Stone, Samuel Theophilus (1797–1857)

By: Joseph M. Nance

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: July 1, 1995

Samuel Theophilus Stone, veteran of the War of 1812, ferryman, and Woll expedition prisoner, was born in Bedford County, Virginia, in 1797. He served as a private in Captain Lange's Company of Virginia Militia in the United States Army in 1814. In 1819 he moved to Shelbyville, Bedford County, Tennessee. On August 14, 1823, he married Mary Ann Chunn, formerly of Tennessee, in Morgan County, Alabama; he moved to that state in 1824. The Stones moved to Missouri in 1829 and to Texas in December 1839. The family, which included four children (a fifth had died in Missouri), settled at Bastrop, where Stone is reported to have built the first ferry boat on the Colorado River. Three more children were born in Texas. While on a business trip to San Antonio in 1842, Stone was captured on September 11 by a Mexican army unit under Brig. Gen. Adrián Woll, sent with others into Mexico, and imprisoned at Perote Castle, where he was forced to work. On the night of July 2, 1843, with fifteen other Texans, he escaped through a tunnel that the prisoners had dug in the wall. Stone was soon captured and returned to prison, where he remained until the San Antonio and Dawson prisoners were released on March 24, 1844, through the efforts of Gen. Waddy Thompson, the United States minister to Mexico. He reached Texas and home late in April 1844. In 1845 Stone moved from Bastrop to Austin, where about a mile below the city he built and operated a ferry across the Colorado. In 1849 he went to California to look for gold but returned in 1851 to Austin, where he lived until his death in 1857. He was buried with Masonic honors in the State Cemetery in Austin. See also PEROTE PRISON.

Mary Smith Fay, War of 1812 Veterans in Texas (New Orleans: Polyanthos, 1979). Joseph Milton Nance, Attack and Counterattack: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1842 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1964). Waddy Thompson, Recollections of Mexico (New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1846). James L. Trueheart, The Perote Prisoners; Being the Diary of James L. Trueheart (San Antonio: Naylor, 1934). E. W. Winkler, ed., "The Bexar and Dawson Prisoners," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 13 (April 1910).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Joseph M. Nance, “Stone, Samuel Theophilus,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 03, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995