Otis Stone

April 1891 - Jan. 18, 1919

Son of Andy and Mildred Stone
Born December 16, 1891, Fredonia, Ky.
Moved to Vanderburg County, Ind. in September, 1912.
Employee of hotel, Evansville, Ind. Entered service April 28, 1918, Evansville.
Sent to Camp Taylor, Ky.; assigned to Company B, 317th Labor Battalion.
Embarked June 20, 1918. Died of broncho-pneumonia January 18, 1919.
From: Indiana Gold Star Honor Roll - 1914 -1918

1900 Caldwell Co., Ky. census list birthdate as April 1891

information submitted by Ken & Peggy Gilkey
If you have more information on Otis Stone
Ken or Peggy Gilkey

American Legion Post 354 historian Rubert Duncan, left and
sergeant-at-arms Donald Shanklin, right, unveil a portrait of
the post's namesake, Otis Stone, who served in World War I.
Post 354 Service Officer Luther Nixon spoke about Stone's
recently rediscovered personal and service history during a
rededication ceremony at the post Saturday

This story appeared in the Evansville Courier & Press Sunday February 15, 2004

Remembering its roots
Legion Post finally finds story behind its name

Otis E. Stone is not just the namesake of American Legion Post 354 or the post's building at 1127 Chestnut St.
The name has now been connected to the African-American man who was born in Western Kentucky, lived in Evansville, In. and died for his country during Worls War I, despite the racism he endured because of the color of his skin.

During the 78 year history of the American Legion Post 354, most of the documentation about Stone was lost. "I thought Otis Stone was a myth" said Post 354 Commander Mike Patton. He said the search for Otis Stone's records began more than 45 years ago.

The post was rededicated in his honor Saturday with the unveiling of a portrait of Stone in his military uniform and the reciting of his history by the post's service officer, Luther Nixon.

Nixon spent months making phone calls and going through military records at the National Archives to learn all that he could about Stone.
Stone was born in Caldwell Co., Ky. in 1891, attended local schools and worked as a farm laborer before moving to Evansville at age 20.
He held food service jobs at local hotels until he was inducted into the Army in 1918 and served with an African - American unit serving in France.

"They had to wait until there were enough colored troops to fill a boat and fill the spaces that were allocated to them because they would not mix whites and blacks on the boat at the same time, although they were going to the same war," Nixon said.
Nixon said Stone had the rank of mess sergeant when he developed pneumonia and died at the segregated infirmary in France in January 1919.
His body was transported back to the United States for burial in Caldwell County, Ky.

"This answers all of our questions we have had on Mr. Stone for years," Nixon said. "We can truly put him to rest because we know who he is, what he did, how he did it, and why he did it."

Evansville City Councilman Stephen Melcher, a member of American Legion Post 354, read a proclamation from Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel proclaiming Feb. 14, 2004 as Sgt. Otis E. Stone Day in Evansville, In.
The proclamation gave special recognition to Stone for his death while in service to his country.
"He rendered that service to his country at a time when his own rights as an African -American citizen were compromised both at home and in foreign service", the proclamation stated.


Research by Peggy & Ken Gilkey shows information listed below:

Caldwell Co., Ky. Marriages:
Andrew Stone md. Mildred Love 4/4/1891
Bessie Stone md. Herman Crider 12/25/1911
Bessie Crider md Ridley Holland 11/27/1919

Bessie Holland's death cert. lists her parents as Andy Stone and Mildred Rice
She was married to Ridley Holland and she was buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery
in Princeton Ky. but she has no stone.

1900 Caldwell Co., Ky. census
Fredonia Pct.
h/h 52 /52

Stone Andy           b  m   Nov. 1863   36 m8   ky  ky  tn
       Mildrade          b  f      Mar. 1863   36  m8   ky  ky  ky
        Odis                  b  m    April 1891   8           ky  ky  ky
       Bessie                  b  f       April 1896   4          ky  ky  ky

1910 Caldwell Co., Ky. census Fredonia, Ky. town
h/h 92/97
Stone Andy        head        m b       46        m        19 yrs        section hand rr                     ky ky ky
       Mildred         wife            f mu      47         m2      19 yrs.         had 4 child. 2 living           ky ky ky
       Odes             son             m b      18 s                                     odd jobs on farm                 ky ky ky
       Bessie           dau           f mu      14 s                                    wash woman at home        ky ky ky
They lived on Garner Ave in Fredonia town

1920 Caldwell Co., Ky. Federal Census lists: h/h 3075-15
Hallens, Rudley age 28
      Bessie age 22
      Mildred age 7
       Catherine age 4 9/12
       Laura age 1 6/12
Stone, Andy age 52 f-i-l


Otis Stone in uniform
Located & Submited by Angela Blair


Angela Blair, Fredonia researcher, went through old school census and found an Andrew Stone/ Andy Stone in 1900 enrolled two children in Fredonia. Foster Wilson and Nannie Tyler if the spelling was correct.
Andrea found the name Andy Stone several times with different names but it is very hard to read some of the old writing.


We did not find Otis Stone listed in any cemetery books of Caldwell Co., Ky.
It would be nice if Otis Stone's grave could be marked
If anyone has information on this man's burial site, please contact
Ken & Peggy Gilkey

Back to Caldwell Co., Ky Cemeteries