Biography of Frank S. Stone, Sr.

Frank S. Stone, Sr., one of the most popular steamboat owners on the Bigbee river, with residence at Montrose, Baldwin county, Ala., was born at Bladen Springs, Choctaw county, this state, October 3, 1839, a son of Capt. Sardine Graham Stone, and brother of S. G. Stone, treasurer of Mobile county, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work. In 1847 Frank S. Stone was taken by his parents to Mobile, where he was educated in its best schools until twelve years old, when he was sent, at his own request, to Jeffersonville, Ind., for the purpose of passing a year in the shipyard of J. and D. Howard and learning the business, after which he finished his literary education in Mississippi, under Alexander Demitry. On his return to Mobile he entered the employ of William H. Redwood & Co. as a shipping clerk, and a year later, in 1855, began his career as a river man, by assuming the position of second clerk on the “Ben Lee,” a boat running in the Tombigbee river trade. A few years later, while clerk of the ill-fated Eliza Battle which burned in 1858, he saved several persons from the holocaust and now has in his possession a gold watch presented by a grateful father of a rescued babe, and also a gold medal presented by the Masons of the state. Transportation by water has claimed his attention ever since, and his experience has been extensive and varied-having entered the trade in its “flush” times and holding on through all the changes wrought by the introduction of railroads. In 1864, Mr. Stone became captain of the steamer “Admiral,” in the Bigbee trade, and since then has had command of many boats. He is now part owner and director in the Planters & Merchants’ steam packet line, running the Warrior and Tombigbee rivers, while the steamer “D. L. Tally” is under his immediate command. September 4, 1862, Capt. Stone married Miss Mary Hawkins, daughter of Dr. Augustus C. Hawkins, of Waverly, Miss. Dr. Hawkins was born in Georgia, and on graduating in medicine first practiced in Union Springs, Ala., and then in Waverly, Miss., in which latter place he died in 1856. Mrs. Mary Stone was born at Union Springs, Ala., in 1742, was reared partly in Alabama and partly in Mississippi, and graduated from Barton academy, Mobile. She has had three children, viz.: Frank S., born June 12, 1863; Mary, born in 1866, but now deceased; Robert O., born June 26, 1872. The surviving children have had most excellent school advantages. Frank S., Jr., received his literary training in Mobile at the Barton academy and Towles institute, then passed through a course at the university of Alabama in civil engineering, then a course in physics, and finally graduated from one of the best law schools in the south, the university of Georgia; Robert O. is now pursuing a course of mining and mechanical engineering at the Alabama polytechnic college. Captain Stone takes much interest in and gives freely to all charitable undertakings, and has never turned a hungry human being away from his door. His means are never withheld from enterprises designed for the public good, and his energy in forwarding the interests of such undertakings has been frequently manifested. The captain owns several sections of land in Baldwin county, aside from his home place, and he does not allow the property to lie idle. In 1879 he engaged extensively in orange culture and planted an orchard of 3,000 trees at a cost of $30,000, but repeated frosts, through successive years, have played havoc with crops, but he is not yet discouraged. Capt. Stone has owned a summer residence at Montrose, Baldwin county, for a number of years. He moved his family there and permanently located in 1888 and began at once to add to his already extensive improvements. He now has a beautiful home, situated on the east coast of Mobile bay overlooking and commanding a fine view of its waters over one hundred feet below; his home occupies spacious grounds, attached to which is a garden of well selected and rare flowers and shrubs, including 112 different varieties of the rose. He has a pear orchard of one thousand bearing trees. These trees now yield from ten to thirty bushels of fruit per tree per annum. His favorite variety is the Le Conte, of which his orchard is principally composed, but among its many trees may be found the large sand pear, the Early Harvest, the Idaho, the Keifer, the Lawson, the Japan, and the Duchess. He also has a fine vineyard, composed of many favorite varieties of grapes, including the Scupernong, the Alexander, Perkins, the Muscatelle, the Cawtaba, the Early Dawn, the Hoverman, the James, the Concord, the Moore’s Diamond and Niagara; he raises his own meat and lard and has many cows and has his place well provided with a modern stable, and in fact, his home is surrounded by all the comforts and conveniences of life and is complete in all its appointments. He is a sound democrat, and member of Mobile Harbor No. 19.


Memorial record of Alabama : a concise account of the state’s political, military, professional and industrial progress, together with the personal memoirs of many of its people.. Madison, Wis.: Brant & Fuller, 1893.

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