James M. Stone was the 3rd son in a family of 6 children of Capt. James and Lydia (Perkins) Stone. He graduated at Brown University in 1853 and read law and was admitted to the bar of York County in 1856. He formed a law partnership with E. E. Bourne, .Jr., of Kennebunk (Bourne & Stone).
This firm continued practice until 1862, when he volunteered in the 27th Maine Infantry as a private. He was elected captain of Co. I by his comrades, and upon the organization of the regiment, Sept. 30, 1862, he was commissioned major. This regiment was stationed in Virginia, engaged in skirmishing and picket duty. On Feb. 11, 1863, he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel, and was mustered out of service in the following July.
A Republican, he was a member of the Maine Legislature for 1854 and 1855, from Kennebunkport; also, in 1860, 1864, 1865, and 1870, from Kennebunk, and was Speaker of the House in 1866. The same year that he was Speaker of the House in the Maine Legislature, a gentleman of the same name was Speaker of the House in the Massachusetts Legislature. He continued the practice of his profession, giving special attention to, and is largely engaged in, patent law practice in Washington and New York City.