Mr. Oren Stone, of Flint, was one of the most representative citizens of the city. He was born in Senneta, New York, July 24, 1833, and died at Flint, Michigan, April 20, 1897. His ancestry is traceable back to early days, three brothers having come to America in 1627. They were the sons of Gregory and Margaret (Grand) Stone, of Maryland, England. The line of descent to Oren began with Deacon Gregory Stone, one of the three sons. He came to Waterford, Massachusetts, in 1635 and to Cambridge in 1637. From him the descendants in order were John, Nathaniel, Hezekiah, Jesse, John and Darius R. The last named was the father of Oren. He was born in 1800 and at the age of twenty years was married to Anna Phelps, who was also born in 1800. They came west and settled on a farm near Stony Run, in Oakland County, Michigan, and later removed to Owosso, Michigan. Finally they located at Flint, where they spent the remainder of their days. They celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1870, and were permitted to enjoy each other's fellowship for twenty-three years beyond that time, making a total period of married life of seventy-three years. Mr. Darius R. Stone passed to rest in 1893 and his companion followed in 1896. Mr. D. R. Stone was a man of independent politics, having espoused, successively, the cause of the Whigs, then the Republicans, later the Prohibitionists and finally the Cleveland Democrats. Oren was eleven years old when the family arrived at Stony Run, in Oakland County, in 1844. At the age of sixteen Oren went to Columbus, Ohio, and for two years worked as a clerk in a general store. At eighteen he returned to his parents and bought a stock of goods at Stony Run, which was on the Pontiac and Flint stage line, and he was soon made postmaster at that point. At this time he was married to Miss Susan C. Thompson, daughter of Caleb and Lucinda (Perry) Thompson, of Grand Blanc, Michigan, who were early, pioneers of that state. In 1857 they moved to Flint and opened a general store. He was later joined here by his brother, Darius H. Stone, and his brother-in-law, Thomas Hadley. He continued in business here, including the handling of real estate, until 1863, when he moved to a newly purchased farm at Whigville, or, as it was later termed, Gibsonville. After remaining upon this farm for one year, he located in Owosso, and after operating a foundry there for a short time, he returned to Flint and opened a nursery in conjunction with real estate and other business. In 1867, with John P. Willard, he established the Flint Woolen Mills. It was a small mill, but did a great amount of custom carding. Mr. Stone was manager of the financial part of the business, and after three years became sole proprietor of the concern, continuing so until 1873, when William H. French and Charles C. Bowker were taken in and the firm of Stone, French & Company was formed. This, two years later, was changed to Stone, Atwood & Company by the addition of W. A. Atwood. The firm how did such a prosperous business that they found it necessary to enlarge the plant, and this was accordingly done. It finally became a six-set mill, and Mr. Stone gave the work his personal supervision, maintaining his interest up to the time of his death. In addition to the woolen business Mr. Stone took an active interest in the real estate activities and public improvements of the town, and was instrumental in bringing about the Smith-Stone-Turner addition of thirty acres to the city, and also the Genesee county fair grounds addition, of which he was the platter and owner; and one of the organizers of the McFarland & Company's addition to the city. The residence at the corner of Harrison and First streets was erected by him in 187I and was the family home for thirty-five years. Although a stanch Republican he was not a politician, and did not covet public office. However, he was mayor of the city for one term and served acceptably in that capacity. He was one of the stock companies that built the Stone Theater and afterward became sole proprietor. He took a very active part in the progressive life of the city, being at one time president of the Union Club, and at all times a leader in civic improvement. He is a member of Flint Lodge, No. 23, Free and Accepted Masons; Washington Chapter, No. 15, Royal Arch Masons; a charter member of General Valley Commandery, No. 15, Knights Templar; a member of Michigan Sovereign Consistory of Detroit, and Moslem Temple of the Mystic Shrine; always taking an active part in the workings of the order. His wife, Susan C. Stone, died March 20, I870. She was the mother of three children. Willis died in infancy. The two surviving children are Dwight Thompson and Helen Maria. On November 2I, 1889, Dwight married Miss Carrie Brow, of Detroit. Their children are Donald Dwight, Oren Francis, Virginia, Helen Jeannette and Caroline Brow. In 1872 Mr. Oren Stone married for his second wife Mrs. Harriet Stewart Richards. She was the daughter of Addison and Lucy Stewart, who settled in Flint in 1833. Mrs. Stone survived her husband ten years, dying at the family home October 28, 1907.
Title: Biographical history of Genesee County, Michigan.
Collection: Michigan County Histories and Atlases