Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. I, p. 513
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
Not only has the subject of this all too short sketch seen Kansas grow from a wild country, with only a few white inhabitants, to a rich agricultural country, containing thousands of good homes and acres of growing towns, inhabited by an industrious, prosperous, enlightened and progressive people, but he has participated in and assisted the slow, persistent work of development which was necessary to produce a change which is so complete that is has come to be popularly referred to as magical.
Twenty-nine years have passed since Solomon Stone arrived in Rice county, and throughout the entire period he has been classed among the valued and influential citizens. He was born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, July 24, 1845, and represents one of the old and honored families of the Keystone state. He is descended from good old Revolutionary stock, for his paternal grandfather, a native of Pennsylvania, served for seven years with the Colonial army in its attempt to win American independence Ė an attempt which was ultimately crowned with brilliant victory and resulted in the establishment of the grandest republic on the face of the globe. He was a cooper by trade, an honest farmer and a loyal citizen, and his descendants certainly have every reason to be proud of this ancestor. His children were: John, Michael, James, Adam, Peter, Mrs Margaret Fultz and Elizabeth, wife of Rev Steele.
John Stone, the father of our subject, was also born in the Keystone state and spent his boyhood days in his parentsí home, becoming familiar with the work of coopering under his fatherís directions. He possessed considerable mechanical ability and was energetic and industrious in carrying on his agricultural pursuits. He married Miss Catherine Beegle, who was born and reared in Pennsylvania. Her parents were consistent members of the Lutheran church, and in their family were seven children, namely: Catherine; Benjamin, who died in Ohio; Charles, Solomon and Frederick, who passed away in Pennsylvania; Mrs Rebecca Shafer; and Mrs Phebe Rosenfield. Throughout his entire life John Stone, Jr, resided upon the old family homestead. He was a sturdy, industrious man and gave his undivided attention to his business affairs, and his record was as an open book, containing no blotted or turned down pages. He, too, held membership in the Lutheran church and his wife was a consistent Christian of the same religious faith. They had seven children: John, who died in 1862; Mahala, now Mrs Anders; Daniel, who died in Barber county, Kansas, in September, 1901; Reuben, who died in October, 1901, in Ohio; Mrs Rebecca Beegle, of Pennsylvania; Washington, deceased; and Solomon.
The last named remained in the east during his early boyhood and youth, continuing with his parents until seventeen years of age, when he determined to seek a fortune in the west and made his way to Illinois. There he engaged in the operation of rented land for a time and afterward went to Minnesota, where he was employed in a brick yard. In 1866 he entered the service of the bridge company engaged on the construction of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad in Iowa. For nine months he was with the company and then returned to Illinois, where again he engaged in farming, that industry occupying his attention until 1873, when he arrived in Kansas and located a homestead in Rice county. He built thereon a small house and began the work of improving his claim. The same year he returned to Illinois and in 1874 he secured as a companion and helpmate for the journey of life Miss Diana L Kaiser, a lady of intelligence and culture, who was born in Ohio, February 10, 1850, her parents being John S and Diana (Miller) Kaiser. Her father was a native of Switzerland and was a son of Rev John and Ann (Simmons) Kaiser, both of whom were also natives of the land of the Alps. The grandfather devoted his early life to teaching the higher branches of learning. After coming to the new world and attaining to manís estate John Kaiser, the father of Mrs Stone, was married to Miss Diana Miller, who was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, and was a daughter of Scott Miller. He, too, was born in the Keystone state and was of German descent. His wife bore the family name of Williams prior to her marriage. In 1864 Mr and Mrs Kaiser removed to Illinois and he purchased a tract of land, devoting his energies to agricultural pursuits from that time until his death, which occurred May 14, 1890, when he was sixty-six years of age, his birth having occurred in 1824. His wife survived him until May 26, 1897, when she, too, was called away. She held membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. They had six children: John A, of Illinois; Marion, who is living at Homestead, Illinois; Diana L, now Mrs Stone; Lucy, the wife of S Baxter; Anna, the wife of D Payne; and Clarissa, who married S Baxter, she being his first wife, and after her death he married her sister Lucy. Unto Mr and Mrs Stone have been born two children, Ivan L and Silver S.
Soon after his marriage Mr Stone brought his bride to his Kansas home and has remained continuously since upon his farm. He entered the first claim in the neighborhood and made the first improvement upon land in this section of the county. The prairie was a billowy sea of grass, and some game was yet to be secured, while wild beasts roamed at will over the country. The nearest postoffice was at Atlanta and the pioneer settlers made their purchases at Sterling. Not long after Mr Stone began farming the grasshoppers destroyed everything green; his young trees and hedges were stripped of their foliage and crops were completely ruined. To meet expenses until another year had passed and crops were again ready to be harvested required economical management and strong determination, but this was done by Mr and Mrs Stone, who with resolute purpose had come to the county to make their home. They bore heroically the hardships and difficulties of pioneer life, and as the years passed the labors of Mr Stone have resulted in the development of his rich and productive farm. He has always been able to raise corn with the exception of one year, and his wheat crops have been uniformly good. He has also raised hogs to some extent. Splendid improvements have been placed upon his property, including the erection of a commodious two-story frame residence, which was the first house of any pretension in the neighborhood. He also built a large barn and other outbuildings and has added many conveniences, including the latest improved machinery, and an orchard and a grove are among the attractive features of his place. One of the most desirable farming properties in Rice county today is that now owned by Mr Stone. He has added to his land until he now owns four hundred acres of good land, all under a high state of cultivation. In the management of his affairs he has manifested excellent business ability and executive force and is recognized as a capable financier. In his political affiliations he was formerly a Republican, but is now an advocate of the Reform party. He has served as justice of the peace, but has never aspired to political notoriety.