William Beecher Stone, veteran of the Civil war, former merchant and now a prominent resident and capitalist of Galena, is a native of Ohio, in which state he was born in Summit county, on the fifteenth day of January, 1838. His parents were Samuel Mansfield and Amanda (Sperry) Stone. His father was born at Waterbury, Conn. The progenitor of the Stone family in America was John Stone, who came from England and settled at Guilford, Conn., in 1639. His descendants bore a prominent part in the American Revolution. William Beecher Stone is of the Eighth generation of the Stone family in America. John Stone, progenitor, had a son, John Stone, who was born in 1644 and was the father of Ezekiel Stone, born in 1678. Ezekiel Stone was the father of John Stone, born in 1716, who was the father of Samuel Mansfield Stone, who was born in 1742 and was the father of Ezekiel Stone, born in 1771. This Ezekiel Stone was the father of Samuel Mansfield Stone, who was born May 8, 1797, and who was the father of William Beecher Stone, whose mother bore the maiden name of Amanda Sperry, who was also born in Connecticut and whose family progenitor in America also came from England, in 1650.
William Beecher Stone is a Son of the Revolution by reason of services rendered in the struggle for American independence by his great-great-grandfather, Josiah Bronson, who was a private in a company of Captain Mills Bradley's battalion, Wadworth's brigade, Connecticut troops, in 1776, and by his great-great-great-grandfather, Ephraim Smith, who was a private in a company under Captain Noble Benedict, of Colonel Waterbury's regiment, in 1775, and later a private in a company commanded by Captain Johnson, Colonel Douglas' Fifth battalion, under Wadworth's brigade. Mr. Stone's parents were married in Connecticut, and in 1820 removed to Ohio, settling at Tallmage, Summit county, where they spent the rest of their days. They had twelve children, of whom four are now living: Samuel, born in 1820, resides in Michigan; Mrs. Julia E. Burgess, born in 1823 resides in Galena; Lyman Sperry, born in 1845, resides in New York City; and William Beecher. The father was a farmer by occupation, and reared his family in Summit county, Ohio. There William Beecher Stone obtained a common school education, being unable to attend college on account of failing health. Jan. 18, 1856, when eighteen years of age, he left the parental home to go west, hoping to regain his health. He joined his uncle, Ebenezer Sperry, at Bernadotte, Ill., for whom he clerked in a store for about a year and a half, and in September, 1857, he and his uncle brought eight wagon loads of merchandise, including rifles, overland to Kansas. They sojourned briefly in Linn county, then at Miami, and finally settled at Olathe. Other than to merchandise in Kansas, they came to aid in making the state a free state, and when President Lincoln called for volunteers to put down the rebellion, Mr. Stone tendered his services, enlisting as a private, July 16, 1861, in Company A, Fourth Kansas infantry. Upon the organization of the company he was chosen first sergeant and was promoted to the position of second lieutenant, and later to first lieutenant. He received a commission as captain of Company C, and was mustered out of the service Sept. 30, 1865, after a splendid war record of a little more than four years. The first year's service was on the frontier in Missouri, Kansas and Indian Territory. In 1863, soon after the battle of Prairie Grove, the command was ordered to Alton, Ill., and then to St. Louis, Mo., thence to the South, where they participated in the battles of Franklin, Spring River and Nashville, and proceeded on to New Orleans.
When the war closed Captain Stone went to Kansas City, Mo., where for five years he was successfully engaged in merchandising. Selling out his business and becoming interested in a wholesale establishment, dealing in hardware and agricultural implements, Mr. Stone removed to St. Louis, and remained in charge of the firm's business in Kansas and the West up to 1877, when he sold out his interest in the business, and removed to Galena, Kan., where he became interested in mining, and where he has since resided. In the business world Mr. Stone has achieved gratifying success. For several years after locating in Galena he was extensively interested in the mining and smelting business, and is still an extensive holder of mining interests, but for the past five years he has not been actively engaged. From a financial standpoint his career has been that of a sapient and able business man. In politics he has always supported the men and measures of the Republican party. While he has been an active man in political affairs, he has not been a seeker of political honors, yet he was honored by an election as representative of Cherokee county in the lower branch of the Kansas legislature, and served with distinction in that body in 1883-4. Fraternally he has been prominent in Masonry for years, being a past master of his lodge, having attained to the rank of Knight Templar. He is also a member of the Kansas State Historical Society, of which society he was president in 1903. Mr. Stone is generally known by the title of colonel, an application by no means pleasing to him, for being of an unassuming character, he seeks no honors unduly. In his personal relations, he is plain and unostentatious, fair and just in business relations, and by reason of which, together with his patriotic and exemplary life, he is highly esteemed by all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance.
In 1868, at Mattoon, Ill., Mr. Stone married Miss Irene Gove, and to their union five children were born, two of whom are deceased. Those living are William Arthur, Mary A. (White), and Eliza May. The son, William A., is a prominent business man of Galena, where he is proprietor of a foundry and machine shop. He is a Son of the American Revolution, and otherwise prominently identified in social and fraternal affairs.Pages 198-200 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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