Lee County Biography

Samuel Stone
Son of Luther Stone

Nelson Township


No name is more worthy of perpetuation in the annals of this county than that of Samuel Stone. He is honored as one of the oldest settlers of Nelson Township, as the founder of the thriving village of Stone Station, and as a farmer who has met with more than ordinary success in the prosecution of his calling. He is one of the largest land holders in this section of Illinois and one of the most prosperous men of his class. He has been a hard worker in the past, and as the welcome shadows of evening gather around him in the sunset of a life well and honorably spent, he can rest from his labors, free from the cares that infested the day, in the substantial home that he has built on up on section 31 of the before mentioned township, enjoying the wealth that he has accumulated with a busy hand, aided by a clear head, cool calculation, wise economy and far-seeing judgment.

Mr. Stone was born in the township of Aurora, Erie County, N. Y., December 18, 1823, a son of Luther Stone, one of the early Pioneers of Lee County, who was likewise a native of the Empire State, the town of Weston being his birthplace. He was reared to farming pursuits in his native town, and during some period of his life took tip his abode in Concord Township, Erie County. where he carried on his occupation until he migrated to the wilds of Northern Illinois. He became an early pioneer of Lee County, which then had but few settlers, and was still in a state of nature. He subsequently entered forty acres of land from the government, which is now owned by his son Samuel, and made it his home many years until he rounded out his life in death during the war, sixty-four years after his birth. He had served through the War of 1812, and received a land warrant therefore, by which he procured his farm in Weston.

An honorable record as a pioneer of this section was won by Luther Stone, who lived to see the country well developed. He had his full share of the hardships and trials of the primitive life necessitated by the condition of a newly settled country far from the centers of civilization, hut his privations did not sour his disposition, or render him less sympathetic or kindly disposed toward others. In common with his fellow-pioneers he was exceedingly hospitable, and often gave a shelter to some traveler or emigrant family who met the generous welcome beneath his roof. At one time a man claimed his hospitality, and was well entertained by him, whom he afterward found to have been the notorious John Long, one of the murderers of Col. Davenport, of Rock Island. Mr. Stone was in full sympathy with the aim of the Republican party, and gave it his hearty support from the time of its organization until the day of his death. Religiously he was of the Methodist Episcopal faith and a member of the church.

The father of our subject was married in his native town to Lamina Warren, who was also born and reared there. Her death occurred in Nelson Township seventy years later, in 1878. She was a fine type of the pioneer women of Lee County, possessing strength of character and a tender, womanly nature. She too, was a pillar of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Her father, Henry B. Warren was a life long resident of Weston. He was a millwright by trade an d died from a sickness contracted while working in the mill pits, he being then in the prime of life. His daughter Lamina was two years old at the time of his death, and he had but one other daughter.

Samuel stone is one of a family of four sons and one daughter, the later and two of the former now dead. His only surviving brother Albert is unmarried and makes his home with him. Our subject began life in Lee County as an active, intelligent lad of twelve years, and his character was molded by pioneers influences. He saw the country in all its newness when there were still many Indians living here, and he learned of them their customs, mode of living and manner of hunting, and acquired considerable knowledge of their language so that he could converse with them in their own tongue. It may well be his pride that he has done so much to accelerate the growth of Lee County and add to its wealth.

After attaining his majority Mr. Stone made his first purchase of land, which forms a part of his homestead in Nelson Township. He made money by his operations, shrewdly invested it in other land which now aggregates three thousand two hundred acres, all told, of which more than twelve hundred acres are in this and Whiteside County adjoining. He has a like amount in Ida County Iowa, all under the plow, owns some fine land in Lincoln County, Kan., and a quarter section in Webster County, Neb., all of his realty being under a high state of cultivation and in a fine condition. While acquiring his property he has devoted himself assiduously to its development, and among other improvements has laid out the pretty village of Stone Station on the line of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway in Whiteside County, near the boundary of Lee County, planning it wisely and well, so that it is a most desirable place of residence.

As a man who has had the making of his own fortunes, our subject's career is worthy of emulation, and furthermore it furnishes a lesson that the young men of today who are just starting out in life for themselves may do well to heed. It is this: Mr. Stone has never allowed himself to become the victim of costly, not to say vicious, habits, and he says that a part of his wealth is due to his putting every cent, that some men would have spent for tobacco, into real estate that has increased in value as the years have gone by and made him rich. Mr. Stone is a Republican in politics, and has stood by his party through its adversities and triumphs during the whole of its existence. His religious affiliations are with the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he has held a membership many years. He is keenly alive to all that concerns the welfare of the community, has exerted a good influence in its moral and social elevation, and has responded generously to all appeals for help in carrying out plans for public improvement.

Our subject married in this county to Mrs. Eliza Stone, nee Power, widow of his brother Willard. She was a native of Virginia and came to Illinois, when young, with her parents, James and Hannah Power, who settled in Marshall County as pioneers of that section, and spent their remaining years there. After she grew to womanhood, Eliza Power was wedded to Willard Stone, who died in less than a year after marriage, leaving no offspring.

For half a century the wife of our subject walked with him hand in hand on the journey of life, and then death parted them, taking his beloved companion from the home that she had endeared by her presence for so many years, March 18, 1891. She was a noble woman, true in all the relations she sustained toward others, a devoted wife and tender mother, and a kind friend to her neighbors. She was a Christian in every sense, and was long a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Four children were born to her and our subject, of whom two are left to be the stay and comfort of his declining years; Reuben, a farmer of Nelson Township, who married Angie Webster of Polo; and Adelaide, wife of William Steadman, farmer, grain buyer and Postmaster at Stone Station. Of the two children who are dead, one died in infancy , and Alonzo D. died at the age of thirty years. He married Mary Ashland, who is now a resident of Rock Falls, and she bore him four children, of whom two are living.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892 Pg 669

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SAMUEL STONE (deceased) was born in Erie County, N.Y., Dec. 18, 1823, and came to Illinois in 1835, locating in what is now Nelson Township, Lee County, and entered his first tract of land from the Government, for which he paid $1.25 per acre. He married Mrs. Eliza (Power) Stone, widow of his brother, and they have three children: Reuben, Alonzo D. and Louisa A. Mr. Stone was very successful as a land-dealer, and at the time of his death, was the owner of 3,000 acres of land, located in Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. He was employed by the Government in surveying the land through this section of the State. He died at the age of seventy-five years.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1904 History of Lee County Illinois edited by Mr. A.C. Bardwell

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