He was another one of those guys I think I would've liked to have known... He joined the Army in 1907 when he was only 16-years old, (his mother signed a phony consent form that said he was 18) and he ended up in the Cavalry. (Troop G, 6th Cavalry Regiment.) He was deployed to the Philippines, where the Moro Rebellion was underway, saw combat, was wounded, and was discharged after a second enlistment in 1913. Then, he decided to cowboy. (What else would a discharged cavalryman do?)
In tinsel town, it was not an unusual climb to the top. He worked his way from stuntman to bit parts in silents, was able to transition to speaking parts in talkies because his voice was good, and then, with the help of influential friends, (in his case, Tom Mix) began to get starring roles in cheap, low budget two-reelers. (In 1925, he made three movies with a young, unknown Carole Lombard.) He was the real thing, of course; he could ride and rope and handle a gun with the best of them, and by the late 20s, he was one of the top B-western cowboy actors of the day.
He also, as it turned out, was a pretty astute businessman, making quite the little fortune from various product endorsements, like Post Grape Nuts Flakes, and the Daisy "Buck Jones Model" pump action air rifle. (It had a compass and a sundial in the stock, and was Daisy's top of the line B-B gun. It sold well for years.) His daughter Maxine was married to Noah Beery Jr. for 26 years, until Beery died in 1966. Click on the link, look him up.
He was one of 492 people who were burned to death or died of smoke inhalation in the Boston Cocoanut Grove Fire. Hundreds more were injured, and it never was determined what exactly started it.
Part of a newspaper story at the time: "Charles (Buck) Jones, died at a hospital late today of burns suffered in the Cocoanut Grove fire. Mr. Jones was the guest of honor at a party when the fire broke out. Attending physicians said they had abandoned all hope for Jones' recovery after examining his burns.
The doctors reported that Mr. Jones died from smoke inhalation and burned lungs, and from third and second degree burns on the face and neck.
Idol of millions of movie fans, Mr. Jones died alone, although his wife was reported speeding to his bedside when death came."
Postscript: It was urban legend for years that Buck Jones died saving others, going back into the burning building time and again, and bringing scores of people to safety. It is now pretty well established that it didn't happen that way, that he was trapped inside and never got out.
Although... In a television interview in 1970, John Wayne went on record that Buck Jones was one of his heroes, and said that he did save people from that fire. Hell, Pilgrim, I'd like to think so...