Today is the 100th anniversary of my second great grandfather’s death. I thought it was fitting to visit his grave today, and write this narrative of him containing the research I’ve compiled to date:
Theodore Stone was born December 25th or 26th, 1842, in or near Clarksburg, Virginia, in the portion of Virginia that later became present day West Virginia during the Civil War. He was the last of six children born to James and Jane (Childs) Stone, having four brothers and one sister. In May of 1845, his mother, Jane, passed away when Theodore was just two and a half years old. Subsequently, judging from the 1850 census records, the children were split up between relatives, and close friends or neighbors. Theodore appears to be living with the John Hall family, just across the state border in Greene County, Pennsylvania. With there being no connection yet found to the John Hall family, and there having been other Stone families living in Greene County at the time, who are not currently known to be closely related to our Stone line, there is no way to say with certainty that it is the same Theodore, however.
During the years following Jane’s death, Theodore’s father, James, eventually made his way to Iowa, with the first record of him found there being the 1856 Iowa state census, where he is listed as having resided within the state for two years. Eventually, all of James and Jane’s children made their way to Iowa, where they each remained for varying lengths of time. Theodore’s two oldest siblings were living with James in Jefferson County, Iowa, in the 1860 census. It’s uncertain specifically when Theodore first made his way to Iowa, but his military pension application lists that he resided in Monongalia County, [West] Virginia, in 1856 and 1857; in Jefferson County, Iowa, in 1858; in Lee County, Iowa, in 1859, and then back in Monongalia County in 1860 and 1861.
On August 15, 1861, Theodore enlisted in Company A of the 3rd West Virginia Infantry as a private, following the lead of his brother, Solon, who had enlisted two months prior. Two more of Theodore’s brothers also fought in the Civil War. John served in the Colorado Cavalry, enlisting August 6, 1862. Emmanuel, however, served for the Confederate army in Virginia, enlisting just five days after marrying the daughter of Thomas and Matilda (Hudson) Humphreys, staunch supporters of the Confederate cause. Emmanuel’s break with the rest of the family no doubt caused a great rift between the family members, unfortunately. An interesting sidenote is that Emmanuel’s mother-in-law, Matilda, is known for having inadvertently started the Battle of Philippi (the first organized land battle of the Civil War), prematurely, when she fired a pistol at Union troops who had captured her son as he was trying to ride off on horseback to warn the Confederate troops of the impending surprise attack.
During the first winter of his service, Theodore contracted the measles. While being taken by the ambulance wagon to be treated, it broke down, and he was forced to walk for a ways in the snow, causing additional health problems that troubled him for the rest of his life. He served for three years, being discharged on October 10, 1864.
On August 15, 1865, Theodore married Julia Ann Wade, daughter of Anna Luark and George Wade III. Shortly after their marriage, they moved to Iowa, settling in the Liberty Township area of Clarke County. The next year, they welcomed their first child, Anna Jane. They would go on to have a total of eleven children, although three passed away before reaching adulthood, sadly. Unfortunately, not much is known about the specifics of their time in Iowa, but Theodore is consistently recorded as being a farmer on the censuses during this time. His oldest brother, Joseph, seems to have moved just a few miles away from where Theodore and Julia made their home, and Theodore’s father, James, is believed to have been living with Joseph when James passed away in April of 1872.
Theodore, Julia, and the nine children living at that time, moved to Melbourne (near Montesano), Washington Territory, in the fall of 1891. A brief mention in the local Montesano newspaper records the family’s arrival by train, including the husbands of two of the daughters who had gotten married in the years before leaving Iowa. Shortly after arriving in Washington Territory, they were greeted with both fortune and tragedy. Theodore and Julia became grandparents with the arrival of their first grandchild on August 27, 1891. Less than three weeks later, unfortunately, Theodore and Julia’s youngest child, Ora Maria, passed away on September 10th, of causes that are currently unknown.
In Montesano, Theodore is recorded as having been a minister in the Christian church, where he performed weddings, in addition to delivering sermons. Julia was also quite active in the church. Theodore joined the Montesano chapter of the Masonic lodge, and was also a member of the local post of the Grand Army of the Repulbic (a Civil War veterans organization). They eventually moved from Melbourne to Montesano, selling at least part of their land in Melbourne to Charles H. Clemons, of the pioneer logging and tree farm family.
Theodore died at three in the morning on October 29, 1914, after having been in declining health for some time. He had become a member of the Christian Science church about a year before his passing, and they had charge of the church services when his funeral was held the next afternoon after his passing. The G. A. R. and Masonic order each held their respective ceremony and ritual services at his graveside before he was laid to rest in Wynooche Cemetery in Montesano. His obituary in the Montesano Vidette that day stated he “was a man of high character and sterling integrity and went about the world doing what he could for his fellow men.”