STONE, WILLIAM CARLOS

Copyright 2011-2017 John N. Lupia, III

Fig. 1. William Carlos Stone in 1905 as President of the American Philatelic Association.

Dedicated to Mike Thomas and the Dallas Coin Club on his request for information about L. H. Low and W. C. Stone after winning a graphic illustrated cover of Lyman Haynes Low sent to Stone (Fig. 2 below) at a Heritage auction; at a ridiculously low price.

Fig. 2. Lyman Haynes Low correspondence to William Carlos Stone postmarked May 12, 1885, New York sent on Postal stationery. Courtesy Mike Thomas, President of the Dallas Coin Club.

Stone was a specialist in Chinese stamps, and United States revenue stamps and amassed an extensive philatelic literature library, now in the Postal History Museum, Washington, D.C. He assisted William Reynolds Ricketts in the preparation the index of philatelic literature. He was a specialist in Greek, Roman and U. S. Coins, and collected Napoleon medals, and served as the Vice-President of the American Numismatic Association.



William Carlos Stone (1859-1939), was born on October 8, 1859 at Plymouth, Massachusetts, son of Admiral Samuel Paschal Stone (1820-1902), Assistant Superintendent of Schools, and Elizabeth M. Hutchinson Stone (1835-1899), both natives of New Hampshire. His great-grandfather Urial Stone was a soldier in the American Revolution in Corporal Bedel's New Hampshire Regiment. Henry Chapman, Jr., was born nine days after the birth of William Carlos Stone. While still a youth at Plymouth he was given a gift of foreign postage stamps from Hong Kong and East India from the wife of a sea captain which sparked his fascination with collecting postage stamps. He began buying collectible postage stamps while a youth of twelve years at Plymouth in 1871. The first stamp he purchased was a 15c 1869 U. S. stamp for which he paid one cent to a schoolmate. He thought it a waste of money at the time. By 1893 he amassed a collection of approximately 14,000 postage stamps. His specialty in coin collecting is war medals and decorations including three different crosses of the Legion of Honor, the German Iron Cross of 1813, the Russian Cross of St. George, the French Order of Saint Esprit, the Bourbon Order of the Lily, etc. His autograph collection contains documents of French rulers since Francis I.

In 1873, his family moved to Springfield, Massachusetts where he remained his remaining years.  He graduated Springfield public high school in 1878. From 1879-1883 he assisted his father as superintendent of schools working in his office.

In 1883 he worked as an assistant librarian in the Springfield Public Library, where he remained until 1938.

Fig. 3. Stone's correspondence with the Chapman Brothers postmarked January 4, 1884, Springfield, Massachusetts, franked by a Scott #210, issued October 1, 1883, just three months and three days earlier. There are several letters of correspondence from Stone to the Chapman Brothers in the Lupia Numismatic Library. Unfortunately after the back up system crash of at least 300 pages of data being lost retrieval is now manual by searching through 325 volumes of 27,000 pieces of mail. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.

Fig. 4. Stone as Editor-in-chief of the American Philatelist, January 1893, page 128.

Stone was a founding member of the American Philatelic Association, established on September 14, 1886 in New York City. He was appointed Librarian in 1887, but was transferred Literary Board, and since 1890 as Chairman. The Association was later renamed the American Philatelic Society. Stone served as President 1905-1907 succeeding Hiram Edmund Deats. He was also editor of the American Philatelist beginning in 1893. He also served on the Hand-Book Committee of the APA (now APS). He was also a member of the Post Card Society, and the I.P.V. of Dresden.

He worked for 55 years as assistant librarian at the Springfield, Massachusetts Public Library. He also served as the A.N.A. Librarian from 1892-1898.

He joined the American Numismatic Association in 1892 and is A.N.A. Member No. 92. He served as Vice-President of the A.N.A.

On June 28, 1893, he married Annie Ripley Osgood of Fryeburg, Maine, at Springfield, Massachusetts. They had two daughters Helen (1894-), and Emily (1896-).
He was a founding member of the Springfield Stamp Club founded on February 8, 1895.
In 1902, he was editor of the column, "Philatelic Literature" in the Weekly Philatelic Era.
In 1906, he was treasurer of the Springfield branch of the Sons of the American Revolution.

From February to August 1912 he published his seminal : "A history of the American Philatelic Association now the American Philatelic Society 1886-1911", in The American Philatelist, February 1912, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp.143-150, May, Issue 3, pp.237-244 & August, Issue 4, pp.300-305.

On May 9, 1912, he was a founding charter member and the first president of the Springfield Coin Club.

In 1914, he was the second Vice-President of the United States Revenue Society and presided over the eighth annual convention at Niagara Fall, New York on August 12, 1914.

In 1916, he was the First-Vice President of the American Numismatic Association.

Lyman Haynes Low auctioned part of his coin collection on May 22, 1918, originally scheduled April 20, 1918.


He was a member of the London Philatelic Society.


His extensive research on philatelic legislation of the Confederate States of America was published as a chapter in August Dietz seminal work, The Postal Service of the Confederate States of America (1929).

He was a member of the American Air Mail Society.

In 1935, he was editor of the philatelic column in the Springfield Union.

He died at his home in Springfield, Massachusetts, on February 23, 1939.

His philatelic library was sold posthumously in April 1941 and purchased by George Townsend Turner (1906-1979). Turner eventually donated it to the Smithsonian Institute's Postal History Museum.
In 1940, the APS established the William Carlos Stone Memorial Award for exhibitors at annual convention.
In 1947, he was inducted in the American Philatelic Society Hall of Fame.



Bibliography :

The Numismatist (1892)
American Philatelist, January 1893, pages 128-129.
Granite Monthly (1902) : 199-200, father's obit
Year Book : National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (1903) : 308
American Philatelist (1911) : 240
Mekeel's Weekly Stamp News, Vol. XXVIII, No. 35 (1914) : 301
The Numismatist January (1916) : 28
Chicago Tribune, Sunday, March 3, 1935, page 56
Evening StarSunday, February 26, 1939, page 34 Obit
The Numismatist, April (1939) : 310, Obit
Lorraine S. Durst, United States Numismatic Auction Catalogs : A Bibliography, No. 1218, page 56
John Weston Adams, United States Numismatic Literature, Volume 1 ; 141
Martin Gengerke, American Numismatic Auctions (2009) : 386

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