, 1861-1932 (inclusive), 1888-1901 (bulk). (University of Chicago Library). WorldCat record id: 52246354

Jenkin Lloyd Jones, born in Wales in 1843, was brought to the United States by his parents in 1844 and was raised on a pioneer farm in Wisconsin. Several of his ancestors, including Jenkin Jones and David Lloyd, had been pioneer ministers in the Arminian movement in Wales. Jones enlisted in the Union army during the Civil War as a matter of conscience, fighting in the battles of Vicksburg, Chattanooga, and Missionary Ridge. He was mustered out in 1865 as a confirmed opponent to war, a position he maintained throughout his life. Upon graduation in 1870 from Meadville Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, he was ordained a Unitarian minister, serving at Winnetka, Illinois, 1870-71, and Janesville, Wisconsin, 1871-80. In 1882, Jones began missionary work on the south side of Chicago, which resulted in the organization of All Souls Church, of which he remained pastor until his death. Jones early in his career was active in forming "Mutual Improvement Clubs", a new idea in church life in the 1870's, a movement that spread and eventually became the "Unity Clubs" found in almost all Unitarian churches of the Middle West.

In 1874, Jones became secretary of the Western Unitarian Conference, a position he held until 1884. He infused new life into the dying organization, moved its headquarters to Chicago in 1880, and devoted all of his time to the Conference, giving up his church in Janesville. He helped found the weekly magazine Unity in 1878, dedicated to "Freedom, Fellowship and Character in Religion," and remained its editor until his death. He set up a Sunday School society which published numerous lessons and vigorous tract-publications. But Jones also led a movement within the Western Conference for ethical rather than theological unanimity as the basis for liberal fellowship. This issue erupted at the Cincinnati meeting of the Conference in 1886, where many of the conservative churches withdrew and the eastern branch of the movement set up a rival organization. Until the breach was healed in 1894, Jones used his editorship of Unity to advance the liberal cause and the magazine became the mouthpiece of the liberal party within the movement.

Soon after the foundation of All Souls Church Jones dropped the word "Unitarian". He felt that denomination built a fence around religion and he did not want his church, even by remote implication, to exclude anyone. This church became the nucleus of Jones' even more ambitious project, the Abraham Lincoln Centre, founded in 1905. Lincoln Centre was a combination social, civic and religious center in its early years, with All Souls Church at its core, but it also provided a gymnasium, manual training, domestic science classes, reading rooms, libraries, lecture courses, as well as study classes in subjects including religion, citizenship, literature. Jones' idea of universal religion inspired the World's Parliament of Religion, in connection with the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. He was the moving force behind the movement as well as its General Secretary. He also sailed on the Ford Peace Ship Mission in December 1915 and became the chairman of the Committee of Administration after the withdrawal of Henry Ford due to illness. He maintained his pacifist viewpoint until his death and in 1918 his editorial opposition in Unity to war in general and American participation in World War I led to the suspension of mailing privileges of the magazine by the United States Postmaster-General. Jones also founded the Tower Hill (Wisconsin) Summer Camp in 1889, which gave systematic lectures on literary and liberal religious subjects.

He was the author of numerous works, among them: An Artilleryman's Diary (1914); The Faith That Makes Faithful, with W. C. Gannett (1886); Jess: Bits of Wayside Gospel (1899); A Search for an Infidel (1901); and Love for the Battletorn Peoples (1916). He received an honorary LL.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1909.

Susan Barber, Jones' first wife died in 1911. In 1915, he married Edith Lackersteen, his longtime associate at Lincoln Centre. Jones died at Tower Hill, Wisconsin, in 1918. Edith Lloyd Jones died in 1932.

