William Rix Stone, active and influential in the public life of California, is now filling the position of statistician in the office of secretary of state at Sacramento. He was born at Winchester, Massachusetts, on the 17th of August, 1854, a son of Josiah Franklin and Malvina C. (Clark) Stone, both of whom were natives of New Hampshire, the father born at Cornish and the mother at Sanbornton. In both the paternal and maternal lines Mr. Stone is descended from ancestors who were soldiers of the Revolutionary war, and the families were also represented in the early Indian wars of the country and in the war of 1812. For many years Josiah F. Stone carried on merchandising, conducting business in New Hampshire and afterward in Boston, Massachusetts. He became an influential factor in political circles of the latter state and was a stanch Republican. He represented his district in Congress for several terms and at the time of his death was serving as a member of the state legislature of Massachusetts. His close and earnest study of the issues and questions of the day gave to him a stateman's grasp of affairs, and his public career was characterized by an unfaltering devotion to the general good. His family numbered four sons and one daughter, but two of the sons died in infancy. Frank M., the eldest son, was for twenty-five years a practitioner at the bar of San Francisco and gained marked prominence in his profession. In 1902 he removed to New York city, where he has since continued in the practice of law. The daughter, Ella C. Stone, is now a resident of San Jose, California.
William Rix Stone, the fourth of the family, spent his early life in Winchester, Massachusetts, where he attended the public schools and was graduated from the high school as a member of the class of 1873. He afterward passed an examination admitting him to the Institute of Technology at Boston, but owing to ill health he discontinued his studies and in 1875 came to California. Here he turned his attention to mercantile pursuits, which he followed until January, 1895, when he was appointed by Hon. L. H. Brown, secretary of state, to a clerical position in the department of state. In January, 1899, he was re-appointed by Hon. Charles F. Curry, who was then the incumbent in the office and continued in the position until the legislature of 1903 created the office of statistician to the secretary of state. Mr. Stone was then given the latter position and has since acted in that capacity.
His first presidential vote was cast for Rutherford B. Hayes and he has always taken an active interest in politics as a champion of the Republican party. He has frequently been a delegate to the local and state conventions, and his labors have not been without result in promoting the welfare of the party organization. In addition to his clerical work in the office of secretary of state he has aided Mr. Curry in the preparation of the Blue Book, issued from that office, and has also been his assistant in the codification of the Incorporation of the Election Laws--volumes which have proved of the greatest value to every lawyer and in every newspaper office in California.
In 1879 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Stone and Miss Minnie C. Clark, a native of San Francisco, who died in 1882, leaving an only child, Maud C. In 1884 Mr. Stone was again married, his second union being with Miss Emma L. Ellinghouse, who was born in San Jose. They have one daughter, Olive B. Mr. Stone is identified with the Knights of Pythias and the Knights of Honor and in the former organization he is a past chancellor and in the latter a past dictator. He is courteous to all with whom he comes in contact and has a host of warm friends throughout the state of his adoption.
Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II
The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine
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