GENERAL ROY STONE
1893 — 1899
Director/Office of Road Inquiry
Military Officer — Inventor — Engineer — Writer — Traveler
On October 3, 1893, Secretary of Agriculture J. Sterling Morton instituted the Office of Road Inquiry and appointed General Roy Stone, formerly Secretary for the National League of Good Roads, as Special Agent and Engineer for Road Inquiry.
Earlier in 1893, the Office had been authorized by a statute enacted by the Fifty-second Congress and approved March 3, 1893, by President Benjamin Harrison.
The statute read in part: "To enable the Secretary of Agriculture to make inquiries in regard to the systems of road management throughout the United States, to make investigations in regard to the best methods of road-making, and to enable him to assist the agricultural college and experiment stations in disseminating information on this subject."
General Stone was a professional civil and mechanical engineer; a military hero who distinguished himself in the Civil War and again in the Spanish-American War; an astute organizer; and the architect of many State-aid laws for U.S. roads.
He proposed the first parcel post, the first rural free delivery, and postal savings banks.