Contra Costa County











     A pioneer of California and a retired citizen of Danville, Contra Costa county, was born in Erie county, Pa., March 4, 1829, the descendant of an English emigrant, who came to America in the Mayflower.  His father, Silas Stone, was born October 5, 1792, in Vermont, a son of John and Hannah (Stratton) Stone, and the grandson of Silas and Betsey (Russell) Stone.  August 29, 1816, in Erie county, Pa., Silas Stone married Susanna Ward, a native of Pennsylvania, and in 1834 brought his family to Kalamazoo county, Mich.  Two years later he located in Van Buren county, Iowa, where he remained until 1853, in which year he crossed the plains to California and bought a ranch near San Ramon, Contra Costa county.  This last location remained his home up to the time of his death in 1864, when he was seventy-four years old.  His wife lived to the age of seventy-five years.  Of this union were born the following children:  An infant, deceased; Amos; Eleanor Thirza; Albert Ward; Sarah; Lysander; Egbert; William Z.; Jerome B.; Fidelia; an infant, deceased; Mary A.

     Until he was twenty years old William Z. Stone remained in the paternal home, but in 1850 he decided to join the westward trend of emigration.  He accordingly crossed the plains in that year in company with his brother-in-law, R. Bell Willoughby, and John Keith, both of whom are now deceased.  They arrived in Sacramento July 25, Mr. Stone having driven a six-yoke team of oxen.  They at once settled in the Sacramento valley and began to deal in cattle, their principal business being to buy emigrant stock that had come across the plains, then feed and prepared them for market.  Afterward his brother, Lysander, who had located in Oregon in 1847, came down with his brother-in-law, William Meek, and the three men engaged for two or three months in trading with the miners.  Mr. Stone, however, had the misfortune to become a victim of the chills and fever prevalent in that region, so in 1852 he returned east by way of the Isthmus, taking passage on the steamer Golden Gate on her third trip.  The next year he again crossed the plains with ox teams, bringing with him one hundred head of cattle.  He started from the east with four men, but two failed to do their duty and were discharged en route, while the others completed the journey.  Mr. Stone was bringing his wife with him and she became ill of the mountain fever, which necessitated a stop at Carson City, Nev., for a time, after which they continued their journey to this state.  He located in Green valley, Contra Costa county, on which is now known as the Judge Cope ranch, and there pastured his cattle, purchasing four hundred and ten acres and proceeding at once to its cultivation and improvement.  He put up buildings and set out an orchard of eighty acres, while the rest of the large ranch was devoted to stock and grain.  In 1884, after residing there just thirty-one years, he sold the property and bought two hundred and twenty-nine acres in the San Ramon valley, near the town of San Ramon, continuing to make this his home until 1903, when he again sold out and went to San Jose to make a home for a son, Mark S., a nursery man.  After the death of this son in 1904 they returned to Danville and bought a home, where they now live.

     In Michigan, January 11, 1853, Mr. Stone married Esther Almira Stone, whose father, John Stone, was a brother of Silas Stone.  John Stone married Matilda Bird, the representative of a family that settled at Plymouth, Mass., in the early history of the country.  Her father, John Bird, was born in Berkshire county, Mass., in 1770, and in manhood married Mary Kimball, who died at the age of forty-four, while her husband lived to the age of fifty-six.  Their children were named in order of birth as follows:  Matilda, Amanda, Almira, Lucinda, Sophia, John, Esther, Minerva, Joseph and Mary.  To John Stone and his wife were born the following children:  Lucinda, John B., Della D., Almas E., Celestia Jenette, Esther A., Welcome G., Helen M., Bruce W. and George M.  Of the union of William Z. Stone and Esther Almira Stone were born the following children:  Sarah Jenette, Almas C., Esther M., who died in infancy; Mark S., who died in 1904; Hugh B., an engineer; and William E.  In his fraternal relations Mr Stone is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and both he and his wife belong to the Rebekahs.





Transcribed 3-16-15  Marilyn R. Pankey.

ญญญญSource: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Page 450. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

2015  Marilyn R. Pankey.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library