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Jones Place on the Osage Highlands
Bellzona Beautiful Planes

Setting alone and neglected the old Jones Ranch Place is as an aged lady who in her youth was the sparkling and vibrant Scarlet O'Hara of "Gone With the Wind. The story was a tribute to these same Jones's whose grandfather came out of Georgia there in Jonesville of Jones county. Now, burnt sienna days as in the fall flow in and out of her secret life and walls like the oils of an artist's palette.

Growing up there one the beautiful planes of the prairie was an experience to remember and to share. Bellzona, the grandmother, mother of Lee Otis Jones was called "The Old Lady."  If anyone deserved the name it was Bell. Her husband Joseph Hubbard Jones sold his land, rather he mortgaged it. It was on the banks of the Arkansas River in Ralston, Oklahoma. He had 20,000.00 dollars. With this money he built this ranch house along with a two car slab floor garage, a very large barn with cemented floors and drains built in for milk cows, an equally large hay barn, three tenant houses, a modern large chicken house and a small well house, and, of course, the ranch house. Today, 20,000 might have built the garage.

Joseph's son's were young men, ages seventeen and nineteen. It was Joseph's thinking to bring about the plans of the ranch place.

Unseen is the underground watering system to connect the buildings. Joe "witched" the water after they were warned over and over there would be no water found.  Lee's brave abandon saw him dynamiting the rock one shot at a time until the cold clear wonderful water was struck.

The hundred foot long rock wall was built later by Lee for two purposes. One was to make a wind break for the cattle and another was to use the stone picked up off the prairie allowing modern machinery to be able to cut and bale the hay.

The rock porch on the front was added by Bert Peters in 1942 with a considerable amount of the work done by Lee Otis, then around forty years old. Bert was getting older and need the younger man's strength to help him stack the heavier rocks. This allowed Lee to enjoy the talents at the time of the fine old rock mason. Lee spoke affectionately of the elderly man and what he had learned from him.

Bert Peters work can be seen today on the other ranches in the area, especially the Adams ranch. People yet today are fascinated at how he was able to build rock arches over the drive ways.

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