John W. Stone

JOHN W. STONE. Inseparably associated with the early history of the State of Kansas as the son of one of its martyrs, is John W. Stone, a farmer living near Baxter Springs, in section 12, township 35, range 24, in Spring Valley township, where he resides on a farm of 80 acres. He was born in Grayson County, Texas, February 10, 1851.

Joseph Stone, his father, a native of Tennessee, was born in 1817. After acquiring a common-school education, he engaged in the occupation of farming. While still a young man, he removed to Texas, where he was occupied in stock-raising along with his farming, as was the custom of the farmers of that State. Before leaving Tennessee, he was united in marriage to Ruth Armstrong of the same State. To this union were born eight children, as follows; James, living in Ohio; Caroline (Mrs. John Shields), who lives in Texas; Elijah, who died in Galena, Kansas, in 1902; Mary Jane (Mrs. James Mordica); Martha, who resides in Texas; Joseph, whose home is in California; Amanda, who died in childhood; and John W., our subject.

After having spent a number of years in farming and stock-raising in Texas, Joseph Stone, in 1853, removed to Barton County, Missouri, where he remained until the fall of 1863. Being a loyal Union man, he was compelled to leave Missouri, in order to escape the bitter hatred of his pro-slavery neighbors, the life of a Union sympathizer being held of very little value by them. After moving to Douglas County, Kansas, an attempt was made by his former neighbors to take him back to Missouri on some false charge, but it was frustrated by the prompt action of his friends. The band known as "Quantrell's Guerrillas," knowing that he resided somewhere in Douglas County, then made up their minds to get him at any cost. Surrounding his home one night, they demanded his surrender. He arose and tried by reasoning with them to allay their hatred, but they would have nothing but unconditional surrender, or in all probability the house would have been burned, so Mr. Stone, realizing the futility of trying to resist such numbers, gave himself up. The band condescended to allow him to dress, before he began the journey which he knew was to end in his death. About a half a mile from his home, the band stopped and he was ordered to prepare for death. Mr. Stones fortitude and bravery so enraged one of the band, that he struck his victim with a musket and broke his arm, just before another ruffian drew near and shot him through the temple, instantly killing him. This occurred in 1864 and is only one of the many instances when men became martyrs to this State, through the fierce vengeance of that ruffian band of guerrillas. To-day, near Trading Post, on the line between Kansas and Missouri, stands a monument to the men who suffered martyrdom.

A year after the death of her husband, Mrs. Stone, leaving the scene of her sorrows, moved with her family to Cherokee County, locating in Garden township, where she died in 1879.

John W. Stone received a common-school education in the schools of Missouri and Kansas. At the time of the removal of the family to Cherokee County, he was 14 years of age. He remained at home working on the farm until he was 17 years old, when he went out as a laborer. On May 8, 1870, he was United in marriage to Mary Berger, daughter of Adam and Eliza Berger, of Cherokee County. To this union were born five children, as follows,— William, a farmer in the Indian Territory, who married Eliza Rigsby and has five children, named as follows,—Goldie, Elsie, Ray, Paul and Hazel; Albert, living in Labette County, who married Carrie Raymer and has one child.—Floyd; Etta, who married G. W. Dale, engaged in the wholesale feed business in Joplin, Missouri, and has these children,—Grace, Essie, Otho, Opal, Earl and Marie; Dora, who married William Geary, a salesman living in Iola, Kansas, and has two children,—Murl and Weymouth; and Minnie, wife of Arthur Leroy Hubbard,—they reside with our subject.

After his marriage, Mr. Stone went to farming for himself. He also engaged in raising hay and stock, and has for nearly 20 years been a successful farmer. He also has large mining interests. He is a stanch member of the Republican party, for the principles of which his father suffered martyrdom. He is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. The farm on which our subject resides comprises 40 acres of well improved farm land, all under cultivation. It is one of the most desirable and comfortable of homes for himself and wife as they advance in years. Here they live, esteemed by neighbors and friends and enjoying the results of their labor in earlier years.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, instructor from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 6-27-97


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Tom & Carolyn Ward
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