Jonas Wolf was born on June 30, 1828, near present-day De Soto County, Mississippi. His father was Capt. James Wolf, a notable Chickasaw and signer of the Treaty of October 22, 1832. Wolf’s family relocated to Doaksville during the great removal in 1838.
Jonas Wolf had relatively little formal education, but he was very skilled in farming and stock-raising. As a young man, Jonas Wolf settled on land and established a farm along the north bank of the Washita, about five miles west of Tishomingo, Oklahoma.
During the Civil War, Wolf did not enlist in either the Union or the Confederate armies. He did, however, become a member of the Presbyterian Church, South and later went on to become an ordained minister.
Wolf was not actively involved in tribal politics as a young man, but as he grew older, he served consistently as a member of the Chickasaw tribal legislature. At age 56, Jonas Wolf became the governor of the Chickasaw tribe in 1884. As a Chickasaw leader, Wolf was known for being a man of rugged integrity. During his governorship, he was opposed to the allotment of Chickasaw lands. Wolf was a full-blood Chickasaw, and he neither spoke nor understood English.
Governor Jonas Wolf died on January 14, 1900. He was buried in a family burial ground on the farm where he lived most of his life. Jonas Wolf’s resting place is prominently marked.