Biography - Joseph Stone

JOSEPH STONE, a prominent farmer of Pope County, who has resided on his present two hundred and sixty acre farm on section 25, Eddyville Precinct, for the past twenty-six years, was born in Johnson County, Ill., in 1839. His father, John Stone, removed from North Carolina to Kentucky and located for a time in Wayne County, whence he removed to Illinois in 1838. He and a brother-in-law made the removal together with the old-time two wheeled cart and tar spindle drawn by a single yoke of oxen. They also had some pack horses. They were squatters in Illinois for more than fifteen years, when Mr. Stone sold his improvements and made others, selling again for a small sum.
Our subject's father at length bought forty acres, for which he received a deed, then laid a land warrant on forty acres, and at last borrowed $100 with which he purchased eighty acres, making one hundred and sixty acres in all. He gave one cow for the interest on the $100 for twelve months. Still later he obtained forty acres of "Bitt land," that is, land under the Bitt Act, thus bringing his farm up to two hundred acres. Of this he now has about one hundred acres under cultivation. His first wife, the mother of Joseph Stone, was Susan Mounce, of Kentucky, in which State they were married in 1834. She bore him four sons and two daughters, of whom Joseph was the third child and second son. One daughter died in infancy, the rest still survive, except Wilford, a young man, who died in Arkansas in 1865. The mother of these children died in Johnson County in 1849, in middle life, and the father was married the second time, to Mary A. Jackson, of Tennessee. She bore him eleven children, five sons and six daughters, all of whom arrived at adult age but one. The father died on his farm in 1880, aged sixty-eight. His widow is still living in Pope County, at the age of sixty-six.
Joseph Stone was reared at home to farm labor from early boyhood, and received but little education, and that little in the rude log cabin so frequently described in these pages. This was in 1844, and his teacher was L. William Fern, elsewhere referred to in this work. Soon after this time there was a schoolhouse with a plank floor instead of the one with a dirt floor, and here he learned to read and write and cipher. Since then he has so well applied himself to reading in his spare moments, that he is now a well-informed man, and has a good practical education. In September, 1861, he joined the Union army, becoming a member of Company B, Sixth Illinois Cavalry. He was then in his twenty-second year. He served three and a quarter years, and during the whole time was never marked off duty. In the battle of Franklin, Tenn., he received a gun-shot wound in the ankle, this being not long before he was discharged. Returning home after the war, he was married January 28, 1866, to Miss Jane Lay, daughter of Moses and Jane (Reagan) Lay, who were from Tennessee, where Miss Lay was born in 1848. Upon removing to Johnson County, Ill., her father became a farmer, and there her mother died in middle life, leaving five sons and two daughters. The father lived many years afterward, and was married again, to a widow named Bryant, nee Burns. He died at the age of sixty-two.
Mr. and Mrs. Stone have buried one son and one daughter: Charles S. at twelve, and Mary E. at seventeen. The children living are as follows: Frank, who has a wife and two children, and who is a farmer in the vicinity; John, a single man at home; Ephraim, nineteen years old; Jennie, nine; and Gracie, six. They have all had good opportunities to secure an education. Mr. and Mrs. Stone settled immediately after their marriage on one hundred acres of land which he had purchased during the war. He now has in this farm two hundred and fifty-nine acres, and in Johnson County he has one hundred and seventy acres, the old farm of his wife's father. Mr. Stone is a Democrat in politics, and has been all his life. He and his wife are members of the United Baptist Church. He has always carried on general farming, and raises as much as three thousand bushels of corn and eight hundred and fifty bushels of wheat. He also raises some oats, hay and clover seed. He realizes more than many farmers do the value of clover to the soil. He also raises horses, cattle, sheep and hogs, and markets some of each. He prefers the Poland-China hogs which are of a fine registered stock. Mr. Stone is a successful farmer and a highly esteemed citizen.

Extracted 16 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 586-587.

Templates in Time