Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Nimitz Library
Nimitz Library

Horace Walker Jones Papers, 1884-1919: Finding Aid

Published in December 2009

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
  • Call number: MS 300
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Horace Walker Jones Papers
  • Dates: 1884-1919
  • Size: 0.21 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 1 half-manuscript box, 1 oversize folder containing 192 items
  • Creator: Jones, Horace Walker, 1861-1938
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Horace Walker Jones was a graduate of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1884 and a Naval Engineer, serving in the fleet, at the Washington Navy Yard, and at the Naval Academy as an instructor in steam engineering. Jones' papers pertain to various aspects of his naval career, including his service aboard U.S.S. Concord, his participation in the Battle of Manila Bay, and his extensive involvement in naval ordnance. Included with the papers are three patents for weapons systems components.

Biographical Chronology of Horace Walker Jones

  • Born September 10 in Virginia.
  • On October 1, enters the United States Naval Academy as a cadet engineer.
  • On June 6, graduates from the United States Naval Academy, and is assigned to U.S.S. Swatara (Screw sloop-of-war).
  • On June 30, is honorably discharged from the US Navy due to a shortage of officer appointments.
  • On June 28, is re-commissioned as an Assistant Engineer.
  • On December 28, is assigned to U.S.S. Charleston (Cruiser : C-2).
  • On May 3, is detached from U.S.S. Charleston, pending relief.
  • On October 16, is assigned duty at the United States Naval Academy as an instructor in steam engineering.
  • On February 20, is promoted to Passed Assistant Engineer, with the relative rank of Lieutenant junior grade.
  • On June 5, is detached from the United States Naval Academy.
  • On June 25, reports for duty aboard U.S.S. Thetis (Steamer).
  • On May 22, is detached from U.S.S. Thetis, and reassigned to U.S.S. Concord (Protected Gunboat : PG-3).
  • In May, successfully handles a boiler blow-out aboard U.S.S. Concord.
  • On December 27, is detached from U.S.S. Concord for duty aboard U.S.S. Manila (Schooner).
  • On May 7, is detached from U.S.S. Manila for duty aboard U.S.S. Helena (Protected Gunboat : PG-9).
  • On August 9, is detached from U.S.S. Helena pending relief, and assigned to temporary duty aboard U.S.S. Solace (Hospital Ship : AH-2).
  • On August 17, is detached from U.S.S. Solace for duty at the United States Naval Academy.
  • On October 18, is detached from the United States Naval Academy for ordnance and compass instruction.
  • On November 3, is assigned to U.S.S. Amphitrite (Monitor) pending the completion of compass instruction.
  • In January, is assigned duty as an examiner of officers of the former Engineer Corps of the U.S. Navy.
  • On February 12, receives temporary command of U.S.S. Osceola (Armed Tug : AT-47) for the purpose of delivering said vessel to Brunswick, Georgia.
  • On November 9, is detached from U.S.S. Amphitrite pending decommissioning, for duty aboard U.S.S. Puritan (Monitor).
  • On November 18, is detached from U.S.S. Puritan for duty at the Naval Gun Factory at the Washington Navy Yard.
  • On June 30, is assigned duty as a member of the court martial of coal passer Frederick W. Rest.
  • On March 9, is assigned temporary duty in connection with firing experiments in Pensacola, Florida.
  • On July 7, is assigned temporary duty inspecting ordnance motors at the General Electric Company.
  • In September (until April 1905), is assigned temporary duty inspecting and installing gun sights for the 12 inch guns aboard U.S.S. Maine (Battleship : BB-10) and Missouri (Battleship : BB-11). Some of the sights in question were of Jones' design.
  • On February 21, is promoted to Lieutenant Commander.
  • On October 30, is assigned to a board examining gun sights designed by paymaster William A. Merritt.
  • On June 25, is assigned to a board to improve ordnance installation aboard armored cruisers Colorado, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia.
  • On June 30, is transferred to the Retired List of Officers with the rank of Commander, but remains on duty as required by the public interest.
  • On October 22, is assigned to a board examining the conditions of ordnance aboard U.S.S. Wisconsin (Battleship : BB-9) at Puget Sound Navy Yard.
  • On August 31, is detached from the U.S. Navy.
  • In April, is recalled to active duty at the Washington Navy Yard as Assistant to the Senior Inspector in the supervision of shop material.
  • On June 13, is detached from the Washington Navy Yard for duty as Naval Inspector of Ordnance for the Chicago inspection district.
  • On September 27, is assigned to a board to recommend changes in the organization of the Bureau of Ordnance inspection force.
  • On November 7, is transferred to the inactive list.
  • On October 12, dies in Middletown, New York.
Additional Information
  • Served on boards of examination for filling ordnance positions at the Washington Navy Yard in June 1903, January 1904, and March 1905.
  • Served as a member of general courts-martial in March 1900 and June 1902.
Back to Top

Description of Contents

The Horace Walker Jones Papers, comprising 0.21 linear feet of documentation, span Jones' thirty-five year naval career as an engineer and ordnance inspector, from shortly after his graduation from the United States Naval Academy in 1884, through his reactivation during World War I.

