Ralph C. Stone is a native Kansan and since early manhood had been identified with Harvey County as a farmer, merchant and banker. He is now cashier of the Hesston State Bank.
The Hesston State Bank was established in 1907, with Mr. William F. Rapp as its first president. Mr. Rapp is still president, with H. Schilling, vice president, Mr. Stone, cashier, and Miss May Rapp, assistant cashier. The bank owned the modern brick block in which it is situated on Main Street. It is one of the stronger country banks of Western Kansas. Its capital is $10,000, surplus and profits $13,000, and deposits $90,000.
Ralph C. Stone represents a pioneer family in Kansas, while his ancestors were very early settlers in the State of Ohio. His father, James P. Stone, was born in Ohio in April, 1844, and when a boy accompanied his parents to Iowa, in which state he grew up on a farm near Van Buren. Coming to Kansas in 1872, he homesteaded 160 acres of the public domain in West Branch Township of Marion County. He developed his homestead, but in 1896 sold it and moved to another farm in Sedgwick Township of Harvey County, and after four years retired from active farming and moved to Halstead. In 1917 he and his wife went west to enjoy the sunny climate of California and now make their home at Sawtelle. As a democrat he was honored with various township offices in Kansas. James P. Stone is an old soldier, having enlisted in 1863 and served eighteen months in the Third Iowa Cavalry, until the close of the war. Among other engagements he fought at Guntown, Missippippi, and also in the great Atlanta campaign. James P. Stone married Lucy Mathewson, who was born in Iowa, in December, 1846. Their children are: Guy, a farmer and teacher at Colburn, Colorado; Ralph C.; Dwight, who died in infancy; Rosalia R., unmarried and living at Auburn, Washington; and Vance, who died in infancy.
Ralph C. Stone spent the first twenty-three years of his life on his father’s farm, and was a practical farmer before he was a merchant or banker. His education was acquired in the rural schools of Marion County and in the Central Normal College at Great Bend. In 1901 he began farming for himself, spending one year in Sedgwick Township and then six years north of Walton in Walton Township of Harvey County. Mr. Stone became a merchant at Hesston in 1908, and sold hardware and implements until 1912. At that date he entered the Hesston State Bank as bookkeeper, was promoted to assistant cashier in January, 1913, and had held the post of cashier since January 1, 1914.
He had prospered in a business way, is treasurer of the Hesston Rural Telephone Company, owned his residence on Academy Street and also another dwelling house and a business block in the town. Mr. Stone is an active democrat in politics and is now serving as clerk of Emma Township. He is a member and trustee of the Evangelical Association Church.
July 5, 1901, at Newton, he married Miss Wilhelmina R. Schulz, daughter of John and Charlotte Schulz, who live at Halstead, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Stone have one child, James Rodney, born February 23, 1905.