Celebrated Teacher, Eleanor Jones,
at Rest in Maplewood Cemetery
By Dr. S. Robert Powell, Carbondale Historical Society
Eleanor Pritchard Jones, who became a celebrated teacher of the deaf, was born in Carbondale on March 4, 1883. She was the daughter of Carbondale Alderman Samuel Sheldon Jones and Margaret Gillespie Russell. The Jones family lived at 14 Darte Avenue.
A graduate of Carbondale High School (1901) and Blair Hall, Blairstown, NJ, Miss Jones trained for teaching the deaf under Miss Ada R. King at the Pennsylvania State Oral School, Scranton, from 1902 to 1904, and in September 1904 she began teaching the deaf at that same school.
At the same time, she continued her professional training by attending summer schools at Northwestern University, the Central Institute of Saint Louis (under Dr. Max Goldstein), the Russell Sage Foundation, NY, and Johns Hopkins University.
Her work at those four schools, together with extension courses through Columbia University, New York University, the Pennsylvania State College, and the University of Pennsylvania earned Miss Jones a Class A teacher’s certificate for academic work from the Conference of Executives of the American Schools for the Deaf, Inc., on August 30, 1949.
From 1904 to 1956, Miss Jones taught at the Pennsylvania State Oral School in Scranton and, at the time of her retirement, was the Supervising Teacher of Speech and head of the Auditory Department.
Following her 52 years of teaching in Scranton, she accepted a position as speech therapist at Saint Mary’s School for the Deaf, Buffalo, NY, where she taught from 1961 to 1967.
Miss Jones was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Carbondale for 71 years, having taught a Sunday School class there for 40 years. In 1929, she wrote the Centennial History of that church. When the present First Presbyterian Church was erected, Miss Jones endowed a pillar in the main sanctuary in memory of her parents, Alderman and Mrs. Samuel Sheldon Jones.
In 1969, at the time of the 140th anniversary of the founding of Carbondale’s First Presbyterian Church, Miss Jones, together with Minnie A. Moyle and Marion M. Doud, were the three most senior members of that church, all three having become members in 1899 or before.
She had a lifelong interest in ornithology and traveled extensively to observe and study birds in the wild, all the while adding additional species to her carefully documented life-list of avian species observed in the wild. She was an enthusiastic member of the Scranton Audubon Society, and for 35 years taught ornithology classes for the Society.
In 1909, Miss Jones, sailing on the White Star Line’s Cretic on June 26th from New York, was a member of a 64-day summer European tour (Italy, Switzerland, France, Holland, England, Scotland, Ireland) organized and conducted by H. W. Dunning & Co. of Boston.
She was a member of the Saint David’s Society of Scranton, Elkview Country Club, the Scranton Wild Flower Club, the Century Club of Scranton, and the New Century Club of Carbondale.
She was a voracious reader and enthusiastic bibliophile, her library containing many thousands of volumes. In 1987, 157 volumes of literary, historical, and intellectual classics were donated to the library at Mountain View High School, Kingsley, in memory of Eleanor Pritchard Jones.
Miss Jones’ interest in genealogy, notably her Welsh and Scottish ancestors, was great. Her genealogical research, both in this country and in Great Britain, was extensive and professional. Her published articles about her forbears are of the highest quality.
The lives of a great many people were profoundly impacted for the better by Eleanor Pritchard Jones, one of a great many distinguished teachers born, raised, and educated in Carbondale. Miss Jones died on February 6, 1970, and her earthly remains were interred in the Jones plot in Carbondale’s historic Maplewood Cemetery.