The papers consist of orders, leave requests, commissions, commendations, correspondence, pay transmittals, reference letters, photographs, patents, designs, and an identification tag.

The Jones Papers are arranged alphabetically by document type into a single series with no subdivisions. The bulk of the collection consists of Jones' official U.S. Navy records, such as orders, leave requests, commissions, and commendations. These records offer a succinct view of Jones' naval career, including his various duty stations, temporary assignments, promotions, honorable discharge, re-commissioning, retirement, and wartime reactivation. The photographs include images of the officers of U.S.S. Concord and U.S.S. Charleston, as well as King Kalakaua, the last monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii. The plans and designs consist of Jones' original drawings of a proposed dry dock and a firing apparatus for mechanically controlled guns, the latter of which is most likely the subject of Jones' patents.

Throughout the collection are documents signed by notable individuals, including Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Admiral George Dewey. Also included are the signatures of several Secretaries of the Navy, including Benjamin Franklin Tracy, William H. Moody, Charles J. Bonaparte, Victor H. Metcalf, and Josephus Daniels.

Back to Top


Arranged alphabetically by document type into a single series with no subdivisions.

Back to Top

Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Horace Walker Jones Papers are the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

Back to Top

Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Gift of Horace W. Jones, III in August 1981 and July 1983. Accession No. 81-28 and 83-18.

Back to Top

Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional materials pertaining to U.S.S. Concord can be found in the Oliver Ambrose Batcheller Letters, MS 264 in the Special Collections & Archives Department, Nimitz Library.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection.

Back to Top

Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Horace Walker Jones Papers, MS 300

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in December 2009. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in December 2009. Original guide by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1994.

Back to Top

Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Concord (Patrol gunboat : PG-3)
  • Jones, Horace Walker, 1861-1938.
  • Manila Bay, Battle of, Philippines, 1898
  • Ordnance, Naval
  • Spanish-American War, 1898

Genre Terms

  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts
  • Orders (military records)
  • Patents
  • Photographs
Back to Top

Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Commendations, 1899

Commendations for the Battle of Manila Bay and conduct pertaining to a boiler blow-out.

Box 1 Folder 2

Commissions, 1899-1911

Includes Jones' commissions as Assistant Engineer, Passed Assistant Engineer, Lieutenant Commander, and Commander.

Box 1 Folder 3

Correspondence (Official) - Miscellaneous, 1896-1905

Includes official communications pertaining to Jones' honorable discharge in 1886 and resulting precedence discrepancies, and the transmittal of court martial charges.

Box 1 Folder 4

Correspondence (Official) - Miscellaneous, 1906-1908, 1917-1919

Includes official communications pertaining to address changes, Jones' patents, suggestions for the use of wire brushes on shells to clean gun bores, and Jones' resignation and retirement. Also includes one letter signed by Admiral George Dewey.

Box 1 Folder 5

Identification Tag, 1918 (approximate)

Box 1 Folder 6

Invoice - Steam Engineering Stores, 1899

Invoice of engineering supplies for U.S.S. Helena

Box 1 Folder 7

Leave Requests, 1884-1907

Box 1 Folder 8

Orders, 1884-1899

Orders for detachment, reassignment, and examination for promotion. Includes orders signed by Admiral George Dewey.

Box 1 Folder 9

Orders, 1900-1903

Includes orders pertaining to court-martial duty, the examination of other officers, and requests for quarters.

Box 1 Folder 10

Orders, 1904-1907

Includes orders pertaining to ordnance inspection, the installation and testing of experimental equipment of Jones' design aboard U.S. ships Maine and Missouri, and Jones' retirement in 1906.

Box 1 Folder 11

Orders, 1917-1919

Includes orders pertaining to Jones' reactivation at the Washington Navy Yard and as Naval Inspector of Ordnance for the Chicago Inspection district, as well as standing travel orders. Includes orders signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Box 1 Folder 12

Patents, 1903

American, English, and French patents for an ordnance sight and firing apparatus.

Box 1 Folder 13

Pay Transmittals, 1886-1899

Drawer MSOS Folder 1

Photographs, 1886-1898, undated

Group photographs including Jones at Pensacola and aboard U.S.S. Charleston with King Kalakaua of Hawaii, as well as the officers of U.S.S. Concord.

Box 1 Folder 14

Plans and Designs - Dry Dock, 1898

Plans for a dry dock designed by Jones. Includes one letter signed by Theodore Roosevelt.

Box 1 Folder 15

Plans and Designs - Firing Apparatus for Mechanically Controlled Guns, 1902

Plans for a sighting and firing device designed by Jones', most likely the early drafts of the design detailed in his 1903 patent.

Box 1 Folder 16

References and Fitness Reports, 1886-1891

Back to Top