Sunday, December 28, 2014

Aytchmonde Perrin Stone Jr. (1907-1984)

From the 1958-59 Official Manual of the State of Missouri.

    Hailing from a state that has been well represented here over the past three years, Missouri jurist Aytchmonde Perrin Stone Jr. was blessed with a first name that will leave you scratching your head in bewilderment once you see it! An attorney based out of the city of Springfield, Stone would go on to further distinction as both an Associate and Presiding judge on the Missouri State Court of Appeals for the district of Springfield, serving a quarter-century on the bench. 
   The son of Baptist minister Aytchmonde P. Stone Sr. (1862-1942) and his wife, the former Julia Ann Minter, Aytchmonde Perrin Stone Jr. was born in Tecumseh, Oklahoma on April 14, 1904. As one can see, the odd name of "Aytchmonde Perrin" was passed down from father to son, and, if you were like me, you may be wondering as to the exact origins of this peculiar name! Both Stone and his son inherited their unusual appellation from one Aytchmonde Lane Perrin (1811-1897) a resident of Platte County, Missouri who had found local distinction in banking and religious circles.
   Three years after his birth Stone returned to Missouri with his parents and would attend school in Neosho. He graduated from that city's high school in 1922 and would later study at the William Jewell College and the Southwestern Teacher's College of Missouri (also known as the Southwest Missouri State College). Stone's time at the Southwestern Teachers College saw him be a member of the college orchestra, the English Club, Polity Club, and was an "inter-class debater" being one of two Springfield students to take part in the 1924 Inter-college Debates. Stone and fellow student Russell Baugh were tasked with debating an affirmative stance in regards to the query "Should the United States enter the permanent court of arbitration?" As the 1924 Ozarko relates:
"Although this is A.P. Stone's first year in forensic work, the exceptional ability in which he has shown in such events during the year gives great promise in his future success at public speaking. His debating is characterized by the clear understanding of the subject, combined with a persuasive style, pleasing as well as convincing. We are proud of Russell and Stone, as worthy a team as ever won honors for S.T.C."
   The Ozarko yearbook notes that as a young man with a gift for oratory, Stone was bound for great things, and the brief statement below his portrait in the 1924 Ozarko Yearbook mentions his "Old head on young shoulders", a perfect encapsulation for a young man who would one day be a distinguished lawyer and jurist. Following his graduation from the S.T.C Stone enrolled at the Washington University School of Law, and in 1929 graduated from this school with his bachelor of laws degree. Prior to establishing a law practice Stone was employed as a high school principal in Potosi, Missouri from 1925-26 and soon after his graduation from the Washington School of Law relocated to Springfield, Missouri to begin a law practice.

A seventeen year-old Aytchmonde P. Stone Jr., from the 1924 Ozarko Yearbook.

    Two years after launching his law practice Stone was selected to be assistant prosecuting attorney for Greene County, Missouri, and served two years in that post (1929-31). On August 16, 1940 he married to Fay Adeline "Addie" Lambeth (1907-1995), and the couple remained childless through the entirety of their forty-four year marriage.
   Five years following his marriage Aytchmonde P. Stone Jr. entered into the position of counsel for the Springfield Board of Public Utilities, continuing in that role until January of 1954 when he was appointed by then-Governor Phillip M. Donnelly as an Associate Judge on the Missouri State Court of Appeals for the District of Springfield. Stone's appointment to the bench was occasioned by the death of Judge William Vandevanter, who had died a few weeks previously in November 1953. In November 1956 Stone was elected to a twelve-year term on that court and took office as Presiding Judge of the Court of Appeals in 1957.
    In 1968 "A.P." Stone Jr. was elected to another twelve year term on the Springfield Court of Appeals, a term which would conclude on December 31, 1980. However, Stone retired from the bench in 1979, and following his retirement little else could be found on his life, excepting notice of his death on September 6, 1984 at age 77. He was survived by his wife Faye, who, nine years after her husband's death, "committed a 2.7 million estate gift" to the Missouri Baptist University, which in turn would fund a "university institutional scholarship". The "Aytchmonde P. Stone Endowment" continues on to this day, and following her passing in 1995 Faye Stone was interred alongside her husband at the Hazlewood Cemetery in Springfield.

Portrait from the 1974 Official Manual of Missouri.

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