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L D Stone & Co - L D Stone

Birth place or City of origin: San Francisco
State of origin: CA
Last known City:
Last known State:
Start/Birth date: 1852
Death/End date: 1912

Established by Lucius D. Stone in 1852. It remained one of California's premier wholesale and retail manufacturers of harness, saddles, bits, spurs and saddlery hardware through the turn of the century under the proprietorship of A Kempkey, F M Gilham and W T Sawyer. As their popularity grew so did their catalogue - 430 pages in 1894 - the same year their top-of-the-line saddle was put on exhibition at the Chicago World's Fair. Their catalogue represented the most comprehensive selection of fine California spurs ever assembled. L D Stone consolidated with the other pioneer San Francisco firm of Main and Winchester in 1905 before disappearing with the Keyston Brothers merger in 1912.


I realize that the catalogues proudly announce that LD Stone was established in 1852. That is the probable date that R Stone, Rockwell, LD's father likely moved to Sacramento, so I think that it always went unquestioned. I have written a number of monographs, and have uncovered several instances of this type of dialogue. Gotta admit-- looks good when you have competition. Oh, another good one, not yet sorted out-- Charles Main was only a part-time manager, and Ezra Winchester left San Francisco about 1863 for Portsmouth, New Hampshire, never to return to the Bay Area. Main-Winchester was managed from afar most of its existence.

-- Richard


I gather it had to do with L D Stone being 9 in 1852. My write up for you for the Stone and Hayden Cantinas 8 or 10 years ago has the info on the firm. It was founded in Sacramento in the 1850s by Rockwell Stone, father of Lucius D Stone. He opened a branch in S D in 1862 in partnership with Peter Hayden of New York. Hayden is an interesting story himself. He was probably the largest manufacturer of saddlery hardware in the country and had similar partnerships all over the country. The partnership with Hayden ended in 1882 and Stone sold his share of the Sacramento shop to his managing partner there, a Van Vorhies. Lucius D inherited R Stone in 1884 and lost it to Kempkey Gilham and Sawyer by 1888.


1850- No L D Stone living in San Francisco. An E.S. Stone is a Commission Merchant, and Chapin & Otis V Sawyer are Commission Merchants, and dealing in harness and leather. [City Directory for San Francisco, 1850, available online]

1850- Rockwell Stone, born 1806, in Mass, a resident of Newark, Wayne County, New York. Listed as a merchant, married to Sophia. His son Lucius D Stone is 7, and born in New York. [US Federal Census, Wayne County, New York, 1850]

1852, 8 Sept- No L D Stone is living in San Francisco. Main & Winchester are operating a saddlery. No Kempkey, Gilham or Sawyer associated with any saddlery. [City Directory for San Francisco, 1852, available online]

1853- No L D Stone living in San Francisco. Loraine Gill is a saddler, 71 Kearney St. Otis V Sawyer has a hardware business at 127 Sansome.[City Directory for San Francisco, 1852-1853, available online]

1859- No L D Stone living in San Francisco. J C Johnson Co is in business. R Stone, Saddler and Harness maker, 168 J St, Sacramento.
[City Directory for San Francisco, 1859. Sacramento City Directory, 1859-60, both available online]

1860- L D Stone is age 17, born in New York c 1843, the son of Rockwell Stone, now a hardware and saddle dealer and saddler in Sacramento. Rockwell Stone was aged 54, born in Massachusetts, married to Sophia B. The L D are initials for Lucius Dean (Stone), [US Federal Census for Sacramento, CA, 1860]

1863- The Harness and Saddlery firm of Rockwell Stone and Peter Hayden appear in San Francisco at 416 Battery St [City Directory for San Francisco, 1863, available online]

1864- The same information exists for Stone & Hayden, at 418 Battery St; Lucius D Stone was a clerk in this establishment. He lived at 613 Pine St
[City Directory for San Francisco, 1864, available online]

1866, June- Rockwell Stone registered as a hardware store operator, and Lucius Dean Stone registered as a clerk in a hardware store. Both were residents of San Francisco. [Voter Registration, known as the "Great List" of San Francisco, finalized in 1867. [List is available online]

1868- R Stone & Co; 150 J St, Sacramento. John T Stoll is in business. [Sacramento City Directory, 1868, available online]

1870- Lucius D Stone, a resident of San Francisco. Born 1843, NY. Resides in San Francisco. He is a clerk in Rockwell's hardware store.
[US Federal Census for San Francisco, CA, 1870]

1880- R Stone operating a hardware store. L D Stone, a clerk in store. Both living at the same address in San Francisco, 6th ward. [US Federal Census for San Francisco, CA, 6th Ward, 1880. This census available in entirety, online]

1880- Rockwell Stone and A A Van Voorheis, dealers in Saddles, saddle hardware [etc], 520 J St, Sacramento. Noted that Rockwell Stone lives in San Francisco. A West Coast Gazeteer indicates that Peter Hayden still had an interest in the business on Battery St. [City Directory, (Sacramento), 1880, and West Coast Gazeteer, 1880 (San Francisco). Both are available online.]

1882- By this year, A A Van Voorhies had purchased the holdings of R Stone's Sacramento saddlery. Van Voorheis Co was established alone. [Source: Davis, Hon. Win. J, An Illustrated History of Sacramento County, California. Pages 767-768. Lewis Publishing Company, 1890, transcription available on line]

1886-87- The death of Rockwell Stone. His son inherits the wealthy hardware business. Due to poor management, and extravagance, he was forced to retire (bankruptcy?) from the business in 1888. WE CAN ESTABLISH THE TRUE BEGINNING DATE OF THE L D STONE, SADDLE AND HARDWARE CO IN SAN FRANCISCO, Circa 1886. Refer to the following news article:

Source: THE MANSFIELD HERALD (Mansfield, Richland Co, Ohio): 23
January 1890, Vol. 40, No. 10

1890- L D Stone & Co is listed as a San Francisco business, but the operators are listed as Augustus Kempkey, Frank M Gilham and William T Sawyer. They were importers and manufacturers of saddlery and harness, and dealers in saddlery hardware. The location was at 422-424 Battery St. [Either these three men were receivers of a bankrupt company, or they bought the firm outright, [Augustus Kempkey was a merchant from Oakland, Frank Gilham, a merchant, lived in Oakland. William T Sawyer lived at 427 Eddy St, San Francisco.]
[City Directory, San Francisco, 1890. US Federal Census 1880 (Kempkey), both available online; 1900 Federal Census for San Francisco]

1892- Mr and Mrs L D Stone are listed in the "Blue Book", with addresses at 1404 California St, and the Hotel Vendome. [Source: The San Francisco Blue Book & Pacific Coast Elite Directory, 1892. The Bancroft Company, San Francisco, 1892. Available online]

1893- The L D Stone & Co moved to 417 Market St. [San Francisco Telephone Directory, 1893, available online]

1898- The information remains the same, page 153. [San Francisco Telephone Directory, March 1897, available, online]

1899- L D Stone no longer listed in the San Francisco "Blue Book" [San Francisco Blue Book and Social Listings, 1899. Available online]

1905- No L D Stone is listed in the telephone directory. [San Francisco Telephone Directory, p. 242, 1905. Available online]

1905- Merged with pioneering San Francisco saddlery of Main and Winchester.

1907- MAIN-WINCHESTER-STONE CO, 221 Bush St. No residential listings for L D Stone, [City Directory for San Francisco, 1907, available online]

1910- No enumeration for L D Stone remains in San Francisco. [US Federal Census for 1910. Available online]


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