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BEULAH LORENA JONES, PROVIDED LINKS TO AREA HISTORY

Beulah Lorena Jones, 95, of Marine Drive, a descendant of former slaves who had traveled with Harriett Tubman, died Monday (Sept. 29, 1997) in Sisters Hospital after a brief illness.

The former Beulah Smith was born and raised in Niagara Falls, Ont.

After traveling north to freedom, some of her ancestors settled in Niagara Falls, while others continued across the border and made their homes in Canada.

As a young girl, Mrs. Jones joined the historic British Methodist Episcopal Church in Niagara Falls, Ont., learned to play the piano and used her gift to play for the Sunday school and Sunday morning services.

She supported the church even after moving to Buffalo in 1926.

The church, now known as Nathaniel Dett Chapel, has been designated as a historic site on the Underground Railroad.

Mrs. Jones became a U.S. citizen after moving to Buffalo in 1926. She joined Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church here in 1942. She was the oldest member, with the longest continuous membership. As a 55-year member of that church, she often was sought out for information on church history, and she contributed pictures, articles and artifacts for the church archive room.

She was an active member of the church's board of trustees for more than 30 years and held the title of trustee emeritus at the time of her death. In addition, she was the first queen of Bethel Church and served for many years as a captain for Women's Day.

As chairwoman of the Flower Club, Mrs. Jones saw to it that fresh flowers graced the altar each week. For decades until her health began to fail, each floral tribute was accompanied by a poem carefully chosen by Mrs. Jones and published in the dedicatory section of the church bulletin.

In addition, she was a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Her husband, Dan L., died in 1975.

Survivors include a sister, Vera B. Battle.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Bethel AME Church, 1525 Michigan Ave. Burial will be in Forest Lawn.

[Wesolowski].

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