Jones Family Story Cont.

Jones would continue to visit the Peacock Inn where he would meet Moselle Albury after she began working as a housemaid. Born in 1861 on Harbor Island, Bahamas, Moselle moved with her family to Key West in 1875. She and Israel married in 1895. Two years later, in 1897, Jones purchased his first island, the 63-acre Porgy Key from Fletcher Albury (no relation to Moselle) for somewhere between $250 and $300. 1897 was also the year Israel and Moselle’s first child was born. They named him King Arthur Lafayette Jones.

Their second son, Sir Lancelot Garfield Jones, would be delivered the following year aboard a 22-foot smack out in Biscayne Bay. It was also 1898 when Jones purchased the neighboring Old Rhodes Key. Circa 1902 he moved his young family to a preexisting two-story home on Porgy Key. He improved the island, building a pier extending away from the island along with a corresponding channel connecting the dockage to more navigable waters. Meanwhile, Israel planted the island’s farmlands with pineapples and key limes and though the key lime trees took longer to bear a viable crop, the pineapples began producing income for the family inside of two years.

Though a 1906 hurricane devastated the pineapple industry, the key lime trees continued to bear fruit. After Budge’s Totten Key pineapple farm failed, he grew less interested in the property and sold to Jones in 1911 for what was said to be $1 per acre. A wise investment, Jones would sell 212 of the island’s acres for a reported $250,000. Totten Key’s remaining acres were deeded to Arthur and Lancelot in 1929. After their father died at the age of 74 in 1932, the boys continued to farm the land for nearly a decade and became one of the largest independent suppliers of key limes along the east coast.