HENRY H. STONE. If industry, hard work and ceaseless activity, united with a strong and determined pers everance can accomplish anything in this world, then Mr. Stone is bound to succeed, for in him are to be found all the characteristics mentioned, and indeed he is deserving of more than ordinary credit for his career thus far in life. He is a product of the Sucker State, born in Johnson County February 12, 1845.
He is the son of Thomas and Esther (May) Stone, both natives of Kentucky. The grandfather, Reuben Stone, was born in North Carolina, but at an early age emigrated to Kentucky, where his son Thomas grew to manhood. The latter is a mechanic by trade and has followed that all his life. He moved from his native State to Johnson County, Illinois, where he married Miss Esther E. May, and made his home there for a number of years, holding while there the office of justice of the peace for some time, moving thence to Jackson County, where the subject of our sketch was raised and educated. About 1889 he came to Billings, and there his wife died in October, 1892. She was a worthy member of the Baptist Church and Mr. Stone holds membership in the same at the present time. He is still living in Billings, and is retired from the active duties of life. In politics he is a Republican. No man is more highly respected in the community than he. His marriage resulted in the birth of nine children, seven of whom are living as follows: Henry H. (subject), the eldest; Sarah E., wife of James Murray, of Simpson, Illinois; John, who is living in Marion, Williamson County,Illinois; Jennie, the wife of W. S. Taylor, of Centralia, Illinois; Mary, the wife of J. H. Kastendrick, of Billings; William, who is living in the West, single; and Fannie, the wife of Benjamin Newson, of Carbondale, the latter being editor of a paper. Two children died young.
In the neighborhood where he was born our subject spent his early days, and supplemented a common-school education by attending Carbondale College. In 1874 he engaged in the milling business at Billings, but previous to this he was married to Miss Amanda E. Purdy, a native of Jackson County, Illinois, born January 6, 1851, and the daughter of Henry and Jane (Davis) Purdy. She was left motherless when four years of age, and her father died a soldier at Bowling Green, Kentucky, during the war. She was then reared by an uncle.
Shortly after their marriage, which occurred on the 25th of October, 1874, this young couple came to Billings, where Mr. Stone embarked in milling, as before stated. He built the mill now standing in that city, it being the first in this part of the county, and in company with John Owen erected it at a cost of about $2,500. After operating this for about four years Mr. Stone sold out and engaged in the saw mill business in Stone County, continuing this for about seven years. During this time he was also operating his farm, forty acres, which he bought soon after coming to this county. This tract of land is located only half a mile from the depot of Billings and is as well improved as any place in the county. He has one of the finest homes, too. In the milling and lumber business he was successful, and after leaving the saw mill, he with J. W. Sanders engaged in the lumber business. They continued together about five years, when our subject bought out Mr. Sanders and continued the business alone for about two years. He then sold to Mr. John Tiede, the present owner, and engaged in the manufacture of paving brick, following the same for four or five years. In the lumber business he was successful, but did not do so well with the brick business. He is engaged in farming and makes a complete success of this. He has a lovely home and everything about the place shows taste and good judgment. In political matters Mr. Stone is a strong supporter of the Republican party. He is a member of the A. O. U. W. He and Mrs. Stone are members of the Christian Church, in which he is deacon, and both are highly esteemed in the community. Three children are the fruits of their union: Arthur H., born April 25, 1879, is at school; Eloise A., born February 22, 1882, and Paul Purdy, born June 22, 1888. In connection with farming Mr. Stone also gives his attention to fruit growing. He was elected to the office of associate judge and served in that capacity from 1882 to 1884. He has been director of Billings high school and has held other local positions.