Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
JAMES A. STONE
, who is one of the active and thrifty farmers, fruit-growers and stock-raisers of Gardner township, owns and operates one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 15, within six miles of the city of Springfield. He is a native son of Sangamon county, his birth having occurred May 6, 1842, on the farm where he yet resides. His father, Ossian L. Stone, was a native of New York and a son of the Rev. Asabel Stone, whose birth occurred in New England. The Stone family is of English descent and was established in Ameria in 1635 by two brothers, Gregory and Simon Stone, who settled in Massachusetts. Gregory Stone was the ancestor of Miss Ellen Stone, the famous missionary whose capture by bandits in Turkey at a recent date excited the interest and sympathy of the whole world. O. O. Stone, the father of our subject, was reared to manhood in the Empire state and when a young man came to the west in the twenties, locating in Sangamon County. Here he entered from the government the land
which is now owned and occupied by James A. Stone, the latter having in his possession the old patent for eighty acres signed by Andrew Jackson and another patent for a similar tract signed by Martin Van Buren. Ossian L. Stone was united in marriage to Abigail C. Stewart, a native of New York, and after locating in Sangamon county he devoted his energies untiringly to the development and cultivation of his farm, which he placed under a high state of improvements, making his home thereon until his death, which occurred in 1850, when his son James was but eight years of age. His widow remained upon the old homestead and there reared her children, the family numbering three sons and a daughter who reached mature years. One son died at the age of nineteen, C. A. Stone is now a resident of Springfield, while the daughter, Laura L., is now the wife of Henry Knowles of Decatur. James A. Stone spent his childhood upon the old home farm and pursued his education in the district schools and in the
Springfield high school. After arriving at years of maturity he purchased the interest of the other heirs in the old home place and thus became the owner of the farm which has been his residence throughout his entire life. He has erected here a neat and attractive dwelling, good barns and other necessary outbuildings, and has planted an orchard. He has also set out small fruits, shade and ornamental trees and has over three miles of tiling upon his farm. In addition to the cultivation of the cereals best adapted to the soil and climate he is also engaged in raising a good grade of stock and deals quite extensively in thoroughbred Oxford sheep. He also feeds and fattens hogs and cattle for the market and his varied business interests, including the production of grain, fruit and stock, have made him a prosperous citizen of the community, while his life has been one of earnest and untiring activity. In Morgan county, Illinois, on the 26th of September, 1866, Mr. Stone was united in marriage to
Miss Eliza Allyn, a native of Illinois, reared in Macoupin and Morgan counties. Mr. and Mrs. Stone have one son, Percy Allyn, who is a young man of exemplary habits and high moral character, living at home with his parents. He enjoyed good educational privileges, being a graduate of the high school of Springfield of the class of 1892, while he also pursued a course in the Illinois University in 1896, studying electrical engineering. He afterwards constructed a dynamo which is used in lighting the new machinery hall. At the present time he is assisting his father in the operation of the home farm. Mr. and Mrs. Stone lost one son, Roy, who died at the age of five years, and a daughter, Jessie, who died at the age of ten, both passing away within a week, of scarlet fever. At the time of the Civil war Mr. Stone offered his services to the government in 1864 for a term of one hundred days, enlisting in Company A., One Hundred and Thirty-third Illinois Infantry. He was sent to Rock Island, where he
was engaged in doing guard duty until the close of his term, when he was honorably discharged in the month of October. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and also belongs to the Modern Woodmen Camp and the Court of Honor. Politically he was identified with the Republican party for many years, but of recent years has given his support to the Prohibition party. For twenty-three years he served as township school treasurer and has filled other offices of honor and trust, discharging his duties in a most creditable and capable manner. For some years he has been chairman of the township central committee and has served as a delegate to numerous county, congressional and state conventions, and has also attended the national conventions. Both he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church at Farmingdale and for more than a quarter of a century he served as one of its elders. Having spent his entire life in Sangamon county he has a wide acquaintance here and is held in high regard
by all who know him. He has witnessed much of the progress and development of the county, for during his boyhood days it still had many of the features of pioneer life, but as the years have passed all these have given way before the advancing civilization, which has brought improvements in very line of business life. In matters pertaining to the general good Mr.Stone has ever borne his part and has always been a friend of social, material, intellectual and moral improvement.