'if they are stones, that is sufficient'

Over near Middletown is a farmer named Edgar G. Stokes, a gentleman who is said to have graduated with honor in a New England college more than a quarter of a century ago ... He owns the farm on which he lives, and it is valuable; not quite so valuable though as it once was, for Mr. Stokes’s eccentric disposition has somewhat changed the usual tactics that farmers pursue when they own fertile acres. The average man clears his soil of stones; Mr. Stokes has been piling rocks all over his land. Little by little the weakness–or philosophy–has grown upon him; and not only from every part of Middlesex County, but from every part of this State he has been accumulating wagonloads of pebbles and rocks. He seeks for no peculiar stone either in shape, color, or quality. If they are stones that is sufficient. And his theory is that stones have souls–souls, too, that are not so sordid and earthly as the souls that animate humanity. They are souls purified and exalted. In the rocks are the spirits of the greatest men who have lived in past ages, developed by some divinity until they have become worthy of their new abode. Napoleon Bonaparte’s soul inhabits a stone, so does Hannibal’s, so does Cæsar’s, but poor plebeian John Smith and William Jenkins, they never attained such immortality.
Farmer Stokes has dumped his rocks with more or less reverence all along his fields, and this by one name and that by another he knows and hails them all. A choice galaxy of the distinguished lights of the old days are in his possession, and just between the burly bits of granite at the very threshold of his home is a smooth-faced crystal from the Rocky Mountains. This stone has no soul yet.
The Best Ghost Stories, Joseph Lewis French, editor, 1919, pp. 210-13.

Discovered at Haunted Ohio, where you can read more about stones with souls.