SAMUEL STONE KNOLES. - The ancestry of Mr. Knoles were English people. He traces the history of the family back to Richard Knolles of Northamptonshire and Norwich, England. He had a son Henry Knolles, who was the father of Edward Knolles. The latter's son, Daniel Knoles, came to America with Lord Delaware and settled in Sussex county, Delaware. Daniel Knoles had a son Edmund Knoles, and he had a son James, who was the father of Richard Knoles. The last named was the father of James Knoles, and he the father of Prettyman Knoles, whose son Asa Knoles was the father of Samuel Stone Knoles, the subject of this sketch.
Asa Knoles was born in Gibson county, Indiana, November 18, 1818, and was the son of Prettyman and Patsy (Greer) Knoles. He was educated in the common schools of the country. In 1846 he removed from Indiana to Illinois and settled in Menard county, where he continued to reside up to the time of his death, which occurred November 17, 1863. Asa Knoles was a Democrat, his first vote being cast for Andrew Jackson and his last for Stephen A. Douglas. He was associated with no secret society; his religious views were liberal; and he lived and died a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. He was joined in marriage to Dorcas Stone, of Gibson county, Indiana, in June, 1838. She was the daughter of Thomas Stone, who represented Maryland in congress in 1776 and signed the Declaration of Independence. The children of Asa Knoles were Samuel S., of San Diego, California; John L., of San Bernardino, California; Jacob J., of Bartlesville, Indian Territory; Martin V., of Linden, Oklahoma; Prettyman M. of Greenview, Illinois; Thomas S., of Los Angeles, California; Eli A. of Greenview, Illinois; Sarah E., deceased; Louisa Stone, of Ontario, California; and Jane and Elizabeth, who died in infancy. Dorcas Knoles died in August 1857, and Asa Knoles subsequently married Nancy Montgomery, a daughter of William Montgomery, who was a prominent citizen of Gibson county, Indiana, and a representative in the legislature of that state. To this union were born four daughters: Martha Ellen, Margaret Dorcas, Arminda and Arcinda.
Samuel Stone Knoles was born in Gibson county, Indiana, March 20, 1840, and is the son of Asa and Dorcas (Stone) Knoles. His father being a farmer and stock-raiser, Samuel enjoyed no better advantages for an education than the common country schools until when a young man he went one year to Bethel College at McLemoresville, Tennessee, taking a course in Latin, German and rhetoric. His experience, habits and tastes in youth were those of the ordinary farm lad in Menard county. He early developed a taste for the law and politics. His first business after leaving school was to teach school in order to enable him to acquire a better education preparatory to the study of his chosen profession.
In 1861, when the war cloud hung over the country, he was reading law in the office of General John A. McClernand and Judge N. M. Broadwell in Springfield, Illinois. On August 4, 1862, he enlisted as a private in Company K, One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry and was mustered out August 10, 1865. He was first duty sergeant in his company. Besides many skirmishes he was in the battle of Jackson, Mississippi, May 14, 1863, and at the siege of Vicksburg, and was in the great charges against that stronghold May 19 and 22, 1863. After the fall of Vicksburg he was in the siege and battle of Jackson from July 10 to July 16, 1863. He was in the expedition which left Memphis, Tennessee, June 1, 1864, under General Sturgis, which was disastrously defeated at Brices Crossroads, or Guntown, Mississippi, June 10, 1864. In this battle Mr. Knoles was severely wounded, left on the field and became a prisoner of war. He was shot through the upper portion of the right lung and seriously injured by the concussion of a minie-ball over the heart. This deadly missile was prevented from penetrating the heart by a bundle of letters from Miss Grace Isabelle Terhune, who afterward became his wife and the mother of his children. He was in prison nine months at Mobile, Alabama, Andersonville, Georgia, and Florence, South Carolina. He was sent to the Union lines at Wilmington, North Carolina, March 4, 1865.
At the close of the war Mr. Knoles resumed the study of law under Hon. T. W. McNeely, of Petersburg, and was admitted to the bar in 1869. In November after his return from the army he was elected assessor and treasurer of Menard county, defeating the late Captain S. H. Blane by a small majority. In 1867 he defeated his cousin Jesse Knoles for the same office by a majority of two hundred votes. In 1870 he was elected to the house of representatives of Illinois from the district composed of Cass and Menard counties, defeating Hon. William T. Beekman by a majority of over seven hundred votes. He also served as states attorney for Menard county and city attorney for Petersburg.
Mr. Knoles was married to Miss Grace Isabelle Terhune, December 27, 1865. She was a daughter of William Terhune of Menard county. To this union three children were born, namely: Carrie L. Hoyt, of Foster, California; E. Effie K. Fouche, of Petersburg, Illinois; and Fred T., of San Francisco, California. They are all married and there are eleven grandchildren. Mrs. Knoles died May 29, 1872, and her remains repose in Rose Hill cemetery. In November, 1872, Mr. Knoles removed to Chanute, Kansas, where he met and married Miss Lois Barrett, a daughter of William D. Barrett, of Wooster, Ohio, and a sister of Dr. Joseph Barrett, who was a surgeon in the Twenty-third Ohio Regiment during the Civil war, the only regiment in the history of the country that ever furnished two presidents -- Hayes and McKinley. To this union were born two sons and one daughter: Asa B., of San Diego, California; William D., of San Francisco, California; and Mila M. Schulenburg, of San Francisco. Each of them now has a son.
Mr. Knoles is now located at San Diego, California, and is engaged in the practice of law. He is also United States commissioner for the southern district of California. He was reared a Cumberland Presbyterian, but is broad and liberal in his religious views, holding that that which a person conscientiously believes and practices is the true religion for that person. He belongs to the Masons, the Eastern Star and the Grand Army of the Republic. In politics he is a Democrat, his first vote being cast for Hon. T. W. McNeely for the constitutional convention of 1870. His first vote for president was a white bean for General George B. McClellan in Andersonville prison.