The Stone Tablet

Who was Ormond Stone?

Ormond Stone Middle School was built in 1991 in honor of Ormond Stone.

Ormond Stone Middle School was built in 1991 in honor of Ormond Stone.

David P., Staff Writer

Mr. Ormond Stone was born January 11 1847 in Pekin, Tazewell County, Illinois. He grew up to be an astronomer, mathematician, and educator. He also help out with Fairfax County and was honored for his work. How much do you know about Ormond Stone?

According to Revolvy, Mr. Stone was born to Elijah Stone and Sophia Creighton. When he was at Chicago High School, he met a Truman Henry Safford. This man was an astronomer at the Dearborn Observatory. Thanks to Safford, Mr. Ormond Stone became interested in astronomy. Following his long life interest in astronomy, Stone went to Old University of Chicago. He graduated with a master’s degree and accepted  directorship of the Cincinnati Observatory. While he was there, he instituted a program of discovering new southern double stars,he was the first to establish standard time for an American city, and he pushed for the adoption of Standard Time Belts (or time zones).

20 years before he retired, Dr. Stone was offered the position of director for the McCormick Observatory at the University of Virginia. When the construction of the observatory was finished in 1885, Stone immediately began to work and started observing nebulae, southern variables, and double stars. Another thing he did while at the university was the founding of the Annals of Mathematics in 1884. Dr. Stone stayed at McCormick Observatory until 1912.

Dr. Ormond Stone retired in 1912. Even though he retired he still continued to be active in the educational, religious and social problems of his local community and the state.His wife died in 1914, and he later married Mary Florence Brennan. Also, he served as Vice-President for the Virginia State Teachers’ Association and was the leader in the movement to improve Virginia’s public school system.In addition to that, he and his friend lawyer Thomas Keith went to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to request a space to start a library. Our librarian at Ormond Stone Middle School, Mrs. Muir, said, “The most important thing Dr. Stone did was request a library to be set up or built. The  first library in Fairfax County was filled with books Dr. Stone donated from friends and family.” What Dr. Stone did which was only the beginning to what is now the Fairfax County Public Library System. Ormond Stone Middle School, was opened in honor of him.

Dr. Stone isn’t very well known, but he was an important guy. If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have a library system, or it at least would have been delayed. This school is named after him, and it would be interesting for everyone to know about him. 

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