Biography - John Stone

JOHN M. STONE, who entered the army shortly after the war broke out, ere he had attained man's estate, and served his country long and well on the terrible battlefields of the South, is a potent factor in sustaining and extending the agricultural interests of Johnson County. His farm, lying on section 23, Elvira Township, is finely improved, and is one of the most desirable places in the neighborhood.
Mr. Stone was born in Lincoln County, Tenn., November 27, 1842. His father, James Stone, was a native of the same county, while his grandfather, Moses Stone, is thought to have been a native of North Carolina, and was an early settler of Lincoln County, where he spent his last years.
The father of our subject was reared and married in Tennessee. He served in the Indian War in Florida, and received a land warrant for one hundred and sixty acres of land for his services. After his marriage he settled in his native State on a tract of land that his father gave him. In 1843 he decided to try his fortunes in Missouri, and emigrated thither with his wife and three children, traveling with a team, and cooking and camping on the way at nightfall for a period of seven weeks. Arriving at his destination in Hickory County, he entered a tract of Government land, and his first work was to build a log cabin to shelter his family. In 1858 he went into Arkansas prospecting, but did not find a location that suited him, and continuing his journey, he came to Illinois and selected Johnson County for his future home. He rented land and resided here until his death, April 1, 1868. His worthy wife survives him, and makes her home with her children. Her name was Mildred Reese before marriage, and she was born in Bedford County, Va., October 1, 1820. Her father, Robert Reese, was likewise a native of that county, and was a son of Berry and Sarah Reese. He removed from Virginia to Tennessee in 1832, bought land in Lincoln County, Tenn., and improved a farm, upon which he dwelt until his life was rounded out by his death. The maiden name of his wife was Nancy Minor. She was born in the same Virginia county that he was, and was a daughter of William and Mildred (St. John) Minor. The parents of our subject had eight children, two sons and six daughters.
John M. Stone, of this sketch, was an infant when the family removed to Missouri. There were no free schools whatsoever where they lived, and all were taught on the subscription plan, the one that our subject attended being held in a log house that had no floor, and was heated by a fireplace, while the furniture was of the most primitive home manufacture. The seats were made by splitting logs, hewing one side smooth, and inserting wooden pins for legs, and they had no backs and no desks in front. The family being poor, young Stone began at an early period of his career to assist in its support. He made his home beneath the parental roof until 1861. In August of that year he volunteered his services to help save the Old Flag from dishonor, enlisting in Company B, Thirty-first Illinois Infantry, commanded by John A. Logan. He acted well his part as a soldier in the many battles in which he took part, among which we may mention the following: Belmont, where he received a flesh wound in the arm, which was the only mark of the enemy's skill in shooting of which he could boast throughout his long experience in the army; after Belmont, Ft. Henry, Ft. Donelson, Shiloh, siege of Corinth, Champion Hill, Raymond,aud the siege and capture of Vicksburg. He veteranized in January, 1864, and was granted a furlough of thirty days. He then rejoined his command at Clifton, Tenn., in season to take part in the battle waged at that point, and subsequently accompanied Gen. Sherman on his famous campaign to Atlanta, and from that city to the sea with the victorious army, and still onward to Washington through the Carolinas and by way of Petersburgh and Richmond to the capital of the Nation, where our subject and his comrades participated in the Grand Review of the Union forces. From there his regiment was sent to Louisville, and thence to Springfield, where it was honorably discharged in July, 1865, after a long and bitter experience of the horrors of war, extending over a period of four years.
Soon after his return Mr. Stone bought forty acres of land in Elvira Township, which he occupied until 1878, when he purchased his present farm on section 23, of the same township. It is a well-kept farm of one hundred and eighty acres, of which one hundred and fifty acres are in a fine state of cultivation, and it is amply provided with good buildings for every needed purpose. Our subject has his place well stocked with a good class of cattle, horses and hogs. Mr. Stone is a worthy member of the Grand Army of the Republic, belonging to Vienna Post No. 221. He and his wife are also closely identified with the religious elevation of the community as active members of the Missionary Baptist Church.
Mr. Stone was first married to Miss Mary Kennedy, in November, 1866. She was born in Kentucky, and was a daughter of Jefferson and Polly Kennedy. She died in June, 1871, leaving two children, Clementine and Austin. The second marriage of our subject was with Christiana Doudy, who was born in Stoddard County, Mo., June 7, 1851, and is a daughter of Thomas and Eliza (Riddle) Doudy, who were natives of North Carolina, and were pioneers of Stoddard County. Mr. and Mrs. Stone have eight children living: Minnie Belle, Frank, Florence, Rollin, Edgar, Lemuel, Bessie and Dolly.

Extracted 24 Jul 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 262-263

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