Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Admiral Paschal Stone (1820-1902)

From "Our County and Its People: A History of Hampden County, Massachusetts", 1905.

   Sporting one of those misnomer "title as a first name" names, longtime Springfield, Massachusetts educator Admiral Paschal Stone never served in a naval capacity but still managed to land Admiral as his first name! A former superintendent of schools in Springfield, Stone occupied a seat on the Massachusetts State Board of Education for several years, and while this office places him squarely in the gray area of "sort of political figure", Stone's name can be found in several 19th century editions of the Massachusetts state manual with other members of the state government. Born in Piermont, New Hampshire on August 14, 1820, Admiral Paschal Stone was the son of Simon and Mary Blynn Stone.
  A student at schools local to Piermont and Royalton, New Hampshire, Stone also studied at the Newbury Academy in Vermont and in Fryeburg, Maine. After a brief period of study at Dartmouth College, Stone embarked on a career in education that would extend nearly six decades. Through the succeeding years, Stone held the post of principal in schools located in Southbridge, Millbury, and Plymouth, Massachusetts, and in November 1864 removed to Maine to accept the superintendency of the Portland city schools.
  Stone's residency in Maine saw him turn down the appointments of state superintendent of schools and principal of the Maine State Normal School, and his work in that state was later lauded by Bowdoin College and Colby University with honorary degrees. In 1873 Stone accepted the appointment of Superintendent of Schools in Springfield, Massachusetts, where he would have considerable impact. His fifteen-year tenure in that post saw him guide the school system through a period of financial instability, and "by his ability in organization did much to bring the schools uninjured through this trying experience." Amongst the improvements made during his service, a public Manual Training School was established in the city, as well as a city normal school.
  Stepping down from the superintendency in 1888, Admiral P. Stone was named to the Massachusetts State Board of Education, where he served for an indeterminate period. Although his full dates of service remain a mystery, he is recorded as a member of that body from 1889-1895, and at various times was designated a member of the examining boards of both Harvard University and Bowdoin College. Stone would also hold the vice presidency of the National Association of School Superintendents and for over a decade was an editor for both the Maine Journal of Education and the Massachusetts Teacher. 
   In addition to his prominence in state educational circles, Stone was an author, seeing his "History of England" first published in 1882. Widowed in 1899, Admiral P. Stone died in Springfield on September 4, 1902, a few weeks following his 82nd birthday. He was subsequently interred alongside his wife Elizabeth at the Riverside Cemetery in Grafton, Massachusetts.

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