Daisy Marquis Jones was born February 26, 1876. She was one of five children born to Jacob and Rose Marquis in Pennsylvania and spent her childhood there. She developed an interest in investing her money at an early age. As a woman of independent means, Daisy Marquis moved to Rochester around 1909 where she lived on Wilmer Street, off Monroe Avenue, most of her adult life.
In 1948 she married Nelson Jones, a Himrod dairy farmer. The years they operated the Bellview Farms Dairy together formed the basis for her special interest in Yates County. After Nelson died, she gave the Himrod farm house to the community's fledgling volunteer fire department and helped support their efforts to build a firehouse and purchase equipment. The Foundation continues to make significant grants to improve the quality of life in Yates County.
After her husband's death in 1961, Mrs. Jones returned to her home in Rochester. An astute businesswoman, she had developed the admiration and respect of local bankers and brokers for her shrewd investment skills but was little known in the community at-large. She was a very private person; she lived modestly, preferring to save her money, invest it, and ultimately to establish a charitable foundation with her nephew Leo Lyons. Daisy left her entire estate to the Foundation she had set up three years before her death in 1971.
Leo Marquis Lyons was born November 17, 1904 in Amsterdam, New York, the only child of Jacob and Phoebe Lyons. He was a builder of fine homes like his father, who built the family home on Wilmer Street. Leo lived in that home from 1909 until 1990. Like his Aunt Daisy, he was also an astute businessman and a wise investor. Leo was also a very private person. Although Leo never married he loved children. He always said the Foundation was his baby, his child, and his legacy to the Rochester Community. Leo served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation from 1968 until his death in 1997, leaving the bulk of his estate to the Foundation as well.