History of Iowa From the Earliest Times To The Beginning of the Twentieth Century
Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.
William M. Stone, sixth Governor of Iowa, was born in Jefferson County, New York, October 14, 1827. In 1834 his parents removed to Coshocton, Ohio, and for two seasons he drove horses on the canal and when seventeen was apprenticed to a chairmaker. At twenty-one he began to read law and in 1851 was admitted to the bar. In 1854 he emigrated to Knoxville, Iowa, and began practice. He purchased the Knoxville Journal and took editorial charge of it. Mr. Stone was a delegate to the convention which organized the Republican party and was nominated for presidential elector in the Fremont campaign of that year. He was an eloquent public speaker and won wide reputation. In April, 1857, he was elected judge of the Eleventh District. When the Civil War began he raised a company for the Third Infantry and was commissioned major of the regiment. He was taken prisoner at the Battle of Shiloh and after his release was appointed colonel of the Twenty-second Infantry. He resigned in August, 1863, having been nominated for Governor by the Republican State Convention.
He at once entered upon the campaign and was elected over Colonel James M. Tuttle the Democratic candidate, by more than 38,000 majority. He was reelected by a reduced majority and during his term his private secretary in the absence of the Governor appropriated to his own use funds belonging to various counties of the State. An investigation by the General Assembly exonerated the Governor from any knowledge of or participation in the transactions. In 1877 Governor Stone was elected to the House of the Seventeenth General Assembly. In 1888 he was chosen one of the presidential electors and upon the accession of President Harrison he was appointed Assistant Commissioner of the Land Office at Washington and later was promoted to Commissioner. Governor Stone died in Oklahoma Territory, July 18, 1893.