From the guide to the Jones, Jenkin Lloyd. Papers, 1861-1932, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Sunderland, Jabez Thomas, 1842-1936. Jabez Thomas Sunderland papers, 1868-1936. Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn William Kent family papers, 1768-1961 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Rumball, Edwin. Edwin Rumball papers, 1901-1914. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Jenkin Lloyd Jones family photographs, undated. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Jones, Jenkin Lloyd. Papers, 1861-1932 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Unity Church records., 1860-1983. Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn Braithwaite, William Stanley, 1878-1962. Papers, 1897-1930 Houghton Library
creatorOf Unity Church (Saint Paul, Minn.). Unity Church records, 1860-1983. Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn Starr, Frederick. Papers, 1868-1935 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Starr, Frederick, 1858-1933. Papers, 1868-1935 (inclusive), 1892-1923 (bulk). University of Chicago Library
creatorOf Teasdale, Sara, 1884-1933. Papers of Sara Teasdale [manuscript], 1888-1934 (bulk 1905-1933). University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Sullivan, William Laurence, 1872-1935. Papers, 1895-1961 (inclusive), 1895-1935 (bulk). Harvard University, Divinity School Library
referencedIn Immigration Restriction League (U.S.) records, 1893-1921 Houghton Library
referencedIn Oswald Garrison Villard papers Houghton Library
referencedIn Jabez Thomas Sunderland Papers, 1868-1936 Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Jones, Jenkin Lloyd, 1843-1918. Papers, 1861-1932 (inclusive), 1888-1901 (bulk). University of Chicago Library
creatorOf Wisconsin History Commission. Papers, 1861-1865, 1884-1918. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Rosenfels, Irwin S., d. 1935. Collection, undated. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Jones, Jenkin Lloyd, 1843-1918. Photographs, 1905-1912. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Jones, Jenkin Lloyd, 1843-1918. Diaries, 1862-1865, 1888-1917. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Sunderland, Eliza Jane Read, 1839-1910. Eliza Jane Read Sunderland papers, 1865-1910. Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Angela Morgan Papers, 1893-1957 Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Kent, William, 1864-1928. William Kent family papers, 1768-1961. Yale University Library
referencedIn Barrows family papers, 1861-1931. Houghton Library
creatorOf Sunderland, Eliza Read, 1839-1910. Eliza Jane Read Sunderland papers, 1865-1910. Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Eliza Jane Read Sunderland Papers, 1865-1910 Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Snoke, Georgia. Lloyd Jones family collected materials, 1844-2005. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Lewis, John P.,. Wright collection, 1869-1968. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn William Kent family papers, 1768–1961 Yale University Library
creatorOf Markham, Edwin, 1852-1940. Autograph letters signed (2) : Brooklyn, New York, to Jenkin Lloyd Jones, 1900 Feb. 16-1901 Jan. 17. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Fallows, Samuel, 1835-1922. Papers, 1856-1922. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Henry Oscar Houghton papers, 1773-1932 (bulk 1833-1895) Houghton Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abraham Lincoln Centre (Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith Addams, Jane, 1860-1935. person
associatedWith All Souls Church (Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith Anthony, Susan B. (Susan Brownell), 1820-1906. person
correspondedWith Barrows family. family
correspondedWith Braithwaite, William Stanley, 1878-1962 person
associatedWith Fallows, Samuel, 1835-1922. person
associatedWith Gannett, William C. (William Channing), 1840-1923. person
associatedWith Henry Ford Peace Expedition (1915-1916) corporateBody
correspondedWith Houghton, Henry Oscar, 1823-1895 person
correspondedWith Immigration Restriction League (U.S.). corporateBody
associatedWith Jones, Edith Lloyd person
associatedWith Jones, Edith Lloyd. person
associatedWith Kent, William, 1864-1928. person
associatedWith Lewis, John P., person
associatedWith Markham, Edwin, 1852-1940. person
associatedWith Morgan, Angela, 1874-1957 person
associatedWith Parker, Francis W. (Francis Wayland), 1837-1902. person
associatedWith Rosenfels, Irwin S., d. 1935. person
associatedWith Rumball, Edwin. person
associatedWith Snoke, Georgia. person
associatedWith Starr, Frederick, 1858-1933. person
associatedWith Sullivan, William Laurence, 1872-1935. person
associatedWith Sunderland, Eliza Read, 1839-1910. person
associatedWith Sunderland, Jabez Thomas, 1842-1936. person
associatedWith Teasdale, Sara, 1884-1933. person
associatedWith United States. Army. Wisconsin Light Artillery Battery, 6th (1861-1865) corporateBody
associatedWith Unity Church (Saint Paul, Minn.). corporateBody
correspondedWith Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949 person
associatedWith Washington, Booker T., 1856-1915. person
associatedWith Wisconsin History Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith World's Parliament of Religions (1893 : Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Wisconsin--Iowa County
Tower Hill (Wis.)
United States
Outdoor recreation
Unitarian churches


Birth 1843-11-14

Death 1918-09-12



Ark ID: w63t9xq1

SNAC ID: 58153019