C. R. Stone, born in 1865, emerged as a self-made man despite challenging circumstances. Growing up in an era of financial struggle, he displayed remarkable determination and energy from a young age. Showing a talent for music, he organized and led a successful band at the age of thirteen. After years of study and teaching music in Minneapolis, he entered the music industry in Fargo, establishing his own business that rapidly grew in size and success. Stone’s unwavering willpower, tireless work ethic, and integrity propelled him forward. His contributions to North Dakota’s growth and cultural development, particularly in bringing music to isolated homes, earned him deep appreciation. Beyond business, Stone is described as big-hearted, generous, and a devoted family man.
C. R. Stone is a self-made man. Born in the small town of Crown Point, Ind., in January 1865, just at the close of the war when times were hard and money scarce, when calico was more popular than the modern Axminster. Education was rather “picked up” than learned, and opportunities for a boy’s advancement were of the most meager character, but these discouraging surroundings did not discourage this boy, who even in his earliest boyhood days showed the same indomitable pluck and energy that has stood him in such good stead through all his busy life.
At a very early age, his parents moved to Hebron, Ind., and it was here that he first showed his musical traits and inclinations, and at the early age of thirteen, he organized and conducted the Hebron Juvenile Band, which was one of the most successful boy bands of that day.
After studying for several years, he moved to Minneapolis and taught music until 1886 when he entered the employ of a large music house in the East, advancing rapidly to the position of general salesman. This position he held for several years, when in 1894, he resigned his position with that house and established himself in business at Fargo at the corner of First Avenue and Broadway. The rapid growth of his business soon compelled him to move to more commodious quarters at 110 Broadway, which in three years he had again outgrown. Then began the erection of the most complete music house in the Northwest, a building covering a lot 50×120 feet, embracing three floors, with a total floor space of 25,000 square feet, all perfectly arranged, including a magnificent music hall with studios and reception rooms.
But these achievements by a man not yet forty-one have by no means been accomplished without a bitter hard struggle, the close application of an indomitable will, tremendous energy, and strictest integrity in all his business dealings.
North Dakota owes much to C. R. Stone. He entered a comparatively new and unsettled country and contributed greatly to its growth and development. No one feature contributed more to the enjoyment of life of those early settlers and those who have made this great Northwest what it is than the introduction of musical instruments, musical culture, and musical development into those faraway homes, making, by his very force of character, these ideal environments go hand in hand with the development of the country instead of following it. When one stops to think of the isolated homes where neighbors, in those pioneer days, were miles apart, what intense satisfaction and enjoyment have been derived by many of these isolated families through the possession of some fine instrument. It is no more than right to say that the man who has traveled day and night, bringing these instruments of education and civilization to the very doors of the lonely isolated home of the farmer or rancher has contributed much to humanity.
But to appreciate C. R. Stone, one must know him intimately—big-hearted, generous to a fault, a thorough sportsman, and the most enjoyable companion. Devoted to his family, his home life is ideal, owning a handsome townhouse in Fargo and a country place at Detroit, Minnesota, where each summer he takes a well-earned rest, romping with his two handsome children.
C.F. Cooper & Company, History of the Red River Valley, Past And Present: Including an Account of the Counties, Cities, Towns And Villages of the Valley From the Time of Their First Settlement And Formation, volumes 1-2; Grand Forks: Herald printing company, 1909.