George Nelson Stone

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George Nelson Stone

Birthplace: New Hampshire, USA
Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Husband of Martha Evelyne Harrington and Sarah Arvilla Stone
Father of Mary Kilgour Stout; Eleanr M Stone; Maud Cary and Eleanor Stone

Managed by: Carol Ann Selis
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About George Nelson Stone

  1. ID: I23495
  2. Name: George N.
  3. Sex: M
  4. Note:
   Digital Edition © 2001 by Richard Bingham
   Oceanport, New Jersey
   ISBN 1-930968-20-5
   Copyright, 1915
   Murray and Emery Company
   Kendall Square

Marriage 1 Sarah Arvilla Willard b: 28 APR 1843

   * Married: 23 MAY 1861 in Boston, Suffolk, MA


"GEORGE N. STONE. Captain George Nelson Stone was born at Stark, N.H., July 17, 1840. When some three years of age his parents with their three sons and five daughters went to Lowell, Mass., where, ere long, he commenced attendance in the public schools. When ten years of age he was office boy for a year for Benjamin F. Butler. Later he attended for a time, the Centreville Academy. Then he secured a position in a mercantile establishment at Boston on a small salary. The year 1861 found him the proprietor of a small hotel in Georgia, a citizen of that state, and a member of a military company that tendered its services to Governor Brown. He declined them, but advised the men they would be notified if wanted. Mr. Stone quickly closed up his affairs there and came North. He was induced to join the Seventh by Lieutenant-Colonel Sayles with whom he had a limited acquaintance, and was at once commissioned second lieutenant of Company B. Jan. 7, 1863, he was made first lieutenant of Company F, March 20th transferred to Company H, and on May 2d promoted to be captain thereof, which position he retained so long as the regiment remained in the field. During the month of December it is said he was on detached service as aide-de-camp to Colonel Allard, commanding the First Brigade of the Second Division. When in the west it is reported he served on the staffs of Generals Negley and Schofield. After his muster out he went to Colorado where he engaged in mining, and, at length, lost all his savings. He then returned to Cincinnati where he went to work in Chamberlain's foundry on Hunt Street, where B. H. Kroger's great warehouse now stands. He had never done a day's work of that kind before, but he was a man of wonderful resources and determination. He earned probably $8 or $10 a week there, and, with his great business instinct made the best possible use of what he gained. He organized the Park Driving Association, and was made its president, 1875. In that capacity he became the owner of several trotters, among them the great Maud S., that was purchased by W. K. Vanderbilt for $21,000, and by him sold to Robert Bonner of the 'New York Ledger' for $40,000. Captain Stone's trainer, one Bair, in accordance with instructions to buy a likely young filly if he could secure one, bought her from Horace Bugher for $350. She was exceedingly green and unpromising when he took her in hand, so, at length, he became completely disgusted with her, and one morning when his employer had driven as usual to the park, he announced she was not worth her feeding because she would not settle in her trotting. 'All she wants is to acquire confidence', said the Captain. 'When I was a boy and wanted to break colts that were unmanageable, we used to drive them through fodder. Try her in that field', pointing to the inside field of the park that had been planted with corn for fodder which was at that time from eighteen to twenty-four inches in height. The gate was opened, and in the fiery young filly was driven. She floundered and fought, but after the second or third trial the desired result was gained, and from that day she became her own mistress and did not really require a driver. Maud S. (so named after the captain's eldest daughter), was the fastest horse ever driven to a highwheeled sulky, and but for a mistake on the part of Bair, Captain Stone would easily have made a half million dollars out of her. The driver had been cautioned never to exercise her when other horses were on the track, but John Span slpped out behind him one day with a fast gelding on which he had about closed a match with the captain. Before Blair could realize it she cut out a pace that threw Span's horse off his feet and showed she was invincible. Of course the mare was at one left severely alone, although she did not trot one race that summer. This queen of the track died St. Patrick's day, 1900. With the money received for his pet horse he had accumulated capital enough to acquire much stock in the Bell Telephone Company, purchasing when it was going at the lowest figure and keeping it until it had attained phenominal value. In 1878 he became a director, and, in 1882, president and general manager. It was his policy to keep just a little ahead of demand. He often said he never allowed the public to make him do anything. Sometime since the rates on telephones were reduced all over that city. Captain Stone had considered the matter and started in that direction a good while before he was able to accomplish his object. One day while considering the subject, a prominent citizen told him his prices were too high, and that he ought to be forced to come down. The captain went into a rage at once, and declared his rates were not too high and that he would not have to come down, and showed reasons for what he said. His wrath was kindled because he feared he would not be able to get his plans through before others might come at him in the same way, and he wanted to make lower rates before they did. Quite noticeable, also, is the manner in which he treated his employees. He considered their labor so much increase in capital, and at the end of the year paid them the same dividend he did the stockholders according to their respective wages. The result was complaintes were few and a rival company has never been spoken of in that city. Captain Stone's death occurred at his palatial mansion in Vernonville, O., March 8, 1901, from septicaemia following appendicitis. Like too many others he had neglected the promonitary symptoms of a disease comparatively manageable at the outset, but most serious if