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Job Eagles Stone was born in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England on November 5, 1860. He emigrated to Australia with his parents when he was 13 years old.
Stone’s first job in Toowoomba was as a newspaper boy. He then commenced work as an apprentice to G. and J. Blacks, master printers. He remained with the firm for 15 years including a five-year placement in the company’s Brisbane branch.
Stone entered into a partnership in the printing and bookselling business with Mr. George Black and Mr. John McDonald in 1893.
The business thrived and in 1923, new premises were required. This new shop was two storeys and cost in the vicinity of ₤2000. By this time, Stone had three sons in the profession, Jerry, Ralph and Vernon who worked in the business, while Stone himself retained the position of governing director.
Stone had many other interests in Toowoomba apart from his profession, most notably, his lengthy service on Toowoomba’s Council. He was elected as an alderman for the then East Ward in 1907, 1908, 1910, 1911, 1923, 1924 and from 1930 until 1933. He served as mayor of Toowoomba in 1909.
Stone was one of the founders of the Harlaxton State School and held the position of secretary on the school committee for many years. He was also director of the Darling Downs Building Society from its inception in 1897, as well as a director of Security Trust Co.
The Darling Downs Building Society merged with the Toowoomba Permanent Building Society in 1981 to become Heritage Building Society. In 1906, Stone began his political career on the Highfields Shire Council as councillor.
Stone was greatly interested in amateur dramatics and became president of the Austral Association for a year in 1907.
Stone married Maria Beer on December 6, 1888 when he was 28 years of age. She bore him 4 sons and 2 daughters; Ralph, Patti, Jeffrey, Elsie, Vernon and Nelson. Maria died at the age of 41 on March 15, 1906 giving birth to her sixth child Nelson, who himself died the following month.
In January 1908, Job married Maria’s younger sister Elsie, who gave him 4 further children; Leigh, Sheila, Eula and Lemnos. Elsie died at the age of 43 on August 24, 1918.
Job Stone died at the age of 74 on September 14, 1935. He is buried with his family in the Old Methodist section of the Drayton and Toowoomba Cemetery.
LH/files – LH/Mayors, Toowoomba