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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
George Harland Page Stone

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 499-501 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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A representative business man of Ilion is George Harland Page Stone, who has been conducting a successful jewelry and optical business at Nos. 40-42 First street for the past thirty years. He was born in Athol, Massachusetts, on the 14th of November, 1865, and comes from a family that has contributed generously to the upbuilding of that great commonwealth since the very early Colonial days. The line was founded in this country by Deacon Gregory Stone, who was born in Great Bromley, Essex, England, April 19, 1592, and because of the religious persecution of the period emigrated from England in 1635, coming first to Watertown, Massachusetts, and eventually settling in Cambridge. Prior to crossing the Atlantic he had corresponded with Governor Winthrop regarding the conditions affecting religious freedom in the new colony. After casting in his lot with the Puritans on these bleak shores he seems to have been a prominent man in public affairs and was the sixth of the one hundred and forty signers of the protest against the proposed government of New England by a Royal Commission, a measure that was condemned by the colonists as an arbitrary government by a council or parliament in which they were not represented and therefore contrary to the intent of the original patent of the colony. Thus was shown the first signs of the growth of a spirit of independence that more than a century later came to full flower in the historic Declaration of Independence of 1776. In later generations the Stones played a loyal and patriotic part in establishing the infant republic. Of Captain Parker's little band of sixty men who stood on Lexington Commons on the morning of April 19, 1775, and offered the first armed resistance to British military aggression, at least twenty-five, including Captain Parker himself had in their veins the blood of Deacon Gregory Stone. The Revolutionary records of the colony show a total of four hundred men by the name of Stone living in the ninety-five towns existing within its borders, a large proportion of whom were descendants of Deacon Stone. Walter H. Stone, grandfather of George Harland Page Stone of this review, was born in Framingham, Massachusetts, shortly after the close of the Revolution, on May 8, 1792. He was a farmer by occupation and lived in Framingham all his life, dying there November 9, 1853. He married Jane Merriam, who was born in Framingham, June 5, 1794, and died there August 20, 1885. Their son, Daniel H. Stone, was born in Framingham, November 9, 1830, and died in New Jersey in 1868, at a comparatively early age. At that time he was associated with the Westminster Baking Company of Westminster, Massachusetts. His wife was Miss Lucy Miller Page before her marriage and was born in Westminster on December 24, 1833. Her death occurred in Ilion in 1912.

George Harland Page Stone was a very small child when his father, Daniel H. Stone, was claimed by death. His youth was spent in Waltham, Massachusetts, where he graduated from the high school in the class of 1883 and took a course in the Waltham Horological School, from which he obtained his diploma in 1886. Subsequently he took a course in the Philadelphia Optical College of which he is also a graduate. Mr. Stone's first experience in the practical field of the jewelry business was as a watch repairer for the American Watch Company with which he was connected for eight years. In 1894 he came to Ilion, where he purchased the jewelry store and optical shop at Nos. 40-42 First street. In 1908 this business was incorporated under name of Stone & Luke. He is still doing business in his first location, at the end of thirty years, and enjoys a liberal patronage from the people of Ilion and the surrounding trade territory. At one time he expanded his enterprise to include a wholesale business with offices in New York city and branch stores in Gloversville and Dolgeville, but he has since discontinued these undertakings and now confines his efforts solely to the Ilion store.

Mr. Stone was married to Miss Clara May Craighton, on July 2, 1891. Mrs. Stone is a native of Thomaston, Maine, which was likewise the birthplace of her parents, Eben and Elizabeth (Watts) Craighton. Her father was a large landowner of that place, while her maternal grandfather, Captain Watts, was widely known along the New England coast as a successful shipbuilder and sea captain. Through a distinguished New England ancestry Mrs. Stone has become eligible to the Daughters of the American Revolution and the England Colony of New England Women. She has been especially active in the former organization as past regent of the Mohawk Valley Chapter, chairman of the Real Daughters committee of the New York State D. A. R., and a member of the national D. A. R. Real Daughters committee. In the club and church work of Ilion she is recognized as an able leader and enthusiastic worker. For a number of years she was superintendent of the Primary department of the Sunday school of the First Baptist church of Ilion, of which she is a member, and she is now honorable president of the Historical Club of Ilion. The New Century Club of Utica also claims her as one its active members.

One child was born to Mr. and Mrs. Stone: A daughter, Antoinette Craighton Stone, who is a graduate of the Ilion high school and Abbot Academy of Andover, Massachusetts. After spending two years at Smith College, Miss Stone continued her collegiate work at Syracuse University where she obtained her Bachelor's degree. She was historian of her class. On the 13th of October, 1923, she was married to Donald Mawhinney, an attorney at law, who is associated with Judge Hitchcock of Syracuse.

In those affairs that contribute to the upbuilding of the community along social and civic as well as business lines, Mr. Stone has long been an acknowledged leader in Ilion. In the Chamber of Commerce he has held the offices of vice president and director and is still one of the active members. As a member of Ilion Lodge, No. 400, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, he served on the building committee that had charge of the erection of the fine Odd Fellows' building here, and he was one of the first to be initiated into Ilion Lodge, No. 1444, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. Mr. Stone has belonged to the local lodge of the Knights of Pythias for the past twenty-five years. He shares his wife's interest in the work of the First Baptist church, to which he has belonged for many years, and he is a republican in politics. An enthusiastic canoeist, he devotes much time to this popular aquatic sport and is vice commodore of the American Canoe Association. His various activities and interests have brought this business man a wide acquaintance, while the high worth of his character and the excellent standards he has ever upheld in his business relations have caused him to be numbered among the prosperous merchants and valued citizens of Ilion.

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