Daniel Carl Stover

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Daniel Carl Stover

Birthplace: Greencastle, PA
Death: January 17, 1908 (68)
Freeport, IL (Angina Pectoris, followed by harding of the arteries (9 mo decline))
Immediate Family:

Son of Jacob Price Stover and Elizabeth Stover
Husband of Mary Clare Stover
Father of May Porter Winger and Porter Shipley Stover
Brother of Nancy E Stover; David Emmert Stover; Emanuel Stover; Jacob Allen Stover; Susan Stover and 6 others

Occupation: Inventor, Manufacturer, Banker
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Daniel Carl Stover

Stover Manufacturing Co. Freeport, IL, U.S.A.

Beginning in the 1860s with a windmill and then a corn cultivator, Daniel C. Stover invented and manufactured machinery of various kinds under the name Stover Experimental Works. In 1879 or 1881 he incorporated as Stover Manufacturing Co. There was also the Stover Engine Works and the Stover Bicycle Co. D. C. Stover died in 1908. In 1916 the Stover companies amalgamated to form Stover Manufacturing & Engine Co.

Another related company was Stover Novelty Works, which was also owned by Daniel C. Stover. The Novelty Works, which specialized in small drill presses, was puchased in 1896 by employee August G. Hoefer and renamed Hoefer Manufacturing Co.

Stover Manufacturing Co. had a diversified product line that leaned towards farm-related products, such as windmills, drag saws, portable sawmills, water tanks, feed grinders, etc. They became a supplier to Sears, Roebuck & Co., most notably of gasoline engines and windmills.

Barbed Wire, about 1875. “Corsicana Clip,” patented by Daniel C. Stover of Freeport, Illinois, in 1875; Patent 164,947

1,200 employees morned his passing!

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Biography from "Portait and Biographical Album of Stephenson Co, Illinois

Mr. Stover is a native of Pennsylvania and was born near Greencastle, Franklin County, May 9, 1840. His father, Jacob P. Stover, was a successful farmer of Franklin County, and his mother, formerly Miss Elizabeth Emmert, was a lady possessing a fine intellect and all the womanly virtues to a high degree. She was born in Washington County, Md., and the parents after marriage located in Franklin County, Pa., where they reared a family and spent the remainder of their days. The household included twelve children, six sons and six daughters. Daniel C., the subject of our sketch, was next to the youngest of the family. His boyhood days were spent upon his father's farm, and he received the advantages of the common school, only remaining with his parents until eighteen years of age. He then left the home roof to commence the battle of life upon his own account. He was variously employed for a time and finally decided to go to California. He embarked upon a steamer at New York, and going by way of the Isthmus of Panama, arrived upon the Pacific Slope four weeks later, and in company with a brother entered the mines and was occupied over a year in searching for the yellow ore. Young Stover, upon returning from California, remained for a time at his old home in Pennsylvania, and in 1864 drifted westward to this State. He first took up his residence at Lanark, where he spent two years. He had already begun his career as an inventor by perfecting a corn cultivator, and in 1866 came to Freeport and began its manufacture, having already secured a patent. He operated on a small scale at first, utilizing his spare time in the invention of a wind-mill, upon which he secured letters patent, and soon began the manufacture of this also. His first shop was in the old Presbyterian Church, which was located at the corner of Walnut and Stephenson streets. He continued the manufacture of the latter invention a number of years, then disposed of his interest in it and turned his attention to the manufacture of barbed wire for fencing. To this he had already given much thought, and was prepared to put it upon the market in a state which at once commended it to those who had use for that article. After securing the large number of patents which we have already mentioned, he produced a machine for the manufacture of wire door-matting, on which he has taken out four different patents, and the right of which he sold for the round sum of $25,000. His wind-mills are manufactured and sold extensively in every part of the civilized world. The success of Mr. Stover has been largely the result of his inventive genius, which manifested itself early in life. Even when a small child the spectacle of wheels in motion had for him a remarkable fascination, and to this day there is nothing which so excites his admiration as the magnificent machinery of this age, as displayed either in stationary or locomotive engines. In addition to this peculiarity of his make-up, nothing has pleased him better than to note the development of his adopted State and the building-up of its institutions, both industrial and educational. He is one of the heaviest stockholders in the Henny Buggy Works of Freeport, which is one of the largest manufactories of its kind in the Northwest, and of which Mr. Stover is President. He also holds the same position in the Stover Manufacturing Company, which was organized in 1879 and of which he is a leading stockholder. His success in life has been phenomenal, and there is no question in the minds of those who have watched his useful career and noted the benefits which he has involuntarily strewn around him, concerning the propriety of his occupying, as he does, a leading position among the representative men of Stephenson County. His successes have also operated to continue in him the genial and companionable spirit which characterized his youth and boyhood, and there is no man more attentive to the call of assistance for deserving charities and to build up the enterprises which have for their object the advancement of the common people. It would be impossible in a brief sketch of this kind to enumerate the many channels in which his generosity has flowed, but the man is universally recognized by the people who have known him best and longest. The marriage of Daniel C. Stover and Miss Mary C., daughter of Dr. J. B. Porter, of Lanark, 111., was celebrated at the home of the bride, July 13, 1871. This union has been blessed by the birth of two children, a sou and a daughter Porter S. and Mary P. The residence of Mr. Stover is located on Stephenson street, in the midst of beautiful grounds, with a fine lawn in front, ornamented with choice shrubs and shade-trees. The building is of brick, two stories in bight, finished and furnished in modern style and indicating within and without the cultivated taste and ample means of the owner. Here Mr. Stover and his estimable wife entertain in a hospitable manner a large circle of friends, composed of the refined and cultivated people of Freeport and vicinity. The father of Mrs. Stover, Dr. Porter, of Lanark, was one of the most prosperous physicians of Carroll County, where he built up an extensive practice and fully established himself in the esteem of the people of his community. Among the numerous portraits presented in this volume, none will be more highly appreciated by the patrons of this work, which embraces the best people in the county, than that of Mr. D. C. Stover.

There is quite a story about his controlling of his estate to hand on most of his wealth to his grandchildren, due to his dissatisfaction with his son's business ability and with his daughter's marrying at age 17 without her parents' permission. The 1970 Stephenson County History, page 530, states "It was the wills of Marshall Field and Daniel Stover which were probably responsible for the Illinois legislation which now limits the time in which the dead hand of a testator may rest upon property."

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Daniel Carl Stover's Timeline

May 9, 1839
Greencastle, PA
Age 33
July 4, 1876
Age 37
Illinois, United States
January 17, 1908
Age 68
Freeport, IL