Jones graduated from the Farm & Trade School on Thompson Island. Although interested in photography from his school days, Jones first worked as a pattern-maker. He freelanced as a photographer for several years while working in a Boston factory, but after losing two fingers to the machinery he joined the Herald-Traveler staff full-time. In his 39 years at the newspaper, Jones covered everything from a fox stuck in a tree on the Boston Common, to Charles Lindbergh's U.S. tour after the aviator crossed the Atlantic. His photographs document both the usual and the unusual in the daily life of Boston.
A collection of almost 40,000 of his negatives is stored in the Boston Public Library.