permitted to have free course. Just one week before, at five P. M., he called into his office his assistant manager and his secretary, and said: 'I am going to California to-morrow. This is the first vacation I have taken since I came to the telephone. I want you to wire me once a week if everything is right here and at home. You run the old machine and don't let me know anything. I shall be gone thirty days. I have got my tickets arranged and I am going to get away quickly because I am afraid if the doctors know that I am going they'll stop me.' Then he had a short gasping spell and said: 'I have a terrible pain right in there,' pointing to the right side of his abdomen. At the suggestion of a friend he sent down stairs and secured a drink of brandy. That he had been in agony for an hour was very plain, because the perspiration was pouring down his neck and had taken all the starch out of his turn-down collar. He bade everybody good-by as he put on his overcoat, and laughingly excused himself to some of the lady operators as he bumped into them when leaving the elevator. Walking up the street with a number of friends, he said: 'I am a little worried about my stomach, but I never felt so happy and satisfied as I do to-night on leaving for a good, long rest. I appointed Perin Langdon my private secretary, and if you want any influence with me you'll have to get it through him.' That was the last time he was in Cincinnati. At the time of his death he was director and one of the largest owners in the street railway, gas, and coke companies; a member of the Queen City, the Commercial, the Business Men's, the Picadilly, the Avondale, the Cuvier, the Clifton Golf and Riding clubs, and also of the Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio Commanderty of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion. He had served the city with which he was long and prominently identified as councilman, alderman, and member of the Board of Education. He was not a member of any secret society nor did he carry any life insurance. His remains were interred in Spring Grove Cemetery, and the obsequies, which were carried out in strict accord with his oft expressed wich: 'Bury me as plainly as you can,' were conducted by the Rev. George Thayer, a Uniterian clergyman. Mr. Stone married May 20, 1861, Arvilla S. Willard, of Gardner, Mass., by whom he had three daughters, Mrs. Maud Stone Cary, of New York City, Miss Mary and Miss Eleanor, all of whom survive him. Mrs. Stone died December 26, 1886; later he married a Mrs. Harrington of Boston, who presented him with no heir, but was proven a veritable mother to her stepchildren. Captain Stone was a very social man. He had a wider acquaintance than almost anyone else in the city could claim, and this acquaintance was a distinct gain to its possessor. His friendships were of the deepest kind, nor could he stand any difference that bore the slightest touch of estangement. He was extremely liberal, but his benefactions were conferred so quietly none but the recipient had knowledge of it. Not less than half a dozen of Cincinnati's prominent men owe their present standing and success to the money he gave them to start in business. Several artists who are abroad received liberal allowances from him, and he frequently purchased pictures from struggling painters, all of which he facetiously said went into the art gallery in the tower of his home. He was also public-spirited in the highest sense of the term. When the affairs of the Zoo were at a crisis, he was the first to rise in the Optimist Club and subscribed $5,000 for its relief, a step that finally resulted in its present good financial standing. When the matter of parks was agitated he approached the president of the commission and guaranteed to pay the expenses of legislation for the passage of a bill allowing Cincinnati to issue bonds for their establishment. He it was that secured the substitution of electricity for horses in the railroads of that city, and was the originator of many improvements in its service, though a majority of the directors were too conservative to adopt all his reforms. He was the first to advocate burying all wires, and set the example by interring his own. Of course, death has, at least temporarily checked the materialization of many plans he was entertaining for the benefit of the city, as the erection of a million dollar hotel, a skyscraper, and a country clubhouse. The construction of a million dollar building for light manufacturing had previously fallen through because of inability to secure a proper site. His death will long be felt in the city of his adoption. Few men were so generally beloved as he by old and young, rich and poor alike, for he was never so happy as when doing some unexpected act of kindness. His remembrance will be cherished as a bright example of the inherent excellence of manhood. Some three years before his death a woman went to her pastor and told him that for months her husband had been out of work, that despite determined efforts he had been unable to secure employment, that they were face to face with starvation, and if he was unable to help her they intended that night to end their lives with charcoal fumes. Incidently she mentioned coming from a certain New England city. The minister said at once: 'That's the native town of Capt. George N. Stone. I know him very well, and he is man of charity, and I believe he will be able to do something for you.' 'The last man on earth to whom we could go,' replied the woman. 'My husband and I knew George Stone when we were young. When we were married he was the only young man in town who was not invited to our wedding, and the truth is, he was slighted because he was a poor boy, and we considered ourselves above him, and I know he felt it keenly.' The clergyman assured her that he did not think Captain Stone would harbor ill-will and prevailed upon her to accompany him to his office. When her story was made known the Captain not only did not speak of former days but lost no time in providing a good paying position for the man which is still retained"

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George Nelson Stone's Timeline

July 17, 1840
January 4, 1880
Age 39
Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio, United States
September 1884
Age 44
Age 60