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Oliver Shaw Stoner


Oliver Stoner

Oliver Shaw Stoner was born on Oct. 29, 1895, likely in Somerset/Fayette County, PA, the eldest son of Nathan C. and Letitia (Harbaugh) Stoner

As a boy, Oliver relocated with his parents and siblings to Sistersville, Tyler County, WV, where his father ran a business manufacturing and installing oilfield pumps. Later, they moved again to Robinson, Crawford County, IL. 


Oliver enjoyed boyhood visits with his cousins back home in Western Pennsylvania. The photo seen here shows Oliver at far left with his cousins Warren (center) and Gus Younkin, likely taken at the Younkin homeplace near Clay Run, Fayette County. 

Oliver enjoyed friendships with his cousins into adulthood, and had a special connection with Warren Younkin, as they appear together in photographs.


Oliver (left) with Younkin cousins
During World War I, Oliver served in the Rainbow Division, Company B, Battery A, Field Artillery, and was sent overseas to Europe. Word of his arrival reached his grandmother, Catherine Stoner in Indianapolis, and she promptly clipped a shaving razor coupon from the local newspaper and sent it to him. In a related story, the Connellsville (PA) Daily Courier reported that
"There is no age limit of persons who can do something to bring cheer to the soldier boys, as illustrated by the action of Mrs. Catherine Stoner. Although lacking less than a month of attaining her 80th birthday, advancing years did not prevent Mrs. Stoner taking keen interest in her grandson, Oliver S. Stoner, who was one of the first boys to reach France."

He is believed to have returned home without injury.

On May 1, 1928, when he was age 29, he was united in wedlock with Lulu Lucille Ashbaugh ( ? - ? ), daughter of Charles Ashbaugh of Lafayette, IN. The nuptials were performed in the residence of Rev. J. Newton Jessup, pastor of the First Christian Church. In reporting on the wedding, the Lafayette Journal and Courier said that the newlyweds would make their home in Lafayette.

Circa 1935, Oliver moved to Plainfield, Hendricks County, IN, a suburb of Indianapolis. He worked as a salesman for food companies, a field in which his cousins David, Osborne and Charles Younkin were also active. From 1940 to 1965, he was a security guard for Lucas Herald Corporation.


Oliver during World War I



Oliver and Audria

In all, Oliver was married four times but did not reproduce. At first, his mother began writing his marriage data in her personal copy of the Harbaugh History book, but then becoming irritated at having to change it so often, tore out the pertinent page, and while the book today is otherwise intact, the whereabout of the page is unknown.

One of Oliver's wives was Cora Yean ( ? - ? ). She may be the same woman as Cora Mae McKnight ( ? - ? ), whom Oliver married in or around Indianapolis circa 1940. Their marriage license was announced on the pages of the Indianapolis News.

His fourth wife was Audria L. Beck (1896-1997).The couple is seen at both right (younger) and below left (older).

They resided in Plainfield, where they were members of the Plainfield First Baptist Church. Audria worked at an insurance company for many years, and retired late in life.

Audria and Oliver
Oliver passed away as a patient in Hendricks County Hospital at Danville, IN on April 17, 1985, as he neared his 90th birthday. An obituary was published on the pages of the Indianapolis Star.  

Audria outlived him by 12 years, and on Sept. 15, 1996, celebrated her 100th birthday. She remained active until the end, often found on a ladder painting inside her home, or engaged in other household tasks. She died the following year, on April 28, 1997.

They are buried together at Maple Hill Mausoleum in Plainfield.


Copyright 2005, 2009, 2020 Mark A. Miner