Grandview Heights Moment in Time

Wayne Carlson
Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society
Grandview Heights resident Julius Stone (front left) is shown in this 1926 photo of the Ohio State University board of trustees. Stone was sitting in front of Alma W. Paterson, the first female member of the board.

Grandview Heights resident Julius F. Stone was appointed to the Ohio State University board of trustees in 1909 and served until 1917. He continued to be involved with the board as treasurer and in 1925 was reappointed as trustee to fill the unexpired term of Charles F. Kettering until 1930. He again was reappointed in 1930 and served until 1937. 

Stone was a prominent Columbus industrialist and served as president of several large companies and was chairman of the board of Seagrave Corp., a manufacturer of firefighting equipment. He also was quite prominent in philanthropic activities, including donating liberally. For example, in 1925 Stone purchased Gibraltar Island, once the summer home of Jay Cooke. Cooke was an American financier who had helped finance the Union war effort during the Civil War and the postwar development of railroads in the northwestern United States. He generally is acknowledged as the first major investment banker in the United States.

Stone immediately signed over the deed and donated the island to Ohio State University for Lake Erie research. The laboratory is called the Franz Theodore Stone Laboratory in honor of Julius Stone's father.

In 1924, Ohio State appointed Alma Wacker Paterson as the first woman to serve on the board, and she served until 1933. She succeeded Thomas Mendenhall after his death in 1924. Mendenhall was appointed in 1873 as the first faculty member at Ohio State and served on the board for only four years and nine months before Paterson’s appointment by the governor, A. Victor Donahey. He already had indicated that the next appointment to the board would be a woman because “the large number of women registered at the University warrants the selection,” according to an article in the university’s Lantern publication. Ohio State’s Paterson Hall is named for Alma Paterson, who previously had been assistant director of physical education for women at Ohio State. She recently was featured by the Ohio State University Archives during Women’s History Month.

This photo shows the Ohio State board in 1926. Stone is at the front left, and Paterson is seated behind him. Other members of the board at the time were Herbert Atkinson, Egbert Mack, John Kaiser, Lawrence Laybourne and Harry Caton. Carl Steeb was the board secretary.

This historical narrative from the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society was provided by Wayne Carlson.