WILLIAM W. STONE.
It is always of interest to examine into the history of a self-made man and note the qualities in his character that have brought him success. William W. Stone deserves to be ranked among this class and after many years active identification with agricultural interests he is now living a retired life in Greenview. He was born at Irish Grove, Menard county, on the 7th day of May, 1833, representing one of the old pioneer families of this state. His parents were Ambrose Lee and Catherine (Walker) Stone, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Kentucky. The father came to Menard county in 1828, casting in his lot among the frontier settlers, and here he turned his attention to farming, which he carried on continuously until his death, which occurred on the 27th of May, 1865. He had long survived his wife, who had passed away in 1843.
William W. Stone acquired his early education in the public schools and afterward spent six months as a student in Iowa. His training at farm labor was not meager for in his youth he was instructed in the best methods of cultivating the fields and caring for the stock. To his father he gave the benefit of his service until he was about thirty years of age, after which he engaged in farming for himself, carrying on agricultural pursuits uninterruptedly until about fifteen years ago, when he put aside the more arduous cares of an active business life and removed to Greenview. He still however owns the farm which his father entered from the government on coming to Illinois more than six decades ago. This is a good property well improved and he also has some real estate in Greenview. That he has prospered in his undertakings is due to his careful management, persistency of purpose and laudable ambition and he is now the owner of realty interests that return to him a good income and enable him to enjoy a well merited rest.
Mr. Stone has been twice married. In September, 1863, he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Frances Harding, a native of Kentucky, and they became the parents of three children: Charles, who is conducting a drug store in Greenview; Kittie J., the wife of Dwight Smith, also of Greenview; and Emma F., the widow of Aaron Hatfield. Mrs. Stone departed this life in 1876 and in 1878 Mr. Stone was again married, his second union being with Eliza J. Stone, a native of Illinois, who died in 1880.
Mr. Stone has spent his entire life in Menard county, covering a period of seventy-one years, and has therefore been a witness of the greater part of its growth and development. In his boyhood days there was much land that was still uncultivated and the homes of the settlers were very primitive as compared with the fine residences which are now seen throughout Menard county. He assisted materially in the substantial upbuilding of the state, especially along agricultural lines, and has ever manifested a keen interest in the general work of improvement.