WILLIAM M. STONE, Iowa’s sixth governor, was born in Jefferson County, New York on October 14, 1827. His education was limited and attained in the common schools of Ohio. After working as a team-driver on the Ohio River and apprenticing as a chair-maker, Stone studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1851. Three years later, he moved to Knoxville, Iowa, where he established a legal practice and also became the owner and editor of the Knoxville Journal. Stone entered politics in 1856, as a delegate to the convention that planned and organized the Republican party. He also served on the bench of the Eleventh Judicial District in 1857 and 1858. During the Civil War, he enlisted as a private, rose to the rank of colonel, was wounded in the Battle of Blue Mills, was captured and later released, and then resigned in August 1863. During the war, Stone won the 1863 Republican gubernatorial nomination and was sworn into office on January 14, 1864. He won reelection to a second term in 1865. During his tenure, expansion plans were authorized for the state agricultural college, assistance was granted for families of Iowa soldiers, a state militia was established, the law banning immigration of free blacks was revoked, a national banking system was accepted, and the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which eliminated slavery was sanctioned. Stone left office on January 16, 1868 and retired for a short time from public service. In 1877, he served as a one-term member of the Iowa House of Representatives. He also served as assistant commissioner and then commissioner of the Land Office in Washington, D.C. Governor William M. Stone died on July 18, 1893 and was buried at the Graceland Cemetery in Knoxville, Iowa.
Historical for Muscatine County Iowa
Iowa Biographies Project
Iowa Historical Record, 10 (1894): 35-9.
Palimpsest, 63 (1982): 106-13, 116-18.
The Political Graveyard
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn., Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.