Joseph E. Stone. A resident of Montgomery County since 1870, Joseph E. Stone has long been one of the leading farmers and stockraisers of this part of the state, and since 1907 has been president of the Home National Bank of Caney, one of the most reliable and substantial financial institutions of the county. It is difficult to conceive of a more solid combination for the attainment of financial security than a bank founded upon the prosperity and landed values of such a rich agricultural country as Montgomery County. Mr. Stone is one of the largest stockholders in the bank and his status as a farmer and a citizen is typical of the material upon which it rests and which has made the institution of which he is the head illustrative of the best type of bank in a farming community–something founded upon a rock, which the speculations and the panies of the metropolis cannot affect.
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Joseph E. Stone was born in Waldo County, Maine, July 26, 1842, and inherits the sterling New England qualities of character, as well as sturdy traits which come from Scotch-Irish progenitors. His paternal grandfather was Jonathan Stone, who was born in Massachusetts in 1771, and died in Waldo County, Maine, in 1856. He followed the sea for many years in his early life, but in later years settled down to farming in Maine and was so engaged at the time of his death. Jonathan Stone, father of Joseph E., was born in Maine and was reared to the life of an agriculturist, a vocation which he followed throughout his long and useful career. He married Sarsh Stevens, also a native of the Pine Tree State, and they became the parents of the following children: Joseph E., of this review; Mary Elletta, the wife of J. H. Freeman, who was connected with the schools of Aurora, Illinois, for many years as superintendent, and also was state superintendent of schools for some time, and now living in retirement at Aurora; Addie E., widow of the late Issac Struble, who died in 1914, after a long and successful career in the law and in public life, having been for a number of years congressman from the Eleventh Congressional District of Iowa, while his widow now makes her home at Lamar, that state; and Jonathan, who died in 1914, at Vassalboro, Maine, after a career in farming.
Joscph E. Stone was reared in Maine, and when a boy attended the public schools of that state, being at one time a pupil of the late Hon. Nelson Dingley, the author of the famous Dingley Tariff Bill. When sixteen years of age he became a school teacher and for four years followed that vocation, his career as an educator being interrupted by the outbreak of the Civil war. In the latter part of the year 1862, Mr. Stone enlisted in Company B, Twenty-sixth Regiment, Maine Volunteer Infantry, but soon after his enlistment, with others, he was permitted to attend a military academy at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for three months, in order to prepare for and become an officer of colored troops in the Union service. After having successfully passed a test examination, he was commissioned second lieutensant, and as such went forward to the field of actual war service with the Forty-first Regiment, United States Colored Infantry. A few months later, he was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant of the same company, which had seen its first hattle in the breastworks before Richmond, Virginia. Mr. Stone continued to serve in the Army of Virginia, Twenty-fifth Corps, and won a splendid war record, having been several times in command of his company. He won also an enviable reputation as a driller of recruits and soldiers, and equal distinction for courage, coolness and fidelity on the field of battle. He was present at Appomattox Courthouse when General Lee surrendered to General Grant, April 9, 1865, and in the following May, with his corps, was ordered to Texas, to protect the Rio Grande, or the border from trouble that might arise because of certain complications with Mexico. Later the command was ordered to Louisville, Kentucky, where its members were honorably discharged in December, 1865. Mr. Stone then returned to his Maine home, but in January, 1866, was commissioned first lieutenant of the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Regiment, United States Colored Infantry, which was sent westward to contend with the hostile Indians of the great plains. The regiment proceeded to Fort McRey, New Mexico, and after a service of twenty months returned to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where it was mustered out of the United States service in November, 1867. Mr. Stone is familiarly known as “Captain” Stone, which title comes not from his Civil war service, but from being captain of a company of “Wide-Awakes” at Independence, Kansas.
After receiving his honorable discharge at Fort Leavenworth, Captain Stone again visited his parental home, but after a short stay returned to the West, early in 1868, and located at Lees Summit, Jackson County, Missouri, where he engaged in the commission business with a measure of success until 1870. In that year he removed to Caney, Kansas, and there embarked in farming, breaking the wild prairie land with an ox team and thus beginning what subsequently became a very successful business career. He has continued his farming activities up to the present time and for years has been extensively dealing in cattle, also raising large herds. He owns over 1,000 acres of valuable land and is a holder of interests in numerous enterprises of a business and financial character.
Since 1907 Mr. Stone has been president of the Home National Bank, which was incorporated as a national bank in 1900 and owns its own banking house at the corner of Fourth Avenue and State Street. The present officers of this institution are: Joseph E. Stone, president; G. T. Braden, vice president; Elmer Brown, cashier; and H. V. Bolinger, assistant cashier. The bank has a capital of $40,000 and a surplus of $5,000, and under the direction of Mr. Stone is increasing its deposits each year, and strengthening its reputation as a solid and trusted repository. Captain Stone’s successful business career, due wholly to his own individual efforts, and the commendable interest he has taken in all movements for the general welfare and public interests of his community, have united to win for him the deserved respect and universal esteem of his fellowcitizens. He has materially contributed to the upbuilding of the flourishing City of Caney, where he has so long resided and where he has held various positions of honor and trust. He was one of the very first to take an active part in the securing of the glass factories for Caney and to support his interest by taking stock therein.
In politics, Mr. Stone is a “stand pat” republican and has taken a more than ordinarily active part in party affairs. In 1871 he was elected the first sheriff of Montgomery County, an office to which he was re-elected in 1873, and during the entire four years of his incumbency gave excellent service to the county. During the ’70s and ’80s he acted as a member of the local board of school directors, later was justice of the peace, and for seven years during President Roosevelt’s administration held the office of postmaster. Fraternally, he belongs to the Ancient Order of United Workmen, No. 160, of Caney, and is known as the “father” of the Masonic order at Caney, belonging to Caney Lodge No. 324, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and to Keystone Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, of Independence, Kansas. The bank of which he is the directing head holds membership in the Kansas State Bankers Association and the American Bankers Association.
At Independence, Kansas, in 1874, Mr. Stone was united in marriage with Miss Anna Van Sandt, also a native of Missouri, who died in 1897. They became the parents of the following children: Arthur F., who is connected with the Ford Automobile Company, and resides at Kansas City, Missouri; H. G., an employe of the Prairie Pipe Line Company, residing at Cansy; Myrtle, of Fort Worth, Texas, wife of Sol Summerfield, a traveling man for a wholesale jewelry and notions house of St. Louis, Missouri; Roy M., of Fort Worth, Texas, connected with the wholesale and retail dry goods establishment of Stripling & Company; and Earl E., of East St. Louis, Illinois, chief auditor of the Western Weighing Association, a concern in which Armour, Swift and other large packers are interested.