- This article is about the pioneer settler. For other uses, see John Jones (disambiguation).
John Jones (born in Greenville District, South Carolina) was the first settler in Jones Valley, which is named for him. He and his brother-in-law, Caleb Friley blazed the trail into the valley from Bear Meat Cabin Road and built Fort Jonesboro as a defensive stockade.
Jones, nicknamed "Devil John" for his wild habits, left South Carolina in 1799 and made his way through Kentucky and Tennessee. Between 1813 and 1816 he came South on the "Great Tennessee Trail" from Ditto's Landing and built his cabin and stockade in the section of the valley between Reader's Gap and Valley Creek. According to his cousin's grandson, Jones and William Roupe settled the site together, but later had a falling out which resulted in Roupe moving further South, to the section now called Roupe's Valley.
Numerous other settlers, mostly from Tennessee, arrived in the valley over the next years, establishing the Jonesboro settlement near the stockade and populating the valley along the wagon road.
- Armes, Ethel (1910) The Story of Coal and Iron in Alabama. Birmingham: Birmingham Chamber of Commerce