Amzi Jones was born in Olive Branch, Mississippi, on October 7, 1841, and was raised by his half-brother in Memphis, Tennessee, after being orphaned as an infant. He attended Georgetown College (now Georgetown University) and served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. On July 14, 1869, he married his cousin, Lizzie H. Miller (1844-1936), the daughter of Alfred Miller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Shortly after their marriage, they moved to a farm near Smyrna, Tennessee, where they operated a cotton gin and grew several crops. They had one son, Amzi (1877-1915), who became a physician. The elder Amzi Jones died of an illness on November 18, 1878, and Lizzie died in 1936.